It's been a long while since we don't have any new interviews on LP, so we are happy to present you an interview with Quentin 'MiPwnYa' Lae. Quentin has been playing Pot Limit Omaha for a few years with great success. In 2010 he reached SNE status on PokerStars for the first time and hasn't dropped it since. In 2011 Quentin won two WCOOP events, collecting a combined $123,000. We hope you enjoy the interview as much as we did doing it.
Liquid Poker: Let’s start with the general info, Name/Age/Location?
Quentin LAE: Quentin LAE / 24 / Rio de Janeiro
Liquid Poker: Can you talk us about your username "MiPwnYa"?
Quentin LAE: It's not really interesting, when I created the account I had no clue I was gonna use it for so long, I think I was listening to too much jamaican dancehall by then and they sing in jamaican patwa so I own you became Mi Pwn Ya (pwn has obv nothin to do with dancehall and is just a nerdy expression).
Liquid Poker: You are French, right? When did you move to Brazil?
Quentin LAE: Yea I'm french but I've been spending most of my time in Brazil since 2009 I think.
Liquid Poker: Why did you choose Brazil as a place to live?
Quentin LAE: Well I first came to Rio in March 2008 when I was still a student but was thinking of dropping out. I then came again during April holidays, then July/August holidays and I realized that place was just too awesome for me to ever be able to be happy in sad, cold and rainy France (and by sad and cold I'm not only talking of the wheather) so I dropped uni and decided I'd live in South America, and make a living off Poker.
Liquid Poker: How did the transition go? You were just 20 in 2008. What was it like in the first few months?
Quentin LAE: The transition was actually quite exciting, I would just travel around with my laptop meeting new people, trying to learn new languages and shit, partying as much as I wanted. As you said I was 20 so all that new found freedom was a very nice breath of fresh air and I never regretted taking the decision to drop out.
Liquid Poker: And how did you get to know poker?
Quentin LAE: I just saw an "Everest Poker" ad on some website I was browsing, downloaded the soft, lost $1k pretty quickly then redeposited and decided I'd figure that game and make some money off it.
Liquid Poker: Seems like you were born to play PLO then, shaking off a $1k loss like that as a beginner! Can you talk us about your cash game career? How did you start as a beginner and how long you took before moving to PLO?
Quentin LAE: I've played NLHE for ages, I started pretty low. I must have grinded 500k hands of NL50 in my career so I was always a hard worker but I never really got to $2/$4 cause I wasn't good enough, but I always tried to compensate my lack of raw talent for the game by high volume and dedication. I still made a living off NLHE for a year and a half but I kind of realized I would never reach high stakes and a friend of mine insisted that I should give PLO a try so I did it and here I am, playing the devil's game : )
Liquid Poker: What was the worst downswing in you career like? And how did you turn that around?
Quentin LAE: Well I had a +100k upswing early this year then went on a -150k downswing so that'd be my biggest downswing ever but I think of it as a -50k downswing so it doesn't really affect me that much. I almost recovered all of it and, once again, high volume + being SNE saves me since rakeback really helps recovering those awful swings PLO put us through.
Liquid Poker: Did it affect your mood in anyway?
Quentin LAE: I always try very hard not to let poker affect my mood and it's easier said than done but I've made tremendous progress in that area. If anything I might feel bad while playing, because losing pot after pot or getting sucked out for huge amounts of money aren't pleasing feelings at all, but once I close the PS lobby I go back to being happy and I don't let it affect my behavior or my mood in real life at all.
Liquid Poker: Have you ever been frustrated due to some downswing and thought about quitting PLO?
Quentin LAE: Yes of course, when playing PLO you're gonna feel frustrated at some point. But I try to keep that fustration at a reasonable level so it doesn't affect my play. However, downswings don't really get to me anymore. The one thing that can make me angry is when I make a gross mistake that costs me money. I hate that. I think that's the only thing that still makes me tilt nowadays. I never thought about quitting because I always was confident enough it'd be OK in the end.
Liquid Poker: You've won 2 WCOOP tournaments last year. Did you have high expectations for the series?
Quentin LAE: I obviously didn't have high expectations, doesn't seem wise to put one's expectations in things which results one has absolutely no control over (such as poker tournaments), sounds like quite the recipe for disapointment : ). I knew I was +EV in the fields I was gonna play in, sure, but I never thought I'd score that big (I PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE SOLD ACTION IF I DID WOULD I MY DEAR FRIEND?)
Liquid Poker: Yeah you mentioned you wanted to freeroll the tournaments :D. Did you have any special celebration after you nailed them?
Quentin LAE: I celebrated every day for about 2 weeks after the victory but the "official celebration" was a glorious barbecue party I threw at my place, you shouda come eh : )
Liquid Poker: How often does it feel like work when you sit down?
Quentin LAE: It pretty much never feels like "real work" since I'm almost always enjoying myself. The only time it might feel like work is when I don't feel like playing and I have to play because I want to clear VPPs but that's quite rare.
Liquid Poker: How supportive are your family and friends of your profession?
Quentin LAE: My family really hated that I dropped out of school to play poker in the beginning and they were even quite resentful. But now they have visited me several times here in Brazil, they saw how happy I was living that way, and they now totally accept it. As for friends pretty much all of them think it's quite an awesome way to live and they're very supportive.
Liquid Poker: Black Friday basically killed online poker in the U.S. and it affected lots of people from all over the world as well. Where were you when you heard about it and what went through your mind?
Quentin LAE: I was in Chile at that moment, I just had a substantial upswing the week before and had basically 70% of my networth on PokerStars so I got very worried, it was somewhat likely all that money was gone and online poker was dead, what was I gonna do now ? But since there was nothing I could do I just tried not to think too much about it, thank god it turned out OK (and by thank god I mean thank stars).
Liquid Poker: Have you given PLO zoom poker a try?
Quentin LAE: Yes, it's fun but I don't really like it, I'd much rather 24table $2/$4 or something. The fact that you can't play higher than PLO100 really blows.
Liquid Poker: What if they add higher tables, will you consider playing it? Also, what did you think about the player pool? Any difference between zoom and regular tables?
Quentin LAE: I might play it if they add some $3/$6 but I'm not sure the player pool is big enough for them to do it. As for player pools I can't really tell if there's any difference since I haven't played much at all.
Liquid Poker: It's notorious that Hold'em games are harder today than they were a few years ago. Does the same apply to PLO?
Quentin LAE: It does but the process of games getting harder is considerably slower and there are so many fishes getting into the games that it's hardly noticeable. PLO is such a counter-intuitive game that it's very hard for people to improve. You can play terribly for an extended period of time and win as much as you can play very solidly and lose for ages.
Liquid Poker: You often emphasize how much fun you have playing PLO, what makes it so fascinating for you?
Quentin LAE: PLO is an extremely complex game, and I like the feeling of still being an apprentice of the game even tho I've been playing it for 2 years. There's just so much to know about this game, so many weird spots where you have no clue what to do, so many ways you can put pressure on people, so many mindfuck (pardon my french) spots good players can put you in. As for the fun part, well, there's a lot of preflop gambling and gambling in general in PLO, that's why fishes (including myself) love it so much.
Liquid Poker: Are there any poker pros that you admire, or used to be an inspiration when you were a beginner?
Quentin LAE: Not really, a while ago I probably would have said Phil Ivey because he's so cool and so good and blablabla but he's too much of a hustler to be admired I think, as are -sadly- most of the poker celebrities I guess. I have a lot of respect for all the high stakes and nosebleed regs that consistently beat the game, but I wouldn't call that admiration. You need to be a great person for me to admire you, doesn't really matter whether you're good at poker or not.
Liquid Poker: Do you have anything planned for your poker career?
Quentin LAE: As I told you you can't really "plan" on events you dont know the results of but I'd love to keep improving and one day play $25/$50 as a winning regular. I'm also gonna play the PLO events of the WSOP this year so hopefully I can bring a bracelet home.
Liquid Poker: Talking about the WSOP, does the series have any special meaning for you? Or your focus is basically the money?
Quentin LAE: I don't really care about "glory" and whatnot so yea my reason for playing tourneys is to try to make a huge $ score.
Liquid Poker: Okay let's move to the person behind the screen now. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Quentin LAE: Don't laugh but I love cooking and gastronomy in general, so I cook a lot for me and my girl in my spare time. I also love music (esp Brazilian music) and I've been playing the guitar for a good 10 years, I can't sing tho : (. Apart from that I love dining out and going out in general but I've been trying to cut that habit since it's quite an expensive one but when you spend the whole day grinding its just so tempting to go out in a nice place to chill.
Liquid Poker: I know you've been in a lot of countries. What is the best cuisine in the world and why?
Quentin LAE: French has to be the most versatile and probably the best cuisine in the world but my preference goes to thai food, just because I'm a massive fan of uberspicy food with super strong flavors and thai food fits that description perfectly.
Liquid Poker: What's the country you liked the most as a visitor?
Quentin LAE: I can't really speak "as a visitor" since whenever I like a place I just try to stay 3-6 months there, I've lived in Chile and in Portugal that way, but as a short time visitor I loved Thailand more than any other country, mainly because of their amazing food : )
Liquid Poker: Favorite movie?
Quentin LAE: I hate you so much for asking me that lol, definitely can't pick one but "Le gout des autres" comes to mind.
Liquid Poker: Perfect meal?
Quentin LAE: Thats a tough one as well, tenderloin carpaccio or seabass ceviche for starters, thermidor lobster for main, and French cheeses for dessert (I hate desserts they're so pointless most of the time )
Liquid Poker: What interests you when you are on a trip? Not poker related
Quentin LAE: When on a trip I try to interact with locals as much as possible (assuming I can speak their language) and try to taste as many unknown foods as I can, along with the obvious visiting of local touristic places but that's not my favourite part. As I told you I don't like spending a few days in a given city or country, I'd much rather spend a longer time to actually experience how it is to live in said city/country.
Liquid Poker: We have a few names in mind, but who would you like to see in our next interview?
Quentin LAE: Fayth
Liquid Poker: Any last comment?
Quentin LAE: nah im good: )
Thanks for your time, Quentin. We wish you good luck in Vegas and hope you have a lot of success in the future!