Interview with Mig
I present you to Corwin also known as Mig who is without a doubt one Winning MTT player and one of those who really 'Gets it'.
Corwin Mackey / 20 / United States
What are your hobbies, what do you enjoy doing in your free-time?
Just normal stuff like hanging out with my friends
I am pretty boring I don’t really do a lot : )
Quite interesting.. What can you say about your current life, what is your schedule for the common week?
I don’t really have a set schedule now that school is over when I play poker I usually wake up about 1 pm eat lunch and do errands then start playing at about 5 pm so I can play the big nightly tourneys then the days I don’t play I may go to the movies or a party or just hang out with my friends except on saturdays and sundays I normally play poker all day because those are the best days for tourneys.
How did you find out about Poker?
Watching the WSOP on T.V. was the first time I learned of poker then I saw some threads on tlnet and decided to try it.
Buying the boat and the rod
What was your first move, what was your initial Bankroll, how did you get it and what did you do to it.
I deposited 50$ on party poker and lost that in like 10 minutes so I deposited another 50 and it took me like a month to lose that. Then when they started having teamliquid.net tourneys I decided to deposit 75$ on stars and played from there.
Is it right if we assume your poker beginnings were tough?
Yes, because when I started out I had to learn pretty much everything on my own. I had no idea what bankroll management was so I would play nl25 with 75$ or nl100 with 300$. So it was very difficult at first for me to actually build my BR.
How did you manage to improve, how and when were your firsts winning sessions?
I improved mainly just through playing a lot and then I read super system and that helped me a lot because I didn’t realize how important agression was before that.
hmm I don’t really remember my first winning cash game sessions I remember I was lucky enough to get 2nd in a 2$ tourney for 300$ early on though.
Do you remember any difficult times troughout your poker-life?
I think in november last year I hit my first real bad run. I had just final tabled 2 tourneys and had made a decent amount of money and everything seemed to be going well and suddenly I couldn’t win at anything. I lost everything from the tourneys and about 2/3 of my br I think during november I probably only had 1 or 2 days I even broke even for the day.
Right now do you play more tournaments or cash games? Why? What are the main reasons?
I play more tournaments because I find them to be a lot more fun and I am a lot better at them. I still play cash occasionally and I do ok but I am much better at tourneys.
Getting, 2nd in a $2 tourney for $300 was it the point where Tournaments started to interest you?
I was always interested in tournaments because of the wsop but that was the first time I ever made any money at them
How are tournaments different from cash games. What do you consider the most important differences between both?
The biggest difference between cash games and tourneys is the fact that the blinds increase.
When you are in a cash game you can play tight and wait for a hand but in a tourney you are under constant pressure to be accumulating chips. Which is why you have to steal blinds where as in a cash game stealing blinds isn’t nearly as important.
Also because of the constant need to get chips it makes it much more difficult to fold hands.
For example you can fold KK in a cash game, but you cant fold KK in a tourney because people will play hands like ak and qq so much more aggressively, than they would in a cash game because of the constant pressure from the blinds increasing.
There is some concepts many players are not familiarized when talking about tournaments, Can you explain about tournament bankroll management ?
It depends somewhat on what tourneys you are playing but you definitely want at least 100 buy-ins for whatever tourney you are playing. And having 200-250 is better. The swings in tourneys are huge. Unlike cash games where you should make money more days than you lose money when you play mainly tournaments you will have tons of losing days and then a few days where you will win huge.
And you can easily go weeks without hitting a big score
You can easily spot what you're flaws are in cash games, can you do this as well in tourneys? When do you know you are doing something wrong? Is there a winning ratio you can base on?
Good question. I think its a lot harder to tell just how good you are at tourneys because there is such a huge amount of variance. If you have a really large sample size usually you can tell how good you are by your ROI. Having a 50% ROI is decent and then if you have a 100% ROI over a large sample you are doing very well.
But even then you can easily have gotten one big score in a huge tourney like the sunday million which will completely throw off your stats.
So I would say the best way to find flaws in your game is to have someone who you know is a proven winner in tournaments look over some hand histories with you if possible.
Did you do this yourself? How did you went on improving your tournament game?
I learned most things by myself by just playing a lot of tourneys. But I was also lucky enough to have Travis(Asdf2000) on msn and he helped me out a lot by discussing hands with me when I was first getting started.
Poker is in fact a complete situational game, Do you agree this concept applies for tournaments as well, Do you think in tournaments there is always a 'Right move' to each situation? Do you believe there is only one type of tournament winning player? How is this possible?
I think like poker in general virtually everything is situational and there is definitely not just one correct answer for most hands. Although there are definitely better ways than others to play hands depending on your opponents, stack size, blinds, table image, etc.
And there are many different types of winning tournament players.
Just like you can play lag or tag or a different style in cash games and be successful either way.
Be it Tournament or cash games, Playing at high stakes with high buy-ins, Poker becomes
a game where Intelligence , Strategy and Creativeness comes into part, What do you think of this?
Can any person become a winning tournament player if he practices enough? Will they be able to consistently do this?
I would say similar to cash pretty much anyone can become a winner if they practice and educate themselves and use common sense at the lower to mid levels.
However some people will never be good enough to like beat the 100r and similar tough tourneys,
Although its easier to beat these tourneys than it is to say become a winning 10/20 NL cash game player, in general tournament players are worse so for any level it would be easier to be a winner in tournaments than it would for cash.
For the new and fresh players who want to specialize in tournaments , what schedule and guide would you give to them, where to play, which tournaments to play and how to start?
If you wanted to specialize in tourneys you have to have money on multiple sites. You need money on Stars, Party and Paradise for sure and having money on Ub is good as well. As for schedule when I play I start at like 5pm and play all the rebuys 10$+ and all the 100$+ freeze outs until I quit. I dont really know what would be a good schedule for new players since I dont play the smaller tourneys regularly.
I think the best tourneys for beginners would be the 180 mans on stars. The 4$ and 20$ 180 mans are really soft and the fields are small enough you can easily get good bubble and final table experience. Also if you want to be good at tourneys you should really practice some sngs. Knowing push math is very important for playing the short stack and for playing late in tourneys.
Once you get going some of the best daily tourneys are the 11r 55k on stars and the 30r on paradise. Both of these tourneys have a huge amount of dead money and a nice prizepool. Once you move up to higher limits the nightly 150s on party and stars are good as well as the 100$ 40k on party and the 100rs on paradise are fairly soft.
Poker is a game where Experience has a huge roll, You being a young player, It would be interesting to know your view on this, Do YOU consider Poker more of a game of Experience? Intelligence? What is it that divides good players from the Professionals on your perspective? Where is the division line?
Experience, intelligence, common sense, emotional stability a good memory and the disregard for money are all extremely important I dont know which is most important but to be really successful you need all of these traits. And as for what makes the top players better than the average ones there isant one specific thing. They are just better in different ways. Some are smarter some never tilt while some have great memorie. The top players are just better all around there isant one thing they have that others are missing.
Moving the Boat deep into the sea
Do you like playing Online or Live better? What is your experience playing live? Any achievements? Why do you like one more than the other?
I am only 20 so I have played very little live and I haven’t ever played a tourney live.
I have played 5/10 live a couple times and it is considerably easier live than it is online. So live is fun, but I can not really say whether I like to play live or online more because of my lack of experience.
How do 'reads' play a role in your game? Do you consider these an important factor to be a winning MTT player?
Do you consider yourself more of a 'mechanical' player or 'read based'?
Reads are definitely important in mtts just like they are in any form of poker
and I would say early on in tournaments I usually play fairly mechanical then as the tourneys get deeper, I will start to become more read based.
Do you believe in luck? Do you consider yourself lucky when you win an MTT at what extent if you do?
Well I suppose I believe in luck, I don’t believe in like supersticious luck, but like if you go through a tourney and win 5/6 coinflips you got lucky.
Over the long term I think there is virtually no luck involved in poker and to win an mtt you pretty much always have to get lucky to a certain extent, but if you play better than your opponents you will need to get less lucky than the average player.
Do you admire or have based your game in another player's game style, like to any professional Tournament player? Yes, No, Why?
Well I haven’t really based my game on any other players but I have great respect for guys like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Ted Forrest, Howard Ledderer: and I have a lot of respect for some of the top online tourney players.
Do you consider there is something you really need to improve in your tournament game? What is this? Why do you think so?
I would say early game is what I need to work on the most, Because usually at the beginning of tourneys I will be playing like 6-10 of them at a time , and then if I get deep in a few I will cut down the # of tables so at the start I cant really focus as much and I am not able to make the reads I need to.
Have you ever encountered any problems regarding Tilt at tournaments? Any experiences you can share? How do you spot Tilt and avoid it ?
No not really I virtually never tilt in tournaments. I tilt in cash games occasionally but for whatever reason when I lose in a tournament it doesn’t bother me nearly as much.
What are your current and future goals for Tournament Poker?
I would like to win a large sunday tournament currently and in the future I would really like to win some large live events, a WSOP event or PCA anything like that would be good, but I would probably like to win a WSOP bracelet the most.
Ok so, being 20 years old, How is your current parent and social support about Poker in general? Have you had any trouble with this?
My grandparent really dislike that I play poker but my parents and my friends are all very supportive.
If you were to do all your poker career again, is there anything you would like to change? Any way to make it easier or better? Something you regret or you feel proud of?
If I could do everything over again I would have a lot better br managment when I first started. But other than that I dont have all that many regrets. Although I have occasionally tilted while playing cash games and lost a ton so I guess I regret that somewhat. As for what iam proud of I am not really that proud of the tourneys I have won because I havent done anything that others havent done before me. However I am proud that I can support and help myself and my family.
What can you share about some winning and bad streaks you have had?
Tournament wise the best winning streak I have ever had was probably recently when I won 4 tournaments in 2 days, 3 of them on one day. I have also had back to back days where I finished 1st and third in the stars 150 and back to back days where I finished first and 2nd in the paradise 100 rebuy. The worst streak I have ever been on was over a week or so where I went 37 straight tourneys without a cash.
How do you feel when winning a tournament these days? Do you go and celebrate, just smile?
I dont get as excited as I used to I am still happy when I win a tourney though
but I dont go out and have a party just because I win a tourney
Do you have any preferences as to play on one pokersite or another? Do you see any kind of softer/tough or just different competition somewhere?
My favorite site to play on is pstars because they have the most variety+ the best software and they get good fields. I also like to play on Paradise, Party and Ub. Ub probably has the best tourney structure but they dont run many tourneys. Party and Paradise both have a lot of good tourneys that run and the players on both sites are just horrible, especially party. But the party software is so terrible I would probably put Paradise as my 2nd favorite site.
Note: The next question is based on the Liquidpoker.net MTT Challenge that started on July 1st of 2006. Everything about it can be found Here
Can you share a little opinion about the other captains on the MTT challenge? (Travis, Casinocasino, vvvQ) Any player you consider will show a good performance?
What are your predictions?
I think Travis is a good player but he is extremely inconsistent. Some days he will be upset or he will play for like 20 hours straight and he will play poorly. However if he plays his best I think he will do very well.
I haven’t played that many tourneys with casino but he seems to play well. But I believe he is traveling a lot this month so I don’t think he will play that often and wont have that many points.
vvvQ doesn’t have a whole lot of tourney experience but he is learning fast and I think he plays very well and if he plays a lot he will have a lot of success.
I think Ket, Teej and vvvq should all do very well this month. Also I have faith that BigBalls and Hansen are going to have some nice scores as well.
And my team is going to easily win the competition.
What is your opinion about Liquidpoker as a forum , any pros or something that has left you?
I like liquidpoker. I dont really use liquidpoker to learn things but I find it entertaining to look at hands and read some of the discussions. And liquidpoker has by far the best layout of any poker forum.
Thanks for your time , I hope you do well and I wish you do great on all the years left for your poker career.
Let the Fishing begin…