People deserve a break, be it from work or poker or whatever. So, the Cash Game Festival team gave Heiti the opportunity to take some time off his busy schedule by giving us an interview (You’re welcome, Heiti!). Read up if you want to know our TV table trophy winner a little better. After all, he shipped the sleek award by winning 1682 big blinds at the €2/€2 hold’em feature table in Tallinn. An impressive result and a hard one to beat!
Hello, Heiti! Was it your first Cash Game Festival?
No, I have also attended other times when CGF has been to Tallinn. It has always been quite a bit of fun and action.
Emotions on your TV table trophy?
It’s never a bad thing to get a trophy. Of course, one would prefer WSOP bracelet to CGF trophy but it’s cool nevertheless.
Where is the trophy now?
Sadly, it has become an ex-trophy by now. A friend of mine got into a bit of trouble with his girlfriend. He was spotted in a nightclub by some malicious colleagues of his girlfriend when he was supposed to be in a poker tournament. After an angry text message from home, he needed a cover story. I gave him the trophy to take home as a proof that it wasn’t him in the nightclub and that he had really been working his ass off at the casino. His significant other wasn’t convinced and smashed the poor thing on the floor.
How was the overall atmosphere at Tallinn stop? And at the epic TV table where you booked your winning blinds?
It was a great event. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and I didn’t see too many over-focused and paranoid people on headphones which is sadly quite usual in live tournaments these days. The TV table was also very friendly since most people knew each other and the blinds were small. Nobody was too worried about winning or losing.
Will you be back at the Cash Game Festival in 2018? If yes, why?
I will definitely show up if I’m in town. I need that trophy back.
Please describe your personal poker history.
I’ve been playing casually for about 8-10 years, depending on how you count. I started long ago in PartyPoker like many others. Had no clue, no software and no concept of the game. Being way too aggressive paid off back then and I didn’t do too badly. From around 2009-2010, I started playing online more seriously. I got the theory more or less straight, had the necessary software and picked up some volume. I did quite well, according to my own standards, but gave up about 3 years ago after I couldn’t get any action from my favorite PLO HU games anymore. As the sites were getting more and more hostile towards regular players, I just lost interest and quit playing online.
Does somebody else in your family play?
I once taught my brother. He tried a bit of HU SNG-s online but gave up as it wasn’t for him.
No goals really. I’ve been trying to free up some time to attend WSOP events in Vegas but it’s summer in Estonia at that time and I have failed to trade it for the hot desert so far. I will try to do better in the future.
Craziest/funniest poker story?
I was in Sydney some years ago. Since I had hurt my knee and could barely walk, I went to play in a small tournament in downtown. There was some Aussie Millions super satellite ticket included as a bonus. It was worth a few hundred dollars, perhaps. As I won the tournament, local regulars asked me to give the ticket to them. I told them to make me an offer. That didn’t go down too well and they decided that I was a ’f****** c***’ and needed a good beating. As they were warming up, I told them that first gentleman to get me a coke from the bar would get the ticket. They all ran off to a bar, I left the ticket there and limped out. I still got the cash and avoided any physical damage, so I consider it a success.
What do you do besides poker?
I work as an entrepreneur, mostly in real estate and investment management sector. In my free time, I do quite a bit of sports and try to travel to weird places.
What is the best drink to go with a good grind?
Definitely not shots. Tell that to Franke! If I have to name a booze, a light gin tonic or some fine cognac with coffee works best for me during a long night.
Is poker sport? Why should it or shouldn’t it be?
Is pub crawling sport? Don’t get me wrong. I would have absolutely nothing against it if some competent independent body named it a sport. But come on, a bunch of fat, drunk guys around the table playing cards. If that’s a sport, anything can be. I’m fully aware that doing it well means getting your shit together, learning, preparing and focusing. But that applies to nearly every other thing in life too.
If the alternative is having a good weekend pub crawl and a drunken street fight, playing poker probably helps one live longer. If your alternative is getting a good night sleep, I’m afraid, it doesn’t.
Poker – luck or skill?
The weaker your opposition, the more it’s a skill. As your opponents get better, luck plays an increasingly large part, at least in live games. I haven’t played online for a few years but for serious online grinders, luck plays less role as they can grind through the volatility quicker by playing gazillion hands a month/year.
Advice for aspiring young cash gamers?
Don’t make it your profession. In a few years’ time, your friends or class mates will have real jobs and enough experience to call themselves professionals in some field. Odds are that poker gets only tougher and in not too distant future, you won’t have a ’job’ anymore. It’s rather difficult to turn it around then, especially if you’re used to decent pay checks and got no working habits or professional network.
Favorite book on poker?
I have a few at home which I have received as presents. Rather embarrassingly, I haven’t read any of them. I think that the game evolves so quickly that if your information source is a printed book, you might already be behind.
Favorite movie on poker?
Of all these slow rolling and angle shooting movies, I couldn’t name any. They are all equally horrible and depressing to watch if you know even the very basics of the game.
Who is the best player in the world?
Of online players, probably some Chinese or Russian self-learning AI bot that can play 2000 tables at a time on over 10-15 sites and show a decent ROI even after these few users that get banned by sites’ security. Of live players, I like folks who actually chat at the tables and avoid the sunglasses and hoodies. Daniel Negreanu would be an obvious choice but I’d pick David Einhorn instead. Mostly because he’s a very successful finance professional, he plays poker as a hobby and I have actually read a book written by him (about a sophisticated financial fraud, not poker).
Christmas or poker?
No, thank you. I do my best to spend Christmas in some warmer climate. They usually don’t have casinos near, so it’s not too difficult to avoid.
-Cash Game Festival Team
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