At 32, Rick Trigg is one of the UK’s most successful poker players. Known online as ‘theclaimeer’, Trigg is somewhat of a veteran in the poker world, racking up nearly $7 million dollars in lifetime earnings. Ranked first in PocketFives 2014/2015 yearly PLB, the Sheffield-born poker player has had some humungous cashes over recent years. To find out more about his success, strategy and thoughts on other players, Grosvenor spoke to the man himself.
When were you first introduced to poker?
I was first introduced to poker in about 2001 after watching Late Night Poker after a few nights out. Loved it immediately and soon after my friend and I bought a chip set and began playing heads up.
You have nearly $7 million in online poker earnings; what do you put your success down to?
I put my success down to hard work and a lot of hours playing. It’s important to spot the latest trends in online game strategy and look at ways to exploit them. I’ve also had a lot of support from friends and family, with nobody close to me trying to avert me from the path to poker success.
What was it like to win the Blackpool GUKPT Main Event in 2013?
It was brilliant to win the Blackpool GUKPT. The tour has always meant an awful lot to me, I got 3rd in 2007 in Newcastle which was my first big result in the game and 6 years later I managed to win one after having a 2nd place in Coventry in-between.
You were ranked 1st on PocketFives 2014/2015 yearly PLB, what was that like? Are the rankings important to you?
Winning the PocketFives rankings was amazing. You just have to look at previous winners to realise what illustrious company I’m in. I really did put a shift in, in 2014 volume wise and had an awesome year results wise. I battled right until New Year’s Eve to capture the title and it’s something that can never be taken away from me. I am very proud that I won.
Who have been your toughest opponents live and online?
The toughest online opponent I’ve faced over the years has to be moorman1. We’ve been battling online for the best part of 10 years and still going at it to this day.
Who is impressing you in 2016?
A guy who I was impressed with the few times I’ve played him is a young lad called Ethan Brown, who ran deep in Luton GUKPT a few months ago. He had a great table presence and didn’t make a mistake in all the hands I saw him play. I think he has a big live win in him if he sticks with poker. Online pads1161/pleno’s results continue to be amazing and he’s always conjuring up ways to exploit the regs. I can’t fail to be impressed by his game.
What are your thoughts on Will Kassouf’s antics at the WSOP Main Event?
I think Will is a very shrewd person and understood that if he could play less hands per hour as possible then it would be in his best interests. He admits he’s not the most talented of players so uses speech play to his advantage. More power to him I say.
You play a lot of large fields, do you prefer this to smaller handed games?
I think it’s important to be able to adapt at whatever game you play. I’m comfortable full ring or short-handed/heads up and in huge or small field tournaments.
How would you describe yourself as a player?
I’d describe myself as an aggressive player and heavy volume grinder.
Who do you admire most in poker?
I admire anyone in poker who is still playing the game today and making good money from it. The online game has got a little tougher, so to still be winning in this climate is a good achievement.
Your largest ever online cash ($115,069.18) came in the WCOOP Super Tuesday event, was that a landmark cash for you?
The $115k wasn’t really a landmark result as I had one just slightly smaller a few years before. It was lovely to get a nice score during wcoop though!
Do you regard yourself as a better online player than live? If so, why?
I wouldn’t say I’m better online than live, I’d just say I’m a tad more comfortable when playing online. I try to take all the spots live that I would online but I can’t say that I always do. Some spots I shy away from live for whatever reason.
You were recently eliminated from the GUKPT in Luton after your opponent turned a straight to your top two pair. How do you deal with those kind of beats?
I’ve seen that much in poker that I rarely get annoyed or give the result of the hand a second thought. I’d be much more annoyed if I won the pot but thought I played it badly. It’s important not to let previous hands adversely affect upcoming hands.
Do you think that it’s important to discuss strategy with other poker friends, and who do you often talk to?
It’s more than important to discuss poker strategy with peers, it’s imperative. Just please don’t do it on a night out as it’s boring as hell when people wanting to have fun are bombarded with questions and strategy advice. Do it over Skype 😂
What advice would you give to someone starting out in poker?
Decide if you’re in the game for the long haul. If you are then put the playing and training volume in. Being young and having small overheads is a great advantage to starting up in poker. I wouldn’t like to be starting up at 32 years old with a family to support.
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