Despite being a former Full Tilt red pro, Roberto Romanello has never really been recognised for his skills on the virtual felt. Has he played any online poker this week?

“I have played online…no good though. I’ll play $5/10, comfortably, and then after a bit I always end up wandering into the $25/50 game. You probably need a bankroll in excess of $100k to play in that game, and there I am with my little 5k stack that I have deposited. But Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) is a high variance game and before you know it you have lost a few buy-ins and have nothing left in your account. Right back to square one, waiting to deposit so you can try again. You need discipline to play online, something that I have yet to learn.

It’s Just An Illness

I normally play up to four tables at $5/10. During my session this week I was comfortably up $2.2k. Even if I lose a few buy-ins at $5/10 I can reload when I am playing the £300 short stack. It’s just an illness I think. I win £2.2k and before you know it I have two tables of $25/50 running. I lost in two spots, then a third and I look in my account and I have $700 in there, and I’m left thinking, “WTF am I doing?” I keep doing it though; I really think it must be an illness.

Grinding

I have grinded before during my Full Tilt days and the same thing happened. I remember playing $5/10 for six days straight and won upwards of $55k. Then I wandered into the $25/50 game and before you know it I had lost $12k. I quickly got the money out when I realised where I was going. But I have regularly spun it up on $5/10 only to do the lot playing $25/50 because my bankroll is just not big enough. I have done about $9k since I have been home – all in the $25/50 game.”

Where does Romanello stand? Up or down?

“I am down £3.8k playing live and $9k playing online. When I was in Europe I was acting very professional cos I knew I had to do it. When I play in my main events, for example, my heart is on my sleeve and I give everything for every single chip.

Everyone I love surrounds me

At EPT Barcelona I was down to 14k at one point and came back to a great position. In San Remo I was down to 10k chips and came back and had another deep run. I can be very professional when my head is on. But then I come home to my comfort zone. Everyone I love surrounds me, which in turn makes me relaxed. I play in a much greater, high variance game, where I end up gambling more and losing. Then from the comfort of my own home I play online, and choose games that I don’t have the bankroll to play in. These lapses of concentration, where you don’t take things seriously. You can see how things go when it goes the wrong way. It is so easy to lose the lot. It really is.”

All that stuff makes me feel good

But despite losing in his local home game in Swansea. Romanello remains the top ranked British pro in the world, according to the Global Poker Index (GPI). How does that make him feel and what do his friends think of his status as the UK number one?

“All that stuff makes me feel good. It makes me feel proud. It’s been hard work playing and traveling so I guess this is the reward, but I have to be honest it’s great saying I am the British number one, but I have had the opportunity – and been lucky – in that respect that I have been able to play a lot of tournaments.

Britain has a lot of talent

There are some great players and a lot of them have been struggling to play because of a lack of money. I am lucky that I have been backed and that’s why I am there. There is no difference between us though. We are all as good as each other. We could all easily be number one if we all played the same number of tournaments. I mean that from the bottom of my heart, I am just blessed…lucky. I am not up there cos I am on a different level cos I am not. It’s all about being able to play, make the cash and get the points.

But Ranked 154th in Swansea

I lost a 2.8k pot in my home game and Ranna was straight in my ear. He wasn’t even in the pot. He was laughing at me and said, “You might be No.1 in Britain but you are ranked 154th in Swansea. You go away and you say your amazing but you are shit when you come home to Swansea.”

Footnote

Roberto Romanello left the interview around 23:00 and headed to his local home game in Swansea. He played until 04.30 in the morning and when the game ended Romanello was up £6.3k. A victory that his good friend Ranna said pushed him up to the 10th best player in Swansea.

Lee Davy is a writer from Ogmore Vale in South Wales. You can follow his views and opinions through his blog or on Twitter.

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