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“I chuckled to myself and thought, ‘I’m playing Johnny Chan heads up. It’s like Rounders isn’t it?’… And then I stacked him.”

What a picture. What a dream. What a thing to be your life, but for British poker player Sam Trickett, that’s his reality these days.

Two years ago a well-regarded but struggling British pro who was virtually unknown on the international poker scene, Trickett is now a regular at high buy-in final tables on every tour and a fixture in the highest stakes cash games played in Macau and beyond.

How did it happen? Is this guy for real? Well, having had the chance to observe and talk with Sam Trickett a few times over the last year, my feeling is that it happened because he’s good, and he is too smart not to be here to stay.

Show 31 (March 14) with Sam Trickett is online now! Click the play button to listen:

[podcast][/podcast] Prefer to download? Right click here and Save As.

The most pleasurable thing to watch as a poker fan is when everything clicks into place, when a player connects the dots before the lines have even been drawn. And I remember Trickett virtually snap calling a 20k bluff from Viffer in the 48-hour cash game last year and wondering if it was a one off. As it turns out, there was a lot more where that came from.

First Sam went off to Vegas and took six cashes in the WSOP, narrowly missing out on a bracelet twice. Then he briefly stopped off to final table the EPT Vilamoura before utterly crushing the field in the Party Poker World Open.

At the World Open final table, he made a check-raise all-in bluff on the river against Yevgeny Timoshenko that should be framed for its beauty. And Trickett wasn’t done yet. Crushed the highest cash games in Macau. Won the 100k buy-in event at the Aussie millions. Came second in the 250k buy-in event later that week. Back to crush the cash games in Macau. Sam Trickett is right now a wrecking ball of a poker player with no end in sight.

I was lucky that the final table of the WPT Paris series at the Aviation Club of France started an hour late. Because it gave me a chance to sit down with Sam for a lull in the storm, to talk about his whirlwind life and meteoric rise. And here is a guy whose head remains firmly on the ground. Perhaps it’s his upbringing, which was in the world of football rather than a computer mouse.

Perhaps it’s his friends, guys like James Akenhead and James Bord who have tasted success and are there as supports instead of weights. Maybe it’s the fact that Sam Trickett is a genuinely nice guy who is not at all fooled by the trappings of success. And maybe it’s the fact that everything has clicked and he can just flat out play poker.

Trickett’s a bit of phenom as far as his poker education is concerned. James Bord likes to joke that it just goes to prove that you don’t need a degree in maths to be a poker champion. Bord, funny enough, is a guy who does have a degree in math or at least a head like one.

But even though Trickett has put in his time online, he is not the first guy you’d think of when you hear the term triple range merge or +ev. He’s definitely not in the mold of Durrrr or Jungleman, doesn’t run through his HUD like Brian Townsend.

In fact the only poker player Sam reminds me of is Phil Ivey. And so when Ivey said to Sam while they were side by side at a high rollers table in Melbourne, “I used to be like you, when I was 24 or 25,” maybe it’s more than the run good that he’s talking about.

Show 31 (March 14) with Sam Trickett is online now! Click the play button to listen:

[podcast][/podcast] Prefer to download? Right click here and Save As.


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