Those of you who have frequented Dusk Till Dawn over the past few years will have seen Sylvia Hewitt at the tables on at least one occasion. Always sporting a smile, Sylvia is one of the most popular figures on the UK poker circuit, thanks in part to always being willing to chat to players on her table, usually while hoovering up their chips.
Sylvia lives in Sheffield with her three children, her dog Bebo, and plays tournaments at partypoker under the alias “silvieblueblood.” Sylvia has played this crazy for six years, starting with freerolls, and now plays almost any online and live poker tournament that she wishes.
“My poker story, I actually started playing when I was pregnant with my daughter Storm, who is six, just playing freerolls and very low stakes sit and goes. I progressively got better and started playing more online, and was doing pretty well, played some satellites and in a short period of time won packages to play in Barcelona, Macau, and Melbourne, which where absolute eyeopeners as I had not really played any live poker.”
“That’s when I started taking things much more seriously, with regards to studying and wanting to play more live. Around three years ago, Blueblood Poker approached me to join their group, and here I met some great individuals who helped me develop my poker game. The likes of Jonathan Gill (who in my opinion is now one of the UK’s best players), Kossov Brookes, Tomsom, and the brilliant poker minded Matt Harris; they all helped me in one way another. Oh, and Rick Trigg gave me an invaluable review session after I had a big run in an online Sunday major.”
Most players choose to specialise in either cash games, or tournament poker, and it is the latter that Sylvia prefers to grind, partly because she feels her style of play is more suited to tournaments.
“I get more enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment from playing MTTs; there’s nothing like winning a trophy or taking down an online MTT.”
Sylvia plays both online and live tournaments, and has enjoyed some superb results in both. But does she prefer the online scene, or the live circuit?
“Over the past couple of years I have played much more live poker , which in part is thanks to sponsorship with Bankroll Supply, I absolutely love live tournament poker! I’m pretty sociable and friendly at the table so I always enjoy the banter that comes from live poker. The UK has a fantastic poker community, and I love being part of that. That’s not to say I don’t still enjoy sitting at home in my pajamas and grinding online!”
Back in May, Sylvia outlasted the majority of the 886-strong field in the $1,100 partypoker WPT National event at Dusk Till Dawn, falling in 12th place for a career-best score of $13,388, but with more than $190,000 awarded to the champion, Sylvia was disappointed not to have gone deeper, especially as she was playing some of the best poker of her life.
“I was absolutely devastated to get that far and not win. I think I started Day 2 with like 14-15 big blinds and managed to get a double up after grinding my bowl stack for a couple of hours. I played really solid, in fact the best poker I ever played. I made Day 3 with a decent stack, had the pep talk from Paul Jackson, which made me super focused, and I played really well.”
“We got down to the last two tables, with 14 players left, and I had around 33 big blind at this point. Terry Jordan, a good mate of mine who is a very active player, was opening relentlessly, and he opened to three times the big blind from early position. A short stack with around 13-15 big blinds went all-in, and I was sat on the button with pocket queens. I reshoved, Terry called and tabled kings, which held, and eliminated me in 12th place. I did get a $3,000 ladder though, which was a minor consolation.”
One of the reasons Sylvia was playing in that tournament was because of her involvement with Bankroll Supply, a stable of poker players who sponsor online and live players.
“I got involved with Bankroll Supply after meeting Paul Jackson, the Bankroll Supply boss, a couple of years ago. Bankroll Supply is a staking company that sponsors more than 60 players for online and live poker, and I got involved in recruiting and helping to mentor a micro stakes group of players. Also, Paul Jackson regarded me as his unpaid personal secretary so I get to do lots of admin too. I eventually took up full sponsorship, and now have a mentor a group of my own. The community and training within Bankroll Supply is excellent and very family like, it’s great been a part of it.”
After playing several Grand Prix Poker Tour events (Old Trafford was Sylvia’s favourite as she’s a Manchester United fan), Sylvia can’t recommend them enough, calling them “insane value” and “always having a fantastic atmosphere.” In addition to grinding the GPPT tournaments, and attempting to get out of her current downswing, Sylviawants to win a trophy or two, and return to Melbourne to play poker and meet up with friends she made the last time she was out in Australia.
We couldn’t let Sylvia go without asking her for three pieces of advice for people wanting to improve at poker, or take it more seriously. Here’s what she had to say:
- Surround yourself with like minded people so you can discuss hands and spots with, and help you through bad runs
- You don’t improve if you just sit and play the cards give to you, you need to study outside of playing. Go on forums, join Facebook groups, read books and articles, and go over your hand histories. There is a plethora of resources out there to help you develop as a poker player
- Be nice and respectful to your opponents when you are playing live poker, even if someone hits a one-outer on you! Stay classy, a simple “nice hand” works well.