Thomas Bichon is now a familiar face on the international circuit. Player of high stakes cash game specialist from Omaha, it has media explosion after winning the WPT Cyprus in 2009 and won the sponsorship ‘Job2Stars’ Pokerstars few months later.
Currently in Salzburg, where he prepares to play a few games of cash with very high stakes in the wake of the caravan Casino Austrian Poker Tour, Thomas answered questions from PokerNews.
- PokerNews: Hello Thomas, you were in Berlin a few days ago to attend the local stage of the European Poker Tour. You finished in the money (90th for 10,000 €). Tell us your tournament in a few words.
- Thomas Bichon: My Day 1 was magnificently past, I have completed more than five times the starting stack. Day 2 promises to be as auspicious, with a circulation of table rather lenient. Unfortunately, I have not seen a map of the day and almost did not win a post-flop shot. Aside from a guy who committed suicide against me with two jacks and 50 blinds. I had aces but it was not enough to get me out of trouble and I ended the day slightly below-average in chips. When you end up with a score of blinds, there is no recipe. Not until the good spots for ‘squeeze’ or ‘resteal’, everything has already been said on this subject. Early in the Day 3, I had the carpet enough to keep the pressure on my opponents. This is particularly infuriating to the bubble, when some are likely to play ‘scared money’. In short, I finally extinguish me of my beautiful death, on a squeeze attempt with AQ is not passed. The ladies and kings in front. This kind of scenario is repeated too often for my liking last year: I make ‘runs deep’, I go in the money once but four passes over the blows that might allow me to once again become huge and attack the home straight in a strong position.
An edge, really?
- PN: So you are in Salzburg to compete in a very beautiful part of OLP (blinds € 20 / 40 €), against some of the best specialists German, Swiss and Austrian discipline: Anton Allemann, Ronnie Kaiser, Markus and Gloser company, who have gathered there to participate in the Main Event CAPT. What is the point of going against the best? Can we consider to have an edge on what kind of players?
- TB: We all have an unwavering confidence in our game and we approach all such appointments have an edge thinking. Not necessarily on each player individually, but the dynamics of the table. In this kind of game it is very important not to take a bad start to control the pot size and to manage its bad cycles. Otherwise, it is very easy to get a rolling boil. Another important point to face the fact these players rather than live on the Internet. Live, you only play 25 hands per hour (as against 80 online) and we play with carpets very deep, up to 500 armored; This may lead some to commit errors of micro, as too open its range of starting hands, too defend their blinds or, in general, too much play out of position. Now, with 500 blinds deep reverse implied odds are huge and can cost small fortunes to players too adventurous. I plan on mistakes like that and will try not to commit on my side.
His debut tournament
- PN: Originally, you’re a player then cash. How does one pass the cash in the tournament?
- TB: I had just lost to San Remo in 2006 and enrolled myself by chance in a 200 € Championships in Italy, where I finished 10th. It was my first tournament ‘Live’ and I have excellent memories. I returned to the tournament two years later but only by selecting Events ‘Major’. Because, as otherwise, the yield is unattractive compared to the money I earn in-game cash. Besides, I’m still not convinced of the profitability of the tournaments in the long term. Taking my stats Hendon Mob, I’m already over a million dollars in tournament winnings, but if we subtract the buy-ins, air tickets, hotel rooms and all other fees, my net gains must not exceed 20% of this amount. To lead a life of professional tournament player, there is no salvation outside sponsorship in my opinion.
- PN: That does not prevent you from playing the big tournaments, even now that your sponsorship deal with PokerStars has completed …
- TB: Yes. Some EPT and WPT, the WSOP too. What I call the Grand Slams. There are also some classics that interest me: Masters Classic in Amsterdam, Irish Open and Aussie Millions. Not to mention the Partouche Poker Tour.
Among all these tournaments, I still have a soft spot for those in the World Poker Tour. And not just because I won in Cyprus! On this tour, the structures are always beautiful, you really seem to have time to develop his game in Cyprus, for example, was entitled to six days of the tournament! It has many weapons to get by.
The downside is that with the increased supply of tournaments, the WPT fields become less consistent but more statements; It becomes both more difficult and less rewarding. Before, the European stages of the WPT did not attract the pros too, but since then players have realized that the buy-in WPT moderate (between 2,000 € and 3,000 €) represent a sesame as well as financial openness unexpected sponsorship if they win. As a result, many excellent ‘grinders’ online pass directly wholesale regular tournaments on the Internet at these Events ‘live’, allowing them to gain media exposure without too much endanger their bankroll. In short, it becomes less and less a pleasure …
Sponsorship or cash game, you must choose
- PN: And it’s not too hard to reconcile cash game and tournament, especially now that you’re not sponsored?
- TB: Money is not the main problem is time. This is the reason I did not pursue the offer of PokerStars who offered me to extend my contract. Financially, it was less interesting, which is hardly surprising given the conditions of dream that I could benefit with ‘Job2Stars’ (Editor’s note: An initial contract was $ 300,000 over one year). But suddenly, the game was worth the candle over. It took me 40 weeks in the year, given the various commitments coupled with the contract (French tournaments, online tournaments, media requests, articles and blog, etc. …). For a player who only tournaments, and even that’s interesting – I’ve said – crucial. But when you play in cash to upper limits, it must make its calculations and choose what is most profitable. All these obligations schedules, they are less cash in hours ….
Sponsorship side, I had two proposals since very consistent but I had to decline. Difficult to be sponsored when we pretend to play also in cash game. A share can be Full Tilt , which is heavily loaded with cash game players.
- PN: It is an appeal of the foot?
- TB: (laughs) Not really. Say, for future sponsorships, my decision will be at least as much motivated by the financial side than the commitment required in return. Right now, I have a one-time deal with PartyPoker , the site WPT.fr. I have no problem doing the pub at the World Poker Tour is really my favorite track.
His program at the WSOP
In the meantime I’ll enjoy my freedom to prepare for renewed under the best conditions the one-month stay as I am about to perform in Vegas at the WSOP. Last year, I had arrived on the kneecaps. This year, I’ll zap San Remo and, perhaps, the EPT Grand Final in Madrid. I will charge a ten days with my girlfriend back with the WPT Barcelona and tear while the WSOP! I have really high hopes in 2011, I can not believe it will happen like last year. where I had the cash to make two 13 tournaments played. I had yet seen many technical fouls on events in Omaha, which is why I will register for five events at the Omaha program. Otherwise, I’ll ignore the ‘donks’ to $ 1,000 or $ 1,500 and focus on the big classes, $ 5,000 and $ 10,000 in NLHE and Pot-Limit Hold’em. In all, I intend to compete in ten events in Vegas. I’ll be there from 1 June to 1 July, which means I’ll also skip the main event. A month in Vegas, all right, six weeks would be difficult …
- PN: What are the hopes of French bracelet this summer in your opinion?
- TB: The fields are so huge that I think our best chances lie in the somewhat exotic variants, where there are 120 or 150 players max. Stud, Razz, this kind of thing. And the best French specialists on the subject called Sabic, Luneau, Lellouche or Soulier. It is on them that I would put a ball this summer …
The parties ‘High Stakes’ in France
- PN: Last question: You are now in Salzburg, Cyprus or Australia tomorrow. Does this mean that no more big parties in France today?
- TB: I play the biggest parts that are in Europe. Even if they are cheaper and more sporadic than two years ago. The phenomenon is even more marked in France, where there are no large part due to 20 € / 40 €, which I regret a little. What happens is that when Benyamine and Lellouche is there, but the parties are organizing the auction quickly go awry and scare away most gamers. It takes a few nights and then it breaks for several weeks. It should not degenerate like that ca. In London or Australia, it plays a more linear but it takes longer.