Saturday, 20 September 2014

PokerStars pro Jake Cody talks to Prague.TV

By Mark Smith | Prague Daily Monitor |
16 December 2013

The European Poker Tour, or the EPT as it’s colloquially known, rounds off the calendar year in Prague with their biggest turnout of players yet. Over 47 different tournaments are scheduled at the Hilton Hotel during 8-18 December and, for the first time ever in Prague; anyone can take a seat at the daily around-the-clock cash games on offer.

However, it’s the €5000 entry main event that has captured the players imagination, as a record breaking 998 players have entered, ensuring the winner will net around €1m and the EPT Prague title. Not bad for a weeks work.

We managed to spend some time with PokerStars pro Jake Cody, who at just 24 years of age has amassed over $3.2m in career earnings and became the youngest and fastest Triple Crown winner ever (winning an EPT, WPT and WSOP event).

Jake shot to prominence in 2010 when he won his first major EPT title in Deauville, his success quickly snowballed and just 15 months later he sealed the quickest triple crown in history by winning the $25,000 entry WSOP Heads Up tournament in Las Vegas.

“I don’t feel any extra pressure by winning the Triple Crown so quickly. As I’m always striving to win in whatever I do, this is what drives me.” said Cody.

The 24 year-old PokerStars professional from Rochdale, England was in good spirits despite his early exit from the main event where he was knocked at the feature table on day one.

“It’s disappointing, but these things do happen in poker. The best players don’t win all the time,” said a pragmatic Cody “But it gives me some extra time to see the Christmas markets with my girlfriend and go and explore Prague a bit more.”

Playing professional poker seems like the perfect job on the surface, you have no boss to answer too, the paychecks resemble a telephone number and you get to travel the world in the process. But it takes a certain mentality to succeed at the top.

“It appears to be glamorous with these tournaments in Vegas, Monte Carlo and Prague but behind the scenes there is a lot of hard work and I think you need an addictive personality to become a pro.”

“It can be quite a mental strain and there is a chess-like strategy to the game now. Everyone is focused, and of course, everyone is getting better.” Cody explained.

So making the transition from the amateur poker player online to live tournament player is quite a leap. “You need a different skillset to play live poker, you need to be able to hide your emotions but also you need to read players to be successful.”

“My advice to any young novice would be; there is a lot of hard work ahead and don’t get carried away with any big wins, you need to keep learning and be ahead of the curve as it’s very competitive out there.”

“But if you do put the hours in and work hard there are definite rewards. I love my job and I love poker, I get to travel the world and I do feel blessed.” added the 24 year-old from the north of England.

The rewards on offer are clear and that’s cash, plenty of it. But despite his swelling bank balance and rising reputation Jake doesn’t live the extravagant lifestyle many others would in his position.

“I’ve bought a house of course, everyone needs one at some point right? I’ve also got a nice Audi R8 but the most ridiculous thing I bought was a hot tub with a fitted music system and TV but that’s it!” grinned Cody.

The €5000 entry main event at the Hilton Hotel Prague will conclude on Wednesday 18th December and for a full schedule please visit www.europeanpokertour.com/tournaments/prague.