We lined up an exclusive with one of FlopTurnRiver’s most underrated players: Ben “drmcboy” Amlin. He is an accomplished tournament player with a Gold Jersey (FTOPS Title) and Silver Jersey (Mini-FTOPS Title) in his wardrobe. Additionally, he is a frequent poster in our Multi-Table Tourney Tactics Forum.
How did you get started at poker?
I played in grade school many moons ago, got started online after moneymaker. I didn’t play at all in HS or college although we play a ton of euchre.
You’re known primarily as a tournament player, have you ever played cash games seriously?
I play enough cash PLO (mostly high with some LO8 and PLO8) to get supernova. It isn’t a big part of my winnings but it’s definitely helped my deep stack game and it turns out I run good in Omaha tourneys.
Do you coach? Have you ever considered coaching other players?
I reviewed a HH for at FTR poster once. I thought would be a great way to improve, but right now I feel like I am better off spending my time on my own play and my other job. Plus I hate talking to people so it will never be a big part of my life unless it’s just something I can do off line.
Greatest poker accomplishment?
Probably getting through 2007, I broke even for the whole year and at one point during year my roll was down around 6k from a high of 25k the year before. Whole weeks went by where I would not play at all.
I made about 3k playing $50 45 man SNGs from Oct – Dec to get back to even on the year, shipped a 100 freeze on stars for like 9k in Feb 2008 and was back on track. That was probably the best I’ve ever felt after a win.
Biggest score was $47k in the mini ftops, that felt OK too.
Are you a poker professional? Can you walk us through a typical day for you?
50/50 in terms of hours. I quit my cubicle corporate job in 2006. I work for my Dad who owns a small (4-8 employees through the years) company doing coding. I can mostly set my own hours so it’s a great job for a part time poker player. Last year I was almost exact even in terms of earnings, this year after the mini FTOPs poker has the lead.
I don’t have typical days! I play as much poker as I can Fri-Sun with usually 1-2 other poker ‘shifts’ during the week. I also play a ton during FTOPS/COOPs which always seem to be happening or I’m recovering from them. But what time I play day to day is mostly dictated by what works better for my wife and the OSU/Bengals schedule and my other job. I am almost always on Sat at 2pm est for the $200 PLO tourneys.
Subscribed to any poker training sites?
I use my full tilt points for Card Runners but I don’t watch nearly as many videos as I should.
Any desire to play live, like a WSOP Event?
I played 2 events in June, $1k NLHE and $2.5k ½ PLO, ½ PLH. I could not really afford either but I told myself I would play a couple events once I got into the 100k club. I bubbled the 2.5k which was nice and painful. Overall it was a great experience, it was really cool to be there with all the poker all stars. Once I go pro I expect to be out there at least 3 weeks a year, more if I can convince my wife to visit in the middle.
My wife goes to this Microsoft convention each year in April that has been at the Venetian the last two years at the same time as their Deep Stack Extravaganza, so I have played a bunch of those. They also have one during the series that I played pretty much every day I wasn’t at the Rio.
Supposedly we are building a Columbus casino; hopefully they will have some action.
If I had a million dollar roll I’d play most of the series plus 5-6 WPT events per year I think.
Why do you post at FTR?
I think it helps to work through stuff away from the table, and to look at other people’s play. It’s good to see how other players think and also to work through hands you didn’t play so you know your thoughts are based on your ideas and not your ego.
To be honest I tell myself all the time to post less and watch more vids/review my own play, but I don’t.
In terms of FTR vs other sites I have just never read another poker site that made me want to join. I do read the Mid/High stakes MTT and PLO sections sometimes at 2+2.
What FTR posters helped your game?
Mcat, J Fish/Busto_soon. VQC from the SNG days. Michael1123, gabe and ilikeaces all inspired me back in the day and posted great.
Gold Jersey or Silver Jersey ;)?
To paraphrase Dave Chappelle in Half Baked, I like jerseys but I looooove money.
I should admit here that I had avatars turned off before I won my Gold and fully intended to turn them back off after a week – that was in April, still hasn’t happened. My excuse is that it turns out a lot of people have jerseys and they all seem to play pretty well, in the 20+ rebuys or 150 + freezes it isn’t uncommon to see 2 others plus an FTP pro, at my plo8 200 freeze the other day we had 3 golds and a silver at a 6max table!
Level of education?
Bachelors in Management Info Systems from Ohio University.
Who are some of the best MTTers out there today?
MLagoo came to mind first. I have played several FTs with him plus watched some of his stuff at CR.
Alexander T – he won the SCOOP FT that I made and boy did he deserve it.
Andy McLeod – seems to make every COOP FT while playing like a crazy person, I don’t know how he does it.
McMatto – turn on ESPN yo!
Are you happy with what you have accomplished at poker? What are your goals?
Goals first since it’s the easy one – make enough to go full time and then enough so my wife can do something awesome, or nothing if she wants (I’m hoping for pastry chef). I’d love to get a bracelet or a WPT but if I’m cursed to make millions finishing second I’m good with that. Based on my jersey experience winning may mean more to me than I give it credit for.
Am I happy…wow. I was ready to go pro after I won 2k in a weekend in 2005 so I guess not? I’m happy with my life and glad I’m still chasing the dream. I’m happy I’m a lot better and richer than I was 5 years ago. But I want much more and I am jealous of everyone who is doing better than I am.
Top 3 players to play Ohio State football?
I’m not a history guy so this is just guys I watched play
And of course your 2011 Heisman winner TP who appears headed for best QB in OSU history status, although if we don’t win a title no will call him that. Just ask Troy Smith!
And now for some random questions…
Favorite TV shows growing up?
Thursdays on NBC – Cosby, Family Ties, Cheers, LA Law, ER etc
First one I owned was a Camry that I bought from my Dad. First car I drove was one of those Chrysler Mini Vans everyone owned in the early 90s.
Nutsinho or Sauce123?
Nuts, just because I met him in Vegas.
Biggest downswing in $?
I won my gold jersey on April 30 and on August 7 I won the 200 PLO on PS and the 200 PLO8 on FT. In between those two days I was down almost exactly 25k in MTTs plus another ~2k in PLO/Vegas cash games.
What was the last album you bought?
The new Ben Folds, not wild about it through 2 listens. Before that I bought the Black Keys “Brothers” and TheDream’s “LoveKing”, both are awesome.
What do you drive?
My car is a Ford Ranger pick up that has been our second car since I quit my job, it’s a 2000 and has under 50k miles. It also has manual windows and locks. Our main car is a 2001 Explorer Sport. I have eco-guilt about it but the damn thing just keeps running. In terms of SUVs it is pretty small I guess. My old job had a discount plan through Ford.
Thanks Ben! Best of luck the rest of 2010!