Jesse “Spoonitnow” Eddlemen found poker 4 years ago during his freshman year in college, although he did not take it seriously until two years ago. In light of UIGEA, Eddlemen withdrew his whole bankroll; he was only having marginal success anyways . However, when he realized the legislation had no teeth he put $200 on Poker Stars to play Full Ring and he has been cruising ever since. In December, Jesse decided he would take the next semester at University of North Carolina in Grennsboro off and play professionally. Although he may not be pulling in big cash yet, a $12,000 month in January is evidence that spoon is going to be a force to be reckoned in the near future.
DS: You are one of few low stakes players that play both Full Ring and 6 max. How has being schooled in both improved your overall game?
Jesse Eddlemen: I think the biggest help it provides is being more active in middle and late position in full ring and being a little more imaginative with my play. For example, most full ring players are either really, really tight, or really, really loose, and only a handful of players really find that happy medium of just staying tight in early position and opening up a lot wider in late position. One of the main results we see now is that the robotic nit/tagg 10/8 type of players have really become the new fish because they’re not capable of adjusting for the most part, whether it’s adjusting to wider 3-betting ranges than something like JJ+, AK or making thin[ner] value bets than what’s blatantly obvious at microstakes.
DS: Most don’t encourage “going pro” at the stakes you play, but you did. How has being a pro been going?
Jesse Eddlemen: Well I can definitely understand that, but then again most people didn’t grow up in a place where making more than $10/hour was a pretty big deal. Poker isn’t something I want to do for the rest of my life or anything like that, but more like a means to get myself through school more comfortably than I would be able to otherwise. Another thing is that I’m a big believer in playing off of a really deep bankroll anyway, and I don’t spend a lot of money by any means, so it’s been so far, so good.
DS: Are you surprised by the success these past few months have been?
Jesse Eddlemen: I wouldn’t say surprised because poker has been something I’ve really put a lot of time and effort into, but quite honestly I was completely thrilled when I was beating 50nl for like $30/hour or so, and it’s like everything else has been an extension of that. The biggest surprise really came when I made the top 15 earners on www.realpokerrankings.com for 200nl full ring in January because it was my first month of that level and I really only played it for about the last two and a half weeks of the month.
DS: What do you think is your greatest poker skill?
Jesse Eddlemen: That’s really hard to say because I don’t consider myself to be that good of a player by any means, but I think that my work ethic is probably my biggest asset in respect to my progress and the amount of hands I put in. I’m up at 7 am every single day, and usually to the tables by 8 am, and besides getting in a lot of hands, I study quite a bit as well.
DS: Who is your favorite poker player and why?
Jesse Eddlemen: Liz Lieu because she’s fucking hot….. just kidding. Ace on the River made me really like Barry Greenstein, and since he’s a math guy as well, I’ll go with him.
DS: Do you feel like having FTR helped you progress faster?
Jesse Eddlemen: For the most part, yes. The community as a whole is awesome, and being able to talk to guys who were playing midstakes and higher when I was coming up through microstakes was really great. On the other hand, it also gave me an excuse to waste my time in the commune and do some really stupid (albeit funny) stuff, like the infamous thong picture.
DS: You have mentioned in the forums that you feel like you’ve had a breakthrough in your game… do you mind sharing what it was?
Jesse Eddlemen: I’ve realized in the past couple of weeks that everything in poker boils down to just a few simple things like ranges, betting and adjustments (which I think Jager confirmed almost word for word on the forums earlier this week), and everything else that we’ve learned about poker at one point or another are just other applications of those things. So now instead of thinking about the principles we all learn along the way, I’m thinking more in terms of what seem to be the real fundamentals.
DS: How do you feel your learning philosophy has changed from when you began poker and now?
Jesse Eddlemen: The process of learning has always been a very fun and interesting topic for me even since I was in my early teens because of the connections I made between different disciplines like chess, wrestling and baseball. Something I’ve always thought was very important was to be able to transcend any individual discipline and take lessons from one thing and apply it to another and learn about yourself in the process. So before I started taking poker more seriously, I already had a pretty decent idea of how I should approach it in terms of the learning process. I did a bit of research, stumbled upon FTR among other sites, ended up investing in a couple of books, and went from there. Since then, the only real thing that has changed is that I get more fulfillment and learn more out of discussing hands with others in real time and on the forums as opposed to keeping my nose stuck in a book all the time.
DS: Now many don’t talk about poker affecting their love life, but how does your bad boy image help attract women? (laughs)
Jesse Eddlemen: My bad boy image? (laughs) I don’t know about that one. I’m a pretty easy-going guy and stay out of trouble for the most part, but my girlfriend’s dad is a preacher and so that’s a little awkward since I guess I’m a professional poker player now and all. They don’t like the idea of her moving in with me either, but I guess they’ll deal with it.
DS: Final question, What do you see as your future in poker and life?
Jesse Eddlemen: I plan to finish school, go to grad school and teach mathematics in a community college or university setting. As far as poker goes, I’ll probably stick with it until I’m finished with school, but after that I’ll cut back a bit. The potential money is nice, but teaching is what I really love.
DS: Alright thanks for taking the time for the interview and good luck in the future!
Jesse Eddlemen: Thanks