Poker Monkey speaks no evil...

Here is the complete interview with Will Souther. He's currently in Vegas with a number of Gulf Coast players. We conducted this interview online via email.

When did you start playing poker?

In high schoool and colllege we played a lot of draw poker and mix games. ButI didn't start playing No Limit Hold Em until 2003.

Favorite hand?

Everyone knows its K9! In tournament play whenI move in short stack with K9 I am 24 for 28. Amazing. 2nd favorite hand is 6-7...I was born in 1967...my little sister in 1976.

What would you consider the the best poker game?

Omaha hi/lo or Stud...because there is so much more thinking requireed.

Which game would you say is your strongest?

Probably Stud because I have a photogenic memory....but I really think 5 Card Draw may be my strongest because of my ability to read my opponent, and my ability to smack talk. Would love to see a WSOP 5-Draw event.

How did you come up with the moniker..."The Monkey"...or "Monkey
Boy"


What was the factors leading up to the name? I am tall, have long arms...and am very spastic at times. Its funny,people who dont know me think maybe its drugs! But its not, I just havea lot of nervous energy! I say NO to drugs! I have been running sportspools for 10 years (March Madness, NFL SURVIVOR, etc etc) and someone a few years back started calling me the Pool Monkey...kind of stuck. Sold wine for a while and assumed the moniker the Wine Monkey....so when I decided to play Poker fora living it was only natural that I become the Poker Monkey!!!!

Where is your favorite place to play live?...online?

I love Lake Tahoe. And Las Vegas. I least like New Orleans butI have my three biggest cashes there...strange huh? Should love the place! Online I play primarily on Poker Stars...but I am not going to say I LIKE IT...Online poker in general is a nightmare!

What do you consider your most memorable poker moment?

Tournament moment if it is not the same?

Honestly...I dont think I have had it yet. I have cashed 27 times in Cardplayer eligible tourneys....and none of them have given me the satisfaction I am truly seeking. I did enjoy my 2006 Main Event when I had GUs Hansen to my left and Juha Helpe on my right...I completely RAPED Gus for 6 hoursand drove him nuts. He was very cool about it, and to this day I respect and admire him a lot.

Who would you consider are the best players on the Gulf Coast?

Who " " " " " " " In the Poker world?

On the Gulf Coast? Hmmm. Well, Cub and TK are both pretty solid. Darryl Fish is good, when he is focused and dialed in. Rick Rudloff is very underrated, and cashes constantly. Captain Tom Franklin is solid, although he is a royal pain in my butt. "Smoky" Jim...whose last name escapes me, but who owns a local tobacco shop and might be one of my most sincere supporters has a very solid game. He also gets very unlucky a LOT! REally, in traveling around the country as much as I do...I have found that we have some of the toughest players around. I am always kind of relieved to get away from Biloxi and get out west....so I can prey on the dead money!!!

Who and when was your most memorable experience playing a top professional?

The Gus Hansen deal Oh and the Main Event in New Orleans when I had Josh Arieh at my table and never once let him take a pot off of me. He is every bit guilty of everything people say about him. And then some.

How are you planning on getting in this years WSOP ME?

Hopefully I will win enough before that to just buy in. But most likelyI will try to satellite in through a Mega Satellite, or if it comes down to it let one of the MANY people who have offered back me in it for a 50/50 split deal.

What were the variables that you would suggest to up and coming players to improve their game? How did you do it? How did you get ramped up?

There is such an evolution involved with poker, which I love, the fact that youare always learning and growing as a player. Having some success and getting to know ALL the players is also a tremendous factor, as it allows you to play a completely separate game from those just starting out with no results or relationships with the other players they are competing against. As far as the skill level goes...you simply have to be born with SOME abilities when it comes to playing the game...but as far as understanding strategy and applying knowledge to game situations...I just really think it is gained through playing thousands..even millions (3.5 million hands on PokerStars in two years...they will do an audit upon request) of hands to gain the insight necessary to REALLY become a strong player.

Where do you see yourself in 2 years...5 years?

Interesting question. I am about to be married to a wonderful girl I have been datingfor 7 years. I feel and so does she that I spend way too much time playing poker both live and online. If my success continues, I see myself crossing over the million dollar threshold...paying off everything I owe...and once we get married, having children..spending a lot more time with my familyand dogs (!!!!) and doing some traveling while cutting back my poker a lot. I want some quality of life that most poker playing pros seem to neglect taking the time to enjoy.

What are your thoughts on playing poker professionally and having
a family?


I just addressed that didn't I? I think it is important to balance the two and not let one over burden the other. Its a good idea to sometimes just COMPLETELY take a couple days off from Poker completely. Of course my girl is a pretty decent poker playerso that makes it a little easier. We have had some fun nights just going to dinner and then some $1-$2 cash game!!!!

Where do you and your future wife plan on settling down? Gulf Coast?
Vegas?


Cheryl, or Squirrel, as everyone calls her...is an Alabama girl, who is VERY, VERYclose to her family....so there is not much of a chance that we will ever move too faraway from where we are. I might possibly get a place in Vegas sometime, but I cant ever see us moving there full time. My family lives in Seattle, and I love it there, of course, but she couldn't live there...its just too far from her family. I love it about her that she is so tight with them...and they are truly wonderful people.

How effective is table talk in putting an opponent on a hand?

Oh my gosh, it might be the most important feature of my game. I have refined it too...used to be in the past there were times when my talking not only figured out what they had,but inadvertently also told them what I DID or DIDNT have...so you have to be real careful.But table talk is huge for me. The tourney directors are trying more and more to hamstring us in thatdepartment too but not letting us talk in hands very much. I joke about myself being a "shrimp boat" in thatlike a shrimper putting out nets to gather shrimp, I put out banter to collect chips. Its amazing too how Ijust about NEVER LIE at the table, and just how often people THINK I am lying....and usually go broke. The truth is the most powerful weapon in poker!!!!

What's the first thing you'll buy when you win the big one?

I have very few material needs or wants. The first thing I would buy wouldbe a house for me and Squirrel and our future children. I kind of would like a cool 2nd car, like a Porsche of BMW...might do that. I would get something nice for my little sister. But what I really want to do is take the 20 most sincere friends and supporters off on a 10 day vacation somewhere that they unanimously decide they want to goto...I have pretty much been EVERYWHERE I would ever want to go...and just go and have and havean amazing time with people I know are with me NOT because I won a bunch of money...but becausethey are genuinely my friends!

What's the most important lesson you've learned in poker this last year?

Hmmm...wow, I dont know. I guess one thing I have learned is to handle my losses a little better.I am very competitive, and hate to lose...and I used to, at times, show my ass a little bit when getting knocked out. When a donkey makes a horrible play, and gets rewarded with a win...its SO NOT necessary to point it out to him and belittle him while leaving...since the WHOLE TABLE can obviously seewhat a CLOWN PLAY the guy just made...now by berating HIM you just supercede his idiocy by making yourself look like a bigger chump. Losing gracefully is very admirable in players and so I have tried very hard to do that more than I used to.

Comments

Goondingy said…
Next time you talk to him ask him why he did not mention me as one of the best he has played with!?!

Very nice interview and since I know the guy it is all pretty legit. Look for him to to something bigger in the next year or two.
Goondingy said…
Next time you talk to him ask him why he did not mention me as one of the best he has played with!?!

Very nice interview and since I know the guy it is all pretty legit. Look for him to to something bigger in the next year or two.
Great stuff Bill. Not bad for a first interview. Personally i dont think the monkey could stand the heat in a cash game but he is strong in tournaments. Whos next? Derek Ridley maybe ?

Toughest table Stacks ever played was with Tony G to my right and Charles Nelson Rielly to my left.
dooleyera said…
CNR would clean up...i'm talking "merry maids" clean...in today's game. to this day I think his big ass glasses (whom the modeling fashion industry ripped off from him by the way) had some sort of Superman X-ray vision capability. He was that good. Stacks I'm sure that table was tough, man I could tell you some stories too.

RIP CNR.

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