23rd July 2013, 8:48 PM
Poker at: ACR/BCP
Game: NL Holdem
Ryan Hughes Interview
This is part of this interview series:
Cardschat Interviews - Online US Poker Players Who Have Re-located
A resident of Arizona since his days at Arizona State University, Ryan Hughes started his poker career during college and earned his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 2007. His Seven-Card Stud victory, along with another one the following year, established him as a mixed game player, but his best game has always been No Limit Hold'em. In addition to live poker, Hughes has been successful online as well, which is the reason that Black Friday pushed him out of the United States and to a country that allowed him to continue to play online poker for a living.
CardsChat (CC): When did you move from the US?
Ryan Hughes (RH): September of 2012
CC: To where did you move and why?
RH: Puerto Peņasco, Mexico. It's the closest place to Phoenix, Arizona, where I lived. It's about a four-hour drive.
CC: Was it a difficult decision?
RH: At first I didn't want to go to Mexico, but a couple of friends went and said it was really nice. I went down there to check it out. I really like playing online poker, so I made the move. I share a two-bedroom place with a buddy of mine who plays full-time as well. I like it so much down there that I'd probably buy a place and go down there sporadically even if I didn't have to.
CC: What did your family and/or friends say about the move?
RH: It's not a big deal. They know I have to do what I do to make money and play poker.
CC: How much online poker do you play on a given day?
RH: About seven or eight hours.
CC: What games (tournaments and/or cash) and stakes do you play?
RH: I play all of the high-stakes tournaments, the highest that they run weekly and daily, and of course the series like WCOOP, SCOOP, etc. Anywhere from $100 to $2,000 buy-ins. I play every game, too. My favorite game is probably No Limit Hold'em, but I like Pot Limit Omaha and PLO Eight or Better.
CC: What kind of online poker setup do you have?
RH: I just play on my laptop, up to about 14 tables at a time.
CC: What type of bankroll management do you use?
RH: I'm staked, so I don't manage bankroll at all. When I was on my own, I was terrible at it.
CC: Do you practice or study in any way to improve your game?
RH: No, it's always come naturally to me. My friends will sometimes ask me about hands. I might bring up a couple of hand histories to ask them about it, but I usually think it through on my own.
CC: How do you cope with swings?
RH: All I've done is lose for the last three years, so it's pretty easy to deal with. You get used to it.
CC: Do you play live poker where you live now?
RH: No. I used to travel a lot more, but with the fields getting tougher and all of the travel expenses, it's more profitable to play online because you can play so many more tournaments at once without the expense.
CC: What is the general poker scene like there?
RH: There are just a few guys there.
CC: What do you do outside of poker?
RH: I play some golf and party once or twice a week.
CC: How often do you visit the US?
RH: About once a month. I head up to Phoenix for groceries and hang with the family for a while.
CC: How much contact do you have with players who remained in the US?
RH: I talk to my close friends via email or messenger.
CC: Do you miss your life in the US?
RH: It's not that big of an adjustment. Right now, all I want to do is play poker and golf. I have a pretty good setup down there in Mexico.
CC: What would you say to others who are considering a move for online poker?
RH: If you need online poker to make a living, you should do it. It's up to the individual to pick a place. I've heard a lot of good things about Vancouver, but it's really expensive up there. Mexico is very cheap.
CC: Do you believe the US will offer online poker that will entice you to return to America?
RH: It would have to offer a pretty good site like PokerStars, something with more than just the American player base. I'd come back if I won a large amount of money and didn't need to grind poker anymore.
-Interview by Jennifer Newell