Jack Ellwood (left) is 1 of the most talked about players on the UK circuit after a sick heater which has seen him finish 2nd in the Manchester PokerStars UKIPT, split the FTOPS main event, & win the Absolute Poker major. Jack originally from Newcastle before relocating to Bristol for university which coincided with his rise to success amongst pokers elite.
Despite his busy schedule mixing life as a professional poker player with studying higher level education Jack was more than happy to spare some time to answer a few questions & reflect on his recent success, shares his thoughts on his rise to success, his plans for 2010, & many others. So welcome to FTP mate I‘m delighted to have you & I hope the rest of you all enjoy going in the tank with Jack Ellwood.
DT “"When & how did you get started playing poker? Did you have any inspirational poker players, books, moments, shows, etc that were instrumental for you turning professional?"
JE “I started playing poker while I was at Bristol university, just casual games for not much money with friends. I quickly got very interested in the game, and began to learn more about it, mostly by playing, but also by watching old WSOP and WPT episodes. It wasn't until a couple of years later that I really considered being a professional. I met a few people who were already playing poker for a living, and a few others who would go on to become pros. Spending a lot of time with good intelligent players allowed us to learn more quickly and discuss a lot of hands or situations. I would say that these people played much more of a part in me becoming a poker pro than any books or TV shows did.”
DT “Congratulations on your sick recent success, which of your 3 major victories do you consider your biggest achievement & do you have any plans for your new found wealth?”
JE “I'd say the FTOPS win was the biggest achievement, its the most prestigious of the 3, had the biggest field and the most money involved. Personally I'm most proud of the 2nd place in Manchester, it was really good to have some live success, plus I was really happy with how i played the whole weekend. I think I'm going to buy a house and a new car. I'm planning on playing a little higher online, and a lot more live in the UK. I've also set some aside for Vegas this summer and a few WSOP events.”
DT “How did you find playing Dutchman Joeri Zandvliet heads up in the UKIPT? Could you talk us through any key moments from heads up until the tournament concluded?”
JE “I sat next to Joeri for a lot of day 2 and all of day 3, he was a very accomplished poker player and a really nice guy. There weren’t many key moments heads up, it didn’t last long! He had me out chipped about 2.5:1 at the start of heads up play. I then lost a bit when he had turned a straight and I rivered top pair, then he made a really good call with third pair when I fired 3 streets with 7 high. oops. This left me with about a 6:1 deficit. I got the rest of my chips in with AQ v 99 and he held. Always a little frustrating to finish 2nd, but obviously very happy with the result."
DT “I understand their was a bit of controversy surrounding yourself & the guy who finished just out the split in the FTOPS main event, I‘m not familiar with the details can you tell us about that?”
JE “A couple of days after the event somebody posted on the 2+2 forum that I was 16 years old and that he'd been backing me, so I owed him $115k. It was all total rubbish and I've no idea who posted it, a lot of people have speculated that it was someone from the final table hoping for a pay jump. It took a few days to sort it out, sending ID and bank statements to Full Tilt etc. Then the same guy posted that he thought he may have got the wrong guy, his story made no sense, I guess he realized he was making a fool of himself and tried to get himself out of it.”
DT “How are you finding mixing playing professional poker with studying at university? Are you still planning on graduating or dropping out in favour of poker?
JE “I actually dropped out quite a while ago, this wasn’t to play poker, it just ended up that way.”
DT “I noticed from your facebook photo’s you’ve been over to Ibiza, awesome I’ve been last 3 years & love it. So with that in mind do you have any Ibiza stories/misdemeanors that you would share with us? I know from experience lads holidays are great crack & usually have lifetime memories”
JE “Yeah I loved Ibiza, was a really good holiday and I wanna go back there before I'm too old! There are a couple of stories which come to mind but I don’t wanna embarrass those involved so I'll keep them to myself for now.”
DT “Amnesia, Space, Privilege, Pacha?”
JE “I really liked Privilege, but the best night we went to was probably Kissy Sellout and Mylo at Amnesia.”
DT “Do you have a poker nickname? If so what is it & why?”
JE “Not that I'm aware of.”
DT “Raise, Bet, Check, Fold?”
JE “Obv all useful, raise should be everyone’s favourite though.”
DT “Do you have a lucky charm or routine that you feel helps get the poker gods on side?”
JE “I don't really have any lucky charms, but at UKIPT I purposely ate the same breakfast in the same seat before the start of each day. Obv I know these kind of things are silly! I also have a friend who eats the "run good cereal" when we are grinding online, seems to work for him.”
DT “Most favourite card room in the world to play & why?”
JE “Definitely DTD in the UK, but I still don’t think it can compare to the likes of Caesars Palace or the Bellagio.”
DT “How do regular Newcastle poker players measure vs. regular Bristol players?”
JE “When I was in Bristol the live scene was only just really taking off. I haven’t played there for nearly 3 years now so I don’t know if it’s improved. The Newcastle regs have always been at a reasonable level, and they seem to get better every time I go. I'd say Newcastle has the best players of anywhere I've played regularly.”
DT “Who do you consider the best all round poker playing the UK poker circuit? & why?”
JE “I think a lot of the players on the UK circuit are overrated however I haven’t played much with a lot of them. James Akenhead is a sicko tho, his results speak for themselves.”
DT "What does the future hold for you, what’s your schedule for 2010? Can we expect to see Jack Ellwood following the UK, European, or even International poker tour? I for 1 would like to wish you continued success mate”
JE “My plan is to get to as many of the GUKPTs and UKIPTs as I can. I also really want to play an EPT event, so I'll probably be at San Remo. Then I'll be in Vegas for most of the summer. Apart from this I'll try to continue my success online.”
DT “Thanks again for your time & good luck in 2010”
I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to share this interview with FTP followers & I really hope you all enjoyed it. Jack is a 1st class guy & player, we here at FTP would like to wish him continued success on what I’m sure will be a decorated career for the young man.