Interview w/Marc Mulhern

Marc Mulhern (left) is a regular around Newcastle casinos, and a regular poster over at the local NPF. Marc more commonly known as his nickname mulhuzz or simply huzz, is also very well liked across the local poker scene in Newcastle.

I caught up with Marc and asked a bunch of cool questions, some serious poker related and others just for the banter. Welcome to FTP mate, I hope you enjoy your visit and all FTP readers enjoy going in the tank with only my second guest of 2012 Marc “mulhuzz” Mulhern.

DT "When and how did you get started playing poker? Did you have any inspirational poker players, books, moments, shows, etc that were instrumental for you?."

MM "I started playing just with friends when I was 16 or 17, we were playing fixed limit no fold 'em back then. By the time I was 18 and off to University, I'd started to make the transition to NL-defo don't fold em and made my first forays into online around that time. I was still playing limit to a decent standard on the internets, but it's obviously hard to make a tonnnnne of money from that game (even though it's incredibly soft, or was at that time). Like anything though, I wanted to be able to do it all, so I jumped into any game that looked decent and learned the rudimentary strategies of all the games, though live and online, I was now focusing on NL, particularly HU SnGs, where I was maybe winning enough a month to pay half the (expensive!) rent by my second year. Pretty influential on me at that time were shows like Late Night Poker and Phil Hellmuth's book (taught me everything I didn't need to know about being a nit so I could thoroughly ignore all of it!) as well as Super System II (which rounded out my knowledge of the other games. Most influential was the realisation that poker was inherently a social game, to be played with people. At that time, it was the people of the Durham Uni Poker Soc who were (and still are...) a collection of the most decent folks you could wish to have a drink and a game of cards with." 

DT "Your screen name over NPF and nickname is mulhuzz, commonly abbriviated to Huzz. How did this come to fruition? Do you have any other nicknames?."

MM "Pretty independently of mulhuzz, I used to be called Fuzz (and still am by some of my oldest friends) as a young lad. One day, another dear friend of mine just decided to call me mulhuzz and it stuck. I kinda like it."

DT "Whats the biggest prop bet you've ever made and did you win it? What's the funniest prop bet you've ever made and did you win it?."

MM "The biggest bet I've ever made, I lost. Not a prop bet, but I had a tonne of money on Germany to beat Italy in euro2012. Thanks Mario.  I also seem to have a bit of a rep as a prop bettor, and there is (like the best myths) some truth to it -- I will literally prop anything if I think I can get the best of it, but I'm certainly not a high stakes propper! Most props are for good fun more than money and involve all sorts of things -- mainly there's alcohol involved and some sort of embarrassing task. One prop I regularly lose is 'who can eat the most food, loser pays for the bill'. So if any of your readers would like some free money/food, hit me up. If that seems like an angle and a level, it's because it's both. I always win those. Come at me brossssssss!"

DT "Who are a few young Newcastle Upon Tyne up-and-comers, who we might not know but in your opinion will be very successful in the poker game?."

MM "The first thing to say is that it's really hard to be 'very successful'. That said, although they aren't up and coming so much (anymore!) I think Pads will make more money from the game than most people, as well as the young guns like Sebastian Saffari, etc. On top of all of that, I'd have to say there's a young lad from aspers (lewis?) who looks like he has the fundamentals at a young age. Finally, although it's not really a secret anymore, I think Alex Jobling and Andy Carlin will be successful enough to supplement any other income for years to come."

DT "You spent around a year living in Gibraltar over 2010/2011, how did you find the lifestyle compares to living in the UK? Who do you think has the best player pool between Gibraltar and Newcastle?"

MM "I loved it, it was really good fun -- although things like not being able to get anything done on a weekend or past 2pm was tilting. It's not just UK in the sun, it's an entirely different culture and way of live and it fit my lazy style very nicely. Gib is also sooooooo much softer for poker it's not even funny, even when you consider the fact that many poker operators and are based there, the size of the horribly bad local pool more than makes up for it. I seemed to win a tournament every week there. Just in general, I'd recommend anyone lives abroad whilst they're young and have no commitments."

DT "The Angel of the North or The Rock of Gibraltar?."

MM "As a piece of art, I hate the Angel. The Rock is much more interesting. As pins on a map, I'm a proud Geordie boy and there's no place like home. You don't know what you've got until you leave. So I'll say the Angel."

DT "I understand your a strong Razz player, do you have any tips for beginners learning Razz and any other mixed games? What do you consider to be your strongest variation?."

MM "Good question. My strongest variation in the mix is probably Razz, although it might (of late) be PLO8 as Razz action is hard to find these days. I was lucky enough to get some coaching from a great player whilst i was living in Gibraltar and that gave me a whole new perspective. My biggest tip is, if you start with a 9 against a King and the board runs good for him and bad for you, don't be afraid to just muck 5th street. Two many people will call down with Jack lows just because they started with a three card 9 and I had a King. Razz is a game of nits and nuts (for the most part) so understand what it means to be board-locked, as well as know that if I'm firing 5th, 6th and 7th vs your J9xxx showing KQ, I'm probably not bluffing. Raise me and find out ;). In general, there's the concept of raise for free show down which NL players just don't get, intuitively. Sometimes they'll call flop (imagine it's FL holdem we're playing) with marginal strength hands when in reality they should be raising flop to induce free show down. Big hands for big pots, folks, medium hands for medium pots. This is especially true in limit and is the biggest leak of players who transition from an NL game to an FL game. It's really exploitable and you see it all the time, especially playing HORSE."

DT "What do you consider your biggest accomplishment in poker? What are your poker goals both short and long term?."

MM "I haven't really achieved anything in poker -- I've made some money and that's very nice, but I've never binked a really big one or played something £500+. I want to change that this year, but I've been saying that for years ;). A long time ago, I thought I could make a living playing poker -- that's probably still true (if I could be arsed) and I did it for about three months last year (not consciously, I just wasn't working and playing lots of cards) but my biggest achievement is realizing I don't want that. There is more to life than just clicking buttons -- the world has a lot in it that I intend to see and do, so having a steady, guaranteed income is great to make plans. I didn't really enjoy playing poker all day every day, it's certainly a grind and if you're not having fun, what the fuck are you living for?."

DT "Alison McAree, hot or not?."

MM "V cute + Irish accent = hot AINEC imo. Neeeeee idea what she was doing with Brennan. (<3 span="span" steve="steve" you="you">

DT "You've been known from time to time to throw Phil Hellmuth style blow ups after bad beats, cold decks etc, whats your thoughts on this behaviour after you've had time to reflect? What's the worst thing you've ever said to a player at the table?."

MM "Yeah, it's really bad. There were times when I felt so entitled to win every pot that when it didn't happen, I acted like a bit of a cunt. I mean a weapons-grade bellend. Actually, it's probably still true, but I'm working on it and trying to relax more. As you get older and (hopefully) wiser, you gain more perspective and can just be chilled out. Now I just call everyone 'the geniuses' and try to have a good time, win or lose. I defo still blow up from time to time, but it's about shit that matters, like the government breaking their promises or bad customer service, not poker. The simple fact, which eluded me for years, is that it is so much easier just not to be an arsehole. It's literally free to be a non-twat and, even more, it's excellent fish management (which I now consider to be one of the things in poker that I'm better than many many people at) to keep the game friendly and fun."

DT "Best night out you've ever had? and why?"

MM "God, so many great nights out. I'm very blessed to have some great and entertaining friends. There were a few nights in Gibraltar/Spain that will be hard to beat, but for me, New Year's Eve in Vienna last year was amazing (so amazing, I'm going back!) -- my friend is "famous" there, so it's a pretty baller time. Of course, when thinking about this question, I had to exclude any night out I've ever had with Dan Trett, and the time I went to sleep in Germany and woke up in Denmark. They would just win hands down ;)."

DT "Genting, Grosvenor, Aspers?."

MM "Not a huge fan of Aspers, Circus is very awesome and the G is getting back (I hope) to the days of old. I'll always have a soft spot for both those places and am equally happy in either."

DT "With your customary birthday celebrations every time you have dinner with poker friends, how old are you now? Any plans for your next birthday anytime soon?."

MM "I must be in my 50s, I guess. It's so sick, they can just play perfectly against me because even if I don't leave the table at any point, they can just phone the request in in advance. I can't defend against that, because imagine they haven't done anything and I tell the waiter 'whatever they say, it isn't my birthday, please don't bring me cake' ---- what sane person does that? If I was the waiter I'd be like 'sure it's not your birthday buddy, sure. nudge nudge wink wink'. I can't defend against that, and the boys know it. It's pretty funny though. Plus, I like cake :D.

DT "Best of British; Jake Cody, Chris Moorman, Sam Trickett?."

MM "That's like choosing between your favorite colour biro. You can pick anyone you like and they are all going to get the job done. If you're really pushing me, I like red biros, and Sam Trickett."

DT "Who will win the English Premier League this year?."

MM "Man Utd. Don't even think it'll be that close. If I'm extremely lucky, NUFC will win something in my lifetime, too."

DT "You’re a degenerate high stakes roulette player, what’s your thoughts on continually playing high stakes on a minus expected value house game?."

MM "Again, the best myths have an element of truth. I do knock it in at roulette, but I'm hardly a high stakes baller (v v v strict stoploss of £200) but there's three things you should know:

1. Always bet corners/streets etc not just straight up. Of course the odds are the same, but the chance of dealer error and overpaying is always higher on those bets. Caveat: always know what it should be, so you don't get underpaid. Note to all dealers, pit bosses, etc: I JUST LIKE PATTERNS. THIS ISN'T REALLY WHY I MAKE THESE BETS. Honest. :D

2. Learn to run like me. Do so by betting it allllll on 17 and 20 ;)

3. Only gamble money that, if you lost all of it three times over, it wouldn 't make a difference in your daily life. If you're having to hit number 23 to get out of not being able to pay next months rent, you shouldn't have any money on the table.

4. Have fun doing it!!

I know I have an incredible amount of fun and the difference in actual and expected value is basically a charge the casino makes for the entertainment, in my head."

DT “How would you react if your transformed into Nex "ShrekOfPoker" Carter?.”

MM "I'd go and get an education and then a job. I'd stop playing poker. I'd keep rapping though. Life is what you make of it but you have to want it and you have to work hard. So I'd do that."

DT “What’s your dream NPF final table? Based on craic, ability, etc.”

MM "Oh christ. I was hoping you wouldn't ask this. It's too difficult. The NPF has made me lots of friends and it's a pleasure and a privilege to spend time at the table with all of them. Let's imagine we're playing at Circus, CGK (get well soon buddy) is on the mic providing the updates and ben, buzz, avkid et al are providing the dealing rotation. Rosco's here but not playing, as this is a £55+ tournament and therefore, as are the rules, he's managed to bubble a huge stack and is off to help TD with the updates. It's a weird tournament this, once you reach the final table, the blinds start at 25/50 again with a one hour clock and everyone has 50k. TD is running the book and has foolishly offered the very generous 4/1 on me to win. I figure that's better than a 2/1 shot on roulette so I've lumped on. Since I'm never going to win, I'm clearly going to have to win that money back on roulette. At 2/1. Anyway, back to the plot.

Seat 1 :  Daniel Trett
We're on the bombbbbbs already and having a wonderful time.

Seat 2 :  Me
I figure I might as well get position on at least one of the geniuses.

Seat 3: Steve Brennan and Keith Ridley
In this tournament, apparently you can have have two players in a team. Not in the G-colluders sense, just in the 'every time Brennan goes for a Bulmers, Keet will jump in' sense. They are sat next to me, not only because they are both two of the funniest people I know (how Keet doesn't do stand up or write sitcoms, I've nee idea) but also because it makes it easy to lend Brennan smokes if he's sat next to me. Also, they do come as a bit of a pair. They really do.

Seat 4 : Scotty Hocking and Simon Cameron
Got to have one fish at the table :P Nah seriously, excellent for giving action and playing big pots with no hand. I like.

Seat 5: Andy Blair and Cameltoe
Always good for the game, even though he runs amazing against me ^^ and a top gent. True of both of them. Andy's left the tank at home and supping beer whilst Cameltoe is basically there so that we remain ten handed whenever Andy needs another pint, or a spin at roulette. Which is often. As you might now, today, Davey is celebrating his 50th birthday, so we're all secretly hoping he doesn't win, or we'll never hear the end of it.

Seat 6: Daz Knaggs/Mags/Stumpy
All three of these uebernits will hopefully balance out the very lag heavy table thus far and if three of them are playing, their VPIPs might add up to 1 so they might play a hand now and again. Additionally, Daz Knaggs is exceptional at knowing where the Chinese is, and the Corona that stumpy is ordering is the perfect chaser for our Jaegerbombs.

Seat 7 : Archie
He's very drunk, licking heads and annoying people, but it wouldn't be a final table if a very hammered Archie didn't make it. TD has already closed the book on Archie being cut off from the bar.

Seat 8 :  George Lawson/Adam Mateus
Both cracking lads. They are here to look good and make sure that the thousands of adorning fans can take a break from solely looking at my beautiful mug all the time.

Seat 9: Sam James
Makes every table fun, and the dynamic between me, him and Dan mfkn Trett will be awesome now we all have 1000 bigs. Plus, I prolly have 50% of him, so it feels like he's finally due to win something ;)

Seat 10: Scoop
Basically, scoop is here to ensure that Hetton are on the rail and making a class atmosphere -- and the fact that he sups the beer like the best of them, he rounds out a perfectly balanced table. If your idea of having a balanced table is to have all the geniuses, all the beer and none of the fish, and, in my case, none of the chips, either."

DT “What does the close of 2012 and opening of 2013 hold for Marc Mulhern? Can we expect to see you frequenting the local Newcastle poker circuit?.”

MM "I'll be around, sure. I'm having far too much fun not to!  I'm really lucky to have a job that challenges me and which I really like, so I plan to be in Newcastle for the next two years minimum before maybe seeking something new in whatever far flung corner of the globe will have me. For the rest of this year I have a strong work focus and grinding on getting results before christmas, then it's family time before flying to Austria for NYE. As for 2013, who knows? I'd like to stop smoking, stop eating too much and stop being a bit of a dick, but the truth is I enjoy all of those things tremendously so it'll be tough ;)."

Marc “mulhuzz” Mulhern ladies and gentleman, not just a poker player but top lad and drinking partner. Thanks for the time and effort Marc, I'm sure all FTP followers will find it a great read.

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