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If the Global Poker League were to start tomorrow, Simon Deadman would represent the Team United Kingdom. He is ranked #3 in the UK, and #50 in the world.

What is so impressive about Deadman is his rise through the ranks. A glance at his Hendon Mob resume shows him earning hundreds, thousands and now hundreds of thousands of pounds. He has achieved this by becoming one of the best ITM Top 3 finishers in the world. He has achieved this through consistent hard graft. He is the ultimate live tournament grinder.

I caught up with Deadman during the World Poker Tour (WPT) UK Festival, and we talked about his views on money, what he did before he saw his first flop and what he would do if he had 10,000 hours to master anything.

You have been married for four months now. What makes the perfect husband?

“Just agrees with everything they say. If you think they are always right, you cannot go wrong.”

What makes an excellent wife?

“Someone who supports you. Shola supports me in every way. The poker lifestyle is unorthodox, and a lot of poker players struggle in their relationships if they are with someone who doesn’t understand the poker industry. Shola has been huge for me. She keeps me sane when I am on a downswing. She is a free mental coach.”

What is it like transitioning from earnings hundreds to thousands to hundreds of thousands of pounds?

“It’s spans so many years I haven’t noticed the incline. It’s been staggered over the duration of the past 6-7 years. The money I play for today is silly really, but I enjoy it.”

You are having so much fun playing in this event, is it the same when you play higher buy-ins?

“It depends on what table you get? Tables are different throughout the levels; some are fun, and some are serious. Even in the higher buy-ins the tables are fun. I like tables where there is a lot of talking.”

Is talking at the tables a right or wrong thing?

“I don’t talk when I am in a hand. I am a talkative person; I like to chat; keep myself amused and like to have fun.”

Tell me an interesting fact about yourself?

“I used to be a baker before I was a poker player.”

Did you do it for the money or the enjoyment?

“I had to make some cash, but I enjoyed it.”

What has held you back from being even more successful?

“There isn’t much to be honest. I travel wherever I want to go and play in any game I want. I have always controlled my bankroll well – Shola has helped me with that. I haven’t had many setbacks or struggles yet. In the next few years if we start a family, that will be tough, I am not sure what the plan will be then? I won’t be playing poker forever.”

What one thing in your life would you like to change?

“Keeping fit is tough when you are a poker player. Travelling; finishing late and eating late is tough. I find it difficult to eat when I play as it affects concentration. It’s the one thing I don’t love about the lifestyle – it’s difficult to exercise. But I know that’s an excuse as well. I know it’s up to me to change that attitude. Let’s hope Shola gets the whip out and pushes me into it.”

What are your views on money?

“I have always been very slack with cash. I always think it will come and go. If I want something, I will get it. I don’t worry about money. I have always been like that even when I was a baker. It will be different when I have a family I guess?”

Is your thinking about money one of the reasons you are a successful poker player?

“It’s a confidence thing. If you tell yourself you will do well; you will. When you are struggling and get down on yourself, it gets worse. Confidence is a huge in poker. You see it all of the time. Confidence breeds those right decisions.”

What is the weirdest thing you have seen at a poker table?

“I once saw a guy five-bet all-in from the button in a 1k tournament pre antes. The other guy four-bet folded. The five-bettor held his card up and said, “I have only been dealt one card,” and showed the deuce of spades. He got to keep the pot and got was penalised for one round. I think it was a terrible ruling. That was one of the best hands I have seen.”

If I gave you 10,000 hours to work on anything what would it be or why?

“I have always wanted to learn another language. I travel a lot, and so I think it would be beneficial. I don’t have a particular language in mind, but I would like to learn a language for sure.”

Give my teenage son some advice.

“Go to university. I never went and regretted it. A lot of people learn a lot, and grow a lot in university. They find out a lot about themselves.”

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Lee Davy

Life can be viewed as the sum of the parts or the parts themselves. I believe in the holistic view of life, or the sum. When dealing with individual parts you develop whack-a-mole syndrome; each time you clobber one problem with your hammer another one just pops up.