The Jamie Burland Interview

Jamie Burland @ UK & Ireland Poker Tour - Brighton
Jamie Burland 
UK & Ireland Poker Tour – Brighton
More images in Jamie’s Poker DB profile

I was having a trial as a blogger at the EPT Main Event in London on Day 4. My first piece of work was to blog about the first elimination of that day. That first guy eliminated in a respectable 24th place and taking home £21,000 was the unfortunate Jamie Burland. A few days later Jamie got within one place of winning the EPT Champion of Champions when he lost out narrowly to David Vamplew. Add these impressive results to his recent UKIPT win at Brighton for a not too shabby £65,400 and you have a guy worth interviewing.

LD – So who is Jamie Burland?

JB – I live in London and play poker for a living. I have had a couple of results this year and it is going pretty well at the moment.

LD – How old are you?

JB – I just turned 26 a couple of days ago actually.

LD – And how did poker grab you by the Balls?

JB – I started playing at university with a few friends. It is a bit of a standard story but we used to play the £20 and £30 rebuy tournaments in the local casino – and did our student loans in that fashion. We started to take it seriously towards the end of university. Then I left and got a job for a while but it was always in the background so I started to take poker more seriously and then eventually did it full time.

LD – At what point did you think, “Yeah, I could do this? I think being a professional poker player is within my grasp?”

JB – It was probably yesterday when you asked me if you could interview me for Poker Pro Europe! I guess that was an indicator that I could do this properly! I have always believed in my ability.

LD – You recently won the UKIPT in Brighton, how have things changed in your life since that win?

JB – It’s a little bit tougher to go broke and I am playing slightly bigger games. But basically before the UKIPT at Brighton I was kind of playing and living from hand to mouth. All profits from the previous month would be getting divided up into rent, bills and food for the next month. Now the win is giving me a sort of a buffer.

LD – If you were writing, “an idiots guide on how to make it as a poker player.” Give us a few sentences in order to give the people reading this some advice?

JB – One of the things I have learned over the past year and a half is to have enough behind you to be able to play the games you want to play. I guess just being sensible with your bankroll is probably the number one piece of advice.

LD – 2010 was a fantastic year for you, especially running deep in tournaments. What went right?

JB – I did a bit of work with Nick Persaud earlier on in the year. I had identified that I was struggling between the middle and late stages of tournaments. I guess you could call it the approach stage, where there are maybe five or six tables left – you might be on the bubble or just made the money. But really the goal is to make that final table. Powering on at that stage, where the tables are getting a little bit short handed, it may be people are tightening up a bit – may be people know that people are tightening up. We did a little bit of work on leveraging other peoples stacks against them and really targeting players – but also targeting stack sizes of the players who might not be aware of what we were doing.

LD – One thing that I always notice and is a bigger mystery to me than the Loch Ness monster, is how the same top pros always have the monster stacks at the beginning of tournaments?

JB – The trick is to not give away your chips at the start of the events. They are relatively deep stacks. Take the GUKPT or the UKIPT main events for example. You start with 15,000 chips on a clock of at least 45 minutes. You are starting with 200 big blinds or maybe even more and it is just amazing how people overvalue one pair or two pair type holdings in those early stages. I guess the trick, if you like, is to look for players who I believe are going to over-value their hands. They are the sorts of players you want to get involved with.

LD – What is the best piece of advice you have ever had in your poker career?

JB – It is probably something that Channing has said somewhere down the line. The beauty of being one of Channing’s friends is you will be playing a tournament with him and he will pull you to one side and offer a nugget of wisdom he has picked up over the past 25 years.

LD – Who are your poker mentors?

I would definitely say Neil Channing and Nick Persaud.

LD – Who is the toughest opponent you have had to face?

JB – I can’t look further past a guy called William Thorson – he is a pain in my ass! He is a top player definitely I think he is having a lot of success as well.

LD – Do you prefer to play online or do you prefer to play live?

JB – I prefer to play online really because it is at home – it is in my bedroom.

LD – What is your favourite game?

I am really enjoying playing six max NLHE online. I am playing six tables at a time. Some people can find cash a bit of a grind but at the moment I’m really enjoying the battle of it all. I am not just enjoyed it because I’m smashing it. There are periods when I’m doing really well and there are definitely periods where I am not doing so well.

LD – What is your worst game?

JB – Craps!

LD – Has there ever been a time in your life when you’ve been bust?

JB – Plenty of times – yes. The importance of bankroll management is only something that I have recently understood in the past year. If you’ve got a job or any form of secondary income you know that next month you are going to get paid another $4000 or whatever so there is never ever that feeling that these are my absolutes. But it really does hammer home that it is your absolute when you are down to your last 2k and you really need to win.

LD – What are your greatest strengths?

JB – I don’t TILT very easily and I also recognize when other players are about to go on TILT. That is huge, especially in tournaments where any mistake is really kind of compounded in a tournament. It is not like a cash game where you can just reload and just shrug it off. Your tournament life is just as valuable as everyone else’s. Everyone is sort of on an even keel. So I think that is one of my biggest strengths – capitalizing on other peoples TILT.

LD – Which female poker player would you have a poster of on your wall?

JB – Lets see how I can answer this as diplomatically as possible? Annette Obrestad…yeah…she is amazing, her and Vanessa Selbst.

LD – When you have a day off from playing poker where will we find you?

JB – I actually went to university in Brighton so I still like going down there every now and then and I also like going to Camden quite a lot.

LD – What is your worst fear?

JB – Job interviews. I just tend to sweat at interviews I don’t know what it is? I mean no one ever hires the sweaty guy. So I guess this has to work otherwise I will be jobless and homeless.

LD – If you weren’t playing and you had to get sweaty at an interview what type of job would you be having an interview for?

JB – I don’t know probably something rubbish like Sales.

LD – On my website I generally like to moan about everything. So what really winds you up?

JB – Facebook chat winds me up a lot. For starters it is like the worst instant messaging system ever invented. Every time I log on there is always about 15 people who say things like “Sup?” “What’s happening?” “K?” Its like “I am just on facebook at the moment at home?” So, useless instant messaging conversation starters wind me up! Pointless ones like “Hi, how is it going?”

LD – K?

This was first published in PPE magazine.