If You Snellt It, You Dealt It… and then You Felt It

published on 11/11/09 at 7:03 am

If You Snellt It, You Dealt It… and then You Felt It

The Twitter Poker Tour saw yet another new face on the winner’s platform last week. Tracy J. Snell (tracyjsnell) took home glory, cash, and an overall first place showing on the #tpt leader board. Can he hold on to his overall lead? Does he have what it takes? Only our Pulitzer Prize nominated poker beat writer, Street3, can enlighten us.

I googled “Tracy Snell” to try and find some dirt on ya and man did I find something! It seems at the rip age of 77 you passed away on May 31st of this year. Please explain.
In my religion not only did it turn out we have a rather pleasant afterlife but the real kicker is Internet access! Getting the account funded was the only tricky part. Apparently FTP closes your account on news of your passing. So it’s kind of like trying to get a new account for rake back. Find some flunky who’s never played and sign up in their name.

In all seriousness (at least for this question). Tell us about how you got started playing NLHE, is it your only game or do you play others?
I’ve started branching out a bit. Note that I came in 2nd in the TPT HORSE event the next night! I played NLHE freebies a good bit for a while never working to improve. It was like solitaire or something mindless to play while watching TV. Eventually I funded an account and started to get serious about improving. Still have some massive holes and certain parts of my game where I’m very weak but I’m working hard at them.

Do you prefer live or online?
I don’t get a lot of chances to play live. I have a home game that we play a tourney about every 3 weeks, that has grown to almost 30 players (we cap it at 30 and have hit the limit before). Casinos were all 2+ hours away until recently. Now there are 2 that are under an hour away. They use PokerPro tables so it’s some odd hybrid. I do like the PokerPro tables for the fast deals. You end up getting 40 or so hands an hour in which is about 2 times what you get with a live dealer. That makes a difference in a tourney.

People bitch about the bad beats FTP dolls out, but most tend to forget the bad beats they lay on others. Do you think it all evens out or is online rigged to generate more action?
I think it all evens out. Although I’m still on the bad beat side in the #tpt last week helped to balance it some with a couple of nice suck outs. Every study I’ve seen of analysis of large hand samples points to things being pretty random. Bad beats happen, if someone on FTP gets beat holding AAAA they’d cry about how rigged FTP is for weeks. Yet that happened in last years WSOP (which I’m pretty sure isn’t rigged). Bad beats happen and data is not the plural of anecdote.

Is there an online site that your prefer?
I’ve only played 3. PokerStars, FTP and Carbon. Carbon sucks beyond belief. I’m done with it. I go in spurts on PS or FTP. They both have some nice features and I like the play at both. Keep thinking about trying other sites.

What’s the biggest win you’ve had at the poker tables, whether online or live?
Couple of months ago I went to Indiana Live! and played a tourney there, got knocked out pretty early and decided to play the 1/2 cash tables for a bit. Walked away several hours later up over $1,100. Best hand was when I had AK and the flop was AAA. I’m last to act and my first thought was damn, how can I ever get any action on this? First guy raises, next one reraises and by the turn I was all in. Online I think it was $375 when I placed 2nd out of 1895 in a $2 tourney. I should’ve won since I was chip monster but at that point I still was clueless about heads up play.

Any favorite hands to play?
Not particularly but at our home game 63 is called the hand of god and I play it whenever I can get in cheaply just to brag to them if I win with it. So if I’ve gotten in a pot cheaply and I’m betting a flop that fits 63 be careful.

Your twitter account lists “cooking” is that a hobby or a profession? I can cook mad soup.
A hobby though I’m frequently told I should open a restaurant. I attribute that to lots of friends with lousy pallets. Soon as I’m done with this marinated venison loins go on the grill and I’ll cook up some asparagus and grilled portabella risotto to serve with it.

It also lists that you are a cancer survivor. Congrats man (although I am skeptical, cuz google says you died). Can you talk about that?
In 2004 I was diagnosed with Sarcoma which is a very rare cancer of the soft tissue or bone. My particular subtype was even more rare, glomangiosarcoma (or malignant glomus). There are only about 250 known cases of my cancer. Minor surgery, no chemo or radiation. Hit the 5 year survival rate and I continue what the doctors call NED (no evidence of disease). I’m now down to once a year naps in the MRI machine (yeah after the first 50 or so I started just falling asleep in them).

I’m big on prevention, early detection and support. I’m a board member at the Sarcoma Alliance, and an active participant in several ACOR (American Cancer Online Resources) mailing lists.

Do you have to adjust your game to play in the #tpt since it’s a mix field of new and regular players?
I think that’s one of the harder parts about the #tpt for my style. I had to start adjusting to various players. You have folks who will play any hand for the hell of it. Donks who will do likewise, lots of loose aggressive play and then some standard TAG players. I’m getting better at adjusting my play and exploiting various styles but I have a long way to go. Basically it’s been great for my game.

Have you used any training sites or books to better understand and play poker?
I have a ton of books. Harrington on Holdem and No Limit Hold ‘em: Theory and Practice are pretty much required in my opionion and I frequently reread them. After those there’s just a ton of great books out there. I’m always reading. I’ve been a member of Stox poker for a while and while the videos have been helpful I tend to not watch enough to justify being a member. I’m a fan of Deuces Cracked also but I still don’t have the discipline to watch all the videos I have from them.

Do you play poker for fun or to make money?
For fun. Making money with it would rock (and actually overall live and online I’m up a bit but far from anything of significance).

Cash/SNG/MTT, any preference?
Played a ton of MTT early then switch to SNGs (mainly because of time commitments) for a long time. Only in the last 4 months or so have I started digging seriously into cash play. Cash play is by far my weakest. Although I’ve had about 90% positive live cash sessions. Online I tend to do poorly at cash still.

Yesterday I folded AK preflop as there were two all-ins ahead (behind?) me. Do people tend to overplay AK way too much?
Depends on your stack and where you are in the tourney. Early in an online event I’ll play them hard, I either double up or I just find another tourney to join. Live or in a tourney like the #tpt I’d fold there. Late in the tourney and if I have an M south of 10 and approaching 5 it’s not a bad move to call in my book. Triple up and you aren’t nearly as crippled and have a better chance at good cash vs limping into the money.

Who will win the WSOP ME, Moon or Cada? What hand will win? (I won’t tell anyone that I sent this off the day after the ME was over).
My money is on Moon (and I haven’t watched any of the FT yet).

Have you ever played in any WSOP or WSOP Circuit Events? Any plans or dreams to?
Only once. Played a $340 circuit event at Caesar’s Indiana. Around 550 players, I made it to about 125. Best hand was when I had about 1.5BB left and I was in the small blind. I blind shoved and the big blind called. He had something like K8. I had the Doyle Brunson, 10 2. I then proceeded to hit a full house.

I need you to walk us through what’s going through your mind as you made this toss.
Don’t let the bitch in the green dress catch it. Don’t let the bitch in the green dress catch it. Success!

So google as taught us that not only are you dead, but you are a garter tossing woman. WTF?
One of my secrets to a long life.

Is there anything about the #tpt you would change or it fine the way it is?
More players! Although if it got too big that’d make it hard to play. I had to get up at 4:20AM last week and ended up playing the twitter poker tour until almost 1.

Any final thoughts or shoutouts?
One of my failures in life is not marrying one of the female Tracy Snell’s out there. How cool would that have been? Mr and Mrs Tracy Snell! Alas I fell in love with a non Tracy instead.

Shoutouts to CPRPoker for pulling this all together, CoolWhipFlea for his awesome bad beat on cancer tourney work, the crowd of regulars and their banter that makes the #tpt feel a lot like a regular home game.

Be Sociable, Share!

One Response to “If You Snellt It, You Dealt It… and then You Felt It”

  1. Street3

    Nov 11th, 2009

    Great interview! I rule.

Leave a Reply