Exclusive Interview with EPT champ Rupert Elder

June 1, 2011, Posted by Pokerfarm

Exclusive Interview with EPT champ Rupert Elder

Baby faced assassin, forum frequenter and confirmed sicko are three ways we could describe this weeks guest. Rupert Elder, a 24 year old Warwick University graduate who has been trying to emulate the success of some of his fellow British friends such as Jake Cody and Toby Lewis, and although he had threatened to come close in Berlin previously this year, San Remo would be the place where the Bury, St Edmonds grinder would get his first big live score of $1.3m

Elder shrugged off friend Xuan Liu in third place before beating another friend Max Heinzelmann heads up for the title when his A5 held up against the Germans Q5. We caught up with Rupert on a cold Tuesday afternoon. 

ThePokerFarm: Hi Rupert, firstly huge congratulations on your massive score, I assume this is your largest ever cash, what’s the closest you've came previously?

Rupert Elder: I came 2nd in the Full Tilt million for $155k but live my nearest big result was a FT at GUKPT Coventry I suppose albeit for a lot less money!

TPF: Oh so you've been successful both live and online? Alot of players most notably Chris Moorman and Shaun Deeb seem to struggle to emulate their online success in the live arena. Is there anything you see online players doing wrong in live tournaments? Or do you purely put it down to a sample size issue?

Rupert: There is a lot of luck involved especially in live tournaments since it's hard to get a large number of tournaments played.  Even if you played a tournament every day for a year it would be in no way statistically significant.  I don't think I’m really in a position to criticize either Shaun or Chris' game but I think a lot of people go in with a can't be arsed attitude or chalk a lot of very spewy plays up to coolers.  Shaun told me about a hand where he 6 bet jammed A9 in the WSOP main event which didn't sound too prudent to me.

TPF: Playing consecutively for 6 days must be mentally torturing, especially when the big group of online players are partying and drinking most nights, is there anything you did in particular to ensure you kept sharp and didn’t make any huge blow ups/mistakes? Perhaps a “lucky” routine?

Rupert: San Remo is a pretty quiet town so I’m not convinced a whole ton of partying was going on.  Either way I think it's pretty understood that when you're deep in a tournament playing for €930k you're allowed to take a couple of nights off drinking.  I didn't do anything in particular to keep sharp and didn't have a lucky routine as such, just making sure I’m prepared - showered, well fed and well rested.  On the last couple of days I only got 6 hours sleep because I was excited so that sucked but maybe it helped me because I was making even more sure not to make any huge mistakes.

TPF: Great. Liv Boeree took down the same title last year, have you spoke to her about your similar success? I know she was heavily in the media last year after her win.

Rupert: Not especially, she congratulated me which was nice.  A week after getting home I actually final tabled a SCOOP which is the equivalent of the warm up but unfortunately I couldn't repeat her success of winning it!


Liv Boeree

TPF: Yes we saw and were railing.. Congradolances (I’m taking credit for that word) for yet another deep run. Lets talk a little about the actual tournament (San Remo) how was your starting table? Did you accumulate a lot of chips from the get go?

Rupert:  No I was down to 12k from the 30k starting stack after not a long time but I ended day 1 with around 110k.

TPF: How did the middle phase of the tournament go? We know that last year Liv spoke about the soft play of some of the home players, did you encounter lots of 3/4/5 betting or was it pretty soft/passive play?

Rupert: There was the whole spectrum of really terrible to really good.  Some people made some very big errors against me but I also made a couple of errors that got there against other people.  It certainly wasn't passive.  The Italians are very aggressive but I find that easy to play against.

TPF: So as the days went on and you got deeper and deeper you started to approach some really big pay outs.  You spoke about being really excited, of course when you go into a tournament you believe you have a chance to win but when did reality sink in and you thought to yourself, hey I have a really really good chance here?

Rupert: I pretty much always think I have a really good chance when I play a tournament.  It's mostly because I choose soft tournaments to play.  In EPT Madrid I didn't think I had a good chance, especially after I saw my table.

TPF: Ok, so when you got to the final table where were you in chips? What was your approach? Go ftw or try and ladder

Rupert: I was first in chips very marginally ahead of Max to my left.  I think having a play to win mentality in tournament poker is a pretty big mistake since it's very clearly about maximizing your dollar EV.  So yes, this meant that I did a fair bit of laddering since I had really no need to get into a big pot given that I could fold 100 hands and make €300k.  Obviously I wasn't a complete nit as there were a couple of others who wanted to ladder even more than me so I did steal their blinds on occasion.  I did get kings in against queens though, always helps!

TPF: Very nice, I was actually railing at work (sorry boss) on 2+2 when you got heads up with Max, (HotKarlMC for all you cool cats on the interwebs) there was a lot of support to both camps, were you keeping up to date with this or just getting on with the job?

Rupert: Max and I are friends and have a lot of mutual friends so there was a bit of an all-round-victory sort of feeling, especially with Xuan coming third as well.  It was definitely cool having friends there supporting both of us but I wasn't especially paying attention to it and it didn't put me off at all I just wanted to win the tournament.

TPF: Playing heads up against a friend knowing you have both won significant sums of money is obviously great, was it all smiles and cocktails or was the hood up and grind mode still intact?

Rupert: The title means a lot to both of us and obviously we are playing for more than just prestige so we both took it really seriously and wanted to win.

max h

Max Heinzelmann - Runner up in back to back EPTs - Respect!

TPF: Cool. So what’s next for Rupert Elder? Planning on crushing Vegas?

Rupert: Yeah I’m going to Vegas for 6 weeks on Tuesday so hopefully will have a profitable series then back to the online grind for a while before moving to London in August and getting ready for the London majors and the next EPT season!

TPF: What a life! Well from myself and ThePokerFarm we wish you the very best of success not only because I have you in my WSOP fantasy team but because it’s nice to see the good guys win. Congratulations again on San Remo and I'm sure we'll speak again soon.

Rupert: Thanks and good luck to the PokerFarm guys, I met a few of them at various stops and they're all good lads.


The Champ





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