Jared Hubbard Talks with PNB about his Career and changes since B

Posted by James Guill on Nov 28, 2011 Posted in Interviews | No Comments »

Jared Hubbard recently won the Fall Poker Classic Main Event at the Canterbury Club in Shakopee, MN.  He has been an online grinder since and is a specialist in NL Hold’em six-max.

In addition, he has been #1 in the world in overall profit for six-max SnG’s in 2007, 2008, and 2010.  I recently got a chance to catch up with Jared to talk a bit about his start in poker, his FPC win, and how things have changed since Black Friday.

James Guill:  Jared, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today.

Jared Hubbard: Not a problem, thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed

James Guill:  When did you pick up poker?

Jared Hubbard:  I played some home games with friends starting in high school but never anything serious until I played online.

James Guill: You started playing online in 2006.  Tell us how you got started online, where you played, and how you moved up through stakes.

Jared Hubbard:  I tore my Achilles tendon playing intramural basketball in college.  I didn’t want to go out as much considering it was winter and I was on crutches for a while, so I started up a play money account on Absolute to pass some time.

After a while I deposited $50 and started playing the $1 and $2 9 handed SNGs.  I had some success & started studying the game more.  I moved to cash for a little while, where I built a bigger bankroll, and played other games besides NL holdem.  I played a lot of Omaha hi/low for a while.  I played on a lot of different sites clearing bonuses.

When I started playing on pokerroom their 5 handed SNGs were pretty popular so I decided to give those a shot.  I started playing around with ICM calculators and realized that most players were pretty clueless.  I crushed there over a small sample & then moved to pokerstars, where I played the regular speed 6 man SNGs.

In 2006 I led the sharkscope.com any game 5 to 6 player $16-$35 total profit leaderboard  by a lot.  Toward the end of the year I started playing turbos & realized there was a lot more money to be made there.

My first year as a full time pro was 2007.  It was also the first year that pokerstars had the supernova elite VIP level.  I think about 42 of us made it & I was the 3rd or 4th to reach elite.  I led the sharkscope.com any game 5-6 players total profit leaderboard that year, & was leading the any game single table leaderboard by a ton going into December.  I started playing $1Ks in December & lost about $35K that month, so I ended up finishing 3rd in the single table leaderboard.

From there I started playing other sites like Cake, Absolute, FTP.  I am now a Lock Elite pro, where I play exclusively.  I am currently #1 on the sharkscope.com any game by network Merge total profit leaderboard.

James Guill:  You were #1 in the world in 2007, 2008, and 2010 for six-max SNG profit.  What has been the key to your success over the years in this format?

Jared Hubbard:  I studied a ton and never really stopped studying.  I didn’t want to be one of those guys that just let the game pass them by.  I also got really good at multi-tabling, which helped drops your ROI a lot, but helps a ton with volume and total profit if you do it right.

Aside from that I think I did a pretty good job of putting in a good amount of hours but still living a balanced life.  There’s pros that are lazy and only play 20 hours a week.  I think that’s leaving a lot of money on the table.  Then there’s pros that play 50-60 hours a week or even more.  I know people who take 2 days off a year.  I think that’s way too much.  You aren’t letting your brain rest enough so you aren’t on you’re a game as much, and you’re also setting yourself up for a short poker career with burnout.  I tried to stay balanced between those 2 extremes.  I think 30-40 hours a week of playing is about the right amount, as long as you make sure to take weeks off for yourself.

James Guill:  Do you have a preference in six-max between regular, turbo, super turbo, deep stack, etc?

Jared Hubbard: For enjoyment purposes I would probably prefer regular speed games, but from an hourly rate standpoint you can’t beat super turbos.

James Guill:  For players looking to improve their results on 6-handed SnG’s, what tips could you offer to help them improve?

Jared Hubbard: ICM calculators like SNG Wiz are very important.  Spend a lot of time with those & tweak the ranges.  The default ranges they have are often pretty poor.  I also recommend making push/fold charts as a baseline to adjust from.  Just be sure to make adjustments from the charts and not play like a robot.

Training sites can also be helpful.  I didn’t watch a ton of traning videos but faarcyde vids on cardrunners are definitely the best I’ve seen.  He also makes videos for pokerstrategy.com.  I haven’t seen DDBeast videos on bluefire but I can say there isn’t a 6 max SNG player I respect more and I would expect his videos to be very good.  Otherwise sitngogrinders has a good collection of SNG videos and there’s probably other

Sites that are good as well.

James Guill:  You are currently a Lock Elite Pro.  How did that relationship develop?

Jared Hubbard:  A player I talked to on AIM (liarzdice) knew the owner Jennifer Larson and thought I was worthy of a deal.  He talked to her for me and I talked to Eric Lynch a couple times.  A couple weeks later I talked to Jennifer on skype.  The next day she offered me a contract over the phone.

Lock and Jennifer have been amazing.  I always get quick responses and they really care about the players.  The Lock retreat in France was amazing as well and I’m looking forward to the next one.

I’ve always worked on promoting myself for deals like this though.  That’s why I started a blog and now have a homepage, twitter account, and facebook poker page.  To some I may look like a douchebag talking about my accomplishments, but I look at poker as a business and I think self promotion can be pretty key.  I think a lot of pros miss out on tons of money by focusing only on studying and playing, and not doing anything to promote themselves for other money making opportunities in the business side of poker.

James Guill:  With all the developments since April 15th, do you have any concern on Lock getting cracked down up like PokerStars or Full Tilt?

Jared Hubbard: It’s always a possibility but I think it’s unlikely in the near future.  A case like that takes years to build.  Not only had the DOJ been working on the big 3 for years, but they also had a star witness fall into their laps.  Another factor working in the favor of sites like Lock is the big 3 basically gave them a blueprint of what not to do.

James Guill:  What changes were you forced to make after April 15th?

Jared Hubbard:  Since signing with Lock everything has actually been pretty smooth.  The only major change I can think of now is I have to play a lot more nights.  Before April 15th I basically worked around my wife’s schedule.  While I certainly wasn’t maximizing my hourly or anything, I was still able to make a ton of money and live a nice balanced life.  Now most of the players are from the US so it’s tough to get good action in the mornings.  I still play during some dead times, which I think is a must if you want to live a balanced life, but a lot of the time when my wife goes to bed I will start playing & then play late and sleep in.  It’s what most single poker players do normally but it’s a change for me.

James Guill:  The Fall Poker Classic Main Event in October was not only your first live tournament poker cash, but also your first tournament victory.  What was it like to take down that even after spending your career predominately online?

Jared Hubbard:  With 6 man and HU SNGs you’re mostly just grinding out a steady profit.  While you can still make $20-$30K in a day and make a ton of money in the long run, you just don’t have the big scores that MTT players have.  Making almost $71K in 2 days feels pretty good, especially after getting a lot of money frozen on Black Friday.  There’s also a certain amount of prestige that comes with winning a live event.  It may not have been a WPT, EPT, or WSOP event, but it’s still the biggest live tournament in Minnesota, so I guess that’s pretty cool.

James Guill:  Speaking of the FPC, do you frequent the Canterbury Club often?  When you go, what do you normally play?

Jared Hubbard:  I’ve really only went to Canterbury for fall classic events.  I believe I’ve played 9 of those now.  When I play live in Minnesota I’m really just playing for a change of pace as my long run hourly will always be better online.  The buy-ins in Minnesota just aren’t high enough, and even if they were it’s tough to get a reasonable sample size live anyway, especially in MTTs.  I do plan on more $1Ks when it’s about an hour drive or less and occasionally some smaller events.  Other than that I will stick to online.  I like to be able to start and stop when I want and make a good hourly.

James Guill:  What has been the biggest area of adjustment for you going from online to live play?

Jared Hubbard:  I think the biggest adjustment is that the average opponent is far less aggressive live.  While you still have to be ready to 4bet bluff when a young aggressive player 3bets you, it just happens a lot less often that online.  I think the average competition is much softer live, so I keep that in mind when playing my hands.

James Guill:  What are you goals for the future regarding live tournaments? 

Jared Hubbard:  I really don’t have any.  Considering the amount of variance in MTTs & how many I play, I think it would be pretty silly to have live tournament goals.  I don’t really need goals to keep me going anyway.  I like to focus on what I can control, and that’s playing my best.  I basically stopped making goals a couple years ago.  Even over the course of a year your profit at the tables isn’t completely in your control.  Volume goals are fine but I think most players make them incorrectly.  Making a goal where you will have to play 240 hours in a month to achieve it when you normally play half that just isn’t very smart.  At best you might achieve the goal playing your C game most of the time.  I’d rather focus on playing my A game but I do admit leaderboards can motivate me.

James Guill:  Do you focus primarily on Hold’em, or do you play other variants as well?  If so, what’s your favorite game outside of Hold’em?

Jared Hubbard:  In the past I played plenty of other games but now I like to specialize and try to master a particular form of the game.  I used to play pretty much strictly 6 man SNGs & have recently started focusing on HU SNGs.  I’m always playing NLHE and will likely stick to HU for a while before moving on to some sort of cash game variant.  I figure I’ll be playing this game for a while so my main game will likely change some more in the future.

James Guill:  You have stated in other interviews that you put in around 40 hours a week at the tables.  Is that still the case?  What do you do away from the game for fun and to relax?

Jared Hubbard:  Even when I put in mostly 40 hour weeks I’d still generally take off 8-13 weeks during the year.  Lately when I’ve been playing I’ve probably been more in the 25-30 hour per week range.  I don’t really expect to ever be putting in 40 hour weeks consistently with HU, especially considering that sometimes you are registered for a bunch of games just waiting to be sat.  I also think in HU I think continually studying a lot is far more important than it was in 6 mans, so that takes up more time.  I’ll probably increase my hours in January but I’d be surprised if I was putting in 35 hour weeks at tables with HU.  However, when you factor in studying and everything else, I’m sure I’m still probably putting in at least close to 40 hours a week of poker when I’m not taking weeks off.

James Guill:  Jared, thank you for taking the time to talk to us and best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

Jared Hubbard:  Again, it’s not a problem and thanks for interviewing me.  Good luck in the future to everyone at PokerNewsBoy and all of their readers.


For more about Jared and his career, check out his website www.jaredhubbard.com.

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