Niman ‘Samoleus’ Kenkre talks to PNB about life after Black F

Posted by Steve Ruddock on May 31, 2011 Posted in Interviews | No Comments »

I recently had the opportunity to talk with online poker pro Niman “Samoleus” Kenkre and asked the Bluefire Poker coach and online poker grinder some questions about Black Friday, where he and Bluefire Poker go from here, and the WSOP.

To take your poker game to the next level by learning from Niman and other Bluefire Poker coaches like poker legend Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond and 2010 WSOP final table participant Jason “PBJaxx” Senti head on over to for a free 7-day trial membership.

Steve Ruddock: Could you share your thoughts on Black Friday and what you think it may mean for the immediate future, as well as down the road for online poker in the US?

Niman “Samoleus” Kenkre: Of course it is a terrible thing to have happened to the poker industry, and I think that the United States government has really infringed on our personal freedom. However, the silver lining is that this might pave the way for the legalization and regulation of online poker in the mid-term future in this country. If that were to happen, I would imagine that we would see a second boom with the games being more prolific and softer than they have been in the recent past.

SR: Since you have lived overseas in the past, during your soccer playing days, has it crossed your mind to leave the US to continue to play online poker, especially since you live in Boston, outside of any major poker hotspots?

Samoleus: Ordinarily, I would love to move overseas and continue my career as an online poker professional. I love traveling, I’ve been all over the world, and this would be a unique opportunity to open myself up to many new experiences. However, I am a single father of a five year-old boy. Having primary custody of him, it would not be logistically feasible for me to move.

SR: What are your upcoming plans in regards to poker?

Samoleus: I plan to increase my private lesson load and play live a couple times a month (most often in Atlantic City). I will continue to make videos and be active with Bluefire as well. I am also considering writing a book: I am in the early stages of the planning and formulation of this idea, so I don’t know if that will come to fruition – but it is something that I am giving serious thought to. I am also in the process of putting a few entrepreneurial ideas unrelated to poker into action.

SR: As a member of the BlueFire Poker coaching team what types of training videos will you be working on in the near future?

Samoleus: Now that I am unable to play on the internet, my videos will be a variety of member reviews, hand discussion videos, and perhaps some videos covering live play.

SR: BlueFire Poker has made some sweeping changes to their website and added a number of coaches in recent months, including a full Sit & Go team, are there any other plans for the site in the pipeline?

Samoleus: Bluefire is committed to being the best poker training site out there. As you correctly pointed out, we have hired a team of tournament coaches to complement the original cash game coaches that we have. We do have some exciting plans for the future as well, but that might be a bit down the road and I can’t really comment on that further at the moment.

SR: Something I was curious about at the 2010 WSOP was how the rest of BlueFire Poker felt about Giggy being in Jonathan Duhamel’s rooting section and not Jason Senti’s?

[Martin Giguere Fournier is another BlueFire Poker coach who readers may know better by his online handle of “Dr Giggy”]

Samoleus: Haha – yeah that was a bit disloyal of Giggy, wasn’t it? I suppose that given that Jonathan is one of his best friends (not to mention that Giggy had a nice little piece of Jonathan as well), we could let it slide.

SR: And finally, is anyone booking action on a BlueFire Poker instructor placing higher than Senti’s 7th place finish in the 2011 Main Event and what would you put those odds at?

Samoleus: Well, since I won’t be playing in the Series (I still haven’t broken my duck – I have never played in the WSOP), the odds have to go down considerably! 😉 … Seriously, I think the odds of a Bluefire instructor reaching the final table and surpassing Jason’s 7th place finish would be extremely long. But of course, that would hold true for any small group of people. I’d take Bluefire instructors over any other equivalent number of players!

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