1) What got you started playing poker?
Joe Sebok: Probably just the explosion of it. It was something
that i never really considered doing, but it got so big. I’ve worked a
bunch of other jobs, I’ve done a lot of dot com work in san fransico. But
poker just got huge so i thought what the hell i may as well it give it a
shot i’m gonna have a good teacher. So why not jump in and see how it
goes? And it’s gone pretty well so far.
2) What’s been your biggest win so far?
Joe Sebok: My biggest cash win was definitely in the world series
in the pot limit event where i finished fifth and pulled down $75,000.
That’s only to this point…
3) In your father Barry Greenstein’s book “Ace on the River” the dedication contained an apology to all of his children for his failures as a parent, how did
that make you feel?
Joe Sebok:It’s sweet certainly. Being older at this point i kind of
understand and certainly now that i am a player as well i really understand
how it eats up the time. But, it’s one of those things for him it is give
and take he recognizes that maybe when we were younger he wasn’t the best
dad in the world but he was by no means a terrible father. I don’t want
anyone to get the impression that he was a deadbeat dad who never came home
or anything like that. But, it eats up a lot of your time. Doing anything
professionally does. It requires a lot of focus and a lot of time. so i
understand that better now. It certainly was nice for him to acknowledge
that to all of his kids. All of us appreciated it for sure.
4) How has growing up the child of a poker player changed the way you will
live your own life?
Joe Sebok: I think that with anything that you do, if you are
trying to be the best at it, it’s going to require a lot of your time and a
lot of dedication. There is no way to get out of that. There’s no way to
escape. I think that I’m more cognizant of it. I’m more aware of it
because of who my dad is and the lessons he’s learned and things he’s dealt
with. So, I think I’ll not have kids until I win the world series and then
I’ll start having my kids. That way it won’t be an issue. Then I’ll write
a book, but I won’t have to dedicate it to my kids. It will be nice, I’ll
be able to dedicate it to somebody else.
5) Who would you least like to see across the table from you?
Joe Sebok:It used to be my dad, but it’s not anymore at all.
Probably just any of my friends. Tuan le, Nam Le, Liz Lieu, Mimi Tran.
It’s a lot more difficult to go and basically try and slit their throat at
the poker table which you have to do, if you are friends. Rather than
being afraid of playing anyone, I’d rather not play against anyone that I
care about because it is much more difficult to do.
6) Do you just check it down then if you are playing against a friend?
Joe Sebok: i think it is just the opposite. at least for me.
what i like to do is raise it up. instead of check check check. if you
just check it down with someone you are basically colluding with them. so
what i like to do is get all my chips in the pot if i have a good hand.but
to be perfectly honest i like to just move in and say look "i have a good
hand and if they do too then we are going to have a bit of a clash , but i
don’t want to check down pocket aces, it’s just not right. i’m gonna put
my chips in and give you and opportunity to make a mistake because it is
only fair if you are getting your chips in at that point instead of just
checking it down.
7) Does anyone have your number recently at the tables?
Joe Sebok:i don’t think so. i don’t think that i have anyone that
kind of whips on me right now and hopefully it will stay that way.
8) Where do you live?
Joe Sebok:i live in LA but i mainly just travel so i’m hardly
9) What advice do you have for new players considering trying poker as a career?
Joe Sebok: don’t pigeonhole yourself. i went out and got my
education from berkeley, i have a degree. i worked for awhile i did a lot
of business things. so for me even if the poker avenue doesn’t work out
and i can’t sustain myself, i’m always going to have something to go back
to. it kind of scares me i get a lot of emails from a lot of kids that are
19 20 and want to know they can do to make money and get in poker and win
right now. but the fact of the matter is they shouldn’t focus on that they
should be excited to be here. they should focus on other avenues so if they
don’t make it they have something to fall back on.
Joe Sebok: we have one right now. gavin smith and i. we have a
bet. a cumulative points bet for all of the hold’em events up until the
main event. whoever loses that bet has to dress up for every day of the
main event as a different superhero and it is all going to be
professionally done. it’s not going to be like a halloween costume, it’s
going to be like michael keaton batman.
he’s gonna get smacked like a bitch.