Interview with Brian "aba20" Townsend

Brian "aba20" Townsend

In this short interview from 2007 we got to ask Brian "aba20" Townsend a few questions right after he had appeared on the High Stakes Poker tv show. The interview is very short and we had to dig it up from a backup disk, but we hope some of our readers might enjoy reading some questions well before Brian Townsend became an household name within poker.

Let's start with how you started playing poker?

- Played at a buddies house for $10 buyins once a week

And how long did it take for you to know that this might work for living?

- Kind of hard to target a date when I started but about 1.5 years.

Did you have a lot of tough times in the beginning of your poker career?

- Yes some. I had alot of trouble beating 10/20 limit. This frustration made me realize limit wasn't the game for me.

Anything that you found a bit harder for you that it probably was for everyone else?

- Nope.

Would you place yourself into the category of a "mathematical player" or "emotion-based player"? I know there are some pros that actually don't really know math at all, just barely count the outs.

- All poker games have the same general principal. You have a hand and your opponent has a range of hands (which changes based on his cuurent mood). All you have to do is determine the most likely range and how your hand holds up against it.

While playing poker, do you have anything that is "a must do", like playing some type of music or having some juice next to you on your desk?

- I usually listen to music but its not a necessity.

How do you prepare yourself for internet's poker games?

- Try to workout ahead of playing.

You also appeared on GSN's High Stakes Poker 3rd season, was that a good experience?

- Yes.

You probably can't talk too much about it, but generally, how does it feel to play there?

- Felt like just about any other game I had played, except brutally slow. We got about 20 hands an hour in.

When playing $200/400 PLO and other high stakes poker games, there must be some sick swings - we have seen you winning a lot of money online, but every poker player must have bad days. How do you deal with those bad days, have you learned to take them as a normal day?

- Plo is a very swingy game which is extremely frustrating (especially since my edge is smaller in plo than nlh). As you move up levels you get adjusted to the limits and swings. When I first started losing $100 was a massive loss, and now I don't even lose sleep over a 250K loss. So you adjust as you move up.

In the online poker world, is there any poker player that you fear, or don't like to play against as much as other players?

- There used to be some people that gave me trouble but now I feel comfortable playing just about anyone. That doesn't mean that I like to play really good players HU since I may not have an edge and if I do it is very small. So there are some people I dont' play HU until all the other games have broke and I am really feeling like playing.

How do you feel about the new law which is trying to stop poker players in US to stop playing poker online?

- About how you would think. Worst comes to worst I would probably move to Nice France with my dad who lives out there 1/2 of the year.

What are your plans for the future? Any live tournaments that you're planning to attend, or anything special going on in your life?

- I am really waiting to see the effects of this bill. I have a wonderful house that I am leasing that I would like to purchase but need to figure out where I am going to be in a year. I am also buying a puppy in the next few weeks so that is pretty exciting for me. I hate playing live tournies (actually I just hate traveliing to the casinos), but am going to be in monaco for the one out there at the end of march.

For a player who wants to learn more, maybe become a professional poker player someday, have you got any tips?
- Get a CardRunners subscription, it's a great product.

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