Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Interview with Teamdobb - NPF 2009 Champion

Today im interviewing Dave Collins. The man behind the Teamdobbs blog and of course the Newcastle Poker Forum (NPF) . After a fantastic victory last month at the circus casino he is now the 2009 Newcastle Poker Forum Championship Winner

Hello Dave and thank you for your time. A lot of people will know you as TeamDobb but lets find about the player and the person. Firstly when and how did you first get into poker and where does TeamDobb come from ??
I first started playing poker after catching my 15 year old son online and asking what he was doing. Turns out he was actually playing poker. I soon downloaded WillHill and playing free money under the table name 'deeirun'. I soon got bored with this as being a gambler, the lure of winning money was too strong. A few Saturday afternoon freerolls later and initial success convinced me the road to riches had been invented and my first cash deposit was made. It took no time at all to be £200 down and then a £2 multi table tournament win gave me a + bankroll.

At the time, I was involved with a good friend of mine betting on football which we were very successful at losing. I thought I better not let him miss out on this chance and told him about this exciting game called poker I had been introduced to. He was soon online himself playing under the name of 'Monacokev' and within a very short period of time the wins started pouring in for both of us (Monacokev has since changed his name to the well known 'Azimut').

The name Teamdobbs was born so simple. I had branched out when I was brave enough into the world of live poker playing Friday nights mainly at the Grosvneor Casino in Newcastle where I met and became very close friends with a young lad called micky “Gyposdog” Chisholm. Each week at the Grosvenor the winner of the multi tournie was given a card marker which we named as " Dobbers " Banter began with us as to who had the most dobbers and from there we chose players who had the same sense of humour and who in our opinion were good lads cos as we all know the game is full of up their own arse wankers. The Grosvenor then on our request decided to have a " Team " event challenge and from their we selected 8 good lads ( not necessary the best 8 players ) who would form Teamdobbs. The crack this created was unreal as week after week we dominated tables with crack which no others could compete against.The prestige of being selected in Teamdobbs has now stuck with these players and the bond has remained. We now have settled at a 10 strong group

Also as well as actually playing poker you also run along with your son
http://www.newcastle-poker.co.uk/forum . How did this come about and are you surprised at the way it has taken off and is the main forum in the region and also talked of nationally
I was quite an active member on another poker forum when my son S2C suggested we start our own forum to promote local poker in the North East. I thought this was a great idea as basically the local scene was governed by the 3 Casino venues which seemed intent on cutting each others throats instead of working sensibly together. Players also lacked a lot of free information what was available and so S2C put the technical side of it together and I basically become the gob shite/front man for it and we set about promoting it. What really kick started it off and got it noticed was when we did live coverage of the GUKPT in Newcastle to follow and give the local players attention which paid off massive when local lad Ganesh Rao took down the title and that final table 3rd place finisher was no other than the now famous and WSOP Main Event Final Tabler James Akenhead.
A couple of team games played in Blackpool in AWOP & APAT events then really launched the forum into the poker scene and its simply grew and grew with the backbone of the forum based on people enjoying themselves and having good crack at games. Biggest thing that has came out of the forum is the amount of close friendships that have been formed and no matter what game you attend now in Newcastle you can go in knowing you will meet someone from the NPF and have someone to talk to instead of entering into sometimes intimidating surroundings.

How would you describe your playing style
I would deffo describe my game as TAG which has developed over the last 18 months into a more all round game with a few surprises from time to time. A lot of players have me tagged in the rock category group!!! which I like them to think.

Live or Online and where is your favourite regular place to play poker and what sort of level
Deffo 100% live for me. Online don’t do it for me and I actually hardly play any online games anymore apart from forum games now. A lot of my live game is based on feel for people and their body language which gives away so much info from so many players. I play all the 3 casinos in Newcastle dependant on what games are on but I was a huge Grosvenor casino fan mainly because of the crack and homely atmosphere a crowd of us created in there but that seems to have changed now due to what I can only describe as blind/poor management at the higher levels of head office. Stanley Circus have deffo took the bull by the horns and without doubt is the best ran card room in Newcastle now. It also is very active and supportive in working with the NPF to help everyone.

Where is the most exotic place you have played poker.Any famous encounters or story of a famous player or personality.
Most exotic place Ive played was St Kitts in the Caribbean Poker Classic but obviously Las Vegas is thee place to play especially during WSOP period. Been there last 3 WSOP and obviously because of that have met and spoke to loads of famous “named” players. Last year we got our own actual interviews with players like Jennifer Harman & Greg Raymer who we even got to join the NPF and one night going up to my room in the Bellagio totally pised after making 2nd day of the Seniors Event
I had forgot my room number and was sitting at a table on the telephone to reception trying to get my details when the lift door opened and Phil ivey came walking out fiddling with his phone. Alreet Phil I shouts “Yea man you?” he replies and goes into his room at the end of our corridor. So surreal. Also had Doyle Brunson bump his scooter thing into my leg in the queue at a burger bar in the Rio and was stood at the urinal having a piss during a break in the Rio with Mike sexton on my left and Jesus Ferguson on my right. I didn’t notice which one was the biggest!!!!!!

Love to see them pocket Aces get dealt but apart from them have you a favourite starting hand. Of course if its not AA its KK

Do you have a particularly unlucky starting hand that you dislike
No not really. I think that’s crazy tbh when you hear people saying that and its normally them that have played them bad in a certain situation.

Do you go with the opinion that live or online its harder to win consistantly than it was say 5 years ago and if given the choice would you at your current age like the poker world set back 5 years or would you like to be starting out as a young internet player.
I think the game has moved on so much and with so many more people playing theres so many excellent players out there. Still plenty of awful players mind who simply don’t seem to ever improve no matter how long theve played. I think the online game has totally changed and theres deffo a different game and approach needed to conquer the big online games. A lot of top top onliners out there and at the NPF we have one in Tom “Hitthehole” Middleton who I rememeber chasing me around Aspers one night asking about the NPF and did I have a card with details on. He is now in the top group on online MTT players in the UK and I reckon next year will become the number 1. Hes also a cracking lad to go with it with no big ego or edge about himself and keeps his feet firmly on the ground and is realistic about the ups n downs of poker. I also think its what you put into it or how much effort your prepared to do. Have a few friends who make a very good return from online poker but they have and still do put an awesome amount of time into it and have spent endless hours developing and improving their games and knowledge over the years.

What advice would you give to someone reading this article that wants to start playing poker but has never yet taken the step. Also what game in what cardroom in Newcastle would you recommend for a first time live game for a novice or beginner
Simple answer for this one – join the Newcastle Poker Forum (NPF)
and ask away what you want to know. Youll be pleasantly surprised at the response you get

I like forums and blogs but Ive never read a poker book or got tracking software or watched coaching devices. Would you advise someone to use these external poker aids or do you think there is no substitute for playing hands and gaining experience.
Cant buy experience, you’ve simply got to gain it over time but a lot of new players now gain so much experience so quickly by playing so much and so many hands online. As for tracking software – well if I was playing volume online, cash or large outlays per month on games then I thing it’s a must nowadays tbh but its too hi tech for an old timer like me to learn plus I play poker for different reasons than that

What is your biggest poker success to date ?
Won most of the games around the local scene at one time or another including the £200 Grosvenor specials and had a decent finish in the Circus £100k gtd in Birmingham but I suppose my biggest success would be deemed as finishing 97th from nearly 3000 runners in the Seniors event of this years WSOP. Winning the NPF Forum league at Grosvenor over 12 weeks for a main event GUKPT seat gave me a lot of pleasure but obviously my win last weekend by winning the NPF Championship has to be my biggest success in terms of what it meant to me and the respect that goes with it around the local North East Poker scene

What are your remaining poker ambitions.
I would love to take down or even final table one of the UK major tournaments like the GUKPT or DTD or Coral but simply take it as it comes to be honest. Obviously making final table of a WSOP event is the ultimate and hopefully can go that bit deeper in the WSOP Seniors Event of 2010 in Las Vegas. I play poker mainly for the social aspects that go with it and don’t get too intense with the need to prove anything to anyone or to win X amount of money. I play to a very controlled bankroll and don’t get carried away by it at all and as yet have never had a losing year financially by playing poker for which I keep very accurate records of what I play even though they are not great amounts of money.

Welcome to a magic stt . There are 9 seats and your place is reserved.What other 8 players living or dead, Pro or celeb would you like to join you for a one off game
I havnt really got any “famous” or “named” players that I would really get excited about as there just normal people anyway. Id sooner have a table full of interesting and funny people with good crack playing in a relaxed atmosphere. One player who I did play on the same table with in the CPC was Jesper Heugar (KipsterDK on Stars) who has won bracelets both sides of the Atlantic and the Poker Stars Millions twice online. Thing that impressed me most about this guy was he had no huge ego about him and treated everyone at the table with the utmost respect. Really nice guy.

Back to the NPF - Who is the best live player and the best online player and who would you predict to make a major breakthrough in 2010.
Wow such a difficult and personal question as to be honest theres so many at the NPF. I think the forum has been a fantastic tool especially for the younger players to get so much help and information and to improve much quicker. Tom “HittheHole” Middleton has obviously got to be considered the best online player that features a lot at the forum due to the results hes had. As for live its horses for courses depending on the type and structure of game it is but most of my Dobba crew would he very high up my list.
Myself and Cardguard are considering staking a couple of the younger lads into some bigger buy in comps next year so watch out for Spoona & Samj and Im sure players like Buzz & Omahaha could have a big score very soon.

I have heard that the former WSOP Main Event Champion Greg "The Fossilman" Raymer had not only joined the forum but he had also sent a letter enclosing some items for your charity raffle. How did that all come about
That is indeed true. Myself and Mr Entertainment were both out in Las Vegas this year for the WSOP when Mr E asked Greg to do a video interview for us which he kindly did and followed that up by leaving him a card and to our surprise the guy took the time & effort to actually join. We followed this up with a few emails and Mr E then asked him if he could donate anything to a Bobby Robson Charity function we are hoping to put together next year and the Fossilman duly obliged by sending us a box of signed goodies and a lovely letter with it. Simply proves what a true gent the guy is.

As well as the serious play there seems to be a lot of good advice and a very big social scene with festivals and forum games. Some of these must be a nightmare to organise but when i turned up to rail the NPF Championships it all appeared to run like a dream.Who else is part of the team at Bannisters HQ (the nerve centre of NPF)
Having the right people doing the right jobs is a key to a lot of things and the thing with the NPF is its full of such big characters and genuine people theres always someone willing to lend a hand or get involved, all you got to do at most times is ask them. NPF wouldn’t operate without my son S2C who although a very quiet and un assuming type of lad is really the brains and driving force of what goes on. Cardguard is another massive person involved behind the scenes together with Mr Entertainment & Dreamdobb. Looseman & Koyte are always willing to get involved with help on anything we do and Walkers Sensations team captain Gaz Walker does a lot on the photo side of the forum. Early days one member who was very much a driving force in pushing the forum forward was Phil “Phlmc” McNally and Dave “Smoggie” Grayson does a great job with some of the online stuff & league. To be honest theres so many people who would do most things if you asked them as was proven at the recent NPF Championship.

On the subject of humour.
What is the funniest thing you have heard at the table when playing live.
Too many to list from too many people but I do like the humour brought to the tables by the likes of Faetzy, Sean McGuiggan, Bob the Gob and Ridla. One incident I do remember years ago was after being out at a function I took in the £5 rebuy tournie at the Grosvenor on a Wednesday night for newbies. Drunk as a skunk I was very verbal n loud due to the drink and on my table was a girl with a pink fluffy jumper on and huge boobs. Was very obvious she was a new player and in the 1st level of the game at 25/50 she pushed all in on a 455 flop to which everyone folded. I asked her what she had and she flipped over 55 for quads. Wow why did you push all in I asked her. Her reply came back “ I was worried incase someone hit the straight” You may not be the best player on the table pet but you’ve deffo got the best boobs was my response!!!

Also what is the funniest thing you have seen on the forum. There seems to be a bit of an NPF YouTube section happening. Whats the best video on there ?
We love setting up and doing crazy things and by the time you probably print this we will have launched our next video at the forum which Im sure the members will love. The original “NPF Anthem” My way was great followed by Bohemejean which was great fun to do but the best video ever done by us has got to be Dreamdobbs copy cat video of Stavros Flatley. One of the funniest things Ive ever seen. I defy anyone to watch that and not laugh at it.

There also appears to be a very strong loyal team bond between different sections. I have heard about Dobbas, Radgies, Crisps, Cubs (please fill in any ive missed)Whats all this about. Are people headhunted or is there a yearly draft and what are the qualities required for the different teams. Will i get signed up or should i stay Independant / Miller local
I explained earlier how Teamdobbs was formed and the reasons then when the NPF was launched we entered into a couple of Team Events putting teams in from the forum. This created others to form teams and it simply grew from there. Most of the teams at the forum are groups of people with similar interests and who have became friends because of it. Its all friendly banter and makes for creating a great atmosphere at tournaments. We like to be vocal and involved. I reckon you’ve deffo got a lot of Radgie qualities to be honest Gatsby so maybe have a word with Radgie number 2 Koyte

It must be nice to win any tournament but to come through such a quality field as you did when winning the NPF championships it must be such a buzz. To win any tournament you have to get a little moment of luck . What was yours. Once you had the chip lead when did you start to really think that you were going to win. Was there ever a moment where you thought about laddering up the pay scale or was it all about the victory
You cant win a tournament without luck happening sometime during the game and mine happened in a 3 way all in pot when I was pot committed after open raising for 2 others to ship all in. My hand Ace 10 was obviously going to be totally dominated and it certainly was when AK & AQ were flipped. Flop didn’t help much coming J27 but turn gave me the 9 for the gutshot and the miracle 8 came down on the river. Some decent hands holding up then gave me a decent playable stack and the hand that then turned my tournament on its head was winning a massive pot with AA to give me the chip lead going into day 2. Never lost the chip lead ever during day 2 and although Im not used to having huge stacks I thought I played my stack spot on especially on the final table and my only thoughts were for the win. The money was secondary to be honest without wanting it to sound bad. Becoming NPF Champion meant far more to me than the money and the respect that goes with it. Couldn’t of wrote the script any better with how the event went and how I played.

I read that there were a couple of charity sweepstakes and a few side bets flying around. Because of you running the forum and being a bit more well known and high profile a few people backed you to win the tournament outrightWas it a messy book ? Obviously a few other high profile players might have been backed too but i guess there was a % of the field that no one had as they may not know them as well as they know you ?
Yes myself and Cardguard offered to provide a book for placing bets on as another feature of the event with a large % of any winnings going to be given to a charity of our choice. From all the bets taken there were only 2 or 3 players who could cause us any real trouble with me being one of them. One person had £50 on me at 20/1 which skint us BUT an announcement will be made soon about this when Ive spoken to the person concerned because hes offered to do something rather special for the forum with his returns.

I joined the Circus on that day and having played a game there i found the obvious time difference one of the biggest transitions. So for a 2 day competition like you won what is the difference in preparation. Do you have a routine or did it go out of the window because you were helping with the organisation of it all.
I wanted to be physically & mentally prepared for this game but Ill be honest in that it all went out of the window due to certain things. But hey ho it worked although it did take me quite a few days to recover as I felt totally drained after it all. I am getting on you know being 53

What (apart from your game) do you bring to the table. Any mascots ? Good luck charms ? Ipods ? Sunglasses ? Energy Drinks
Odd time I will bring an ipod but only use it if I feel Im getting bored or the crack on the table is shit. I am slightly supersticious and decided to wear a Poker stars cap turned back to front in the NPF Championship which is a trademark of Mark Trett. After his success in the recent Teeside Coral Masters I was hoping for the same sort of result. I once bought a lucky Irish 4 leaf clover cardguard when I was in Las Vegas which wasn’t very lucky so I gave it away and Xenocode has got it. Sorry Gary

Whats the immediate future poker plans for yourself and the forum. Are there any more games like the forum championships planned. Having seen at first hand the NPF championships unfold im tempted to play myself next year. It looked a lot of fun.
May play a couple of events at the GUKPT Blackpool coming up and then the lads in Teamdobbs are taking part in the Grosvenor team event.
As far as the NPF are concerned we shall be sending a team down to the APAT Team Event in Manchester which is a superb event to play in especially for the crack and then the next event we shall be organizing will be our UK Team Event Challenge which was such a huge success last year at Grosvenor Casino Newcastle followed by our birthday game & awards in April.

Last month saw the crowning of a new WSOP main event champion.What do you think about the whole November 9 scenario.Do you think its better to draw it out and hype the television and of course give the 9 time to get sponsorship and of course as some of them have done seeked coachingor should it be played naturally in July the day after the FT bubble.
I was always in favour of it being played to a conclusion but can understand the reasons why they do it like they do now. Met most of the Hitsquad lads at various games and had Sunny Chatta on my table couple of years back in the GUKPT in Newcastle and was talking to him at the WSOP this year. They were over there now supporting James Akenhead which must be awesome. Been massive for UK Poker what they have done and achieved.

Thank you very much for your time Dave. As todays guest would you now award your own December Ukgatsby Blog awards


TEAMDOBB for winning the
NPF Championship


TEAMDOBB for winning the GUKPT Freeroll


NEWCASTLE POKER FORUM for being head and shoulders above the rest


SANDRA & NATALIE COLLINS (My Wife and My Daughter)
The 2 most important women in my life


The Brain Child behind the Newcastle Poker Forum who keeps it at the forefront of the Poker Community and provides so much pleasure for so many local people


for actually choosing John & Edward in the X Factor but also the rest of the judges on the show who simply cop out on any logical decision in the obvious money generated rigged voting system thats the true heart behind the show


koyte said...

sneckie twats all ower the shop hes like kerry katonna and jordan rolled into one

stumpy said...

great interview n1

Twitterpoker said...

Good interview - enjoyed that.

Yorkshire Pud said...

Enjoyed the interview Gats.

I had the pleasure of playing against some of the NPF guys in the Team Forum game earlier this year. Was sat on the same tables as Mr Entertainment who was a right laugh. Great banter from a great bunch of crazy Geordies!

CanOnlyGetBetter said...

clean sweep for the Collins family this month like
good read, n1 guys

spoondawwwwg said...

great interview, made for good reading gg wp all involved :)

PokerLaz said...

Cheers for that. A great read. And some very unbiased awards there!

Angelina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Action Poker said...

love the interview!


Daniel Trett said...

Awesome interview, but just to correct you Mark copied me wearing his cap on backwards so I'm claiming that as my trademark. Excellent blog Ukgatsby ;-)

Free Poker Capital said...

Superb post. I must say - Better than Wiki resources :) Keep awesome work. Happy new year.

barnsie said...

gats its barnsie from betfair here mate

anychance of a link to my new blog effort? thanks mate