Interview with Marc Kennedy - The Full Tilt Player Ambassador2 years ago
Introducing Marc 'PlayinWitDreams' Kennedy - the newly appointed player ambassador for Full Tilt. Marc is an online player who's found success in No-Limit Holdem cash games due to his dedication and personal approach. In our interview with Marc he shares some insights into his poker success, and his balancing act with life.
Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
My name is Marc Kennedy, born and currently living in the UK but I did live in Australia for about 7 years from 18 onwards. I’m currently about to turn 31 which I guess is pretty old in online poker terms, I’m certainly starting to feel that way! I’ve been a professional poker player since I dropped out of University to pursue it full time. I’ve never really had a proper job just the usual bar and shop work whilst I was studying.
What are your favourite hobbies?
I’m a sucker for good TV shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Sopranos, The Wire etc etc. I also have three dogs (two Huskies and a Samoyed) so I like taking them for walks especially when we go up the hills near where I live, it’s about a 30 minute climb so just enough to get the blood pumping but not so much that you’re dead for the day afterwards. I do a bit of yoga and indoor climbing but not as much as I should. I definitely don’t have the work/life balance figured out just yet.
And how did you get into playing poker?
I saw WPT on TV way back in like 2007 and thought it was awesome, by coincidence I was walking past a local pub a few weeks later and saw they were advertising a free to play poker league. I asked a mate from Uni to come with me and the rest is history. I went from free to play pub league poker to full time online Pro in 6-9 months playing 400nl full-ring online as my main game. I never ground my way up from the micro stakes - just took a shot and managed to make it stick.
What types of games do you play and where do you feel you excel strategically?
I specialise in 3-6 handed $400 no-limit Rush games on Full Tilt. I excel at finding weakness’ in my opponent’s range construction and adjusting my range to best exploit the things I find.
When did you start to see success in poker and was that reflective of training and studying?
Almost immediately really but yes it was down to a lot of hard work and study. I developed an instant passion for the game and that drove me to suck up every bit of information that was available at the time and then see how I could not just copy and paste what I learnt but build on it as well. Most of the work I do now is self-taught because I think that is the best way to really get better at poker rather than to just watch someone else and try to emulate what you saw without the core understanding of the concepts. That has its pros and cons though, it means there are certainly things that I do that are bad but it also means that there will be things that I do that other people are not aware of that are really good because I haven’t just copied from the most popular coach making videos.
Can you share some lifestyle tips that have helped you succeed as an online grinder?
I have a really strong work ethic, everything in my life takes a back seat to poker. I know I’ve worked harder than most people to make sure I stay on top and I’m one of the few people I came up with that is still beating the games at a good clip.
How has your schedule and life changed since becoming the new Full Tilt Player Ambassador?
It hasn’t changed too much most of my Ambassador work is fitted around my old playing schedule so I work more hours than I did before. My day to day life hasn’t changed much apart from the Twitch streaming I am currently doing (twitch.tv/MarcKennedy) and getting a little more street cred I guess. I always just quietly got on with the job at hand before but obviously now there is a little more of a spotlight on me.
What are some of your goals as the Player Ambassador?
My main goal is to exceed the expectations of both the poker community and the management at Full Tilt - whether I can achieve that or not, only time will tell but it’s going well so far. I want to continue growing the Twitch stream - it’s great hearing about people who have seen real improvements in their winrates after becoming regular watchers of the stream, that gives me a real buzz.
Where do you see the future of online poker?
That’s so tough to answer - I know what I hope for and that is that America gets back online and merges with the international player pool but I have no idea how likely that is to happen. There is obviously a lot of room for growth in other regions though, I hope we see some of those areas taking up poker but again I really just have no idea how likely that is.
If you weren’t a poker player, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be working in the Finance industry, that’s what I was studying for at least but who knows I feel like I would really have hated that job so I may well have moved into something else by this stage.
And that's a wrap! I want to say thanks Marc for your time, and for anyone who read this give him some love:
- Follow him on Twitter @PlayinWitDreams
- Check out his Twitch stream
- Read any blog posts he makes on the Full Tilt blog
- Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of his recent 50NL Rush live play videos
- And for even more information check out his AMA on the PokerVIP forums
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