Meet Stuart Rutter
Hi guys, I’d especially like to invite you to view the “32Red Poker Blog” part of the site, where I will be writing an ongoing and regular blog about my experiences in poker.
Here is a little intro I have written about how I got into poker:
My name is Stuart Rutter, and I play as TrickyRock on the 32Red Poker site. I am 24 years old, from Birmingham, England, and will be writing regularly on the 32Red Poker Blog.
I plan to write articles covering a wide range of poker issues; I will write about the joys and despairs of playing in “live” poker tournaments, and about my experiences playing online poker with 32Red. Interesting poker hands will lead to discussion of key poker issues. This will develop into a poker blog, with a feast of poker strategies for beginners and experts alike.
I hit the crest of the poker craze about two and a half years ago. The previous summer, Greg Raymer had won the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, having qualified for virtually nothing through an online satellite. Poker was quickly transforming from the Wild West game played only by steely-faced experts into a game that was accessible to all. I was in my final year of university, and found that I was curious about the poker game being played by a few of the younger guys. One even had a book about poker, a “Super System,” written by Doyle Brunson; this was my something my mates and I found scary and hilarious in equal measure.
We avoided this expert crowd, and started a poker game of our own. We were eager just to learn and have a laugh at first, and so a £2 entry fee seemed about right. After two or three games, I was not too happy that a few of the lads were raising the betting before the flop; we had been used to everyone being allowed to see the three cards on the board. However, we soon came to accept and understand this and many more dimensions of the game, in what was now becoming our nightly poker session.
Over the summer, I discovered internet poker through 32Red, and later began playing in live poker tournaments. £2 buy ins soon seemed small, but I have always tried to keep as a rule in poker that I continue with the fun and naïve excitement that were at the centre of the university games.
I started with a small stake in 32Red, and tried to build up a good poker technique playing in the MTTs and Rounders tournaments. I played a lot against a young Finnish player called I_Knockout_You, who was developing a good aggressive game around the medium stakes tournaments on the site. This young Finn improved his game very quickly, however, and now Patrik Antonius is seen by many Americans as the best player from Europe.
Whilst internet poker was a lot of fun, and a great way to quickly develop a good game, I became increasingly curious about the idea of playing poker in a “live” casino game. And so my mates and I braved a trip to the Grovesnor casino in Walsall; the crazy characters, their continual betting, the high-paced game and all the new lingo was overbearing at first. I found in difficult to transfer my developing internet game into the live setting, and struggled to do well. After one miss-timed piece of aggression, I remember overhearing about me “that kid won’t bluff The Chief again.” I had a lot to learn.
For anyone forging a way into the game, it is very difficult to do well in these first experiences. To view them just as a learning experience is the best way of becoming a better player. Walsall gradually became less daunting, and we now knew and loved the colourful characters. As my live poker found its feet, internet poker galloped, and I was incredibly fortunate to win a seat through 32Red to the Monte Carlo Millions. My naivety, however, was too much playing against some great players like Dave Colclough, Scott Fishman, and Barney Boatman, It was a fabulous experience, however, and gave me confidence to play in other live events.
My last year of university took me to Munich, Germany. Germany has produced a number of very strong players in the two years since, but at the time in conservative Bavaria, poker was hardly played. I would have to travel further afield to the poker hotspots of Europe to continue this journey into live poker. A trip to Amsterdam proved unsuccessful, but I had gathered enough confidence by the time I travelled to the Helsinki Freezeout in December, 2005, to match the Scandanavians relentlessly aggressive game. An astonishing amount of luck fell in my favour, and I was overcome to collect 4th prize and 27,000 Euros. I had had the stroke of luck to be able to continue this European adventure, and carved out a better live game with trips to Stockholm, Tallinn, and Vienna.
Back now living in England and working as a private tutor and freelance writer, the poker scene has exploded in less than two years. With the fabulous new Grovesnor Poker Tour visiting all corners of England, there is no longer much need to leave the country to play live poker. Last week, the European Poker Tour came to England. I journeyed down to London to join in the fun and you can read more about my EPT London experience in the 32Red Poker Blog……