Lee Davy sits down with Adam ‘Roothlus’ Levy to talk about how basketball helps him keep trim, how Black Friday left him in a state of flux and multi-tabling in a urinal in Monte Carlo.
When I catch sight of Adam ‘Roothlus’ Levy I do a quick double take. The glasses look the same, the trademark facial hair is present, and correct; but this dude is a lot thinner than I remember.
I’m sure it’s him.
I guess right, and we take a pew in the halls of the Rio, and I immediately ask him about his loss of weight.
“It seems the poker players who used to sit around and play online want to work out, get fit and stay healthy. The health grind is important when you are just sitting at the table the entire time; it’s difficult to keep yourself in the game mentally.” Said Levy.
If you have been following my WSOP articles you would have felt a similar theme. There are a lot of poker players who have decided to get into shape. I ask Roothlus if it’s societal conditioning? Are poker players getting inspired to change by other poker players?
“I think it’s a lot of factors: it’s social, mental and wanting to be healthy. I just think America has woken up lately. You can find juice bars everywhere these days. I think it’s been a slow burn, and suddenly you have Cross Fit, Yoga, Pilates and juicing.”
So what’s Levy’s thing?
“I love basketball. I love playing it and it’s a great work out. I also go to the gym, but perhaps I should spend more time there. I lived in Florida, for a year, and we had a group of poker players who played basketball 2-3 days per week. It was really motivating to play with your poker guys because they were very competitive.”
Black Friday scattered poker players around the world like ashes at a funeral. Where did the bits and pieces of Levy’s life end up?
“I was living in Florida, but I’m moving to the West Coast…maybe…it’s up in the air. Maybe, Vancouver or San Francisco…I don’t know? My life is in a state of flux, but that’s the way it has been for a lot of poker players since Black Friday.”
With the Amaya Gaming/PokerStars deal fresh in everyone’s mind I ask Roothlus for his take on the possibility that Stars and Full Tilt may be on their way back?
“I don’t know what their deal is, as I haven’t done any research on it yet, but I assume that it’s good. The Scheinberg’s are no longer a part of the company and that was a big part of the deal with the DOJ. They did break the rules, by not doing what Party did and getting out of the US after UIGEA, but they were so cooperative with the DOJ that they deserve a chance to come back.”
How important is it for Roothlus to have Stars and Full Tilt back on US cyber soil?
“Very important. The best part of my life was the fact that I could play online and have a social life. Seeing my friends all the time was huge. Being on the road, all the time, it’s tough to keep a social network going apart from poker players.
“I have liked traveling, and have been to Europe twice since Black Friday, and I would never have made it to Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, which are fantastic places, so it’s definitely allowed me to see the world more, so that’s cool. But there are friends I had, pre Black Friday that I haven’t spoken to for years, because I had to travel and figure out what my next move was.”
My abiding memory of Roothlus is reading about him making the final table of the Monaco Cup, at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, and also the SCOOP Mid Six-Max event, at the same time.
Now that’s what I call multi- tabling.
I asked Roothlus if he felt this was the future of poker?
“I think if WSOP.com gets the mobile app then you will be seeing a lot of that. It was fortunate that EPT is a Stars ran event. They had outlets underneath the table for me, to plug in my laptop, so that made life much easier.
“You don’t have synchronized break when playing live and online, and I needed to go to the bathroom, but the Internet would go out in there. There was a break in the live event and I just had to go. There was this hand I was in where I had sevens and the flop was 456. I think I had raised the turn, after the dude had bet flop and turn. I had massive amounts of chips so I raised and he called. The river was an eight. I check, he shoved and I think, ‘perfect time to go to the bathroom’. So I have my laptop in one hand whilst I am in the urinal.
“So this guy is really interested in the hand I am playing. So I’m holding my laptop in one hand, whilst peeing with the other, and this guy won’t stop watching me and then the Internet went out. By the time I got back to the tables the Internet came back on and I had won the pot.”
Why didn’t you just ask the spectator to hold it whilst you finished?
The laptop that is.