Ben Warrington: Getting Closer to a Major Title

TAGs: adrian mateos, audio interview, Ben Warrington, Dusk Till Dawn, Lee Davy, PartyPoker, World Poker Tour

Ben Warrington: Getting Closer to a Major Title Audio


Lee Davy sits down with Ben ‘kidcardiff’ Warrington to talk about traveling, his time at Cardiff University, his friendship with Adrian Mateos, and much more.

Ben Warrington: Getting Closer to a Major TitleI didn’t know a lot about Ben Warrington before I dragged my bony ass to Dusk till Dawn (DTD) for the £3,000 buy-in partypoker World Poker Tour (WPT) UK Main Event.

I know a lot more about him now.

“Go Benny!”

That was his Mum shouting for her boy on the rail whilst filming him on her iPhone with the steadiness of an Efin archer from Middle Earth. Watching nine hours of poker is tough for the very ardent of fans, but his parents never wilted. Neither did his sister. You could sense the bond. A rare moment in a game where people win millions shrug their shoulders and move on to the next one.

“I’m disappointed obviously, but I am more disappointed for them. I really wanted to win for them. In Prague {EPT}, I was out in fourth, but here…I had a real shot.” Warrington told me after the event.

Several players told me that Warrington’s game during his Main Event run was sick. I didn’t have the pleasure of watching his every move, but once he got a stack going, I knew he would be there when the big prizes were handed out.

What struck me most about the man, was his assuredness. He never seemed to flinch in the face of adversity; always composed, calm, and collected. He dominated the final table, and only the Poker Gods prevented him from becoming a WPT Champion.

It’s only a matter of time.

Players who are this good, always get there in the end.

I managed to catch a few words with him moments before he massacred the final table. Then luck stepped in front of him and gave him a size ten to the bollocks.

Warrington, Cardiff, Malaga…what’s the story?

“I am originally from Epsom, in Surrey. I went to University in Cardiff. That’s where I started to play poker more seriously – hence the screen name. I studied Spanish, so I had a year abroad in Spain, and during that year poker went really well for me, so I decided not to go back to Cardiff, and instead stay in sunny Spain.”

What were you studying in Cardiff and why?

“I was doing economics and Spanish. I did a year in Erasmus in Valencia, and I never went back to finish my degree.

“I didn’t have a profession in mind, but I always enjoyed economics and math and definitely wanted to work abroad when I was younger. When I was 18 I did a year in Madrid and I really enjoyed that experience. Who knows, perhaps I could have been Jose Mourinho’s interpreter?”

I overheard you speaking fluent Spanish to Adrian Mateos several times.

“He is a really good friend of mine. I have been fortunate to see the beast develop. The first time I played with him he was just 18-years old, and a year later he took down the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, and has achieved so much since. It’s incredible to see him develop into one of the best tournament players in the world.”

What have you been up to this year?

“I have been traveling a lot this year. I wasn’t in Europe until April. I went to the PCA, and then went to live in Brazil for two months with friends. I love it there so decided to stay a little longer. Then I went back to play EPT Vienna, EPT San Remo and EPT Monte Carlo; I spent a few weeks with my family, and then went to Mexico for SCOOP, before heading straight to Vegas.

“I had a little bit of chill out time in Spain after the six weeks in Vegas. It hits you hard and you need to recharge your batteries. I feel great now though.”

I am a traveling pussy, give me a reason to go to South America?

“The safety issues are a total exaggeration. I was living in Sao Paolo and there are places you wouldn’t go, and places that are totally safe. The noise comes from the media. The same things happen all other the world – including London. There are a lot of places I wouldn’t recommend going to right now, such as Venezuela. Colombia has become more tourist friendly, my girlfriend is from Colombia. It always helps if you know someone from the country, as that makes you feel safe. I’ve never had any problems during my travels in South America, and touch wood, it stays like that.

Isn’t it a shame that there aren’t more tours visiting South Wales?

“The first big final table I made was the Welsh Poker Open in Aspers in Swansea in 2008. I was a total amateur and probably luckboxed my way there at the time. It was only a small field – about 60-70 players. Since then there hasn’t been a lot. There have been a few GUKPT events, but not much more than that.

“I would love to go back to Cardiff, and play a poker tournament. It will bring back a lot of memories for me, because that’s where it all started.”


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