Lee Davy sits down for a chinwag with the games’ youngest-ever Triple Crown winner, Jake Cody. Topics that arise during our five minutes of fun include Phil Hellmuth, the evolution of poker, and family.Jake Cody is the business.
There is this aura that surrounds him at the table. He’s personable, extremely approachable, and fun, but when it comes to the game he is a hardwired winner. There is nothing but chicken dinners for Jake Cody.
He is about to take his game to the next level. His new role as a father will produce a responsible attitude that will spill into his game. In short, he is maturing into an exceptional young man.
With his young child comes a change in marketability. A more mature model has replaced the young poster child for the online poker generation. They both work. Online poker rooms will go out of their way to pay good money to have Jake Cody in their side, and with good reason.
It’s interesting when you compare the likes of Jake Cody with Phil Hellmuth. Two stars of the same game that shone brightly during different eras. And yet, they were both helped along financially by what they created outside of the game. Hellmuth with his own personal brand, and Cody with his affiliation with PKR and now PokerStars.
With Olivier Busquet taking to twitter to express his opinion that considering people like Cody owe people like Hellmuth anything ‘is just nonsense,’ I was interested to listen to what Rochdale’s finest had to say on the matter?
“Phil Hellmuth won the WSOP Main Event in 1989. It’s not like he has been around for a few years is it? He has been involved in professional poker his entire life. It’s been a great thing for him that poker exploded the way it did – when it did. He used his image well, and I think he is incredibly intelligent in the way he has made his money, both through playing poker, and through advertisements and stuff.”
And some pros still insist that he is a terrible poker player
“His records are absolutely incredible. Obviously, to say he is terrible is not true. He does a lot of unconventional things that will get an online player saying: ‘That’s terrible he raised folding, etc.” It will annoy people who have set rules on certain things. But his reading ability is world class. Knowing when someone is strong or weak is a huge thing. It will certainly make up for what he lacks in a technical sense.”
“When I started winning major titles, I was like the new kid on the block. The most impressive thing for me is longevity in the game. You see so many people doing so many sick things, and then after a short while they are not around anymore.
“Some of the old school are set in their ways, but poker is such a beautiful game. There are so many different ways to win, and so many strategies and approaches to the game. That’s why everyone loves the game.”
Some players have refused to do interviews with me because of the Dan Colman effect. Is this something that is being spoken about in your sphere of influence?
“To be honest, not really. I am sure most of my friends will be happy to do an interview if they are doing well in a tournament. I feel like 99.9% of players are in it for the glory if they play tournament poker. There are better ways of making money in poker other than tournaments.”
When you came through there were a lot of great British pros all breaking through at the same time. How different is life today compared with back then?
“Lot’s of people have transitioned down different avenues. Some have dropped out and don’t play poker at all, and others are playing high stakes MTT’s. Obviously, it’s something you can’t do forever, but I am enjoying it right now. I have had a great few months and am feeling as confident as ever.”
And how are the family?
“They are back in Florida right now because we had a family wedding in Venezuela. I have come over to Europe to play a few things. I am going to play another tournament and then head over to be with them for Xmas.
“I have been working really hard in all aspects of poker and life recently. I am trying to be very serious about everything. I play a similar amount, and my attitude is pretty similar, but I think it’s about winning money now. I am not thinking about buying a sports car and now it’s money for the family instead.”