Lee Davy sits down with the UK’s Richard ‘TheClaimeer’ Trigg to talk about his recent achievement of topping the PocketFives annual PLB, and a whole host of other stuff that sprang to mind during the 15-minutes we spent together.
RunItOnce Coach Sam Grafton recently called Richard ‘TheClaimeer’ Trigg ‘an online legend with the heart of a lion’. The shout out came after PocketFives announced that Trigg was the winner of their yearly PLB. We caught up with Trigg to seek his opinion on Grafton’s cuddly kiss and to reflect on his performances during 2014.
This is what he had to say.
Congrats on winning the PocketFives yearly PLB – how do you feel about the achievement?
“If I’m not mistaken it’s the Top 100 scores on every single site throughout the year. During the last few weeks of it – it was very difficult to accrue more points. You needed to hit something quite big, and I was trailing P0cket00 when I hit second in the BIG $162 one night in December. I needed a $10k score to get the points and that bolted me to first.”
You also finished strongly in the PokerStars leaderboard.
“I managed to get fourth in the PokerStars Leaderboard. It was more luck than judgment. There are guys that actively target this leaderboard. You have to play a massive number of tournaments with huge field sizes. I ran really well in the Hot $16 events this year and they are huge for points.
“I got to September and someone told me that I was about 8th or 9th on the board. I looked at the prizes and there was something like $50k for first, so I thought: ‘This is worth going for.’ I decided to cut out the Euro sites midweek, and I played a load of $1 Turbos on Stars.
“It got really stressful in the end. It’s so bad for morale – busting so many tournaments at once. You are closing tables every two minutes, late regging stuff with just 6 bigs, busting tournaments – and it stresses you out. I had my own excel spreadsheets to try and calculate where I needed to finish to get enough points. It was pretty stressful but worth it in the end. I ran really well in the last few days, and leapfrogged into fourth and that was worth $25k.”
So you’re not interested in the ego and glory of the leaderboards?
“Definitely not. 2013 I played really badly. I don’t know what happened? I just didn’t play well at all. I put it all together in 2014. I worked hard, trained hard and did a lot of work with my hand histories. I was getting a lot of plaudits from friends and peers and that’s always nice.”
Sam Grafton tweeted that you are an online legend with the heart of a lion. How does that make you feel?
“He sometimes lets his words get away from him, but we are really good friends. We speak several hours a day and so it means a lot to me.”
Where does your drive come from?
“I was in $250k make up at the end of 2013. I knew I was playing badly, and I was running badly, but I was blaming it too much on run bad. I have never been shy and quiet about what my make up is, and one day I was playing online against this guy I know, and he typed in the chat box ‘good game make up….sorry I mean good game mate.’
“I thought: ‘I’m not having this’. I changed my game around completely, played more aggressively, and increased my level of poker. I think I logged 312 playing days in 2014. So I didn’t have much time off. I cleared my make up by September and that’s the best thing I am proud of. A lot of people toss it off and hope they get sacked, but that’s not for me. I wanted to grind it off.”
How tough was it?
“The guy who backs me has always been great when it comes to getting a loan. If I was ever short he would give me a freeroll to reward my volume and effort, or would loan me money when I needed it, so I always knew I would be ok financially.
“I was thinking that it was going to be a long time to get out of make up. Realistically, I thought it could take me 14-15 months. Thankfully I got there in eight months. I didn’t know it was $250k. I remember winning a $30k score at the beginning of the year and when I asked him what my make up was it was $190k and I was like Wow! I also had a lot of loans that I didn’t take consideration of.”
Who impressed you during 2014?
“Pleno1 played really well. We both did things that were different. I am not saying we are revolutionists. But we were taking different lines. We were both making non-standard plays on later streets. When you do something out of the box it takes people time to adjust.
“I remember a few years ago there was a player who was peeling really shallow from the big blind. He would have 9-10 BB and would peel from the BB and get loads of abuse. Nowadays it’s standard, so he revolutionized it. I’m not saying he was a great player, but he was crushing it because he was the only one doing it at the time. He bamboozled people.
“I am glad Pleno1 is going back to cash. But I am not sure it will last. Tournaments are infectious when you are winning them. I think he will be back to tournaments full time in a few weeks.
“P0cket00 also played really well last year. He plays across all the sites and puts a lot of volume in. Naza also gave me a lot of trouble on Stars last year. There is so much live stuff these days – guys like Cal and Flush_Entity don’t play as often because they can play more live tournaments. Daryl Green has also impressed me. He has been playing really aggressively, and puts a lot of pressure on people. I think he will do well in the future.”
If your children wanted to become online poker professionals: what would be the set of principles you would leave them with to help them become successful?
“A lot of work ethic. You have to work at this game. So many people get so complacent. They don’t watch training videos or look at hand histories. Footballers play once a week and train six days a week. Poker players should spend at least one or two days per week working on their game.
“You need to be the personality type that doesn’t mind being lonely. I have always been fine with my own company – I can entertain myself. The time flies when I play. A 16-hour session feels like 3hrs. If I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t play as long as I do. I love it.”