Fabrice Soulier: Parenthood, Poker and Panache

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Fabrice Soulier: Parenthood, Poker and Panache Audio


Lee Davy spends a 20-minute break from the Monster Stack to talk to the World Series of Poker bracelet winner, Fabrice Soulier, about parenthood, poker, and much more.

Fabrice Soulier: Parenthood, Poker and PanacheParenthood changes everything.

Human beings are designed to be selfish, and yet we derive our true sense of joie de vivre when we are giving to others. Now that’s quite the dichotomy, and not something you understand until you have a child.

Fabrice Soulier is new to this game – parenthood, not poker – and so it was interesting to catch up with the fashionable Frenchman, to get the low down on how he is coping with the pressure of giving rather than taking, now he has become a father.

This is what he had to say.

You were telling me that you have been experiencing a bad run of late?

“Since I became a father I have been running very badly in poker. It’s a strange contrast, because life in general is so beautiful. Maybe my sleep has been a little bit affected, but I feel like I give a lot in the tournaments I play. I have been getting some bad beats. My life has changed tremendously in the past year, and that helps me handle the bad beats, but I would like to have a good result.”

You have experienced these things before though right?

“I have, but this bad run has been particularly lengthy. Thanks to my sponsorship deal with Everest I can play a lot, but I haven’t cashed that much this year.”

How is fatherhood?

“It’s wonderful. It provides a new vision in life. I want to be with her and Claire, and play with them both, all of the time. It’s brings so much joy into my life.”

Poker can be a very unstable income source, does this make you worry more when you have a child?

“Yes of course, you want to protect what you have. I own my place, and some other places, and that gives me a little income incase it all goes wrong. But I do think a lot about the future and protecting my baby.”

Do you miss them?

“This is the longest I have been apart from them. It’s been 14-days now, and that’s too long. I don’t think I will do this again. They are coming out soon and I can’t wait. I love being a father. My daughter does a lot of wonderful things. She repeats everything that we do, not in a talkative sense,  but in movement. Whether we have a phone in our hand, or a fork, she is always following us…it’s so funny.”

Have your friendships changed?

“There are fewer poker players in my life now. There are more responsible people, and parents. I am hanging around with grown up people these days {laughs}. We have also moved from London to Malta, and it reminds me of when I lived in the South of France. We have moved a lot. We have lived in New York, Las Vegas, Paris and London…so being in a small island is a new style of life of course.”

Why have you been so successful?

“Maybe because I was in the games earlier? I can still play, and feel comfortable, in limit mixed games, but no-limit games are getting unbelievably difficult. I skipped the $5k 8-Max the other day because it was full of regs. I decided to keep my money for the mixed games, which I am better in. It’s getting hard. You have to do your homework, watch videos and do a lot of work on your game.”

Has there ever been anything that has held you back in life?

“I have never tried to play very high stakes. With the exception of Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth, most of the players who make the most money and the big gamblers who took shots in the high rollers. These players got back by other players, and that’s something I have never tried.

“I have been great with money management, and I am glad that I am, because I live a comfortable life today. But I do often wonder what could have happened had I taken some shots a few years ago? Maybe things could have been different? Maybe I could have had more success? Maybe less?”

Are you a fan of the high roller concept?

“I am a fan if it as long as it allows poker to be followed by more people in the media. If it’s just a $100k buy-in with players who each have 10% swaps with each other, then that’s not interesting for me. But if it’s broadcast on TV and helps promote the game as a sport I am happy.”

Are you going to be playing poker forever?

“As long as I am happy I will continue to play. It’s tough to be consistently happy in poker. I am probably going to play the Main Event for the rest of my life, and play some major tournaments, but I won’t be traveling the world and playing like I do today.”


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