Billy ‘b8chatz’ Chattaway: The Man With Ants in His Pants

TAGs: Billy Chattaway, PokerStars

Double PokerStars Championship Of Online Poker winner, Billy Chattaway, offers some bubble advice, talks about his problems with gambling and much more.

Billy ‘b8chatz’ Chattaway: The Man With Ants in His Pants Audio


Billy ‘b8chatz’ Chattaway busts on the final table bubble of the World Poker Tour (WPT) UK Main Event. He is devastated. He walks over to the cash desk to pick up his £34,000 winnings and starts handing out tips to the unlikeliest of people, including yours truly.

Billy ‘b8chatz' Chattaway: The Man With Ants in His Pants

[Image Credit: PokerNews & DannyMaxwell]

“You deserve it,” He said.

He deserved to be at that final table.

Earlier this year, Chattaway came very close to winning all three of the COOP titles when he finished fourth in the $10,300 World Championships of Online Poker (WCOOP) High Roller. It was his biggest score to date at $263,500, and it was all his.

I caught up with him at the WPT UK Main Event, where we talked about that win, his issues with gambling, and also pick up some interesting bubble advice.

What is the longest bubble you have played?

“The longest bubble I have been in was the Estrellas €1k buy-in in Barcelona. They went hand for hand eight before the money and there were still 20 or so tables left. It took about three hours, but I was one of the bubble victims. I got ants in my pants. I got a bit impatient.”

Give me some bubble strategy.

“In the WPT500 Matas {Cimbolas} was moving all-in for 90-minutes because nobody wanted to bubble. It’s the same with this tournament. The min-cash is £4.5k, and there was a player on my table who had driven five hours to get here. He doesn’t want to go home without any money. So I like to talk to people and figure out who needs the min-cash and to exploit them.

“When I went to bed last night I knew I would play aggressively today. I knew I had the biggest chip stack, so I kept the pressure on throughout the bubble period. I raised over 90% of hands – I probably could have raised 100%.”

Talk to me about your WCOOP score.

“I recently started backing myself. My roll was pretty limited after SCOOP and Vegas. I started asking about for staking options. I enquired about Pads {Patrick Leonard} stable because I know they do some good coaching there. But I told them to wait and see how the WCOOP goes, and we will talk afterwards.

“I chopped the $100 rebuy for around $40k just before WCOOP. That allowed me to play a few more events. I picked out two satellites that were $200 rebuy hyper’s. I registered for them the night before and played my Sunday session as usual. Fortunately, I didn’t rebuy or add on but I qualified for the $10k WCOOP High Roller.

“I played it and had about 16 tables going. The rest of the session went badly. I remember being in for £6k that Sunday and the last game was the $10k. The min-cash was $16k. If I min-cash it I am up £4k and if I don’t, I am down £6k. I played the bubble a bit like people are playing this.

“There are a few hands I played that are bit embarrassing. Anyone who plays poker would not have played hands like this. Example, I defend AQs – I shouldn’t say this because it’s pretty bad – and it came A72 against an aggressive open in the CO and I am in the BB 30bb deep. I check he bets, and I folded. I couldn’t have a losing day there. When I flopped one pair, I didn’t want to get involved. I was too vulnerable

“I crept into the money, had a little spin the next day and ended up coming fourth for $265,000 which is my biggest score. It was all mine. I put money towards a house on my road. My parents made me do it. I had had rolls before and spent it. This was a big lump, and they reminded me that as a poker player I need to look after my money, so I bought a place, will rent it out and get some monthly income through that.”

How do you ensure you don’t get into that spot again?

“I am under rolled to be playing a $10k buy-in, so the money meant to much to me. I made all the right decisions up to that moment, but it slowed down around the bubble. To be honest, after that happened I spoke to a few people about how I played the hand even in that situation, and I have used that advice. One of my good friends said I could check-call one and fold the turn. He doesn’t think they will always double barrel, they don’t know my mentality, they don’t know if I am willing to check-call three streets with ace queen he doesn’t know where my head space is at.”

Does that scare make you want to look for backing again?

“I had been backed for five years with PokerWinners. I went on my own in April. I sold a package in Vegas, so I was playing for less than 100%. I have been playing for five years with a consistent profit, so the decision was fairly easy to make. All it took was a bit of a change if lifestyle.

“When you are backed you can win money and spend whatever you want and still play. When you play for yourself you know you can never lose that roll otherwise you will have to get backing again.”

What changes did you make?

“Gamble less. I won a TCOOP in January for $20k. The day before I lost £15k playing Blackjack. That’s where I was back then. People were asking me to do a deal and I wouldn’t. I wasn’t rude. I needed to win to get the majority of my money back and still be down on the weekend. I got caught gambling in Vegas the first time, the second time I was more sensible. If you want to be a pro gambler you need to know what works and what doesn’t. You have to be smarter.

“If I was to play Blackjack £25 per hand I am fine. I can win £100 and be fine. If I lose £100, I raise my bets. I keep raising. I will always chase it, and that’s a spiral that started from a £25 bet. Although I did have a little spin on roulette the other day – £20 on 28, 29 split and it came in 29 first spin.”

If I gave you 10,000 hours to work on anything what would it be and why?

“At the minute I would like to get into property investment and know a little bit more about that.”

Give my teenage son some advice.

“You can do anything you put your mind to. Follow your dreams, have belief, vision, work hard and stay humble.”


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