‘15 Bigs’ – Chris Da Silva


London is a popular destination for poker players from all around the world to live, but when it’s your hometown, you feel like part of the poker furniture. That’s certainly the case for Chris Da Silva, who is an ambassador and sponsored pro for PokerStars LIVE at the Hippodrome. We spoke to Chris to find out if he can survive being put to the test by 15 bigs.

If you were to be shot at dawn, what would be your last meal / drink?

[Image credit: WPT via flickr]

Any meal that has plantain in it. It’s a tropical plant in the same family as a banana. It’s not quite fruit, but you cook it or fry it and it’s a complimentary dish. Any meal that has planted in it makes me happy. I’d go with a drink of water only! 

You’re on a long-haul flight and can only choose one TV Show or Movie to watch on repeat, which is your pick? 

Boardwalk Empire. I strongly recommend watching it. It’s a TV series and there are six seasons and honestly, it’s TV gold. It’s based in the 1920s and each episode is an hour long. It’s like you’re watching a movie, the production is so good. I can watch that on repeat. 

Stranded on a desert island, you have one book for company until you are rescued. What is it? 

It’s a book called The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. There’s a film about it. It’s such a good story.

What’s the song you could listen to on repeat forever? 

Right now there’s a newish American artist called Summer Walker and she has a song featuring Usher called Come Thru, it’s my favorite song at the minute. It’s a cover of one of his classic songs and when he comes in on the track, you’re just like ‘wow’. The album’s pretty good, but that’s my favorite song. 

What’s your favourite place to play poker and why? 

My favorite place to play poker is in London at The Hippodrome Casino. It’s just my favorite place to play. It’s probably the best run card room I’ve ever played in, and I’ve definitely played in a fair few. The game selections are good. The food is amazing – there’s a top five steakhouse in the country within the casino [The Heliot Lounge].

The ambiance, the atmosphere, the people, everything about it is just great. They are very flexible to listen to player requests and it’s one at the most beautiful casinos in Europe and certainly in London for sure. 

Where’s your favourite non-poker holiday destination? 

The first place I ever went to and I wanted to relocate to was Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. It’s perfect for a non-poker holiday because there are no casinos there. It’s one of the reasons that I didn’t end up moving there; I need to play. Everything else in that place was just amazing. The weather is great, it’s in the South, so they have good weather. The food is amazing, and the people are really nice and friendly. 

You can play poker every day for a year or play no poker for a whole 12 months – which do you choose? 

I don’t love the two options, but I would choose to play every day without a doubt. I don’t know how I feel about playing poker every single day, it wouldn’t be good for anxiety! But I’d definitely rather play every day of the year than not play. I can’t see that happening.

People ask me, ‘Oh, when you make a million or 10 million, would you stop?’ No, I would always want to play poker because I love the game. 

Who is the person you don’t have around anymore that you miss the most?

Probably my stepdad. He passed away over 10 years ago now. When he was around, he used to get under my skin. I’ve wouldn’t necessarily always agree with his views on things or his way parenting, but since I lost him, I appreciate his ways, and I miss having him around. 

Which person would you most like to meet but never have? 

Neymar. We’ve been in the same environment multiple times, I’ve watched him play for Brazil three or four times in different countries, the most random one being in Singapore when Singapore and Brazil had a friendly, he absolutely tore the team apart. I’ve also watched him play for Barcelona and I’ve actually been in a poker environment in the same event. It was a €2,200 buy-in tournament and he and Gerard Pique played. I feel like we keep being in the same environments and I feel like we are going to eventually meet, most likely at a poker table! 

When’s the last time life put you on tilt?

This whole Coronavirus thing. This outbreak, especially around traveling. Whenever I find a TV, the only thing they’re talking about these days on the news is Coronavirus spreading everywhere! It’s now in Europe. It’s in the U.K. So the whole concept of this virus, but from an optimistic perspective, I expect it to peter out like SARS or Ebola in due time. Hopefully this one doesn’t actually end up wiping us all out!

You can’t play it yourself…so which family member do you trust with your $10k WSOP Main Event entry? 

Easy. My brother got me into poker in the first place and he’s the only other family member that plays although he doesn’t actually play anymore, he’s a trader. He understands everything when I speak to him about poker. I’ll put him in. 

What’s your best poker skill? 

Probably reading people, live reads. Maybe being unorthodox and my way of play, which makes it harder for people to read me.   

And your biggest leak? 

I’m not cautious enough, so not having enough fear. I could take longer making some decisions, and can mistime aggression. 

If you became the world’s first global president what would be your first unbreakable rule? 

I think I would choose a gun-free world, absolutely no guns. Nobody has guns, not people, police, no-one. That’s going to be quite hard to implement, especially in the U.S. but I’d like a world where there are no guns at all, so there’s less chance of violence. 

An asteroid is heading for Earth and you have just ten seconds to speak with anyone you like… what do you say and to who?

I would call God if I could call anyone, I would call God and ask him to direct it to a different planet. I’m thinking about mankind, here.

While Chris Da Silva gets his Bruce Willis in Armageddon on, he’ll likely be at a live poker tournament before too long, having visited eight countries in eight weeks so far in 2020 wearing the PokerStars patch. He’ll be looking to take part in the forthcoming PokerStars live events around the world, but the best place to find him will be at The Hippodrome Casino in London.