GPInterview: Aaron Massey | Poker Like a Rock Star
May 28 2013, by Eric Danis
Aaron Massey (GPI#150) has got it all! Looks, style, swagger and a poker resumé that many would be very envious of – plus he’s a great guy to boot!
If your version of being a “poker fan” is by watching WSOP, WPT or EPT episodes once in a while when it’s on, they you may not know who Aaron Massey is … but you should … and something tells me that by the end of this year’s WSOP, you will … everyone will. Some know him as “never miss”
Massey has been dominating the “minor” circuits for quite a while now and a big win on one of the “major” circuits cannot be very far away.
Aaron took the time to talk us en route to Las Vegas earlier today:
You’ve about to arrive in Vegas, you must be pumped for the WSOP?
I am beyond excited for the WSOP to get underway. I had a terrible summer in 2012 and have worked as hard as anyone I know since I left Vegas last year. I am ready to take the next step, I know what it takes, and know what to expect this time around
You have been red-hot on some of the “smaller” US circuits for a few years now, what do you attribute your success to?
I can attribute most of my success in the “smaller” stuff to putting in the necessary volume. I know I have an edge in these games every time I sit down, but also understand that variance is a bitch. With that said, if I play a lot of tourneys, my skill will be dictating my results, not how lucky or unlucky I get. I have to put in the work, and continue to learn, absorb, and improve with every tourney I get under my belt
What do you feel is the biggest adjustment from playing a HPT or WSOPC event compared to playing a high-profile WPT or WSOP tournament?
To be honest, I don’t change much at all when playing bigger events. I play poker on a situational basis, and am faced with different decisions vs different players everyday. I simply absorb/adapt to the situation I’m in, the players I’m sitting with, my stack, their stacks, and the blinds. Nothing ever premeditated, I just play poker
With success comes recognition, are you starting to feel the pressure when you play tournaments now that many of your opponents know exactly who you are and how successful you have been?
Having most other players know who I am has worked both for and against me. In some spots I get a lot of respect and people play passive at me, and sometimes they throw everything at me out of ego. I’ve won and lost a lot of pots so I don’t know, I think it’s all even in the end. Like I said, I just try to make the best isolated decision every time. I am being put to the test a lot lately, but I’m always up for the challenge
You’ve known as a party guy on tour, how do you make sure that going out on the town doesn’t affect the way you play?
The way I look at it, my life needs balance. A lot of people I know play more poker when they bust a tournament. I mean, I’m already playing 60hrs a week in tourneys alone, so when I’m not working I like to enjoy life. I like people, and I love having fun. And I like music. And I like dancing. And I like beer. And I love women. If I had my choice of having a cold beer and talking to a dope chick somewhere with good music, or playing OFC with 3 dudes… See what I mean?
But like I said, life needs balance. I drink in moderation for the most part and workout 5-6 days a week even when I am going out. I know I have to sweat it out. I also have an above average diet. I know I have to maintain, and understand that there is always work to do. I am building a brand within myself and understand that I can’t slip physically, or at the table. I know what my main objective is, and that’s winning. I can’t jeopardize it by going out too much, or by working too hard at poker. It’s about finding a reasonable balance.
Many Fantasy Poker Managers are currently putting their teams together for the WSOP, why should they include Aaron Massey in their plans for the summer?
Fantasy Poker Managers should pick me because I am playing almost every WSOP no limit event, I’m really good, and I use the hashtag #Stallone
We thank Aaron for this entertaining interview!