Dani ‘Ansky’ Stern is a familiar presence to many online poker players. Most probably know him from 2+2 or from his success at higher-stakes online no limit. Recently, he’s become familiar to more folks via his video coaching at PokerSavvy Plus and his outspoken position regarding integrity and online poker. Stern was nice enough to answer a few questions for PTP over email.
PTP: Can you give our readers a brief background on how you got involved with online poker and how your game and stakes evolved?
About 3 to 4 years ago. I made a 50 dollar deposit with a friend, played 5 dollar sit and gos for a few months. I would run up my account to a few hundred, send my friends like 5 dollars at a time for cash, and eventually bust my roll every time. Finally one day I got 2nd in a partypoker 20 dollar tournament for 3400 and I’ve built my roll off of that score. I started playing online seriously around the beginning of ’06, switching from a apathetic tournament player to a 2/4 nl player w/ a ~10k roll. I gradually moved up and up until I hit 25/50 which is where I am now.
PTP: You recently started what evolved into a pretty massive thread on 2+2 (and other forums) regarding integrity and online poker. Is this an issue you’ve always been concerned with or is it something that’s developed more recently?
I have always had a strong belief in morals and ethics, but I never really was overly concerned with it in poker. Just recently I saw what I considered a lot of apathy in that regard and I wanted to give my 2 cents on the situation.
PTP: What, in your view, can the average player do to help promote / defend the integrity of online poker?
Just being vigilant is a good start. If you hear of potential cheating, report it to the sites. This does not mean I want to start a massive witch hunt, I expect people to have proof, or at least a good amount of evidence before they wish to out someone as a cheater. The truth of the matter is, there is a very small amount of cheating going on today in online poker, I just hope it stays that way.
PTP: What rules would you like to see rooms enact to do the same?
It is hard for me to speak for the sites because I do not know all of their procedures to begin with. Ideally they would just be more harsh with their existing rules. If they were allowed, legally speaking, I would like to see them release the screen names of anyone that they caught cheating, or share names of cheaters with other sites.
PTP: You’re involved with PokerSavvy+ as a video instructor. How did you hook up with them and how’s that been working out for you so far?
They had heard about me from other 2+2 users I believe, and approached me regarding a position on their team. I liked the way they operated, they seemed like good business men, and I gave it a shot. Thus far it is working out great, and I am really enjoying the experience. We are expanding every day and the service is great for anyone looking to improve.
PTP: How will online poker look 2 years out from now? How about 5?
Hell if I know. Ideally, we will be regulated by then, and we can go to bellagiopoker.com, and googlepoker.com, and the like. The more casual players who can play, the better. I hope this happens in 5 years if not 2.
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