PTP Q&A with Jeff “ICuRaRook” Sluzinski

jeff-sluzinskiOnline, live, backed, playing on his own dime, Jeff Sluzinski has been winning for years under all circumstances. Known as Jeffboski on FTP and ICuRaRook on PS, Jeff offers readers a winning perspective from all sides of tournament poker.

PTP: How did you get into the game to begin with?
Rook: It’s the same story, the same thing everybody says. Playing home games with buddies, getting drunk – wait don’t write that I would have been underage -, playing with pennies and nickles as chips… “I raise ya 10 cents bitch”…. No limit, no antes, big winner had a ziplock bag of change to take to the next game.

PTP: So when did it become more serious?
Rook: I saw a buddy on PartyPoker, he said he won $50 in an hour and I thought “Wow. That is pretty sweet.” I was working full time, college part time, so I didn’t have much room to play but what really sparked my interest was the fact that David Williams got 2nd in the WSOP and I used to play Magic with him and he wasn’t even good at the game. Other people he played Magic with also went to Vegas and started making a living and I just thought that was incredible. See, all of my jobs I just hate people. The average person I look down on, and I think that in itself is terrible, but it just pisses me off that some people are so stupid, but I was managing twenty of these guys, and then go to college and take classes that I had no interest in, no spare time… And I have other people planting seeds about poker and I knew there were several things related to poker, psychology, math and MONEY. Perfect balance.

So I started going to Greektown in Detroit to play once I turned 21. Quit the job. Three months after turning 21 quit the job and started playing 10/25 cent NL 4 tabling on PartyPoker for a guaranteed $100 profit a day which was more than enough to keep me happy, well fed, and away from dealing with ignorant people all day. I was living the dream.

I mean, I went to these local casinos and saw how everyone else was so bad and how tight-solid play would be profitable and make at least $10/hr, so that compared to a normal job? There is no comparison. Its actually enjoyable, a rush… real jobs suck.

PTP So how did you get into MTTs?
Rook: Another grinder from Ohio and a friend of mine who made a long drive to Detroit everyday to play, took down a $10 rebuy for $12,000 and I watched it go down, it was so sick, and that’s right about when I moved to PokerStars. I thought, “maybe I’ll try these multis”. I watched Scott “Bates35” Bateson play and saw how he was just super aggro, and I picked up other things and stopped playing cash in favor of MTTs altogether.

I was given a quick false sense of security about the easiness of money from tournaments though. PartyPoker had these single table satellites into the $640 Sunday Tourney; winner take all sattys $7 to win $70, then $70 to win the $640 seat. I binked both step sngs quickly, but could not unregister from the $640. So I played, was in first place at the first break, just running like god. Wound up running super deep and finished about 22nd for $8500 which was a huge amount of money to me at the time. This was also the first time for the mixed emotions of a blessing score, but not feeling good about it because finishing a few spaces higher would have been worth so much more. So anyway, that score got the bankroll started, Party closed, I started the MTT grind on Stars.

PTP: So you’ve recently moved to Vegas about two years ago. Good/bad?
Rook: Casino’s are run much better than in Detroit. Just the small things like free drinks, dealers actually care because they get their own tips. At Greektown the tips are pooled so there is no incentive for them to do well. There are better tournaments out here, and just better opportunities in general. The roads are smoother too, Michigan roads are all messed up and fuck with my ride. I hate snow, I hate the rain, total life downers. I hate humidity and bugs and Vegas doesn’t have any of those. Lastly, in case the internet (poker) gets banned, can grind out live cash and make a living. Nice plan B.

PTP: Any books or other recommendations? Poker training sites?
Rook: Best two pieces of advice I ever got were from training sites., the original training site way back years ago, Todd (Arnold) said: “In any given hand your list of options should go in this order, raise, reraise, fold, sitout, call.” And from the same site for Omaha, Seal said “Don’t ever play a hand with a hanger, EX QTJ3”. Just play tight in omaha, other people will make mistakes, don’t defend blinds. Johnnybax videos make me laugh and are purely for entrainment purposes. Harrington on Hold’em is good.

PTP: Playing backed? Not playing backed? Advantages/disadvantages?
Rook: I played for a year backed by Great people, great site, never a problem. I made them alot of money. Icallseat3 and WhatarunAA continuously called me an idiot and a loser for burning 45% of my profit and convinced me to quit before my upcoming down swing so they could back me on my upswing, lol. But I basically just started winning from the moment they stopped backing me. Something like five profitable Sunday’s in a row.

To anyone playing backed, I say just keep winning till you have a br big enough to sustain the levels you are winning at. So if I’m averaging a buyin of $100, I’d want $20,000 to play those stakes and handle the swings. Playing backed helped me become more desensitized about money and only looking at the long run. It sucks to lose $50 in reality, but really sometimes you make $5000 so it makes up for all those times you lost, so being desensitized about the money is pretty important.

PTP Multiaccouters and other various cheating methods… thoughts?
Rook MA’s, sucks, wish there was a better way to police it. But there isn’t. If people want to gain the edge of anonymity then so be it, not much you can do about it. As of now I’m not too worried about it, if I was on a big downswing maybe I would be but it doesn’t seem to affect me. I don’t care who you are, I can adjust, you’re a person with two cards, and I can adjust to who you are, think you are, want to be, etc. I don’t care- its just a game. In fact, I think its an advantage that people know who I am, because I know that they know who I am, and I can react to what they have seen me do in the past. I set things up for the future, think three moves ahead, etc, etc.

PTP Breaks from play, socializing, etc?
Rook I look forward to golf once a week, very relaxing. Breaks definitely add to the bottom line. You can’t just login, register, register, register, register, register, eat granola, register. Hour to wake up and start grinding, its just not right. Definitely need to get up, wake up, eat right, can’t just roll out of bed and into the chair. A healthy diet is also very important.

PTP Well, thanks for your time man. Good luck in the Series.
Rook Thanks alot, anytime!

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