With his trademark cowboy hat and sunglasses and his aggressive style of play,
Hoyt Corkins is one of the more recognizable
poker players on the tournament circuit today. Hoyt recently took
some time out to answer a few questions from
Blind Bet Poker.
Blind Bet Poker: Describe how you got started playing poker. Was there
anyone who was particularly influential when you began playing?
Hoyt Corkins: My father taught me how to play poker. He was most
influential in getting me started. He introduced me to cash games when I was
young, and spent a lot of time with me teaching me the fundamentals.
BBP: You're probably most widely known as a
hold'em tournament player. Do you consider NLHE your best game, or
do you prefer other games?
HC: I am known for no-limit but for many years I was known as a
player as well, since I won a WSOP gold bracelet in it. I like to play
deuce-to-seven triple draw, even though I have not won a tournament in it.
I've won most of my titles in no-limit.
BBP: Do you play
poker much at all, or do you stick with land-based casinos for your
HC: I like to play online. I love the outdoors and online poker gives
you a chance to play for a couple of hours, and then go enjoy the rest of
your day. For some reason, when I go into a brick and mortar casino, I stay
longer than I had intended.
BBP: You used to be involved with
Tilt Poker, but since have switched over to Poker Host. Can you tell
me a little about your new site? What sorts of features does it have that
would entice players to give it a shot?
HC: Poker Host is a really new site. They have been around for less
than a year, which a lot of people think is bad. However, they are run by a
sportsbook that has been around for a long time and you can use the money
you win playing poker to bet on sports if you want. There is also a
revolutionary hand history. It is video replay of the action. You can pause,
slow down, or fast forward through the action as many times as you want. It
is a great study tool for any player.
BBP: Last year at the US Poker Championships main event at the Taj
Mahal, you handed out one of the more brutal beats I've ever seen when you
flopped trips and turned quads to beat John D'Agostino's pocket tens.
D'Agostino was obviously frustrated with the hand. Do you feel he
over-reacted to the situation? Or was his display warranted, given the way
the hand turned out?
HC: John is a great guy, and that bad beat I laid on him was the last
of many for him that night. He had been showing signs of frustration for a
while. I looked down at my first card and I had my lucky number 7 there.
Then I looked at the second and it was the 8, a connector. If you do the
math, the chances of John having a pair of eights or higher in the BB was
something in the range of 80 to 1. So, I saw an opportunity to pick on a
player who wasn't at his peak. I was figuring to steal the pot, but he was
getting anxious and called. I just had my lucky 7 to help me out that time.
You don't see it on the show, but there was quite an ordeal over whether or
not he was out. So that just added fuel to the fire. The very next time that
we ran into each other he apologized and wanted to make sure that I knew he
wasn't angry at me.
BBP: What sort of advice would you give to someone new to playing
poker, in terms of
game selection and
HC: Hold'em is the easiest game to learn, so it's a good starting
point. A new player can start out in a limit game and get the feel for the
game in general before moving up to no-limit. As for bankroll, never gamble
with more than you can afford. It is silly to have your utilities cut off
trying to win at poker. Select a game that has an average buy-in of what you
would spend on a regular evening out. That way you can have fun even if you
lose. It also seems a whole lot easier to win if you are not constantly
worried about the money you have out on the table.
BBP: Some people are predicting that the poker boom is on its way back
downhill. Do you think there's any evidence to support that, or would you
say that there's no end in sight?
HC: I really don't know. It seems that there are more and more shows
and I heard that a cable channel devoted to poker may get off the ground. It
all depends on the viewing public. They seem to like it a lot right now, and
maybe they won't get overloaded with all of the programs that are out there.
BBP: Are you involved with any charity work you'd like to highlight?
HC: Natalie (Hoyt's fiancee - ed.) is a big supporter of the Susan G.
Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She has had very limited involvement with
them since the poker boom hit. We always seem to be out of town when there
is an event. The WPT has now become involved with Susan G. Komen as well, so
I think I will donate a portion of my winnings from now on.
I think it is very important to give to charity. Poker is a sport with a high
factor of luck. I feel that when I am fortunate, it is a time to think about
the less fortunate. Just about any time there has been an option for a
portion of my winnings to be withheld at a tournament, I have pledged.
Sometimes without even knowing what the charity is. It's not so much about
who you give to, as long as you give something.
Hoyt Corkins Official Site