SCOOP 2016: Andy McLEOD on being James Obst

It was entirely expected. On Tuesday morning I arrived at work and saw the same picture, the same headline, and the same result. I knew to expect it because it happened every year, whether it's SCOOP or any other Championship. And my reaction is always the same: dig out the last interview, make a "huh?" sound, and then scratching my head until I can find another way to ask "Andy McLEOD" what it's like to be James Obst.

On this occasion I was completely out. So, I resorted to basic curiosity, and given the likelihood that Obst would be neck deep in SCOOP for the duration, I kept the questions short, not wishing to impose.  


james_obst_pca_12may16_22.jpgObst at the PCA

So much for the fatigue on focusing purely on SCOOP for 15 days. Obst got back to me immediately. And while the questions are short and not exactly original, the answers most certainly are. Obst, now a four-time SCOOP winner, is one of those players you want to hear more from. Thankfully his habit of winning makes that prospect one of poker's rare certainties. 


On the first time he ever played online...

"It's a bit of a blur to me now. One of my friends on the Internet Chess Club often used to copy and paste the message you see in the chat box after he won pots  - "so and so wins pot ($10) with two pair" - I thought it seemed pretty damn cool. After my first experience learning poker at a home game I probably hit him up for a dollar and lost it at $0.02/0.04 Limit Hold'em!"


On motivation...

"Poker was a perfect fit for my personality, I knew it was something I could be good at so busting my meagre bankroll time after time was never a deterrent. Plus I figured one day if I won the $109 Rebuy enough times I'd get all the ladies, so that's still the main motivation of course. I figure I'm one win away... but that's what I thought the last time."


On having a regular job...

"I haven't! Who knows what the future holds but it would be especially challenging to ever have to revert to regular now, having no background in regular... just as I'm sure it has been for many poker players."


On why he keeps playing...

"My computer tends to find itself on regardless of my state of motivation, but generally I play for a couple of main reasons - the obvious one being that I could put whatever money I might win to good use; second being that I feel I've significantly underachieved up to now, for a number of reasons, so I don't want that to be the feeling I have when I stop playing."


On, one day, after poker...

"I do have some big dreams outside of poker, but I tend to be a bit more low key than most and will keep them to myself for now :)


james_obst_background_12may16.jpg


Until next time. 


Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in SCOOP