EPT10 Grand Final: Resurrecting the concept of the rounder, Simon Deadman takes on Monaco
Simon Deadman is 25 years old. Simon Deadman is playing the €10,600 EPT Grand Final at a table with Vicky Coren Mitchell, Jeff Rossiter, Jan Bendik and Chris Oliver. Simon Deadman plays poker for a living and has done so for the last six years. Simon Deadman appears to be pretty normal, friendly even. Simon Deadman lives in Leeds, home to many an online poker player. Simon Deadman does not play online poker. Simon Deadman likes... Hold on, what was that? Simon Deadman doesn't play online poker?
I stumbled over that one. There's often an assumption that older players may not play online, and it's one that is based in some level of reality, but a normal 25-year-old grinder? Of course he's going to play online. Surely?
"I play online once in a blue moon," said Deadman, during the break of the EPT. "I travel around and play live tournaments in the UK or here (on the EPT) when they're on."
Okay. Quite frankly I was not expecting that. If you were to look at things romantically or nostalgically at least, you could say that Deadman was living out the days of the Texas Rounders, when Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim and Sailor Roberts used to hustle the Lone Star state. The reality is a little less dramatic.
"I just love playing live," said Deadman. "Most of my game is dependent on live stuff mainly. I play for a living because I enjoy the game. When I play online it's not the same for me. I wouldn't play for a living if I didn't enjoy it. I get to travel around and see lots of nice places."
So there aren't any shootouts or living from the back of a car? It seems not. It's not even that he's a Luddite, he uses email and Twitter. He just loves the live poker, so much so that his name has been pinging on the outer edge of PokerStars Blog's radar for the last year. Aside from the fact that it's a pretty standout name, he's been picking up some stacks and results as can be seen from the chart below.
Deadman's live tournament results
Deadman's picked up four runner-up finishes this year, including one in the FPS High Roller during EPT Deauville for €87,280. It seems you can be a live tournament grinder after all. (He sells and swaps 'a few pieces' and has sold 30% of himself across this EPT double header.)
He's got off to a pretty good start here in Monaco to take his 30,000 starting stack up to 46,000-plus, despite being drawn alongside the only two-time EPT winner Vicky Coren Mitchell ($2,406,126 in live tournament winnings), Australian high stakes pro Jeff Rossiter ($5,480,462), EPT Season 9 Player of the Year Jan Bendik ($1,890,980) and Chris Oliver ($1,899,383). Not that Deadman would know it was anything to be concerned about.
"When I play I actually don't know everyone quite a lot of the time as this is my first proper season," said Deadman. "I wouldn't have known Chris Oliver but I saw his name tag and recognised that. I can tell pretty early on who's on what level and who's playing well. The other two you said (Bendik and Rossiter), I don't know them. Jeff Rossiter is seat eight, I guess."
And you'd be correct with that guess, Simon. He's a secret millionaire.
"I could already tell that he's someone that I should be wary of," he said. "I guess I don't really follow how anyone else is doing. I just concentrate on myself. I like to make my own opinion of people. I never check people's Hendon Mob's before I play... The thing is that some people have won a million dollars in live earnings and are not very good. Just because they've earned this much and won that tournament it doesn't actually mean anything. I like to make my own opinions on their hands."
That approach seems to be working out pretty well for Deadman at the moment, in terms of annual results and his current stack, now edging towards a healthy 50,000. Maybe there's something in this road grinding.
"There's not many that do it anymore" said Deadman. "People ask, 'Can you make enough doing that?' I haven't had to work in six years so I guess I do okay."
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.