Tuesday, 7th February 2023 13:55
Home / News / ‘GJReggie’ on her 8-Game success at EPT London

Back in August, we talked to PokerStars Team Pro Mason “pyefacepoker” Pye about his maiden live title, a £550 8-Game trophy he picked up at EPT Barcelona.

Fast forward two months and here at EPT London, Georgina “GJReggie” James came very close to doing the same and having the tournament renamed the PokerStars Team Pro invitational.

James very nearly followed in Pye’s footsteps on Tuesday night, reaching the final table out of 120 runners. The FT was stacked with some mixed games wizards (thankfully, James didn’t recognise them at the time–more on that later).

Unfortunately, James fell in fifth, good for £3,900 and her biggest live cash to date.

PokerStars Blog sat down to talk with James a couple of days after the event. We discussed how she started playing and inevitably fell in love with mixed games, what she’s planning to do in the lead-up to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC), and why she might need to take her own advice.

Life in London

PokerStars Blog: Hey GJ, how has the trip been overall?

Georgina “GJ Reggie” James: It’s been really good fun, I’ve enjoyed it. I played more at this event than I have at any other live event this year. I came back from a little holiday post-WCOOP and I haven’t played any poker since, so I thought, we’re in London, let’s just play and get a feel for it and have some fun.

What had you planned on playing before you arrived?

I definitely planned on playing the Women’s Event for sure, and I wanted to play both the HORSE and the 8-Game. Then when I got here I thought the UKIPT Main looked like fun as well, so I thought I should fire that too. Then there was the charity event the other night, so I just decided to play everything I wanted to play.

Was Pye’s success in Barcelona a motivator?

It might have been, especially because Pye and I are so close. He did so well in Barcelona. I really enjoy the mixed games anyway and you just don’t get to play them live that much, so when you get an opportunity like this, it’s always a lot of fun to get involved.

Learning mixed games

How much mixed-game poker had you played prior to Dare2Stream and eventually teaming up with Pye?

I didn’t play mixed games at all before I met Pye. It started out when we were duel-streaming together a lot on the PokerStars channel. When you do that it’s nice to play the same tournaments so you can sweat and rail each other at the same time, and it helps from a streaming perspective as well as you can have the same tables open. Pye only plays mixed games so that’s where it all began.

I enjoy them and had a lot of fun. I learned a lot from him and his stream,

The good thing about the daily mixed game schedule on PokerStars is the buy-ins are often very small. How did you go about learning them?

A lot of the time I just dove in and saw how it went. I’d get advice from Pye and other people in the stream who have more experience.

Take the $1.10 8-Game, for example. It’s really accessible to anyone and a lot of people who play that game don’t even know the rules of all the games sometimes. So even if all you did was go online, look up the rules, make sure you know them all, and play a bit, you’ll be doing well.

Is it hard to play mixed games on stream at the same time you’re playing no limit hold’em?

It can feel very different, the way the game flows. Sometimes you get two cards, then four cards, then one card. But the more you play and practice, the more you can figure out how to get better.

I mainly play the 8-Game and HORSE when I stream. I think they’re the two most popular, and the two most fun, in my opinion. It’s rare that I’ll play one of the individual games as I play a lot of hold’em on the stream and having too many tables of too many different games can be a bit confusing.

I have full respect for Pye because he can multi-table five different mixed games at once. He’ll be playing single-draw, a triple-draw, an 8-Game and a razz at the same time, I don’t know how he keeps up. I’ll usually have two or three hold’em tables and my mixed game on the side. Change the colour of the tables so you know! There’s a little plaque in the middle to tell you which game you’re playing.

“There were well-known players on the final table with me… It probably helped me that I didn’t know who they were!”

How the tournament went

Obviously, it ended well with a final table finish, but how did the £550 8-Game event go for you overall?

I regged pretty early in the tournament and I had a really fun, chatty table. The atmosphere was really nice. Everyone was there to play and have some fun. The early levels were kind of slow as we start pretty deep stacked, so you just play a few pots here and there. I had a few nice 2-7 triple draw rounds early on where I was dealt a pat 86 twice pre-draw, so I knew I’d get a lot of chips. The whole tournament actually went a lot quicker than I thought it would.

I know you played with Parker “Tonkaaaa” Talbot for a while. Did you recognise any other faces?

Yeah, Parker had a monster stack going into the dinner break. Pads [Patrick Leonard] was on my table for a bit, and although I didn’t recognise them myself, there were well-known players on the final table with me who Pye recognised from the mixed game community. It probably helped me that I didn’t know who they were!

[One of those players, Gabriel “Pinguinho” Baleeiro, who has multiple COOP titles on his resume, took down the event for £14,800.]

How was your final table experience?

I had some fun and we had a good rail, quite a lot of the community members came down just for this tournament so it was nice to see them. It was pretty cool to make an EPT final table. Obviously, you always want to win, but I wasn’t super disappointed to bust. It just makes me want to go to more events and play more.

Preparing for the PSPC

There are just a few months left until the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC). Are you going to do anything special to prepare?

I don’t know if I could really prepare. I get nervous when I play live because I just don’t have that much experience. This year has been the first year I’ve played so much and been to so many live stops. It always feels like, at the beginning of an event, I need one tournament that’s a small buy-in, just to get rid of my nerves. But as the 8-game was the last event I’m playing, I was much more relaxed and comfortable playing. 

How can you anticipate how you’re going to feel playing a $25K? People say it’s just poker, don’t think about it, just play your game. But in an event like that, I think it will be hard to detach myself from it. 

Did you consider getting coaching for it?

Well, even if I did a three-month crash course, I might be playing against people who play $25Ks and $50Ks all the time and who are just dominating in the games. 

I sometimes feel like if you try too hard to change what you would normally do, you’re going to make yourself more nervous, you’re going to think too much and be too conscious of how you should be playing. 

At EPT Barcelona you gave our readers some great advice about going to a live event and playing live poker when you’re not used to it.

Yeah, maybe I’ll have a look back and take my own advice. I don’t have any expectations in that tournament. I’m just going to try and enjoy it.

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