Andy Barham is a busy man. In between work commitments and taking his son to international Hammerthrow competitions, he finds time to embrace his number one leisure activity – poker. After winning his Platinum Pass back in 2019, Andy is finally heading to the Bahamas in January 2023. We speak to Andy to get his story…
An unusual few years led to a quieter spell at the tables for Andy. He’s just starting to get back into the poker scene to get some practice before the PSPC. But Andy has ample experience to draw on when it comes to live poker.
After playing casually for seven or eight years, he locked up his first five figure win, and since then has been making regular reasonable finishes. Then, at the Road to PSPC London in October 2019, Andy Barham won his Platinum Pass in what can only be described as a Moneymaker moment.
“I decided early on I needed to play more aggressively than I normally do. That worked out pretty well for the first two days. I had a big moment at the end of Day 2. In two hands I suddenly became chip leader. From that point on I didn’t look back and had my eye on the prize.”
“We got down to the final two and I asked if Chris Moneymaker could deal one hand because I thought it would be a nice photo opportunity, and he agreed to deal one hand. He dealt me a pair of Kings, which was incredible. And that was it, all over in one hand heads-up.”
And in that surreal moment, Andy earned himself an all inclusive package to the PSPC in the Bahamas.
“I’d been so focused on the game and I was really happy with the way I was playing. To win it, I was overcome with emotion. Absolutely the highlight of my poker career.”
Ready to count his millions
It’s been a long wait for Barham, but in the meantime he’s taken advantage of the PSPC Club and has won three $1,100 live poker packages in monthly giveaways. Not a bad way to deal with the delay.
The wait is nearly over and the PSPC 2023 is right around the corner. So what are Andy’s feelings about heading to a $25k event, the first time he’s played at this level? Well, although he’s happy to describe himself as an amateur, Andy also feels like his experience and lack of fear will give him an edge.
“When I won the Platinum Pass I came out ready to count my $5 million!” he jokes. “I’m quite confident in my live game. I don’t have any fear of professional players, and I would fancy my chances against a lot of amateur players.”
“I’m very fortunate because when I go into the tournament it’s not make or break for me. The $25k would be great, it would be my biggest win so far, but it’s not make or break. So I think I would be able to play the game comfortably. I think that’s an advantage.”
Andy acknowledges that it’s easy to say that right now, but says he is going to focus on his game and “not get too distracted by the money.”
“When I won the Platinum Pass I came out ready to count my $5 million!”
Old school player
Andy describes himself as an old school player. He’s interested in the modern ways, but has “no intention of trying to replicate the ‘youngsters’ with their GTOs”.
“I’m more of your old-school player. But I do feel confident and I like playing live against someone who predominately plays online. It’s very different looking someone in the eye and bluffing in a live environment.”
“I’m not going to be playing exactly the same game as most of these guys, but I have been taking the time to understand how they’re thinking. I’m going over there to try and play really well in this tournament.”
From the local park to the World Cup final
What better way to end an interview than with a brilliant analogy? It rounds off the story and somehow it makes me look skillful too. Andy Barham kindly obliged.
“In the PSPC, a one off tournament, anything can happen. I think it’s a fantastic event that PokerStars have arranged. For someone like me to be able to play at the absolute top level, when I explain it to people who are not involved in poker I say…
“It’s a bit like playing football at your local park and then someone comes along and says, ‘do you want to play in the World Cup final?’”
Nice. We’ll leave it there. Best of luck at the PSPC!Back to Top