Andy Moseley on Learning to Play Poker, High-Stakes Games in Macau, and More
It’s long been said that some of the best poker players are the ones fans have never heard of, the men and women who opt to grind cash games out of the public spotlight. One such player is Andy Moseley, a 23-year-old high-stakes pro from London who recently made an appearance at the PartyPoker Big Game VI.
If you watched the live stream of that 48-hour cash game here on PokerNews, you no doubt remember Moseley. Not only was he the game’s second-biggest winner, but the wunderkind was the beneficiary of a mistimed fold by Phil Laak, a hand that will likely be remembered for years to come.
PokerNews caught up with Moseley to learn a little bit more about the well-respected high-stakes pro from the U.K.
When did you first learn to play poker?
I traveled around a lot whilst growing up before my family settled Southwest of London in Surrey. I went to an all-boys school and started playing poker in sixth form with friends. I set up an underground poker society with some friends after poker got banned at school — my enthusiasm for the game was obvious even then! I then went to the university in Manchester where I studied International Business — it was during these years where I really developed as a player and managed to move up stakes quite quickly.
We understand that you’re primarily a cash game player. What sort of games and stakes do you usually play? Do you tend to play live or online?
I started off playing online and built my roll on the Cryptologic Network from sit-n-go’s. When I had about $1,500 USD in my bankroll, I started playing $50 no-limit cash and have stuck with cash games ever since. For the first couple of years I predominantly played online but since leaving university and moving to London I gradually started playing more live games. I now split my time about 70 percent live and 30 percent online. I will regularly play $10/$20 to $100/$200 online. I prefer to take my shots live as in general a big live game will be much softer than a big online game and I think my game is more suited to deeper stacked play.
We’ve also heard rumors that you’ve played in the big game in Macau. Can you tell us a little about that game? What is its appeal?
I have played in the big game in Macau. I have probably played about 25 to 30 sessions. I initially got in the game about 14 months ago when it was a lot smaller than it is now. It was $5K/$10K with a $1 million buy-in. It has now possibly tripled in size on average. The biggest I played was $10K/$20K with a $2 million buy-in and a button ante. The major appeal about the game was not the softness but the size of it.
Even if you have a small edge when the stakes are that high it leads to an amazing hourly rate. The swings are obviously massive though and the game is so big now I don't know if I could take it! The regulars in the game have also improved a lot, so it is not soft anymore. The game is also less deep now, so altogether it is much less appealing. Playing the game was definitely the most challenging and stressful part of my career.
You were the second biggest winner in the PartyPoker Big Game VI last month. How did you come to play in that event?
I am friends with Sam Trickett and the Poker Farm guys and they mentioned the game would be held in Vienna if I was keen. I enjoy playing hold’em and thought it would be fun to play on a live stream, so decided to ask if I could get a seat. I had played for half an hour or so the year before, so had a taste of the format already. I am not very well known and I was unsure if I would get to play for long but I managed to get a seat for about 12 hours. I ran extremely well and yes, I did become the second biggest winner.
What is your most memorable moment from that cash game?
There was an extremely interesting pot with Phil Laak, which I should have given more thought to on the river. It is a pot where I rivered two pair when the flush arrived and bet out €3,000 and he raised to €35,000. I didn't really think much at the time as I have played with Phil a lot before and did not think he was capable of a bluff in that spot but he was playing extremely different in the game this year.
He only really makes a raise that large with the nut flush or a bluff and I should have given some thought as to whether he would have played the nuts in that manner. I thought Phil played really well throughout the session and a lot of the younger players were discussing how good his decision-making seemed to be afterwards.
What are your thoughts on the hand where Laak mucked the winner to you in a €60,000 pot?
Luke Schwartz phrased it well when he said on Twitter: "LOL never seen any poker player run as good as Mosely the 1st time he's been outdrawn in a pot since 2009 and donkabomber mucks the winner.”
I am thinking Phil must have been so determined to not show his hand as Tony G and some others were sort of forcing him into it that he forgot to check his hand after he went all in. I couldn't believe it when I found out but Phil is a friend of mine and he was winning €150,000 in the game, so he was no way near as tilted as many pros would be in that spot! I have seen Phil since and we had a laugh about how ridiculous the situation was.
We noticed you have a few live results, notably a third-place finish in the 2011 European Poker Tour Berlin 2K side event for $99,624, and a 13th place finish in last year’s World Series of Poker Europe Main Event. How do you go about choosing what live events to play?
I just choose the events that are in fun cities to visit and treat the trips as mini holidays. I generally don't play them for profit purposes. I am no way near as experienced in tournaments as cash games and I do not enjoy them as much either. However, I really enjoyed those two deep runs last year and loved the structure in the WSOPE Main until the last day where it really became a lottery. I felt a little lost when it was 20 big blind average stacks but had felt really comfortable the first few days when the structure was deep.
Do you have any desire to play more live events?
Yes, I will play EPTs in good European locations and will definitely play the WSOPE again. I don't think I will be grinding the tourney circuit rather than playing cash games though.
Have you even played the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas before? If so, what events do you play or do you go for the cash games?
I have been in Vegas for the last two summers: six weeks in 2010 and three weeks in 2011. I have played two tournaments over that time period. I really don’t enjoy the grueling tourney schedules and the forced break times etc. I generally just grind the cash games in the Bellagio the whole summer and enjoy myself.
I see it as more of a holiday when I go, it is a tough place to go to with the dual motivation of fun and profit. Most players will tell you that even if you have a winning trip you seem to leave a loser. The lifestyle is unbelievably expensive out there. I played the PLO in Bobby's Room a lot last year and did OK. Hopefully I'll run well there again.
As far as cash game players in the U.K., who are some of the players you consider to be among the best?
There are a lot of online players that I do not know and haven’t played with but are obviously very good. People like Alex “Kanu7” Millar who I haven't met but his record speaks for itself. In regards to people I have played and chatted poker with, out of the high profile players, Sam Trickett is the cash player I rate the highest. Out of the unknown players, Jon Godfrey is a close friend of mine and I have spoken a lot of poker with him and he plays exceptionally well especially versus tough opponents. In regards to the younger guns, Tom Macdonald thinks about poker in a very similar way to me and we seem to agree on a lot of spots, whether or not that is a good thing I do not know!
Do you have any aspirations outside of poker or do you plan on playing as a career for years to come?
I really enjoy poker and the freedom it brings, but yes, I do have aspirations outside poker. I am really interested in property renovation and I have recently invested in a new place in London. It has great potential and is an exciting project outside poker. I have some good contacts and they are teaching me the fundamentals of the business, which I can hopefully develop and expand over time. It is a good skill and one that I am enjoying learning.
I have also invested in some friend's businesses but do not have a very hands on role in any of them yet. One of them is a company called Peelzone and specializes in customizable smart phone covers. I'm confident it'll do well!
What else do you enjoy doing aside from poker?
I enjoy traveling, driving, tennis, golf, skiing, theater and socializing.
What is your poker plan for the next few months?
I am playing cash in London at the moment whilst grinding online before heading to Vegas for three weeks on the 20th of June. I tend to take the rest of the summer off after Vegas and enjoy the weather and seeing friends. I will then be traveling down to France for the WSOPE where hopefully I can have a decent run like last year.