Five years ago Andy Taylor, Murph to his friends, was introduced to poker after playing the beautiful game of football with friends. Little did he know back then that five years on he would be grinding up to 16 tournaments at a time and making a live from the game he instantly fell in love with.
Taylor lives in Accrington with his fiancée Rachel and their young son and it is here that Taylor, who is known online by his alias “wiisssppppaa,” grinds online poker tournaments five days per week.
“On a weekday I usually register for tournaments from 4:00pm or 5:00pm and register for all of the value tournaments such as the Bigs and Hots at PokerStars. I'll also play anything from the $5 rebuys up to $109 rebuys and turbo, sometimes playing the higher stuff.
“Sunday's see me start registering at 1:00pm and playing basically the same schedule, but including all of the Majors up to $215 buy-in across various sites. I play up to 16 tables and it's quite easy with three my three-screen setup!”
Taylor has some fantastic results to his name, many of which have come in the past few months. On August 8, Taylor finished third in the PokerStars $109 rebuy for $31,930 and followed that up a few days later with a runner-up finish in the PokerStars.fr Summer Special for $19,777.
In October, Taylor binked the Sunday Kickoff for $25,511 and won The Big $22 for $10,488 and the Saturday Speedway for $9,741. What do poker pros do after a string of big scores?
“I've been backed for around six weeks now so I had to chop the Sunday Kickoff win with my backer. Previously, I would leave a chunk online to increase my bankroll and take out what I needed to feel comfortable within myself for life expenses, oh and the Mrs shopping spree expenses of course!”
As mentioned, Taylor is a father and as a work-from-home dad myself, I often wonder how fathers of youngster manage to concentrate on playing their A-game when they have a young one running around the place. Taylor explains how his fiancée helps with this immensely.
“My fiancée Rachel is great and understands that although poker may be a game that I love, it is also how we pay our bills, go on holiday etc so you basically lets me get on with playing and she looks after our son while I hide away in the computer room! I just have to make sure that we have our date night at least once a week!”
Following his Sunday Kickoff win, Taylor climbed into the top 20 of the PocketFives.com UK online poker rankings, where he name is displayed next to some of the best poker players in the world. One of those players is Patrick “pads1161” Leonard whose transition from cash games to MTTs is nothing short of “phenomenal.” Two other players who Taylor is ranked alongside are Rick Trigg and Chris Moorman, players who Taylor say every UK grinder looks to emulate.
There has been much said about the recent changes at PokerStars since Amaya took over, most of it negative, and Taylor echoes that negativity.
“It sucks. The main issues that have been said a number of times already from various high profile players is right – there isn't a big enough competitor to stop Amaya doing what they want. Although it won't effect me personally, it is still a shame to see because it's going to force some people out of the game.”
Although online poker is the bread and butter for Taylor, he played in the Barcelona and London legs of the European Poker Tour and has won packages to the EPT Prague and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event so keep an eye out for him on the PokerNews Live Reporting pages. Speaking of which, the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event final table kicks off this weekend and it is Sweden's Martin Jacboson who gets Taylor's vote.
“I would like Martin Jacobson to win and think if he gets a double through early on he is in with a good shot. My head says Mark Newhouse based on his experience of being in this high pressure spot before and having overall more experience than the rest barring Jacobson.”
Away from the felts, Taylor is a season ticket holder at Premier League newcomers Burnley. If you have been following the tips and previews at BookieSmash you'll no doubt know that Burnley have been struggling this season, but Taylor still has faith in his beloved clarets staying in the top flight.
“Based on our performances I truly belive we have a fighting chance. The bottom half of the Premier League is so tight that to or three wins shoot you right back up the table and we have three or four winnable games coming up, which is going to be pivotal.”
So there you have it, a little insight into the online grinder Andy “wiisssppppaa” Taylor who many of you will have battled with at the virtual felt over the past few years. Good luck at the tables, sir.