HOW IT ALL BEGAN
PokerStrategy: Hello, Fatal1ty and thank you for taking some time to do an interview with PokerStrategy.com. Most of our more than 1 million members worldwide know you as the most accomplished professional gamer. Please tell us, how did this whole gaming thing start?

Fatal1ty: Hi and thanks for having me on PokerStrategy.com.  As for my gaming career, I was mainly doing it as a hobby and something to do late at night that was still competitive just like traditional sports.  I played with neighbours and friends then eventually on the Internet, and realized I had a knack for killing people in a virtual world.  After playing for about 3-4 years pretty heavily, I found out about some tournaments offering big money, so I saved up some money and headed to my first pro tournament in 1999 in Dallas, TX.  I won $4,000 there then went onto getting sponsored to travel around the world and my career as a gamer began.

PokerStrategy: When did you realize you could make a living out of playing computer games?

Fatal1ty: When I started making more money than both my parents 😉  It was so cool…  My dad helped me a lot when I needed it the most, so I bought him a Cadillac to show him thanks for supporting and believing in me when I needed it.

PokerStrategy: Looking back at your achievements, you are a very accomplished gamer. What made you so successful in so many titles?

Fatal1ty: Being able to realize again and again when switching titles, you have to work at it if you want to be the best. Your past achievements won’t carry you through the new generation of gamers; you have to keep going to the next level.  

PokerStrategy:PokerStrategy: What did your parents/relatives think about you choosing an e-sports career?

Fatal1ty: They were just really happy to see me winning money, but I had the naysayers saying it wouldn’t last forever.  I just chose to make the most of it and just enjoy life and do what I love doing. If it ended, at least I knew I lived how I wanted to…

PokerStrategy: How much do you usually train and how do you describe a good training day? What do you need to bring your A-game to a tournament?

Fatal1ty: 8 hours a day in combat preferably 2-6 weeks solid leading up to tournament.  I run 2-3 miles a day, no alcohol, eat semi-healthy and make sure I have the best sparring partners I can find.

SHOOTERS AND POKER

PokerStrategy: How did you come across poker?

Fatal1ty: Obviously I train a lot in my games, so whenever I wanted a break I would play poker. I have been doing it for about 8 years or so now off and on.

PokerStrategy: What kind of skills that you acquired from professional gaming do you think are useful to you in poker?

Fatal1ty: I understand that you have to beat people in different ways.

PokerStrategy: What type of poker and which limits do you play? Do you play it mostly online, live, or both?

Fatal1ty: I just started playing more online, but I feel as of right now I’m doing best in person.  Since I moved to Vegas I’ve been playing 2-5 NL mostly, and I’m up at the Bellagio.

PokerStrategy: You dominate in basically all competitive shooters, but how do you handle the variance in poker? In poker, you sometimes can’t dominate an opponent in such a clear way – in the short run, even if you are the better player, you might lose.

Fatal1ty: Ya, this is something I have to learn to acquire and adjust too and understand it.  When I get to that point, I will be where I need to be to go to the next level.

PokerStrategy: How does poker fit inside your tough day-to-day schedule?

Fatal1ty: Well, I feel I can’t plan like a true professional poker player to go to work etc and grind whatever out.  I still have a lot of obligations to my company Fatal1ty, Inc and to do press, promotions and whatever else.  I’m trying to find ways to fit it into my schedule so I can give it my 100%.  This is just my first year in the mix, so I am getting the kinks worked out now.

PokerStrategy: How is your poker play so far?

Fatal1ty: Good but not where I want to be yet.  I want to be playing at the highest level…so I learn, listen, educate myself and smooth out the rough edges.  

PokerStrategy: Where do you see yourself going with poker?

Fatal1ty: Playing in all the major tourneys eventually and competing for the big tournament wins.

JESUS IS MY MEDIC
PokerStrategy: Do you have any favourite poker players? If so, who and why?

Fatal1ty: Chris Ferguson – He’s a gamer too and just overall a great guy.  I have the honor of saying “Jesus is my Medic” in Team Fortress 2 Game.  🙂  We teamed up one day where I went around with a rocket launcher and Chris healing me from behind while I killed any and everyone who came in our path 🙂

PokerStrategy: The World Series of Poker, one of the biggest international poker events, will start soon. Will we see you play at the WSOP? If so, what tournaments do you plan on joining? Are there any other live poker events you would you like to attend to?
Fatal1ty: Yes, Full Tilt Poker has taken me on to sponsor and get me into the main event.  So I’m really looking forward to that.  I’ve already played in Partouche Poker Tournament and Aussie Millions.  So far my best finish is 144th out of 691.  I want to play in as many MAIN events I can get into.

PokerStrategy: How does an usual day of Fatal1ty’s life look like?

Fatal1ty: No day is ever as usual as it seems.  But I really love playing my games of course, so I get about 2-6 hours a day of that in, poker here and there, party and hang with friends.  I’ve met so many great friends who play poker for a living here in Las Vegas and living at Panorama with all the guys it’s like another world.  After all the playing, I still have to run my company Fatal1ty, Inc. but it’s mostly just approvals and showing up for promotions around the world…

PokerStrategy: Besides gaming and poker, what do you like to do in your free time?

Fatal1ty: Sports!!!  I love doing anything competitive and active: racquetball, tennis, golf, bowling, pool, football, basketball, trampoline dodgeball, whatever 🙂

PokerStrategy: What do you see yourself doing in the near future? Also, what are your long-term goals?

Fatal1ty: Winning the WSOP Main Event!  🙂  Ha,that would be nice, but I will continue to work on my product line with Creative and Sound Blaster on my new line of headphones I have coming out this summer.  After that, long-term just keep doing what I love doing and enjoy life.  

PokerStrategy: What would you like to say to your fans?

Fatal1ty: Practice, practice, practice…

PokerStrategy: Anything else you would like to add?

Fatal1ty: Thanks again for the interview and see you on Full Tilt…  If not, I’m playing QuakeLive a lot right now and maybe you can find me on the Internet fragging some people. 

PokerStrategy: Thank you and good l

uck in the future.

Fatal1ty: Take care.

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