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Wicked Chops Poker Goes Heads-Up with Joe Sebok

Intro: Let's say you went through the rise and fall of the dot-com era. Four companies...four busts. You've taken some bad beats, and you're looking for something a little more stable.

Sebok1Logically, you pursue a career in poker.

Joe Sebok emerged as a rising star on the poker scene after making two final tables at the 2005 WSOP. While he's proven his wicked poker chops over the past two years, including over $250k in 2007 cashings, Sebok has established himself as one of poker's preeminent personalities, with a loaded schedule of radio, writing, and Internet TV gigs.

We caught up with Sebok to find out what it's like making the transition from the real world to the poker world, why he'd never want to be Corkin'd, and who he'd want commentating his day-to-day life. 

WCP: What's different from working a full-time job in the dot-com tech world to being a professional poker player? Anything?

JS: It's basically the same job aside from the money, the girls, the fame, the freedom, and the overall quality of life thing. Nah, to tell you the truth, I really enjoyed my time in San Francisco working at the dot-coms. I made a ton of friends and although ultimately we failed (and failed, and failed, and failed, and...), it was still a good time.

Obviously it doesn't compare to being a poker player though. I can't imagine doing anything else at this point. Well, maybe if I had some sort of forum to do stupid prop bets with a friend of mine, but that'll never happen...

WCP: If you were sent to jail, what sounds more unpleasant...being Hoyt Corkin'd or Victor Ramdin'd.

JS: I know them both really well, and have even traveled to South America with Victor and his group "Guyana Watch", so this is a tough one. I think I gotta go with being Corkin'd being worse. They both sound really bad. I mean, who wants to undergo anything in prison that involves being "corked" or "rammed"?! I will say no more. The imagery is destroying my fragile little mind...

WCP: Why do so many poker terms sound like sexual innuendos? Flop the nuts...chasing a back door straight...etc.

JS: Because we are a bunch of sickos. When we aren't playing cards, our juvenile minds drift towards things that juvenile minds drift towards.

Trust me, the community is like high school...just with more money.

WCP: In your Prop Bets show on RawVegas.tv, you've pretty much owned Gavin Smith. What gives you the edge on Gavin?

JS: He's a straight knucklehead caveman. I am trying to come up with something that he has a chance at right now. I've been thinking about it for a week now...I'll let you know.

WCP: Between radio, magazines, and Internet TV, you're working on a little mini poker media empire. Do the Schulman's have anything to worry about?

JS: Hmmmm, I actually have done business with the Shulmans on several occasions and thus know them pretty well. The only thing they have to worry about is that I DO know them pretty well and thus have been able to get the codes to their respective safes in their respective Vegas homes. Other than that, they have nothing to worry about.

WCP: If you could pick one poker player to go on the Amazing Race with, the one guy you think would give you the best chance at winning, who would it be?

Madsenclose_1_1JS: I have to go with my buddy, Jeff Madsen (at left). He's young, quick, smart.

And I could make him do everything while I chilled out and drank vodka tonics all day.

I was going to say Gavin for a second, but then I came to my senses...

WCP: Jeff Madsen got hosed in the nickname department. Everyone calls him "The Kid." Yeah that was a tough one to come up with. Nice job poker "media." Anyway, if you could give yourself a poker nickname, what would be a top choice for yourself?

JS: Thought this was going to be a nickname for Jeff, in which case I would have to say "Little Bro," as that is how I think of him.

Man, there are no good nicknames for me. "The Cub" was it for a while, but it would be nice to have a nickname that isn't COMPLETELY dependent on someone else (my pops). Who knows? I am open to all suggestions...

WCP: What's your best piece of tournament advice for a new player?

JS: Don't get frustrated. Don't pay attention to the results, as impossible as that is. Find an outlet for when you are off the tables that doesn't involve: a) more gambling, b) girls, c) drinking, or d) drugs...unless you are going to combo all four together and then it's OK. Only if you combo though!

Seriously, find an outlet.

WCP: Looks like the old crew is getting together for another run at radio...

JS: It looks like it is going to be me, Gavin, and Joe Stapleton taking over for Huffy. I love Huff, you love Huff, everyone loves Huff, but he's got his own stuff going on in LA now. We reloaded though and Joey Stapes is going to galvanize this mess and take us to a new level. New blood! You can find us on www.pokerwire.com for all your listening needs...

WCP: Do you think Huey Lewis finally found a new drug? One that didn't make him sick?

JS: I'm quite sure that Huey did find a new drug, and I'm sure that it didn't make him sick...for a while. We all know how those pesky drugs can be.

Sabrina_200x200WCP: If you had to pick a poker commentator to actually run commentary on your daily life away from the poker tables...who would it be?

JS: Can't be Norman Chad, as he would only talk about my ex's. I love Mike Sexton, but the twang might get annoying:

"And there goes Joe for another shot of Jaeger. I have to tell you, this boy can really pack them in..."

Let's say Sabina Gadecki (at right), because, well, she is Sabina Gadecki. That, and she is a great friend of mine.

WCP: Any goals for the upcoming poker year?

JS: Just the same damn goal I always have: to take down a big tournament, to win a 10k. I got close in San Jose, but alas it was not meant to be...again.

Be sure to check out past Wicked Chops Poker interviews with noted poker players and personalities including T.J. Cloutier, Mark Seif, Jamie Gold, Steve Dannennmann, Rafe Furst, Lacey Jones, Michael Bolcerek, Brian Balsbaugh and more on our Heads-Up" page.
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