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Interview with Taylor Caby (GreenPlastic)

by: Ryan Nelson  
Friday, April 25, 2008
Interview: Taylor Caby (GreenPlastic)
Taylor chats about CardRunners' business, the 2008 WSOP, being a sports fan and busting Prahlad Friedman.

Bluff:  Hey Taylor, thanks for taking the time to sit down and talk with us.  We all know you're a very busy man, but what’s been going on in your life lately?

Taylor:  Hey, thanks.  I’ve been pretty busy lately, but it hasn't been so bad.  I’ve been actually trying to play a lot more poker.  Ever since we signed our deal with Full Tilt poker, I've tried to make sure I'm playing a lot, representing CR and FTP, etc.  I've been working on the normal CR stuff too, nothing to out of the ordinary.

Bluff:  Explain the deal with Full Tilt, did they approach you guys and just sign everyone? Congrats on the signing with them!

Taylor:  Yeah, it's actually been in the works for awhile.  Last summer, some of the top guys at FTP approached us and said they'd like to get to know us a little bit. They talked about working out a partnership or a deal of some sort.  Being a young company, we were pretty flattered, so we figured we might as well see what they had to say.  It took quite awhile to work out the deal, but basically some of our top pros are now representing FTP.  They also make their videos exclusively on FTP.  It's a great deal for us because we get more exposure into the poker community, and Full Tilt gets some of the best young players representing their site.

Bluff:  I know CardRunners has over 10,000 subscribers and sold $3 million in 2007.  Are you guys still growing a lot, since the beginning of 08?  Where do you see the company at the end of the year?

Taylor:  Well we don't like to talk about exact revenue numbers, but it's not hard to figure out how we are doing.  We had a promotion to reward our members and celebrate getting our 10,000th subscriber.  Aside from that, we've never really publicly stated our exact goals.  I'll say that things have been going well for us, and we hope to continue to do more of the same in 2008.  We've got some great plans for the WSOP, and really hope to become a household name in the poker industry by the end of the year.

Bluff:  Sounds exciting!  If you compared your company to another one (non-related to poker), to gain an idea on how large it is, what company would you relate it to?

Taylor:  I’ve never really thought about it.  If I had to compare it to another business outside of our industry, I’d compare it to a combination of a gym membership and a country club.  CardRunners has a ton of products to improve your poker game, but it's also a great place to hang out.  You can meet other poker players, kill time, and have fun.  As far as revenue numbers go, I really don't know what those types of businesses make.  I can't make a very good comparison there.

Bluff:  I know you went to NYU to talk in front of a bunch of people about your success in poker to the business industry.  How did that go for you?

Taylor:  Yeah, it went pretty well.  It was just a fairly informal discussion about my poker history, what I learned from it, and relating that to the business world.  I think it was good to show people that poker players aren't just degenerates with no other skills or drive for success. There are a lot of poker players that are really smart and talented people.

Bluff:  I agree!  I would say the majority of parents out there don’t respect poker, and don’t realize there is strategy and skill behind it.  They just see it as a form of losing money. You took $35.00 from UB and turned it into a lot of money, and now own your own business, which makes millions.  How do your parents feel about all this?

Taylor:  I don’t think I've ever actually asked them, but they tell me that they are proud of me when I go home and see them.  It doesn't really come up all that often, I'm just the same kid they've always had, I just have a more hectic lifestyle than I used to.  My family has never really valued money or a flashy lifestyle, so I think what they really like is that I'm doing something that makes me happy and gives me the freedom to make a lot of my own choices and decisions.

Bluff:  That’s awesome!  Alright, we all know the WSOP is around the corner, do you plan on playing a lot of events?  Are you looking forward to anyone in particular?

Taylor:  I'll be out there for pretty much the whole summer.  I'm looking forward to the 10k heads up tournament and the main event in particular.  Heads up is my best game, so I enjoy playing that event.  I love the main event because of the chance to win many millions for 2 weeks of work.  I've always thought it would be amazing to win a huge tournament someday, and this is by far the biggest tournament in the world.  As far as other events, I'll probably play a few short handed events too, but that's about it.

Bluff:  What’s the living situation looking like for you out there?  Are you getting a pimped out house with some players or what?

Taylor:  Actually it's sort of funny. I'm living with the same group of guys I did last summer, who are mostly MSNL grinders.  The guy booking the house was on a downswing when he booked it, so we got a house that's not all that nice.  It's certainly not bad, and it's close to the Strip, but I won't be in one of the baller houses you see all the 20 year olds getting. I am definitely a bit envious of them.

Bluff:  It still sounds like a good time to me!

Taylor:  It definitely will be!

Bluff:  Do you have any prop bets yet?

Taylor:  I don't have any yet.  I’m sure there will be quite a few though.  I generally don't get too much action on prop bets just because my friends know I’m always looking for an edge.  I’ll definitely try to get some going, mostly something to motivate me to put enough hands in online, which is what I need to make sure I continue to do.

Bluff:  Besides playing poker and running CardRunners, what do you like to do in your spare time?  I know your Chicago Cubs are 13-6!

Taylor:  I know! I’m a big Illinois (Illini) sports fan, particularly college basketball.  During the winter I watch a ton of games, and try to go to a few games a year.  During the summer, I probably go to 10 or so Cubs games. When I’m not working or playing poker, I’m probably just hanging out with my friends.  It’s not all that exciting, but that's pretty much what I do.

Bluff:  You ever bet on sports?

Taylor:  Just with friends, if I do it online, it's for really low stakes ($5 or something).  I do read some sports betting forums because I find it interesting to learn how to develop an edge in a game. I’m not sure I’ll ever really "use" what I’m learning, but I THINK I know enough to at least be slightly better than even money sports betting, if there is no juice.  I doubt I could beat the house, though.

Bluff:  Now on to the Bluff Final Five.  What is pumping in your headphones while your pwning donkeys?

Taylor:  A mix of good rock (Radiohead for example), and horrible pop/80s music.  I like a lot of different music.

Bluff:  LOL!  What hooked you on 80’s music?  Its ok, I love it too!

Taylor:  It reminds me of good times I’ve had.  There has been a lot of 80’s music that has I’ve heard at bars, parties, etc.  It always puts me in a good mood.

Bluff:  Do you believe luck is a factor in poker, and do you have any rituals to avoid bad luck?

Taylor:  Luck is a factor on any given day, but not really in the long run (except maybe if you are a tournament player who plays 10k events where you might never get to the "long run," where luck evens out).  For those reasons, I have no rituals to avoid bad luck, it evens out eventually.

Bluff:  If you could bust anyone or take there whole bankroll whose would it be, and why that person?

Taylor:  It would probably be Guy Lieberte, because he's the richest poker player I know of.  Never mind, Prahlad Friedman just because he used to talk so much trash to me, I did beat him pretty good, though.

Bluff:  I do remember those battles at 50/100nl on Ultimate Bet. Yes u did!  What celebrities would you like to have in your entourage?

Taylor:  Mike Tyson, Turtle and Drama from Entourage, and probably some good looking girls for street credit purposes. 

Bluff:  Haha!  The final question that we always like to ask: Jessica Alba, Jessica, Biel, Scarlett Johansson, or Giselle Bundchen?

Taylor:  Alba if she's not pregnant, Scarlett if she is!

Bluff:  LOL!  Thanks Taylor for letting us catch up with you.  We wish you and CardRunners the best of luck in the future.

Taylor:  Thank you very much.

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