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