Meet The Festival Series Friend- 888poker Ambassador Ian Simpson
The Festival Online Series is in full swing at 888poker. In collaboration with PokerListings, we have an extremely outbalanced schedule, available for all kinds of bankrolls. The series will last until April 13th, and is already a big success with several big winners revealed throughout the first period of the series. 888poker ambassadors are all in the mix as well, and let it happen that Ian “Simpioni” Simpson is one of them! This enthusiast and real poker fanatic- made his way up the ranks of poker incredibly fast, and now you have the chance to compete against him at the virtual poker tables! Let’s get to know this Geordie boy a bit better at first.
Melvin TF: Hi Ian, thank you for taking the time for us. You joined the 888poker army just recently as one of their ambassadors. What better way to start than with The Festival Online, going on for about 30 days straight? What do you think of the schedule and the tournaments overall?
- Ian: MTT's were what first drew me to poker. Battling through hundreds, sometimes thousands of players to try to come out on top is exhilarating. This series boasts a lot of juicy events, including a bunch of Mystery Bounty tournaments that have that unique additional complexity to add to the excitement. I can't wait to sink my teeth into them!
Melvin TF: How did you end up being involved in poker?
- Ian: I learned 5 card draw when I was just 5 years old, being taught by my parents on a rainy holiday in the Lake District. When I got older I taught my friends how to play and that's when we found Poker Night Live and other such shows on TV. It's mind-boggling to me that Kara Scott was a presenter on that show that first got me excited about poker and now I get to work alongside her and other great ambassadors in the 888 team.
Melvin TF: In 2012 you kicked off your live career and managed to get 4th place at the Irish Open for $141K. From what we know, you quit your job as a teacher for your poker career. How did all that turn out so fast? And on top of that, you won the same event the year after!
- Ian: I still can't fully comprehend just how much that year changed my life and led me to where I am today. Thankfully, my family was around me to help me keep a level head in the face of such dizzying changes to help make the best of it!
Melvin TF: At the Irish Open you won another €100K with a last longer bet. Would you mind telling us a bit about it? As you came as a qualifier in the tournament, it must have been quite something!
- Ian: It was mind-boggling. €50k of that promotion had to be spent on live MTT's. I was a recreational player thrown into the deep end. It was a steep learning curve, but thankfully I was able to study the game along the way to help make the best of it
Melvin TF: The Festival Series Live has just recently had its stop in Nottingham. Did you hear about our Festival before? What do you think about a mixed games festival, where poker is not the only thing on the agenda?
- Ian: I keep meaning to learn more of the mixed games, but it's so hard to find the time! Between keeping on top of my Hold 'Em study, streaming four days a week, and being a husband and a father it doesn't leave much time to learn new formats! I heard great things about The Festival from some friends who attended.
Melvin TF: You have been traveling quite a lot over the years for your poker career. When choosing a destination. Based on what requirements you are planning your trips? Do you play satellites for the events online as well if they are present?
- Ian: I love satellite tournaments, especially when the target is a live festival. I used to have the luxury of targeting live events that were in destinations I'd never visited before in order to explore a new city. I've new priorities in life now in raising my daughter, so my main objective for live poker is to get in as much volume as possible to support my family.
Melvin TF: Our next stop will be in Malta (May 15-21), will you be present?
Ian: Unfortunately this event clashes with 888 live Barcelona, so I won't be able to attend! It's a real shame because I love a trip to Malta for some poker. Hopefully next time!