"Fernando Pons": the last November Nine
Fernando Pons, or "nandito" Pons, as he is known at the field. A regular of the Spanish live circuits, his life totally changed in 2016, when he classified for the WSOP through a €30 888.es satellite. But not only he did classify but he also made his way up to the final table, becoming one of the last promotion of WSOP "November Nine". At that moment, Fernando Pons, was not even a professional player, he played just for fun, but he ended up transforming a €30 satellite into a $1,000.000 prize and becoming a Spanish legend thanks as Chris Moneymaker did.
At the moment, he is no longer a recreational and he's become a member of the 888.es pro team. We had the chance to talk to him about poker life and career. Keep on reading!
-Congrats for your 3rd position at the Battle of Malta High Roller de Battle of Malta. We start with a question I'm sure you've heard a million times, but it is mandatory. You are one of the lasts November Nine in WSOP history, how did your life change after that?
Honestly was a huge flip over, 'cause I was having a bit of issues back then, and after that everything changed. Now we live much more relaxed, wit no important worries and I can spend more time with my family. I work in what I like plus I am sponsored and getting good results so, what else could I ask for?
-Tournaments, trips all over the world...How do poker and family get on together? Is it difficult?
I don't think it is that hard. I am quite a lot outside, but you'll find this situation in many other jobs, like sales manager, for example. In my former job I talked a lot with sales people and they actually spent more time travelling than at home. We are lucky, 'cause my wife took some time off work to study and she can take care of our daughter while I am abroad. At the end it's all a matter of being flexible.
-How is it to be brand ambassador of a poker room with so many live circuits? We understand there are a lot of pros...but what about the "cons"?
Honestly, no "cons" at all, moreover, all advantages! I'd love to be brand embassador for many more years.
-You play at .FRES, how do you see the so called shared liquidity? What issues need to be improved?
Well, some other rooms have already started with it. Much more traffic for sure, bigger guarantees etc. In 888.es we hope to get in the .FRES market soon. Regarding issues to be improved, well, as usual, the damned fees, we pay over too much. But as everybody knows I don't want to get boring with it. It's just shameful!
-How important do you think rake is for a professional poker player? Do you think an improvement in rake conditions will help to build a better pool of young players?
Obviously is very important. The less you pay the more you will improve your ROI, so will your winnings do. I'm sure improving rake conditions would help to build a stronger pool of young players. Years ago it was much better, cause it was worth it to play big volumes because of the rakeback rates. Without having any graphics or statistics I'm sure there were much more new players than now.
-How do you prepare before a tournament?
Well, usually I go for a big meal with my friends before the game, hahahaha, specially before the Spanish CNP888 because I usually meet with friends from different cities of the country and we go over the good old times on and on. Usally the only routine I follow is to have a good sleep the night before and do some exercise or streching the same day of the tournament.
-Do you read poker books? Could you recommend any book that you find particularly useful?
I haven't read many but I really enjoyed “The mental game of poker”.
-Let's talk about tells. How much can you really figure out with a player tells? Do you think you're good at it? And last, which are, in your opinion, the most common tells you can see in the fields.
Well, I think I am quite good at it. At least that's what I've seen in the videos I've seen me playing. I remember when I was bluffing at the WSOP tv table against Dan Colman. I think that's the moment I have been more nervous in my whole life of poker player. I thought my head was totally moving, but when I saw the videos actually it looked quite alright.
Regarding the most common tells in poker, I think it depends a lot of the field and the tournament we are talking about, but I think that more than the tells themself what it can help a lot reading the hands is the size of the bettings they are doing. Of course, you need to be very observative to be able to read all this.
-And last, which is the worst badbeat that ever happened to you?
I could tell you quite a bunch, but I really don't think it's time to cry about them, hahahaha. Well, I will tell you the one that made me lost more money. It was in K8 and the flop was a K. Bad luck, but in the long term things fall right in their place.
-Thanks a lot for your time and for being so honest. We wish you the best and we hope to see you soon at the WSOP TV tables ;)
-My pleasure. Thank you guys.