Jimmy "Gobboboy" Fricke from Champaign, Illinois has been playing poker for about two years and dropped out of school to play full time. He recently made a name for himself after he cashed in two major events inside of eight days. The 19-year old internet pro took 22nd place at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas then flew halfway around the world to Melbourne, Australia where he took down second place at the Aussie Millions. Although he lost to Gus Hansen heads-up, Gobboboy won $1 million (Australian dollars) in the process. I had a chance to interview Gobboboy shortly after his epic run.
Pauly: I heard that you dropped out of high school to play poker. Is that true? What did your family think about your decision to go pro?
Gobboboy: I graduated from high school. I dropped out of college because I hated college. Poker was just my backup plan. I don't think my family liked it too much, but my mom has always let me do whatever I want. She knew I hated college and was unsure of how well I could do. Now, she knows I'll be fine. My dad didn't really accept it until the Aussie Millions.
Pauly: What was the point in your arc as a young poker player when you knew you could play poker for a living?
Gobboboy: Hell, I still don't know now. I've had success, there's so much variance in poker that I could still be a losing player. I think that I make correct decisions, and as long as that's true and I keep good bankroll management, I definitely can be a professional.
Pauly: What was the hardest obstacle that online poker players have to overcome in live events?
Gobboboy: Keeping their patience. Most online players will admit that playing live is more fun. However, when you're playing approximately one-tenth the hands or less than online, keeping your patience is extremely important at all times. It took me a decent number of live tournaments to get good at this, including one WPT. I still get a little impatient sometimes.
Pauly: What's your favorite aspect of online poker?
Gobboboy: I love being able to do other things while playing online. Being able to have a game going in the corner of my monitor while I do something else is awesome, and in most computer games it's impossible to do.
Pauly: How would you best describe your style of play?
Gobboboy: I don't really have a style of play. I adapt to the table around me, because every decision you make at the poker table is an independent decision. If I take each decision by itself and make the absolute correct play, I could either be playing tight or super loose by no fault of my own, just the cards and they way they are falling. In tournaments, you have to be aggressive, so I'm going to be that either way.
Pauly: Which online poker players do you admire?
Gobboboy: Eric "Rizen" Lynch is a friend of mine and I admire him because he's young with a family. He wasn't sure he was going to be a professional until he realized just how profitable he was at MTTs. He has so much discipline that he's going to be one of the best MTT players in the world when he can start playing more often. Jason "Strassa" Strasser is a genius and one of the best players in the world. Yet, he's always been focused on school and isn't even going to be a professional poker player after he steps into the corporate world.
Pauly: What's the coolest thing about being a young poker player?
Gobboboy: Being able to travel everywhere is great, but honestly it's just the ability to not care about money at all. I don't blow my money buying stupid things, but I mean if anything happens and I need $1,000, I can give it up and barely care. It's security without walls.