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11 Questions with Nathanael Seet

Posted by : DM101 on Saturday, August 08, 2009 permalink


Given his quiet manner and reluctance for attention, Nathanael Seet is not a name that many would have heard of. There can be little argument however, that he is one of the most successful poker players ever to have emerged out of Singapore, or indeed in Asia. Nathanael started playing poker 4 years ago. After 6 months of learning at the lower stakes, he started winning consistently and never looked back. Nathanael has mown down live games from Australia to Las Vegas on-route to a high stakes bankroll, and has on several occasions dragged massive pots from the likes of Johnny Chan and Joe Hachem. Pokerkaki.com catches up with Nathanael on a break from his globe-trotting sessions.

How long have you been playing poker for, and what’s the journey as a poker pro in Asia been like so far?

I’ve been playing for 4 years. It’s been an endless process of discovery and learning. Years 2-3 were the fearless years where failure or losing were never considerations. I’ve been very active this year, to the point where I’m a little tired of the grind. Just like in any other job, you get burnt out every now and then.

What were the key factors that led to your decision to turn professional?


I haven’t actually. It just happens to be my main and only form of income.

Do you prefer tournaments or cash games?

I am a cash game pro.

Do you prefer playing live or online? Why?

I am a live game pro. My skill sets have been honed for live games and some of these skill sets are irrelevant online. Success online requires certain attributes that I find myself lacking sometimes.

Is it possible to make a living playing in your native country?

Yes but only if you are the best because of the relatively smaller population. You probably have to be in the top 5 to make good money.

Tell us about the most interesting hand you ever played.

There are many interesting hands but here’s one that stayed with me. 10 handed ring game 200-400HKD blinds in Macau. I raise pre-flop in late position with suited connectors. Forgot the exact cards but take it as QhTh. Villain to my left calls and maybe some other people call. Flop comes like 885hh. I make a bet, guy to my left raises, and I call for my draw. Turn blanks out and I check, and the villain fires an unusually small bet about 3/5 pot size. It’s unusually small for his standard because leads out for a larger percentage of the pot size. Therefore I call for my draw again. River blanks out and I check, ready to give up my hand. At this point he fires an unusually large pot-sized bet of about say 40k. I tanked for a bit and thought about the way he played this hand, closely observing his tells. Having decided that he too had come up short on his draw, I put myself all-in for 48k and he folded for 8k more.

Why did you play the hand this way? I’m sure our readers would love to follow the precise thought processes on this.

There are a couple key factors to consider when making a play like this. The first point to note is what the basic/standard way of playing a particular hand the villain adopts. Now I said he made unusually small and then large bets for his playing style. I figured that he might be on some sort of draw as well and bet the turn in hoping to take the pot down and if not he still has outs. On the river his only option is to bluff and I figured correctly that he is the type of person to bluff larger than he would betting for value; coupled with some physical reads I have on him.
I would only make this play if I think my chances of taking the pot down is 80% and above.

What is your favourite place to play in Asia?

Home is where the heart is.

Do you think poker is more a game of skill than chance? Why?

Yes because after 4 years I’m winning on a regular basis. And I’m more than willing to play heads up with a person who believes poker to be all about luck.

What do you think regulators in your country need to know about poker?

Nothing they do not already know. This is Singapore!

What advice do you have for players who want to turn professional?

Don’t.








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