Ryan D’Angelo (pictured right) has been playing tournament poker both online and live for a few years now. He has lifetime winnings of $1,465,928, and he just scored his largest cash to date at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure , where he finished in fifth place and took home $700,000. D’Angelo was among the chip leaders for the majority of the PCA main event.His first tournament cash came in August of 2006, and he made a World Series of Poker final table in 2008, where he cashed in third place in a $2,000 no-limit hold’em event. D’Angelo has also won a few tournaments online. His best run on the virtual felt came during the World Championship of Online Poker on PokerStars in September. He won a $300 no-limit/limit mixed games event and a $300 pot-limit hold’em event. He took home a combined $119,495 for his efforts, along with two WCOOP bracelets.Card Player caught up with D’Angelo in the Bahamas, and he spoke about how he got his start in the game along with some advice on how to play a big stack in a huge tournament.Ryan Lucchesi: How do you like to play in a tournament when you have a big chip lead?Ryan D’Angelo: Whenever I sit at a new table, I play conservative for a little bit to get a feel for what everyone is doing. I really don’t come in with a game plan. Today, I’ve just been chipping up a bit, there is 100,000 in each pot before the flop, so just stealing it makes it easy to chip up. People haven’t been fighting back too much. I was able to knock a person out when I had trips against their second pair, and they called all three streets. That was 2.8 million chip pot for me.RL: Are you planning to pick on short stacks as their situation becomes worse?RD: It’s tough, because the short-stacks are very competent at when they should be shoving, so those are tougher spots for me, because I won’t be able to open-raise as liberally. I will see if they’re willing to stick it in; some people are not willing to stick it in very light, because there are only 16 players left in this huge tournament.RL: Because the field has played so fast most of this tournament, would you say that your approach has been conservative throughout?RD: I would say that I’ve been playing it more like a cash game, because we have been pretty deep the entire tournament. I have played a lot of heads-up sit-and-gos online, which helps me with pot control and stuff like that. I can pick good spots, which is a good thing about having a stack. I’m not going to gamble and double people up, I’m always trying to get in with the best hand, for sure, and hope they hold up. The whole tournament I haven’t lost a flip so far. Luck is very important.RL: How did you get your start in poker?RD: I started playing professionally a couple of years ago on my own. It was my main thing, I had a few side jobs. I started my senior year of high school, playing online a little bit, and then I started playing in college a little bit more. I was a losing player the first year probably, I didn’t really understand bankroll management, which is very important. Slowly, I started playing smaller sit-and-gos and smaller tournaments and I was very intrigued by the money and competition aspect of it. Being able to control your own schedule was very intriguing to me, as well.I didn’t really like working nine-to-five jobs, so it kind of fit perfectly. I have been doing it ever since and I have been to the World Series the last three summers. I have also been to EPT San Remo , EPT Barcelona , and APPT Macau , I’ve been around a little bit.RL: You mentioned that you play a lot of sit-and-gos online. Is that the primary game you look for online or do you mix up your game selection?RD: It varies from six months to six months. The last six months, I’ve been playing Sunday tournaments online and heads-up sit-and-goes during the week. I’ve been taking some time off lately. The last year was a grind so it is nice to take some time off, and just play when I feel like it.RL: What are some of the ways you improve your game besides playing?RD: I watch a lot of poker training videos. I do that during my off time to stay sharp, which is very important. Game trends are changing every few months, so you really have to stay on top of it. I came into the PCA very confident. I won two WCOOP events in September.RL: You mentioned the importance of bankroll management. What advice would give to beginning players to approach bankroll management?RD: You should be realistic with yourself and don’t play stakes that make you feel uncomfortable when you lose. If you go to bed angry after a losing session then you should drop down in stakes for sure, no matter what you play, cash games or tournaments. There are also backing sites, if you’re a good enough player to get backed that’s another good route to take for sure.
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