By PokerMedley, February 2012
Interview with Rohit ‘GodlikeRoy’ Bhasin
Rohit Bhasin, known as ‘Godlikeroy’ or simply ‘Roy’ online, is an Australian professional poker player who specializes in Pot Limit Omaha. He can be found crushing any Pot Limit Omaha cash games between $2/$4 and $25/$50 online. Bhasin mostly plays on PokerStars, where he has earned Supernova Elite status (the highest VIP club rewards) for the last two years. According to PokerTableRatings, Bhasin was the 5th biggest winner in the world at Mid Stakes Omaha cash games online in 2011.
How did you get into poker?
Similar to a lot of people I think. I was at a friend’s house having a Halo night (nerd alert) and in one of the breaks we were eating pizza and flicking through the TV channels and poker came on. One of my buddies Glen (who I’ll never forget!), explained the rules and got me interested in the game and I was immediately fascinated.
I played plenty of home games with those friends and others, and also read online forums. For online, I played play money, then freerolls, and then real money. I was fortunate enough to start off winning and just took it from there.
When did you decide to turn pro?
I started playing when I was 16 or 17, so still in high school. I was making decentish money but not enough to “go pro”, though the idea was constantly in my mind. I went to university for one semester but somewhere during the middle of it I lost interest and was focusing everything on poker and my marks suffered; I was even putting in sessions during lectures! So I decided to take a break and give poker a shot. It went very well.
What did your friends and family think?
My parents, specifically my mum, wanted me to go back to university. I wasn’t totally opposed so after a 6 month break I decided to give university another shot. I lasted 40 minutes before walking out and haven’t looked back.
Most of my friends thought it was super-duper cool and awesome. Most of my family thought the same. My parents were weary, as you can imagine, but they eventually came around; my dad quicker than my mum but they both knew I love what I do and I was successful and able to support myself completely.
You mentioned in your ‘well’ on 2plus2 that you played a variety of poker variants at first, why did u not just stick to No Limit Hold’em like everyone else?
Mostly because I thought the other variants were really cool and fun. Whenever we played home games we would usually do a No Limit Hold’em tournament/SNG and then move on to Dealer’s Choice cash games. I looked forward to the cash games the most. We’d play all the usual variants (Omaha, Stud, Pineapple, etc.) then continue coming up with new and different games.
It’s kinda like what I would do as a kid with other non-poker games. But this time it was with poker, which was a great and fun game. And more importantly it had money on the line, which makes everything so much better.
Apart from Pot Limit Omaha, what were your favorite games?
I really enjoyed my stint of playing 2-7 Triple Draw when it was first introduced on Stars, but maybe that’s just because I ran good and was winning a bunch. My favorite games have been and always will be the not-so-real games.
Things like Chicago (Stud-Hi where half the pot goes to the highest spade in the hole) or Baseball (another Stud variant with wild cards, putting extra money in the pot and “buying” of cards). I love basically any game with wild cards that wasn’t completely stupid.
Did you make consistent money in any of those games?
I think I made consistent money at all games I played, though for some the sample sizes weren’t huge. I remember playing $1/$2 stud on Cryptologic way back in the day as it was great for clearing bonuses. The games were sick good too.
I made consistent money from No Limit Hold’em too but never got close to the amount I am making at PLO these days. Partly because I had a smaller roll and worse bankroll management and also partly because I was just a worse player overall back then.
Tell us about your Pot Limit Omaha career…..
I started at $2/$4 as I had built a bankroll playing other games. To say “I never really looked back” would be a lie as it was a bit of a snakes-and-ladders thing when I was moving up. I definitely just plain stunk at the game to start out and it took me a solid year or so before I even felt comfortable at the tables. I was fortunate enough to have some great PLO minds around me when I was learning and they helped me out a lot, especially with my short-stacking game.
What stakes did you start at and how did you move up to $25/$50 on PokerStars?
I never really “moved up” in the traditional sense of waiting until I had $x and then playing y stakes. I just moved around a lot and when I had a bunch of money and felt comfortable I’d play some higher games and kept doing that. I was staked for a portion of my career, especially for the $10/$20 and $25/$50 portion of things. These days I prefer to keep most of my play at the $2/$4 to $5/$10 stakes, as I can grind out a very comfortable living with little stress and variance doing what I do.
Have you ever taken a shot at above $25/$50?
I’ve played in a couple of $50/$100 games when they were really good but they weren’t true shots. I don’t plan to strike those games again anytime soon, I’m very happy where I am.
What do you think are your biggest leaks in PLO? If you have any…
My biggest leak is definitely on the mental side of things. I play my B and C game far too often and my A game far too rarely.
Are you planning on learning any other games seriously?
For the time being I’m more than happy with PLO.
How often do you travel to live events?
Not a ton, and when I do it is usually based around a holiday of some sort or to meet up with poker friends more than to play the actual tournaments. That said, a couple of times a year I do enjoy to play live tourneys so it all works out well. The Aussie Millions is one that I try to get to each year. Strictly speaking my EV is probably higher staying home and grinding all the time but where’s the fun in that!
Do you have any ambition to win a WSOP bracelet?
Like any poker player, I would love to win a bracelet but I’m not overly ambitious about it.
Do you travel to Las Vegas a lot?
I’ve been to Vegas probably more than 10 times and the WSOP 3 times (I think I was underage for one of them though). I’m undecided as to whether I’m going this year or not.
How much did Black Friday affect you?
It didn’t affect me personally greatly. I didn’t play much on Full Tilt and only lost a relatively small amount there. Game quality on PokerStars appears to be as good as ever. It will be interesting to see how things continue to develop over the coming year with regards to regulation in the US.
PokerStars has changed their rake system this year from the dealt method to a contributed method. Are you still going for Supernova Elite this year?
Yes, I’ll definitely still be attempting SNE this year. I’ve gotten off to a slow start but I did the same last year, and plan to make up for it later on.
Will you be putting more hours in or playing more pots in order to make up for the lost VPPs?
I’ve noticed a decrease of about 10% in terms of VPPs per hand that I’m receiving this year vs last year so it’s nothing too drastic, and I don’t mind if I have to put in some more volume to hit SNE. I haven’t played around with different play styles yet either so I may be able to tailor my game to a point where I am involved in more pots and can come out ahead in terms of VPPs.
We noticed that you are reaching 5,000 posts on 2plus2, will you be making a big milestone post?
I’ve never made a milestone post on 2p2, and I probably won’t make one at 5000 either. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but I don’t have much time and I have no topic in mind. I’ve always felt that if you want to make a big post then you should make one and I definitely have done so in the past.
I think that it’s not a bad idea to use milestones as some sort of self-reminder/randomizing system for when to make big posts, and have been a big fan of a many milestone posts that I’ve read, but I still prefer to abide by the “if you want to make a thread, make it” view of thinking.
What are your goals for the next few years?
For the next few years I just want to continue doing what I’m doing, ideally increasing my win rate a bit and staying on top of the games. Perhaps taking some shots at the higher games.
And finally, do you think you will be a professional poker player for the rest of your life?
If poker were to remain as it is for the rest of eternity then I would love to be a poker pro forever, but I doubt that will happen. More likely in 10-15 years I will move to some other form of income but I assume that I will always play poker at least semi-professionally on the side for additional income.