Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

You don’t have to search too far to see – or hear – Will Kassouf these days: from Live at the Bike to Poker After Dark,  Will is busier than Floyd Mayweather’s accountant. The grosvenorpoker.com sponsored pro is enjoying life; regularly rubbing shoulders with poker superstars like Phil Helmuth, Mike Matusow and Scotty Nguyen to name a few.

We caught up with Will, away from the glitzy lights of LA and Vegas, to find out a bit more about what he’s been up to, including the upcoming  “GG Will Bounty Special”.

We saw you push Jean-Robert Bellande to his limit with your speech play on Poker After Dark, causing him at one point to even try to pay you to stop talking. Has your chat ever landed you in any dicey situations away from the table?

I had one standout altercation, at EPT Barcelona, late on in day 2. I got moved to a new table and went about my usual happy-chappy introduction. I try to get the table relaxed and want everyone to have a good time. I walk over and give it the old ‘This must be the feature table! Look at this lineup, never seen so many sharks lined up.’

A German player (who was unknown to me) went instantly on tilt. He got really angry, starting swearing, asked to meet me outside and basically wanted to hit me. I hadn’t even been involved in a hand! It was quite funny really, the floor was called, camera crews setup on standby and security guards flanked either side of the table. I remained silent and didn’t make it worse. 45 minutes later he threatened again. Other players at the table came to my defence, saying he was out of line. He got threatened with disqualification and our table was broke. I never saw him again. It was quite funny, I mean I’ve never been in a fight in my life, on or off the tables.

That’s the closest I ever came to getting in hot water.

Obviously talking and joking at the table is nothing new to you, can we expect the same from your Twitch stream?

Yes, I will be talking just as much on the Twitch steam. I don’t play that much online, so will be getting involved with listeners as much as I can, having a bit of banter and enjoying the game.

Obviously when you play online there is less interaction than live, but I will be utilising that chat box to the maximum!

You must be really excited about the upcoming “GG Will” Promotion on grosvenorpoker.com, can you tell us more?

This is a fantastic promotional tournament from grosvenorpoker.com. It’s basically a £5,000 GTD, £30 freezeout tournament, held on the 10th September. In addition to the likely overlay, I will be playing with a £550 GUKPT main event bounty on my head. If a player engages with the social media mechanic, on the Grosvenor poker Facebook post or Twitter account, then plays the tournament and knocks me out, they will turn that £550 GUKPT package into a £2,500 GUKPT grand final package.

The tournament is held on 10th September at 7pm, I will be streaming it live on Twitch, so get involved and try to bust me. Last year’s GUKPT Grand Final Winner Mark Wright won £132,380 in this event and I have final tabled this event, I can tell you it’s one of the highlights in the UK poker calendar.

Have you ever had a bounty so big on your head before? Can you tell us about your experiences as a bounty? 

I haven’t played many bounty tournaments myself and have never come close to having a £2,500 bounty on my head, so I’m really excited about this event. The idea is to give as many players as possible a cheap shot at busting me and getting to play the headline event of the most prestigious tour in the country.

It will be a unique experience, I will do my best to go as deep as possible. I was a bounty in the Joker is Wild event at Goliath, which was a lot of fun. I had the 25/25 series seat on my head (unknown to me as the bounties are random) and managed to outlast the other sponsored pros apart from Jeff Kimber. Bobby Skyers from Luton won the seat after knocking me out, him holding the joker.

Any tips for anyone trying to bust you? What are your weaknesses?

I cannot give specific details on my weaknesses, for obvious reasons. I still like to make money! There is definitely a current trend of players trying to make moves on me, generally with 9-high after the hand at last year’s WSOP.

It is surprisingly easy to get me to fold. I am definitely a believer as opposed to a non-believer, so I get bluffed a lot more in some spots. If I was playing against me, I would use that information. Try and make moves against me at the right time, with a good image, and I’ll often give the benefit of the doubt.

Just don’t expect me to lay down the coconuts.

How do people play differently against you in bounty tournaments? 

I haven’t played in many, but it was clear in the “Joker is Wild” that players try to call more opposed to 3-bet or squeeze, for obvious reasons. Their idea is to get in the pot cheaply to get more value, this results in a lot more multi-way hands compared to a conventional tournament.

That mentality is obviously sound, but this can hurt them when they run up against other hands and cannot get away. It’s much easier to get cold-decked in this situation. For example, playing any 2 suited or connected cards, flopping non-nut flushes and straights and ending up in “cooler” situations they could have prevented by mucking these middling or garbage hands pre-flop. It also leaves them open to aggressive players squeezing them. You have to weigh up the value of the tournament with the expected value of being in a pot against me. I don’t go broke easily.

The way you get busted is making the right move at the wrong time; I’m pretty good at showing weakness and slow-playing in unusual spots. I often get the better of overly aggressive players.

You are known as a bit of a marmite character, and regularly put players on tilt.  What are the funniest ways you have busted players/seen players tilt off their stacks?

The funniest way I regularly tilt players is simply by telling them the exact contents of my hand. I give away a lot of information; sometimes giving away my exact hand! This puts players on huge tilt when they lose a pot after this.

It’s generally an ego thing. Like most poker players they get annoyed when they make a wrong decision. Making the wrong decision when someone has told you their hand is always a little more annoying…..

Fancy turning £30 into a shot at more than £100,000? Download Grosvenor poker and then go check out the promotional page to ensure you know what to do. First ‘GG Will’ bounty tournament held September 10th, 7pm, only on grosvenorpoker.com, where poker lives.