Alex Luneau is a 24 year old French poker professional who has risen through the ranks to play the biggest stakes in the 2-7 and mixed games. He has played against some of the best players on Full Tilt such as Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and durrrr at the nosebleed stakes where he did exceptionally well. Under his screen name "Alex Luneau" on Full Tilt, HighstakesDB has tracked over $734k in winnings, however, this doesn't include all his winnings as Mixed games weren't tracked until a while after these nosebleed games started running.
Alex really came to fame when he won over $1.5 million in December 2010 - January 2011 and is now playing on PokerStars under the screen name "BiatchPeople". He is primarily a cash game player but he has also had a great SCOOP series this month finishing 3rd in Event 03-H for $88k and 4th in Event 38-H for $16k.
We recently had the opportunity to have a short chat with this skilled French player and asked him a few questions about how he got to where he is, what he has been up to lately and what the future holds.
Interview with Alex Luneau
How were you introduced to the game and how have you risen through the ranks to become where you are today?
I was first introduced to poker by a friend when I was 19. My friend was trying his best to make money through poker and I remember explaining to him why you can’t make money from the game haha. I quickly changed a $5 deposit into $15,000 through NLHE cash games within a few months in 2007. By the end of 2008 I was playing $25/$50 NLHE. I started playing PLO in August 2009 and mixed/limit games in December 2009. It is really fun and challenging when starting to play a new game, and a good way to make more money overall as most popular games are tougher nowadays.
What is your favourite game and do you consider yourself a 2-7 triple draw specialist?
2-7 triple draw is definitely my favourite game. There is a lot of fun to draw cards and this is my best game. I think it is the most addictive game as well. When someone asks me to teach them poker, I never start with NLHE which is quite boring and difficult. 2-7 is easier at first and so much more entertaining.
Have you had any major downswings during your career that you would like to discuss?
I have had several major downswings in my career. I am just back from one actually where I dropped 750k. As a professional you have to learn to deal with that. I try my best to avoid huge swings by not playing high variance games at the highest stakes even though I think I am slightly +EV.
Do you have a lot of money stuck on Full Tilt, and are you optimistic in receiving the money back? What do you think of the FTP scandal?
I have a lot of money stuck on Full Tilt. I am optimistic regarding the last news. This scandal was terrible for players and online poker in general. I also miss playing Gus and durrrr.
What stakes are you willing to play at the moment? Who have been the toughest opponents that you’ve faced and is there anyone you won’t play?
I don’t have much money online at the moment but usually I will play anything if games are good up to $100/$200 NLHE/PLO and $1k/$2k limit. The toughest opponent I have faced must be my friend Rui Cao and we have played a lot together.
I think I’ll play almost anyone in 2-7 and in the mixed games. I am much more game selective in the NLHE/PLO games as I won’t be a winner against the top regulars nowadays and if I am a favourite against some, I am only slightly +EV.
Do you prefer playing HU or six-max in cash games?
Heads-up is definitely more interesting. You can play more hands, get in more unusual spots and push your edge more than in ring games.
Are you going to continue focusing on limit/mixed games or are you going to transition to PLO where most of the action seems to be nowadays?
PLO games are way too tough at the highest stakes these days and they often run without a real spot in the game. I don’t want to deal with ridiculous swings. I have seen my friend Rui Cao deal with that and I don’t think it is worth it.
You have not played many live tournaments or televised cash games so far. Will we be seeing you play more of those in the future?
I have actually played many live tournaments in Vegas. Tournaments in Vegas are great for me as I can use my skill as a mixed game player in all of the relevant tournaments (HORSE, 8 game, etc.). I burned out myself in Vegas last year playing loads of live tournament running really bad. I am definitely not going to Vegas this year but maybe next year. In regards to televised cash games, they do not run in France.
Why did you decide to move to London to play poker and are you a regular in the live mixed game they have there?
I had to leave France if I wanted to keep playing high stakes and mixed games as .com poker sites do run in France. I love travelling so I was really happy about moving to London. I have hardly played any live games in London as the mixed games are small (£75/150) and often run as full ring so it is too boring for me.
Who have been your closest poker friends who you discuss strategy with? Do you think it is important to have a good group of friends in the poker world?
Sebastien "Seb86" Sabic has been my closest friend. He has helped me to learn mixed games and 2-7 while I was helping him with NLHE/PLO games as at the time as I was a NLHE/PLO specialist transitioning to mixed games. Poker friends have really helped me in the process to improve my game.
What are your plans for 2012 and the future?
I haven’t really planned anything and I just try to keep enjoying the great life I have right now. Poker has always been great for me and even after four years, I am not bored at all, thanks to mixed games and playing high stakes.
Learn about more high stakes poker regulars in HighstakesDB's player interviews.