Interview With Louise Butler

Louise Butler ranks number one in the all-time Irish female online charts – more than $½million to her name in cashes - but the partypoker pro is still relatively new to the game she says.

By: Andrew Burnett

HighStakesDB took some time to find out how Louise views the poker grind, who helps her along the way, and what she would do if she was made 'partypoker boss for a day’!

Q: You learned poker at University – how did that come about?

I played home games with friends once or twice a week. The games were insanely fun and out of line.

Q: When did you realise that playing professionally was an option and how did you friends/family respond?

Years after those home games, I stumbled on a story about some Irish guys playing professionally and that inspired me to deposit $300 as a bankroll and try to grind it up.

At that time, I was busy travelling and working. I'd play when I had a chance but that wasn't often enough so it took a while. Once I had some decent profit graphs and a big enough bankroll, I realised playing full-time was an option.
I was nervous about telling my family but they were supportive! My friends were great too!

Q: Who is person/player who has helped you most in your poker career?

My husband is amazing. He cooks delicious meals for me that I can easily grab on my five minute breaks. He also picks up a lot of slack for me around the house when I'm grinding. In return, I hook him up with some free poker trips to fun places.

In the poker world, Charlie Godwin has helped me the most. She was the first serious female player I met. I knew nobody at the time and she went out of her way to make me feel welcome and to help me.

Q: Did the partypoker sponsorship come as a surprise?

Yes! It all started with a random click and collect. partypoker were running a promotion where you just had to click on a page when you logged in to win a random prize.

I won a package to a partypoker LIVE event in Killarney. I was nervous but ended up running up a monster stack early and being on the feature table and that's when partypoker first expressed an interest in working with me. Winning that click and collect was some life run-good.

Q: What sets them apart from the other big sites in your opinion?

The company is filled with people passionate about the game and it shows. They listen to players and respect them so the site is continuously improving.

As an online MTT player I really appreciate the player-friendly changes partypoker has made over the last year. The software has improved massively, the MTT schedule is excellent and the rake is low. In my opinion, it's the best site for tournament grinders now.

Q: Describe your daily routine for playing online please.

I'm terrible at keeping a set routine! I tend to grind hard for a few days - basically just sleeping and playing - then I'll take a few days off to relax and work on my game.

Q: Which partypoker online tournaments are on your must-play list each week?

I like the new Gladiator events. They have great structures and the bounty element is rake-free.

Q: You’ve already won plenty online, not so much live. Do you hope to make a name for yourself in the live tournament scene too?

For now, my focus is on grinding online. I'm still relatively new to playing professionally and the fact that I can play lots of tables at once online means I can improve much faster and also have less trouble dealing with variance. I also bought a house recently that's a bit of a fixer-upper and it's easier to get some work done on the house when I play from home.

Live poker trips are so much fun though! I absolutely love going to live events to see new places, socialise and take a shot at a big score. 

Q: Irish poker seems to have punched above its weight for a long time – any particular reason why?

Ireland has certainly punched above its weight in poker. Sport is a big part of Irish culture. I think a lot of Irish people develop a competitive spirit at a young age from their involvement in sports and that transfers well to poker.

Q: I don’t see any females on the recently-announced Team partypoker Player Panel :/ Should there be/will there be?

It's very important that female voices are listened to and respected by poker sites and I'm confident this is the case at partypoker. If we didn't have existing avenues to ensure this, then I would think it's essential to have a woman on the player panel from day one.

However, partypoker have done an excellent job of making sure female voices are heard through partypoker Ladies and a strong roster of female ambassadors.

The site clearly invests in making poker a fun game for women and I like how partypoker select their female ambassadors. partypoker's current roster of female players is almost certainly the most active of any site- it's full of grinders who are some of the top ranked current female players in their respective markets today. I'm proud to be part of that and I'd be willing to bet that we'll see a female player on the panel in the future.

Q: You are made big boss of partypoker for the day… what do you change?

I'd like to try running an intro segment before streamed partypoker final tables where we learn a bit about each of the final table participants - their background, their interests, their nicknames, what a win would mean to them etc.

Poker has lots of great characters and stories and I'd love to see that showcased more - I think it would make feature tables more entertaining. The reason Twitch is so engaging is because viewers know the streamer's story so they root for them - I'd like to see if something similar would help make live event coverage more engaging.

Q: What is the single best thing about being a professional poker player?

Getting to play poker instead of having to go to work.

Q: And the worst..?

The terrible sleep pattern.

Q: Team partypoker Ladies challenge the partypoker gentlemen…which player do you call out heads up?

Ludo (Ludovic Geilich) the Scotsman is box office viewing.

Q: Design your own perfect partypoker tournament – what does it look like?

A high buy-in ladies invitational tournament. It would be fun, a good networking opportunity and an interesting event for a stream.

Q: What is the most memorable/ridiculous/amazing poker experience you’ve had?

Winning a $12,000 Caribbean Poker Party package in a last minute $109 satellite a few days before signing with partypoker. It was a surreal week. On Sunday I was at home grinding my usual games and by Thursday I was in a Caribbean resort about to play my first 5k and I had a sponsorship deal with partypoker.

Q: How much money would you have to be offered to give up poker?

Too much and not enough.

Q: Outside of poker, what brings you most enjoyment in life?

Hanging out with fun people or my cats and spending time in Thailand.

We can expect a lot more from Louise as she takes the partypoker ladies to new heights over the coming year.

You can keep up to date with Louise's blog pieces on her blog here.

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