» Nathan 'questphenom' Doudney
June 22nd, 2009 (10:13pm)
Nathan Doudney, 25, is a regular high stakes cash game player who resides in Bend, Oregon. Nathan had his first breakout live tourney result last year when he outlasted 1397 participants in the NLHE WSOP event #13 for a third place finish and $260,261 after a number of smaller live cashes. He has had an even better 2009 WSOP with several deep runs and cashing for nearly $300k. He was 10th in the recently completed $10k PLO championship.
Congratulations on your 4th place finish in the $10k Heads Up WSOP event #29 for $214,289, Nathan. Walk us through the event. Who did you play and how did the matches go?
My first round opponent was a tough one in Steve 'Mr Smokey' Billirakris. In the second round, I played a tough European, he was sponsored by Winamax poker. In the third round I was matched against a good live pro named Cory Carrol. He was very experienced and probably my toughest opponent. That match was to get to the round of 32 and make the money. After that I took on the Bald Eagle, otherwise known as Steve Zoltow. He is a FTP pro and gave me a good run. Following him was Jason Mercier, who has been hot this WSOP. This match lasted about 3 hands when we got QQ all in against JJ. In the next round, I played a kid that is relatively unknown but a very tough player. His name is Bryan Pellegrino. He had a lead on me and then I was very lucky to win AQ all in against AQ when I hit my flush draw, but that's poker. In the final four, I played EPT owner John Duthie. He played very well against me and eventually ended my quest for the title. All in all I'm pretty happy with they way things turned out. I've been playing well, so hopefully I will have another shot at a bracelet and a WSOP final table.
I heard over the broadcast on ESPN360 last night that Erick Lindgren will be a groomsmen in your upcoming wedding. How did you meet Erick? Has he been a big influence in your poker career?
I met Erick through a buddy of his that went to Gonzaga. We kept in contact since I was interested in poker and he loved basketball. After I graduated I moved in with him and played a lot of live poker in Las Vegas. He has been a big influence and I am very lucky to have him as a poker mentor.
You played high level college basketball at both Texas Tech under Bobby Knight and at Gonzaga. Can you share what it was like to play in both of those programs? You must have some fascinating stories to tell.
Playing for Texas Tech was quite the experience, mainly because Bobby Knight was the coach. I was able to learn a lot about the game but ultimately felt it was in my best interest to transfer. I was lucky to find a great program in Gonzaga. They have been very good to me and I had a wonderful experience there both on and off the court.
When and how did you start playing poker? Was the competitive nature of basketball a natural transition to the felt?
I started playing poker my redshirt year at Gonzaga. Several of my teammates were into it. We had home tourneys and there was an Indian casino that my buddy Ty and Dane took me to, both are whom are Poker Curious members.
I noticed fellow Gonzaga basketball player Blake Stepp finished 15th in event #20 this year. Who is the better poker player? Is Gonzaga a hotbed of skilled poker players?
Well, Blake has had a pretty good WSOP so far this year. Who knows who is better. He plays a lot of MTT's online while I primarily focus on cash games. Gonzaga seems to have a lot of people interested in poker, I think college kids in general are drawn to the game.
Who are the top 5 players you have faced in either cash or tournament action?
Well I have played with all the Phil's and they are all tough, Erick Lindgren is very good as well. But there are some online guys that most people have not heard of that I play against all the time, such as Niki Jedlicka, Sunra 18, and harrington 10. Also some local guys at the Bellagio are pretty tough.
Which do you prefer, playing live or online, cash or tournament poker?
I prefer online and live cash games. Tournaments are fun but you can strike out a lot.
When you play live, what are your favorite casinos?
Northern Quest in Spokane and the Bellagio in Las Vegas are by far my favorites.
How do you balance playing poker with other areas of your life? What do you do when not playing poker?
When I am not playing poker I am golfing or watching sports or just messing around with friends and family.
We've heard you like your prop bets and the Yankees, so here's one for you...what's the over/under on how many home runs could you hit at Yankee stadium against their batting practice pitcher in a home run derby style setting of 10 outs?
Well, last time I had an outing it was against a former college pitcher dealing some stiff narcotics up there. I thought I did pretty well against him, so against grooved fastballs in that park I would say I would it would be similar to the home run derby at the Rockies Bush stadium.
What was a more memorable moment for you... hitting seven 3's against a TJ Ford led Texas team or final tabling a WSOP event?
That is a tough call. We were heavy underdogs in that game, as well. Sorry for all of you that took Texas and laid the points...lol, but beating Texas in Dallas in the big 12 tourney was a big deal. It was most likely that game that propelled my transfer to Gonzaga, so that probably got the entire ball rolling into poker.
We have a lot of members who are newer players, what advice would you give to accelerating their growth as players? Did you have a mentor or someone or thing that accelerated your success?
To the new guys, I would say watch the players that are having success and take some things from that, but mostly play your game, not someone else's. Work hard and play lots of hours when you are up to it. There is no better training tool than playing hands.
So college football season is just around the corner, are you already getting prepared for the betting season? Who are your surprise teams to look out for?
Ya, I cant wait. College football Saturdays are so fun. It starts with the Game Day crew at 8 am Pacific and goes till the Hawaii game goes final. It should be a great season. I expect Notre Dame, of all teams, to have a better year. We'll have to wait and see who else shows up. But I expect the Gators and the Sooners to be tough again this season.
If you make another deep run, and into the November 9, can we get you into a Poker Curious t-shirt?
I will always have a spot for my friends at Poker Curious.