Aaron ‘aejones’ Jones is a familiar name to anyone involved in the online poker community, especially if you’re a regular over at 2+2. Aaron has made a name for himself in various ways – some know him for his willingness to mix it up on the forums, others for his regular presence in the higher midstakes games online, and others due to his role as a lead instructor at LeggoPoker.
Aaron was one of the first instructors over at Leggo, a training site that focuses primarily on shorthanded cash games. Leggo also has healthy coverage of full ring cash and some tournament. Aaron was nice enough to answer a few questions for PTP over email.
PTP: For our readers who aren’t familiar with you as a player, talk a little bit about how you got started and what games you’re currently focusing on.
AE: I’ve been playing for at least 3 years now. I never grinded small stakes, but I took a long time grinding midstakes, going broke multiple times due to poor bankroll management and tilt issues. I took a swing at tournaments, but did not run well and they were not interesting enough for me. I took a few shots at high stakes cash, and ran bad until the beginning of 2008. I’ve been playing 25/50+, all short handed NLHE.
PTP: What’s the hardest game currently running online in your opinion?
AE: I really think the hardest games online are 10-20 6m. By that level (and even some of those below it), most of the player pool are grinders and are hard to extract money from in any obvious way- it’s primarily just exploiting small edges. Alternatively, I’d say sitting across from a very tough player heads up is the toughest game, in theory.
PTP: You’re working with LeggoPoker; talk a little bit about how you got involved with those guys and how the relationship is working out.
AE: I was asked to be part of the Leggo team at the beginning, and since then (November 07) I’ve called out a lot of personal friendships and brought on a lot of people I met through poker to work together. Leggo focuses primarily on NLHE and also on shorthanded cash games, so I’m a very good fit. I also seem to have a knack for expressing my thoughts, so I’m glad I got to work with Leggo from the beginning because it has given me an opportunity to grow with the site.
PTP: The online training market feels a little saturated – what’s unique about Leggo that justifies adding a subscription to the average player’s overhead?
AE: Wow, we’ve got a bunch of guys that are crushing the games right now, in 2008. As far as muscle for short handed and heads up NLHE, a lot of our video producers are beating very high stakes right now. The other important aspect is that we aren’t just enjoying our 15 minutes of fame- everyone has been around for quite a while and endured grinding at mid stakes to reach their success. Every video producer is very well versed in explaining their thoughts, not just giving play by play of what is going on in the video. Quite simply, if your game is short handed or heads up NLHE, Leggo is the place to be.
PTP: Talk a little about the experience of making videos and how it’s impacted your game, if at all.
AE: It might be a coincidence, or just the coming of my time, that I started playing 25/50+ around the time I started making videos for Leggo- but it might not be. What can I say? Success has correlated with my video producing. Whenever I’m not playing well or find myself bored by poker, I take my time and make a video. I feel like sometimes you get so deep into leveling battles at high stakes, it’s important to play some midstakes and get a feel for the fundamentals of the game. Overall, I’d guess that it’s had a very positive impact on my game.
PTP: How involved are you in the politics of poker? Are you a PPA member or otherwise interested in the legal status of online poker in the US?
AE: About 3 months ago I took interest in the Legislation forum on 2+2. I spent some time researching the latest, and I got up to date on who to call and when to call them. I made a post about how I wanted to get at least somewhat involved and any clout I’ve got in the poker community should be at their disposal (people who know what is going on with the Legislation). I commented in a couple of videos about how everyone should get as informed as possible, because I think that my voice is heard by many people in my videos.
PTP: A lot of poker players describe a moment of epiphany where their game comes together or takes a giant leap forward. Did you have one of these moments?
AE: For a long time I tried too hard to play hands in a fancy manner. I think that just over time the realization that there are ‘correct’ plays and fundamentally sound plays that are the ‘best’ was the most important thing. The better you get at poker, the more that these good plays become part of your repetition day in and day out. Subsequently, making the fundamentally sound plays the most often will allow you to make fancy plays on occasion to balance.
PTP: If poker disappeared tomorrow, what would you replace it with?
AE: I’m not sure. I’m still in college, but I’d have a lot of free time without poker. I think I’d just play more basketball and take a more serious interest in coaching basketball. There’s also a chance I’d take up a different game more seriously- I’m a competitive junky.
PTP: What are the three most important skills a poker player can have?
AE: Discipline, creativity, and apathy. Discipline is by far the most important- away from the table, at the table, in bankroll management, in life, etc. So much of this game is played away from the felt it is uncanny. A very mediocre player with very mediocre skills can achieve great things with fantastic discipline. Creativity is second for me primarily because I play so much heads up. I think creativity is a good way to describe just the flow and freedom you have with poker- there are so many ways to get inside of your opponents head. Finally, apathy is very important. You simply cannot care about money. When you’re at the table and you have a chance to run a filthy bluff, you can’t think of it as having $50,000 in front of you to bluff shove the river with- you have to think of it as one $50,000 bullet to get him to fold.