ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN Talks Poker In New Interview

April 11, 2011

Brian Pempus of Card Player recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. An excerpt from the chat follows below.

Card Player: How did you get started playing poker?

Scott Ian: I've played poker for fun since I was a kid but it wasn't until I won VH1's Rock And Roll Celebrity Tournament in 2006 that I even thought about poker seriously. I beat Sully Erna from GODSMACK, Ace Frehley (KISS) and Dusty Hill (ZZ TOP),both [of] whom have been playing their whole lives, Vinnie Paul (PANTERA, HELLYEAH),a gambler's gambler, and four online qualifiers from [Ultimate Bet] who had won their seats to play with us. Against all odds I took it down and after the tournament Phil Hellmuth, who was commentating for TV, pulled me aside and asked me how often I play. I told him pretty much never, and he said he could tell because my game was a mess, but my instincts were good, and I had a lot of patience. I didn't even know who Phil was at the time. I googled him when I got home, and I thought it was interesting that this (at the time) nine-time bracelet winner took a minute to tell me that if I ever wanted to get serious to give him a call. I met up with Phil again at UB's Aruba event the following fall and that was the beginning of my education. I spent a week with him and the other UB pros, and I absorbed as much as I could. I busted out of the main event, but I had a great week hanging out in the poker world for the first time. I started playing on UB after that, and I played multitable tournaments and sit-and-gos as much as I could. In January 2008, I signed with UB, and as part of my deal I asked for lessons with Annie Duke. My hours with Annie turned me into a poker player, and from there I started developing my own game. I played online all the time and live as much as possible. I cashed in my first WSOP main event in 2009 and I took down UB's Sunday $200,000 as well that year so poker quickly became a huge part of my life. I've since watched that VH1 tournament back on DVD — and I was so bad. I found myself yelling at myself about how bad I was. I got lucky heads up versus Sully. I literally had an ace six hands in a row, and I played super-aggressive, and I think I confused him. I guess it was meant to be.

Read more from Card Player.

An interview with Scott Ian conducted at the 2009 WSOP main event can be viewed below.

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