You’ve heard the Myth about a College kid who took $25 and turned it into millions online. Well that’s no Myth and that “Kid” is online poker pro and businessman Taylor Caby. You may know him as “Green Plastic”; his most famous online moniker. We met up with Taylor at the WSOP where he was promoting his innovative poker training site CardRunners.com (you can also check out our review of Cardrunners here). You will find there is alot more to Taylor than “Green Plastic”.
PokerLizard: What does your family think about you playing poker as a career?
Taylor Caby: For now they’re really happy with it, cause I have the freedom to do what I want to do. I enjoy doing it, and I make a lot of money, but, you know, when I first started, when I was in college, playing kind of seriously online, they were just, like, “Wow,” you know, “Get your degree. You do well in school,” things like that. But for now they’re, you know, they’re very supportive of it.
PokerLizard: Right, and you’ve got your finance degree?
Taylor Caby: That’s right from the University of Illinois.
PokerLizard: That’s a good school.
Taylor Caby: And – yeah, so they’re pretty happy with how things are right now.
PokerLizard: What do you think you’d be doing if online poker became, banned in the United States?
Taylor Caby: Yeah. If there was no way to play online poker and, say my business wasn’t thriving, I would just go get a finance job somewhere – hopefully on Wall Street – something like that. If not I would maybe attempt to start another business, but that’s not as easy as it seems – you know how it is, it’s not – The easiest thing in the world, so I’d probably just to go get a finance job.
PokerLizard: Investment banking – that type of thing?
Taylor Caby: Not investment banking. Both my roommates are investment bankers and it’s – I know how stressful and they get home, like, midnight every night, 7 days a week. So I’d probably do trading.
PokerLizard: What do you really want out of poker? You’ve made good money, have some “poker” fame…
Taylor Caby: I don’t want fame at all. I don’t – I’ve never aspired to be famous. In fact, I sometimes get asked for interviews, and things like that. I never started doing them until it would benefit Cardrunners, since more publicity is better for business.
As far as that goes, I want to make a lot of money. I’ve always, for whatever reason, wanted to be really rich, I guess, you know, wealthy, at least. And I hope that in, you know, five or ten years I can pretty much set myself up for life, and have a comfortable lifestyle. And, at that point, I don’t know, I don’t see myself being in the poker industry for more than, you know, five or ten more years or so.
PokerLizard: Cool. Is Cardrunners more wildly successful than you’d ever thought it would be?
Taylor Caby: Yes, I started it with my friend, Andrew Wiggins (aka MuddyWaters), we were fraternity brothers and we just both were making a lot of money playing poker: people were always asking us questions about it so we started Cardrunners. At first it was mostly just because we hoped that one day we could put it on our resume because, honestly, I didn’t have a summer jobs, and I thought, “You know, I need something to put on my resume because Poker playing isn’t going to help me get a job.”
PokerLizard: Not exactly the top skill most employers are looking for…
Taylor Caby: You know, in the end I actually got an internship at a Hedge Fund, and did that stuff too, so I had something for my resume. Before that, you know, I was kind of up in the air. So we were, “Hey, you know, we’ll do this – start an Internet business and it’ll be good for our resume, so we can get a job when we graduate.” And then we didn’t really think that it would really take off; however, it just exploded and I started making more money playing, but then this past year our business has just really blown up. We’ve been fortunate enough to get lucky and hire some good guys.
PokerLizard: Yeah, you seem to be bringing on a lot of relatively big names in the online world.
Taylor Caby: Yeah, that’s our goal. We brought on Brian Townsend in February and he’s arguably the biggest name in online poker right now, and we’re trying to bring on more guys like that to just solidify our position, as what we feel, the best place to learn how to play poker online.
PokerLizard: You guys seem to be one of the first places to come out with video training, now it seems like every pro is trying to make a video site. Does it ever annoy you that people are taking your idea?
Taylor Caby: No, honestly – I wasn’t the first one to think about it. One of my friends’s approached me with an idea similar to that. The whole thing just fell through. If a poker player’s organizing something you know they’re lazy and things just don’t get done, and it fell through.
PokerLizard: Poker players being lazy…that’s the truth.
Taylor Caby: So Andrew and I were just, like, “Hey, you know, we should start something on our own,” and, you know, it worked out, but with all these other people in the industry, you know, it’s gonna happen, imitators are goning to come out. If you have a business that’s successful, people are gonna come in and try to take some market share and make some money, so – I wish there was no other training sites but we’re doing the best we can to make the most money we can.
PokerLizard: So imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
Taylor Caby: Exactly.
PokerLizard: Is it tough maintaining a relationship being a poker player? I know you’re not really on tour so it’s probably not as bad for you versus other players…
Taylor Caby: Yeah, you know, it’s not tough at all. I do have a girlfriend. We’ve been dating for almost two years. I met her pretty much after I had started to make a lot of money, and that type of thing, so she was used to it and me – it’s never been a big deal. She is in psychology and I do poker and card runners. It’s not a big deal at all.
PokerLizard: Cool. You ever – when you play online do you ever get sick of all the railbirds talking shit? Or asking for money?
Taylor Caby: It’s not the railbirds that are a problem to me. If someone asks – begging for five or ten dollars, like – I mean, I don’t send it to em, cause if you send it to one person you gotta send it to everyone, but –
Taylor Caby: It’s – that’s not as bad as some people asking you for, “Hey, can you loan me twenty grand or fifty grand,” or something like that. Poker player friends can be pretty bad. It’s not a big deal, I mean – I don’t know, the railbirds don’t bother me. I think it’s good. They’re interested in the game. You know what? So many people have told me, “You know, you’re really not that good,” or, like, “You’re lucky,” this and that, like, it doesn’t bother me because who cares? You know, I know I have the success, I’ve got the money, like, that’s all I really care about so –
PokerLizard: So what do you do when a poker buddy says, “Hey, man, slide me five grand, I’ll play you back in –
Taylor Caby: It depends who it is. I mean, if it’s one of good friends, like – it can happen. Now with – this day and age, like, online poker – it’s tough to get money on and off sites. You know, someone might say, “Hey, I’ve got five grand cash, just give me some money online,” or vice versa, or whatever, so that’s not a big deal. But if it’s someone that I don’t really know in person, or something like that, I just stay away from that because, I’ve been in situations before where people haven’t been so good on their word.
PokerLizard: Boy, that’s for sure. You don’t think you’ll ever join the tournament tour?
Taylor Caby: No. No, I’ve actually had somewhat of a good time playing some tournaments out here this summer. I played five events and cashed once. But it’s just so frustrating, like, the ups and down of tournament poker just have to be unbelievably unbearable because if you play for two or three days and then you get back maybe two or three times your buyin…if you’re lucky.
Taylor Caby: Most of the time you get a bad beat or you run down, or whatever. I don’t know, I think cash games are just more comfortable –
PokerLizard: And if you come in second you’re pissed off for at least a few hours.
Taylor Caby: Yeah, yeah.
PokerLizard: Like, “Aw, I was so close!!!
Taylor Caby: Exactly.
PokerLizard: Is it more satisfying to run a successful business or to win at poker?
Taylor Caby: For me it’s infinitely more satisfying to run the business, because I’ve done both. I’m not playing as much as I used to, but I remember when I was, on top, the biggest games in the Internet were $50/$100 No Limit, and I was beating them handedly. But it felt good. The money was real and people would look up to you. But, it’s a really incredible feeling to start something from – literally nothing. We started the business in our fraternity houseone summer and now we’re out here in Vegas doing a bunch of marketing. We’re, you know, reasonably well known. It’s just a really, really good feeling.
PokerLizard: Besides telling somebody to join the card runners, what advice would you give somebody wanting to either turn pro or become a better poker player?
Taylor Caby: I would say to make sure that you consider all the financial ramifications of it, make sure you’re ready – you shouldn’t just win one tournament online or live and just say, “Hey, I’m gonna be a pro.” Make sure you have adequate bankroll, adequate, like, living expenses for let’s say six months in advance and make sure you thought it through, because it’s not something that just anyone can do – 99% of people can’t do it. Right now I’m making a lot of money and I’m happy, but I’m still not gonna do it the rest of my life, so I think that says a lot.
PokerLizard: So you get burned out on poker sometimes?
Taylor Caby: Yeah, I do, I just think that there are a lot of negative aspects about it. There are people that are degenerate gamblers or have drug problems – things like that. I mean, you see that everywhere, but you see it more often in the poker world. I’d just like to make as much as I can now, get out and do other things.
PokerLizard: How often do you feel you play these days, online and live?
Taylor Caby: Live rarely. Not very often at all. Online I probably play, I don’t know, it could be 5/6 days a week for an hour or two a day.
PokerLizard: You had that contest on Pocket Fives, where you picked a guy to be your apprentice/protege. How’s that working out?
Taylor Caby: Well, actually, unbelievably well. One of the two guys was Ryan Daut, who ended up winning the World Poker Tour Caribbean Adventure. Took it down for $1.5 million. That was two months after I started working with him. And the other guy, Ryan Rue, is a Cardrunners member, and he went from playing a dollar or two dollars or fifty-cent/a dollar. Now he’s beating 5/10 No Limit, so he’s probably made, I don’t know, close to six figures since that.
Taylor Caby: It’s, kind of, over but it was a lot more successful than I thought it would be. Actually, I’m having another contest starting after the World Series. I’m gonna do another one – same thing.
PokerLizard: Cool, You did some commentary online for that Bluff Media coverage of the World Series of Poker. How did it go? Did you like it? Do think you might want to commentate in the future, or is it kind of difficult?
Taylor Caby: Actually it took a lot out of me due to the length. I’m not a tournament player, but I’d love to commentate on a cash game sometime. I feel like I’m pretty articulate and have a lot of experience playing. I thought it was fun. It was good experience and it wasn’t too difficult because I do all the videos for card runners. I’m used to talking about situations in hands and it becomes second nature after awhile.
PokerLizard: Cool. You still play mostly Ultimate Bet?
Taylor Caby: No, actually, I play almost exclusively on Full Tilt.
PokerLizard: Why the switch?
Taylor Caby: The games at Full Tilt are better; Ultimatebet has dried up a little. I play from time to time in the higher six games…100/200, 200/400, and those games aren’t on Ultimate Bet anymore, so I’ve just put my money on Full Tilt.
PokerLizard: And you mentioned your first cash with World Series of Poker . How’d it feel to get that first cash out of the way? Were you just pissed about busting out?
Taylor Caby: Honestly, I was kind of sad. I wish I’d made the final table. I came in 23rd in that $3k event. Really the only reason I played the event was to try to get a Cardrunners some publicity on TV.
PokerLizard: Makes sense.
Taylor Caby: And I was 12/13 spots out of the final table, so that kind of sucked.
PokerLizard: So you were picking exclusively televised events for the hopefully “implied” advertising odds?
Taylor Caby: Of the five events I played, four of them were televised, so that’s why I played em. And, you know, I’ll be back. Hopefully, I’ll win one of these some day.
PokerLizard: That was a pleasure and congratulations on your success.
Taylor Caby: I appreciate it.
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