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Andy ‘BowieEffect’ Wilson on joining BBZ Poker and his incredible poker year

Andy ‘BowieEffect’ Wilson on joining BBZ Poker and his incredible poker year

Andy ‘BowieEffect’ Wilson’s rise through the poker ranks has been well documented, even right back to his first major online win.

In fact, even before he started playing poker at all.

Wilson, from Bolton, England, was once a highly competitive video game tournament player, going by the handle “Sabre”. The racing game TrackMania was his forte, while he also played Counter-Strike and StarCraft II for some of the biggest eSport teams such as Dignitas and Team Acer.

But in 2016, during his first year at Swansea University, he discovered poker. Later that year he won a £110 buy-in live tournament for £10,000, and he well and truly caught the poker bug.

He was wearing a Davie Bowie t-shirt when he won that tournament, so his mum came up with the screen name “BowieEffect”. By applying his video game skills to online poker, he was able to grind his way up to the mid-stakes, playing anything from $5.50 buy-ins to the Sunday Million.

Then, in 2017, inspired by Lex Veldhuis’ recent victory in the event, Wilson satellited into the $1K Thursday Thrill on PokerStars for $55 and ended up taking it down for $75,000, including bounties.

“I figured that firing into satellites would give me a good opportunity to get into the Thrill from week to week and be able to test myself against some of the best players in the online tournament circuit, whilst providing the chance to potentially have a huge score if I were to run deep,” Wilson told PokerStars Blog after the win.

Four and a half years on, the 27 years old’s career has gone from strength to strength. He’s a regular in the highest-stakes online tournaments. He’s had an incredible past 12 months, winning a World Poker Tour (WPT) title for $785,800 and recently finishing second in the PCA $1,650 Mystery Bounty for $149K, not including bounties.

 

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And now, Wilson has joined BBZ Poker as a coach.

Despite boarding a busy train on his way to Blackpool to play some poker, Wilson found time to talk to us about joining the BBZ ranks, and his fantastic results of late.


 

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BBZ Blog: Hey Andy. Let’s start by finding out how you came to join the BBZ Poker team.

Andy ‘BowieEffect’ Wilson: Hey. Well, in 2019 I met Jordan in the Bahamas, along with Bertie [Bayley], Conor [Beresford], Parker [Talbot], all those guys, and we just started talking about hands.

Jordan liked my thought process. Back then, I was just playing mid-stakes with limited success. I was playing full-time and making money but nothing major at that point. But during the pandemic, I rocketed up in stakes and Jordan got back in touch. When all was said and done, we reconnected and went from there really. We rekindled those shared values we have.

How familiar were you with BBZ Poker and its content?

I’d seen one of the bundles but I was mainly familiar with the success that they’d had, the streamers who they aligned themselves with and created bundles with. Everyone had great things to say about the work they were doing. A lot of players told me how they’d got a lot better since working with BBZ Poker so it felt natural for me to come along.

All of it made sense to me. When Jordan came along and presented me with an opportunity to get involved, my ears were pricked.

How have your Daily Seminars gone so far?

I’ve only done a couple but they’ve been very well received.

I try to approach things from a nuanced angle and find areas that people don’t really explore much. My first seminar was about the game on a theoretical level, confronting people on different areas of the game tree and how we can approach them in more general single-raised pots.

But my second seminar was about defending the small blind off as little as six big blinds, something that people never really look at it but is actually a significant leak in people’s games. There’s a lot of win rate to be had just in knowing that you can call in the small blind off of 10 big blinds and that you don’t have to play shove or fold. It can add a lot to your win rate, especially in tournaments when you find yourself having lost an all-in and you dip below that 10 big blind stack. You don’t have to just play shove or fold, there’s a whole new area where we can explore these ideas and add win rate where other people might not.

I’m going to continue that theme in the future. exploring areas of the game where other people haven’t looked. How to check-raise turns. How to lead rivers. That’s where I’m going to try and add value to the team.

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You joined the BBZ Poker coaching team around the same time as Alex “pwndidi” Theologis and Tomi “elmerixx” Brouk. Do you know those guys?

Andy ‘BowieEffect’ Wilson: I obviously know them both well on a playing level, but I know Alex personally. We’re good friends and discussed moving into the BBZ Poker space at the same time.

I’m doing some stuff with Tomi at the end of the month and I’m sure we’ll get to know each other better then. I have huge respect for both of those guys.

The BBZ Poker community was obviously very excited to find out all three of you would be joining the coaching roster.

Yeah, I think it’s a statement for BBZ Poker to bring all three of us into the fold because we’re all playing the highest-stakes games. Then you’ve got players like Brian Fite who covers low to mid-stakes incredibly well. On BBZ I think there’s something for everyone and that’s really important.

There’s a lot of content that Brian is doing that’s catered to people on a $20 ABI. Then as you move up in stakes you find your edge by gaining a broad knowledge of important nuanced areas of the game tree and I think that’s where Alex, Tomi and I are going to try and add that something extra.

You’ve had an incredible year in live poker, first winning a World Poker Tour title and then having a big runner-up finish at the PCA/PSPC. What’s that experience been like?

Andy ‘BowieEffect’ Wilson: It’s been really nice. I’ve found this year to be a live extension of the online heater I experienced during the pandemic. When things opened up again the results started to come really quickly live.

I think a lot of it is just down to luck, of course, but I do think I’ve improved at the game. I feel I’m winning in a lot of the games I play. It’s impossible to know how good you are in tournaments when you’ve got the beast that is variance, but I’m confident in where I am at the moment.

 

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There’s a lot of consistency when I review my hands and that’s all you can really do. Confidence and execution are key but having a studious routine, getting involved in the BBZ Poker Daily Seminars, really honing in, asking the right questions, getting the right answers, and working it out for yourself as much as having people walk you through it, that’s where your execution improves.

Live poker is just an extension of that. It’s the same card game obviously but there are lots of different factors in live poker. I think I’m quite proficient when I’m playing at picking up anything there is to pick up, grabbing that little bit of EV here and there. But ultimately I think I’ve just improved as a poker player and luck has turned compared to a couple of years ago. I’ve been very fortunate.

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It’s every aspiring poker player’s dream to win a big title and trophy like a WPT, WSOP bracelet or EPT. How important was winning one to you?

Andy ‘BowieEffect’ Wilson: In the back of your mind, you always want to make a big televised final table and that was the first time I’d ever done that. I’ve made some big streamed FTs online but it’s just not the same, it’s a different beast when you’re playing in studio production. You’ve got broadcasters watching your play, it’s a new feeling. There’s a dopamine rush you get which compensates for any lack of sleep you might have had in the five days prior.

It’s one of the things you get into the game for and it’s one of the things that keeps us going. The narrative and being able to win the big bucks. It was a privilege to be able to finally do that in Florida.

Where are you keeping the trophy?

The mini version of the trophy is at my mum’s house. The real thing weighs like 50kg or something outrageous so there’s a mini version at my mum’s in Bolton.

It’s those points that help people realise you might be having some quite significant success, you know? It’s easier for friends and family who might not know poker to actually visualise it and be able to see you on TV winning a big trophy.

It’s been quite a ride for sure.

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