Heads-Up with PokerStars Team Online Pro Alex Millar (Kanu7)

Date: 2013-11-03
Author: Jason Glatzer

PokerSoftware interviewed Alex "Kanu7" Millar about his poker career and his use of software.  Alex recently became a PokerStars Online Team Pro and can be seen dominating opponents at the nosebleed stakes on PokerStars and Full Tilt.

PokerSoftware:  When did you start playing poker and what got you interested?

Alex Millar:  I started watching poker on TV in between my second and third years of university and really liked the look of it, so I started to play online when I got back to university for the third year.  That must have been about eight years ago.

PokerSoftware:  Were you successful right away?

Alex Millar:  I started off playing some freerolls and low buy-in tourneys up to $5 or so.  I was probably roughly even for a while near the start, which I guess is pretty successful.  I didn't lose so badly that I had to quit, luckily!

PokerSoftware:  What made you decide to move to ring games?

Alex Millar:  I played low buy-in tourneys over my last two years at university basically, but toward the end of my final year, I had built up a bankroll of $2,000 to $3,000.  There were some other guys at university beating mid-stakes cash games, so seeing how much they were making inspired me to give it a go myself.

PokerSoftware:  What stakes did you start at?

Alex Millar:  I played 50NL for a short amount of time and then moved up to 100NL pretty quickly (under-rolled) after a few winning days.  I then ran pretty well for my first 10,000 hands or so and decided that I was good enough to take a year off to play full-time before entering the world of work.  As it turned out, I wasn't actually very good and made pretty much nothing for a few months, but then I finally got the hang of it and moved up from 100NL to 2,000NL and 5,000NL by the end of my "year off."

PokerSoftware:  We often see you dominating the nosebleed ring games.  Tell us when you decided to move up in stakes and some of the changes you needed to make as you moved up.

Alex Millar:  When moving up, I always used a 50 buy-in rule, so when I had 50 buy-ins for the level above, I would take a shot of a few buy-ins and if I lost the shot, I would move back down.  These days, that is probably too small a number of buy-ins, as people tend to win at a lower rate, but I think it was okay for me at the time.

These days, I want 100 buy-ins at least for any tough games I play.  The main changes I had to make were learning to play against good regs and learning to work more off my own back and less by just trying to get information from other people.

PokerSoftware:  Congrats on becoming a PokerStars Team Online Pro.  Can you tell us how that came about?

Alex Millar:  Thanks!  I really like PokerStars as a site and definitely think it is the best site out there by a long, long way, so I am more than happy to represent them.  It's not all about the money or anything.  I mean I wouldn't represent them for free since it will take up some of my time that I could otherwise spend making money, but I definitely wouldn't have taken three times the amount of money to represent a non-Stars owned site.  So, I guess the main thing is I think PokerStars is a really good fit with how I think a poker site should be run and it'll be a pleasure to represent them.

PokerSoftware:  What poker software are you currently using?

Alex Millar:  I am a bit of a fish when it comes to anything computer-related, so I definitely don't make the best use of the software available.  I still use Holdem Manager 1, for example.  I have actually downloaded HM2 and imported some of my hands, but I didn't get round to sorting out the HUD, so I haven't switched properly yet.  I used HM2 for looking at how a couple of my opponents play, though, as I think it's more advanced than HM1 for that.

I also use Flopzilla sometimes to get an idea of how different ranges interact with each other.  Oh, and I use an RNG sometimes when I want to take one action some of the time and another action the rest of the time and don't have an exploitative reason to pick one over the other.

PokerSoftware:  How important is using your HUD while playing?  Do you rely on your HUD more now or when you were playing at lower stakes?

Alex Millar:  Good question.  I guess I used it more at lower stakes.  Now, I have a much better idea of how my opponents play because there are fewer of them, so my HUD is much more complex than it was when I played lower, but I still don't use it as much.  It is more important to me when I play six-max than when I play heads-up.  I could probably get rid of my HUD for a lot of my heads-up matches and not really notice, but I have it there out of habit anyway.

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