Harry Demetriou has been successful in many different pursuits throughout his life and a poker has been no different for him. He was a winner from the beginning has hasn’t looked back. Harry’s answers were so good that 10 questions just weren’t enough so we had to stretch it to a dozen.
1) Who do you think is the most interesting person in the poker world?
Phil Laak…what a character….and great news for poker. People misunderstand him because of his play acting in the WPT Invitational a few years ago in which I also appeared. But, they forget that the atmosphere was one of joviality and it made the show a wonderful spectacle for the viewers there at the time and subsequently on the TV. Poker needs characters and he is certainly one of them not to mention that he is a highly intelligent decent poker player.
2) What is the craziest bet that you’ve made outside of poker?
There have been many of them but the craziest was probably a silly bet with a friend who claimed he could go five days without food (only water). I didn’t want to bet him $10k (as I thought I was robbing him at even money and wanted to do it for $1k-2K) but he insisted by continually teasing me about it. Anyway he wanted to settle it within 5 hours but I insisted on him having to suffer and in the end he paid me within 12 hours the full amount.
Whenever I have a bet with a friend we always have a consolation of sorts and his was that as I was about to buy a new car (May 2003) and I would allow another friend’s 3 year old daughter to pick it for me. Anyway, off to Fletcher Jones we all went and I asked the 3 year old to pick between a black and a silver Mercedes. She promptly picked the yellow Hummer H2 that was driving by at the time. The little girl’s father promptly burst into laughter and insisted on my buying a yellow Hummer H2 by telling the first friend who lost the no eating bet that his daughter had picked that vehicle. It cost me $65k which was less than the Mercedes I wanted but then I had to drive that thing round for the last 3 years whenever I was here in Vegas.
3) You are a successful sports bettor, how are you able to consistently win when most sports bettors struggle so much?
Like anything you have to be disciplined. I have had my fair share of losing runs but when you look at 300 matches and make lines for them every week and many others do the same there is a great deal of opportunity for errors and so you can pick your spots.
More importantly , however, now that we have the internet there is so much competition and access to rival odds and prices that in essence as a sports bettor you are betting into juice free markets. As such you should do no worse than break even if you are a random bettor. With a bit of work I would say it is not too difficult to make a 3%+ return on your investment and with sports like soccer you can get to turn over a lot of money so the 3% mounts up. Basically what I am saying is that if you go around and take the best odds available then you are going to at worst break even if you bet with a pin and with your eyes closed.
4) If you wrote an autobiography, what would it be called??
If I Could Do It Absolutely Anybody Can Do It – It Really Is That SImple
5) Who would you least like to see at a major final table with you?
My best friend Luke. I would refuse to play him and concede the heads up part to him. Up to that point I would play very hard and try and bust him but would concede defeat if getting heads up.
6) If you could change one thing about the poker world what would it be?
Get the players involved in developing the way poker moves forward. Currently we pay for everything and have zero say in how things are run.
7) Are you from Hendon, England, and do you have a rivalry with the Hendon Mob?
I am NOT from Hendon, but another area of London (not too far away). The rivalry that exists between myself and The Hendon Mob is no different to that with any other player. I want to win and if they have chips or get in my way then I have to beat them and I feel certain that they feel the same way. However, I am on very friendly terms with all the boys from The Hendon Mob and rest assured once out of a tournament, I would enjoy nothing more than seeing one of them win the event from which I had just been busted.
8) Are there any players that you have such a good read on that you always know what they are holding?
I do not believe anybody is that good that they can be that certain that they know what their opponent is holding. However there are certain players that seem to have a game style that is well suited to my style in that they always run into trouble against me just as there are bogey players that I have a hard time against. (NB Nothing to do with them being better or worse than me, simply that I do better against some than others).
eg Daniel Negreanu always seems to have a hard time against me whilst I never seem to be able to get the better of Alan Goehring.
9) What is your favorite thing to do outside of poker?
Hang out with friends all over the world and go and watch things like live sports or thoroughbred horse racing.
10) What do you think about the recent US legislation that is trying to ban internet gambling and online poker?
The US government is idiotic if they think that they can pass a law stopping people from doing what they want to do. They can make life difficult but they cannot stop you doing what you want (remember prohibition?)
They should legalize it all, get their cut, and then everyone would be happy. But then that’s the common sense thing to do and will never happen.
I believe the internet gambling prohibition act will fail repeatedly. The bottom line is the public will always get their way as they will stop voting for dickheads who want to act like dictators rather than democratically elected officials or representatives of the people.
11) If you won the estimated 10 million prize in this year’s WSOP main event, what would you splurge on?
Bigger and better birthday and xmas presents for my friends and family.
Its not going to change the way I live (I can’t eat better than I do now and I can’t get healthier and in better shape any faster than I am doing at present).
Of course I could get a bigger and better car to drive and house to live in but I already have nice things so couldn’t be bothered to upgrade what I already have. I would probably also play more, if not all, of the major tournaments and spend more time with friends all over the world.
12) Who in your life has had the greatest impact on who you are today?
My best friend Luke whom I have known since childhood.
Proud Auxiliary Member of The Martin’s Poker Team
Special thanks to BJ Nemeth for photo contributions.