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Nick Binks a Big Spin!
If you're a regular viewer of our live training sessions then you'll have come across a new streamer on our channel recently. In his last session Nick binked a big Spin & Go for $600 right at the end of his stream! Nicholas Walsh, known as 'OP-Poker Nick' on PokerStars, is 30-years-old and currently resides in Brighton on the south coast of England. He first discovered poker as a child when his family would play mixed games around the dinner table at family events and he's been playing professionally for the last 5 years. Nick is also the driving force behind OP-Poker. We caught up with him to find out more.

PokerStars School: Tell us when, and why, you first started taking poker seriously?
OP-Poker Nick:
I first started taking poker seriously approximately 5 years ago although my fascination with the game stems back much further when I would watch my relatives playing cards at family events as a child (although back then we weren't allowed to play!). I think at some point I just realized that poker was a game I really loved and I wanted to try and become good enough to make my hobby my job. Now, 5 years on, I not only play poker professionally but also get the pleasure to teach others how to do the same with the help of PokerStars and PokerStars School.

PokerStars School: You play a lot of Spin & Go's, is this your main grind or do you play other formats?
OP-Poker Nick:
I would say yes, Spin & Go is my primary format. However, as a project, I would say that OP-Poker's primary focus will always be on formats which have been overlooked or undiscovered. Spin & Go in this regard does fulfill the first of those two criteria in so much as many players don't see it as a legitimately profitable game (which is simply false). Aside from Spin & Go though we have always tried to be the first to take on the "Alternative" formats PokerStars have been releasing recently. Games like "6+" or "Fusion" offer a great way to gain a first mover advantage if you can create strategies faster than your opposition. We've also found that the application of poker theory to these unknown formats tends to improve your poker game holistically, even if they aren't a game you will play forever.

PokerStars School: Do you think a beginner should delve into short-handed games straightaway or learn the basics at the full-ring tables first?
OP-Poker Nick:
This is a very tricky question. As always I think it depends on many factors. What format does this individual want to play in the long term? Does this individual have a mindset for high variance formats? Does this individual have any prior poker experience? Without that information it's hard to make a recommendation, however, I think it's 100% accurate to say that greater experience tends to yield better poker and short-handed or hyper formats do usually mean you will see more "spots" (In this case "spots" meaning tricky or unusual situations) in shorter space of time. I think the time which my poker improved the most is when I was playing Heads Up Hypers full time with James (My fellow Co-Founder of OP-Poker) simply because of the sheer volume of poker that one can play over the course of a few hours.

PokerStars School: Tell us about OP-Poker and how it all got started?
OP-Poker Nick:
OP-Poker first started when James and I decided that:
  1. we wanted to take up streaming on Twitch and
  2. we wanted to stream something unique.  
Luckily for us we decided to start streaming around the same time that PokerStars released Power Up Poker. Power Up was our primary focus during our first year of streaming as we undertook bankroll challenges and started creating some of the very first strategy content for the format. James I both completed our challenges to turn $30 into $1000 playing only Power Up and we built up a library of content dedicated to the new game. During this time PokerStars started to notice our project and a short time after that we became Ambassadors for the game of Power Up and the official online community.

Since then we have grown very quickly and now our project has expanded its focus to include many other formats of poker with special emphasis on formats which are new and emerging on the scene such as "Fusion", "Showtime", "6+" etc.

As our regular viewers will already know we also play a lot of Spin & Go on stream as it's a format which we put a lot of time into just before we launched OP-Poker and probably one of our strongest games.
 

Nick opens a gold chest for some really nice prizes.

PokerStars School: Tell us about your Twitch streams for PokerStars School, what can players expect to see in future streams?
OP-Poker Nick:
So far my streams for PokerStars School have been really great fun! The reason I know that's true is that I haven't had a lot of luck during said streams, in fact, rather the opposite (which I'm sure for many of my viewers probably added to the entertainment!) but I still finish most sessions with a smile on my face regardless. So far we've played almost exclusively Spin & Go while always being sure to take part in the weekly "The League Master" tournament which kicks off about halfway through our Thursday schedule.

PokerStars School: Will you be giving away any viewer prizes during these streams?
OP-Poker Nick:
So far each week I've had the opportunity to give away $15 Spin & Go tickets every time I win a Spin & Go live on stream! It's honestly a really fun promotion to be able to host as the chat has a great reason to cheer me on in my games and I have additional incentive to play my "A-Game" so I can provide for my supporters at home. It makes for a really dramatic stream so I hope to keep that going for as long as I can in the future.

PokerStars School: You binked a $600 Spin at the end of your last stream, tell us about that moment?
OP-Poker Nick:
This is definitely one of my all-time favorite stream clips. For those who don't know the context, this was the last game we played in this session after a very unlucky day of poker. Many of the games just prior to this ended in bad beats or coolers which meant not only was I losing but I also couldn't award any tickets to viewers without taking down a game. So I announced that I was going to play 1 more game and it would be a $100 buy-in, the $600 came up on the dial, we got heads up against a pretty crazy player, and the rest is history. The moment that king falls on the turn I thought I would have to chalk up the whole session as a bum run but the river brought some stream justice and we ended that session on a huge high (and I gave away another $15 Spin & Go ticket to one lucky viewer!).
 

Nick binks a big Spin & Go live on stream.

PokerStars School: And finally where can players find you online?
OP-Poker Nick:
OP-Poker usually streams 6 days a week on the OP-Poker channel. I stream every Thursday from 6 pm GMT on the PokerStars channel. You can find us on Instagram, Twitter, & YouTube. We also create content regularly for PokerStars School so go and make yourself an account there if you aren't already a member!
 
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