Cedrric Trevino: PokerBros pro player – just finished in 3rd place in the WSOPC Main Event Tulsa for 82k and got the 66th place in the WSOP Main Event this summer for 121k
Somuchpoker: You’re from Texas, where there is a lot of live poker and you’ve been playing since around 2003. With so much experience in the poker world, how would you describe your journey when you look back at it?
Cedrric Trevino: I’ve been playing poker since 2003. Just like a lot of other people, it started very simple, with very small games between friends in college. It became a little more serious when I started looking at both online and live games. We were still able to play online at that time and in 2008 I started a corporate career so I didn’t play as much anymore. I focused on my job and would play once in a while if I was in a city that had a casino, or I would play home games here and there. But I really started playing again in 2017. In Texas like you said, things started booming and poker rooms were popping up. We weren’t in a state that had legal casinos but they were creating card rooms in all of the major cities. I was living in San Antonio but Austin, Dallas and Houston each had anywhere from four to ten poker rooms opening up. Poker had been everywhere in Texas, but home games were the most common because people would have to travel to other states to go to a casino, however now they could play right down the street. And with my job being pretty stressful, I started playing more and more. The last five years I’ve been playing a ton and just last year I decided to retire from my job to play full-time. My sponsorship with PokerBros also helped a lot with my decision!
SMP: You also had your own career outside of poker, and stopped playing for a while. What made you come back to playing and how did you jump the stakes? How did your business experience help you in poker?
Cedrric Trevino: I’m really happy that I didn’t play poker for the last 19 years to be honest. I’m happy with the career I had. I was working for the same company for 13 years and eventually I left as the Vice President. But at the same time, I knew that my time there was coming to an end. I didn’t know what I was going to do next but I knew that I wanted to start something different or take some time off. Things also changed a lot during Covid and people started really looking into what was important to them and what they wanted to do after. A lot of people changed careers. I know that I didn’t want to go to my job and be upset or wait for the clock to turn to 5pm to go back home. I knew I had other ways of being successful in my life and at the time I was doing great with poker, also things were starting to take off in terms of my social media. My initial plan was to play poker for some time before starting another career but then I just stuck with poker!
SMP: Social media seems to have a big place in your poker career, as you’ve documented your poker lifestyle and have had a lot of success in doing so, with more than 40 followers on your Instagram, poker-traveler. What was your goal with that account and how do you manage it?
Cedrric Trevino : Actually, it was all thanks to my wife. So I started playing more seriously around 2017 and my wife was starting to be very active on Instagram and building a brand for her type of business, which is lifestyle and fashion, and she was doing very well. She told me I should document my everyday life playing poker so I downloaded instagram and at first, my posts were just chip stacks, very simple. But as I started traveling more,I focused more on that, showing the other people in play, how big the games are, I went from photos to videos and I started posting a lot of stories. It just continued to snowball from there and gained momentum. I saw more and more of what people liked and what they didn’t. Now my Instagram is focused on pretty much every session that I play. These days I travel a lot and I go to tournaments maybe three times a month. I usually go to other cities so now I post about where I’m at, what I’m playing, who I’m with and I obviously document how good or bad I do in the games that I play.
SMP: Poker has changed a lot since you started playing. Social media became a huge thing, live streamed games, vlogging and twitch also. In your opinion, what are all those forms of communication bringing to the poker community and how should it be evolving?
Cedrric Trevino: First of all I would say it’s very good for poker. I think it’s good for every industry. Social media is helping the game grow, changing the vision people have of the poker world, sharing locations, new games and much more. When I started playing in the early 2000’s, there was a poker boom. Poker was on ESPN here in the US, it was starting to have more international coverage as well. Poker websites were popping up everywhere and there were a ton of budgets, big shows, and a lot of money was being thrown into that world but obviously, everything slowed down when it became illegal to play. I think poker was slowly dying and didn’t have a new influx of new players for a long time but all the social media platforms like YouTube and Twitch managed to start that up again within the last five years. The only way that poker can succeed is if it continuously has new players, old players, and young players because the pool can grow bigger. I think all those new methods of communication, like vlogs, Youtube channels, live streams and more are tremendously helpful for growing the game. That’s the way people get introduced to the game now. The only negative downside I could potentially see in social media is if it is used to take advantage of others by sending people to bad gambling sites or trying to scam them monetarily for example. Unfortunately, that’s also typical of every industry so it’s the same issue with crypto where it can sometimes be difficult to know who is credible and trustworthy.
Poker can become tremendously huge if we were to try and turn it more into a sport, maybe with team concepts, people traveling to one location to stream a cash game live, with a league or team focus, or big sponsors that come in. Producing some shows with players from different countries in front of each other like in the World Cup or the Olympics could be huge. I think those things will eventually happen, but it will happen slowly. More shows are getting produced, people are coming up with more and more concepts and if we can bring together all different kinds of players from around the world, it can boom even more. I think it would be cool to see a sports team element of poker where people are representing their country. Unfortunately, poker is also a very selfish game where you can only care about yourself, but I’ve also seen players hang out together and support each other throughout my travels so it would be amazing to see a team from my area in Texas play against another team. Whether it’s Heads-Up, a cash game, or a tournament, all kinds of things are possible to put in place.
SMP: The traditional landscape of the poker sites has also been changing for a few years. You’re a sponsored pro for PokerBros, which is a new form of poker app to play with your friends. What do you appreciate about it and how do you work to improve it?
Cedrric Trevino: The reason why people like those types of apps is because, just like you said, you can create your own group. Especially during Covid it was great because every week, whether it was just about getting together with a few friends, people would play virtually just like they would in a local card room. I know some people who would set up their camera so they could still see each other like in a normal home game. Whether it’s a small or very large group, it’s very accessible and easy to use. People are able to play on their phone and I know most recreational players don’t have an interest in having a whole computer setup at home with different screens etc… that’s for more serious players that grind all day long! The PokerBros app is typically softer because it’s built for recreational players who just want to play on their phones and have immediate access.
SMP: You had the honor of being the chip leader after Day 1A of the Main Event this year, bringing in a lot of media attention, and you ended your run in a nice 66th place for 121K, which is your biggest live score so far. Can you describe your experience at the WSOP this year and also the adrenaline and emotional rush you must’ve been feeling?
Cedrric Trevino: It was only my second time playing the Main Event because I’ve only really been playing tournaments for a year and a half, more specifically when I started my sponsorship deal with PokerBros. My Main Event experience was super exciting. Being able to be the chip leader at the end of Day 1 is a dream. Obviously, I had some huge hands to build up that many chips, I had 5 or 6 starting stacks at the end of Day 1. For me, the goal was just to not punt my stack and stay afloat, at least to get to the money. On Day 2 I had a terrible table, my Day 2 table was worse than my Day 6 table. There were multiple bracelets winners, multiple pros, Run It Once coaches, top european players, it was a nightmare table. We played all day together but only 2 players busted during the entire day so I said to myself that I would be happy to just maintain my chip stack. I did increase it from 320K to around 400K, so I was really happy at the end of the day and on Day 3 I had a much better seat draw. Everything was just a very steady climb. My stack was growing pretty consistently every day and I was never short, always close or above average, and because of that, I was never all in until my very last hand in 6 days. Until I got all in with kings versus jacks on a paired board and I got two outed. But the good thing is that the guy that won against me ended up in third place for like 4 million dollars so I was happy he got to put those chips to good use at least!
SMP: Looking on both your Instagram and your hendon mob, you travel a lot on events and cash games in the US. The fields in poker festivals have been really exploding since Covid. Would you say there is a new boom of poker in the US right now? If so, what is the trend?
Cedrric Trevino: On one hand, it can’t boom forever but I think it can definitely continue to grow. Every single guarantee at every tournament right now is beat, and it’s doubled, sometimes tripled. At first, like other players, I thought the boom was very temporary. I remember the first tournament I played after Covid was in April of 2021 at the Hard Rock Casino in Florida and everyone wanted to be there. It was the first major tournament after the lockdown and there was a lot of excitement. The guarantee tripled or quadrupled and that was understandable. But I thought that within 3 or 6 months it would slow down but it didn’t at all. Everything was still getting crushed, every single tournament in the US was doing very well, and obviously the WSOP was a huge success. I don’t see it slowing down any time soon unless there are some very huge economic problems here. We would have to go through a major financial recession in the US for people to start slowing down with the tournaments and I don’t see that happening with the poker economy here any time soon.
SMP: What about traveling outside of the US? Like European events? Because poker is doing really well in the rest of the world.
Cedrric Trevino: I definitely want to. My wife and I were planning on traveling for the last two years to start playing internationally but we weren’t able to because of Covid. Now that things are open again and I feel that travel will be more comfortable, I’m thinking of doing it soon. I’ve played in other countries before but typically only for cash games. I’m thinking that my first international tournament will be in Monterrey, Mexico, for a WSOP circuit event in October. I really wanted to go to EPT Barcelona but it was too soon after the WSOP Main Event so I skipped it and went to Florida instead. However, I definitely want to focus on traveling as much as I can internationally in 2023.
SMP: You’ve also been invited to participate in cash game streamed tables with other poker influencers like Jon Pardy, Jeff Platt, Ebonny Kenney and more because you’re both a cash and a tournament player. Is that something you’re going to do more? What is on your schedule for the next few months?
Cedrric Trevino: That’s right! I was more of a cash game player before because that’s all I played for 18 years or so but tournaments are great because you get to travel somewhere else, explore another city and hopefully get the chance at a big score. But really the cash games are what I do more consistently. In Texas specifically, there are a couple of poker rooms that have live- streams that I’ve played at and I continue getting invited to those fun bigger games with recognizable faces. So my goal is to continue to do that whenever I can. Last year I went to the Hustler casino, the Lodge, the TCH in Dallas, San Antonio, and Best Bet in Florida. I’ll try to continue to play on those stream games because they usually have good action and more importantly it’s just good for the game. I love to share it with people and show how the game grows, whether it’s a big win or a big loss, whether it’s crazy or slow because people need to see what poker is really like. People who don’t play often might not know what those cash games look like so I think it’s really exciting to be able to see it on Youtube or Twitch. And if there is any other game like that outside of the US I would love to go see that as well.
SMP: Last question, what was the biggest cash game or the craziest game you ever played?
Cedrric Trevino: In Texas when I started playing again in 2017 the only games going were 1/2$ tables. Eventually it became 2/5$ games and now that games are getting bigger, we frequently have 5/10$ games, even 10/25$ and 25/50$. In the games we play in Texas, everything has a straddle. So the blinds don’t actually matter because there is always a third or fourth blind. People are also buying so deep. For example, people can see a 2/5$ table in Las Vegas as a $1,000/$1,500 buy-in game. The poker rooms where I play in Texas are uncapped. So people can start with like $5,000 to even $10,000. The stakes don’t matter as much as the buy-ins. It’s very common that in the games that I play, people have 5 figures, $10,000 or even $40,000 in front of them. The biggest games I probably played are around 25/50$ with a $100 straddle, which is pretty big.
One of the craziest ones I remember was at the Lodge in Austin. We had a game with really really good players but everybody was gambling. There was Andrew Neeme, Brad Owen, Rampage, Doug Polk, Jesse Sylvia… all really good players but everybody was just gambling every hand and a 5/10$ game became a 25/50$ game. Everyone was having a really good time and a lot of money was being pushed around. It was one of the funnest games to watch because it had all those big names and it was streamed.