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Celebrity Poker with Chris Line - Meet Godsmack

Poker Talk & Rock with Sully Erna of Godsmack

It doesn't get any better then this! You are the lead singer of a band whose last 2 albums have debuted at number one! Now what? You hit the poker tables and crush the fields in your hometown, and then you satellite your way into a few WPT events and show the poker world that you're no joke. When you're done with that, you embark on a world tour all while selling more than 10 million albums with your band, Godsmack!

Sully Erna is the lead singer of one of the biggest and best hard rock bands of the past decade and a half! Godsmack's latest single, "Speak" has been number one on the rock charts for the past 9 weeks making it their 4th number one song and 13th top ten smash of their careers! "Voodoo", "I Stand Alone", "Greed", "Whatever", and "Re-align" have been blasting across the radio waves for years and now the voice behind them all, Sully Erna, had some time to talk to me about how, when, and where he finds the time to sit back, play some cards, and enter the occasional 10K main event or two!

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Your 2003 album "Faceless" debuted at number one on the charts and now IV just did the same thing. What goes through your head when you hear that for the first time and are you going to go for a hat trick?
That would be nice, LOL! It is a really exciting moment and we're so caught up in preparing for this world tour since we've been off tour for over a year since the Metallica run. Our thoughts are in programming, set designs and other stuff related to the tour. We did take time to celebrate though! We worked very hard and it was very gratifying to see it at number one!

June 10th you're kicking off a huge tour in Canada and then overseas.
Is there going to be time for poker on the road?

I will always have time to play poker. I will re-arrange my schedule!

Sully can't be here tonight...he's at the final table!
And I have the chip lead!

Do you play online?
Yes. I play online. I just lost 3K! When I'm doing good in tournaments, I try cash games. When I'm good at the one I suck at the other and I can never get them both at the same time! But now the tourneys are picking up!

I saw a photo of you in a magazine playing at Foxwoods in a recent poker event. What event was it?
It was The Foxwoods Poker Classic. A WPT Event.

Did you end up playing the main event, or were the photos from satellites or smaller events?
That was the main event. I won an earlier tournament at Foxwoods. A multi-table satellite. There were about 90 people in it. It was a thousand dollar buy in and I won the buy in from that!

Wow. You're like no joke. You don't come to just make a scene, throw away your chips and leave!
I've actually played in 4 WPT events and won my way into 3 of them! I bought into the LA Poker Classic.

Have you cashed in any of the 4!
No.

Please don't kick my ass for asking!
I feel eventually I'll have my moment because I do play frequently! I have an advantage in that I've made my bread and butter elsewhere. The buy ins or the chips don't bother me. I don't get stressed out. It's more of a novelty or more like a sport. A sport is a better term for me. It gives me the edge!!

What is the longest you've ever played in a row?
WPT has been the longest I've played in a row even though I haven't gotten past the first day. It was 13 1/2 hours. I almost made it but got knocked out right before the end of the day and was pissed!

You are known all over the world as one of the biggest rock stars! Do people recognize you when you play?
Most of the time I'm okay. I have my moments but people are pretty low key about it. It's funny when you see a celebrity you usually want a picture or autograph. But when you see them in a poker room other players are like crack and if you win a pot or take their money they get mad and say, "what do you need to be here for...it's not like you need the money! They're all crazy.

Are people afraid of you at the table because you're the lead singer of one of the most hard-core rock bands ever created and do you act differently at the table then on stage?
I'm the same person. I'm not the singer of Godsmack and I am not a poker player. I'm always just me.
I never change attitude or do I ever play the role. At the table I have my moments like Phil Laak does. I'm more like Chris Ferguson. I'm quiet and reserved.

You did a huge tour not too long ago with Metallica. Talk about the one of the best concerts I've ever seen and broadcasted from! Are those boys into POKER or just being the loudest people on earth?
I wasn't really playing a lot when we were on tour with them. I mean I've played poker my whole life with my dad for pennies but I started playing professionally after the Metallica tour. I really got better so I jumped into local tourneys and took them down. I then went on to bigger tournaments, which brought me to the WPT events.

NL Texas hold'em is hot right now. Do you dabble in anything else like Omaha, limit hold'em or anything?
Usually NL cash games. Sometimes stud. Not quite sure on Omaha or how that works quite yet! I love poker. I think it's fun. Once you learn any game it's fun. I don't like limit b/c I don't like people that chase

What is it you having coming on TV soon with VH1?
The VH1 poker special was supposed to be June 8th but it got pushed back till October or November. The Unabomber is hosting it and it's at the Hard Rock in Vegas! It's for charity.

Who else do you keep tabs on in the poker world?
I'm always intrigued with Doyle. I love Phil Laak's energy. I like watching Phil Ivey, also. I cant' stand watching Phil Hellmuth play. I like the people who have fun and are serious. I hate grumpy poker players who whine! I've had my moments about a bad suck out or beat but have a clear understating that gambling is gambling and it's titled that for a reason!

Have you been approached or will you try to participate in Celebrity Poker Showdown with their new Co-Host, Phil Hellmuth?
No I haven't but of course I'd do it


Are you a tight, aggressive, loose, passive player?
I'm medium. Not really tight I'm not really loose. I'm not afraid to push with pocket deuces. J9 K9 Q10 I'm not afraid to play. I go by feel. That' s why I admire Phil Ivey. He knows where to make the move. He may not play the best hands sometimes but he knows when to make the move! I'm more by feel then by luck.

Shana Hiatt or Courtney Friehl?
Shana Hiatt by a @%^#~ mile! Not that Courtney is shabby either but Shana makes my heart throb!


Who's the biggest donkey in the band?
That would be me because the other guys don't play.

Then to me they're the donkeys because if you don't play poker you have something wrong with you!