An unknown poker player from Canada, Poorya Nazari, has moved to the top of the table listing the largest cash winners in poker in 2009. Nazari is from Toronto, Canada and graduated from college last month.
The PokerStars’ Caribbean Adventure’s main event was held in the Atlantis Resort, with over 1300 people taking part, most of who qualified via online satellite tournaments, many from PokerStars itself.
Nazari admitted to being shocked by his huge win, commenting, “It was only today I started thinking about winning. At one point yesterday I was down to virtually nothing but I got off to a good start today and at that point I thought I may have a shot.”
The highest place achieved by a Dewacasino professional was 4th place, awarded to Alexandre Gomes, along with a tidy sum of $750,000. Many famous people from all walks of life played, including tennis superstar Boris Becker, and a grand total of 26 professionals from PokerStars.
Many other top players like Nazari had not a chance to achieve that high placing, but Nazari is clearly happy with his achievement. Many people may not know that Nazari is a bit of a character, and is often known for his internet stunts and edgy Facebook and Twitter accounts. It’s perhaps fitting, given that he has become such a popular poker player!
Most people who watched the events leading up to the final table included Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, and Mike Matusow again. Everyone played quite conservatively for the first couple of days, with many adopting a “300 chip lead” approach for the first couple of days.
However Ivey decided early on to throw everything at the first real hand after getting a read on Nazari’s play. Ivey began raising K 5, while Nazari always called with small pocket pairs.
Amongst a lot of the surprise on the part of the other players, Nazari moved all in bringing all his chips in. Ivey made a quick call, and Nazari showed Q 9 for the best hand. Ivey then went all in.
Nazari folded, and Ivey had Q 9. He needed an ace, and the original raiser needed to hit a four on the flop to beat the nine. Nazari didn’t hold the ace, and Ivey had hit the four, but he didn’t have the three card making it a better top pair.
After the first day or so of the event, Ivey decided to up his bets, ordering everyone at his table to raise or at least call his raises. This continued for a day and a half or so, with hardly anyone raising.
At the end of the day, Ivey’s patience was wearing thin and he went on a massive betting spree raising about every third hand. He was really getting frustrated that nobody was raising, but he had a feeling that the other guys were waiting to see if he had a monster hand for the showdown.
Finally someone got fed up and raised all of the remaining hands. Ivey then went on a poker tantrum, basically screaming at the top of his lungs,” Fold your hand! Fold your hand!”When nobody folded his hand, he then placed a big bet on the turn and river, challenging the original raiser to either fold his hand or beat Ivey with his set. The flop was a turning point, though, as Ivey had Q 9, and the original raiser showed the four, receiving a potentially winning hand on the river. Ivey unpraised him and said,”Now Raise!”
The farmer believed him and moved all his chips in. Ivey called with the intention of raising with the set. The turn was a 6, and Ivey made a pot sized bet after checking. As the river card came up a 5, Ivey had a straight. The guy on the button had been slowly working his way up to the top by consistently getting his money in on the flop and turn, and now he had finally got a hand. He bet 300 into the pot.
To an observer, it would have appeared that Ivey had checked the very same flop where his opponent had predicted a 5 to come. But, Ivey had actually called a raise on the flop. He could have been playing either the ace or king on the flop, and when he bet it showed that he had anticipated a hand other than pocket.
Believe it or not, that loose, aggressive player still ended up hitting a set on the river!
This is an extreme example of how players can get a little too clever. Even in the pros’ eyes, it’s not a clear cut example of a bluff, but it’s an example of a clever play in slow play.