Poker pro Ryan Daut is a PCA Champion and student. How does he do it?: “I wanted to just sit down and play my game and see how it went”

22-year old Ryan Daut won this year’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure at Atlantis in the Bahamas

It’s been over a while since Daut won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, but with the tournament still fresh in his mind, we thought this was a good time to catch up with the 22-year old

Congratulations on your win. Have you spent all the money yet?

I haven’t gone out to buy anything really. It’s definitely a lifechanging sum so I can do pretty much anything I want. I’m not going to let it affect how I live my life, but it will certainly help in certain aspects.

Is life back to normal now?

It’s still pretty hectic. I’ve got a lot of interviews to do and all my friends are really excited, but it’s getting there.

You’re a student, right? What were you studying?

It’s a maths Phd program. I’m back in school for that already. I was originally supposed to teach this semester, but I decided not to teach because of poker commitments.

Given that you study maths, do you apply Game Theory to your play?

I know some. I don’t really play around with it that much, but it’s pretty logical. I talked with Bill Chen for a while because he has a Phd from Berkeley University. I had his book signed by him and I was carrying it around with me during the tournament. I had it under my chair but switched tables. I tried to find it, but somebody had taken it before I’d even got a chance to read it!

If you hadn’t won the PCA, what were you intending on doing after your Phd?

Probably play poker! I was making the majority of my money from poker already – this win just reinforces that I will be playing poker for a living. I was playing $5/$10 no-limit before the win; now I’ve pushed that up to $25/$50 with a $5,000 buy-in. I think I was able to play at that level before, but didn’t have the bankroll. Now I can safely play at that level.

What did you think your realistic chances were in the PCA?

I wanted to just sit down and play my game and see how it went. A lot of tournaments depend on the cards you get and the situations you get into. You can get very unlucky, which will totally change how the tournament goes for you. I just wanted to play my best and see how far I could go.

You’re not really a tournament player, but you bought into the PCA directly. What was the thinking behind that?

A lot of my friends were going to be down there and it was $8,000 I wouldn’t have to put towards taxes. Effectively it was a $5,500 purchase and I was probably +EV in the tournament because there’s a lot of weaker players, so I figured it was a good investment.

Surely you’re going to enter more tournaments now?

I’ve been playing the major big buy-in tournaments online. I’m probably going to be playing more live events. They play a lot more like cash games and are a lot of fun.

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