Ram Vaswani opens up to PokerPlayer about his WSOP bracelet win: “I was 100% focused to win the event but there are tournaments today where I just don’t have that focus”

We take a look back at Ram’s 2007 WSOP bracelet win

However, despite respect being garnered on both sides of the Atlantic for his fierce style of play, the Hendon Mobster was still searching for that elusive World Series bracelet win that would back up his status as perhaps the greatest talent to hail from home shores. But the $1,500 limit shootout at this year’s WSOP finally proved to be the defining moment for ‘Crazy Horse’ to enter his name in the record books…

So Ram, finally there’s a bracelet on your wrist. You must be delighted?

Ram Vaswani: It’s really nice to win the bracelet because it has now taken a little bit of pressure off me. As a poker player, that’s the one thing you want [the bracelet]. It’s nice to get it out of the way.

What did you do to celebrate?

RV: I just went out for dinner the following evening with friends. The event finished about four in the morning and I was shattered. Don’t forget I had the family out there and the little’un woke up from time to time. The night before the tournament I’d only had a few hours kip.

Just how special does it feel?

RV: It’s the ultimate thing for a poker player. I just felt something was missing from my CV. And, it now opens up the Grand Slam opportunity for me as well. I just need to get the WPT win out of the way before Roland [De Wolfe] wins a bracelet and then I’m home free. That’s my mission in poker now.

You claimed in an interview with InsidePoker recently that you were pretty bored with the game. Do you still feel that way now?

RV: I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m bored now. But I used to play in every single tournament and I really used to love it. It was a buzz. I guess that buzz had just gone out of it for me. Obviously, when you get into the deeper stages of a tournament, then it gets very exciting. But tournaments like the ones at the World Series don’t have that buzz when you take into consideration the fact there are 700 guys in front of you and you need to get so many chips to win. It’s not as easy as it used to be, you know. Tournament poker is more of a graft today because there are so many players.

I’m guessing that buzz was back as you were on your charge towards winning the bracelet?

RV: Oh yeah, the buzz was really back. That’s the ultimate situation for a poker player, being that deep in a tournament of that size. I was 100% focused to win the event. But there are tournaments today where I just don’t have that focus.

Did you always feel like you could win it?

RV: I got off to a good start, but I did have a bad session when it was down to four-handed; I went down to the low stack. I slowly got back into it. He [Andy Ward, who finished as runner-up] had me in chips when we were heads-up, but everything sort of clicked at that point; I found the hands, called his bluffs. Once I got so deep, I was desperate to win it.

You had a disappointing main event with a quick exit. Does winning the bracelet help to heal that wound?

RV: Yeah, maybe, I’m not making excuses for the main event. I was trying my bollocks off, but I had an off day and the pain isn’t so bad after winning my bracelet. There’s no point getting upset about it. I lost a couple of early pots to Vince van Patten and did my money in about an hour after being crippled. But I got busted so early that it’s not as much of a problem compared to if I had gone a lot further in the tournament.

There’s always going to be a lot of debate about who the best player in Britain is, but this win puts you on a par with ‘Devilfish’ as a bracelet winner…

RV: Yeah, but I don’t think people will ever stop talking about Devilfish because he just won’t let them. There’s a bit of friendly banter between us. He’s a bit of a looney, but I probably get on with him as well as anyone. He can be a bit naughty, but for me, Devilfish was probably the first proper player who I started to study playing. In fact, he was the only player I studied when I was young and coming into the game. He used to show his cards and tell people what he was doing. He’s a character and can be hilarious at times. I get on well with him and I take him for what he is. He is also a great player. People forget that.

So will you be wearing the bracelet much?

RV: [Laughs] I can safely say that I will never wear the bracelet. No chance. It will be hidden away in a cabinet somewhere, never to be seen again. But it’s just nice to finally have it.

You may get another one in September when the World Series arrives in London…

RV: Yeah, I’m looking forward to that. It’s handy the World Series is coming over to us and it’s on our front door without the heat and all the slot machines that you get over in Vegas. I think everyone is looking forward to it.

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