We chat with Canadian poker pro Poorya Nazari about his PCA win and losing weight

Canadian pro Poorya Nazari recently won a colossal $ 3m when he beat 1,346 players in the PCA 2009

Everything has been a little overwhelming since returning from the Bahamas. I didn’t realise exactly how big my accomplishment was until I returned to Toronto and was bombarded with interview requests – everything from local papers to national TV stations.

It was such a long week, just non-stop poker every day from noon till midnight. The competition was quite stiff seeing as a large percentage of players were online qualifiers. The only downside to all of this was not seeing the Atlantis resort… Oh well, next year I guess.

I won one PCA package through the $ 33 triple turbo rebuy. I was in for $ 700 in that specific satellite and a total of $ 4,000 trying to qualify for the PCA through various other satellites. I was playing high-stakes MTTs online regularly on my own dime so I wasn’t exactly slumming it.

I started on Day 1B and my opening table was quite tough. Hevad Khan was on my right and Gus Hansen on my left, both quite loose and aggro players that love to put their opponents in tough situations. The player who impressed me most throughout the tournament was Dustin Dirksen. When we were down to three tables I was moved to his immediate right. He had a really loose and unpredictable style that gave me fits.

Through the earlier stages I was all-in a total of three times, but I was in good shape each time. Twice I had an overpair against an underpair all-in pre-flop and the third time I flopped a set and got it in against Aces.

At the final table I tried my best not to think of the massive pay jumps and focus only on making correct decisions. I planned to pound on the smaller stacks and steal the blinds. It worked out okay I think.

When we got to three-handed I wanted to see how the other guys were playing and how they would react to my three-bets pre-flop (did they like to flat-call or four-bet or fold?). I also wanted to see how much I could get away with post-flop. Once I had a decent feeling for what they were doing I made the necessary adjustments and fortunately they worked.

Although I had a 2/1 chip advantage going into heads-up, there was no way I thought the win was certain. One double-up and we were even in chips, so it was far from a lock at that point.

My plan for the rest of the year is to focus on losing some weight (well actually a lot of weight). The only certainties with regards to upcoming tournaments are Monte Carlo and the WSOP main event.

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