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Poker Stories Podcast With Upeshka De Silva

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Oct 25, 2017

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Poker Stories is a new, long-form audio series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

Age: 29
First Live Tournament Cash: 2011
From: Katy, Texas
Live Tournament Earnings: $1.8 Million
Best Score: 1st Place – 2015 WSOP $1,500 No Limit Hold’em — $424,577

The Highlights

On his first WSOP final table appearance…

“I took the worst beat of my career, I’ll never forget it. The highest equity pot I’ve ever lost. This is so gross. Seven people left in the Millionaire Maker, I had 50 percent of myself, no make up. This would be a huge score for me. It already is. I had 22 bigs and I was in the cutoff with pocket jacks. I’m probably 3 of 7, as chips go, and first place is like $1.3 million. Justin Liberto, who is chip leader, goes all-in from the small blind. I call. He has 7-8 offsuit. Pot for the chip lead. Board runs out K-J-9-6-5. It was so dirty that as I was walking out, his dad came up to me to apologize.”

On the changes in the online staking market..

“I’d say the staking market has changed dramatically. In 2012 or 2013, if you had any sort of online results you could probably get a backing deal that was way advantageous to the player, with no cap on make up, no restrictions. But lots of backers went broke. Nowadays, you see the rise of well-run stables that run like companies. They have coaches, they merge all their hands to have all this data about what their horses are playing, they get them to play lower stakes, they only play the best value tournaments. It’s like a hedge fund is now running the game.”

On winning bracelets…

“Since I was a kid I wanted a bracelet. I don’t know why I wanted a shiny piece of gold, I don’t think it really proves anything. It’s just a tournament at the end of the day, but it is very satisfying. There are a lot of people that don’t believe in you when you take this path. A lot of friends and family. I remember when I was a kid, my aunt didn’t want me watching World Series of Poker in front of her kids. But now they all sweat me.”

On the benefits of a poker career…

“The more work I put in, the more I get. My mom is a great nurse. She’s one of the best nurses. But if she does five times a better job than her co-worker, she’s not getting paid 5×. But if I do that, I’m getting paid 5x, and that’s a thing to be pretty grateful for, that you get rewarded for the work you put in.”

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