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When I Was A Donk With Bryan Paris

by Julio Rodriguez |  Published: Mar 18, 2015


Bryan ParisIn this series, Card Player asks top pros to rewind back to their humble beginnings and provide insights regarding the mistakes, leaks, and deficiencies that they had to overcome in order to improve their games.

Online poker pro Bryan Paris grew up in Menlo Park, California, but has called Amsterdam his home ever since Black Friday forced him to move from the United States.

The 29-year-old poker pro recently crossed the $7.5 million mark in online tournament earnings, becoming just the fifth ever person to reach that milestone behind such greats as Chris “moorman1” Moorman, Shaym “s_dot11” Srinivasan, Jeremy “daisyxoxo” Fitzpatrick, and Sebastian “p0cket00” Sikorski. He’s also started to find success in live tournaments, where he has picked up another $550,000.

Here, Paris recalled a blunder he made as a short stack in a major live tournament.

“In 2008, I was playing in the main event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. I was fortunate enough to make day four of the tournament and was short stacked with something like eight or nine big blinds.”

“The cutoff opened with a raise and then the small blind moved all in. I looked down at pocket sevens and I remember being super excited to get it in, figuring that I was in a coin flip situation with some dead money in the middle. It turns out that the initial raiser woke up with aces and small blind had A-K. I didn’t hit and I busted the tournament.”

“At the time, I just figured that I had gotten unlucky to run into a couple of big hands, but looking back, I realize just how badly I messed up that hand. In hindsight, I really had no reason to call off my stack there. Nine big blinds still has fold equity and is plenty enough to keep waiting for a better spot. I might not necessarily find a better hand, but I certainly could have found a better situation to get my chips in the middle.”

“Right now, I think that I’m one of the most patient short stack players online. People are always making jokes because I’m willing to go down to my last three and a half big blinds, but it has served me really well.”

“No matter how few chips you have, you can always find a plus EV spot to get it in. You don’t have to make marginally negative EV plays just because you are short.” ♠