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When I Was A Donk – Sean Jazayeri

by Julio Rodriguez |  Published: May 09, 2018


Sean JazayeriIn 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.

Back in 2012, Sean Jazayeri was the lone amateur player remaining in the $10,000 buy-in L.A. Poker Classic, and competing against a stacked final table that included the likes of Daniel Kelly, David Sands, Jason Burt, Noah Schwartz, and Jason Somerville. The executive-by-day somehow managed to come out on top, scoring the World Poker Tour title and the massive $1,370,240 first-place prize.

In the years since, Jazayeri has made several final tables, including the Bellagio Cup, Wynn Classic, Five Diamond World Poker Classic, EPT Grand Final, Borgata Winter Poker Open, and Festa Al Lago. He even won a WSOP Circuit ring in 2014.

Here, Jazayeri talks about the importance of making sure you review your winning hands.

“I’m still a donk, but I can definitely come up with some donk plays from the past. I still make mistakes, obviously, but the one that keeps coming up in my mind over and over again is a hand from my win at the L.A. Poker Classic. The reason, of course, why I can’t forget this hand, is because it keeps getting posted to YouTube!” (laughing)

“I was in a hand with Dan Kelly, who is a hyper aggressive player. My plan was to trap him when I had the best of it, which was a really terrible plan in hindsight because, of course, you need to make a hand before you can trap someone.”

“With three players left, I was a massive chip leader, and I flopped an open-ended straight draw. Dan made a continuation bet, and I decided that this was my opportunity, so I raised with my little draw. Now, the raise itself wasn’t a bad play, but Dan decided to go all-in over the top. I thought about it for a while, and called. He had the nut flush draw, and his hand held.”

“The math said I should have folded. I definitely wasn’t getting the right price… but at the time I thought it was worth the gamble to knock out a top player. It’s not justified, obviously. Instead of taking out Dan and going into heads-up play against David Sands with a huge chip lead, I doubled him up and made him more dangerous instead.”

“I was very fortunate that it didn’t end up biting me in the end, because I came back to win the tournament, but in poker, you can’t be results oriented. The fact is, I made a mistake, and it’s irrelevant that I won the tournament. In fact, even if I had won the pot, it would have been a bad play. If you want to get better at poker, you can’t just look at the hands you lost.” ♠