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Tom Marchese -- 2010 POY Winner Battling Through A Sophomore Slump

Marchese Talks About Variance And How It Has Affected His 2011 Campaign


Tom MarcheseTom Marchese had an incredible 2010 campaign, winning two titles and banking nearly $2.1 million on the tournament circuit. The Boonton, New Jersey native crushed the Card Player Player of the Year race, beating runner-up Dwyte Pilgrim by nearly 1,200 points.

2011, however, hasn’t been so kind to the 24-year-old pro. Last year he made 11 final tables. This year he has only 8 total cashes, but Marchese isn’t down on his sophomore slump.

“When you are one of the best players in a given year, people kind of forget, or at least take for granted that you are also running really well,” said Marchese. “They think that you will be able to keep on winning and avoid coming back down to earth. The truth is that very few players can put together back-to-back, successful years. The trick is to keep your head above water while you wait for that variance to swing back into your favor.”

Marchese denied feeling any pressure to repeat and explained that he even made sure to take some more time off this year, dropping his events played from 65 in 2010 to just 40 in 2011.

“I’ve never really felt any sort of pressure to win and that didn’t really increase at all after winning Player of the Year in 2010. In fact, the only reason I was even gunning for the POY award last year is because I found myself with a lot of points early on.”

Tom MarcheseThe truth is that Marchese hasn’t that bad of a year overall. His winnings for 2011 total more than $300,000 and during that time, he had appearances at both a World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour final table.

“The difference between a good year and a bad year isn’t in the events that you bubble, it’s in the events that you make the money, but fail to close out,” Marchese explained. “This year, I finished 12th in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure High Roller and eighth in a WSOP event. If a few cards come out differently for me in just those two tournaments alone, then not only am I having a much more successful year, but I’m also back in the running for POY. Poker tournaments are that fragile.”

When the cards do start cooperating, Marchese will definitely be ready to reclaim his position as one of poker’s young rising stars, but until that happens, he’s content to just let the game come to him.

“With online poker gone, it really makes the players, at least in the U.S., reevaluate their options,” said Marchese. “Personally, I’m just going to continue doing what I’ve been doing. If tournaments are where the money is, then that’s what I’ll do. If it’s online cash games, then I’ll make that adjustment. Whatever it takes, that’s my plan.”