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Card Player Profile: Nenad Medic

Medic Talks About His Previous Success at the World Poker Finals and How His Game Has Evolved

Nenad MedicNenad Medic is a former college basketball player turned poker professional. The Canadian citizen has over $2 million in lifetime tournament winnings. His first tournament cash was in early 2005 when finished in sixth place in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Since that final-table appearance in the Bahamas, he has cashed in many major events. However, his only first-place finish came last year at Foxwoods when he won the 2006 World Poker Finals. He earned more than $1.7 million dollars for taking down that World Poker Tour event. His success has earned him the status of Full Tilt Pro.

Medic will take to the felt tomorrow for day one (B) of the 2007 World Poker Finals at Foxwoods, and he's looking to get a back-to-back title for the event under his belt.

Lizzy Harrison: What's it like to be back at Foxwoods a year after your World Poker Tour victory?

Nenad Medic: It feels good to be back here, especially after last year's win. It is not really my favorite casino, because there is not much to do at Foxwoods, but because I won it last year I am very excited to be here again. The last couple of months, tournaments haven't been going very well for me. I have been knocked out on a lot of day ones. I am really excited about this one, though, and I have a good feeling about it. It should be fun.

LH: Are you confident of making consecutive wins at the World Poker Finals?

NM: I am as confident as I can be. It is pretty tough to win any tournament, and especially to win two consecutively. My confidence level has actually been pretty down, lately, since I haven't really been doing too well in tournaments. The last week or so I have been trying to think positive so I can have a good mindset going in to this tournament.

LH: Going into this tournament last year, were you convinced that you would succeed?

NM: I was pretty sure that I would do well last year. I had a feeling I was going to win a World Poker Tour event that year. I had been playing well, I had made a few final tables, and I just had a feeling that it was my time to win. I actually have that same feeling coming into this one, though I haven't been doing so well in tournaments recently. I should explain, I have been playing really well and just getting unlucky. So we'll see.

LH: What were your thoughts going into the final table?

NM: I really liked my chances. I knew all of the players, and I had a good read on everyone. I liked my seat, and the blinds were relatively small, so I had time to outplay my opponents. My strategy was to sit back and see how everybody else was playing. Not totally sit back; if I thought I had an opportunity to steal I would steal. I just played a little bit tighter then I usually play, because I am usually pretty aggressive. I sat back and let E.G. Harvin take everybody down.

LH: Was there one opponent you were particularly wary of?

NM: Not really. I guess I was a bit wary of Kathy Liebert and Mimi Tran because they are good players. I had played with them the most during the tournament, though, so they were the players I knew the most about. I had played with Mimi Tran quite a bit earlier in the tournament, and she gave me a lot of respect. It seemed like she did not want to play hands against me, and I used that to my advantage a couple of times.

LH: What was your impression of E.G. Harvin as a head-up opponent?

NM: I love that guy! [Laughs] He was a really nice guy. He played very well the whole tournament, but he was not the greatest heads-up player. E.G. overplayed some hands and made some pretty obvious mistakes. You could just tell that he did not have the experience. But he was a very nice guy, and his aggressive play worked well for him throughout the tournament. At the end, he made some mistakes and gave off some tells.

LH: Did your life change at all after that big win?

NM: It didn't really change, except that more people started to notice me. I guess that would be the only thing, because my lifestyle didn't change at all. Obviously, I had a little more money, but I still did what I had been doing for the last couple of years, traveling and playing poker.

LH: Is there a specific part of your game that helps you succeed in tournaments?

NM: It would have to be the main part of my game, which is mixing up my play. I think I mix it up pretty well, so other players don't know what I have. That is key in tournaments. In different levels you have to change your play. I used to be known as a tight player, but lately I have gotten more aggressive. Everybody thinks I am always aggressive now, so I get a lot of action. Sometimes I still play tight, though. I think that is the part of my game that helps me succeed in tournaments.

LH: How has your game improved, if it has, since last year?

NM: Experience. The decisions I make have improved because I have played so much poker. Playing more hands makes anyone better. It is different for me now, because people recognize me and they give me action. Before I won last year, people did not play that many hands against me, probably because I played tighter then. I didn't play that much tighter then, though, people just didn't know me and so they assumed that I played tight. Now that people know me, they play back at me. I had to learn how to adjust my play so that I could continue to win.

LH: Do you focus primarily on tournaments or are you more of a cash-game player?

NM: Cash games, but lately there have been so many tournaments… . I used to play more cash games. For the last three months, I have traveling a lot to tournaments all over the country, all over Europe, Canada, and even the Caribbean. I go through different stages. Like during the World Series this year I played a lot of cash games. I concentrated on cash games instead of tournaments, because there were really good cash games in town. The past few years, I haven't done too well at the World Series in tournaments, because I find I can't focus and concentrate in smaller buy-in events. Also, I had been trying to play cash games and tournaments at the World Series, and that is really hard to do. It depends what is going on, but I am mostly a cash-game player.

LH: What skills are necessary for successful cash-game play that are not as important in tournaments?

NM: In cash games, money management is very important. Especially with how big the games are these days. There are some really big games going on and it is easy to go broke. Money management skills are key for cash-games players.

LH: What brought you in to the tournament poker world?

NM: I had success in cash games and I started playing tournaments because there was so much money to win. The television exposure and all of that sort of pulled me into tournament poker. Also, there are more bad players there. But there is a lot more luck in tournament poker. It is a combination of all of those things, plus the cash games go where the tournaments are.

LH: What are your long-term poker goals?

NM: I want to win. I am pretty sure I will be involved in the poker industry for a long time, but I am looking to put my money in other things, as well. I am trying to learn about using my money for investments. But, as for poker, my goals are to be successful and to keep winning money. I don't know if poker will be my only source of income since I do want to branch out and do other things with my money. There is a lot of money to be made out there, but I will always play poker.

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