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Brit Bansi Brings PCA Heat
After making third at the WSOPE main event, Praz Bansi has emerged as one the chip leaders at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and it appears there is just one British player in poker as hot as he is right now.
But James Akenhead, who made both the WSOP and WSOPE main event finals before winning the Full Tilt Poker Million last year, is a fellow member of The Hit Squad and one of Bansi's best friends.
“I think when one of us does really well, it kind of makes us all want to do well,” Bansi said of fellow Hit Squad members Akenhead, Chaz Chattha, Sunny Chattha and Karl Mahrenholz.
“You always want to do well anyway, but when one of us does, it kind of motivates you. We’re quite competitive amongst each other. We’re always trying to push each other to go to the next stage.”
Bansi burst onto the big-time poker scene back in 2006, winning a bracelet at the WSOP that summer.
He narrowly missed two more WSOP final table appearances the very next year, but the Full Tilt Pro was back at it again in 2009, finishing seventh in a $1,500 Six-Handed event before his third-place finish at the WSOPE main event brought him £360,887 – His biggest score to date.
Bansi won his way into the PCA main event through a $530 super satellite in the Bahamas this week and said he’s definitely riding a wave of confidence from all his recent success.
“I think it’s that and also just running good helps,” he said. “Really it’s a combination of things. I’m not playing every day at the moment, whereas I used to like a year ago. When you are learning the game, you play every day and all you think about is poker, but it’s not been like that for me the last year or so.
“I’ve just been doing other things and that kind of helps me play a tournament. I’m a bit more focused and a bit more hungry.”
Like Akenhead at the WSOP Main Event final, Bansi was forced to share the felt with the most feared player in poker throughout Day 3 at the PCA Friday.
But despite doubling up Phil Ivey early, he stayed aggressive throughout, stuck to his game and held onto his massive stack.
“It’s tough,” he said. “We’re both in a lot of pots. But I haven’t gone out of my way to do anything differently. Although when I’m in a pot with him it’s a different story than playing against an online qualifier. I can say that.”
Now that the field is in the money, with three days remaining in the event, Bansi said he may tone down the aggression slightly.
“The bubble has burst, so maybe people are going to start moving in a lot more now,” he said. “Maybe it’ll be a little better to play a bit more snug and not play as many pots. Although I can say things like that and when it comes to actually playing, it’ll be a bit of a different story.”
To follow Bansi’s progress and all the action from the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, tune into PokerListings’ Live Updates.