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Going Deep on The WPT
Success seems to come in waves here on the World Poker Tour.
Both Matt Stout and Soheil Shamseddin can attest to that.
While the fields are getting tougher than ever on tour, both players found themselves coming into the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic this week on a serious heater.
After playing just about every big buy in event across America and beyond over the past two years, things simply started to click for Stout at Bellagio’s Festa al Lago this past October.
He ran deep finishing 13th, but the best was yet to come.
The very next WPT event at Foxwoods, Stout made the final table finishing third for $265,710 – his career best score.
Just a few weeks removed from that, it now appears he’s up for another deep run, well stacked at the Five Diamond with just 36 people left heading into Day 4.
“A lot of things are falling into place at once,” Stout explained. “I think I’ve definitely improved my game to an extent, especially my deep stacked game - Which is obviously critical in these deep stacked main events.”
A new-found comfort level playing against the game’s biggest names is also to blame.
“You are playing for a ridiculous amount of money and you are playing against some of the best players in the world,” he said. “It does take some getting used to.
“You have to make some adjustments, you can’t just run these people over like they are fish. You have to play hands completely differently and you know that these players are thinking about everything so you have to be focused and stay on top of your game to be on top of it.”
After making a final table at the 2009 Southern Poker Championship this past January, Shamseddin shipped his largest lifetime cash at that same Foxwoods final just weeks ago, banking $463,332 for second.
He built a big stack early on Day 3, but busted late in the day Wednesday to end his hot streak.
However, he still believes the key to running deep consistently against the tough WPT fields is staying true to your game and playing without fear, despite the quality of players around you.
“I’m comfortable playing against anybody,” he said “It’s just poker.”
His game is primarily based in psychology and the reads he gets off others and says the more you play the top players, the better your reads on them get.
“I’m not a mathematical player,” he explained. “To me the math does not apply to tournament poker. I’m more of feel player, a psychological type. I actually read players and that’s been the backbone and foundation to my game.”
In the end, Stout, who writes a blog for PL.com about his experiences on tour, says no matter how comfortable you get with the level of the competition, and how solid your reads have become, it takes a little bit of luck to go deep.
Something he’s definitely happy to be experiencing again.
“Things have to go your way, no matter how you get it in,” he said. “You really do need to run well no matter how good you are playing.”
With $2.3 million in career earnings, Daniel Alaei knows a thing or two about going deep in tournaments and holds a massive chip lead at the Five Diamond headed into Day 4.
To see if Stout’s string of deep cashes can continue and names like Scotty Nguyen, Antonio Esfandiari, Mike Sowers, Amit Makhija, Chad Batista, Faraz Jaka and a host of others can catch Alaei, tune into PokerListings’ Live Updates.