Sabyl Cohen: One of the Best You Haven't Heard Of

Sabyl Cohen
Sabyl Cohen ponders a call during Event 1 at the 2007 WSOP.

Little known poker player Sabyl Cohen surprised everybody by dominating the competition on the first day of the WSOP.

She outlasted notable huge name pros like Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson and Annie Duke and held the chip lead for most of the day. At the end of the day stood in third place with 118,500.

Cohen is on a bit of a hot streak at the WSOP as the last event she played was the Main Event where she outlasted every other female to come in 56th place. talked to Cohen after her terrific first day and this is what she had to say:

PL: You had a great day today. To what do you attribute your success?

SC: Well it was a bit of luck, and some of it was dumb luck. I was just in the right place at the right time in a lot of situations.

PL: Were there any key hands that helped you develop your chip lead?

SC: There were a few. One involved a re-suck with aces where the guy turned two pair, and when he raised me, I was sort of pot-committed. So the board paired bottom pair on the river, so I had better two-pair, so obviously that was key.

It was a big pot. I believe it was around $30,000. Another one was just a dumb luck thing where I thought I had 8-10 suited, which is already a borderline raise hand, but I actually had 8-10 off-suit. I ended up hitting a gut-shot straight, which I think kinda blindsided the guy. He wasn't really expecting 8-10, I think he had a set or two-pair. That was a huge dumb luck hand for me.

PL: You did fantastic in the Main Event last year and now you're following it up with more solid play. Does starting so well mean anything to you?

SC: I don't know what it means. There is so much luck involved with tournament poker that it's sorta hard to know how much you can attribute to luck or skill. It's possible to win a few tournaments in a row and have it not mean anything. Some people can do that and then not win anything for five years.

PL: Have you been playing much poker since last year's WSOP?

SC: I really haven't been. I've been playing a bit online, but it's been very minimal.

PL: Are you excited to be back at the WSOP?

SC: Yeah it's the first chance I've ever had to actually be here for the whole series. I've had either school or work, so I've never had a whole summer to concentrate on poker.

PL: How many events are you going to enter?

SC: I'm not sure yet. I have a budget of around $70,000 for tournament entries, but I'm hopeful that I'll be playing in some events for quite a while. I don't plan on entering the H.O.R.S.E. tournament at this time.

PL: Have you set any goals for yourself this summer?

SC: Playing the best poker I can and learning from it. I wouldn't set my goal as winning a certain tournament, because you can't control that, but what you can control is how you learn over the course of playing.

PL: Do you feel that you've grown as a player since last year?

SC: I did learn from last year. Especially when it comes to endurance because we were playing for so many days [at the Main Event]. I had some friends that did really well and I learned a lot from talking to them. Bill Chen is a friend of mine and he wrote the Mathematics of Poker, so I've definitely learned a lot from him.


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Cohen is one of the nicest (and most humble!) players you will meet at the WSOP and her strong play has caught the attention of many people in the poker business. Keep checking for updates on Cohen's results in the future.

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