2008 WSOP: Daneshgar's Day

He took down Event 52 in fine style and sat down with PL.com and a few other media types following the win to discuss how he pulled it off.

You've been around the World Series for a while now. How good does it feel to finally get over the hump here?

I started playing tournaments where I grew up; then I went to school at Berkley and started playing there a little bit. Then I started playing at Hollywood Park and started doing very well.

Finally I started entering the [WSOP] Circuit and probably the first year it came I won like $1 million in earnings. Then the next year I started playing a little less and I wasn't running good, so I got to see both sides to the coin. The first year I was just running like fire and the second year? It just shows you what happens when you are running good and playing good.

But I wanted to win one of these so bad I can't even explain it. You're right - I've been playing [WSOP events for] two or three years and I just never thought it would happen.

Well, outside of the Main Event, this was really your last chance at a bracelet this year ...

Yeah; the sick thing is that I had chips in a bunch of events. I probably played three $1,500's - the $5k No-Limit, the Short-Handed and Heads-Up. Last year I got ninth in the $5k Heads-Up. I have experience getting deep, but I guess better late than never. I got the Main Event next and maybe I'll get lucky.

You seemed to have a lot more experience than the other players; how did that help?

I think it helped a lot. I mean, there's a certain level of experience that plays a part in when you pick your spots when you go over the top with nothing. A lot of times I had hands and a lot of times I didn't but I think I played the waiting game and [picked] my spots.

The one thing at this table when I came in [was that] to my left were all the aggressive players. So I kind of decided I should be patient a little bit. Then at the end I was a bit more aggressive.

Heads-up you came in with a chip deficit - how did you manage to overcome it?

I just wanted to play small pots and chip away. I won some small pots, won a pretty big pot, then a couple more small pots and I got to the point where I was in my comfort zone. I had him 2-1 and I figured I was going to play small and if I have something ... I happened to get tens; I looked at him, and it looked like he was going to raise. It just seemed like it, and he pushed; I called, and that was it.

But you still had to fade the ace. What were you feeling then?

David Daneshgar
Winnar!

At that point I was just like if it happens it happens. I think if you measured my heart rate it wasn't that much higher than normal. If it happens it happens; if it doesn't it doesn't. There's not much you can do; I got my money in and it worked out today.

Was there a point earlier here where you really started thinking you would win?

There was one or two times where I made moves and they were laying down, they worked and when I had hands I was winning. It just all came together.

The defining moment of the tournament for me was when I made it $100,000 from the button and the small blind put me all-in for $1 million more. I think most players would fold, but I made a read and I was here to win this tournament so I made the call with ace-jack and he had like six-eight. I [went] with my gut there.

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The win today pushes Daneshgar up and over the $2 million mark in career tournament earnings. That being the case, it should send warning signs out to everyone in the poker world: if Daneshgar keeps going with those gut feelings, he'll be a force to be reckoned with whenever he's on the felt.

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