2008 WSOP: The Year of Brandon Cantu?

It's been a different story for Cantu in 2008; he's already taken down a WPT title by being the last star standing at Bay 101.

Cantu is at it again in the Main Event and with more than $2 million chips he's a danger to whoever is sitting at his table.

PL.com caught up with the Cantu Kid just moments after Day 5 of the 2008 WSOP Main Event ended.

So first of all, Brandon, give us the rundown on your day.

I ended up with $2.2 million. It wasn't the best day at all. I really felt that I played close to perfect poker on the first four days and today I kinda let myself down. Even when I was winning pots I wasn't making the right plays.

It was just a difficult day for me. I think a lot of it came down to fatigue.

Now having said that, you've still got $2.2 million chips and you're among the 79 players remaining in the Main Event. You have to still be fairly excited about your position right now.

I am. I was of course a lot more excited when I had $3.8 million, though. [laughs] I was way more excited. You're right though. I am excited. Just to be here is a dream situation.

Tomorrow I'm coming out with the most killer instincts that poker has ever seen. It could be scary the plays I make tomorrow.

Brandon, you had a quiet 2007, but you've really kicked off your 2008 the right way by winning a WPT and now going deep in the Main Event. What has been the difference for you between the last two years?

Yeah; I've loosened my game a bit and I think that's what has helped me out to a degree. I really came to my senses because in 2007 I kinda played on tilt. I can't explain why it happened but I did not have a good 2007. I wasn't taking poker seriously at all.

In 2008 I have a legitimate chance of winning the player of the year on a lot of Web sites and that has kept me focused.

Some of the competition that's still kicking.

You seem to be very comfortable using a big stack of chips, as you showed us at Bay 101 by parlaying that stack into a dominating performance, and now you are doing it again here at the Main Event. It seems that you really know what to do when you get a few chips ...

I do. That's actually what was really frustrating about losing more than a million today. I mean at one point I looked up at the leaderboard and saw that I had $3.8 million and I was like, "Wow, I'm really going to put some pressure on these guys."

I did run into some coolers today though. I mean the one where I dropped from $3.8 million to $2.2 million I ran A-K into kings. It was a really tough spot and it just didn't work out.

How do you feel about the level of play in this year's Main Event compared to years past?

There are way more amateurs this year. There tends to be more at the WSOP in general. When you play a WPT I really feel like you are playing against a more skilled field. I mean there are players here who only play one $10,000 event a year and it shows.

Looking for another podium finish.

To be successful you have to change up your style a bit to adapt to the fields here.

As we get a bit closer to that final table of nine players I've got to ask: How do you feel about the four-month delay?

I like it. I didn't like it at first. I thought it was terrible. I just hope nobody dies during that four-month period. That would be awful.

Without going into too much detail, can you tell me if you have a general strategy heading into tomorrow?

Not at all. I don't even know who's at my table. I mean who knows. I might have a table full of players with $4 million stacks. I just don't know.

I'll just have to see how tomorrow goes and adapt to whatever the situation is.

Thanks man.

No problem.


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Brandon Cantu is on a killer hot streak and although it's too early to really say with any certainty who will be at the final table, it certainly wouldn't be a total surprise if Cantu had a spot. Cantu is brimming with confidence and has already taken down a major tournament this year. There aren't too many among his competition who can say the same.

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