Interviewing the Investor: Commisso Wins Gold

An exhausted Commisso sat down with and a few others following the win to discuss the final table, his past and a possible future that may include retiring from live poker on top.

You used to be a stock trader, is that right?

I traded for myself from 1998 to 2005 and I took up poker around 2005 and have pretty much been obsessed ever since.

I was day-trading my own accounts with my own money. I was day-trading for like seven years. I just got a little burnt out and I found poker and I really liked poker.

I still trade on the side and whatnot and invest, but for right now I'm a professional poker player.

How much difference will this $900k make to your portfolio?

It's a big deal. It's a million dollars. It's great.

The heads-up match was epic. How frustrating was it to continually be getting it in ahead and losing hand after hand?

It was obviously frustrating. What do you want me to say? I kept getting it in good, I'd chip him down and he'd make it back.

But it never got to the point where you were just getting it in with any two?

No. He was terrible. No, I shouldn't say that, but I thought I had a big edge on him. It was $500,000 so I just focused and it worked out. I got it in bad once so I won - that's all I had to do. I should have figured that out the first 10 times I got it in good and lost, but whatever.

At any point were you getting tired?

I was tired the whole day. We played from 2 p.m. yesterday until 5:30 in the morning. I went home and slept for three hours and came back and did it again. We played all day the day before so I really haven't had a chance to get a good sleep in, so I was exhausted.

This is only the second time you've cashed in a live tournament, the other being at a $1,000 buy-in event on the Circuit in Atlantic City. Can you tell us a little about your poker experience?

I was new to poker and that was actually my first-ever live tournament. This is really only the fifth tournament I've ever played.

So have you been cleaning up online for a few years?

I mean no; I do all right. I play mid-stakes online a lot of heads-up and six-max SNGs.

So did that experience really help here in this six-handed event?

Absolutely; people don't adjust well range-wise in this tournament. Most of these guys are live tourney donks, really. They don't know how to play aggressive and open a lot of hands. So yeah, it absolutely paid off.

So are you saying the field was rather soft?

It was pretty soft, but I can't really tell because I don't play a lot of tournaments. This is really only like the 20th tournament I've played in my entire life. I've only played five live.

I pretty much detest tournaments though. I don't know if I ever want to play one again. I just hate live poker. I see like 600 hands online and I see like 25 here. Then I have to look at people's faces and they tilt me and everybody's talking. It's terrible. I just want to like get my laptop and play online. So I don't know, I might just retire on top. I've got my bracelet; I might not play any more or ever again.

So we won't see you at the Main Event then?

All right, you might see me at the Main Event [laughs]. After that, though ...

* * * * * * * * * * *

You can't blame Commisso for wanting to give up live tournament poker after a grueling three days ending with a four-hour heads-up battle. But something tells me the allure of massive prize pools, fame and glory will bring him back to this stage again.


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