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Poker's Most Snake Bitten Player
Consensus is that he's one of the the tightest and unluckiest players on tour, but 10-year pro Tony Cousineau doesn't seem to mind.
"I'm very comfortable in my skin playing poker this way," he told PokerListings on a break in play at the 2010 WPT Championship.
"Once in a while I'll make a mistake because I'll try to use my image and a guy will have a monster when he's raised every hand for the past five.
"But for the most part I can usually keep myself in chips this way"
Part way through Day 3 in Las Vegas, Cousineau turned the nut flush with four diamonds on board heads-up with Cliff Josephy. On the river he pushed out a small value bet, smiled across the table at Josephy and said, "It's me."
The way Cousineau sees it; you have to take your thinking to another level sometimes. You play perfectly to type in the hope your opponent will outhink himself, smell something fishy and look you up.
"Truth be told, I was actually trying to get him to call," he said. "I was trying to make it look so obvious that I was playing on my image that he would call."
At the core, Cousineau may be a relatively tight player, but he understands you have to play against type sometimes as well.
"You have to," he said. "You definitely can't just play that way all the time."
But while his style of play has earned him hundreds of cashes on the way to more than $2 million in career earnings over the past ten years, in the biggest moments of his poker career, Cousineau has developed a habit of getting it in good and finding a way to lose.
In fact, he holds the distinction as the player with the most cashes at the World Series of Poker without a win and is the only player in the top 50 list of most tournaments played on the World Poker Tour without a WPT final table on his resume.
"I'm probably the most snake bitten player in poker," he said.
Cousineau's 41 cashes at the WSOP include six final tables and two final table bubbles without a win.
Add in the WPT TV final table bubble in Tunica last year when he lost a coin flip for a chip lead pot, his 13th place finish at the WSOP Europe main event when James Akenhead went runner-runner against him, and a fourth-place finish at the Caesars $10k in 2007 where he got it in with kings versus Kido Pham's queens for the chip lead and lost and he may be right about being snake bitten.
But Cousineau doesn't let the bad luck get him down or make him change his game.
"I don't lament the bad luck, because I've been very lucky in other facets of my life," he said. "I'm going to keep playing my style and plugging away because I've been there in these massive prize tournaments. I've been that close.
"There are little things you can do here and there to your game to enhance it, but there's nothing radical I'm going to do.
"Styles are different. That's what makes poker kind of beautiful."
Although short stacked and barely hanging on, Cousineau is still in with a shot at the 2010 WPT World Championship and says he'll keep playing his game.