Robert Varkonyi, 2002 WSOP Main Event Winner

Robert Varkonyi
Robert Varkonyi, the 2002 WSOP Main Event winner, being interviewed by

Robert Varkonyi is the winner of the 2002 World Series of Poker Main Event. Robert is a semi-poker professional who thinks poker is great fun. He is also a representative of online poker room InterPoker. At the time of this writing, he was cheering on his wife Olga Varkonyi who was one of the chip leaders in Day 2 of the 2005 Main Event.

What have you been doing since you won the 2002 WSOP?

I have been involved in all sorts of different projects. For example, I developed a new casino game with a partner of mine, although it didn't become a success in the end. I made an instructional video called "Wise guys on Texas Hold'em" with some of the cast from the TV-show "the Sopranos." I was in a documentary called "Poker Kings," which featured Phil Hellmuth among others. And, I have also been involved in charity poker tournaments and given speeches on poker.

How have you been doing in this year's WSOP?

I have only played in the Main Event and went out on Day 1. I won small pots and lost big pots which is not the way you win a tournament.

Robert & Olga Varkonyi

How much poker do you play these days?

As much as I can. I've played 4-5 Professional Poker Tour events (Robert got a three year card because of his 2002 WSOP win), I also go to Foxwoods and Atlantic City on occasion.

What happened in 2002, how did you win it?

I was totally focused, played nearly perfect poker, and caught a few lucky breaks. I played very gutsy and with no fear. But today it's different; when I won it we were only 631 entrants. Now you need even more luck and also more endurance.

What's your deal with online poker room InterPoker?

They sponsor me in a few tournaments and I will also do some system consulting with them.

Olga Varkonyi

Your wife Olga is one of the chip leaders in Day 2 of the Main Event. Tell me a little bit about her?

I actually taught her how to play poker two weeks before I won the Main Event, but that was Seven-Card Stud. She is originally from Russia where she worked as a school teacher, teaching English. Here in the United States she has been working as a Russian/English translator and interpreter. I am going to watch her play until she wins it hopefully.

What does the future look like for you?

First, I am going to watch my wife win the Main Event. I am trying to live a balanced life that combines regular work and poker. I will continue to enjoy spending time with my family, especially my beautiful and amazing daughter Victoria. She has been the greatest experience of my life.

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