Footy and Life Beyond the Felt with Esfandiari, Merson, Holden

Published on 7 April 2013 by Pokerlistings 3116

In today's daily WSOP APAC highlight show we join a group of poker pros including Antonio Esfandiari, world champ Greg Merson and 888poker's Sam Holden at one of the biggest sporting events in Australia. At the AFL Aussie Rules footy match between rivals Collingwood and Carlton we find out what the life of a poker pro is like beyond the felt. All successful pros are passionate about poker but they also understand that life is about a lot more than just the grind. Let three experienced players tell you what goes down on the road away from the casino.

Announcer: Welcome back to the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific, right here in Melbourne. You know, these events are about a lot more than just poker and today's a perfect example. We're going to join a group of poker pro's to attend one of Australia's biggest sporting events to find out what these guys do on the road beyond the felt.

Sam Holden: I'd say the good thing about playing tournaments is you can always leave the casino more when you don't do so well in tournaments and you get to do more sightseeing. The majority of my friends that aren't poker players that are my age don't have the opportunity to travel as much as I do and obviously if you've got a nine-to-five job there's only so much time off that you can have to travel, and to be able to see the stadium is going to be something I'm really looking forward to.

Greg Merson: I've definitely had some sick opportunities traveling come my way and, I mean, this is one of them. I've never sat in a box for a game before. It is really important to balance your time away from the table when you're on these long road trips and I fall victim to that all the time. And most recently I was in Macau for three weeks and you spend 24 hours getting there, you're so excited, it was my first time there. You get to play really big consistently every day and I played way too much in the first couple weeks and was way too burnt out for my last week there and my results suffered because of it.

I was talking to Sam Trickett earlier about how we don't necessarily do enough sightseeing when we're traveling because we're such degen poker players that all we want to do, especially where there's really sick action, it's so hard to take time and go see stuff. I definitely feel blessed to have these opportunities and this type of situation that my life has turned into, I don't think anyone in the world could actually truly say that they deserve it.

Antonio Esfandiari: It's kind of nice to take a little break from the poker. I mean, at the end of the day sitting in a poker room is not my favorite thing because there is so much more to enjoy, especially when you're in a city like Melbourne. That's how they say it, Melbourne, but us Americans say it wrong; we say Melbourne, but you got to leave out the...anyway you get what I'm trying to say. In Melbourne it's one of my, probably my favorite city outside the U.S. so when you're here this is great. I mean I don't even know what...what we're watching the footie? That's what they call it. I don't even know what it is and so I'm learning about a new game and it's going to be a very cool experience. I'm excited to see the manly men out there do their thing and I like it. I like to get out of the poker room.

I think that on the tournament circuit a lot of players just sit in the room or play in the poker and then when they're done they just go and sit in the room and play online. They don't experience anything in the city that they're in. And you know if you think about it, so many people, they save up, they get vacation time, they really work to go travel. And so when they do they enjoy it more than someone that just gets to do it all the time. And so I think that we lose sight of how lucky we are to be able to do that. And so when you're on the road, at an end event like this, I really think that it's in everyone's life experience interest to get out and go do things instead of just sitting around. I mean I never sit in my room, I'm always out doing stuff, whether it's going for a walk outside or going to a game, going to Hashton's for a barbecue, whatever.