The Session: Sorel Mizzi Part 2

During the first part of our roundtable discussion with Sorel Mizzi we spoke about his transition from tournaments to high-stakes cash as well as the importance of a balanced life when it comes to being an online professional. In the second and final segment we'll find out what Imper1um's up to for the World Series of Poker and hear about a few recent prop bets he's had with other big-name players.

Sorel Mizzi

Welcome to the Session, a new series of interviews here on The idea is to sit down around the virtual table with an online pro and a few of our in-house writers in an attempt to break out of the traditional question-and-answer poker interview.

One-on-One with Sorel Mizzi

Matt Showell: Sorel, we read in your blog you had some big prop bets on the last Euro-trip. For those readers who haven't heard about them can you give us a quick rundown of the action?

Sorel Mizzi: Well, there's a couple. I have a bet with Roland De Wolfe where he has to lose 16 kilograms by May 31 and I have to lose 12. If one of us succeeds and the other doesn't the person who failed to reach their goal owes the other $25,000. If both of us succeed or both fail it's a wash. There are some other rules too which you can check out in my blog.

Rules (from Sorel's blog):

  1. No eating in the three hours before going to bed.
  2. Must work out five times per week for at least one hour.
  3. No eating the following foods: Fast food, candy, chocolate, chips, coffee, anything fried, hot dogs, corn dogs, donuts, pizza, soft pretzels, cookies, sugary cereals, cake, cupcakes, ice cream cake, white bread, pizza, fries, pies, pop/soda, hamburgers, fattening dressings, pastries, processed foods, red meat, alcohol, potatoes, white rice, egg yolk.
  4. Alcohol only one day out of the week.
  5. One cheat day per week (we can eat anything).
  6. $1k penalty per rule we violate to a cap of $3k in a single day.
  7. If one of us loses the required weight and the other doesn't, the person who didn't achieve his goal owes the other $25k. If both fail or both succeed, it's a total wash.
  8. Roland has to lose 16 kilos; Sorel has to lose 12 kilos.
Sorel Mizzi
Hungry like De Wolfe.

MS: How's the progress on your end?

SM: Well, I've been feeling great and I've lost a lot of weight. I think I've lost about 6-7 kilos and I know for a fact that Roland is going to come short of his goal. So I'm basically freerolling on the $25k but I'm going to have to punish myself this week if I want a chance.

We actually cancelled the $1k penalty rule when we got to Vegas. It was too hard to keep track of and we both wanted to reward ourselves sometimes after a good workout. I'm hoping that being relatively healthy will become part of my lifestyle, not just to win a prop bet. Some of the things on that $1k penalty list I would never be able to live without.

MS: You also had a few big ones with Antonio Esfandiari when you were in Monte Carlo right?

SM: Yeah. The day the tournament was ending we all got wasted and Antonio and I started making just ridiculously random prop bets. Anything from roshambo to me betting that his friend couldn't get 10 people to lie on the ground in under two minutes. It was all just for fun. I think Antonio ended up making a few hundred euros or something.

Antonio Esfandiari
Your grasp of the intricacies of thermodynamics is tenuous at best.

It was after that we made a much more serious bet, for considerably more money. It started when I was talking about a story I heard where a lady made several million in Vegas throwing craps by perfecting the number she wanted to throw at a very high success rate. So I thought if a human being could roll dice with the same outcome almost every time, I bet a machine could perfect a roll or flip.

So I proposed the idea that if you could build a machine that was designed to flip coins and it was able to account for every conceivable variable, would the coin land the same way every time?

Initially the crowd seemed split, half of them thinking it would, and the other half thinking it wouldn't. I bet that it would flip on the same side every time given the circumstances. Antonio bet that it wouldn't and seemed pretty confident.

Originally I was going to bet €1,000 with Antonio but after some friends of mine wanted a piece of my action it was an easy decision to make it an even €10,000.

MS:If I learned anything from Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park it's chaos theory.

Sorel Mizzi
Goldblum's a hack.

SM: Yeah, I think I've heard about that.

MS: And the conclusion?

SM: Well, I haven't gotten around to actually asking someone but I'm sure I'll get to it when we're in Vegas this summer.

Daniel Skolovy: Speaking of the summer, what are your plans for the WSOP? Are you going down mainly for the tournaments or will you get in on some of the big cash games as well?

SM: I think I'll do both. I'm going be playing almost all No-Limit Hold'em and Pot-Limit Omaha tournaments this year. Last year gave me tons of experience and I'm pretty confident I'll have a really successful series this year.

MS: You were running pretty good in the Main Event last year right?

SM: Well I did get lucky to double up as a pretty big dog late in Day 1 but I was in the zone for the entire tournament. I don't think there's a tournament that I've ever played better than the ME last year. I ended up getting really unlucky for a massive pot with 200 left.

Sean Lind: What approach do you take to Day 1 of the Main Event?

Sorel Mizzi
First you get the chips. Then you get the bracelet. Then you get the money.

SM: Day 1 is all about patience. You have to identify the bad players at your table (there are usually around 5-7) and get inside their minds, understand how they think, and use that information to extract chips from them.

MS: Great. We'll have to talk more about Main Event strategy when we get deeper into the WSOP. Thanks a lot for taking the time to speak with us today and we'll see you in a few weeks down in Vegas!

SM: No problem. See you guys.

Sorel's personal blog runs right here on so make sure to keep an eye out for new entries. It sounds like he's feeling confident going into the WSOP and with just a few days before the beginning of Event 1 we won't have to wait long to find out if his confidence is justified.

Check out the 2008 WSOP section here on where you can follow Imper1um's progress and everything else going down in Vegas over the next seven weeks and remember, it's not too late to qualify yourself.

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