Shyam Srinivasan was looking to become the first player to make back-to-back PCA main event final tables earlier today.
Last year, Srinivasan grabbed the chip lead on Day 1 and mostly held onto it until he reached the final table. There, Srinivasan’s momentum came to a screeching halt and he was eliminated in 6th place.
In his final hand Srinivasan moved all-in with jacks from the big blind and got called by the eventual champion, Dominik Panka, and his pair of tens.
The shift of run good and chips was completed when a ten fell on the flop. Srinivasan won $328,020 for finishing 6th while Panka went on to win the tournament.
Srinivasan stuck out in that event for being incredibly confident that he was going to win; earlier today, Srinivasan felt even better.
“I’m even more confident than last year,” Srinivasan said. “I mean, I was there last year, I was a little inexperienced, but now, I think, travelling the EPT all year I’ve had a lot of shots, you know.
“I had a bunch of deep runs.”
Srinivasan: Live Poker Suits Me Better
Since his 2014 PCA finish Srinivasan has had nine EPT cashes. His most memorable came at EPT San Remo when he finished 22nd in the main event and earned $24,461.
"It's hard the first time, but you warm up to it" - Shyam Srinivasan
Before last year Srinivasan was mostly an online player, having amassed more than $7 million online.
When it came to the transition to live poker, Srinivasan found that live play suited him better.
“[In live poker] hands go a lot more post flop because the structure is a lot slower,” Srinivasan said.
“I really feel that’s where I excel more. You don’t have to force pre-flop edges is the difference I find.
“It gives you a lot more times in these things to do that and reduce the variance compared to online where you’re always short with 20 [big blinds], 25 [big blinds].”
While that part of the transition was beneficial to Srinivasan’s game he says that all you need besides that is experience.
“It’s the same game,” Srinivasan said. “You just need experience to be there and get there and know what to do when you are there.
“It’s hard the first time, but you warm up to it like anything else.”
Srinivasan’s live experience is what made him feel more confident than last year, despite the commanding lead he had for most of the 2014 tournament.
“It’s been pretty smooth [to the last two tables],” he said. “I mean, except that I had one suckout yesterday with K♥ Q♥ to ace-king.”
After that, though, Srinivasan was confident about his situation.
“I feel good with the table draw I have now. I don’t really fear like anyone. I think the kid to my right is pretty good and obviously Chance Kornuth is a good pro.
“Other than that, pretty good.”
Srinivasan also got to play with the soccer superstar whom everyone at the PCA seemed to be rooting for.
Playing Poker with Ronaldo
Ronaldo at the 2015 PCA.
“[I played with Ronaldo] a bunch,” Srinivasan said. “I thought I abused him pretty well, I took advantage of his inexperience, I mean, he’s not really a poker pro.
“I do this every day like, he plays soccer every day so. He’d f**k me up on the soccer field but I was sitting on his direct left too so I was able to take advantage of him quite a bit.”
While he was playing with one of the greatest soccer athletes of all time, Srinivasan was hoping to win one of the biggest titles in poker.
“[Winning this event would mean] everything. It’s everything, it’s so big to me, to prove it to myself, that I’m competent enough to be here.
“I mean, obviously, making a big run in this tournament shows that you know, at least I’m consistent, I can do this, I can get there, that I belong here.”
But Srinivasan’s luck ended today, just short of the final table. He made his final move with jacks and got called by Kevin Schulz's A♥ 7♣. Schulz didn’t hit an ace but he did hit a straight on the river.
It wasn’t the finish Srinivasan’s was looking for and he earned $91,240 for finishing 10th.