Retread Redemption: Paul "pvas2" Vas Nunes on his 7-year Sunday Million repeat
Paul "pvas2" Vas Nunes won the Sunday Million this week. The 28-year-old pro from the UK recorded the win seven years after first winning the event back in 2010. The quality of the performance stands out in the report of the event, which you can read here. After what was a "wild final table" Nunes got the best of a two-way deal to bank more than $138,000.
We've profiled Nunes before, most recently at the World Series (Howard Swains' interview is well worth reading). Talking to winners always throws light on what it's like to play at this level. Nunes's career earnings of more than $1.5 million make things look easy. But he was candid about the realities of professional poker, both in the work that goes into a result like this, and the rigours of the job.
We spoke to a very tired, but happy Nunes by email shortly after the result on Monday morning. Here's what he had to say.
On reaching the final table of the Sunday Million, and then winning it
"In a way final tabling this tournament again felt like redemption," said Nunes. "It has been a long time since I had a major cash on PokerStars and in the last 12 to 18 months I've dropped down in the stakes I play considerably, so it was very exciting to get in to this position again. I did have a high level of confidence, since I won the Battle Royale this week and I also didn't recognise many of the players on the table, meaning they probably don't play many high stakes MTTs."
On the hardest moments of the final table...
"Coming in to the final table I was quite card dead or I had borderline hands that might have made me profit in terms of chips but could very easily lose me money to play. Most of the final table there were two or three stacks around my level or shorter and it would have been a disaster to miss out on an easy $10k pay jump because I got greedy, so it was hard to control my feeling of needing to be aggressive to win."
On things done well, and things... not so well
"I think that I chose my spots well. I focused my aggression on the stacks that had most to lose in calling my all ins, to try to chip up some. Without seeing the hole cards it is difficult to know whether that worked or whether I was just lucky in the hands that they had. I feel I could have tried to get a slightly better deal if I had been pushier or more arrogant in my deal making, but a free $111 is still free money."
On celebrating the win (and skipping the Aston Martin dealership for now)
"I try not to advertise my poker results too widely. A lot of my Facebook friends for example aren't in the poker community and are from school or university etc. They wouldn't understand that in order to win this $130k I've actually had to go through huge downswings of similar sizes, so it isn't straight to the Aston Martin dealership."
On what's coming up next
"I have an 11-month-old baby girl called Jade and I am looking forward to being able to spoil her and my wife a little bit! It's tough to find the right work/life balance at this point in time because whichever one I do I feel guilty about not doing the other."
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley. What did you think about this post? Let us know on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.