WCOOP profile: kevinnok in his own words

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgEvery once in a while you run across a WCOOP winner who has a lot to say, has a great story, and is willing to tell it.

Evan "kevinnok" Psarras, 25, is one of those people. An Australian living in Sydney and born to Greek parents, Psarras won the two-day Event #22 WCOOP event this year. This is his story.

by Evan "kevinnok" Psarras

I always loved sport as a kid, and was particularly talented in soccer, tennis and squash. I was intelligent growing up and decided to push sport to the side to study (Mum's idea because she was sick of washing clothes). I was first exposed to gambling at age 11 when my dad would bring me the footy tab tickets and help me pick the winners and pick the margins.

Later, I studied commerce and law at University. I'm actually a seventh year student. My mum and brother have been on my back to finish. Dad passed away with cancer a few years back, and that's a reason for the delay in my degree. It's also a reason why my poker flourished. For the 14 or so months that he was sick, I was either at the hospital or in Star City's poker room.

kevinnok.jpgJust like my tennis game, I am a self-taught poker player and pride myself on the fact that I have never read and don't intend on ever reading any poker book. The best way to learn is "to live and to learn." Obviously my game has changed over time from ultra-tight to loose-aggressive, but my best asset is my final table ability. I have made five final tables in large MTTs online with four wins and a second place. My brother kept on calling me throughout the day to see how I was going. I told him to stop calling me, and that if I made the final table that they didn't stand a chance!

As Event 22 was a two-day event, making the never table never entered my mind until late in the tournament. At the end of Day 1 I had an average chip stack and a ranking of about 200 out of the 400 remaining players in the field. So basically, my goal at the beginning of Day 2 was to make the final two or three tables. Once we reached the point when there were 50 players left, my aim was then to make the final table, and once you reach that final table the ultimate goal is always to win.

I headed into the final as the short stack. I doubled early with a lucky two-outer on the river against MISHELA, another Aussie player. With four players left we proposed a deal, but one of the players rejected it. Ironically, the player who rejected the deal was the next to hit the rail. With three players left, we discussed and agreed on a deal. I was the severe short stack with approximately 7 million in chips with the other two players having 23 and 27 million respectively. At that point I settled for $280k plus the chance at the $60k set aside for the champ. As soon as the deal was done I was able to relax and play freely. I doubled quickly and never looked back, taking the additional $60k, but more importantly the title, bracelet and the recognition.

I have a pretty basic poker philosophy, and that is keep your eye on a player, take note of his tendencies, place in a certain group (i.e tight, aggressive, station, and our favourite, donkey). After that, play against them accordingly, which could mean folding jacks in your big blind against an under-the-gun raiser or re-raising with rags against an overly-active player. Also, develop your own game and create your own style that will make you a more unique, individual, and effective player.

My dad always told my brother and me to steer away from poker, pubs, and casinos, but I know he would have been impressed with the win and the cash. Now, I just want to finish my uni degree and make him proud.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in WCOOP