Tony Hachem wins ANZPT Player of the Year...again!
The accomplishment of winning Player of the Year on any tour is an achievement that should be a source of pride for anyone. When you're a Team PokerStars Pro (and have a target on your chest at all times) it's even more special to do it on your home turf. That's what happened to Team PokerStars Pro Tony Hachem last year. Then a funny thing happened on the way to the end of Season 2 of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour:
Hachem did it again.
This weekend in Darwin, Hachem once again claimed Player of the Year honors on the ANZPT. So, We dispatched our local blogger Heath Chick to put a few questions to the two-time Player of the Year.
How does it feel to win the ANZPT Player of the Year?
Hachem: It's a great honour to win the ANZPT Player of the Year. I'm over the moon. There was a lot to play for here in Darwin and it was some of the toughest poker I've ever played, so I'm very proud. It doesn't get much better than this. I'm in awe.
What does the POTY mean to you?
Hachem: The ANZPT Player of the Year is a prestigious award that proves that consistency pays dividens. I just tried to play good solid poker and maintain my consistency.
What is the significance to you of going back-to-back?
Hachem: Getting the opportunity to win it once was terrific but to win it again is just incredible.
How difficult is it to win Player of the Year?
Hachem: It's extremely difficult to win Player of the Year. People say that can you run well to win a tournament but then you never hear from them again. Consistency is very important and the Player of the Year rewards that.
Decision making is very important. Twice in this tournament I folded kings preflop. I got the information I wanted and that's what poker is all about - gathering information to make the right decisions. I was blessed I got the information I needed. If I got it wrong then that's fine, I lose some chips and I move on, but if I got it right then I've saved my tournament.
I've never been a gambler. I'm a professional poker player and I didn't want to gamble.
Was it tougher and did you feel more pressure than last year? Especially yesterday when you had to make some big folds?
I was coming from behind with John Maklouf and Andrew Scarf out in front. I've never felt so much pressure knowing that there were three others in the race for Player of the Year. These boys played really well.
What is it like to be the face of the ANZPT, and representing PokerStars around the country?
Hachem: I'm proud to be a part of the ANZPT and represent PokerStars - they have been a great support. The staff and crew who work to put together the ANZPT events have been fantastic. I'd like to also thank my family, fiancé, friends and fans who have been great supporters.
I should also mention Joe who has been a great mentor and Shane Warne who taught me how to handle myself under pressure at the elite level of competition. I'm blessed to have these people around me.
I want to also mention a young man by the name of Daniel Cox who was a great friend of mine and sadly passed away recently. He has been my inspiration in this tournament and I know he's been watching closely to help me make the right decisions.