EPT12 Malta: Does success breed success?

It's hard to quantify the actual affect that success has on future endeavours but it's thought by many that success can breed success.

"We often see people experience strings of success, one after the other, while we see other, seemingly similar individuals fail to experience even a single success," says sociologist Arnout van de Rijt of SUNY Stony Brook, NY.

After three levels of the High Roller had passed, 130 entries had taken their seats. When one looks around at the faces on show, success is definitely a word that comes to mind. Can you imagine an unsuccessful person digging into their pockets to find €10k or €20k if they re-enter? They might be a success at the poker tables, in business or just benefiting from the successes of previous generations of family.

EPT12_Malta-997_NL Holdem Single Re-Entry 10K_David Peters.jpg

Defending champ, David Peters

Focusing just on poker, it got us wondering who of the High Roller field had a moment (or moments) of success within the last year that could've triggered even more success in the following months?

What better player to start with than the reigning champion David Peters?

As we wrote in our opening piece, Peters scored the biggest pay out of his career back here in March when he won €597,000 in this very tournament. It wouldn't be his biggest score for a long time. Since that victory, he's gone on to cash another 15 times so far in 2015 for a total of $1,824017. The majority of that is made up by the $1,505,00 he won in the $500,000 buy in Super High Roller bowl, but even if you take out that cash, his year would still be seen as successful. Peters spoke to the PokerStars Blog on a break.

"I felt great after winning the High Roller here in Malta, on top of the world. I was on a pretty big downswing coming into that so it was really good for confidence and bankroll.

"The win maybe had a little affect on my confidence but I'm generally confident in my play anyway and don't let results affect my game. I'm always just going to play my game but maybe, deep down, it had some sort of affect that helped continue to have a great year.

Peters, for a long time, was considered one of those players whose talent way out-weighed the amount he had won at the tables. He was due and he got paid. Does he feel that's a fair reflection of his career up until his victory?

"Yeah, that's fair. I definitely got close a bunch of times probably more than anyone. I've had a lot of heartbreakers when there's been 10 or 12 left in a tournament, so it was nice to get that win after so many close calls.

"The win definitely helped me to play the Super High Roller Bowl but I would've still tried to play it, sold enough action and all that. It would've been difficult to sell more action but I probably would've still played."

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

We also managed to catch up with Nick Petrangelo in the break, another player who has had a remarkable year, winning nearly $2.4 million already so far, after a career that had been steady, if unspectacular, up to that point. The American came third in the €25k High Roller less than a week ago here in Malta, but it was back at the PCA where things started to go really well for him.

"I chopped heads up in the $5k turbo for my first score of this year and then after that I final tabled the $25k, finishing sixth, so that was a pretty big trip for me. After that I had another final table at Falls View, which was kind of a smaller WPT stop.

EPT12_Malta_NL Holdem Single Re-Entry 10K_Nick Petrangelo.jpg

Petrangelo is having the year of his life

"Going deep and making a bunch of final tables gives you confidence and you see a lot of situations, getting to make a lot of decisions you normally wouldn't get to make if you don't go deep. Busting on day ones can be really devastating to your confidence and you can start to try and force things because you see people, who are other good players, getting stacks and going deep. It can make you wonder what are they doing that I'm not?

"When you're doing well consistently from stop-to-stop, you don't try and force things and you're not wondering any of these things. It's nice not to be second-guessing yourself and you feel comfortable with what you're doing and your strategy which helps build momentum and confidence.

"I had two final tables here back in March and they were both high rollers too. Like I said, if you're up against good players and you're building stacks and gong deep, that's obviously great for your confidence too. It breeds the same thing where you don't force things; you trust your decisions. The more success you're having the more willing you are to maybe pull the trigger on a play you wouldn't normally make but you know is right.

"It's really tough to not be winning and know that there's 12 people left in a tournament when you see a play that you know is right - it's the biggest spot you've had in a long time - but you don't want to bluff it off. Whereas when thing are going well you're more likely to be like, all right this is the right play, I'm going to go for it. So, that's a huge thing. Things are going well and you're more likely to trust your read and go with the play, rather than let the prizepool distract you and make you play tighter.

"I got to the summer and had a really food one in Vegas, with the two final tables (including one bracelet win) and then I went to (EPT) Barcelona and had another big score."

These two players are not the only ones in today's High Roller field that have great years, potentially sparked into life by a result or two. Charlie Carrel, Kevin MacPhee, Anthony Zinno and Byron Kaverman for example have all had major success after major success in 2015. Some of these players might always be confident in themselves like Peters, whereas others might think more along the lines of Petrangelo and really harness the confidence and momentum that initial success brings.

Begin plotting your own bid for EPT glory by downloading the PokerStars client and having a crack. Follow this EPT event via the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS

Marc Convey
@The_Conv in European Poker Tour