PCA 2013: Four from four for Eddy Sabat
"He's one of the good guys." It's a phrase that you'll often hear when a field gets towards its final stages, when friends of friends are implored to root for someone left in the field.
We're not entirely sure what it takes to get the red rubber stamp reading 'GOOD GUY' thumped upon your poker portfolio, but we reckon Eddy Sabat has at least some of those qualities. He smiles frequently, warmly and broadly. He talks to those on the table, those running the tables, players on the rail and media in the bar (it's where any self-respecting journo gets their best stories). He doesn't come across too nitty, nor too in-your-face aggressive and he's pretty good at winning the pokers with $1,348,604 in live tournament cashes.
Perhaps that's why he's not grumbling about the fact that he has Manig Loeser, Mohsin Charania and Eugene Katchalov on his direct left in a one-two-three line (or rather did before Katchalov shoved sixes into Owen Crowe's pocket aces). Sabat obviously rates his game or, at the very least, is very comfortable with it.
Just a little earlier he made a curiously small 20,000 bet into a pot of around 170,000 in position against the reigning EPT Grand Final champion Charania on a 2♥7♠3♠J♦ turn. Charani had three-bet pre-flop, Sabat had called and both had checked the flop. They also both checked the Q♥ river with Sabat showing pocket nines to win the pot against Charania's A♣7♣. Unconventional? Maybe, but whatever he's doing it seems to be working.
The American is currently well stacked: 1,015,000 at last count, his own count in fact. He looks relaxed and at home, which perhaps should come as little surprise given that Sabat is currently four from four for PCA Main Event cashes and has this year gone further than ever before (he bust out in 30th place in 2011, 28 remain here today). The PCA is obviously somewhere where Sabat comes for sun and to print money; $40,000 in Main Event buy-ins has netted close to $170,000 across the four years and with each bust out here that number grows larger.
Sabat's surging runs
PCA 2009: 140th, $12,500
PCA 2011: 30th, $66,000
PCA 2012: 40th, $41,000
PCA 2013: 28 players remain, a minimum payout of $47,000
The 2010 gap came from a year off poker (not quite off, said Sabat, but certainly a reduced schedule) which Sabat spent "chilling" and "travelling" around places such as Aruba and Columbia. Hard life.
Daniel Negreanu, whom Sabat counts as a friend, encouraged him to head to PokerStars APPT Sydney in December 2010 and Sabat acquiesced. It turned out to be a good decision: the pair double final tabled the Main Event. Negreanu bust out in ninth, Sabat went further and cashed in sixth for A$79,765 (around the same in US Dollars).
"If you're a poker player you can't really stop playing," said Sabat with a smile. "That's the beauty of playing for a living. It's fun and you look forward to it."
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Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.