WSOP 2015: What has happened to Andre Akkari?
Just look at Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari's 2015 record and tell me what you see. Forget it. I'll tell you.
I see a guy who has eleven cashes this year, as many as the two previous years combined. Seven of those cashes have come at the WSOP where he has already made one final table before starting the WSOP Main Event today.
"I've been playing poker nine years," he said. "This year I have more excitement."
It would be easy to look at this seventh-month heater and chalk it up as the good side of variance, but ask Akkari, and he will tell you a different story, one that involves him having a spoon in a lot of pots and not enough hands to stir them all.
"I was done," he said.
Prior to 2015, Akkari had spent two straight years diversifying his interests, opening several different business, and working around the clock. There was a dog hotel, a training academy, and a Japanese restaurant. They were all successes, which was good. They kept him too busy to focus on poker, which wasn't good at all.
"I'm hyperactive," he said. "I always want to do a lot of things."
There was in insistent voice in Akkari's head, one that told him he had to get to work on securing his family's future. He couldn't ignore it, and before too long, he was busier than he'd ever been. He needed a change, and quickly.
As he turned 40 years old, he realized he missed being happy and relaxed on the road. His mind was consumed with thoughts of the businesses at home. So he did they only thing that felt right. He stepped away. He kept his percentages in the companies, but he is letting other people run them.
"I did some good business. They are still running in Brazil," he said. "I have partners taking care of everything."
This new man we see is a product of experience. The once hyperactive guy who worked more than he did anything else discovered that entering his 40s gave him something he had never had.
"There are some things you can't get without aging," he said. "Patience is one of them."
And, that, he says is what's led to this amazing seven months in poker. He's traveled all of the world, put up score after score, and now levels his aim on the WSOP gold bracelet. Right now, his mind is on nothing but that, and that's exactly what he planned when he left his work back in Brazil.
"I don't have to worry about anything and can focus on poker," he said. "After I did that, it was like...mission accomplished."
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging