By Dr. Pauly

Eric “Rizen” Lynch qualified for the WSOP main event after winning a $160 shootout on PokerStars. He turned that small investment into $494,797 after he came in 24th place. I had a chance to catch up with him after his elimination. He was surrounded by his family, which is no surprise because Rizen is a dedicated husband and dad. I was impressed with how calm and cool he was. I know how testy I get after busting out of a $20 MTT, let alone the $10K buy-in main event.

Rizen and his son (photo by Dr. Pauly)

Pauly: Do you feel weird being known as an internet player?

Rizen: No. That’s what I am. That’s me. I don’t think it’s a bad term, not like it used to be. I know some people who use it in a derogatory sense. But online players have had a lot of success recently, so I don’t mind that term at all.

Pauly: Why do you think the play went so fast the last few days?

Rizen: I saw a lot of really aggressive European players, especially the Swedes and some of the guys from Moscow. They are very very aggressive. I hate to stereo type a whole group of players but the Scandinavians, in particular the ones I played with are very aggressive. When you play a very aggressive style, things are going to happen quickly.

Pauly: At any point did you think that you could possibly go all the way?

Rizen: I tried not to. I was playing the best I could and focused on that. All of this hasn’t sunk in yet.

Pauly: How has your family being around helped?

Rizen: That helps a lot having these guys around. It gives me a sense of normalcy when I leave the Rio. I’m still going to a hotel room, but I’m not going back by myself. I’m with my family.

Pauly: Does this 24th finish change anything?

Rizen: I don’t think so. We’ll see where it goes from here. I’ve had a lot of success this year. By far this is the best that I’ve ever done. This is just another step. I’m definitley pleased with how I did. I’ll remember this moment for the rest of my life.

Pauly: Which do you prefer online play or live poker?

Rizen: I prefer playing online because it allows me to stay at home and be by my family. It’s fun playing in the big live events. But being away from home kinda sucks. I won’t be playing too many live events this year with my wife expecting our second child in December. I want to be home for that.

Pauly: People are finally gonna put a face with the name “Rizen.” Are you prepared for your impending fame?

Rizen: I have not prepared for it at all. We’ll see how everything happens after the episodes air on ESPN. I have no idea what to expect. I’m a pretty laid back guy so I’m not even sure I’m excited about the prospects of being recognized.


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