PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino®: Daniel Dvoress on the High Roller radar

May 03, 2017

Those who follow high roller tournaments like the €25K High Roller that’s getting started today in the PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® — as well as the super high rollers with even bigger buy-ins — have become familiar with Daniel Dvoress. And if not, well, they should have.

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Daniel Dvoress, firmly in the high roller picture

Dvoress is always among the big stacks in the counts, it seems. The Canadian pro is constantly turning up again and again at the end, too, as one of those making the final table and cashing, often finishing in one of the final high-paying spots.

Already a seasoned online player, since 2013 Dvoress has accumulated just shy of $5 million in tournament winnings. In fact, since just over two years ago when he spoke to the PokerStars Blog on his way to earning his first ever six-figure tournament score in the EPT11 Malta €25K High Roller, he’s picked up no less than $4 million of that total.

Has it really been only two years?

“It does seem like a long time ago,” said Dvoress, recalling that Malta event when talking to us on a the first break of today’s event. “But there have been so many tournaments” during that stretch.

Dvoress has done so well so often, he almost seems a relative “vet” in these events. That said, he’s quick to point out how “guys like Steve O’Dwyer [and others] have been doing it for years and years… I’m still kind of like the new guy.”

“Running good” almost seems an inadequate way to describe a player who’s already cashed for over $2.8 million in 2017 with May having only just begun. But while Dvoress knows the cards have gone his way at times, he also knows how the cards’ influence upon players’ fortunes tends to be distributed evenly over the longer term.

“Actually ‘running good’ probably isn’t as important to me as it is to some players,” he explains. “It has to do with understanding the nature of tournament poker and all of the variance involved. But I do feel like I’ve been playing well lately, in Panama and in the Bahamas. And here.”

Speaking of here, Dvoress notes that his PSC Monte-Carlo series “could not have gone any better” for him so far. He’s made no less than three high roller final tables over the past week, finishing third in the €100K Super High Roller (for €832,800), second in the €50K Eight Max Shot Clock event (for €652,000), and seventh last night in the €25K Eight Max Shot Clock (for another €100,000). Oh, and he cashed in the Main Event, too.

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Dvoress, cashing in third in the €100K Super High Roller

In other words, that Hendon Mob page keeps growing. But there remain a couple of remarkable aspects to it.

One is the absence of any World Series of Poker cashes. That’s not because Dvoress failed in his attempts to cash at the WSOP — he just hasn’t made any attempts.

“The summer is so nice in Toronto,” he explains, noting that he prefers each year to take that time away from the game to enjoy outdoor activities and perhaps study a little poker. And he doesn’t plan to go this year, either — not even to play in that $111,111 High Roller One Drop where one would reasonably think he’d be a favorite to do well.

The other interesting aspect of that page — no first-place finishes. Kind of amazing, actually, considering the $5 million in four years and all.

Some of those finishes have involved some successful and ultimately lucrative “laddering” by Dvoress. “That comes from playing a ton of sit-n-gos online,” he explains, where in the single-table ones all of the money is reserved for the top three spots.

That 2015 event back in Malta, for instance, saw him begin the final table as a short stack but manage to finish third. Something similar happened this week in the €100K Super High Roller here, where Dvoress also nursed below average chips at the final table long enough to make it to third.

Any bittersweetness? You know, like there’s something missing?

Not really.

“The two times I was heads-up [in Super High Rollers] I was short both times, so it’s not as though it was that disappointing not to win. But even three-handed and leading up to that there were so many variables,” Dvoress notes.

In other words, understanding how variance got him to all of those final tables and into fourth, third or second also helps when it comes to accepting the current lack of firsts.

I couldn’t resist sharing with Dvoress my own runner-up finish in a recent tournament (“Great!” he said), one with a buy-in about 1/1250th the size of the one he’s playing in today. And how there’d been other runner-ups previously for me, too. And my running joke about how I’ve cleverly been able to avoid having to appear in those embarrassing winner’s photos.

“It’s true,” he says with a grin. “You don’t end up holding up that trophy at the end.”

You also don’t end up in the headlines when we reporters write about these tournaments.

“There’s probably a benefit to that… to staying under the radar,” says Dvoress. “It never hurts to have other players underestimate you.”

The other high-rolling Daniels — Negreanu, Colman — might still be getting more attention, relatively speaking. But as noted above, for those who follow these events — and most of those playing in them — Dvoress is on the radar, all right. And if not, well, he should be.

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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.


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