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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Interviews

The Round Table – My First World Series of Poker – Alec ‘Traheho’ Torelli

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Get to know some of the players that have just turned 21 and are playing in the biggest poker event in the world for the first time.

Alec Torelli is an accomplished online player, along with being a top ranked cash game player he has an FTOPS Main Event win under his belt. Now he is ready to make his transition to the live felt.

KL: Do you consider this the biggest event in poker?

Well I guess it depends how you define big. If you are talking strictly monetarily then yes there's no argument. Personally however, I feel the WPT championship $25,000 event is in terms of prestige. I’d rather win that event even though it pays several million smaller. It is comprised of all the best players and there are a lot fewer soft spots in the event. That's not to say that it's not a big deal or that the event doesn't have some exclusive things that no other events have. Surely more sponsorships and fame come out of winning the Main Event. The sponsorships would be great however the fame would suck in my opinion. I really don’t want to be stopped and asked for autographs or everyone bugging me every time I sat down to play poker. To be honest I probably wouldn’t play much after that. I enjoy pursuing many different careers and I have a lot I want to do. If I made 5 - 10 mil I'd call it quits and just play the big live events for fun and focus my energy on more productive things.

KL: Why do you think the WSOP is different from other tournaments and is there more pressure?

I think the WSOP is different in that it’s the primary poker that’s featured on TV and that you can win a bracelet. I personally don't think the hype is as much as it seems to be though in that there are so many tournaments throughout the year that have equal or bigger buy ins. I think to regular poker players it’s just another day on the job. There are several other events that have similar length, although not to the Main Event, and the WPT championships have a month long of prelims that are similar to the WSOP however I feel that the WSOP will be the hardest in terms of demand. I am currently training for a triathlon which is set to take place in late July so training combined with the WSOP is going to absolutely kill me. Not to mention the heat during the summer in Vegas will make biking and running outdoors nearly impossible. Although I haven't played the WSOP yet I don't feel any particular pressure to do well or win a bracelet. I’m just going to play my best and hope for the same. At the end of the day, that's really all you can do.

KL: Which events do you think you will play?

I’m planning on playing all the no limit and pot limit hold ‘em events which should be somewhere around 20.

KL: Will you go in with a goal of wanting to win a bracelet or make a final table, or are you just going in with no set expectations?

I have no set expectations. My favorite radio talk show host Dennis Prager gave a talk once and it was all about expectations. He went on to explain that too many people expect too much and take daily things for granted. When these things are not met, it often leads to depression or other forms of unhappiness. Health is a perfect example. If you expect to be healthy and one day you wake up with cancer, suddenly you start asking, "why me?" The less expectations you have, the less that can go wrong. I learned a lot from this talk. That's not to say I don't try my best and want with all my heart to win. But to expect to is absurd. I mean, let’s face it there's thousands of people, at best your chances are 300:1 or so. It'd be pretty foolish to expect to have that happen.

KL: Is your age and newness to the series a disadvantage or an advantage?

I think it’s pretty neutral. However if I had to pick one I'd say advantage. I have a lot of live poker experience as well as have played many life tournaments. There's nothing inherent about the WSOP that makes it different than the other ones that would cause me to be at a disadvantage. I think being young is a small advantage in that some older people have big egos and want to prove that they are better than these young, online players.

KL: Where are you staying?

Last year during the WSOP we rented a house which was absolutely mayhem. I got so annoyed that I got a room at Bellagio and stayed there most of the time. However a few of us are renting a house again this year somewhere near the strip

KL: Do you plan to talk poker with friends and does that help?

Yes I regularly share hands with fellow players and it helps a lot to see what other players you respect would do to either confirm or give you new insight on a specific hand or situation. This is definitely a daily practice especially in a house full of poker players.

KL: Will you go out and party?

Well since it’s my first time actually being 21 in Vegas, along with some other friends, I'm sure we'll go out and have some fun (although we've been going out for years...shhhhhhh.) I can safely say we have some of the craziest stories (I'm not even going there) from when we went out in Europe but ironically I pretty much gave up drinking. I gave up alcohol for lent, although I’m Christian not Catholic, I practice it for discipline, and I found that I liked things a lot better when I don't drink. I'll have wine, sake and champagne every now and then but I hate beer and hard alcohol is few and far between. I have a lot going on and am almost too busy to be out drinking all night. I like being up early, doing my training, which sometimes takes 3 - 4 hours, and getting on with my day. Hangovers definitely get in the way.

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