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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | Poker Personalities

The Round Table - Mark Seif at the 2008 Series

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Mark Seif knows a thing…or 2 about poker at the World Series. In 2005 he won back-to-back bracelets, besting thousands of players to pick up the wins. He has cashed for 2 million dollars in worldwide tournaments and is at the 2008 WSOP looking for another big win.

I think the organizers of the Series have done just a fantastic job so far. The difference between last year and this year is huge. I think it’s so much more organized and I think it is so much smoother and I think the facilities are better. In that sense I think it is really good.

Me personally I’ve played about 20-22 events so far and I have had two small cashes so not a big deal for me so far. Had a good shot in the $1000 multi rebuy tournament. I had almost final table average chips with like 80 players left but I wasn’t able to bring it home.

I had a massive amount of chips because what happened was within 10 minutes of day 2 the chip leader was to my immediate right and I was like 5th in chips and I doubled right through him. I really got a hold of some chips there and then I was able to take advantage of the bubble which lasted for like an hour and a half and I just pounded, pounded, pounded my table. I had like 400,000 in chips when the next closest person had 200,000. My two kings lost to A-Q preflop for a real big pot, that’s just happened several times this World Series to me.

Two kings has just been a terrible hand, lost a lot with them. I lost a couple races which were no big deal, not against that big of stacks, but I fought back and then I made a huge mistake. I mixed it up with another big stack where I had pocket tens and he ended up having pocket aces. It was a goofy board like 9-7-3 rainbow or something like that. We got too many chips in there and that was my big mistake and that really cost me.

I survived that hand, but I was kind of short after that and then I pushed with 9-9 under the gun and got called by the big blind that had two aces and I was bounced.

It’s tough to come back the next day after that but that’s part of what we do. When you make a living playing poker you have to be able to have a baseball player’s mentality. If you are a pitcher and you get rocked one game you have to come back five days later and pitch and again you have to pitch really well. That’s just the way it goes, you just have to take it in stride but it does hurt. It is really hard to navigate through a field of in this case almost 900 players, and then to have a lot of chips really deep, you really want to make use of that and take advantage of that so it’s tough but you just have to forget about it and move on.

Coming up, I am playing the limit hold’em shoot out and then I am teaching the WSOP Academy right before the Main Event starts. My favorite tournament is the Main Event because it is just such a huge field; there are so many inexperienced players that are playing for the first time. It’s by far the weakest field, but at least it’s different because you have 20,000 chips. You have some time to work your chips, you have opportunities. The Main Event is without a doubt the best value in poker for a poker professional. The $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. is the worst value. It is 149 of the very, very best and it’s tough. I couldn’t play it because I was still in the $1000 rebuy, but it probably saved me $50,000 because I suck at stud 8 or better and pretty much Omaha 8 or better too.

The WSOP Academy is great. If you think about it, for a couple thousand bucks or whatever it is you get to learn from Greg Raymer, Phil Hellmuth, Joe Hachem, Annie Duke, Howard Lederer and myself. That is a pretty strong line up. We do spend a lot of time with the students and I think there is really good information that is covered. We each take a section and we each really get into that section.
As far as the Main Event primer that is coming up, this is all about how to play the Main Event. It is very specific to this tournament and I think it is fantastic to be able to brush up, if you are a good player, and if you are a novice it is invaluable to hear some of the stuff that I think is going to be said and some of the tips that are going to be given.

There is also Joe Navarro too, who is phenomenal, he is just fantastic. His stuff is always very, very popular with the attendees. It’s real interesting, you take a break from all the math, you take a break from all the hardcore poker stuff and you just learn about your reptilian brain from 4 billion years ago and how you have to do this when this happens, and you have no choice and its basically involuntary.

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