In the world of poker we just continuously torture ourselves playing tournaments and wonder when will it be my turn to win a big one? Over time we see players go on rushes and others play well to suffer “close but no cigar” situations. Two such players on a roll at present are my very good friend Tino Lechich and Sam Youssef who have both been on a tear lately.
Tino Lechich has been around the poker world for ages and back in the 80’s was the best backgammon player in Australia. It was only back in March of 2008 that if it was raining movie stars Tino would have got Magilla Gorilla. Tino has always had an uncanny ability to handle swings in gambling way better than I and many others. He rode the wave of losses month after month to finally catch a wave of success. After a profitable WSOP Tino played only four tournaments at the 2008 Victorian Championships. He started by outlaying $10,200 in the 100k one table challenge. Tino Lechich can claim a moral victory as he led the chip counts at the time of a four way deal.
Tino took the next few days off before he fronted up with $5,200 and 26 other hopefuls followed suit for the Pot Limit Omaha event. Tino ended up heads up with Roy Bhasin and finished second claiming $32,400 for his troubles. The $10,200 High Stakes Holdem was Tinos next tourney and guess what, he finished second again to Sam Youssef which we will discuss further on. A lazy $62,400 for his efforts so might as well gamble it up for the Main Event.
Now the Main Event had a large field of 357 players so this wasn’t going to be easy.
After three solid days of play Tino “Bridesmaid” Lechich was heads with Jay “Seabeast” Kinkade. His failure netted him $134,768 but boy I am sure many of us would love to fail like that.
So here’s a poker player, who couldn’t win an argument with himself when looking into the mirror less than six months ago, front up to four tournaments and cash out in every single tourney he played, running 2nd three times in a row. A wonderful effort by the man who looks like he lives in a cave as the commentators described at the WSOP in Europe in 2007. Great effort mate.
Now onto Sam Youssef, or as everyone who plays against him knows him as Sam Y. After being in a poker hand with Sam you normally scratch your head and ending up saying “Why Sam, why could you play that hand?” thus his name as Sam Y!
Sam is one of the colorful characters of poker and his enthusiasm and magnetic personality you just can’t help but like him even after he beats you up in hand after hand. Sam Y took out the $10,200 High Stakes Holdem and pocketed $104,000 for his efforts but just like Tino they are both the first to shout the table a drink. Just the other day Sam was searching through the pages of the current issue of Bluff and only to look at me and say “Where’s my photo in this magazine? All I see is you, Tino and Tony G what the hell is going on?” with a grin on his face. I told him only talented players go in this magazine and he calmly replied “Crocky leave the jokes to the funny people”.
Sam Y can be seen playing at Crown in the biggest poker games it has to offer and he always got a smile on his face. Sam just believes he is always going to win and one of his favourite sayings is when he plays in the big cash games “It’s not the money but the embarrassment of losing in this field”.
Sam Y has been on a huge rush in 2008 winning in cash games and doing well in tournaments. While the rest of us are using Poker Tracker and poker odds calculators to work out the value of our hands Sam Y just uses his sixth sense. Many times I see him pass huge hands after the flop and other times takes a piece of rubbish to make you wonder what the hell is going on?
A bad beat from Sam Y goes something like this. “Croc you won’t believe what happened. I raised to 25k he shoved all in for 130k. I snap called with A-J suited and he turns over kings and the ace never came! Now that’s unlucky Crocky my boy”.
So here you have two distinctly different types of players riding the wave of success we are all are trying to catch. Tino with his mathematical approach of his backgammon days and Sam with his raw talent, feeling for the game and understanding of people’s mannerisms.
Congratulations to both you and may the poker Gods shine upon us someday as they have upon Tino and Sam. Well done to two good friends.
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