Monday, 2 April 2012

A word with the champ...

We promised you a transcript of our interview with ParadisePoker Tour winner Pavlos Xanthopolous and here it is, complete with comments on his brother, the hand that made him believe and his plans for the next event in Greece!

How does it feel to have won the ParadisePoker Tour Main Event in Vienna?
It feel s great to have won this tournament, especially as I’m a regular on the ParadisePoker Tour. I made a deal in one side event before but today was my day to win the Main Event – and I’m delighted! I’ve been hunting it for a long time.

Your brother Christos won the Main Event in 2010, are you two competitive when it comes to poker?
Christos never really boasted about winning the London event, but we are a bit competitive with each other sometimes. In the side event earlier in the week, I knocked him out so it’s a perfect weekend!

Coming out of Day 1 you had just short of 90,000 chips so you were a big stack. What do you remember of the tournament?
Things started slowly but then I never had to get all-in. I won lots of small pots and barely had to showdown a hand. I just kept on increasing my stack without having to risk my tournament life or double up.

By the end of Day 2 you were the chip leader, so things must have gone really well for you?
Again I didn’t have to take too many risks; I was only all-in once with KK against 88. I won around 30 big blinds in that pot but there wasn’t really any other standout pot I can remember. It was similar to Day 1 in that. I was actually on the same table as Pavel Chalupka on Day 2 and we had a few clashes. I had taken a lot of chips off him in a blind battle and we had a little rivalry long before we met heads-up.

So how did you feel the final table went? There was a spell where all the short stacks kept getting lucky and you lost a few pots when you were a big favourite.
There were a few but the worst was probably the blind battle with Billy Ngo, who shoved with 88 and I called with 99. He caught an 8 to win a really big pot and I was getting annoyed at that point.

Did you feel like the luck had turned against you at that point?
It did feel like that at one point but I didn’t let it get on top of me. These things happen but maybe I was just involved more because I had a lot of chips.

After that time you finally had a hand hold up, QQ vs AJ and you shouted across the room in celebration. You never really looked back from there.
I won that hand and then raised with 99 and Vincent Gomez went all-in with A6. I called and won again and that was probably the turning point for me. That was the hand where I really believed I was going to win because I was buzzing after that pot. I had a second wind and upped my game.

Next up is the Greek event in Thessaloniki, which seems fitting. We assume both you and your brother will be there?!
That’s for sure! We’re really looking forward to that one in our own country so we’ll be playing both that and the Greek Poker Tour this summer.

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