Few players have had the online poker success that Isaac Baron has had over his career. Since he has transitioned to live poker, Baron has over $1.4 million in tournament earnings and millions more from online poker. We sat down with the young CardRunners pro to discuss how things have been going recently.
Hello Isaac! Congrats on winning the Caesars Palace Classic a few months back. How are you feeling these days?
Thanks! I’m feeling good, life is good for sure!
Have you been playing much poker or are you on a nice little hiatus for the time being after that win?
I have been playing some, not much online, but I have been playing live cash, and a couple of live tournaments since then.
Obviously you are known for being a big online tournament player, are you preferring to play more live now in general or what are your thoughts?
Yes. I am enjoying live poker a lot more, the games are better and also I find my attention span is better, and I find the games more interesting. You also meet a lot of cool people.
What casinos are you actually playing at? Also what types of limits/games are you currently playing? I didn’t know if you were making the wkly or monthly trip to Vegas since you are not far away.
I’ve been making trips to the Commerce casino every now and then. I have been playing 20/40 limit hold’em and sometimes bigger when it runs. The Bellagio has also had some good cash games, up to 100/200 no-limit occasionally.
Do you play much differently in the live games than you would online? You said the games are softer, but do you see any big or specific differences in the live cash games or tournaments?
Definitely. I play much differently in live cash games and live tournaments, because they are so different from their online counterparts.
Give us an example.
Well, for both, I play a lot looser preflop, both because the players are worse usually live and also because the stacks are generally deeper than they would be online, so you can get away with seeing more flops
What’s Mr. Baron's pregame routine before he goes to the casino and pwns the donkeys?
Well, for a tournament, I generally wake up at 9:30. I then order room service to be at my room by 11. I then hit up the gym and go to the steam room. For breakfast I usually eat two eggs, bacon, and sourdough toast, and then I go play. I usually do the same things for cash games too.
So with a tournament like the PCA, do you go for the tournament or for the social festivities, or both?
I’ve been there so many times that it doesn’t really feel like as much of a vacation as it used to, so first and foremost is going to be the poker, but I’m definitely not going be stuck in the poker room the whole time unless I make a deep run in the main event.
Fair enough! We all know durrrr offered a $5,000 prop bet for a kid to jump into the shark tank. Would you be up for that bet if Tom offered it to you?
If I had enough to drink! (laughs)
If you are not playing poker, what would an ideal day be for you?
I would wake up at like 10, go play pickup basketball for a couple of hours, get in a late round of 18 holes, and then come home and have a good football game to watch.
We all know that team CardRunners has been killing the pot-limit Omaha games these days. Who in your opinion is the best PLO player between Brian Townsend, Cole South, and Brian Hastings?
I would have to say Townsend, which is cool because if you asked me a year ago I would have said he was the weakest of the three in PLO for sure. He has worked extremely hard at that game. I definitely think he is the best.
Which CardRunners pro is the craziest guy to party with? Please give us a story.
(laughs) Well I haven’t partied for a while with them but I would have to say Cole. For my 20th birthday I threw a party and Cole got it in his head that it would be a good idea to bet $100k on a hand of blackjack. He disappeared for the whole night and ended up sleeping on the doorstep of the suite I rented $100k poorer.
OK, in a lot of the interviews I have done, I have asked the players who are the top 3 greatest online tournament players of all time. You literally come up as number one every time. What do you think about all these players looking up to you?
I think it’s awesome and it's really cool to be well-respected, but as cliché as it sounds, at the end of they day its about making money, respect is nice but it's not why I play.
OK, if you had to pick the top 3 online tournament players of all time, who would they be?
Yevgeniy "Jovial Gent" Timoshenko, James "Andy McLEOD" Obst and Steve "Gboro780" Gross.
Lastly, why are my Lakers so much better than your Celtics?
(laughs) I hope they both stay healthy because it will be an epic final. To be honest, I think right now you guys have a small edge as much as it pains me to say, but whoever gets home court will win.
That’s all I wanted to hear. Thanks again Isaac and best of luck.
Thanks Ryan, have a good one!