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Four Questions for Four Players from the WSOP Four-Handed Event

John Juanda

Day 2 of Event #38: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Four Handed) at the 2013 World Series of Poker had a full lineup of notable players. Perhaps the most recognizable in the field was five-time WSOP bracelet winner John Juanda. Other familiar faces included four-time WSOP final tablist Stephen Chidwick, Team PokerStars Pro Ivan Demidov, and David “The Dragon” Pham.

In honor of the event, PokerNews' caught up with each of the aforementioned four players and asked them for four answers to four questions. Let's see what they had to say.

John Juanda

What are four things that tilt you?

1. Slow play. Players know what they are going to do yet they still take two minutes or longer to do it.
2. Rude Players. It’s upsetting when players lose a pot and get upset at other players or the dealers. It’s just bad for the game.
3. Bad environment. It’s so cold in the Rio. We’re in Las Vegas in the middle of summer and players have to wear sweaters and scarves. It’s not pleasant.
4. Small prize pools. Your return on investment (ROI) is smaller so playing some tournaments may not be worth the effort.

Who do you consider to be the four best players in the world?

1. Erik Seidel
2. Phil Ivey
3. Phil Galfond
4. Daniel Negreanu

What are four tips for doing well in a four-handed event?

1. You have to really pay attention and stay focused. [Poker] can be played so fast, and you’re playing a lot of hands so you can’t afford to miss any information.
2. You need to understand the value of hands. A pair of eights or ace-jack offsuit is a really big hand four handed; whereas you probably wouldn’t play that in a full-ring game.
3. You have to be a lot more aggressive. The blind comes around so often that you’re having to defend more or raise more. Aggression is probably the most important factor in four-handed action.
4. You have to value bet a lot. Having a made hand in a four-handed tournament doesn’t happen too often. Players are making moves more often than not because of that. When you do have a hand, you want to extract as much value as you can.

What are your favorite games of poker?

1. No-limit 2-7
2. No-limit 2-7
3. No-limit 2-7
4. No-limit 2-7

Ivan Demidov

What are four things that tilt you?

1. Playing bad. All four answers should be playing bad. It’s frustrating when you make a bad call or make a bad fold. One mistake can cost you the tournament.
2. Lack of sleep. It’s important to sleep well and be rested. When you are rested, you make better decisions, and overall you play better.
3. The environment. It is so cold in the Rio. Everyday it is cold, and everyday I have to wear a sweater to stay warm. Sometimes a sweater doesn’t help so it’s tilting being cold while trying to play.
4. Loud players. It disrupting to the game when a player is being loud, whether they are being rude or just laughing, yelling and talking loud. Maybe [it's fine] in the early stages of a tournament, but I don’t like it when there is a loud player when we are on Day 2 or Day 3.

Who do you consider to be the four best players in the world?

1. Phil Ivey
2. Alexander Kostritsyn
3. Maxim Lykov
4. Igor Kurganov

What are four tips for doing well in a four-handed event?

1. Playing from the blinds. You have to be comfortable playing from any position. This was the hardest part for me. When playing cash games, it’s the hardest spot because you are out of position. You have to defend a big number of hands. You have to play bad hands out of position post flop and it’s really hard.
2. Be ready to stack off. When you’re playing short handed, you cannot afford to wait for premium hands. You have to be ok with getting your chips in with a medium-strength hand. Some players make the mistake of playing too tight and they are the ones that bust early.
3. Raise a lot on the button. Obviously you want to raise a lot on the button because it is the best position on the table. Even if you don’t have a good holding, you want to raise anyway because it puts pressure on the other players who now have to play out of position.
4. Don’t fold to continuation bets. This is another mistake a lot of players make. They give other players too much credit after they throw a continuation bet out on the flop. You have to play aggressive and not always believe that the other player hit the board.

What are your favorite games of poker?

1. No-limit hold’em
2. 2-7 triple draw
3. Omaha hi-lo
4. Razz

Stephen Chidwick

What are four things that tilt you?

1. It tilts me when I bust the noon event at 9:50 p.m., which is just out of time to register for the 5 p.m. event.
2. It’s way too cold in the Rio. It’s hard to warm up because you are just sitting still for hours at a time. You see that I wear a sweater and hundreds of other players do, too. I wish the WSOP would raise it up just a notch to make the rooms comfortable.

I’m pretty hard to tilt in general. I’m really laid back and don’t let much bother me. So, unfortunately, I cannot think of two other things because to be honest, nothing really ever tilts me.

Who do you consider to be the four best players in the world?

1. Phil Ivey
2. Alexander Kostritsyn
3. Phil Galfond
4. Me

What are four tips for doing well in a four-handed event?

1. Call more from the big blind. You’re only playing against three other players, so if someone min-raises and you are in the big blind then you should feel comfortable calling a lot more hands. Of course position is important, but when you are short handed you have to take risks.
2. Be aggressive. Play more hands, see more flops, bet out of position, and don’t question yourself.
3. Don’t play pots against me. I’m confident in my game, and I think I am a strong competitor. If you get in a hand with me, you will see that I’m aggressive and will put you to the test.
4. Run well. It’s sometimes hard to play tournaments because mentally it is so tough. You can make all the right plays, make the right bet sizes, and make the right calls and still not excel. Every player needs to run well at some point in order to run deep in the tournament.

What are your favorite games of poker?

1. 2-7 triple draw
2. Omaha hi-lo
3. No-limit hold’em with antes
4. Stud hi-lo

David Pham

What are four things that tilt you?

1. Full-ring games. I am very good at playing short handed. I am really comfortable with six handed or less. It is my strength.
2. Having no luck. I think I play well, but then I lose because a player hit on the river or hit with fewer outs. You have to also run good in addition to playing good.
3. It’s cold. It’s freezing so I have to wear a long sleeve shirt or a jacket.
4. Making a bad call. You know the other player is ahead, but you call anyway. I don’t like to make mistakes.

Who do you consider to be the four best players in the world?

1. Phil Ivey
2. Phil Galfond
3. Chip Reese
4. Online poker players. They are so strong and learn so much faster.

What are four tips for doing well in a four-handed event?

1. [The only tip I have is that] you have to be aggressive. It is so important to force players to play with a worse hand than yours. It’s important to always be applying pressure. Nothing else is as important as being aggressive.

What are your favorite games of poker?

1. 2-7 triple draw
2. Limit hold’em
3. Badge
4. Omaha hi-lo

Be sure to follow our Live Reporting page for continuing coverage of every event at the 2013 World Series of Poker, and follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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