At this year’s World Series of Poker, the Canadian contingent made their presence known by winning 10 gold bracelets, second only to America. One proud Canadian who was in attendance, but didn’t capture a bracelet, was former Team PokerStars Pro Pat Pezzin.
Pezzin, who has $805,922 in live tournament earnings, has made numerous appearances on WSOP on ESPN broadcasts throughout the years but none were more memorable than the skit in which he accompanies his friend, Daniel Negreanu, around the Rio and was consistently asked by fans to take a picture of them with “Kid Poker.” Pezzin would always oblige, but he soon developed a reputation as Negreanu’s unofficial photographer.
While the skit was all good fun, Pezzin’s own poker accomplishments cannot be overlooked. At the 2009 WSOP, Pezzin finished second to Greg “FBT” Mueller in the $10,000 World Championship Limit Hold’em for $285,195, which is his largest career score. His other notable accomplishments include fourth in the 2007 WSOP $5,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud for $61,335; eighth in the 2008 WSOP $5,000 Limit/No-Limit Hold’em for $46,812; third in the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $5,000 Eight Game Championship for $43,455; and 22nd in the 2008 World Poker Tour North American Poker Championship for $38,724.
PokerNews recently spoke with Pezzin, who is married with a nine-and-a-half-year-old daughter, about what he’s been up to in the past couple of years.
PokerNews: What have you been up to as of late?
Pezzin: I’ve been taking some time off from poker. I’ve still been playing poker, but I don’t play as much anymore. I’ve been spending some time with the family and trying to find my passion to play the sport. I play bocce and I travel the world for that. I went to Argentina and Brazil to play for Team Canada and having a little fun with that.
Have you been able to pinpoint why you lost your passion for poker in the first place?
Not so sure. Last year I had a pretty bad World Series, and over time — I’m in my forties — I don’t know, you just start looking at life a little differently. I’ve lost the passion, but I’m sure I can come back with a final table or bracelet, stuff like that.
How did you get into bocce?
I’m Canadian and I’m also Italian, so it’s an Italian sport. My dad was a player and ever since I was a kid I was passionate about watching him play. Growing up I started playing and I’ve done pretty well at it.
Canadians had quite a bit of success at this year’s WSOP. What are your feelings on that?
I think they were overdue. Canadians in the past — well Jonathan Duhamel won the Main Event — Canadian players are very good players. They’re controlled players, they maintain their discipline and they’re running good.
Do you still play online?
Definitely. I play online. I played a SCOOP recently, and I play some cash games online. I focus more of my energy on cash games even when I’m in Vegas. I’ve been playing more cash games than tournaments.
Years ago there was an ESPN feature that billed you as Daniel Negreanu’s unofficial photographer. It was a funny piece and showed that you two were actually good friends. Is that still the case today?
Of course! Earlier this summer I busted him in the limit hold’em tournament [laughs]. I had kings and I’m not even sure what he had. I had an overpair and he had no pair.
Do you ever get any recognition for that TV appearance, or any others that you may have had?
Yes, I do. After I busted Daniel in the hand, a reporter came up to me and asked me what my name was [laughs].
At one point you were a Team PokerStars Pro. Looking back, was that a good experience for you?
I enjoyed the experience. It was a two-year deal that I had. I thought I put a strong effort in. It was a good experience to play amongst the pros.
What are your plans moving forward?
Canada doesn’t get much of a summer, so once I get back we’ll spend a few weeks doing summer things and then September is usually WCOOP time, so we’ll focus back on poker then.