“Finally, my first trophy” – Rex Hsu

Welcome, Rex Hsu, to The Monster Poker Jam Sun City. After winning the Monster Stack Freeze; Rex came and chatted with us about his run in this tournament. Here is what he had to say:

Q1: Rex, well done on winning. How do you feel about it all?

Finally, my first trophy. It’s been a long road and I’ve always felt confident in my tournament game, so I’m very happy that this is my first big tournament win. Just so relieved and so happy.

Q2: I remember seeing you short stacked at some point and now you stand here as the champion. Talk us through that.

I was 16th in chips with about 10 big blinds beginning of today (07/04/19). Just ran good and also played really well.

Congratulations Rex Hsu on your first #MJPT trophy. Thank you for sharing that very special moment with us. We all look forward to seeing you win many more here at #MJPT.

 

“I won a satellite that costed me about R500” – Our runner up for The Monster Stack Freeze, Jared Glass.

Welcome, Jared Glass, to Monster Jam Poker Tour Sun City. 

Jared, just moments after placing second in The Monster Stack Freeze, stopped by and shared his experience of the tournament with us. Here is what he had to say:

Q1: Jared, how are you feeling?

“Yeah, bru it’s amazing. I’ve just been in a zone for the last 25 hours so just trying to come to terms (with it all). It’s such a special place to be with all these unbelievable poker players in the country and just grinding it with these okes is something special. Just so grateful for the opportunity.”

Q2: You mentioned earlier that you won a satellite to be here?

“Yeah, I won a satellite that costed me about R500. Honestly, I’m just super proud right now and stoked. Also, I didn’t lose, I did a deal”

Well done Jared Glass on coming second! Very well played. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming tournaments.

“I just like to keep a fresh mind before playing” – Dale Naidoo

Welcome, Dale Naidoo, to Monster Jam Poker Tour Sun City. He took the time to chat with us after he placed 10th in The Monster Stack Freeze. Here is what he had to say:

Q1: Do you have any rituals you do before a big tournament?

“I just like to keep a fresh mind before playing. Nothing special or different.”

Q2: Any hidden talents you’d like to share?

“I don’t want to say something and then I come across as conceited.” 

Q3: So far, what has been your most emotional moment playing poker?

“Making an all-in call for a tournament with a pair of nines on a wet and draw heavy board has to be the best moment for me so far.”

Q4: How do you feel about your run in The Monster Stack Freeze?

“I really enjoyed it. Day 1 and day 2 were good. There were a couple of pots that could have gone either way on day 3. Overall a decent tournament but I definitely could have done better I feel.” 

“It’s all a learning curve” – Darryn Lipman

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Darryn Lipman stopped by and had a chat with us. Find out what he considers his best hand and enjoy some of the epic value he gives us in this player spotlight.

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Q1: What’s your favorite poker hand?

“I don’t have a specific hand but I don’t mind seeing aces”

Q2: What do you love most about playing poker?

“Winning. Beating every other player”

Q3: What poker advice would you give yourself 3 years ago?

“It’s all a learning curve but the only advice I’ve got for myself is to count to 5 before I make a decision on a big pot, and not to rush it. Sometimes I can be too impulsive and already have an idea of what I want to do with a specific hand.”

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“Knocking 3 players out was very special to me” – Vicky Sookoo

Welcome, Vicky Sookoo to Monster Jam Poker Tour Sun City 2019.

In this brief player spotlight, Vicky, a veteran of the game (9+ years under his belt) talks about his experience as a poker player thus far.

Q1: What got you into poker?

“I can’t remember but I started playing in 2009”

Q2: What has been your greatest poker moment thus far?

“I was playing one of the big tournaments and what happened was we had a full table. I had AQ on the button. There were 3 other players in the hand. Can’t fully remember the board but I had top pair and still drawing to a better hand on the flop. The pot was getting big on the flop after a raise and a re-raise with all 3 players still in the hand, and I said “is it time for me to knock 3 players out?” and so I put my chips in and I knocked out the whole 3 players and I took the whole 3 stacks. Knocking 3 players out was very special to me.”

Q3: What advice would you give someone who is new to poker?

“Play your gut. Don’t listen to the player next to you, your mate or whatever. Make the best out of the 2 cards that you’ve got.”

Q4: In three words, how would you describe your experience at #MJPT?

“I love it”

Q5: What #MJPT event are you most looking forward to playing?

“The Freeze Out, the Main Event (12 April 2019) and the Turbo (13 April 2019)”

Thank you, Vicky, for a fantastic and honest interview. We look forward to seeing you at future #MJPT events. All the best for the rest of the series!

What is Suren’s most memorable moment at #MJPT?

Welcome, Suren Naidoo to Monster Jam Poker Tour Sun City 2019.

We snuck in a quick interview with Suren during the break of The Monster Stack Freeze day 1B and this is what he had to say:

Q1: How long have you been playing poker for?

“Probably about 10 years”

Q2: How many #MJPT have you played?

“I’ve played a few. Last year I played 3. In total probably about 6”

Q3: What is your most memorable moment at #MJPT?

“Winning this tournament (Monster Stack Freeze) last year at Sun City”

Q4: What keeps you coming back to #MJPT?

“Very friendly dealers. Very friendly staff. Very nice atmosphere. Lekker venues that you can take the family to”

Q5: What event are you most excited for during #MJPT?

“I like playing the Hi-Roller. That is the most exciting for me”

Thank you, Suren for taking the time to share some of your journey with us. All the best for the series and see you at the Hi-Roller.

“I like the scrap of Main Event” – Elvin Brooks

Welcome, Elvin Brooks to Monster Jam Poker Tour Sun City 2019.

We had the pleasure of getting Mr. Brooks to open up about his experience as a player at #MJPT and this is what he shared…

Q1: How long have you been playing poker for?

“About 3 years at this point. Could be more”

Q2: How many #MJPT events have you played?

“I’d say around 6 to 7 events”

Q3: What has been your most memorable poker moment at #MJPT?

“The first day of the Boardwalk series as I ended day 1 third in chips”

Q4: Favourite thing about #MJPT that keeps you coming back?

“The tournaments are run very well”

Q5: What event are you most excited about this series?

“I like the scrap of Main Event”

Thank you, Elvin, for taking the time to chat with us. See you at Main Event!

PLAYER PROFILE – ASHIF ‘BABLOO’ WALJI

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PLAYER PROFILE – ASHIF ‘BABLOO’ WALJI

Babloo as he’s affectionately known thanks to a nickname given to him by his older sister when he was about 2 years old as she couldn’t pronounce his name, and it kinda stuck.

Babloo is a Casino mogul, like Andy Garcia in Oceans 11, although much nicer. Babloo hails from Kenya where he was born and spent his whole life, in fact he really loves Kenya and wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else.

You really couldn’t tell by sitting with Babloo that he’s so successful in the Casino industry, he comes across as very dis-arming, genuine and approachable, unlike other poker players who always act like they don’t know me, I’m talking to you Divan Le Roux.

This family man who has been married to his lovely wife for 20 years already, and has 2 kids, a 13 year old girl (good luck with that) and a 17 year old boy. He’s been playing poker for 18 years and started playing poker when he stumbled across it at a casino he was involved in, and from then he’s been hooked. He has three casinos that operate in Nairobi and Mombasa.

The most surprising thing to me about Bubloo is his affinity to party, in fact he’s promised to go all out after the main event, party by invite only (I’m only writing this thing so I get the call). Babloo’s favorite poker player is Tom Dwan, who could blame him for loving the cash beast.

Babloo hosts his own major poker tournaments in Nairobi 4 times a year, that players like Wesley Wiegand and Darren Kramer used to surface for. These days his South African contingent is small, but we’re hoping to change that! Take note his next big tournament is on the 31st of March a $350 buy-in with rebuys…I’ll post some promotional goodies soon!

Bubloo, we’re glad to have you, if there were more Bubloo’s in the poker community, firstly the field would be much tougher, but more importantly the game would garner a more respectful reputation. Good luck and a pleasure meeting you!

#mjpt #mjptlive Carnival City Casino and Entertainment World Sun International
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PLAYER PROFILE – MELIKA RAZAVI

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PLAYER PROFILE – MELIKA RAZAVI

Walking onto the Carnival City poker floor yesterday evening before the main event got underway, I noticed a mysterious beautiful woman on the floor who I’d never seen before. Obviously my mouth dropped but I managed to keep it together and avoid staring. Melika is a beauty queen, having won the Miss Global Iran and Miss Global Fitness in Manilla, Phillipines in 2016, and the Miss Power Woman World in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in 2017.

Melika learned to play poker in her family home at age 9, and she started playing with friends more regularly from 16, and at 21 she was being sponsored to play. She is a fierce competitor if her reputation holds up. Her biggest cash took place in Macau where she won a tournament for $ 89 495.

She and her cash game pro boyfriend Alf Martinsson, who were introduced by mutual friends at the tables of Macau, live between Cape Town in the summer where Melika settled with her family after leaving Iran at 14, and the next 6 months of each year smashing the European poker scene. Her mom choosing South Africa after she fell in love with it years before when she was young.

Melika is 29 now and works both as a poker pro and a personal trainer, although some might be more interested to know that she loves magic and even worked as a professional magician between the ages of 19 and 25. She’s always loved magic. She also lived for 2 years in Mossel Bay of all places attempting to get some independence in her youth, however she returned to Cape Town to complete her studies.

Melika is passionate about the fact that her Iranian passport disqualifies/prevents her from participating in tournaments in America, which as we poker addicts know is the Mecca of the poker world. She’s a liberal woman with a zest for life and doesn’t want politics to dictate where and when she can play poker, which she is seriously passionate about.

I asked Melika on a scale of 1 to 10, if something happened to Alf, what chances her and I would have becoming an item. Her response, to my severe disappointment was -100, citing the fact that I’m ‘married’ as a deal-breaker, although she did chuckle and comment on how things may have been different had it not been for that ‘wife’ of mine (who if shes reading, I love dearly), I blushed and ran away. Thanks for the block Mrs Sandler.

Melika’s day didn’t start smoothly, she did 4-bullets, thrice busting with AK. She came back for the freezout short stacked and is now sitting with a respectable collection of chips in front of her.

We wish her and Alf the best of luck in the Main Event and hope to see them at future MonsterJam stops.

#mjpt #mjptlive Carnival City Casino and Entertainment World Sun International Melika Razavi
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