Isaac Baron had accumulated more than $3 million playing poker professionally heading in to October 2009, but oddly enough he had never won a live major tournament title. Baron has cashed for millions online, he was the 2007 Card Player Online Player of the Year, and he is also a CardRunners instructor.But Baron has always been a threat in the live arena. His most impressive run came at the 2008 European Poker Tour Grand Final , where he finished in fourth place out of a field of 842 players to take home $931,268 in prize money. Baron recently fixed the one small glitch that existed on his poker résumé by winning the 2009 Caesars Palace Classic . He defeated a field of 162 players to capture $246,928. It’s not a huge payday if you’re one of the youngest poker players in the world to hold more than $3 million in career earnings, but a win is a win.Card Player caught up with Baron after the victory and he talked about his tournament experience at Caesars.Ryan Lucchesi: You came to the final table with the short-stack, and here you are at the end of play as the champion. How did you turn things around?Isaac Baron: I got a lot of good cards, and I ran good in some big all-in situations. After that, I was able to maneuver a little bit and win some pots uncontested. I also ran good on the last hand, and that was that.RL: The big hand you referred to took place when you held pocket nines, which won against the pocket tens of Glen Chorny and the A-K of Theo Tran ? Can you walk me through the hand in your mind?IB: Basically, Glen raised on the button, which I expected him to do with a lot of hands. Theo then moved in from the small blind, and since he knows that Glen is raising a lot of hands on the button, I figured that my nines were strong enough to hold onto in that spot. Rather than just call off half of my stack and just have to fold if Glen shoves, I just moved in, and he happened to have a pair of tens. I just got really lucky on the flop.RL: You had been on the defensive at the final table until that point. Was it nice for you to open things up and play your game at that point?IB: Yeah, after that I was doing pretty well. I felt a lot better about my chances.RL: Turning the focus to yesterday now, play during the money-bubble was very slow. Were you able to take advantage of the bubble?IB: I was for a little bit, but then my spot at the table developed into a bad one. Glen had a lot of chips to my left, and he wasn’t letting me get away with a whole lot. I didn’t really chip up too much on the bubble, I was able to steal a little bit, but not too much.RL: What was your strategy during the first half of the final table? You described being stuck in an annoying seat during the money-bubble for this event. Was the start of the final table similar?IB: Yeah, I just wanted to pick my spots early and find a good spot to double up. I knew if I doubled up, I would have a chance. There was going to be a lot more play if I could do that, so I wanted to pick a good spot and not get too anxious while I waited.
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