FAIR WARNE-ING: Chad Awerbuch recalls his victory in the inaugural WPT Australia Shane Warne One-Day Perpetual Trophy

We sit down with the reigning WPT Australia Shane Warne One-Day Perpetual Trophy freezeout winner, Chad Awerbuch, to discuss the upcoming 2023 WPT Australia Festival.

PMA: Thanks for speaking with us Chad. First thing’s first, as the reigning champion of the Shane Warne One Day Perpetual Trophy charity event, will we be seeing you on the felt this year to defend your title?
Chad Awerbuch: Yes, I will be returning to defend my title. It is always nice defending a sentimental title like this one, for a charitable cause and in the great name of Shane Warne.

PMA: Looking back to last year’s event, what do you remember of your run through the tournament?
CA: I remember that for about 80% of the tournament I was just grinding a 30bb stack, with no real spots, just trying to navigate with an average card distribution. Things started to turn after we made the money with about 40 players left, which is where I started catching some heat and holding some crucial spots. 

I also remember that this was the longest one-day tournament known to humankind and I kept thinking, “How is this going to finish in one day?”

It is all a bit of a blur how we reached the final table, but I remember being three of three before I got bluffed into for a big pot, which saw me go into heads up with about a 3:1 chip lead. Early in the heads up we got it in with AJ against QT and I just held to win it. Basically, I just ran pure when I needed to.  

PMA: There was plenty of emotion shown during that final table, with it being clear in the initially floated ICM discussions that you were not leaving without the trophy. What did this event mean to you, and to take down the inaugural title?
CA: Winning this trophy meant the world. Warney is an icon for all Australians – a legend that will go down as one of Australia’s greatest sporting figures. I grew up playing lots of cricket and pretty much idolised Warney, as I myself was a leg spinner. I had the privilege of meeting and playing poker with Warney, and I am good mates with a few of his very close friends, so I was determined to get this trophy for them. The fact that the rake goes to a charitable cause makes the win that much sweeter.

PMA: As you say, this event is one of the highlights for both players and staff as we get to pay tribute to the late Shane Warne, one of the WPT’s and Star Poker Gold Coast’s most avid supporters, whilst also raising some much-needed funds for charity. Do you have any Shane Warne stories you can share with us (either on or off the felt)?
CA: I have just one memory of Warney on the felt, where I took him out in a side event at the Aussie Millions where I hit a three-outer “wrong ‘un” on him. I think he muttered “fish” under his breathe. He was clearly not impressed.   

PMA: This festival is shaping up to be the biggest poker event of the year, with an estimated total prize pool of more than $10 million! What is your schedule looking like and what other events are you particularly looking forward to?
CA: I’m going to come down for the second week of this series. I haven’t really mapped out the events I will play as yet but I’m looking to fire the Main Event – it’s always nice to throw your hat into the ring in a WPT main on home soil! 

PMA: How do you prepare for a series like this? What’s your routine in the days and weeks leading up to it?
CA: Getting into a good headspace for me is essential, whether it be meditating or exercising and eating the right foods. I will be playing the APL Million in the lead-up and doing some studying as I have been over the last few months. I’ll have a two-week break in the lead-up where I won’t play any live tournaments to avoid being burnt out.  

PMA: You’ve been around the Australian poker scene for many years now. Where do you feel your game is at and are there particularly areas you feel you can improve in?
CA: I haven’t played as much live this year, but I am feeling quietly confident with where my game is at. I have done more work off the felt than I have previous years, so I’m hoping that translates into results. 

Naturally, I have always come with more of an exploitative playing style, so brushing up on the theory is where I have been looking at improving. The game is forever evolving, and you feel yourself being left behind if you don’t step up and start working towards that end goal, so that is where I have been focusing my attention over the first half of this year. At least we are headed in the right direction.   

PMA: Do you set yourself goals, and if so, what are your goals for the short-term future?
CA: My goal is simply to get better, be more disciplined and to work harder than I have previously. I have big goals, but I try not to think too hard about those as the tasks can seem overwhelming, so I have decided just to simplify everything and take each series one step at a time both live and online.     

Finally, you’ve been a regular fixture at The Star Gold Coast’s major poker events. What is it you like most about the venue and tournaments on offer?
CA: I love the fact that the major series at The Star offer a range of buy-ins and that the events are nicely spread out and don’t overlap too much. There is always a great buzz around The Star Gold Coast, you feel alive being in this venue. It’s professionally run, and the supervisors and managers are always very friendly and welcoming.

If you’d like to join Chad on the felt at the upcoming WPT Australia festival, click here to view the full event schedule and structures.

Guests must be 18 years or over to enter the casino. Player Activity Statements are available on request. BET WITH YOUR HEAD, NOT OVER IT. Gambling Helpline 1800 858 858 www.gamblinghelpqld.org.au

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