Online Poker

Jeff Lisandro Hat Trick Reaps in the Plaudits

by Poker Team

Jeff Lisandro looks to be on a collision course for the WSOP ‘Player of the Year’ title. He completed a triumvirate of 7 Card Events – Stud, Stud 8 and Razz to become the only player to secure three bracelets at the 2009 World Series – a remarkable feat. Regardless of whether he’s on a ‘heater’ or not, he can surely lay claim to being the best 7 Card tournament player in the world.

Australian Lisandro’s dark attire – he likes to don a 1930s style gangster, bowler hat and a suave black shirt – means he comes across as a bit of an enigma. There is nothing shady about his poker exploits however – Lisandro is a proven winner. Following victory in a $25,000 Limit Hold’em heads-up tournament against Poker Professor Howard Lederer, he defeated the imperious Phil Ivey at the $10,000 WSOPC heads-up event for a cool $542,360 in 2005. Lisandro combines a measured, methodical style with excellent reading abilities to give him the best chance of success. He’s not just a winner – he’s a convincing winner. He steamrollered through the field of the $2500 Razz tournament yesterday, holding a chip lead since Day 2. When heads-up play commenced, he held a staggering 2.1 million to 210,000 chip lead over opponent Michael Craig.

He doesn’t, however, seem to be getting the recognition he deserves from the poker community. One poster on twoplustwo put it very succinctly – because he is older, doesn’t crave the poker ‘celebrity’ limelight with numerous blogs and interviews, and prefers to play live, people are more hostile towards him. Just because he doesn’t fit the image of an exuberant young poker player (his clothing is morbid, physique beefy, and he bares an uncanny resemblance to Sopranos actor James Gandolfini) he’s coming under a lot of scrutiny. Maybe he’ll finally get the respect he deserves if he goes on to make history. Only Ivey, Forrest and Hellmuth have triumphed in three events at the same World Series before (and this was before the poker boom, when fields were less populated). Lisandro still has time to clinch an unprecedented 4th bracelet.

Not everything in the pro garden is rosy, however. Mike Matusow recently released his book ‘Check Raising the Devil’, which documented his incarceration for drug offenses, and other personal problems. However the ‘Mouth’ confessed to Pokernews his 2009 WSOP has been nothing short of hellish so far, as he still awaits his first cash. Rumours are also circulating about David ‘The Raptor’ Benefield’s financial solvency. The young CardRunners pro was recently seen ‘grinding $5/10 at the Venetian with a mere $10 k stack’, though it seems to be more out of spiteful hope that people are concluding he’s ‘bust’ on poker forums.

Meanwhile debate continues to rage over pro Russ Hamilton’s role in the frauding of millions of dollars online during the Ultimate Bet Scandal. The 1994 WSOP Main Event winner been accused of fronting a five player cheating syndicate, which  was involved in collusion, ghost accounts and chip dumping. The scandal saw the use of multiple ‘master accounts’, where all player hole cards could be seen by aliases such as ‘Potripper’. The saga took another twist as highly revered, fellow pro and friend Barry Greenstein refuted Hamilton’s involvement in an episode of Poker after Dark. However, this was filmed considerably time ago, at the end of 2008, before full details emerged.

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