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Read Paul Wasicka's blog! BLOG

Paul Wasicka alias "KwickFish"

Last blog entry on 9. August 2008
Last Update: 11. April 2014
Full Tilt Poker
"I have the best friends and family anyone could ask for."
Paul’s answer to what the world should know about him.
Dallas, US
Las Vegas, US
Barkeeper and restaurant manager
Skiing, bowling, golf, chess, strategy games, movies, videogames
Classical, Electronica
Any place in the mountains
Boondock Saints
Doesn't like celebrity cult
...in 2004 when he participated in a tournament in Denver
Phil Hellmuth, Patrik Antonius, J.C. Tran, Phil Ivey, Nam Le, John Juanda
...everyone would follow the "Golden Rule": Treat others as you would like to be treated.
...there wouldn't be so many pretentious and superficial players.
Participated in a poker tournament in Denver in 2004 although he had never played before and came out ninth out of 100

Childhood and Adolescence

Paul thrived on competition and was always intent on winning. Being the youngest of three children, he always wanted to prove himself, which he explains is the reason for his great ambition to always win.  Paul grew up in Dallas, where he played soccer in the afternoon and learned chess and backgammon from his parents at night. His family moved to Boulder, Colorado when he was seven, where he started skiing and bowling. In middle school, he was part of the chess team but quickly moved up to play against the high school children because junior high chess was too easy for him.

In high school, his competitive drive kicked into high gear and he played five sports a year. He ran track and cross-country, skied, wrestled and played volleyball. He loved the mixture of physical intensity in sports like wrestling and the mental challenge of games like chess and backgammong. 

Paul Discovers Gambling

Paul discovered his passion for gambling during a ski trip in Vancouver. Paul walked into a nearby casino, put $ 10 down at a black jack table, and walked out only a short while later $ 100 richer. The vacation turned into a black jack trip and he took home $ 17,000 as a souvenir. Paul didn’t stick to black jack long though, as the odds weren’t that good and there wasn’t enough action.

In 2004, Paul and one of his friends were headed to a poker tournament in Denver. Although Paul knew which hands beat which, he did not know much about the rules of the different poker variations. After a 15 minute lesson in the car Paul decided to also play in the tournament. He placed ninth out of 100 contenders—“if he’s not a natural, then who is?!”From that point on, Paul could not imagine a life without poker and thought about quitting his job as a barkeeper and restaurant manager to be able to concentrate fully on his career as a poker player. 

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One of Paul’s friends, Thomas Fuller, introduced him to the exciting world of online poker and from then on, Paul spent many hours at the virtual tables playing as “KwickFish.” He observed the playing patterns of his opponents, analyzed them and adjusted his own playing style accordingly. In fall 2004, he finally quit his job to play poker full time. However, he did not become successful overnight and after a few setbacks, he returned to his old profession for a year. Despite this short break, he did not give up on poker. 

In 2006, a friend convinced Paul to go to Las Vegas with him for the World Poker Tour (WPT) championship event, which Paul ended up winning a seat to. The buy-in was $ 25,000. He placed 15th winning $ 146,000—not a bad way to start off.

Paul invested part of his winnings to be able to afford the buy-in to a couple of events of the 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP). This turned out to be very profitable for Paul, as he placed 12th in the $ 5,000 short-handed no-limit Texas Hold’em event and 14th in the $ 5,000 no-limit Hold’em event. Paul ended up cashing in these two preliminary events, winning a total of $ 65,000.

Paul’s big Breakthrough — the 2006 WSOP

At the 2006 WSOP Main Event, Paul showed the world what he is capable of by placing second after Jamie Gold and winning six million dollars.

Although Paul won such a large sum of money, he was still disappointed by his results, as he was so close to winning the whole tournament. The deciding hand was played after Jamie Gold raised to 1.7 million pre-flop and Wasicka called. The flop came - Q-8-5 and Gold checked; Paul bet 1.5 million. Gold went all-in and Wasicka hesitated while Jamie tried to get him to call. Wasicka believed he had found Gold’s weakness and called, showing T-T. However, Gold turned over Q-9 for a pair of queens. An ace came at the turn and a 4 at the river, which did not help Wasicka and so Gold became the new world champion.

Despite his disappointment, Paul is not a sore loser and says in an interview:

“Jamie Gold did a great job bluffing for that last hand. He check-raised me to get me to go all-in because I thought he was on a draw and at that point, I couldn’t imagine going hand by hand. I had a feeling he was in gambler mode and he applied his special techniques very well. He said ‘Oh, you don’t have a Queen, do you?” and then he didn’t say another word, something many players would do when they have a big draw. My gut instinct told me I should do it (go all-in), but I guess my gut instinct was wrong.”

After the tournament, Paul also told the press:

“I am very confident in my deep stack poker abilities. When you look at my results, I was chip-leader at one point or another in almost every tournament. I like to see a lot of flops which means that if I’m having a long losing streak in a short stack tournament then it can happen very quickly that you have very few chips left, whereas if you have a long losing streak in a deep stack tournament you can survive it without any major losses.”

According to Paul’s poker strategy, it is extremely important to know how to control the size of the pot, especially for deep stack tournaments (meaning those that start off with a minimum of 100 big blinds as starting chips). The point is to raise the pot when you have a good hand. In general, according to Paul, there are two factors that need to be taken into account: the opponent’s technique and the flop structure. 

Paul Remains on the Road to Success

After his big success at the 2006 WSOP, there was no stopping Paul. He placed 12th at the 2007 Crown Aussie Millions Championship, winning $ 91,121. That same year, he placed 4th at the 2007 L.A. Poker Classic, winning $ 455,615. In March of 2007, he wowed with his win at the National Heads Up Championship, where he won an unbelievable $ 500,000.

At this point, Paul Wasicka has won more than 7 million US dollars in tournament winnings and counts as one of the most promising, up-and-coming stars of the international poker scene. As of recently, Paul has begun teaching at the WSOP Academy, a poker school that holds their classes at one of the many Harrah’s Casinos in the United States. At the WSOP Academy, you learn the subtleties of the game from the best poker players in the world including Howard Lederer, Annie Duke, Joe Hachem, Phil Hellmuth, Greg Raymer and Brad “Yukon” Booth. The poker teachers at the WSOP Academy have earned a total of 20 WSOP bracelets and more than $ 47 million dollars in prize money.

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Despite his success and bold career, Paul has remained down-to-earth. He calls himself a family-oriented person and his friends are still very important to him. What Paul has to tell the world about himself: “I have the best friends and family anyone could ask for.”

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