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Dan Sauva on his Jungleman entry – 'A bit of free love really does bring out the best in everybody'

Posted by Dany Willis & filed under World Series of Poker.

For those of you who’ve been following our Jungleman WSOP promotion you’re probably thinking a little like I am, “Who are these people?” and “Where do they come up with this stuff? and “I’ll have a pint of what ever Dan Sauva is having” right? Well maybe not that last point but you get my point.

Luckily for me I’ve had the real pleasure of catching up with a few of them. All have a unique story to tell and all have a real love for the game of poker. If only we could take you all to Las Vegas for the WSOP!

Anyway Dan Sauva loves a bit of it

Today I managed to catch up with none other than Dan Sauva, whose currently enjoying his 15mins of fame with his “Free Hugs” video which is proving to be extremely popular, even TonyG thought so!

Alright Dan let’s start with the basics: age, city and a little bit about yourself?

I’m 30 years old, live in London and work in advertising. When I’m not penning punchy slogans for ad campaigns, I’m bouncing between London poker venues looking for entertainment, overlays and soft games with inebriated businessmen. How do they always get there on the river? Sigh.

What was the thinking behind your entry for Jungleman’s good deed WSOP challenge?

I was keen to do something light-hearted and fun that would make people smile. I decided to avoid the ‘tug at your heartstrings ‘ approach as I felt it might be a little insincere given the competition setting. I toyed with a few ideas and landed on free hugs. I felt this would be a good way to spread some happiness and joy on an otherwise mundane mid-week lunch-break and really capture the spirit of good deeds in an entertaining way.

I asked Emily, a good friend of mine, to jump on-board as she has bubbliness in abundance and I knew she’d get the hug-ball rolling. My mate Paul grabbed his camera and we were off. Armed with a whiteboard, marker pen, heart t-shirt, and with hugs on the brain, we set out onto the streets of Camden Town, London and nailed it. I have never seen so many happy people – a bit of free love really does bring
out the best in everybody. It was great fun.

What got you in to poker?

I was invited to a home game with some friends about five years ago. After a confusing lesson from a drunken mate I was in for £20 and completely out of my depth. I remember little about the game apart from that I definitely knew how to say ‘all-in’, act out of turn, hit gutshots, fumble chips and generally annoy. I won. There’s nothing like a fortuitous bink to slingshot you into degeneracy and I’ve been on the poker rollercoaster ever since.

To be fair, I’ve studied the game fervently and have had some notable success both online and live. I’m also well versed in spanking chunks of bankroll when late night cash games spiral into the bad-beat and beer abyss.

My main strength is live tournaments and I try to play at least twice a week when I can. For me this is where the real fun and excitement of poker lies, entry to the WSOP Main Event would be crazy.

Who are some of your favorite professional poker players?

I’ve watched every poker show religiously and have spent many an evening sucked into obsessive YouTube vortexes. As a result I have a soft spot for the old guard of poker personalities. The creative aggression of Gus Hansen, the eruptive tendencies of Phil Hellmuth, the ever-effusive Daniel Negreanu and, of course, Tony G and his legendary bike to name but a few.

Which players would you be most scared to see at your table?

Hmmm, I’m not sure I’d be ‘scared’ of anybody per se, I’m a confident player with belief in my abilities. Although saying that, I wouldn’t be overjoyed with a table draw that had me pitted against the ‘genius generation’ of tournament pros. You know, players like Mercier, Grospellier, Katchalov, Cody and the like. Scrap that, I’d be petrified.

Any pros you hope to play with?

I’d like to play with Daniel ‘jungleman’ Cates himself. It may seem like an obvious answer but I genuinely respect what he’s achieved in poker and his generosity with opportunities like this WSOP Challenge. In return I’d attempt to 5-bet bluff him out of a big pot and table it proudly. Joke! I wouldn’t dare ;)

Anything else you’d like to say?

Thanks again to PartyPoker and Jungleman for this once in a lifetime opportunity and thanks to Tony G for his support of Good Deed Hugs on Twitter. If you like the video, then why not send a vote my way. Thanks to everyone, and if the poker gods are looking down on me, see you in Vegas? One time?

Many thanks Dan, good luck it would be great seeing you playing at the WSOP!

So if you missed it here’s Dans ‘Free Hugs’ video, and remember head on over to the ‘Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates WSOP Main Event Challenge – So Who Would You Pick?’ page, watch all the videos, like which ones you want and tell us which ones rock in the comment box!