How has your WSOP Main Event journey been so far?
It’s been a little bit of a bumpy road. Normally in these big tournaments my stack increases every level, but this time has been a real rollercoaster for sure. I am feeling very confident, and it’s going to be very difficult for someone to bust me. I am very focused and I know where I stand in a lot of different situations, and am feeling really good.
I have interviewed a lot of people who have said a lot of nice things about you, including John Tabatabai who once said you were the greatest MTT player alive? What puts you in that bracket of special tournament players?
That’s a really cool thing for people to say. I folded ace-king three times pre flop yesterday and I am not sure a lot of people can make folds in those spots. But with great folds also come great calls too and in this tournament I have been avoiding coolers a ton. It sounds very Phil Hellmuthesque but they have been trying to bust me and I won’t let them. I am avoiding the flips and moving along great. I folded tens today where in a different spot, say online or any other tournament, I wouldn’t have folded. Given the situation, how this tournament is and how easily it is to accumulate in other spots it is important to stay on the grind and I have been doing that really well.
Earlier this year you won the High Roller at WPT Vienna. During one of the breaks I saw you break away on your own and do press-ups. You are looking the fittest I have seen. How have you managed to get into great shape?
I definitely changed my eating habits a lot. I used to eat anything and everything. If I wanted pasta at 02.00 then cool, Pho at 03.00 no problem. I am much more disciplined today. I have All American Dave helping me out during this series, which has been great. He makes these amazing meals that help fuel my body. So my dietary changes have been important, but so has my time in the gym. I haven’t missed a gym session during the main event. Doing that before the tournament makes such a major difference to my mental clarity. I am so much more focused on everything going on around me. Eating healthily and working out is like a natural drug. It was Hippocrates that said let food by thy medicine. In between hands the old Sorel would have looked at his phone and zoned out a lot, but these days I am really focusing on every hand.
But what was the catalyst for change?
I have always been an athlete, both before and during high school. It wasn’t normal for me to be carrying the extra weight. Since I have been in poker there have been three or four moments where I have tried to change, but I have always slipped back into old habits. Being healthy and lean is very important in my life. I don’t want to be average in that sense, it’s not good enough. I want to excel in that part of my life. In the past my get fit regimes were all due to some prop bet. Then the bet ends and so does my motivation. This time I am doing it for myself and not for monetary gain. It started during a trip to Thailand. I took part in a ten-day Detox programme and I lost twenty pounds in a week and felt so amazing. I have never felt like that before. So I decided I didn’t want to put crap inside my body anymore because it makes me miserable.
I recently read an interview in PokerNews where you talked about taking supplements supplied by Alpha Brain. Can you just tell me a little bit about that?
Originally it was an experiment. I ordered a bottle of pills not knowing what to expect. At first I didn’t notice much. Then after a while I started to remember all of my dreams vividly. For me that was enough to continue taking the supplements right there. Normally without taking them I would have one lucid dream every few months, now it is every night. This is a Nootropic and I realise that there is a lot of controversy surrounding the use of such enhancements. Is it the placebo effect and so forth? But it’s a free roll for me, you get a full money back guarantee and so there is no downside to it. As Joe Rogan said, “ It isn’t going to turn an idiot into a genius.” It’s not that profound but it works for me personally and I am very happy to endorse the product.
I have seen a lot of top players smoking weed during this WSOP and that must effect the mental state and Alpha Brain is a cognitive enhancer. Given the fact that poker is a mind sport do you think it’s time that poker started to introduce regulation to ensure parity amongst players, like in other sports?
We are dealing with a mind sport, so the better your mind is working the better your edge will be so it’s an interesting point. I don’t smoke pot personally, but I am a pro supporter for the legalization of it. There is a lot of hidden agenda’s for the government to keep it illegal. If you take pot and it improves your game then fine. There are a lot of highly-strung people who take it in order to relax and to stop them doing something stupid at the table. Nobody is smoking a joint and then robbing a bank. It is not something that makes you more aggressive, it just relaxes you. You are getting into a crazy situation if you start regulating what drugs you can or can’t use in poker.
I am a firm believer that people should be able to do whatever they want to do with their own body. That’s my opinion on it. I don’t want to do it personally, but the responsibility must come down to the person and not some government. As long as people are acting responsibly with it then that is fine.
At the time of writing Sorel Mizzi has 1 million chips (50BB) with 184 players remaining.
Here is Sorel Mizzi talking to PartyPoker about a sick fold he made yesterday.