Isaac Baron deposited $ 10,300 Super MILLION $ on GGPOKEROK and earned $ 412K. Nothing special in the world of high rollers, unless you know that this guy has been making six-figure drifts since the years when Viktor Malinovsky did not even know that he would become a high roller. Trying to unravel the secret of how Isaac Baron manages to stay at his peak in poker for 15 years.
How Isaac Baron got acquainted with poker
It all started during the poker boom. Isaac and his friends watched the WSOP broadcast on ESPN. The children were fascinated by the game, while the guys did not play cards. Isaac was fascinated by Chris Moneymaker’s story. After that, friends decided to gather at home games $ 0.25 / $ 0.50. The limits have gradually increased to $ 1 / $ 2.
From the very beginning, Isaac Baron fell in love with the game. And not because he was better than friends. He was more obsessed with victory than others. While the guys played for the game, Isaac played for the victory. At home, he performed the coolest.
But this is not only about the love of victory. Isaac Baron loved to gamble with friends:
“I was just like other children. But I’ve always enjoyed placing bets. My friends wouldn’t do anything without a wager, like a basketball game or a Madden (American football) match on the xBox. I think the ability to keep the competition helped me to achieve success. I never liked losing and I always liked beating others. “
The desire to always win was not always in the hands of Isaac at first, but he learned to control this feeling:
“The hardest part at the beginning of my career was the realization that folding is not equal to losing. I have been involved in sports since childhood. And in sports everything is black and white. You either win or you lose. Therefore, whenever I folded cards, I considered it a loss. ”
History of the nickname “westmenloAA”
From home cash games, Isaac switched to playing online. First at Party Poker, then at PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. It was in high school. Isaac Baron took the nickname “westmenloAA”.
AA is probably the auristic part of the nickname, a kind of charge for a good card. And “West Menlo” is a neighborhood in Menlo Park, California, a wealthy town in the San Francisco Bay Area bordering Palo Alto.
“When I was little, I didn’t really understand how good Menlo Park was. But having traveled, having seen several desirable locations, I realized how lucky I was to spend my childhood here. ”
Isaac “westmenloAA” Barona dropped out of university to play poker
In high school, Isaac started playing online. At this time he was 17 – 18 years old. And, of course, there was the question of which university to choose for training. Isaac’s mother was a lawyer, and his father was a professor at Stanford University, then taught at Yale University. Naturally, higher education was very important in their family.
True, the parents did not set any specific goals for the boy. Therefore, the Baron entered the University of Oregon and continued to skate, non-stop, day and night, 24/7. Two factors determined this leisure:
“The lack of parental control and the constantly rainy weather were two factors that made me spend all my free time playing online poker, building up my bankroll.”
After the first year, Isaac transferred to the University of California at Santa Barbara, and he himself does not know whether it was because of poker or simply because he did not like studying. The feng shui of the new city played its part: Isaac Baron caught an upstreak and won the Sunday Million ($ 254K). It was 2007. And I decided to take a semester leave to devote myself entirely to the game. The semester turned into a year, and then Isaac gave up on his studies. In 2007, Isaac was named Player of the Year by Card Player Magazine.
Isaac Baron on how to show excellent results in cash and MTT at the same time
But Isaac Baron was good not only in MTT, but also in the cash game. According to some estimates, in 2007 he already had $ 1M thanks to cash games. Isaac started with NLHE $ 5- $ 10 at Full Tilt Poker and took a long time to build up his bankroll for the $ 200- $ 400 limit. WestmenloAA stalled for a long time before moving from $ 25- $ 50 to $ 50- $ 100. But as soon as he reached this limit, he never went below.
Baron shared the secret of how he manages to remain equally successful in cash games and MTT:
“I am aware that cash and tournaments are two different disciplines. I understand that by bluffing $ 10,000 at a $ 50- $ 100 cash table, I can buy a stack at any time. If my bluff in a $ 10,000 tournament is revealed, my day is over. “
In tournaments, if you lose a hand, you keep the stack and you can adjust your game to win more and eventually get the first place prize. In a cash game, every new hand is a mini-tournament for real money, in which there is always a winner and a loser. Therefore, it is important to be able to find your advantage ”.
Online to offline: Isaac Baron’s first live tournament victories
Between 2007 and 2008, Isaac was breaking online, but always striving to play offline. The problem is that the guy was not 21 at the time, so he could not participate in tournaments in the USA. But he found a great way out – he played tournaments in Europe.
In April 2008, Isaac Baron finished 4th in the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final and earned $ 932K. And this was a very important drift:
“When I dropped out of school, it really helped that my dad saw how well I was doing on the Internet. But he was obviously still skeptical that I was not going to finish my studies. It was only when I was at the final table at Monotez Carlo that he seemed to change his point of view and decided that I had made perhaps not the worst choice in the world. ”
Still: Isaac Baron earned $ 6.4M in live tournaments. The best cash he earned $ 1.2M for the third place in the Main Event of the PCA 2014 in the Bahamas. But the most prestigious title – a WSOP bracelet – Isaac Baron won only in 2019. It was a $ 1,500 6-handed NLHE tournament. The first place prize was $ 407K.
In live tournaments, Isaac Baron won only five times:
- 2009 — $5,000 Championship Event Caesars Palace Classic, Las Vegas ($246K)
- 2010 — €5,250 EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final ($408K)
- 2012 — $5,000 Championship Event Wynn Classic, Las Vegas ($240K)
- 2019 — $1,500 WSOP NLHE 6-Handed ($407K)
- 2019 — $10,000 NLHE Poker Masters, Las Vegas ($223K)
How Isaac Baron spent money: the story of a lost sports car
At 20, the Baron made a couple of stupid purchases. Bought a house, bought a maserati. Rented a Sky Villa in Palms for the 20th anniversary, one of the Playboy suites that included a butler and full service. He doesn’t remember exactly how much he spent on it, in the region of $ 25K.
At this time, the most amusing story also happened. You know the feeling when you take out a winter jacket and find money in your pocket. Young high rollers have cars in the parking lot instead of money.
Isaac bought 40% of the shares from his friend. Thanks to a good investment, he became $ 60K richer. What if you suddenly have $ 60K? That’s right – buy a 2007 Lexus IS 350 Sport.
One day Isaac came to a party, left the car. The next morning he found the car keys and lost the wheelbarrow. Naturally, the Baron thought the car had been stolen. I wrote a statement to the police.
Five months later, the phone rings. They called from the insurance company. Some of the local residents were worried that the new Lexus IS 350 Sport of 2007 is rooted to the spot for the fifth month and does not move. Isaac was so drunk and rich that he actually lost his $ 50K sports car. Eh, everyone would live like that.
Where Isaac Baron plays in 2021
Now Baron occasionally plays high roller tournaments at GGPOKEROK. Over 150 events, his profit chart dropped to – $ 280K. But thanks to the Super MILLION $ drift, the chart reached + $ 179K. Even before the lockdown, Baron played tournaments in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Flash with Isaac Baron
– What is your most important achievement in poker?
The ability to remain a winning player for such a long time.
– What’s your biggest disappointment at poker?
Runner-up of $ 7,500 Main Event Bay 101 in 2015. I really wanted to bring this tournament because this tournament is taking place very close to home. All my friends, my family, my mother, who had never seen me play, were there. It was especially important for me to win this tournament. I was a little sad, but after a week I began to feel better from the realization that I won $ 700K.
– The biggest luck in poker?
I was definitely lucky that I never got into a long downswing. Everyone goes through downswings, but I’ve never had such a desperate situation where I couldn’t win anything at all.
– What skill did you have to work on the longest in a live game?
Over tranquility. Online you are dealt a lot of hands, but not live, so the game seems slow, and many go nuts and play unnecessary spots. But I almost never felt out of my game. I know that as long as I play my game, everything will be fine.
Sources: cardplayer materials; pokerplayer365; pokernewsdaily