Some might say that Allen Bari’s poker career has been full of near misses. The notoriously outspoken Bari has come close to victory on numerous occasions, but there is usually a lost coin flip, a cooler, a bad beat, or a bad run of cards that kept him from picking up the hardware. Until Sunday.
Now Bari is a WSOP bracelet winner and finally has a marquee victory to back up his frequent claims via Twitter and elsewhere that he is one of the best of the best. Bari doesn’t need the bracelet to tell him he is good at poker, he knew that already. Just ask him.
“The bracelet means a lot, but I don’t really think a bracelet should validate you as a player. For example, Eugene Katchalov won a bracelet yesterday and he should probably have four, because he’s the illest, ” Bari explains. “And I’m the illest, so I should probably have four, but I only have one and stinkers like Phil Hellmuth have 11, so it is all meaningless.”
Bari is a big believer that variance in tournament poker is “absurd” and that is part of the reason that, bracelet or not, he intends to slow down his poker schedule once the WSOP concludes.
“I would like to stop playing as much. I don’t want to travel as much and tournaments are tough to handle sometimes,” Bari admits. “I’m not going to quit poker. I don’t think Ill ever quit poker in my life, but I’d like to cut down on the travelling. I have a girlfriend and I am getting old. I eventually want to settle down and it is tough to settle down when you’re playing poker professionally.”
The only thing that might get Bari to change his mind? If he picks up three bracelets or more this summer.
Name: Allen Bari
Hometown: Hoboken, New Jersey
Occupation: Professional poker player
Education: Graduated from Rutgers University with a double major in Finance and Economics
Learned poker: Playing Five Card Stud with friends in high school
Lifetime tournament earnings: $2,702,557
Notable poker achievements: Bari first rose to prominence in 2008 thanks to a WSOP-C Atlantic City ring victory, a deep run in the WPT Foxwoods Poker finals, and a victory in the Borgata Summer Poker Open worth over $500,000. More recently, Bari final tabled the EPT Grand Final High Rollers event in 2010 and recently finished fifth at the WPT’s Seminole Hard Rock Showdown for $211,977.
Notable WSOP achievements: Prior to his win on Sunday, Bari had two WSOP final tables to his credit. He logged eighth place finishes in the $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo event in 2010 and the $1,500 Razz event in 2009.
Memorable quotes: (On how he values his reputation amongst peers more than bracelets): What matters is the good players know you are good and when people sit with you at a table, they are scared of you and respect your game.”
(On his reputation of being a braggart): “I have a swagger, but I don’t think it is undeserved. I’ve been playing poker a long time and I’ve been working at it. I put in the hours. I don’t lie, I’m just better than most people.”
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