By Sean Chaffin
Eric Persian (pictured) knows his way around a courtroom. The 59-year-old attorney knows a lot about motions, briefs, and contracts, but he also has plenty of skills at the poker table. And when it comes to poker, the cards and bets make the final decision, not a judge or jury.
As players battle it out on Day 1b at the WPT Maryland, Persian was working to run his stack up. His route to Hanover, however, was a bit different than others in the field – by way of a LearnWPT freeroll at Borgata. The program offers seminars for players to learn and work on their skills, and the Borgata sessions were taught by poker pros Nick Binger and Eric Lynch.
“This is the second one we’ve been to,” he says. “We did the cash games seminar last year, and we both did the tournament seminar this past weekend at Borgata.”
Learn and Go
As the finale to the Borgata seminar, the Persians played in a 42-person freeroll for an entry into the event in Atlantic City. After playing six hours, he came out on top. Brenda and Eric finished on exact opposite ends of the tournament spectrum.
“Ironically she was the first one out, and I was the last one in,” he says.
But because of his trial schedule, the Borgata event just wouldn’t work. Clients tend to get a bit upset if their lawyer decides to skip a hearing and play poker instead. Persian was allowed to use the entry in the Maryland event and was ready to play on Saturday.
The LearnWPT seminar helped improve his game, Persian says, and got him to think about poker in different ways. The site offers weekly videos and numerous other resources for members to work on their card-playing prowess.
“I think it’s great,” he says. “Nick and Eric do such a great job of conveying a lot of information which is complicated, but they present it so that it’s kind of easy to digest. They’re very nice and they answer questions. It was very good and gave me kind of a format, and some organization on how to play and analyze position and things like that.”
The couple that plays together, stays together. At least that goes for Eric and Brenda. He’s originally from Washington D.C., but they now live in Warrenton, VA. Eric has been playing poker for about 20 years but began taking the game more seriously in the last 10. He’s mostly a cash game player but recently began playing tournaments a bit as well.
“I kind of enjoy the atmosphere of tournaments a little more now,” he says.
The Persians have been together about 10 years, and Brenda works as the manager of his law office. He has two adult children from a previous marriage and he has three.
The Borgata, Live! Casino & Hotel, and Hollywood in Charles Town, WV have become regular stops for the card-playing couple. Brenda was also in Maryland at the WPT event, playing cash games while he was in the tournament.
“We’ve worked together the whole 10 years, and we’re together pretty much 24/7,” he says. “We work together, and after putting in so many hours we go play poker. She’s a great cash game player. We work a lot of hours and we play a lot of poker.”
When not at the tables, the couple enjoys spending time with their three rescue cats. Eric is into sports and a regular fantasy football player. He also likes to collect signed sports jerseys. But poker remains their main pastime.
Ultimately, Persian didn’t advance on to Day 2 but had fun giving it a (free) shot. The Persians weren’t quite ready to leave the casino and he headed off to the Live! Poker room for some cash games. So who’s the better poker player between he and Brenda?
“I’m not going to answer that,” he says laughing. “I’m going to say she is, and she’s going to say I am.”
If you’re interested in joining LearnWPT, check out LearnWPT.com.
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and host of the True Gambling Stories podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @PokerTraditions.
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