The Season XIV WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic festival kicks off at Bellagio on Friday with the first of 19 events, culminating on December 14 with the $10,400 buy-in Main Event and on December 18 with the $100,000 buy-in WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas. Along with the lion’s share of each respective prize pool, the winners of both events will receive an Aurae Solid Gold MasterCard with an additional $10,000 loaded onto it.
In Season XIII, Mohsin Charania outlasted Garrett Greer in a wild heads-up battle to capture his second World Poker Title and more than $1.4 million. We caught up with him to discuss his upcoming title defense at his favorite tournament stop in the world.
Last December, you defeated Garrett Greer heads up to capture your second World Poker Tour title. How did it compare to your first win in Paris?
I think once you play a ton of tournaments it becomes a little numbing, even if the first-place prize and magnitude of it is great. I think at times it just becomes mentally exhausting, and it’s like a project that you want to see completed until the end. It obviously felt really good to accomplish something, but like any tournament win, I just felt lucky at the end. Lucky that I won a lot of key all-ins when I needed to, and lucky that I was in a spot to win a tournament for more than a million dollars. I want to say the generic “it felt great,” and it did to a degree, but it also simply felt satisfying knowing that I played well and got lucky when I needed to in order to win.
What does winning do to your psyche? Did you enter 2015 with a different confidence level?
It definitely gives you confidence in your game. I wasn’t doing too well at the start of 2015, but toward the end I started seeing more results. It made me feel like I was playing good and putting in the time. It also gives you a nice confidence boost that you will win every all-in for the next few weeks/months, and allows you to play looser and more care free at times.
This was also your second seven-figure score. Did that affect the types of tournaments you played?
After my first seven-figure score I decided I was going to play higher stakes tournaments anyways. It gave me the option to have a bigger piece of myself in super high rollers, but I think years of playing online and live gave me the confidence that I need to play in any buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament. An extra million dollars doesn’t hurt when you want to play super high rollers either.
What is your favorite aspect of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic?
Even before winning, the WPT Five Diamond was already my favorite tournament on the circuit because I think it does an amazing job catering to poker players. Anytime a tournament starts at noon and ends by 8:30, I think they are doing something right. I don’t mind playing the extra day if I can have a normal dinner and get to bed at a reasonable hour. I hate playing until past midnight and having rushed dinner breaks. Bellagio also has great service at the poker tables, which really makes playing poker less of a chore and more of a fun experience. Having eigh-hour days allows you to be on top of your game and that is always a bonus.
Do you enjoy playing against the tougher competition in a bigger buy-in event?
The softer the competition the better. I just enjoy making money, so whatever helps me make money, I am all for it.
World Poker Tour recently announced the WPT Tournament of Champions – how important would it be to emerge as the Champion of Champions from a field of only WPT winners?
It would be pretty awesome to be the Champion of Champions so I can talk crap to a few of my friends who’ve won a WPT. I just want to take that trophy, carry it around with me, and have it anytime I am at dinner with Marvin Rettermaier or Matt Salsberg. I’d love to bring the Hublot as well! Why not?
For the best hotel rates on the World Poker Tour event, be sure to check out WPT Travel.