Thursday, 23rd May 2024 15:46
Home / Poker / Short-stack master Adria Diaz is spinning and going at EPT Prague

Like all of the remaining players in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague Main Event, Adria Diaz is dreaming of making the final table. 

But while most of his fellow poker pros will wish for deep-stacked play where they can maximise their edges against weaker opponents, the opposite is true for Diaz. “The shorter-stacked it gets, the better it is for me,” he tells us. 

You see, Diaz is a professional high-stakes Spin & Go player and frenetic three-handed games are his bread and butter. But the Spaniard has also put in a lot of work on his multi-table tournament (MTT) game over the past few years.

Both his MTT and Spin & Go skills helped him win a package to Prague online for just €55. “I think it was my first try,” he says, smiling. “I wanted to play this event because I love Prague and I always want to play the EPTs.”

With 40 players remaining, he’s one of just two online qualifiers left in the field (the other being France’s Serge Chechin).

CRAZY SPIN & GO CHALLENGE

Adria Diaz made a name for himself back in 2018 when he completed an ambitious Spin & Go challenge on PokerStars, where he plays as “Carbutron0”: 

Play $100 Spins for 24 hours straight and end up with at least a 3 per cent EV-ROI (Expected Value Return on Investment).

That means he didn’t necessarily have to finish in profit at the end of the all-day marathon session, but his results graph would need to show that had his luck balanced out, he would have made money. In other words, it would show he played well enough to win despite the variance.

When the 24 hours were up, Diaz had demolished his original target and ended his 380-game session with a 12.39 per cent EV-ROI. This added up to $4,708 in EV profit, despite an actual loss of $1,600.

Diaz wouldn’t do the challenge again

“I was younger and a little crazier,” he says. “It’s not something I would do now, I don’t think it’s good for your mental health. But it was a time when I had a lot of emotions going on. I was moving up to high stakes very fast and I loved it. I was also working for a coaching school so we used it as a marketing tool.

“I just wanted to prove myself and it worked.”

“I’M REALLY ENJOYING THIS RUN”

Like countless players before him, Adria Diaz learned poker with friends at high school before attending university. It was there he met a friend who offered to stake and coach him.

“There was no risk, and that was amazing for me,” he says. “I started playing heads-up, that was my thing, but when the heads-up traffic died everyone moved to Spin & Go’s. When I got to high stakes there I also started to learn tournaments.”

To further his poker career both in Spins and MTTs, Diaz moved to Cardiff, Wales around five years ago. There was a big contingent of Spanish players there at the time, but most of his compatriot community has since moved on. “But I’m still there because I really like it,” he says.

Diaz already has a gold spadie. Now he’s after a gold EPT trophy.

Diaz’s efforts to improve his tournament game have certainly not been in vain. He’s amassed more than $300,000 in live cashes and even took down a Spadie in a (deep breath) Bounty Hyper Turbo Knockout Freezeout event at the PCA 2023 for $8,360.

“That was a small tournament, a hyper turbo, so this is a different level,” Diaz says of the EPT Prague Main. “But I’m happy with how I’m playing. I think that win gave me confidence in all of these deep runs I’ve had over the past few years. I’m never in a situation where I’m too nervous.

“I’m really enjoying this run and hopefully I’ll make it to the final table.”

If he does, it’s bread-and-butter time.

ADRIA DIAZ MAIN EVENT CHIP COUNTS

Starting stack: 30,000

Day 1A: 117,000
Day 2: 202,000
Day 3: 645,000

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