Temecula, California’s Kazu Oshima is no stranger to the World Series of Poker.
He made the jump from the online poker world to the world’s biggest tournament series five years ago, but found very little success here in Las Vegas. But now there’s been a sudden breakthrough and he finds himself here at this final table, three-handed, with a bracelet and some $169,225 for first hanging in the balance.
PokerNews caught up with Oshima to discuss his experience so far and see what’s ahead for him.
How has this experience of playing at a WSOP final table been for you so far?
It has been everything I’ve ever dreamed of. This is my fifth year here and I’ve been able to do anything. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was 14 years old, 11 years, and I haven’t had any success at the World Series at all. I’ve lost every year I’ve been here.
I’m still young, but I’ve put in a lot of hours and it feels really nice to have it pay off.
Has play at the final table been what you expected it to be?
There hasn’t been anything too crazy, pretty much what I expected, except ending up here three-handed. That’s what I hoped for but certainly not what I expected.
Pot-Limit Hold’em doesn’t seem to attract the large fields No-Limit does. Do you feel like this is your game, or do you just play everything you can get your hands on?
I play everything that I can afford really and I have a cash game background. I understand not playing with antes and I think a lot of people don’t catch all on the little things that make Pot-Limit different from No-Limit
I got 14th place in this same even three years ago and that’s the best finish I’ve had here, so I think I have a pretty good idea how it works.
Plus with the small field too you have a better chance of winning a bracelet.
You made a deep run at the L.A. Poker Classic recently, and now this, what do you think has changed that you’re seeing all this success on the live felt now?
Patience, that’s a big thing. I feel like I am a pretty patient person. Letting those big hands go when you know you’re beat, and making big calls too, sometimes I just get too attached. I’ve played a lot of heads-up where you play every hand, so ten-handed ring games can be like nails on a chalkboard, you have to fold and fold for hours. So really, patience is the biggest thing I’ve improved on for sure.
So what’s your plan going forward three-handed?
Just to try and let the game come to me, see how they play and adjust to that. I have a lot of experience playing shorthanded, so I’m very comfortable and excited to be at this point.