Erie’s Elias aiming for major live poker title

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Erie native Darren Elias is an emerging live tournament phenom with a long record of online success. Since Black Friday, he’s hit the live scene hard, traveling much more for tournaments, which has been paying off for him in a big way. He has live tournament earnings of more than$1 million, and that doesn’t include online earnings that feature a sixth-place finish in the PokerStars WCOOP main event for $397K in 2010.

I had a chance recently to chat quickly with this up-and-coming poker star to see what he has in store for us.

What plans do you have for 2012? I’ll likely hit most of the WPTs in the United States and obviously the World Series of Poker. After seeing the SCOOP schedule there’s an outside chance I will try to establish residency in Canada and play a few of those online. I’ll also probably make one Europe trip at some point, possibly for the WSOPE.

What do you do away from the tables to improve your game? Mainly I review interesting hands I’ve played on my own. While I have a few close friends whose opinions I trust, much more often I will just obsess over a hand by myself until I have really broken down all the possibilities and explored all avenues of thought. One of my biggest strengths as a player is my ability to accurately self-assess my play and maintain an objective point of view in reviewing hands. A lot of players, even great players, are unable to do this and are unwilling to recognize and learn from their mistakes.

What goals do you still want to accomplish in poker? I’d like to win a WSOP bracelet and a WPT title.

—Mike Owens is the Ante Up Ambassador for Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. You can follow him on Twitter @Holdemag and check out his blog at CheckRaze.com. He can be reached at anteupowens@gmail.com.