The Fish who lost $2.21Million playing online poker

Choosing an online poker handle may sound like a simple matter, but as readers are doubtless aware, that alias will follow a player around for a long, long time - and for better or worse, as the $2.21million losses of Eugene fishosaurusREX Yanayt confirm only too well…

By: Andrew Burnett

A master-strength chessplayer (FM, like your author) Russian-born Yanayt has been in and around the poker scene for well over a decade, but apart from live earnings of $430k or so – most of that from one big scoop in 2011 – the green felt has been less kind than the 64 squares of the chess board, his second account, ‘oogee’ on PokerStars, also in the red…

Whether Yanayt’s choice of ‘fishosaurusREX’ was designed to instil fear into the hearts of the top online players, or a self-deprecating nod to his own abilities in the face of the game’s legends, taking on the likes of Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom, Timofey ‘Trueteller’ Kuznetsov and Alexander ‘PostflopAction’ Kostritsyn requires more than a dinosaur name…

If you add Gus Hansen, Phil Ivey and Jared ‘Harrington25’ Bleznick to the list of opponents, losing several $million doesn’t seen too steep a price to pay for some serious lessons – Yanayt’s initial run-good in his favourite 2-7 Triple Draw game turning to mush as he became one of the biggest losers in the run-up to Black Friday – a $2million crash in February 2011.

Losing heavily online carries no shame with it, of course, bigger names than Yanayt falling under the spell of variance at the highest stakes (to wit, Gus Hansen), and even the old rumours of  ‘alleged conversations on poker forums about drinking heavily and using cocaine’ according to Cardschat – aren’t really relevant. You see, it’s all about the name

…unless you are 'fish2013' of course, but that’s a story for another day!

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