1) To what do you attribute most of your success?
David Daneshgar: First of all I've been winning big hands. Occasionally I lose them. But, overall I'm not losing those hands where I have players dominated in some pretty big tournaments. Second of all, I've been playing pretty well and making good reads and when you put everything together it is working for me.
2) How did you get into poker?
David Daneshgar: I guess I got into poker when I was in high school. I'm from Westlake Village, and since there isn't much else to do there we would just play poker after school sometimes. And then in college I started getting more into it and I taught a class at Berkeley called The Probabilities and Statistics of Gaming, which was just another name for poker. But I had to keep it like that to get the class credit. There was a course fee, so at the end of year we had a big tournament and the winner got a personalized set of chips. It was a fun class. I hope they invite me back, I'd like to go back and teach again at Cal.
3) How do you see your future in poker?
David Daneshgar: I've enjoyed my success this year, but I don't see my long-term potential in poker as strong as other peoples'. I think I'd definitely like to go into real estate and invest all of the money I've won. And in a couple of years just play a couple of the main events that's it. I'd like to pursue my other interests, i don't really want to be playing poker in 5, 10 years.
4) What else do you like to do outside of poker?
David Daneshgar: I'm interested in investments I guess that it's in my family. I have a lot of friends who are financial advisors and my family is into stocks, bonds, and real estate. I also just like to hang out with my friends. Go to movies, go to clubs, and just enjoy life. I think that one problem with the poker circuit is that a lot of people may only be looking at poker in their life right now and I don't think that they are utilizing other aspects of life which just makes it better. Hopefully I can just spend a lot of time doing other stuff away from poker.
5) Do you have any crazy bets outside of poker?
David Daneshgar: No, not really. Believe it or not I'm not really an action junkie. When I'm not playing poker I'm not playing the table games or anything like that. I've done a couple of prop bets with my friends. We do a lot of running bets and stuff like that because when you play poker you get out of shape a lot. And I used to play soccer in high school and in college I went to the gym a lot. So most of our bets are weight bets or how fast you can run the mile or stuff like that just to keep us in shape, but nothing like Huck Seed does.
6) You always seems to have your headphones on when you play, what do you listen to?
David Daneshgar: It's not the most typical music. I listen to a lot of easy going music. Sarah McLachlan, the Foo Fighters, and Jay-Z and Elton John. I listen to a wide range of music. My friends will make fun of me and say I listen to girl music. But, I do. I like to diversify and they've been getting me into some other kinds of music.
7) What about you would surprise people that only know you from the poker table?
David Daneshgar: I think that I'm a nice guy would surprise a lot of people. For some reason when I'm playing and I have my headphones on I see a lot of people make crazy plays against me like they want to try and bust me. I think that helps a lot. My friends tell me that I seem to talk a lot at the table so a lot of times when I don't have my headphones on I'm talking. Just genuinely, just talking to people about stuff. I think some people view that as part of my game - trying to get to people. But it's not, it's just my nature. I guess it ends up that people get a little irritated and make moves that normally wouldn't make on other players.
8) What is the best thing that poker has brought to your life?
David Daneshgar: The flexibility of my schedule. Before I was a financial analyst at a bank and the problem was that I was working bad hours and had to wake up. I just like the flexibility of my life because I think you only life once, so the one advantage of this is I get to travel. I get to go to tournaments in Europe, the Bahamas, I get to hang out with my family.
9) what are some of the negatives about poker?
David Daneshgar: I've seen a lot of my friends go through a lot of emotional swings. Like if you are winning a hundred thousand this month you feel great. But, next month if you lose two hundred thousand you don't feel very good. The emotional swings and the health issues - I see a lot of players eating unhealthy and not going to the gym - so those kind of things deteriorate the lifestyle. But overall if you can find a balance I think it's great.
10) If your students see your success and think that they can follow in your footsteps, what advice would you have for them?
David Daneshgar: Well one of my students - my friend who actually failed my class but I had to pass him because he was my friend - now always says that he wished he listened. So I hope that the rest of them listened too. And I'd say just give it a shot and don't forget your professor.