Interview with David Cossio A.K.A. Sirio11

Published on Jul 10th, 2005

There's a man in El Paso, Texas who knows how to play poker. Between his job as a mathematics professor at the University of Texas-El Paso and spending time with his wife and two young children, David Cossio is making a killing at the tables. He plays the biggest tournaments on Pokerstars and Partypoker on a daily basis, as well as playing the Sunday tournaments on several other sites, and he makes enough money doing it to support his family and then some.

His story is fairly common—he got into poker a few years back and started playing online after what he called the "Moneymaker Effect." He had been playing for a few years in his hometown in Texas, mostly in a local $15/30 limit game, when the game was shut down in 2001. This was the biggest game in town, and he had been playing it for a living, so when it shut down, he didn't have much to do. He decided to go back to school and finish his masters degree, which he got in 2002. Sometimes he would go to Phoenix or LA to play poker, and then in 2003, when he heard the Chris Moneymaker story, he decided to try out Pokerstars.

The amazing part of his story is where it went from there—he made his first deposit of $300 on Stars and has NEVER deposited since. He won a little money fairly quickly and then started playing $100 tournaments, and in the first week, he got 2nd place, which paid $4000. He has never been without a bankroll since.

In the meantime, while not ever going broke, he has managed to win hundreds of thousands playing online, including a large number of cashes between between $10-20k. His biggest win online was a 2nd place finish in the Sunday $200 on Partypoker, for which he received $38k.

Then came the 2005 World Series of Poker, where he cashed 4 times, including an $80k win for 3rd place in the $2000 Pot Limit Hold Em event. Is it his breakout? Maybe, but he was disappointed not to get first, and it is unlikely that this is his peak. His goals for the future include playing all the WSOP events in 2006, playing the WPT tournaments, and making a final table in a WPT event. His ultimate goal is to win a bracelet in the next WSOP. "And of course," he told me, "it is always my goal to keep improving as a player."

David's got plenty of interests outside of poker, including a long time love of astronomy. "Sirio" is spanish for Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, but now it is a name that strikes fear into opponents who see it at their tables. It is not so much the kind of fear that players have of an Ivey or Farha, who are the kind of players who always play back at their opponents. It is the kind of fear one has when they know that their opponent has them pegged; it's as if he can see right through their hole cards.

While not necessarily having the network of good players around him that many of us have had, David has sought out advice on the internet, discussing hands in various forums with whatever top players have been willing to listen. He even wrote an email to Daniel Negreanu at one point, asking several strategy-related questions. Much to his surprise, Daniel wrote him back with answers to all of his questions. He learned at that point that there were plenty of top players willing to discuss hands and poker strategy, and that one way to improve his game would be to be proactive in asking them for help.

One player with whom he has discussed many poker ideas is anakinso, who has won the biggest weekly tournament, the Sunday $200 on Stars, on multiple occasions. David respects his play as much as anyone's, and he also respects JohnnyBax and other players like him who have been really successful in tournaments.

"My suggestion for all the young players at PocketFives," he told me, "is if they want to be good, they need to study. They have a list of good players to work with, so it's pretty easy for them to follow some successful players. They can choose someone in the PocketFives list who plays a similar style and follow them around in big tournaments."

He went on to stress the importance of learning to analyze hands and then doing so with all of your hands, not just the ones you lose. "Surely even when you win a tournament, you still made many mistakes," he said, "and sometimes you lose in the first 30 minutes and you played perfectly." He believes there are many intelligent people playing poker and that the ones who are going to be the most successful are the ones who have the most desire to improve.

Keep an eye out for David in the 2006 WSOP, as he hopes to realize his dream of winning a bracelet. Judging by his success this year, I like his chances. Either way, he's a proven winner, and he continues to prove it online every week.


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