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  1. [caption width="680"] Joseph Galazzo took time off from poker in 2016 to focus on his health and is seeing a positive change. (Will OC photo)[/caption] The Borgata Saturday Series is one of the most popular and grueling daily events on the East Coast. The $400 buy-in $100,000 guaranteed event is a weekend staple at The Borgata and for those who are able to make it through the 16 hours of play it takes to reach a winner are paid handsomely. Just a few months ago, Joseph 'JOEYdaMUSH' Galazzo barely had the physical capacity to sit for the long hours required to make a Saturday Series run. A regular figure in poker rooms on the East Coast since he started “embracing variance” in 2013, Galazzo made the drastic decision to cut back on his time playing the game and to focus on his health in February 2016. It wasn’t an easy decision for Galazzo to make but as he puts it, he was terrified of what might happen if he didn’t intervene on his own behalf. “The feeling had been building up in me for years that I would soon cross a threshold regarding my health from which there might be no return. It was constantly eating at me when I saw a picture of myself from the Parx blog in February of last year that stopped me dead in my tracks. I'm not even sure why it had that effect on me because it wasn't even close to being my worst photo, but a light inside me clicked on for good that day.” Galazzo put out a tweet announcing his plan to revamp his health and was humbled by the outpouring of support he received from the community. Once he announced his plan, he realized that he had more than himself to prove his results to. “I tweeted that I was taking a break from poker to focus on losing weight, I think mainly to hold myself accountable so that I would take it seriously and not back down. It's one thing for me to say to myself that I'm starting a diet only to cheat the next week and give myself dirty looks in the mirror (but) it's another thing, I thought, if I proclaim to change my life on Twitter and receive all this positive feedback from my poker friends, only to go off the next week at some tournament, eat chili dogs on break and receive disappointed looks from all of them. Even people I didn't know who didn't follow me were wishing me good luck.” [caption width="679"] Joseph Galazzo in January 2016 (L) and August 2016 (R). (Submitted photo)[/caption] Since he announced his plan to change his life, Galazzo has lost 90 pounds and feels more comfortable at the table than ever before. Instead of eating standard “casino food” as he once did, Galazzo’s new diet includes five or six small meals a day, which include protein shakes, water, yogurt, Kind bars, beef jerky and, nuts, followed by a salad on dinner breaks. Galazzo notes that preparation plays a major role in his newfound lifestyle as he packs his meals into a cooler that he has with him at the table so he can eat whenever he’s hungry and not have to worry about finding the nearest fast food option. As a result of his new diet and overall physical transformation, Galazzo adds that he also feels more mentally sharp during long sessions when fatigue starts to set in. “The biggest differences I've noticed on this journey have been mental for sure. I was completely uncomfortable in my own skin prior to making my lifestyle change but now I have a ton more confidence in myself. I've had bouts of depression the last decade because of my weight issues that I felt were starting to affect my results,” said Galazzo. “It's very hard to concentrate on a skill game like poker while trying not to think of a problem that you can't stop worrying about. Even though the results haven't been there during the past year since I've started grinding again, I feel much more assertive and attentive while playing, being able to focus solely on my play.” When the dust settled in last weekend’s Saturday Series, it was Galazzo who took home the trophy and $15,885 as part of a six-way deal. The long day required to win the event is the highest tournament landmark reached by Galazzo since he returned to the game last summer. There are more long days ahead for Galazzo and with his new image, is more than ready to take them on.
  2. [caption width="639"] Joseph Galazzo is one of a handful of players who won their way into the WPT Five Diamond via satellites on playMGMpoker.[/caption] If you look at Joseph 'JOEYdaMUSH' Galazzo’s Hendon Mob profile, a couple of things stand out. The first, all of his cashes are in East Coast tournaments. Most are at Borgata. Some are at Parx. The second, is about a month ago he hit a $110,011 cash after posting a second-place official finish in the Borgata Fall Poker Open opening event. It was his biggest score ever. Thanks to a $535 satellite win, Galazzo has a chance to change both of these this week in Las Vegas at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic. The 37-year-old, ranked #52 in New Jersey, won his seat on playMGMpoker.com. He tried working his way up through the steps, but couldn’t make it happen, so he bought straight into the Super Satellite. “I jumped right in. I tried to ladder up a couple of times, because they had those $55 ones, and I couldn’t make any tickets out of those. I think it was the third one that I played because they had five or six. Third time was a charm,” said Galazzo. The win allowed Galazzo to head out to Las Vegas for the first time in his career. “I just never felt comfortable coming out here bankroll-wise, I was just waiting for the right spot,” said Galazzo. “I had my biggest score, about a month ago at Borgata, a six-figure score, so it felt right to expand my horizons beyond the East Coast.” The boost to the bankroll was nice, but Galazzo also admitted that getting that deep in a big event came with a confidence boost that he’s hoping pays off this week. He was one of 400+ players seated at the start of Day 1 and said all the nerves were gone after the first few hands. “I have a pretty good table. I have Mohsin Charania on my left, but I’m trying not to get mixed up with him too much. Everybody else I don’t recognize,” said Galazzo, who also has ClubWPT qualifier Bill Mynatt at his table, which has made things interesting. “He’s limping a lot of pots and it’s making for an interesting dynamic, because everybody’s trying to iso him and I actually paid him off, three streets, he flopped top two on me, I had ace-king and paid him and the camera was rolling. I don’t mind - he seems like a good guy,” said Galazzo. Almost immediately upon landing, Galazzo did something that is almost a rite of passage for Las Vegas virgins. He hit up the In-N-Out burger. “It was amazing. Half the people say it was overrated and the other half say it’s the best thing,” said Galazzo. “It was definitely the best non-gourmet burger I’ve ever had. Way better than Five Guys and everything else. It was amazing. I loved it.” That wasn’t the only touristy thing he’s done since getting into town on Monday night, but he doesn’t plan on doing too much - he wants to save some for a return trip. “I went and saw the fountains at the Bellagio. I didn’t really do anything too crazy yet, I’m only here for a week,” said Galazzo. “I’m definitely coming back in the summer, I’m going to play the World Series. So in the summer I’m going to do a lot of that other stuff, going hiking in the desert.” Even though it’s six months away, Galazzo believes now is the time to make his WSOP debut. “I just feel like I’m playing really well, and it’s just such good value tournaments, not just at RIo, but also at Venetian and Planet Hollywood and just try to cash in on playing well,” said Galazzo.
  3. [caption width="640"] Richard Seymour is back at the WPT Five Diamond after finishing 18th last year (WPT photo)[/caption] Since retiring from the National Football League after the 2012 season, Richard Seymour has become a regular on the live poker tournament scene. As Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic gets underway in Las Vegas, Seymour is one of the players unbagging chips. "From playing a while now I'm a lot more selective in the events that I choose and this is just one of the best tournaments of the year," said Seymour, who finished 18th in this event last year. A deep run this year means Seymour, who lives in an Atlanta suburb, won't be able to attend Saturday's Georgia High School football state championship game. The Five Diamond runs through Sunday night. "Yeah, I will have a conflict, but I think I'll have to stay and watch it on TV," laughed Seymour. Seymour's playing career included three Super Bowl titles with the New England Patriots, seven Pro Bowl appearances and a spot on the Patriots' All-2000s team. Seymour played cards as a kid and then played Texas Hold'em with his Patriots teammates. Once his career ended, Seymour was looking for an outlet for his competitive side and found it through poker. Along with making the final two tables last year, Seymour has cashed four other times and has $103,799 in lifetime WPT earnings. He's picked up $36,159 in cashes in other events. The Five Diamond marks his return to the felt after a bit of a break. "I've only played once since the Main Event. Probably a little rusty, but I'm probably one of the only guys I know that comes to Vegas to relax. Most of these poker guys - they're grinding," said Seymour. During his time on the circuit, Seymour has a made a few friends, including Jason Koon. Their friendship is less about poker, and more about their backgrounds. "Me and Jason hit it off outside of poker," said Seymour. "We both busted a tournament at the same time and we went and grabbed a beer and we just had similar stories and were like-minded in a lot of ways. We're just good buddies." Seymour starts Day 2 with 35,000. Richard Seymour’s WPT Cashes EventYearPlaceEarnings Five Diamond World Poker Classic2016-201718$52,174 Rolling Thunder2015-201640$7,329 Bay 101 Shooting Star2015-201644$21,580 bestbet Bounty Scramble2015-201629$11,817 bestbet Bounty Scramble2014-201537$10,899

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