1. Tell us a little about how you first got involved in the game of poker.
‘I started playing poker about 25 years ago, mostly home games back in Florida at Washington D.C., but more seriously over the past 5 years, since moving to Vegas…. Being a golf professional & having been a member of the PGA for nearly 20 years, golf remains my 1st passion, however, poker is a close second. Between golf & poker, Vegas is the perfect fit for me.’
2. I understand you played in the Senior Event in this year’s WSOP. How did you prepare for the tournament?
‘Despite being my first WSOP event, I wasn’t too concerned with the 12 or 13 hours of poker in 1 day, so I thought it was more important to have a playing strategy that I could (and would) stick with throughout the day. I decided on 3 things: play in position only, play small ball poker & don’t press the action. The strategy worked as I was able to build my chip stack from 5,000 to about 25,000 chips by the dinner break, thus giving me an above-average stack.’
3. Can you tell us a bit about the event? Give us the playing format, buy-in, starting stack, etc.
‘Event #40, The Seniors Championship, was a NLH event with a $1,000 buy-in. The starting stack was 5,000 chips & there were nearly 4,200 entrants. We were scheduled to play 11 levels (1 hr each) on day 1. By the dinner break (after level 6), the player count was down to 1,400. At the end of day 1 (around midnight), more than 3,600 players had been eliminated.’
4. Describe your most memorable round of the tournament.
‘Obviously my last round is my most memorable. With a decent chip stack & only 2 levels left for the day, I was dealt AK on the button. Everyone folded to me & I raised to $2,400 with the blinds at 400/800. The small blind folded & the big blind (also the chip leader) decided to go all-in. He had just lost a big pot & I figured he was on tilt or thought I was trying to steal the blinds with my position raise. I really don’t like playing pre-flop poker, but I didn’t think he was that strong & I was right.’
‘I called & showed him my AK, he had QJ. He said, “wow, I thought you were just trying to steal the blinds with your position raise.” The flop & turn came up empty for him, but the river gave him a queen & put me out. I could have folded AK there, but my read was correct & a double up there would have put me in great shape for going into day 2 with day 1 winding down. Oh well, that’s poker!’
5. What are some of your favorite tournaments to play besides WSOP?
‘For live games, I play at Stratosphere, The Orleans, and The Mirage primarily. The Stratosphere has a great Bounty & Deepstack tournament. The Mirage has excellent daily tournaments (11am), and The Orleans Friday & Saturday night events attract many players.’
6. Who has your vote to win the main event this year?
‘Mark Newhouse…why not?’