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2010 November Nine: Jason Senti
Jason Senti might be coming to the 2010 WSOP Main Event final table as the short stack, but it would be a mistake to underestimate him.
In November, the 25-year-old from Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, will enter the final table with 7.7 million chips and try to parlay his 15 big blinds into the $8.9 million first-place prize.
"I'm absolutely exhausted but I'm so excited I don't even know if I could sleep," Senti said right after making the final table.
Known as PBJaxx online, Senti is actually one of the most dangerous players at the final table. Currently an instructor with Phil Galfond's Bluefire Poker, Senti has been known to crush online cash games anywhere from $5/$10 to $50/$100 stakes.
Originally from Grand Forks, North Dakota, Senti attended the University of North Dakota where he acquired a degree in engineering.
After graduating Senti was able to secure a high-paying job as an electrical engineer but became interested in the game of poker after seeing it on TV.
"I decided to give it a shot and deposited a few bucks online," he said.
Unlike many players, Senti found immediate success. He humbly attributes much of it to variance now but after winning several tournaments Senti's bankroll was booming.
From there Senti moved on to cash games and within a few months he had gone from playing $.05/$.10 to beating $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'em.
His meteoric rise in the online poker world didn't stop there. In less than a year he was beating $10/$20 and then $25/$50.
Somewhere along the way Senti realized he was making more money playing online poker in the evenings than at his engineering job during the day. Eventually Senti made the decision to start playing poker full-time.
"I was definitely fortunate with the amount of time it took me to move up and make a good living," he said.
Senti will never claim he's the best player in the world but there were several factors he believes helped accelerate his poker development.
"I have a pretty strong math background and I understand psychology reasonably well," he said.
After several years of successfully earning a living playing poker, Senti garnered the attention of celebrated high-stakes cash-game player Phil Galfond.
Galfond wanted Senti to make videos for his training poker site Bluefire Poker. Senti had a huge amount of respect for Galfond and was happy to become an instructor for the site.
"Apart from it just being a good situation for me, I like teaching," he said. "I like explaining things, whether it's poker or not, and doing my best to help people."
Unfortunately for Senti, his role as an instructor on the site also means that his opponents at the 2010 WSOP Main Event will know more about his game than anyone else.
Senti downplayed the significance of the videos and reaffirmed that as the short stack he's not going to have a lot of room to play around.
"To start the table I'm going to be pretty short-stacked so I'm going to put a lot of work into that," said Senti. "I'm going to make sure I really understand good ranges in those situations."
Over the next four months Senti plans on playing a few tournaments, strategizing and of course enjoying the fact he's made it to the final table of the biggest poker tournament in the world.
"It's been a surreal experience," he said. "It's already been a lot different than I would have expected.
The 2010 WSOP Main Event final table begins Nov. 6, with a winner crowned on Nov. 8.