Donkey Bomber redeems himself in Main Event

Tom Schneider
"The Main Event is a great time to start catching cards."

After a sub-par beginning to the 2009 WSOP, Tom Schneider is showing that persistence pays off on poker's biggest stage.

This year's WSOP threw Schneider the kinds of bad breaks he's not really used to. Prior to the Main Event, Schneider had cashed only once in 22 tries in 2009.

With the Main Event down to 185 players however, the 2007 WSOP Player of the Year is still in the hunt, ending Day 5 with over 3 million in chips, fourth on the overall leader board.

A big payday in the Main Event could erase any bad lingering memories from 2009 for Schneider, who took home two bracelets in his breakout year in 2007.

"I had a horrible World Series," Schneider said. "The Main Event is a great time to start catching cards."

Schneider made a big move up the chip leader board on a day that saw players eliminated at a breakneck pace, with the field trimming down from 400 to 185 and play wrapping up before 7 p.m. Las Vegas time.

The author of the book Oops! I Won Too Much Money: Winning Wisdom from the Boardroom to the Poker Table started his poker career in 2002.

The 2007 WSOP turned out to be Schneider's big year, with bracelet wins in $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo and $1k Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, as well as a final table appearance in $2,500 H.O.R.S.E., when he finished fourth.

Tom Schneider
"I haven't been getting out of line or doing anything too stupid."

He followed up with another great WSOP performance in 2008, cashing in five different events and making a final table appearance in the $5k No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball event.

The 2009 WSOP, however, hasn't been so kind. Going into the Main Event, Tom's wife Julie actually had a better showing at this year's Series, with a 3rd place finish in $2,500 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Lowball, cashing for $66,285.

Tom's lone cash coming into the Main Event was a 13th place finish in the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout for $4,356.

Despite the setbacks, Schneider is still primed to finish high on the 2009 WSOP money list with a deep run in the Main Event.

"My biggest fight in poker is usually against myself and today I won that fight," Schneider said. "I haven't been getting out of line or doing anything too stupid.

"I had one really big pot where I got it in with aces against ace-king and that was a great way to start the day."

Schneider returns for Day 6 Monday with plenty of work left to do, with players like Phil Ivey, Ludovic Lacay, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Joe Hachem and chip leader Warren Zackey, who'll return to action with more than 5 million chips.

Schneider will also start the day with one of the biggest stacks in the room, but he's looking to pick his spots carefully.

"I just want to be calm and relaxed," Schneider said. "There's no hurry."

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