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Leif Force Wins WSOP Bracelet, Still Loves Dance and Frisbee
Leif Force is best known for his jungle-boy appearance and the million-dollar score he snagged at the 2006 WSOP but now he’s got his very own World Series of Poker bracelet.
Force, who was covered heavily by ESPN when he finished 11th in the 2006 Main Event, won the first ever Heads-Up Pot-Limit Omaha/No-Limit Hold’em event at the World Series in Las Vegas Thursday.
Finishing first earned the 29-year-old $207,708 but it was the victory with which he was more concerned.
“I want to win every tournament I play. I’m hyper-competitive,” Force told PokerListings.com moments after being presented with his bracelet.
“I would beat an eight-year-old girl if I had to, it doesn’t matter,” he said.
Force needed that competitive drive to overcome a final eight that included previous WSOP bracelet winners Annette Obrestad and Andy Frankenberger, and tough poker pros Simeon Naydenov, David Benefield and Jason Koon.
Force defeated Koon in the final heads-up match to clinch the win.
“It’s really unexpected, especially in this tournament, but I think it’s a good stepping stone to things in the future,” said Force.
Jungle Boy, Not to be Confused with Jungleman
Force, known as “Jungle Boy” thanks to the thicket of hair and unshorn beard he sported in 2006, appears slightly more kempt now, six years later.
But even though his haircut is a little more conventional, Force is still very much the forest-dweller he was when he narrowly missed the biggest final table in poker history.
“My buddy Ben Lamb asked me the other day if I still live in the jungle and I was like, ‘Yep, that’s what I do when I’m not in Vegas,’” said Force.
“I live in the woods in North Carolina, in Asheville,” he said.
So apparently in Force’s case you can take the woods out of the man, but you can’t take the man out of the woods.
Poker, Dance and Ultimate Frisbee
A professional poker player, Force had temporarily relocated to play online poker but found a live avenue to make money and stay in the US.
“I had a place in Cabo to play online but I found this game in Salem and the game was so good I sold my place in Cabo and I just play there,” he added.
“I actually moved to Asheville for dancing. I Tango, Salsa and Contra like four days a week and I play ultimate Frisbee.”
Techno contra is a dance movement that’s said to have begun in South Carolina, but it quickly spread to Asheville where’ it’s been growing in a big way.
“I’ve been dancing since I was like four years old and I love it. I don’t drink or party or anything and in Ashville they don’t need anything else like that, they just dance,” said Force.
Leif Force now has more than $2 million in live tournament earnings, including nine cashes at the World Series of Poker.