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Dan Nassif: The First Final Table Knockout
So tell us how it all went down
I should've pushed all-in pre-flop, but I had two and half million and I didn't want to push it all-in right away just to win $400,000. Obviously hindsight, that should've been the play. But [Jamie Gold] is a very good player, especially when he checked in the dark. So I pushed it all-in right there, hoping to win some chips to play with. And then he flopped a set. Whaddya gonna do?
I couldn't really get it out of my mind - the 2-3-5 - and it was an error on my part. I was pretty much drawing dead. Whaddya gonna do? If I had more chips behind me, I would've just checked it to see what I could get on the turn. [Gold] would've gotten chips out of me regardless. Whether I'd be here talking to you or still playing is another story. But that's the way it goes. And you have one mistake, and you're out.
But your hand was kind of tough with the stack you had.
Yeah, totally. I took a really bad beat earlier. I had pocket kings, and somebody called all-in. And that knocked me down pretty good. I tried to climb back, but once we got ten-handed, I went card dead, and I wasn't going to do anything stupid. That basically eroded my chip stack. So to everyone back home who ordered the pay-per-view, I owe you twenty-five bucks. (Laughter) It's been a great experience though. It's been a wild ride.
While the hand was going on, Jamie walked up to you and talked to you. Can you tell us what you two talked about?
Yeah, well, a little bit of it. He apologized, first of all, for flopping the set. Jamie's a great guy. He said it's sad to see someone go. He said, "It was great playing with you." He was actually waiting for a four as well. That's the type of person he is. Then he wished me the best of luck, and that was about it.
You said you text-messaged your boss that you were going back to work. Now that you've won 1.5 million dollars, are you going to go back to work?
The people at the paper I work for are amazing. They're part of the family, so I'm not going to leave right now by any means. They were great letting me off work for two weeks, and they've been incredibly supportive. It would be lack of character on my part just to walk away. Who knows what will happen in two or three years - the future is undecided.
How many of your friends bought pay-per-view?
Too many. Hopefully they all got together at one spot to watch. (Laughter) Hopefully someone TiVOed it, so I can watch it.
Who of the remaining players are you rooting for?
Well, Allen Cunningham has to have the best shot. He's just an amazing player, and he's a super-nice guy as well. As far as who's got the best shot, I'd love to see Jamie win it. All those guys are great people. Everyone there is certainly deserving. Jamie plays great. Allen's amazing. But all those guys are so talented. You have to have some sort of skill to be here. You have to have some sort of luck as well. And once they're here, and they've made their chip stacks, it's really anyone's game. It's probably going to be a long, long day.
Have you enjoyed yourself?
Now that I'm able to look back and reflect, it's been incredible. These guys that do this day in and day out for fifteen hour days and then play on the circuit and do these tournaments - it's a grind. Starting at noon and ending at three in the morning is brutal. It's all for fun though, and it's all very exciting. Looking back, it's been an amazing experience, and I'm looking forward to watching it on ESPN. And once that happens, I'll be able to accept it more, and think about how crazy it's been.
Congratulations, Dan on becoming a millionaire at the WSOP.