Well David, you've got your bracelet, how do you feel?
Relieved, happy, excited, anxious for another one, everything. It's the best feeling I've ever had in my life.
You definitely deserve it. Can you take us through how the tournament unfolded for you up to the final table?
It started out really rocky. I got really low and was down to $200 in chips real quick. I didn't give up. I just kept biting, and I made sure that when I found a hand I was ready to go with, it was a spot where I felt I had a good chance at doubling up. By the end of the day, I had recovered, and I was a big chip leader. From then on I really just cruised into the final table, and I never really looked back and never had any real competition. The first day I was fortunate, I made a lot of full houses, and you can't beat that. Day 1 started out pretty well, but then it got pretty rough, but I pulled back and got second in chips after almost being out at nine.
What about once you made it to the final table?
At the final table it was pretty easy actually. I just dominated the whole way through. I never really had any bumps.
I heard someone say that you were sure you were going to win this event from day one. Is that true?
Yeah, I told Marcel [Luske] before it started that I felt like I was going to win it. And I don't say that all the time, but I just had this weird feeling. Then at the end of the first day when things had started to turn around, I thought "Wow, I really am going to win this tournament." Then when I got up for Day 2, I was talking to a friend of mine and she said for me to do well, and I said "Don't worry. I'm going to win it."
How do you feel about the game of Seven-Card Stud?
I've only been playing it for less than a year, but I really feel confident in my abilities in it. It's a logical game, and I think about it in a good way. I've also had a lot of help from a lot of experienced Stud players who've given me a lot of advice.
How did you feel about the competition you got from the other players at the final table?
Well, not to knock those guys but I really felt like I was above and beyond the other seven players. Johnny Chan knows what he's doing, but he was short-stacked. Miami John, I think, is a great player, but he was short-stacked too which was fortunate. The other five…. I really felt I played Stud better.
So do you feel like you really rolled over the final table?
Yeah, if you look at how it went, I just steadily chipped up, and when we got heads-up, I had a big chip lead, and I never really had any confrontations. Even heads-up I just whittled him down to where he had almost nothing left in two levels.
What other events do you plan to play at this WSOP?
I've played every day so far, and I'm planning on playing every day afterwards.
So you'll be playing in the H.O.R.S.E. event? I know you're a pretty well-rounded player so how do you like your chances there?
Well, I just won the mixed game at the Caesars Circuit event at Caesars Palace two months ago, and I felt like that was a good primer to get me ready for it. I thought I played well in this Omaha event, but I didn't make it to the second day, and I won this Stud event so I feel confident in my Limit poker abilities.
How do you feel about the H.O.R.S.E. event in general? Do you think it has a chance of eclipsing the Main Event in the future?
I don't think it will ever eclipse the Main Event for the general public, but to the true poker players, I think it will. Everybody I know who's really into poker really wants to win it and is really focusing on that more than the Main Event. It's definitely going to be a field of mostly pros - not many people are going to put up the $50,000. So winning that event is huge for prestige.
Will you be playing in any side games this year?
No, no side games, no going out, just focusing on the World Series. I'm going to bed early to get ready for tomorrow, and I'm going to try to go back-to-back.
Thanks a lot David and congratulations again on your bracelet.