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First Place Finish for Friedberg
Was that the biggest win in your poker career?
It's not the biggest field of players I've ever faced, but it definitely had the biggest cash payout and was certainly the most prestigious.
Have you entered any WSOP events before?
I have. This is my third year of playing multiple events, but I played my first WSOP event in 1995 or '96.
What made you enter this particular event?
I picked out a schedule of events that I thought I had the best chance of winning. Most were No-Limit Hold'em, and this is just one of the events I selected.
How do you feel about your play over the last few days here?
I don't even recall what happened on the first day. I know I got one really lucky hand where I was all-in on Ace-Deuce against a guy who had pocket Aces. Of course the flop was an ace but along with the ace was a four and a five and the turn came a three to give me a wheel, but that was probably the luckiest I got the whole tournament. I still can't believe that this happened. I'm very, very, very happy about how I played the final table today. I don't know what happened, I just let my instincts take over, and I came out on top. Frankly, I can't believe this just happened.
What did you think of your opponent [poker vet John Phan] in heads-up play?
John is one of the best poker players in the world, and he was certainly one of the last players in the world I wanted to go against heads-up. Even going in with a big chip lead, I still didn't feel comfortable. He's a very aggressive player, and he's tough to put on hands, but at the same time, I felt like I was detecting some of his patterns throughout the final table. I think I had just gotten the best of him early on, and by the end, I basically forced him all-in. He's an incredible player, and I feel very fortunate to have come out on top today.
How would you describe your playing style?
I tend to start out tournaments more of a tight player. I'm not splashing chips around. I just try to get in with the best of it. As the tournaments go to the later stages, you have some people that are just trying to make it to the money versus others that are just trying to manage their chips, so I get a lot more aggressive later on. Certainly at this final table, I played very aggressive, but that's what I think it takes to win. You've got to keep switching it up and keep people guessing.
How long have you been playing seriously?About two years, but I've played relatively high stakes for 10 years. About 10 or 15 years ago, I was actually playing $20/$40 with [Daniel] Negreanu and Evelyn [Ng] at the Mirage. Daniel is now the top cash player, and in my opinion, the best player in the world.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Houston, Texas, but I've been here in Las Vegas for the last two and a half years.
Is No-Limit your preferred game?
Definitely. I love No-Limit. I feel it's a much more exciting game than Limit, and I feel I'm a much stronger No-Limit player.
Will we see you in any more events this year?
Absolutely. I think this was my sixth event, and my original plan was to play in fourteen or fifteen so I'll probably stick to that.
Thanks Jon, we hope to see you around more this year.