Playing in just his second World Series of Poker (WSOP), John Gale has captured his first bracelet. Gale showed poise and patience at a final table that included seasoned professionals like Joseph Hachem and Alex Jacob. When it was all over Gale had won the tournament on a pair of nines. The shocked and exuberant Gale sat down with PokerListings.com after his big win.
What does this victory mean to you?
It's indescribable. I couldn't even watch the final river card. I was huddled between a couple buddies off to the side.
When did it hit you that you'd won?
When my friends started screaming and jumping up and down. I got very emotional, I couldn't even talk to my wife. I just sort of blurted out, "I won." I never thought it would actually feel like this. It's unbelievable, totally surreal.
How does it compare to your first place finish in the World Poker Tour?
Well I think the WPT one really took me by surprise I wasn't expecting it. I mean, that was absolutely incredible. When I came to the WSOP last year I came close four times including a horrible second place finish to Brian Wilson. I was almost starting to expect it this year. When it didn't happen the first few weeks I was here I was a little disappointed. Finally the poker gods have smiled on me, and I got lucky today.
Is it a bit of a dream come true for you?
It's a total dream come true. I mean, Brian Wilson was really rubbing it in my face that I hadn't won yet. He's a great guy and a really good friend but there have been some times that I wanted to kill him.
How many years have you been playing poker?
I've been playing for about 30 years, but I've only been playing tournament poker for 18 months. Last year was my first WSOP and it was a really good one at that.
Do you play a lot over in England?
Not a lot. I prefer the international scene. I come to the United States a lot. I love Vegas; it's like my home away from home.
Who would you say was your toughest opponent in this tournament?
Joe [Hachem]. Joe was, without any doubt, the best player at that table and a good buddy of mine. I hated the fact that I had to gamble against him. I really didn't want to give him that pot of $300,000. [Gale got a miracle river card to beat Hachem.]
Could you describe what was going through your head during the final hand?
When [Maros Lechman] moved in with the A-6, I called with a K-9 which gave me top pair. I may have just laid it down earlier but I thought at this stage I thought I could make a bet after the turn card and force him out. After the flop, I figured he had nothing so I moved all-in.
Is Pot-Limit an event you excel at?
I actually thought I was better at No-Limit, but I suppose, I am better at Pot-Limit.
Will there be more events for you this year?
Yes. I'll probably play at least three more and the Main Event.
Thanks and congratulations, John.
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