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E.G. Harvin: Chip Leader
No one in the poker world had heard of E.G. Harvin before this year's WPT World Poker Finals, but after a cash in one of the preliminary events and an impressive performance so far in the main event, we might just have to sit up and take notice. With eight players left, Harvin holds a massive chip lead and has been playing a solid game, knocking out more than his fair share of opponents. E.G. took a few minutes to talk during a break from the action to let us know what brought him here to Foxwoods Casino and how he's been able to fare so well in such a competitive field.
Everything's going well for you right now, you've got a ton of chips, take us through the way this event has progressed for you so far.
Well, this is the first tournament I've ever played in - the first World Poker Tour event - and it was really, really fluky. Let me just take you back a bit. They have here what's called an "Act 2" (a satellite) and it costs $150 to buy in. I played three Act 2s and won all three and then played three Act 3s and won all of them.
So you got in cheap, take us through how the tournament went for you.
Well, I played the same way. Money's really not a priority for me. Obviously it's nice to have, but it's not the most important thing in my life. I've made mistakes in the past when I get a lot of chips when it's almost like easy come easy go. It's hard for me to look at it as money at this point, it's kind of surreal. But whenever I sit down at a table with a small amount of chips, I don't care what table it is, I'll be the chip leader at some point. So why don't I just play the same way as when I only have a few chips? As you've seen, I have a very tight table image, and so when I put chips out, people know I probably have a hand.
Do you credit your success in this event so far to really good play or have you gotten hit with the deck along the way?
This sounds crazy, but I think it's a hundred percent luck. Let me explain that to you. It's either good luck or bad luck. If you pick up two aces that's luck, but if you lose with those aces, that's bad luck. If you bluff and nobody calls you that's luck, if you bluff and someone calls you, that's bad luck. Tell me what part of it isn't luck. (Laughs) I know I'm over-simplifying things, because certainly you can do things to some players that you can't do to others. If you watch players, some of them come out every time to see what's going on, but they might have a hand too. When someone bets, for the most part, I assume they have something, and if I'm going to put my money in, I want it to be with the best hand.
Tell me about your background, where you're from and how you got into poker.
I'm going to tell you something funny, my father was a compulsive gambler.
That's not really very funny.
(Laughs) Well, I guess that's not that funny, ok, but anyhow, I was about 7 or 8 when I first started playing poker. That doesn't mean I'm an expert by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't consider myself so. But most kids at that time would get candy and things in their stocking, my father would put change, nickels and dimes, then he'd win it all back. He did that so he'd have action on Christmas day.
So you were exposed to gambling early; has poker been a long-time hobby of yours?
No, I started playing Texas Hold'em just a few years ago. We moved into a development, and some guys were playing at the clubhouse. there were about 10 of us and we'd just be playing like $1/$2. But it got to the point where that wasn't really fun, so I just stopped. Again, it's nothing that I would want to do for a living, even if I thought I could.
What's your life all about?
I've been married for 39 years and I've got two children, five grandchildren and another one on the way so that's my job, that's my life.
Excellent, thanks a lot E.G.
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E.G. Harvin was a pleasure to talk to, and he's been showing everyone here at Foxwoods that although he may not consider himself to be an expert in poker, he certainly can play like one. Harvin has played a disciplined, solid game which may not be the most creative but has yielded some impressive results. We look forward to seeing more of him and wish him luck in this event and with his growing family.