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Scott Clements: Chip Leader
The PokerListings.com team first met Scott Clements at the 2006 WSOP where he took down a bracelet in an Omaha Hi-Lo event. This time around it's a No-Limit Hold'em tournament, but Scott is dominating the field here in much the same way as he did this summer.
Starting the day as chip leader and solidifying that lead all day long, Scott has earned himself a seat at the final table taking place October 30. During a break in today's action, Scott and I had a few words about what he's been up to since the Series and what the future has in store.
You won your WSOP bracelet in Omaha Hi-Lo, how do you feel about the game of Texas Hold'em?
I would say that my best game is Hi-Lo Omaha, but you're just not going to find that in too many places for tournaments, so I pretty much have to play Hold'em. But I do play a lot of Hold'em.
Let's talk about this tournament for a second. What are your feelings on the level of play and the way the tournament's being run?
I haven't actually played too many WPT events, especially the preliminary events. I have played a few main events. I would say that this is softer, but it just happens to be a lower buy-in, so you're not seeing too many of the top pros. I think the reason for that is location and the fact that the field's limited to three hundred.
Do you think it was a good idea to have the cap at three hundred?
It's working out okay, but I wish they hadn't done it or at least posted that they were going to cap it. It's a little frustrating when you plan your whole trip, and when I got here I found out it was sold out, so I was frantically trying to buy a seat. I actually ended up paying $3,500 USD for a seat that was supposed to cost $2,700 CAD.
You mentioned that the field might be a bit softer than usual, did you factor that into your game plan coming into this event?
No, I pretty much just played the table I was dealt. My first table was more to my liking; they weren't too aggressive. I like to play a lot of small pots, unless I really have it I don't want to put a lot of chips into play. Then I got moved to a couple tables in between where it was just raise, re-raise, and that's not really my style. I don't like to do that until I have a big stack and I'm the one putting the other players to the test. If I'm at risk of going out of the tournament, I don't want to put it all-in.
You started the day as the chip leader. Take us through what's happened up until now.
I tried to push a bit at the beginning. People pushed back. I actually had a few big hands where I either got no action or got outdrawn. I had kings a few times and raised and everyone just folded. Then I cold-called and an ace flopped. I had some pairs up against over-pairs, so it seemed like I just couldn't hit, or I wasn't playing the hands the right way as it turned out.
Now that you've got a hold of some chips are you going to try to really push it or just tighten up and make it to the final table?
I'm going to try to play solid, but the big pay day, you know, first is more than twice second, so you really have to try to play for that. Even sixth place is only $25,000 compared to $250,000 for first, so you at least have to try to give yourself a shot at first.
I know you're from Washington so where did you get your start playing poker? What got you interested in the game?
Actually it was just a bunch of friends of mine who asked me. I was the first one to buy a house, and they all asked me if they could run a game at my house. The first time I played I won, and I just kind of got the itch for it after that. I mean that was just like $5 games and stuff like that but I think we had some pretty good games for such a low buy-in. I play a lot online as well.
I heard you got engaged, is that true?
Yeah, I proposed a week before I won my bracelet.
Good timing. Thanks a lot and good luck at the final table.
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Scott's been playing a solid game today, and by the time the final six players were decided, he had amassed more than $1 million in chips, a commanding lead. The final day isn't until October 30 so we'll just have to wait and see how it all goes down. Nevertheless we wish Scott good luck at the table and with his upcoming wedding.