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The Oracle Prevails: Winston Wins Borgata Open
Roy "The Oracle" Winston came into the day the chip leader and maintained a firm grip on that position for the evening's entirety. The first few levels saw the final six quickly cut down to two, but after that, it would be hours before a champion was decided.
Gone were Michael Binger, whom I respect, his game is phenomenal, was sitting next to me and he couldn't believe that I had laid them down.
What things specifically were you taking into consideration when you made that decision?
I just wasn't willing to put my tournament life on the line with him looking like that. He looked like he had the unbreakable nuts. I showed my set of jacks and he showed his set of queens. It was crazy. The table went nuts.
The stacks were really deep, is that conducive to the kind of game you play?
It's really conducive. I'm used to playing high-stakes deep-stack cash games. Sometimes on the WPT you start with a pretty deep stack but the blinds go up pretty quickly. I think if you're trying to find a fair winner you have to have more play. Playing longer takes more of the luck out of it.
On that note, this was your heads-up opponent's first real tournament. He satellited in for $200 and at one time he said this was the first time he'd ever played heads-up. Give us your thoughts on how he played given the fact that he's new to the game.
Well it's interesting. No-Limit Hold'em is a very unforgiving game and the thing about him was that he didn't make many mistakes. He really didn't commit a whole lot of his chips when he didn't have it, except for the very last hand. I played with him all yesterday and he played very solid. He was in a few situations where he could have gone broke and he hung in there. He played beyond his experience and he was very patient.
You started with a big chip lead and right at the beginning it looked like he didn't stand much of a chance. As the match progressed though, things started to change. Tell us about the dynamic between the two of you.
At the beginning of the match I felt good. I felt like I was wearing him down but he got lucky a few times and doubled up. But he broke my spirit for a little while there. He was re-raising me a lot. I also didn't have a pair for like three hours.
There was one hand in particular, when the board came with two queens and you laid down your hand after making a big bet and getting re-raised. You told him you had laid down pocket kings; is that true?
Well, like I just told you, I didn't get a pocket pair the entire time. I had nothing. I had total air.
Did you put him on a real hand despite that?
I think he had the queen.
As a hypothetical, had you had pocket kings, would you have felt comfortable putting all your money in there?
No. I felt like he wouldn't be comfortable putting himself at risk there if he didn't have the queen. Yesterday, when he doubled through that young kid, Kranyak, he had trip sixes and he was very cautious getting in with it. So it surprised me on the last hand when he had nothing.
What do you think he was thinking during the last hand? It all happened very quickly so do you think he just got carried away with the A-K?
I think he felt he had the best hand before the flop with A-K. I flopped a set and I think he thought that I wouldn't have led out if I had a hand. But I don't like to slow-play my hands. I bet it when I've got it, but I also bet it when I don't.
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In the end it was the more experienced of the two players who took down the title and the big money. Outlasting a tough field of 560 and netting more than $1.5 million, Roy Winston has said that we will see a whole lot more of him on the tour in the year to come.
A high-stakes cash-game player who has taken on tournaments only recently, Winston already has some big wins to his credit. Now that he has finished 26th at this year's WSOP Main Event and taken down his first win here at Borgata, it seems inevitable that we'll see him not only in the tournaments, but at the final tables as well.