Falls Turn to Witmer!: NAPC Winner Interview
We talked to the man of the hour shortly after his thrilling victory.
Glen, you just won your first WPT title. How are you feeling?
I'm overwhelmed. It's a dream come true. I've tried now for two years by winning satellites and playing and this year I thought I was going to do it and it happened.
That's the power of positive thought.
Every day I was so positive about how I was playing and who I was playing against. You know, there's a lot of luck involved - there's some skill and psychology, but the luck part, I think, played a lot in my [case].
Did you satellite into this event?
Yep. I won a $170 upstairs here at Fallsview.
Right on. Can you take me through how the final table played out for you?
I came in with the chip lead and I decided to play a very tight game, and I did, because I figured the blinds would eventually start wearing down the lesser stacks and I could let them fight it out. I just sat back and actually folded some hands that were better value than the ones that were winning, but I didn't have a chance to lose anything with them either.
Heads-up with Gavin Smith. He's probably not the first person you wanted to see with the money on the table.
I figured he was trying to wear me down and I changed my strategy after the last break. I felt that when I was calling from the small blind he was just figuring he could raise and take them. I was giving him double what I should have been. So I changed that.
I had in mind that any ace-king I was going to get all-in and just see if I could get him to call with a lesser hand. But in the final hand he moved all-in first and fortunately I had a good hand to call him with.
How did you feel Gavin played?
Oh, I think he's a great player. He's actually a very nice person. When you see him on TV, he jokes around a lot, but here in person he's very nice.
Let's talk about how you got into the game. How did you start playing poker?
Probably by reading a couple of the books. Somebody gave me a couple of the books and then one of my friends brought me down here to a $5/$5 game and I liked it and started studying it. Fortunately, I have a very analytical mind and I thought, "Hey, I can do that."
And it has worked for me. I think I have an advantage over some of my opponents when it comes to working through some of the situations.
How long have you been playing?
This way, only about five and a half to six years. When I was a teenager there wasn't any Texas Hold'em, but I used to play Kings Are Wild and Deuces Wild or things like that, but that was just minor; that was for pennies.
What do you do when you're not playing poker?
Spent a lot of time with my grandkids, enjoying that. Hunting and fishing also, I'm an archer - bow hunter - and I do a lot of fishing on Lake Erie.
Do you have plans to take your poker success on the Tour?
I said to my wife that if I won a main event or a lot of money we'll go someplace warm this winter, go to a main event and just not worry about playing satellites but buy in directly; I can afford that now.
Do you have any other plans for the money?
Basically, with some of it I want to do some good with it. Actually, Barry Greenstein, I like the way he does it and if I continue to win, I'm going to do some good with it. It's a lot of money and I'm fortunate enough to get it.
I don't know exactly what I'm going to do; I'll leave that up to my wife.
What we do when we win poker tournaments or blackjack tournaments - I was a blackjack player and won $25,000 or $10,000 and went to Las Vegas and won $100,000 - we share the winnings. Forty percent goes in the kitty for tournament fees and we each take 30% to do what we want with it.
Speaking of your wife, she was one of your most vocal supporters at the final table. What did it mean to have her here to watch?
She wasn't here all week because her mother had a stroke a week ago Friday. Actually, when I got confirmation that I was going to play, last Friday, at the same time I was at the emergency room with her. I wasn't even sure I was going to play.
My wife insisted I come and then the other day, my wife and the hospital called on the cell phone and called to tell me they were moving her mother to a facility where they can do some rehabilitation on her, and it just turned on the light.
They were happy that were able to do something with her mobility and her feet, and I just felt so much better. I decided, "I'm going to do it for her."
And win you did. What a great story.
It's the truth.
In the post-game debrief, Witmer talked about his desire to play more WPT events in the future, inquiring about the Tour's former Turks & Caicos venue and considering making a quick trip down to Vegas for the Festa al Lago event. Witmer couldn't make the turnaround in time for Bellagio, but we'll probably see some more of the champ and his 30% share on the Tour before too long. If he keeps thinking positive, we may see some more of the champ in the winner's circle.
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yeah good to see local guy from K-W area win the grand prize and to see him in person at his favored MacDonald's for his morning coffee,just met him today and he is still very happy to spread the new's from Oct 17th which is great.......it didn't go to his head like some people......he is just one of the guy's out enjoying life to the fullest.