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Golden Guth: Meet the Newest World Champion, With the Best Posse
John and Robert's friends and family packed the main stage seats, greeting each play with shouted encouragement and increasingly drunken humor. When the 26-year-old Guth took the bracelet, he was engulfed in a cheering crowd whose size and enthusiasm moved security into partial panic.
When the crowd had cleared a little - and John had stopped jumping, fondling the money and yelling "I'm gonna get a Rolex right now!" PokerListings.com sat with him to find out where he comes from; and where all that money keeps disappearing.
How does it feel to be a world champion?
It feels great. I can't even fathom this feeling - it's unbelievable. I feel so fortunate. I've had the hardest upbringing you could possibly have in life. This makes me so glad I got fired from being a server, to start playing almost three years ago. It's pretty much the best day of my life.
Could you tell me a little about your upbringing?
It was just tough. I don't want to get specific, but growing up things were really tough. I lost my dad when I was 18. I've lived by myself since I was 17. I went to school my senior year and worked a full-time job, and I took care of myself ever since.
I've just struggled and lived paycheck-to-paycheck. This right here, I'm not going to let it get away. I'm going to make sure I do it right - be smart with my money. I'll try to build a big bankroll; and come back and win more bracelets.
What other plans do you have for the cash?
I'm getting a Range Rover on some twenty-fours and taking care of my family and friends. That's about it. I'm going to have a good time with it, enjoy the money.
I've got a couple of friends that I know could use some help financially getting a couple of businesses off the ground. I'll try to help them out; and maybe even make money off that, too.
Any big plans for tonight?
Yeah, I'm headed over to Tao. We already got a bungalow up top; and we're going to go celebrate this with everybody, because it's for everybody.
You have a big crowd with you - who is everybody?
Just a group I've been playing with in the Northwest. In the other Jordan jersey was Kam, who's been my friend since I moved up to Vancouver, Wash. There was Jeremy Harkin, "The Worm;" he's the one who sponsors me online and in these tournaments. I don't know if he'll still sponsor me - I might go out on my own - I'm not sure.
My sister was there. I flew her in from California when I found out I was making the final table. I was only guaranteed $8,000, after the $5,000 was taken out and we split it in half. I flew her out; and I'm flying in quite a few more people right now.
There's a lot of poker players, a lot of good players in the group. I'd be seriously surprised if none of them did anything this year. If not this year, they'll do something next year.
Have you been playing poker professionally?
Yeah, I guess. I've been pretty successful. Full Tilt Poker has really facilitated that lately, offering $25/$50 Pot-Limit, $50/$100 and $100/$200. I don't play much $100/$200, but maybe I will now.
I ran into a guy who said he's been playing you online for a year and a half and just met you face-to-face today. He said he caught you the other day playing $1/$2 Pot-Limit.
Oh, yeah, yeah. On Full Tilt Poker, I play $1/$2 Pot-Limit because I'm trying to get a million points, because I want my own avatar. I do the Iron Man; and I wanted to make sure that I get my 300 points for the day. So I go down and I play $1/$2 and $2/$4.
I'll multi-table, mostly for points; but I'm a degenerate, too. If I can't sleep, I sit at the computer all day; and if it's $1/$2 I have to play, I play $1/$2 games. People laugh at me all the time - they're like: "Scoop, what are you doing playing $1/$2? You're over at $25/$50 and $1/$2 at the same time."
It's just how I am. I love Pot-Limit Omaha. It's totally changed the quality of my life, ever since Jeremy Harkin introduced me to the game. He pretty much took me under his wing and showed me the ins and outs.
I'm a pretty good tournament player, so I just took it and ran with it. I've had a lot of success - I've played in maybe eight or nine of them; and I've taken first place money in one, I won this one and I took fourth place in another.
A world championship in your first eight, that's not too bad.
Yeah, it's not bad at all. I'm very excited.
Where does the nickname "Sir Scoopalot" come from?
Wow, I'm not sure. I used to be King Dewy online; and I just wanted to think of something creative. I remember when I was younger I used to listen to Sir Mix-a-Lot, which sounds like Sir Scoopalot. So I took it.
I heard a rumor you lost $1,800 out of your pocket.
From your sister.
Oh, I lose money a lot. I've lost $1,800 out of my pocket quite a few times.
(Laughing.) Are you going to be a little more careful with the money this time?
No, probably not. I run through this money as fast as Mike Matusow. The only difference is I'll be using it on good things.
I hear you celebrated your birthday recently.
I was born on Father's Day, 1981. R.I.P. my Pops. I want to thank my family and friends for helping me through this struggle, because - even though I've been playing professionally - I have some really bad bankroll management. I run through money like water.
One day I might have $10,000 in my pocket, the next day I might have no dollars in my pocket. When I have money, I loan it to everybody; and it's kind of hard to get it back - but now I don't really have to worry about it, right?
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Well John, $363,216 should last anyone through the night; but the way you lose money, you'll have to forgive us if we follow you around for a little while in case you drop a few thousand. Shadowing the big money is just part of what makes PokerListings.com the best coverage in the pokerverse.