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Steve "Air Smokey" Billirakis - Youngest WSOP Bracelet Winner Ever
He brought along a posse of 10 friends - a horde of not so fresh smelling college freshmen - but we can't blame them. They were in close, badly-ventilated, cramped quarters for the past 10 hours cheering on their good buddy.
"He doesn't really have any friends," jokes a member of the entourage. "We're just all here to mooch off of him."
Billirakis battled out 450 other entrants in the World Championship Mixed Hold'em Event, the first event of the 2007 Greg Mueller. Click here to read about their shenanigans.
Moments after his big win, I sat down with young Steve and tried to get a few words out of him. Here's what he had to say:
Are you tired?
What are you doing tonight? Playing online poker?
(Chuckles and half-smirks). Nah. Probably just go home and sleep.
You must be in shock, huh?
Yeah, I'm in shock. I don't even know what to say.
Well is it kind of annoying that they keep telling you how young you are?
Well it's a fact. I am the youngest to ever win, but it's kinda annoying that it's such a big deal. It's gonna be hard to shake.
Are you in school right now?
No. You can't do two things at once. To be completely focused on poker, I can't go to school at the same time.
Are you planning to play in any other events?
Yeah I'm gonna play in the re-buy tournament.
Who do you respect the most as a player?
These guys right here! (motions to two of his friends, one is dressed in dapper pink pin-striped dress shirt. They smile.) These two are the best.
Did they play in the tournament?
No, they're only 19.
(Friends: No! Shut up man! Don't say that!)
Ah. They're not even supposed to be in here. So where are you guys staying? All 10 of you in a hotel room?
No. We've got a house in South Vegas.
Well, don't go too crazy at the strippers.
Yeah. We won't.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Well there you have it. He may not be one for verbosity, and he might not be the guy you want to call up for a night on the town, but he can definitely play poker. And he'll probably be holding the youngest bracelet winner title for quite a while. Ten days over 21 is pretty hard to beat.
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