Stuck No Longer - Dave Stucke Wins Event 27

Dave Stucke
Dave Stucke wins his first bracelet at the 2007 WSOP in Event 27.

Although the final table of Event 27 didn't have any poker celebrities it proved to be an exciting match between the nine remaining players. In the end it was none other than full-time university professor Dave Stucke who took home the bracelet. Stucke outlasted 2,135 players to win the very first WSOP event he's ever entered. talked to the winner right after his victory:

How are you feeling right now? Are you pretty excited?

Yeah Absolutely. It's unbelievable. It's shocking.

Where abouts are you from and how long have you been playing poker?

I'm from Erie, Pennsylvania and I've been playing poker since I was kid in family games. I started to get more seriously when Internet [poker] got big. Played online a lot but I moved out here last April and started playing live a lot too, especially since October when the Internet poker scene got crazy. I've been playing low-limit poker for the last year at Harrahs almost exclusively.

Dave Stucke
Winner Dave Stucke

In May I started playing in the $2/5 at the Bellagio and did pretty well. I actually did amazing in the $2/5 limit games here at the Rio the past two weeks so I decided I had enough money to play in a WSOP event. Figured I'd give it a try and take a shot.

Do you play No-Limit Hold'em exclusively?

That's all I play. Limit is just mentally difficult for me because the out draws happen so much. No-Limit it happens too but you feel better when you played the odds right.

What was the turning point in this tournament for you?

Yesterday (Day 2) I was a little bit above average. I think I had $60,000. It was due to a couple people making bad calls and one guy tried to bully me out of a pot. I built up a big stack and the hands just worked out.

What were you feeling going into the final table?

The initial feeling at the final table was just to outlast three people and get a decent paycheck. There were three relatively short-stacked players so I really wanted to make it to fifth or sixth and then worry about playing.

Is that how it turned out? You got to a certain number of players and then really felt you could make some moves?

Yeah exactly. I mean the blinds were so big too. I don't think a couple players realized how much was in the antes. Stealing antes was pretty valuable.

Were there any particularly tough players at the final table?

I wasn't afraid of anybody. The guy who ended up placing second, Young Cho, I had played against yesterday and got him involved in a few pots. I knew I was better than him. I'm not trying to be cocky, - that sounds really cocky - but I felt like I could beat him.

There was one hand where I dumped $200,000 chips to him where I played an eight-five off-suit really poorly so I kinda had to reset and get back to work.

Dave Stucke
Dave Stucke and his wife celebrate.

Is this the first time you've tried your hand at the WSOP?

Yeah it is. My Dad actually played in the Main Event last year, he won entry online, but that's the closest I've ever come.

Do you follow poker closely? Do you have any favorite players?

I don't really care. I know there are good players and that's great but you've got to feel like you can beat anybody.

Do you have a regular job?

I do. I'm actually a physics professor. It's great because we're on summer break right now and I can play some poker.

As far as the rest of the summer goes will we see more of you?

Yeah. We talked about it before: I said that if I won one event I would enter the Main Event. Other than that I don't know. We'll see, there's another $1,500 event next Saturday but I don't know if I could do this again so soon.

Congratulations Dave, go celebrate!


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Dave Stucke is one of those great life-changing stories you see at the WSOP. Unlike some of the jaded professionals Stucke, who is an incredibly nice guy, was absolutely thrilled to win his first bracelet. Although he may not become a Phil Ivey or Daniel Negreanu, Stucke gives the average poker fan something to aspire to and proves that anything is possible. Not many players can say they are one for one at the WSOP, either. Way to go, Dave!

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