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Tom Schneider - I Won a Bracelet But I Won't Wear It
Despite coming to the final table as the chip leader, some might have called Tom Schneider an underdog. He was facing a table full of skilled card players including notable professionals such as Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Annie Duke and John Phan. In the end, however, Schneider finished the day exactly how he started it - on top. PokerListings.com caught up with Schneider just after he won the tournament.
Is this the biggest tournament you've ever won?
It is. It's not the most money I've ever won at a tournament, but it's my first bracelet at the WSOP. I've made a few final tables including one at the WPT and one at the 2006 WSOP, but this is the best, especially considering it's two games I don't consider my best. I got really lucky.
What does it mean to win a WSOP bracelet?
Jewelry isn't important to me but it's nice to say I've won a WSOP event. People use the bracelet as a symbol but to me, I don't even wear jewelry and it isn't that important. I like to say I've won a WSOP event, however, because very few people can say that.
How did you feel going into such a stacked final table?
You know what? I wasn't nervous at all. I felt very good. I knew there was some great players there, but I was very calm, and I felt like I was getting the cards I needed. I screwed up a few times. I gave Annie Duke some money and played a few hands really bad. Normally you can't do that, but I managed to be OK. I played more aggressively I thought. They seemed to tighten up at the final table, and I loosened up. It worked out for me.
You had the chip lead for the majority of the last two days. Is playing with a big stack one of your specialties?
I'm not a very good player when I'm short-stacked. I think I'm pretty tough to play against when I have a lot of chips. I just kept catching cards though. At least four or five of the players at the table were better players than me. I just got lucky.
Did any particular player at the final table stand out to you?
I thought Annie Duke played very well. I believe she went card dead at a certain point, which hurt her game. I would say she's the one that played the best out of everybody.
You're known as a cash-game player. Is that mostly what you play?
Yeah mostly. I play at the Bellagio a lot. I enjoy playing 2-7 and Pot-Limit Omaha a lot. I like the strange games.
Where do you call home these days?
I was born in Indianapolis, but I'm living Phoenix now.
When did you start playing poker?
Since I was about 10 years old. I started playing with my Mom. She was a horrible poker player but she loved to gamble.
How long have you been playing poker professionally?
I quit my job about five years ago to play poker, but I'm also an author. I wrote a book called Oops! I Won Too Much Money, which is about my business experience and my poker experience and how they have sorta combined to create life experiences. It's intended to be entertaining.
I couldn't think of a more fitting title for you right now ...
Ha ha, yeah it's a very good title. I also do my own show called, Beyond the Table, which is about poker. It's basically the funniest podcast on the Internet about poker.
Are you married?
Yeah I have a wife, two daughters and a step-daughter.
Do you think your family will be pretty impressed with your win?
Yeah, I think they might finally be - for at least one night anyways. My wife is my biggest fan and my biggest supporter, but boy does she give it to me when I get out of line. I think this might go a long ways to helping my cause.
What are your plans for the rest of the Word Series?
I think I'm going to play in a lot of events. My goal this year was kinda to come up and see if I could play poker here. I had a goal of making three final tables, and if I didn't I figured I would just come up here next year and play cash games. It can be a lot of fun to play tournaments, but they can also be so disappointing.
What do you think of the skill level here compared to the cash games you usually play in?
I thought the skill level here was unbelievable. There were a lot of good players, lots of big names. Omaha/Stud brings out a lot of the cash players. You rarely get people who don't know how to play the game unlike Texas Hold'em tournaments.
What was it about your game that made you so successful in this event?
Well, the players tend to be really tight and I am a bit more aggressive. Sometimes it works really well for me, and sometimes it works very poorly. It worked extremely well at this tournament.
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A successful cash-game player, Schneider definitely made himself a face to remember with his win in today's event. Surviving a table with John Phan, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson and Annie Duke would be a feather in any poker player's hat. Watch out for Schneider as he continues his quest for bracelets. Just don't expect him to wear any jewelry.