Hughes has been playing for a living for five years. He mostly plays online but takes time to travel the circuit as well. He is the only person ever to win two bracelets in Stud Hi-Lo events in the history of the World Series of Poker. PL.com joined in on a press conference to chat with Ryan about his win.
What does bracelet No. 2 mean to you?
I don't know. I mean I never play the game. This is only the second time I've played the game since I won last year. I wasn't even supposed to play it. I was supposed to go home two days ago and someone e-mailed me and told me to play it, so I decided to play it.
They had a piece of you?
Yeah they did.
What game do you usually play?
A lot of No-Limit Hold'em mostly and some Omaha Eight-or-Better.
What made you decide to play last year?
I was supposed to go home last year for a couple days and I won a couple of single tables so I felt that I was kinda hot. I played the next tournament that was available and that was in Stud Eight.
How does your second bracelet compare to the first?
Actually, I think the second bracelet means a little more because it's a lot tougher crowd to get into. A lot of people get the first bracelet but the second one means it's not quite a fluke.
You said you were going home but decided to play this instead?
Yeah; had to run home to Phoenix to run some errands, but I canceled [the trip] and played the event.
Today you came in as the short stack. At one point you chipped up. What was your strategy?
Well when I started the day we had 13 players left and I was one of the short stacks. I hit a huge rush when we lost four players and once we got to the final table I was chip leader. I just had a lot of hands at the same time Jonas had a lot of hands. I know he's a really good online player and I've played with him online quite a few times and it just worked out. I kept holding the cards over him.
Talk about heads-up play. You had a 4-1 chip lead. What's your strategy at that point?
Heads-up play is actually my specialty so I was really confident going in. I've won almost every heads-up match when I've gotten heads-up in tournaments. That's what I play a lot online too.
Are you considering playing this game more, or just skip it until next year?
I'll play it probably the two times a year it's at the World Series.
Any reason for that? You just don't like the game?
I don't know, there's just not that many tournaments in it. There's only a couple a year so there's not so much point to practice it a whole lot.
This is yours? The sandwich? [As soon as Ryan had secured the win, someone ran up to the table and placed a bag at Ryan's feet that contained a sandwich and a note from his mom.]
Someone sent it up for me. I think my mom sent it up for me.
Your mom is here right?
No, she's in Florida.
She sent you the food?
Yeah I guess. I haven't even talked to her yet.
Nolan Dalla suggested he take a look in the bag and PL.com asked what the note said.
Congratulations - and she sent me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because that was my favorite when I was a kid.
It's on white bread and cut diagonally just how you like it?
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Though not a man of many words, Ryan Hughes was obviously pleased with his result and even more pleased when he was told nobody had ever accomplished what he had before. PL.com let him off the hook to go enjoy his PBJ.