Schaaf Gallops Home Winning H.O.R.S.E.: James Schaaf Interview

An 800-strong field, however, showed this variant of poker is growing in popularity, and Victor Ramdin on his way to picking up the bracelet.

We grabbed a few words with James shortly after his victory.

Congratulations James on picking up the bracelet. You must be feeling really good right now!

It's really great but I don't think it's sunk in just yet. I only got eight hours' sleep over the last few days!

So you found the final table quite physically draining?

Yes it was. I really need to get some sleep soon!

So what were your thoughts when you got down to heads-up?

He had a pretty good chip advantage but I was definitely the aggressor. He trapped me a few times but when he did, I just drew out on him. I got some big hands and that's all she wrote!

Yes; you seemed to have some nice hands on the final table. Did that make a big difference?

Phil Hellmuth
Schaaf denied Hellmuth his twelfth bracelet.

For sure it did; it really helps getting a lot of good hands!

What was it like playing with an interesting character like Phil Hellmuth at the final table?

He's a really great player for sure. I don't have any pretensions that I'm a better player than him. I don't mind his antics; [they don't] put me off. I try to keep focused while I'm playing, you know!

The only thing is maybe it made me show my cards more than I normally would, which is maybe why he does it; I don't know.

It's hard to pick up experience playing live H.O.R.S.E. events, as there aren't too many out there to play. Where have you picked up your H.O.R.S.E. tournament experience?

I really don't have that much H.O.R.S.E. experience. I've played quite a lot of online stuff.

I can play all the individual games well but I don't have much H.O.R.S.E. experience.

Are you more of a tournament or cash player usually?

I'd have to say really more of a tournament player to be honest. I certainly enjoy tournaments more.

So now that you've won a bracelet, what are your plans? Are you going to go celebrate, play some more events maybe?

Right now I'm just going to sleep!

How about later once you've caught some zzzzs - maybe a little celebration after that perhaps?

Well I'm kind of a low-key guy; I'm just going to rest up and see what happens.

Well, congratulations James for a great performance!


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James Schaaf may have a lower profile than Scotty Nguyen, but he has equaled his feat of picking up a H.O.R.S.E. bracelet and impressed all with his control at the final table, including preventing Phil Hellmuth from picking up his 12th bracelet. sends out congratulations to James for a great performance!

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