Futhey Wins WSOPC Indiana!

Wilbur Futhey, champion, Caesars Palace Indiana - Day 2

On Monday night in Elizabeth, Indiana, retired plush-toy salesman Wilbur Futhey won the $5,000 World Series of Poker Circuit event at Caesars Palace Indiana for $180,290.

Futhey played the two-day event as though it were a turbo SNG, all but ignoring the deep-stack structure in favor of a pushbot strategy that saw his supply of chips wax and wane but never completely disintegrate as the right cards always seemed to turn up. Futhey took down the WSOPC ring after a couple of fortuitous rivers crippled and then eliminated heads-up opponent Steven Merrifield.

PokerListings.com talked to Futhey moments after his win.

How are you feeling right now?

I feel great. It's always great when you win.

You've had some near misses in the last few Circuit events. This win must feel like vindication.

Yeah, in the last year I've finished everywhere from second to 10th in poker tournaments. I've had kings cracked three different times and it feels great to finally win.

Can you talk about how the day went for you?

The days went very good for me. I don't know how I even stayed in as long as I did, because I got knocked down to nothing seven times yesterday and today together. And I just got lucky and came back each time.

You seemed to get a lot of your chips at Robert Cheung's expense.

Wilbur Futhey

I didn't have any chips when I was doubling through him; I just got lucky and made them. I was so short on chips and getting a bad group of cards that the only thing I could do was just blind myself broke, so I might as well throw the chips in and hope, and it just came out that the hope was there.

How did you feel the final table played out?

It went very well, very well.

Can you talk about the heads-up match with Steve Merrifield?

Oh, he's a sharp young player, a very good player. I'm sure he'll see a lot of tables that he'll win a little change at. I just got lucky on him. He got lucky on me a couple times and I got lucky on him one time more than he got lucky on me.

What was going through your mind when you hit the 7 on the river to cripple Merrifield?

Well, at this point nothing really goes through your mind. If it comes it comes and if it don't, it don't.

What do you do when you're not playing poker?

Wilbur Futhey

I'm retired. I made a living selling plush toys, but I retired two years ago.

How did you get into the game?

Well, my wife died and that left me nothing but time. I started playing about that time because I had nothing else to do.

What's next for you?

I'm going fishing!

Thanks, Wilbur. Enjoy it.

Thank you.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Futhey's all-in tournament strategy may not have been the safest we've ever seen, but last weekend in Indiana the cards were hitting and the man was money. We'll look for him in July as he brings the push/fold mentality to the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas.

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