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I see money! - Nick Ceci wins WSOPC New Orleans
Nick Ceci entered the final table of the WSOPC New Orleans as a middle stack and promptly saw two players bust on the first hand.
While some players might have been alarmed by the enormous chip lead that Tim "T.K." Miles got by eliminating both players, Ceci just hunkered down and worked on playing some solid poker.
Ceci did just that and doubled through Miles, eliminated several players and actually had the chip lead by the time play reached heads-up. PL.com chatted with Ceci moments after his big win.
So Nick, you've had some experience playing poker, how does this win rank?
It's second to none.
How long have you been playing?
Probably for about 15 years, off and on, nothing too big but now that I've got some money I'm going to be getting into it a bit more.
We've heard you took a break from the game for a few years. Why was that?
My wife had a cancerous tumor on her kidney and we had three small children. I had to help her get better and as well as take care of my kids. That's obviously more important than any game of poker.
What inspired you to play this event?
My buddy Blake here [points to 14th place finisher Blake Purvis]. Originally I wasn't going to come but he convinced me to go and we traveled down here together. We both cashed so it's been a nice experience for both of us.
If you don't mind, give us a brief summary of your entire tournament.
I was a short-stack for most of Day 1 but near the end of the day I started getting some chips and at the very end I dumped about 80% of my chips to Lou [Esposito].
I came back the second day with 15,000 which was obviously way below average but I managed to just grind my way up. I was catching good cards and that definitely helped.
What was going through your mind when you saw that three way all-in during the first hand of the final table?
I'd never seen anything like it, especially not at a final table. All three were legitimate hands. It was obviously very good for the rest of us as we moved up the pay ladder pretty quick.
Did you feel like you had to make changes to your game after that hand?
Because you've moved up the pay scale a couple places you want to protect and you don't want to get involved in many hands that you could lose your stack to. There were also a couple short stacks I thought I could outlast. Obviously I caught some good cards as well. The one where a flopped trips against Gabe Costner's trips is one that springs to mind.
I also caught some lucky hands against T.K. [Miles] but like I said before, T.K. is the ultimate gambler and it was a pleasure sitting at the final table with him.
What was your strategy heading into the final table?
Well you want to move up the payouts. I was one of the middle stacks and that was important because I had a bit more time to decide what to do against some of the other players. Basically I was comfortable and that was the important part. It all worked out.
What did you think of your heads-up play against T.K.?
I think we could have played for three more hours and not even noticed it. He's got that ultimate gambler attitude to him and I think I do too. It's kind of that no fear type personality thing and whatever happens, happens.
I got a little lucky against him. For some reason the fours were very lucky for me today. [Ceci hit trip fours twice].
It's a great feeling to win.
Are you a cash game player or more focused on tournaments?
I'm a cash game player.
One final question, Nick, will we see you again at the WSOP and/or beyond?
Yeah definitely. We go out to Las Vegas a lot and I play at the Wynn all the time. I'll be around for a few events.
Thanks for your time.
A sharp contrast to the out-spoken T.K. Miles, Nick Ceci is a more introverted family man that played an exceptional game of poker on the final day of the final event of the 07-08 WSOPC.
Apparently some time away from the game have heightened his poker abilities and it would not surprise anyone if Ceci went deep in more tournaments in the future.
Congratulations on your big victory, Nick.