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Interview with WSOPC Winner Ben Hock
You've got to hand it to Ben Hock. He came into the final table third in chips without much fanfare and quietly built up an arsenal of chips. By the time it was heads-up against Michael Martin, he was just about even with the consummate chip leader.
Hock constantly applied pressure to Martin and eventually got the best of him. PokerListings.com caught up with Hock moments after his big victory and asked some questions about how it all went down.
So Ben this is obviously a very momentous occasion for you right now. How are you feeling?
Probably about as good as I've ever felt.
Whereabouts are you from and how long have you been playing poker?
I'm from Wisconsin and I've been playing poker for fun since sixth grade. I started playing for a living about eight months ago.
What did you do before you played poker?
I was a chef.
Can you give us the rundown of your tournament?
Yeah sure. Day 1 I was pretty much standing still until the end of it where I got down to $3,000 but I battled back up to the chip average. I was pretty much a short stack for most of Day 2. At one point the blinds were $1,000/$2,000 and I had about $7,000 left. I was on the big blind and I just decided to go all-in and not look at my cards. I totally lucked out and won the hand.
I just started working my way back up after that. I came back after dinner last night and there were like 14 people left. I had $30,000 which made me about second to last in chips. Then in one hour I went all the way to $133,000.
Was it a good run of cards or what?
I got a lot of great cards. That's all I'm willing to play [laughs].
What were your thoughts heading into the final table? Were you pretty familiar with all the players there?
Yeah I knew a few of them and I knew they were really good. I was just kinda hoping for good cards and good position.
Were there any players you were particularly worried about?
Well Bernard [Lee] is a great player. I started the tournament with him and saw him raise with aces and kings so I did try to stay away from him.
What did you think of Michael Martin in heads-up play?
He's awesome. I mean he's a great player he just absolutely ran out of cards. I'm looking forward to watching the video broadcast because I don't think he even got cards he could play, at all.
How many WSOPC events have you played?
Do you have any significant cashes in those events?
Yeah I placed 34th in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em event. Other than that it's been all smaller tournaments like the Big Slick in Miami.
Has it always been live for you or do you also play online?
I play online as little as I have to. I prefer live.
What are your plans in the near future? Will you play any more circuit events this year?
Yeah I will. Not right away, Atlantic City is a bit too soon, but I'll probably play in Indiana and the WPT in Reno. I'll also play the circuit event in New Orleans.
Will we see you at the WSOP?
Yeah definitely. I played three or four events last year and I'll probably play eight or nine events this year.
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And there you have it folks. It's your average "chef turns into a professional poker player, gets to the point where he shoves all-in blind then makes a huge comeback and wins a major poker tournament" story. If that's not the American dream I don't know what is. Congratulations to Hock on his epic victory. We look forward to seeing you on the circuit, Ben!