WSOPC Tunica winner Bart Tichelman talks to PL.com

Bart Tichelman
Bart Tichelman and wife Leslieann after Tichelman wins the WSOPC Grand Tunica.

Bart Tichelman saw an opportunity and pounced on it.

Despite coming into the final table of the 2008 WSOPC Grand Tunica eighth in chips out of the nine players left, he slowly built a stack, outlasted the toughest competition remaining and then successfully switched to an aggressive style of play when the title was on the line.

PokerListings.com caught up with Tichelman just minutes after the win to discuss how he made the impossible possible.

Congratulations Bart. Did you ever think on Day 1, facing 180 players in this field, that you would ever be here?

Not a prayer. I really had no intention of even playing in the main event. I intended to leave Monday morning because I had some meetings scheduled for this week, but [after winning a seat in a mega satellite] I had to change my plans and extend my stay. I even flew my wife and buddy down [for the final table] to participate in all this. It was a terrific experience.

 

Bart Tichelman
The Champ!

Early on during Day 1 you had grabbed a small chip lead and approached the media to see if we could let people back home know how you were doing. Even then, did you expect to be here?

I'm in a room surrounded by the best in the world, the Tom Schneiders, Alex Jacobs and Gavin Griffins and the game has got so many twists and turns in it, you really can't expect anything. If I had busted out three levels later I would have enjoyed the experience. But, I was able to keep things going the first day and I got lucky a couple of times the second day and I got really lucky in the end here when it really counted.

Was there a moment, perhaps in the final 18 or by the time you got to the final nine, that you truly thought the impossible was possible?

 

Bart Tichelman, Donald Nicholson
HU with the $$ on the line.

When we got about halfway through the final table I felt that I had a real good shot at winning this thing. The table was playing really timidly. I was playing reasonably tight, I think and when I would put in a raise, half the time I would pick it up the pot right there. By the second level we had played I was up over $350k without a showdown. I was just trying to grind away and grind away and I did double up once.

So that's when you decided to make the big bluff against Donald Nicholson. What was going through your mind there holding just bottom pair?

Obviously I was thankful he didn't call. He told me after he didn't think I had the heart to do it - to make a three-barreled bluff like that.

We had just talked about a chop right before and I could just tell they were a little timid. The bottom line is I don't expect to be here again, so if it takes three bluffs to do it, I'm going to do it.

Well, you'll have your chance to take on the best in the world and just about everybody else in the world again after winning a seat to the 2008 WSOP Main Event; I suppose we'll see you there?

 

Bart Tichelman
Intensity!

Absolutely, I will probably bring my wife and kids out and we'll make a bit of a vacation out of it and have some fun.

Sounds good and congratulations again.

This was a great experience and you guys were awesome. I'll tell you, every time I pay poker, I usually play 2-5 No-Limit. When I win I bring my daughters home a gift. I usually give them each 10%, so when I win $300 I give them $30 apiece. I'm going to buy them a gift, but I can tell you this time they are not getting 10%. Sorry girls.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Well Bart, I'm sure they'll be happy with whatever they get. Plus, they've got to be proud knowing their dad took on the best poker players in the world in Tunica and came out on top. It's a fabulous accomplishment and PL.com looks forward to seeing what you can do this summer at the World Series of Poker.

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