Shaniac Speaks

Shane Schleger
Shane Schleger playing in Day 1 of the 2007 WSOPC Harrah's Rincon main event

After finishing deep in the recent Aussie Millions main event, Shane Schleger has come to San Diego and enjoyed a spot in the top half of the chip counts for much of the day. After the evening wound down and the chips had been bagged Shane gave us his thoughts.

Let's start by talking a bit about this event; you've been up and down a bit today. Give us your thoughts on your play and on the tournament in general.

I always have trouble qualifying how tough or easy the field is. It's the usual mix of locals, who aren't necessarily up to speed, and pros from California and Vegas who have come in. It's a pretty small field, I kind of like it. Psychologically, small fields are easier to tackle, but it's not an easy field per se.

Shane Schleger

I got down to $5,500 early, and in the course of one level, I shot up to like thirty or forty thousand. Then I shot up to $70,000, and I was actually unusually stable around sixty or seventy until the last level when things sort of fell apart - partially lack of focus, partially cards just not connecting.

But tomorrow's a new day, It's been a lot like a typical $100 re-buy online actually, so I feel comfortable in my position even though I don't have as many chips as I'd like.

Have you had a chance to play in many of these WSOP Circuit events?

I played in this same event last year when it was a $10,000 buy-in. This year, I think this may be the first Circuit event that I've played.

Joseph Tehan and Shane Schleger

Since the Circuit events have switched to $5,000 buy-ins, there haven't been as many pros turning out, but there seem to be quite a few here today. Give us your thoughts on the different kinds of fields we see and playing against pros versus playing against locals.

I think in general what you're looking for these days are fields dominated mostly by locals as opposed to Internet players. I think the old notion that Internet players are the weak spot in the field has been replaced. This field though, like I said, is pretty evenly divided, not the hardest field I've seen.

Surprisingly a lot of pros that I can think of who I thought would be here did skip. It's actually not as hard a field as it looks; every table has a few hard players though.

Let's talk about what you've been up to lately, I saw you down in Australia not too long ago and you went really deep in the Aussie Millions main event. How was that trip?

Shane Schleger

It was a great experience; it ended in heartbreak. I'll try to make the trip every year. I like the trips that combine urban experiences and sight-seeing experiences along with poker. It was totally heartbreaking for me to be there and come that far and take a bad beat.

I took nineteenth place, I actually busted on a money bubble. Nineteenth paid sixty thousand AUS and eighteenth was ninety thousand. Having come that far I was really ... heartbroken. There's no other word for it. It's really tough; it's weird for me to get my money in that good anyway.

Alright, you're really active online, playing as well as in forums and everything. Tell us about the role that playing online and being involved with the Internet poker community has played in cultivating your skills.

Shane Schleger

Well, it's helped a lot because when I started playing I think I was like a lot of losing players who look at poker as another form of gambling and don't really look at the strategic aspects of it. So I lost, you know. I was just a straight-up losing, hopeless player to begin with.

I started to get a little bit better when I played more regularly live, but it really wasn't until online, not only the hands and the amount of experience you get, but the people you meet and the level of discussion, that's what I think has really helped to elevate my game a lot.

Thanks Shane and good luck tomorrow.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Shaniac finished the day with about thirty thousand in chips, below the average but not yet of short-stack status. With many players experiencing big swings in their stacks in this tournament so far it will be interesting to see if the trend continues tomorrow. Tune in at noon for Day 2 when we'll be playing down to the nine players who will take their seats at the final table.

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