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Schock Claims First WSOP Bracelet for North Dakota
After playing poker for more than 15 years Mitch Schock became the first player from North Dakota to win a WSOP bracelet this weekend.
The 40-year-old poker veteran from Bismarck, ND, outlasted 606 players in Event 39 $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha to win $310,225.
“It’s just incredible,” he said as he accepted the bracelet. ““It means the world to me and my family. I got a tingle after I put it on.”
Schock is a sharp contrast to many of the young online poker pros as he’s been playing poker since the mid ‘90s and is married with three children.
He’s one of the few players that actually remembers poker existed before the year 2000 and the subsequent online poker boom. He had cashed 19 times at the WSOP without ever winning a bracelet.
“I used to joke that I was poker before poker was cool,” he said. “It’s crazy how much the game has changed.
"The first five or six years I played it was growing a bit, maybe 5-10% a year, but in 2001-2002 it just absolutely exploded and the games got really soft.”
Schock doesn’t put in a lot of volume when it comes to online poker, and the WSOP has always been a critical part of his poker career.
“I’m like a farmer - I make my money in the summer or it’s going to be a long year,” he said.
The WSOP has winners from almost every state but somehow, up until Schock’s win, players from North Dakota had always come up empty handed.
The significance of the achievement was not lost on Schock.
“I’m really proud and I hope I represent North Dakota well,” he said. North Dakota is a great place to live. I’m not leaving there anytime soon. Now I’ll just have a bracelet to show off there.”
The win also went a long way to validate Schock’s decision to make poker his career.
“My kids stayed up until 3 a.m. watching the final table,” said Schock. “My oldest son understands the game and he’s really excited.
"He’s been asking me what the bracelet looks like and if I’m going to wear it.”
Schock went on to say he’s not only going to wear the bracelet but he doesn’t plan on ever taking it off.
The $310k first place prize marked the second biggest tournament score of his career but Schock does not have huge plans for the money.
“I’m going to keep it really simple,” he said. “College is coming up for my son and I plan on paying off my house. Nothing extravagant.”
Just because he’s finally won a WSOP bracelet Schock has no plans to leave the 2011 WSOP before the last event.
“I’m going to finish strong. This is a great start but I feel I can accomplish more.”