So much so, even, that he had stacks going in two of the biggest WSOP events of 2013 - the $111k One Drop High Roller and the $25k Six-Max - at the same time.
One more time: Tony Gregg was multi-tabling two live poker tournaments at last year's WSOP including one with a $111,111 buy-in and one with a $25k buy-in.
“I’m kind of an action junkie when it comes to high-stakes No-Limit tournaments," Gregg said during a break at the 2014 WSOP yesterday.
"And there’s not really that many you can play."
“A Lot of Times I’m Going to Lose a Flip"
Gregg had built a nice career as an online grinder, showing a PokerStars Sunday Million win and SCOOP title on his résumé, before he was forced to change pace after Black Friday.
He transitioned to live poker with a focus on the higher buy-in tournaments.
Even with his success online Gregg was still looking for success at the WSOP tables.
He earned a six-digit payday for a fourth-place finish in 2012 but only had five WSOP cashes before entering last year’s One Drop High Roller.
Gregg made his way through the slow-structured $111,111 buy-in tournament but was short-stacked on the final day. He took time during a break and bought into the $25,000 NLH 6-Handed tournament before registration closed.
“When I registered for the $25k, the blinds were only 300/600 with 75,000 (stacks) and I only had 14 blinds in the One Drop," Gregg said.
“A lot of times I’m going to lose a flip or something and I’ll go play my 100 big blind stack (in the $25k). Then the times that I don’t, means I’m deeper in One Drop so it’s gravy anyway.”
But Gregg began winning pots at the One Drop final table and found himself heads-up with good friend Chris Klodnicki for the bracelet.
“It was definitely cool to play Chris heads-up,” Gregg recalled. “He and I had lived together the previous summer and we’re also living together this year so we’ve become really good friends.
"To be facing a buddy on a stage that big was fun.”
One of the Favorites for 2014 $1m Big One
Gregg went on to defeat Klodnicki to win his first WSOP title for $4,830,619. He quickly took care of his post-game interview obligations before running off to his stack in the Six-Handed event.
There were hugs and congratulations from his tablemates but he was gone within the hour.
Gregg is already booked into this year’s Big One for One Drop $1,000,000 buy-in event and not sure what kind of pressure he will feel.
“I can’t really tell right now. I’m not really going to know for sure until it starts,” Gregg said.
“I’m very excited. That’s going to be the biggest stage you can play on. I’m getting in practice when I can.”
Gregg has past success in the big-money tournaments besides last year’s One Drop.
He has six final-table appearance in tournaments with $10,000 buy-ins and higher, including a win at the PCA Main Event in 2009, a WPT title in 2012 and a sixth in the PCA $100k High Roller this past January.
If past performance equals future success, Gregg should be considered one of the favorites in the $1,000,000 Big One.
For live "on-demand" coverage of this summer's $1m Big One follow along (and get your requests in) on our live $1m Big One for One Drop page.