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Brandon Steven is no stranger to going deep in the WSOP Main Event. In 2010 he finished in 10th place, one off the final table, and since then he's notched big scores at the World Series and beyond. Steven owns car dealerships in Wichita, Kansas and is known for donating part of his winnings to local charities. He also played in the $1 million Big One for One Drop. Steven speaks to PokerListings.com about his passion for poker and his quest for a gold bracelet.
My name is Brandon Steven. I'm from Wichita, Kansas. I got into poker like for eight years ago, nine years ago. I think I got into poker for a stress-relief from work. My brother and I have done a lot of businesses and we have a lot of employees and we're stressed. We put a lot of stress on ourselves. We're very competitive in business and so of course, in poker I became competitive. It was for several years a great stress-relief. Then I found this whole tournament thing out, and I got competitive and turned this, and now it's the opposite. Now it's stress added to. . . It's like when I go home to work, I look forward to long work day to get away from the poker table, but I want to embrace what's on here.
In the main event, I think perseverance is the most important key. I think that's why I do so well is because I'm competitive, and I work kind of everyday and . . . going deep is tough though. I just had three deep runs in the last month and a half. One was the WPT, the final table, that was like a six, seven day tournament. Then the one-drop was the longest three days. It was just a tough tournament, because it was so fast. At the end, it was so much stress back and forth, and then now. Yesterday was a really tough day. I think that put the biggest toll on my nutrition was yesterday. I had so many chips and I had two coolers and two bad situations. It's like I didn't get any hands all day, then I had two big hands and lost both of those. It's like, "Ahh." It's so hard to I guess lower yourself and realize, "Okay, you're still here. You're still average." I think I have an edge over that field so my average chips may be a little better than the average.
It would mean a lot to win it. If I have another deep run, then I get 10th, 9th, 8th, 7th, it's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt bad. People will be like, "Oh my god, it's so much money." Yes, it is so much money. I'd never lose perspective of the value of a dollar, but I'm here to win a bracelet, and I got to win a bracelet, and this is the event to do it. That's why it's so tough now when I'm at an average. Yesterday, I was eating chips for real, several hours. I was top 10 for most of the day yesterday then just . . . It's hard emotionally for me to say, "Okay, snap back. You're still competing. You're still here. 600 players in your way."
There's a lot of similarities in business and poker, in business players and poker players. I think the really smart poker players won't underestimate business guys because you got to realize these business guys are successful for a reason. They do figure things out. They're problem-solvers. They're thinkers. They can put together a puzzle. Most businessmen hate losing. They hate losing worse than poker players. They like to figure out a way to win. I think I do very well because I do play more poker probably than most business players just because I wanna win a bracelet. I gotta win a bracelet.