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Will Tonking is a professional poker player but he's never had an opportunity like this before. Tonking has made the biggest final table in poker, the WSOP Main Event November Nine, and has a chance at the $10 million first-place prize and the title of world champion of poker when he returns to Las Vegas in a few months. Tonking is from New Jersey and before this event had just $93,000 in live tournament earnings. He's already guaranteed more than $730,000 for making this table and has a chance at much more. Check out this November Nine video interview to get to know Tonking better and keep watching PokerListings.com this November to find out who will become the next world champion of poker.
You know, it was more of a relief when we got down to nine then a cause for celebration, just because I was finally going to be able to release myself from such a concentrated state of mind. I'll enjoy the aftermath a little lot more than the actual process. I started playing poker the end of high school. It was early 2005. Me and my friends got into it like everybody else did. Saw it on TV, found it intriguing. We started playing in each others' basements and then I got to college and the fall of 2005 I started playing online for free money, play money. Then I graduated to micro stakes and built it up from there. I played pretty much solely online throughout college and then I graduated, kept playing, and then Black Friday hit and I played live for about two or three years, which wasn't what I got into poker for but it was only the option. I progressively started to build it up and play higher stakes. I still play in a 10-25 game at Sans, Bethlehem. I play borgata a little bit in Altantic City but now that online poker came back in Jersey, that's predominantly my poker, you know, where I spend my time when I play poker.
I play 6 max cash on the New Jersey sites now. Definitely way more of a cash game player then a tournament player. I enjoy it more, I put more time into it. This is only the third tournament I've played this year. I haven't played a ton of live tournaments. I try to keep it under a dozen throughout the year. I've had some success, nothing crazy or anything remotely like this but this is definitely my first cause for exposure in poker, I guess you would say.
Yeah, it's definitely an experience more than anything. The money is cool and I haven't really haven't thought about it or even mentally cashed any checks yet or anything like that. The money would have got made, anyway. You know I was fine before this happened, I'll be fine after, but the exposure is definitely a unique experience and probably something that never would have happened unless you make a run like this in a tournament like this. You know, so it's gonna be an experience. We'll see. You know, I know how much luck and good fortune that it takes to even get at this point, yet let alone walk out from this table the winner. So my expectations are just to play well and live with whatever the results may be. And at this point it's hard not to be content with anything that happens.