The 2007 WPT North American Poker Championship at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Canada began with 504 poker players and one dream. Unfortunately for 503 of them, Scott Clements was the only one who could make the WPT title and $1.36 million first-place prize a reality.
Scott took down a field full of top pros, Internet phenoms and one of the toughest final tables in WPT history to get the job done and he sat down with PokerListings.com moments after the win to discuss just how he did it.
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Scott, you had the win in the WPT Canadian Championship here last year and now the 2007 WPT North American Championship. I guess Niagara Falls has been lucky for you?
Yes Niagara Falls is the town for [me and my wife]. Very happy, we came here last year, it's a beautiful place, and this year we had the freeroll from last year so we were able to parlay it into a second win.
On paper this was a tough final table and a real up-and-down day for you. How did you find play here in the final six?
I actually had some big hands early and was able to knock out the first couple of players. Not great hands, but situational good hands against people that weren't real deep. So that ended up working well and I was able to build a chip lead. But I did kind of get some fits at the final table. Barry (Greenstein) always gives me problems, he's so aggressive and it's just kind of tough to keep up; letting him bully me and bully me and I couldn't hit anything against him.
I really feel like Dave (Cloutier) kind of changed up his style. I played with him on a few days before and he was really kind of a rock and today I feel like he wasn't. I feel like he played well. He gave himself a really good chance to win. I really don't feel that against Jonathan and I, that if we are going to play really deep-stack poker, that he was going to have as good a shot unless he tried to be the aggressor and he did and that was a good strategy for him.
He did manage to build himself quite a lead at one point; what happened?
He did have a big chip lead and I was able to hit a couple of big hands against him and I was able to capitalize on that. Then Jon had a great hand against him with A-10 suited against J-9 to bust him out.
Was there any particular hand or point in time throughout the entire tournament that you can pinpoint where things really started going your way?
Danny Wong, it was Day 1. I started out really well, but then I had a little bit of a rough stretch. Then Danny Wong pulled off a three-barrel bluff on me and it was right after dinner break. Before dinner I had made a couple of calls and folds that I really shouldn't have where I wasn't going with my gut. Then I went to dinner with my wife and she said to go with your gut. Then Danny Wong pulled a three-barrel bluff on me and I ended up calling with top pair and not a really good kicker and that kind of ended up being the turning point of the whole tournament for me.
Yesterday you pulled off quite the bluff yourself seven-handed against Cheryl Deleon [going all-in on the river with 8♣ 6♣ and forcing her to reportedly lay down Q-K on a Q♥ 9♦ 4♠ 9♣ K♣ board]. What made you think you could pull it off?
It was seven-handed and being on the TV bubble I figured if anyone was thinking about it people don't really bluff as much at that point. I wouldn't really ever play anything except a really big hand that way unless it was a planned bluff from the beginning. I really felt like unless she had pocket kings there was really only like a 5% chance she would call me down.
Plus you showed it, was that kind of like the proverbial kick in the nads?
No, it wasn't that (laughs). I wanted to speed it along a little bit and at that point I really felt like that would tilt someone and that's something that is a part of my strategy. If I really feel like someone will go on tilt I'm going to do that. I also felt like I would not pull off another bluff like that and I may get called lighter by certain players after seeing that bluff.
The $1.36 million first-place prize is pretty much equal to your live tournament career earnings to date. Is this life-changing money for you or just-keep-doing-what-you're-doing kind of money?
It's just-keep-doing-what-we're-doing money. It means that we may buy a bigger house when we move. That's pretty much what it means. We're not going to change our lifestyle; we're pretty simple, my wife and I. We don't need too much. We're going to put a new kitchen in our house, but we were probably going to do that anyway.
And where will we see you next Scott?
I'm actually going to go play the WSOP Circuit Event in Lake Tahoe and then up to Vancouver - around Thanksgiving they have a few tournaments - and then I'm going to go back to the Bellagio for the Five Diamond before Christmas.
Well, a heartfelt congratulations must go out to Scott on the big win here in Niagara Falls. This was a star-studded field and one of the toughest final tables in WPT history. This isn't the first time you've read about a Scott Clements win right here on PokerListings.com and if he keeps playing this well, it certainly won't be the last.