Pump Up the Volume!: Duncan Bell Wins Event 13

Duncan Bell
Duncan Bell wins Event 13 at the 2008 WSOP

Duncan "Pumper" Bell picked up the $2,500 WSOP bracelet Monday after besting a huge field and managing to win a topsy-turvy heads-up match in which the lead changed hands several times. After his victory, he stopped by briefly to chat to PokerListings.com.

Hi Duncan. One of the real crucial hands that swung the heads-up your way was when you got all-in with A-9 on the 9-7-4-4 board. You led out on both the flop and the turn; what was the thinking there?

I do betting out quite a bit with big hands and bad hands, and I thought maybe that he was reading me that way that I had a big hand, so I took a bit of time to call when he moved in on the turn. Of course if he'd had a four, he would have been the champion!

A few hands previously, you'd lost a big pot where he'd rivered top pair on an 8-5-2-4-9 board and bet every street. How hard was it to come back from that hand?

That 8-5-2 board, I had two sixes, and I thought I'd let him bluff off into me. As a poker player my strength is my reads, but I struggled to read him all day. He didn't wear shades, but he didn't change too much either. At one point he fumbled his chips when he was weak, but he may have been throwing me a false tell, so I didn't really know what was going on.

I felt like I had the best hand and on the turn I hit a double gut-shot draw, plus my two sixes which I thought were good. I almost shoved on the turn, which might have been the best move, but I didn't and I paid a huge price. But that's poker, and if you've been around for a few years, and I've played pro for a while, if you're good it's mostly ups as long as you manage your bankroll correctly.

Do you think he would have bet if the nine hadn't come?

He said no, the nine looked like a safe card, he might have been value betting I guess but he priced me in good. You have to learn in poker that these things happen and you just have to shake them off. You have to refocus and realize the situation has changed dramatically, and you have to try and figure out where you are and I did that, and I thought, "I'm still OK here."

So what did you decide was the best way to respond?

I wanted to keep the pressure on him so I kept on betting out into him, hoping he'd get sick of it and decide he had the best hand, like when I bet with the A-9. It was the exact same thing I did with the aces.

That was the final hand - what was the plan there?

When he raised me on the flop, I slammed all-in right away like I wanted him to think I was on a flush draw because there were two clubs on the board. So that was the whole purpose of the leading out into him - he's going to put me on a flush draw here, but when he called so fast, I thought, "Did I walk into a set here?"

Shawn Buchanan
Good friend Shawn Buchanan.

It was pretty much a cooler of a last hand anyway wasn't it?

Of course, I mean he played and we could've got it in pre-flop. If [I'd known] he had tens there I'd have definitely reraised, I don't want a king or a queen coming out and giving him a chance to get away from the hand. I had taken the lead in a lot of pots and thought he might want to try and take the momentum back.

How was it playing heads-up?

Steve had not been playing superaggressive, which really surprised me. My friend Shawn Buchanan said during a break, "He's gonna play big pots with you," but I thought he would just play small ball. I didn't have a read on him and when you're playing small ball without a read, you've just got to hope right?

You and Shawn are best friends off the table. What was it like both making the final?

It was just super, the chances with the field being so big, and for two guys that are good friends who come from the same town, and to end up at the final table, it'll probably never happen again! And when I speak about that I have to talk about the great poker scene in Vancouver. I mean if you can beat the $2/$5, $3/6 games in Vancouver, you can come and beat the $10/$20 games in the Bellagio.

All the guys who I know from the Red Rock [...] have pushed me, helped me along, and made me better and understand the game. I mean when I sit down I can see people playing different styles ... you have L.A. style, Vegas style, Atlantic City style. You know, the L.A. players are going to use a lot of fold equity and keep pushing you, whereas the Atlantic City and Vegas players just want to see more flops.

Vancouver players won three bracelets last years and a WPT, so for a city of about 1.5 million, this win really reflects on the depth of poker players in Vancouver.

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This makes another triumph for Canada after Nenad Medic's victory in Event 1. Congratulations to Duncan "Pumper" Bell on a much-deserved victory in what was one of the least experienced final tables we've seen so far at the WSOP, while pro players now lead amateurs in terms of bracelets with a 10-3 margin.

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