There’s a lot of Little in one team at today’s tag team event.
Jonathan Little recruited his parents, Rita and Larry Little, for the $1,000 team event. It's gone well so far since the Littles amassed a pretty big stack early on.
It didn’t come from the Little you’d expect either. Jonathan, who was also in Day 2 of the $5,000 NLHE, played first and then gave the reins over to his parents.
“I left them to their own thing after that,” Jonathan said.
“Dad's great, he just wins every pot sometimes. That or he either loses every pot. Today he's winning every pot.”
Jonathan said his father won with ace-king four times and ended up taking down quads with a straight flush:
The Tag Team Minefield
Team Little quickly rose to the top of the leaderboard with about 7x the starting stack. It wasn’t an easy board to climb, either.
The Mizrachi brothers all joined one team while Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, Maria Ho and David Williams formed another.
While Team Little leads them in chips, it trails them both in bracelets. Together, Michael and Robert Mizrachi have seven bracelets.
Michael's going for another today in the $50K PPC.
Team Negreanu-Selbst-Ho-Williams has three bracelet winners, but Team Little has none.
Jonathan has multiple WPT titles and more than $6.3 million in live tournament earnings, but has yet to win a WSOP tournament.
Jonathan has two 3rd-place finishes at the WSOP and made the final table of last year’s 8-handed $5,000 NLHE.
“I come close,” Jonathan said. “I had a 13th and a 20th this year too, but it’s hard to win these poker tournaments.”
While Jonathan busted from the $5K NLHE early today, he still has a chance in the tag team event.
A Little Help From Mom and Dad
Jonathan is hoping that his parents can help him overcome his bracelet barrier.
“I’ve been out here for like 10 years now and I haven’t won a bracelet,” Jonathan said. “This would be a fitting way to win one. I don’t even really win it, have my Dad win one for me.”
Jonathan is currently enjoying the sidelines. He’s having a beer and hanging out with his mom while his dad stacks players.
The rail was a bit bigger than normal for the tag team event.
“It’s just like railing a tournament and they give you money and a bracelet,” Jonathan said.
But Jonathan can give himself some credit since he introduced both of his parents to the game.
They both learned after Jonathan won a package to the Party Poker Million Cruise back in 2006 and brought his parents along.
Well, they insisted on coming along.
“At first he wanted to borrow some money to put online and we were like ‘No, you get your own credit card," Rita said.
“So he did. Then he tells us one day, ‘Oh I won this poker cruise,’ and we're like ‘You're not going.’
“He's like, ‘Well can y'all come too?’ So we did.”
Jonathan min-cashed the event by folding jacks on the bubble and his parents learned poker from Linda Johnson.
A Family Game
Then the Littles grew together. Jonathan’s career took off and he authored a few books on strategy.
“We read his book and then started playing,” Rita said.
Rita prefers sit & gos while Larry dove into tournaments and got some one-on-one coaching from his son.
“I review some of my dad's hands whenever he sends them to me and he's been doing pretty well,” Jonathan said.
Larry Little, bracelet hunting for his family.
Larry currently has cashed for $55,000 in tournaments, including two WSOP cashes.
If things keep going well for Larry, he can multiply those results this tournament.
“He’s been stacking everybody,” Jonathan said.
“We're going to let him play until he stops winning. So we might not even get to play anymore.
“My dad always wins a bunch of money at home, then plays the WSOP and usually loses it all.
"This time he's going to run hot and win it and then he'll just be rich.”
The Littles will also get a piece of jewelry they all have their eyes set on.
“I only play occasionally but I have two really great partners,” said Rita. “And I need a new bracelet.”