Monday Poker Headlines
Just a couple tidbits from the World Series of Poker in Monday headlines this week.
After Sunday’s opening play in the WSOP Tournament of Champions, Eric Seidel has the chip lead with about $72,000 in chips. Johnny Chan (71,325) and Mike Matusow (70,575) finished behind Seidel, while Barry Greenstein (56,775) and Joe Hachem (55,650) also managed to finish the day with big chip stacks.
Phil Ivey, was one of five player to bust out on the first day. Day 2 should be getting underway any minute.
Meanwhile, Gavin Smith, considered the best pro to never win a WSOP bracelet, now has one. Smith won a $2,500 Mixed Hold’em championship to earn $268,238 and his first WSOP bracelet on Saturday night.
Smith, sometimes affectionately called Birdguts, is an East Coast pro who started his career playing major events in Atlantic City and at Foxwoods. He had a seventh place finish at The East Coast Championship at The Borgata Spring Open in April (about a $19,500 cash).
Success hasn’t come at WSOP or WSOP Circuit events for Smith, however, and even this year it was touch and go.
“I seem to be pretty good at screwing things up,” Smith said following the victory. “In the past, I sometimes went out and got drunk or hung out. But this year, I decided to come in and try to play my best the whole time. I came in and the first several events I kept getting my teeth kicked in. I was playing well. I was playing my best. But I wasn’t seeing the results.”
“And then when I cashed in the Heads-Up that helped,” he says. “Then, the last three days everything just clicked. I played well and things went well and everything clicked at the right time.”
“I’ve been in this game a long, long, long, long time. Basically, a while ago, I used to go on tilt. Now, I try to think of the goal. Anything worth having is worth also going through a few adversities. You are always going to have peaks and valleys. Some people do not always do well dealing with the valleys and the people that don’t – don’t win. I tried to learn from that.”
Coincidentally, two New Jersey players also made the final table, Timothy Finne of Fanwood came in third ($110,324) and Michael Michnik of Voorhees was fourth ($81,871).