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About 3 weeks ago a player by the name of “J0kerp0ker22” took down the Sunday Big Ticket on the merge network. Alex (@omahoff311) can be found dealing table games during the day at a local casino, and playing poker by night. Poker is just his part time job, as he is also a very devoted husband and father, but he seems to be very committed to the game and is having a great year. We were fortunate enough to catch up with Alex and get some insight on his big win.
-How does it feel to ship one of the largest tourneys that regularly runs on a US poker site?
Shipping one of the biggest tourneys available to US customers felt really good. At the beginning of the year, like most people I set goals for poker, one of the was winning a Sunday major and the other was $X amount of profit. I just got done talking with my dad the day before saying I probably wasn’t going to hit my profit goal for the year unless I hit one for a big score, sure enough we crushed it the next day.
-Were you ever really short stacked in this tournament?
Funny thing is I almost didn’t play this tourney. I went out to lunch with my in laws and didn’t make it home until this was running for a little over two hours, so when I late regged the BB was 300(33 bigs). Obviously that is enough to work with, but I don’t love putting in $215 at this point, but it was The Big Ticket so I had to give it a shot. I got short right around the bubble because I played QQ horribly and crippled myself, luckily on stone bubble I got 20 BBs in AQ vs AK and won. From ITM to the FT I had a good stack the whole time, then once we hit FT my stack went up and down plenty from chip leader to 6/7 and then obviously all the way back.
-Once it started to get down to the last 3 tables, what was your strategy? Were the nerves creeping up at all?
Once we got down to the last few tables my strategy was to stop registering other tourneys and focus on the task at hand. Once we got down to the final three tables I definitely wore my HUD out. Making sure every move made sense vs villains, and trying to pick up as many pots with single raises or three bets pre without having to put too much in the middle unless it was vs JCinblue… More on him later. Yes the nerves kicked in with two tables left and the chip lead, I had to crack a few beers down the stretch to keep my ass in check!
-The Final table seemed pretty strong, did you know any of the players, and did your strategy change at all?
Was a pretty good FT, luckily we lost OHANKO on the FT bubble, this guy seems to punish me, and I KOd him with A9 vs AK I think (Yes, these gross suck outs are a must to win these big fields). The final table had three players that I am very familiar with and they were LuckySteve who is very good, but seems to be in God Mode all the time. IgotD1bs who is a pretty good reg, he seems somewhat tight but plays good at the higher stakes. Inblue was the one who I probably have the most history with and he is the most dangerous player at almost any table. The 200 hands I had on him in that tourney he ran some crazy aggro numbers (VPIP: 44 PFR: 43 3Bet: 16). With two tables left I had the best seat in the tourney IMO which is on Inblues immediate left and once we hit FT I got punished by being on his immediate right. Also there was three people who were disconnected which made for a super weird dynamic on what your opening with and what you are three betting. I probably did not play this perfect because there is a fine line between three betting light and punting your stack when people are sitting there with dead money when the ladder jumps are so significant. Overall I did play a lot more aggressive then I normally do.
-You had a very big hand against “inblue” (Jordan Cristos – Recent WPT champion) where you won a flip with 99 vs A8. This seemed like a big turning point at the FT, what were your thoughts on the hand and did you feel this was a turning point?
Yes me and JC had many big hands during the last couple tables. If you have ever played with him, you know that he opens up to 5x very frequently, most people do not adjust very well to this, but I have played with him a lot so I have a pretty solid grasp on when I can exploit it. This is definitely the reason I won the tourney, I took down so many massive pots preflop by putting in a well timed three bet. Also, I did not tell him that it was me until after the tourney was over, which also worked in my favor : ). I got lucky to wake up with a good hand vs him there and hold, that gave me all the momentum I needed to kind of run over the last four. It gave me a solid chip lead and an opportunity to put the other players in tough spots with such large ladder jumps in play. After I re watched the hand history I think there was a few hands I play differently, but overall I think I was on my A game and ran like Usain Bolt!
We really appreciate Alex taking the time to answer these questions so that we could share them with the poker community via our social networks. Please feel free to follow @betondrew_com on twitter, or join our facebook group page for updates and new posts.