When the 2007 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker kicked off, it did so in style. The winner, samh33, won an impressive $155,561 in the no-limit short-handed hold'em event. Not bad for a guy who quit his job in Janauary to focus on poker. Looks like he's made his nut for the year. Here's an interview with samh133.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself.
samh133: I'm 25 years old and I play poker for a living. Life is good.
Q. How long have you been playing poker?
samh133: 2 1/2 years.
Q. How did you learn to play poker?
samh133: I started playing like 5 $ games in our garage and I think my brothers were trying to teach me at first. They had to teach me that J2s wasn't a good hand to play. But after I started getting serious about it, I signed up for a training site, cardrunners.com. It helped out a lot. I also read forums and talk hands with other good poker players.
Q. Any particular meaning or story behind your screen name?
samh133: It's my name and weight class I used to wrestle in college.
Q. What was it like to make a final table at WCOOP and finish as well as you did?
samh133: It was a great feeling to win a tournament this big. I think this was the first tournament that I had ever won and it was just a great feeling.
Q. Are you a full-time player or do you have a regular job?
samh133: I was an accountant, but I quit to pursue poker in January of this year.
Q. Do you have any plans for the money you won in WCOOP?
samh133: I'll probably invest most of it.
Q. Is this your biggest win to date or have you had others?
samh133: This is my biggest win but I've had 2 3rds this year for about 35k a piece.
Q. Any particular moments in the tournament when you thought, "I'm going to make the final table?"
samh133: I got in first early on in the tournament and I thought I had a chance to make the final table but I obviously had a long way to go. After I recovered from being in last place with 54 players left and won a couple of key flips, I knew I was going to win it.
Q. Any goals for your poker play?
samh133: Always improve and try to keep moving up stakes.
Q. Is there a lot of live poker in your hometown? What’s it like there?
samh133: No, and theres really no good casinos nearby either. I just play $20 homegames with my friends once in a while. It's fun to do once in a while though.
Q. Is there anybody you look up to in the poker world?
samh133: I respect most of the NLHE players because I know all the work that it takes to get there. I guess a few players that stand out are Stinger, Taylor, and Brian Townsend.
For a full reporting samh133's win, visit, the 2007 WCOOP: Event # 1 Final Table Report.