EPT12 Barcelona: Jake Cody on Lads Night In, his WSOP run and an African adventure


Jake Cody - doing his bit for charity next month

Jake Cody was having a bad summer. He'd gone the entire WSOP schedule without a single cash and was digging himself a large hole to get out of. He still had one hail mary left though, otherwise known as the WSOP Main Event. He made Day 2, then Day 3, the bubble burst and he'd broken his duck for the summer. Then he was amongst the 661 players who came back for Day 4 and survived to Day 5 where he was among just 237 hopefuls. "It was exciting, it's the tournament I dream of winning more than any other," Cody tells the PokerStars Blog on the first break in play. "I genuinely fantasise about making the final table. I know what my walk on music would be, it'd be the start of the Three Lions song! It's coming home and I'd be trying to bring it home."

Sadly for Cody he'll have to keep that one to himself for now as his main event adventure came to an end on Day 5 when he busted in 113th place. "It's my deepest run in that event, I thought I was actually going to turn it round and ping out of it in the last tournament. But I didn't! If I'd finished top 50 that would've done it. It seemed so doable too, once you've passed 6,000 players getting past another 50 doesn't seem too hard and that's all I needed."

Going that far in the WSOP Main Event was an experience that Cody had never had before. "At that point you can see every player, it feels more real. Whenever I've played the Main Event in the past there's just been a sea of players in the room. You don't really think about the tournament coming to an end, you just think about trying to make the next day. This was starting to get serious. I knew that making the final table would've been amazing. Making the November Nine is like winning a tournament in itself, maybe even bigger than most tournaments because of the coverage you get.

Cody of course wasn't the only Team PokerStars Pro to go deep in the Main Event. "When Daniel Negreanu was down to the last few tables I was thinking about how important it was for him to make the final table compared to everyone else. It's kind of like a satellite for him at that point. Even if he doesn't win it he gets four or five months of coverage, it's brutal that he didn't.

The triple-crown winner has been around long enough to know that you'll go through bad runs and it's how you handle them that counts. "It was fine to be honest. If I felt like I was playing badly and there was a reason I was getting knocked out every day then maybe, but whilst I might not have been playing my best poker I was playing fine," he says. "Twenty-five tournaments feels like a lot because it's spread over four weeks and there's one per day, so it feels way worse than it is. But if you think about a Sunday session it's not as bad as it sounds. But at the same time I think I should be cashing a higher percentage of live tournaments than online. Obviously it's a horrific record but it's not out of the realms of possibility for a top player. It was one of those things that I didn't think could happen, but it did."


Cody - had a worse run than he thought possible

There's one particular event this summer that stands out for Cody and perhaps epitomises his run. "The one that hurt the most the one I was dejected massively by was the $10,000 six-max tournament. I was chip leader with 35 left and 27 paid and I finished three off the money. That's pretty tough to do. I had so many chips, mountains of chips," he says. "I then lost a massive pot against David Benefield, lost a few other pots and two flips and I was out. I stood up and I was like 'how has that happened?' In my head I'd already kinda cashed and thought I could go on and win this. I slumped out of The Rio. I played the $100,000 event too and ran kings into aces to bust that and that didn't hurt as much. For some reason it didn't feel that bad."

Earlier today Cody took the opportunity to take a selfie with Team PokerStars member Neymar Jr, who you might have heard is playing a tournament here at EPT Barcelona! If you're from the UK and always wanted to play poker against Cody then you've got a chance thanks to Lads Night In. PokerStars and Prostate Cancer UK have teamed up to raise awareness and money to help fight Prostate Cancer.

As well as encouraging groups of people to hold their own Lads Night In home game on 25th September and donate the prize pool to the cause they're given you the chance to win a VIP home game with Cody. "You have to pick your dream poker table, yourself and five other people I then look through all the entries and pick a winner. Basically we're going to have a VIP Lads Night in on the 25th September in London but we're also encouraging everyone to host their own Lads Night In and help raise money for Prostate Cancer."

The EPT champion has some tips if you're still to enter (you've got until the end of August). "I think comedy value is what's going to stand out for me. Whoever wins and four of their mates will get to play the VIP home game with me."


Make Cody chuckle and this could be you and four friends

Cody is doing more than his bit for charity in September as he's also going to be heading to Uganda. "I'm going for five days, it's going to be quite a shocking experience and to be honest I'm not totally sure what to expect. I'm going as part of my links with the Right to Play, charity which PokerStars is linked with. The charity helps to teach children ethics through games. I think there's various schools we'll be visiting (Cody is going with Leo Margets and Fatima Moreira de Melo) and there's also a Right to Play centre out there, he says. "I'm prepared for it to be a bit upsetting but at the same time it's going to be a great experience, it's for a great cause and it'll be great to help out. It's one of those things that when I'm old I'll look back on and be really glad of the experience and that I've had this opportunity."

With that he headed off for another opportunity that doesn't happen everyday, a selfie with Neymar Jr! Cody, is a Man Utd fan but is wearing a Barcelona top with 'Cody' emblazoned on the back. With the rumours in the papers perhaps Cody was also trying to sell Manchester to the Brazilian. Surely Neymar will have seen through that bluff though?

You can follow all the action from the various tournament floors on PokerStars Blog. The Main Event action will be on the Main Event page.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Neymar Jr