ImBillMcNeal draws a big win in WCOOP Event #2
Full-time student ImBillMcNeal (yes, he's a big NewsRadio fan, that's where the name came from)went into the final table of WCOOP Event #2 second in chips, but after a tough final table and staying awake for almost 24 straight hours found himself $34,210.60 richer and the second winner in the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker. We caught up with the champ after he'd caught up on a little sleep to get a little background, and see what he thought about sharing a table with some of Team PokerStars biggest names.
Over the course of the event ImBillMcNeal found himself at the same table as multiple WSOP bracelet holder and poker superstar Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu. Negreanu ran into some tough hands in the middle rounds, and busted to the eventual champ when he got short-stacked. Hevad "RaiNKhAN" Khan also shared the virtual felt with the champ, who said that Khan "played an extremely aggressive game, and after adapting (to Khan's style), I took a gross amount of chips from him to add to my growing stack." Khan bulldozered his way to a 7th-place finish as the final table bubble boy.
Rob (ImBillMcNeal's real name) feels that 5-card draw is his best game, but says it's hard to find action because not as many people play the game. The fields may be smaller than no limit hold'em, but Event #2 drew 1,024 runners, up almost 25% from 2007. When asked about strategy for Draw poker, he told us "I think my interest in these games is largely due to the way the strategy changes when there are no up cards. The strategy and gameflow all read differently, and it's a more interesting experience to play like that."
Rob played several satellites on PokerStars to build up W$ for his buy-in, but used a Step 4 ticket for his entry into Event #2. Has to feel like a pretty good use of a ticket when he logged his biggest cash ever. It's not his first tournament success by any means, but this is much bigger than the multiple $1K wins he's experienced prior to this.
An online play money player since the age of 15, Rob started playing for real money online two years ago when he hit 18. He plays a ton of heads-up poker, cash games and SNGs, but also plays every non-hold'em game PokerStars offers. He enjoys H.O.R.S.E., Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo and both 5-Card Draw and 2-7 Triple Draw. Even though there are a couple of casinos in his area, Rob prefers online poker to live play.
Whenever someone makes the biggest score of their career, one of the first things we think about is "what are you going to do with the money?" While $34K isn't going to buy an island in the Caribbean, it's still a nice chunk of change for a 20-year-old college student. Rob's got a plan for the money, though - he's going to pay for college with it as he finishes a double major in Political Science and Cultural Studies/Comparative Literature.
A solid poker game, a good head on his shoulders and a great victory for ImBillMcNeal in WCOOP Event #2 - 5-Card Draw. Congratulations!