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Around two months ago, to say I was disappointed with how the summer had started would have been an understatement. Coming off a great SCOOP series on PokerStars in which I won three events and the Player of the Series, I was motivated and excited to play a full schedule of tournaments and cash games during the WSOP. Just two weeks into the WSOP grind, I was stuck around $600,000. I had a rough start at the cash tables, bricked the first several events (not even making a Day 2 in a single event), and got smoked in some huge side bets.
I went into the summer a little unsure as to whether I would be playing primarily tournaments or cash games, but after the huge downswing to start, I decided to focus all my energy on playing tournaments for the rest of the series and to get back to the cash tables after the tournaments were over.
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The big turning point of my summer came on June 17th when I won the 5k NLH 6 max for $633,357. This event was my first Day 2, first Day 3, first final table, and of course first big result of my summer. I came into Day 3 with one of the shortest stacks but was poised and focused to make a deep run, and fortunately enough, I ran well and played my best which was enough to secure my third WSOP bracelet and the win.
After winning that event, I went on to have a couple more nice scores to finish the WSOP, earning 7th in the 50k Poker Players Championship for $140,000 and then 2nd place in the 10k PLO for $573,000. I even thought I was going to win my 4th bracelet in that PLO event, but after a really grueling final table in which I had started as a massive chip leader, I came up just short in that one.
I am extremely happy with how the summer turned around for me. After busting the WSOP Main Event on Day 2, I spent the next few weeks playing mixed game cash and big OFC games in Vegas and on the app. I also attended two bachelor parties and one wedding which were amazing times. I don't spend too much time away from the poker table, but when I do, I try to spend as much time as I can hanging out with friends and family.
I got back to Florida from Vegas on August 2nd, giving me just under two weeks to make the most of my time there before the Seminole Hard Rock series would start. That two weeks flew by, and before I knew it I was standing there at the casino plopping down 5k for the Hard Rock Main Event. I busted the main on Day 1, fired the $2,500 the next day with no luck, and then had my last event to play--25k high roller event--before heading to Barcelona for the EPT festival.
The 25k ended up having a great turnout with 83 total entries, making the 1st place prize $652,000! It really is a great feeling to still be in at the close of the re-buy period, in for only one bullet with a decent chip stack. Keeping my eye on the prize I maneuvered my way into the money (11 got paid), and made it to the final table of nine players going into my last full day in Florida.
The final table was being filmed for TV, and I was lucky enough to have a whole rail of supporters. My parents, my sister, and some of my closest friends in and out of poker were able to come by and cheer me on.
After a very tough final table, I was able to come out victorious and scoop the first place prize and the trophy. I did a deal heads up, so I ended up cashing for around $517,000 in that one.
This win will help me stay on top of the GPI where I have now been back at the #1 spot for five straight weeks. I held the #1 spot for quite some time during 2011-2013, but it has been around 21 months since I was number 1. It feels incredible to be back at #1 and I hope to maintain that spot for as long as possible. I'm currently in Barcelona now for the EPT festival, where I'll be playing a number of awesome tournaments at my favorite stop of the year. Hope to see you here!