Jaime Staples discusses his first live win for €22K, and gives an #UltimateSweat update
While most eyes have been pinned on the Main Event and it's massive €1.41 million first-place prize, an array of side events have been taking place throughout the week in the Casino Barcelona and Hotel Arts.
One of those side events - a €550 Pot Limit Omaha Turbo - finished last night. And it saw a Twitch legend and member of PokerStars Team Online win his first ever live tournament, and book his biggest career score to date.
Congratulations to Jaime Staples, who won €22,500 and his first silver spade trophy.
Staples had to battle his way through a field of 253 players, providing updates to his fans on social media the entire way. By the first break things were going good:
"It was an awesome tournament," Staples told the PokerStars Blog. "Things really went my way. It was like every all in I won the 50/50s and 60/40s that I needed to survive. The few that I did lose, I wasn't all in. So things just went really smoothly."
And then came the money:
And eventually the final table:
Heads up against a beast
The final table included talented all-round player Adam Owen. The Brit finished third in the EPT13 Barcelona Main Event last year for an enormous €646,250 payday. There was also France's Paul Guichard, who has racked up more than a million dollars in cashes, most of which came from his runner-up finish in the EPT8 Deuville Main Event for €557,000.
While Guichard would ultimately bust first from the final table, Staples and Owen would go all the way to heads up. Staples was familiar with Owen (who he describes as "a beast!") not just from the beginning of the final table, but actually the beginning of the tournament.
"I'd heard early in the tournament, someone told me that "He's probably the best player in the field." And then I saw his online screen name and I was like, "OK, yeah, he's pretty damn good!"
Owen might have $1.27 million in live cashes, but it's online where he really made his name playing all of the games, including PLO. On the virtual felt, he's racked up another $1.2 million.
"So we got heads up and we were about 40 big blinds deep, so I just assumed that we were going to have to play for the thing," Staples explains. "I thought that he probably had en edge on me, which he probably did, but it was a €9,000 heads up match, 40 big blinds deep in Omaha. That's huge.
"So we offered the chop at even numbers, and I was pretty happy with that because I thought he had an edge, so I was actually gaining a bit of equity there. We had to leave a thousand euros aside for the winner plus the title, so in the end it was €21,735 for me (plus the €1,000 for winning) and €20,765 for him.
"The heads up lasted about ten hands or something like that. I ended up making a flush and coolered him, and that was sort of that!"
The great game of PLO
For any of you out there thinking of dabbling in PLO, be it in small-stakes online tournaments or €550 live side-events and higher, Staples has some tips. He's also excited to play more of the game himself.
"It's a little bit different than what I normally play online with No Limit tournaments, but I do have a bit of experience playing Omaha as well, so it's probably the game I'm second most comfortable in. And now I'm really excited to add it into the mix more and play it a bit more.
"People usually play too many hands pre-flop in Omaha. So they see four cards, they notice the potential that you might think of No Limit Hold'em, and they play too many hands.
"That said, after you find a hand that you can play, there are so many interesting things that can happen with it. You're going to get to see more turns, more often than not you're going to be seeing rivers, you're going to be all in more often, so be selective and then go for it!"
Speaking of going for it, Staples and his brother Matt are currently sweating away on a massive prop bet against Bill Perkins. Titled '#UltimateSweat', the brothers Staples have to reach the same weight (or at least be within one pound of each other) by the end of March 2018.
If they do it, the brothers will win $150,000 from Perkins. If they don't, Perkins will win $3,000 from them. It seems like a win win for them whatever happens, but they're making amazing strides. When the bet was booked in March 2017, Jaime weighed 305 lbs and Matt weighed 134 lbs. You can follow along with all the gym sessions and more on Staples' YouTube channel.
How are things going currently?
"We're doing really well in the bet," Staples tells me. "We're on pace, assuming that things go fast in the beginning and slower at the end. We're training really well; I'm sitting at around 245 lbs or so - I can't give you exact kilograms so I'll leave that up to you! And my brother Matt I think is around 160-165 lbs. So we're getting pretty close.
"We're going onto StreamBoat II which is starting up a little after Barcelona. I'm really excited! My trainer is going to be there; I'm going to be with Bill Perkins - the guy I booked the bet against. So it's going to be a really really interesting month, and hopefully we can make some good progress towards the bet."
Congratulations on the win again Jaime. Hopefully after March 2018 we'll be doing another winner's interview, this time one worth $150,000.
PokerStars Championship Barcelona
Event #35: €550 Pot-Limit Omaha Turbo final table results:
1st - Jaime Staples (Canada), Team PokerStars Pro Online - €22,735 *
2nd - Adam Owen (UK) - €20,765 *
3rd - Oleh Shkapenko (Ukraine) - €12,300
4th - Aki Virtanen (Finland) - €10,000
5th - Ruslan Lukash (Ukraine) - €7,900
6th - Anselmo Lacasa (Spain) - €6,000
7th - Fabien Motte (France) - €4,395
8th - Daniel Ulvrell (Sweden) - €3,200
9th - Paul Guichard (France) - €2,600
* indicates a deal
Have events in Barcelona inspired you to start playing poker? Click here to open a PokerStars account.
Jack Stanton is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.