EPT9 London, Day 1A: Meet Dave 'sexygee' Gent, one of the biggest winners you've never heard of
Last Sunday Dave 'sexygee' Gent was gearing up to play his usual Sunday slot of cash games, anything ranging from $5-$10 to $50-$100, when he decided to give the 7th Anniversary Sunday Million a shot.
'Believe or not, big fields are not my thing. They're not my style. It was the prize pool (the guaranteed $7,000,000 prize pool swelled to $10,000,000). I just played it along with my normal Sunday schedule of cash games. I stopped playing cash at midnight and then one-tabled it from there,' said Gent.
It may not have been his thing but it soon turned out to be worth the 30-year-old's while as he moved up through the field into the final table. When eight players remained Gent, playing under the name 'sexygee', typed something along the lines of 'I'm really not bothered about a deal. I made 175k last month.'
It's difficult to tell from chat box text when someone is bragging or being matter-of-fact (especially when someone may have played throughout the night and may be teetering on the brink of sleep-deprived hallucinations). I wanted to hunt Gent out from among the EPT London Day 1A pack and find out which side of the fence he stood. I think it's safe to to say it was a matter-of-fact statement to hurry proceedings on.
There had a couple of stops at the final table due to talks of a deal but two players, sexygee (Gent) and benislovas, were key obstacles to anything taking place. benislovas had around 40% of the chips in play and quite understandably didn't feel the need to throw away equity. Did Gent feel that he had that much of an edge? Being a professional player for eight years who's happy to buy into a cash game for $40,000 would be reason enough to think that you're ahead of the curve.
'It wasn't so much the edge I had against the field, I did have an edge, but when you're talking five or ten big blinds they're not massive. I just wanted a shot at a million. $300,000 isn't to be sniffed at but I'm running pretty hot online at the minute. I had a target in mind and wanted to win a million,' said Gent.
And, boy, did he come close. Gent span up a short stack to and moved into the chip lead with just three players remaining when a deal was finally agreed to. Gent banked $836,321.83, the largest slice of the chop, which would give him close to that million dollars had he won the $140,000 set aside for the winner. You can read the full report here or watch the final table here.
'The guy who won it played really, really well. He played better than me at the final table and deserved it,' admitted Gent.
Winner winner, chicken dinner
benislovas had dominated much of the final table but some big pots had not gone his way in the short-handed scuffles. That trend reversed and the Lithuanian claimed the title. You can find out more about Andrius 'benisolvas' Bielskis by clicking here. He's got a work ethic to be proud of.
Not that Gent is afraid of putting his nose to the grindstone either.
'I play as much as I can. I log a lot of hands. I have had months where I've done 150,000 hands and 160,000 back to back, then a month off would be 50,000 hands. It's still a lot. I play regs heads-up to improve my game. I don't read literature or discuss hands. I improve by playing better people than me. If they beat me up then I work out how and why and try to use that to my own advantage. If they don't beat me then, well, I win,' he explained.
So that's kind of a win-win situation?
'$70k down days aren't fun,' he replied, 'but I don't game select. When I'm playing $40k then the game needs to be good but up to that I'll play anyone. If it was a six-max at $50-$100 I'd sit in that with five regs.'
The windfall has come at a good time: Gent is getting married this summer to his fiancé and long time girlfriend Giselle (with whom he lives in Leeds, UK).
'We're getting married this July so the missus will probably get a nicer wedding ring,' said Gent.
The rest will be split between his PokerStars bankroll and property investment ('a bit boring. Sorry.') but the win isn't going to be a huge game changer for the Brit; 'I was playing this anyway. I already had my hotel booked.'
Gent is on pretty good terms with plenty of players on the tour, among others is Chris 'moorman1' Moorman who was, according to Gent, pretty jealous.
'Moorman was joking about his Pocket Fives points because he likes to get his name out there. He was more jealous of the two-and-half thousand PLBs that I got than the cash. Give me a million and let me fly below the radar any day of the week,' said Gent.
Gent is not a player most would recognise (I needed to get confirmation of his table and seat number rather than scope by sight) but no matter how much you win if you don't go deep in live events or play the most nosebleedingest* highest stakes online then you'll not liable to be known by the wider poker community.
*That's a word, right?
For those reason it's likely that you haven't heard of Gent before. You will certainly have heard of some of the other players in his local weekly football game in Leeds; Matt Perrins, Tom Middleton, JP Kelly, Ash Mason (before he emigrated to Australia), and Poker News reporter Chris Hall (I know, I can't believe he can kick a ball either).
Pez (Matt Perrins) is the best player there - 'incredible', in fact - whereas Gent rates himself further down the pack.
After some humming-and-hawing I suggested that perhaps he was more of 'get-in-the-way stopper'.
'Yeah, that's not a bad way to explain it. I'm like David Batty,' said Gent.
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Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.