EPT10 Grand Final: Scott Clements takes on Europe
Scott Clements looks like he could be in a movie. He'd probably be the lead protagonist, a college dropout who excelled at physics but had to leave to look after his family and has worked the door of a dive bar ever since. By night, he strong-arms local toughs who have had one too many. By day, he works on a particle accelerator in his garage.
It's a fanciful notion, I admit, but Clements appears to work out as much as many Hollywood stars, has an intense presence at the table - he sits on his chair with his legs coiled ready to spring, his arm forward caging his cards - and he wins. A lot.
The 32-year-old American, who plays under the "BigRiskky" at PokerStars, has recorded $3,283,419 in online tournament cashes and $5,773,247 in live tournaments. Combined, that's a whopping $9,056,666. See, that is a lot. He's got two WPT titles and two WSOP bracelets, which means that he's on for the Triple Crown here at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final. He's not had many chances at collecting the EPT half arch: this is his first non-PCA EPT.
"It's a lot of travel," said Clements. "I've got three kids and a wife. It's hard to leave them but there used to be a lot of stuff right in the West Coast but now there's not as much. Now I need to travel to get some tournament action."
And he's certainly come to the right place. While it must be hard to leave three children behind, especially when they're only three-and-a-half years, twenty months and four months old, it's even harder to persuade your partner that a two-week trip away is acceptable. After seven years of marriage and many millions of tournament buy-ins it seems he's bought himself a little leeway.
So far it's working out pretty well for him. At last break Clements held 362,500, some way above average and had - at the times I was watching - been comfortably playing the most hands at the table and winning more than he was losing. Perhaps he fares well against European fodder?
"I think that any table's gonna be different," said Clements. "Whenever you get to a new table you've got to address the situation as what it is. I don't know as many players here. I was very surprised that only ten percent of the field was from the States. I didn't realise it was so few. So many tournaments that I play in it's a much higher percentage of people that I know. It's just getting used to the players and trying to pay attention and pick up on tendencies and stuff like that."
He's now sat between two players who he does know and has some experience of both of their tendencies, but perhaps both would rather they were sat elsewhere.
To his right, Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden.
"I know Johnny," said Clements. "We both went deep in the Main Event one year and we played a lot together at the series. I finished 18th and I think he finished 19th or 20th."
Close but no cigar. Lodden finished 27th there for $317,161, while Clements' 18th place was his second largest live cash for $396,967. And in case you were wondering, that was the year that Team PokerStars Pro Jonthan Duhamel won $8,944,310
To his left, Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen.
"Yeah, yeah," said Clements, putting the name to the face. "I've played a bunch with him online and a few times in the series."
Lodden and Guillen both have chips, but not too many. Clements is currently sat on around 610,000, which is contesting for the chip lead, certainly a top ten stack at this point. He told me the following when he was packing just I spoke to him when he was
"I'm not going to be overly happy if I cash," said Clements, before further clarifying his position. "Obviously I'll be happy if I cash but now I've got a lot of chips my goal is a bit further on than that. Anytime, I just want to play it day by day and have as many chips as possible by playing as best as possible."
Unfortunately for his table and the rest of the field, that best is pretty damn good.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.