LAPT Nuevo Vallarta: Schooling the Competition

While his tablemates chat to one other, bop to their iPods or simply stare at the green felt in front of them in between hands, Jim Collopy has work to do. In his lap sits a thick, hardback book topped with pages of handwritten notes and printed web pages. In his mouth, a ballpoint pen hangs from his lips. But why the multi-tasking in the middle of a major tournament?

Jim Collopy has a paper due on Monday.


Jim "Mr_BigQueso" Collopy

A sophomore economics major at NYU, 19-year old Collopy plays under the screen name "Mr_BigQueso" on PokerStars and has racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in earnings from playing online MTTs over the last two years. Less than three weeks ago, he final tabled the Sunday Million, finishing fifth for over $56,000, though his largest online score ever came in the quarterly $1,000 edition of the Million, where he finished third and banked $125,000. Over the last 12 months, he also won the $109 rebuy and finished second in the Sunday Second Chance.

The topic of Collopy's paper? 17th-century British politician and former Lord Protector of England Oliver Cromwell. That's some heady history zipping through his brain cells along with pot odds and percentages.

Since returning from the dinner break, Collopy's stack has taken some hits, slipping from 27,000 down to the 16,000 mark where he currently sits. For now (or at least until he doubles up) the book has been closed and the pen tucked away. His Bose headphones are on and he's dialed in on his opponents.

History will have to wait.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Latin American Poker Tour