WSOP Main Event: Doug Kim--Duke Home Game Veteran

by Craig Cunningham

Update: 3:05PM
Doug's table has been fairly tight, most pots taken down pre-flop with raises. The 9s, Lee Kort, has caught some big hands that Doug was out of, taking the overall lead at $3.3M. "I got down to $700k but have chipped up to $790k or so," said Doug. He's generally had his raises respected, except when Kort has a big hand.


"You should talk to my friend, he has chips as well." Jason Strasser introduced his fellow Blue Devil, Doug Kim, and he's a bit of an enigma in this field of 100 players. Recently graduated from Duke with a degree in Economics, Doug starts work for a financial consulting firm in Manhattan in December. While his friend Jason regularly plays high-limit poker, Doug is more like most of us. Both were involved in a regular home game at Duke. "It started as a $1/1 NLHE game with a $100 buy-in," said Doug, " but it would most of the time quickly escalate as the night went on. We'd have different people drop in as well, football players, others. It was always a very tough game, with a ton of trash talking." Doug qualified late for his seat in the Main Event. "I spent alot trying to get in, then grabbed a seat on the 23rd. I didn't really have any expectations coming into the tournament."

Doug had some interesting experiences on Day 2 of the tournament, sitting with a shortstacked Phil Ivey on his left then Layne Flack later in the day. "Ivey didn't have alot of chips, and he was his normal quiet image. He didn't have enough chips to do alot, but he got respect. Layne Flack was much more talkative, and he tends to limp into alot of pots. It was great to play with them. You know, I picked up alot playing in our cash games at Duke, though. It was filled with very bright people who were very competitive, so it's been a great training ground."

Doug's style is a bit more conservative than Jason's, and the younger but more experienced friend constantly teases Doug. "He just doubled up a minute ago," said Jason on Day 3, "and he celebrated like a little school girl." Doug's reply: "I had kings vs. jacks, and a jack came on the board. He trapped me, then I spiked a king on the river. Yeah, I did scream like a girl. I'm a hypocrite. Whatever." The two kept an eye on one another until Jason busted out late yesterday. Doug had a solid day on Day 4. "Nobody respected steals at our table, so changed from a nit to a super nit and started bleeding chips. I won a big pot with the nuts, then I took a $600k pot from David Chiu with A-J vs. A-T. I got moved late to the ESPN Feature Table and had Humberto Brenes plus a couple of other strong players. I had to adjust my strategy."

Table 139 has been at a fairly tight table, with most hands won pre-flop. This poker hobby of his is working fairly well, maybe a bit easier than his home game.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker