A few days ago when Jeffrey “Jefffrr8” Reardon found himself at the final table of WCOOP Event #24-L, a $22 buy-in six-handed no-limit hold’em event that drew a huge 5,803-player field, a couple of things were foremost on his mind.
One was how a poker goal the Canadian had set for himself had suddenly come into view.
A while back Reardon was playing a lot of poker and working two jobs. “One was at the movie theater and one at the hockey arena,” he explained to PokerStars Blog when speaking to us from his home located about a 40-minute drive from Toronto.
“I knew I wanted to play poker full-time, but I wasn’t able to quit both jobs because I didn’t want to start without being financially comfortable,” he says. Eventually, though, he was able to quit one (“I kept the hockey arena job because I liked it more”). Then earlier this year he left the other, and since April has been playing full-time.
After making his decision Reardon enjoyed the support of family of friends. Then, after having some success playing primarily tournaments and with WCOOP coming up, he had a particular milestone in mind.
“I told some of my poker friends that I wanted a five-figure score during WCOOP… that was my goal,” he says.
Making the final table of Event #24-L meant that was a possibility, as the top two payouts were close to $16.5K for first and about $11.5K for runner-up.
Immediately after they reached the unofficial final table of seven players, Reardon won a big flip versus a shorter-stacked opponent when his ace-king outran queens, and just like that he was essentially tied for the chip lead.
But something else occupied his thoughts, too.
“So there were like 5,800 in this tournament,” he says. “And one of my closest friends — like a really good poker friend of mine — had actually made Day 2 with me.”
Not only that, Reardon’s friend — “TeeWee55” — had made the final table as well!
“It was incredible. We were battling, too. We both are really competitive, and he was playing back at me — there were a couple of four-bet pots. It was a battle, but I ended up knocking him out in fourth.”
Prior to that Reardon had taken out another tough competitor and frequent finisher at big final tables “IDOLLS” in fifth place. “IDOLLS is really good,” Reardon confirms. “I ended up three-outing him… he was the best player at the table.”
With those knockouts Reardon’s chip lead grew larger, enabling him to continue pressuring his last couple of opponents. After “Yoggi744” fell in third, Reardon had a big chip advantage over “dilimAA”, and within just five hands or so another preflop all-in arrived and it was over — Reardon had won!
The $16,499.58 prize for first is nearly three times Reardon’s previous career-high. Capturing that first five-figure win occasioned another first for Reardon — his first social media post about poker:
— Jeff (@ReardonJeffrey) September 12, 2019
“I think the main thing for me was actually commitment,” he says, explaining that once he made the decision to play full-time back in the spring, “I have to treat it like a full-time job.” He adds that watching cards-up final table replays of Sunday Millions and other big events helped him considerably at the final table as well.
“I really understood how people can take control of a final table when ICM is so crucial,” he says — something he was able to do himself after he grabbed that chip lead and then increased it further.
Reardon’s plan now is to continue to study and play, and while he might be adjusting his poker goals going forward, he’s nonetheless going to enjoy having achieved this one.
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