Posts Tagged ‘Blair’

Eric Blair Wins WSOP Circuit Main Event At The Lodge

Eric BlairA total of 330 entries were made in the 2014 World Series of Poker Circuit $ 1,675 no-limit hold’em main event at The Lodge Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado.From that field only one player could emerge victorious with the title and in the end it was poker pro Eric Blair that came out on top, earning $ 116,325 and his first WSOP Circuit gold ring for the win.

“They all played really well,” said Blair of his final table opponents after his win. “They were tough. No one was giving it away. It was mentally grueling.”

Blair entered the final day in the middle of the pack, but less than an orbit into the day a key hand arose that rocketed him toward the top of the chip counts when he eliminated Corey Zedo in fifth place ($ 28,967) by besting his 6Diamond Suit6Club Suit with the KHeart SuitKClub Suit. From there he was able to make it to heads-up play with Nicholas Petitti. The two battled it out for over three hours, but in the end Blair was victorious.

In addition to the title, the hardware and the money Blair also earned 480 Card Player Player of the Year points. This was his third title of the year, having just won a $ 1,172 Deepstacks Extravaganza $ 300,000 guaranteed event at the Venetian roughly two weeks earler and a $ 2,100 prelim at the Wynn Classic in April. With another small final table finish already under his belt for 2014 as well Blair now sits in 20th place in the overall POY standings, with 1,632 points and year-to-date earnings of $ 279,996.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 12:31 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Blair, Circuit, Eric, Event, Lodge, Main, Wins, WSOP

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Blair Hinkle Wins World Series of Poker Circuit Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event For Third Time

Blair Hinkle has written his name in the poker history books as the first player to ever win the same World Series of Poker Circuit main event three times. It started when Blair took down the 2010 WSOP-C Horseshoe Councl Bluffs main event. In 2013 he found his way through the field again, and now just one year later he defended his title to win the event for a third time. Not only is he the only player ever to win the same event three times on the WSOP Circuit, he’s only the second player to win three main events period. The first was Chris Ferguson.

“I don’t think it’s set in exactly yet. I think I just take a lot of pride in my play and winning the tournaments,” Hinkle told WSOP.com after his win. “I think that my play is pretty good as we get deeper and it really starts to turn up to a higher level as we get closer to the final table and throughout the final table. I think that’s what I’m proud of. Winning each time doesn’t matter as much to me as playing well and feeling like I deserve to win it, I guess.”

Hinkle topped a field of 247 entrants to win $ 90,700 and 408 Card Player Player of the Year points. This was his first live tournament score of 2014, although he did receive quite a payday earlier this spring when he finally was reimbursed the more than $ 1 million that he had locked up on Full Tilt Poker after having no access to it for nearly three years. Hinkle also won the gigantic $ 10,000,0000 guaranteed prizepool event held last August at the “Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open “:http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-tournaments/4218-2013-seminole-hard-rock-poker-open/1099549/resultsfor $ 1,745,245.

Hinkle got off to a fast start in Council Bluffs, ending day one with more than twice as many chips as the next competitor. In fact his end of day 1 chip count was higher than two stacks that players brought to the final table. By the time the field was narrowed to nine Hinkle was only second in chips, but he was able to make it to heads-up and successfully overcome runner-up Matt Bond to defend his title.

By the time the final hand arose Hinkle had better than a 3-to-2 chip lead. Bond limped in from the button and Hinkle shoved from the big blind. Bond made the call with AClub Suit8Heart Suit which was a coin flip against Hinkle’s 7Heart Suit7Club Suit.

The board ran out KSpade Suit3Heart Suit3Club Suit4Diamond Suit5Club Suit and just like that Hinkle and secured the pot, the title and his place in WSOP Circuit history.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

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Published on 6:31 am by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Blair, Bluffs, Circuit, Council, Event, Hinkle, Horseshoe, Main, Poker, Series, Third, Time, Wins, World

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Blair Hinkle Wins 2013 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $10 Million Guaranteed Main Event

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in Hollywood, Florida drew an incredible turnout of 2, 384 entries in it’s $ 10 million guaranteed, $ 5,300 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event, blowing away the guarantee to build a prizepool of $ 11,920,000.

Just under a week after this massive event got underway, the huge field has been narrowed down to one player: Blair Hinkle. The 27-year-old poker professional from Kansas City, Missouri emerged victorious, taking home the title, the $ 1,745,245 first-place prize and 2,160 Card Player Player of the Year points. This was Hinkle’s second title of the year and his fifth final table finish, and as a result of his consistent success in 2013 he has climbed to third place in the overall POY standings with 3,448 points and year-to-date earnings of $ 1,967,527.

This huge win, the largest of his career, will perhaps help ease the pain the young pro has felt in recent years as a result of more than $ 1 million of his money being trapped on Full Tilt Poker since Black Friday.

Justin BonomoHinkle topped a tough final table en route to the title, defeating fellow young pro Justin Bonomo in a back-and-forth heads-up battle which lasted 165 hands and saw several lead changes.

Eventually Hinkle was able to build up a 6-to-1 lead by the time the final hand arose. He min-raised the button to 1.2 million and Bonomo called. The flop brought the QDiamond Suit9Spade Suit5Club Suit and Bonomo check-called a bet of 800,000 from Hinkle. The turn brought the JClub Suit and Bonomo again checked. Hinkle fired out a bet of 2.1 million and Bonomo moved all-in for just under 8 million total. Hinkle wasted no time in calling, flipping up the KSpade Suit10Heart Suit for the king-high straight. Bonomo held the QSpade Suit8Club Suit for top pair and a straight draw, but he was drawing dead heading into the river, which brought the 2Diamond Suit as a formality. With that, Hinkle won the pot and the title, while Bonomo was sent to the rail with $ 1,163,500 and 1,800 POY points.

This was Bonomo’s fifth final table appearance and his second runner-up finish of the year. All told he has garnered $ 1,567,896 in year-to-date earnings and 3,395 POY points, enough to move him into fourth place in the overall standings just behind Hinkle.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

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Published on 12:30 am by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , 2013, Blair, Event, guaranteed, Hard, Hinkle, Main, Million, Open, Poker, Rock, Seminole, Wins

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Blair Hinkle Wins Second World Series of Poker Circuit Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event Title

Blair HinkleBlair Hinkle has won his second World Series of Poker Circuit Horseshoe Council Bluffs $ 1,675 no-limit hold’em main event title, topping a field of 367 entrants to win $ 121,177 and 600 Card Player Player of the Year points. Hinkle took down this very same event in 2010, and is the only player in the history of the WSOP Circuit to achieve this feat of winning the same main event twice.

“Coming into the final table, my mom mentioned story lines for the reporters. I thought this would be a good one so I tried to make it happen,” Blair jokingly told WSOP.com after the win.

With this most recent score the 27-year-old professional poker player from Kansas City, Missouri’s live tournament winnings now exceed $ 1.6 million.

Hinkle came into the final day in third chip position, and entered heads-up play at a slight disadvantage with roughly 3 million of the 7,340,000 chips in play. Hinkle was able to wrangle the chip lead away from Brendan Waite, however, and stretched his lead until he held about 75 percent of the chips in play when the final hand arose.

With blinds of 40,000-80,000 with a 10,00 ante, Waite limped and Hinkle checked his option. The flop brought the KSpade Suit 5Club Suit 3Diamond Suit and both players checked. The KDiamond Suit paired the board on the turn, prompting a 125,000 bet from Hinkle. Waite raised to 325,000 and Hinkle called. The 6Spade Suit hit the river and Hinkle checked to Waite, who fired out 420,000. Hinkle moved all-in over the top, and after tanking for a few minutes, Waite made the call. Hinkle rolled over the 4Heart Suit2Diamond Suit for a six-high straight and Waite’s 7Club Suit6Heart Suit was revealed as the second-best hand. With that, Hinkle secured the title and the $ 121,177 payday.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

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Published on 12:30 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Blair, Bluffs, Circuit, Council, Event, Hinkle, Horseshoe, Main, Poker, Second, Series, Title, Wins, World

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With $1M On Full Tilt, Blair Hinkle Rebuilds At WSOP

Blair HinkleDespite being a victim of the alleged Full Tilt Poker heist, poker pro Blair Hinkle is staying positive and churning out excellent results at the 2012 WSOP. In February 2011, Hinkle won a tournament on the site for more than $ 1 million. That money is still frozen as a number in cyberspace.

Full Tilt’s American-facing business was shutdown on April 15, 2011, after the government unsealed a sweeping indictment that also nailed PokerStars and Absolute Poker. Hinkle’s funds represent less than one percent of the total owed to Full Tilt’s former U.S. customers.

The soft-spoken Hinkle, one of poker’s nicest guys, said receiving his money would be “life changing.” Fortunately for the Kansas City native, he made a final table in a $ 1,500 no-limit hold’em event three days ago. He said the score was a big boost.

With a short chip stack near the end of the event, Hinkle said he expected to finish ninth or tenth, however he wound up exiting in fourth. He was gunning for his second career bracelet, but didn’t complain about the $ 192,734.

Thanks to an unorthodox playing style and an ability to find max value from hands, Hinkle long ago established himself as one of the best no-limit hold’em tournament players. He outlasted 1,344 for his bracelet in 2008, and beat out 14,479 on Full Tilt for the seven-figure score.

Card Player previously interviewed Hinkle in September 2011, and reconnected with him during a break in Monday’s $ 1,000 no-limit hold’em (Event No. 44). At around 9:30 p.m. local time, Hinkle had one of the larger stacks with about 40 left out of the 2,949-player starting field. He has another solid shot at a second WSOP win.

Brian Pempus: What are your thoughts on the reports stating that PokerStars is thinking about buying Full Tilt Poker and cashing out players?

Blair Hinkle: I’m holding out hope for it. It would be huge if it happened. Nobody seems to know for sure what is going to happen. I just hope everyone gets paid and can stop sweating it. The fourth place helped a lot because I need to have a good Series or be paid by Full Tilt. Fortunately, I am having a good summer.

BP: How did you feel on the day when it was announced that the Groupe Bernard Tapie deal fell through, and PokerStars was now in the mix?

BH: I was excited because I thought the Tapie deal didn’t sound like a good one, and then when the details came out, it really looked like they weren’t going to have repaid [U.S.] players. It was being said that they were just going to pay people who had under $ 100 in their account. That was just ridiculous, but that was how they were selling it to the Department of Justice — that they were going to ‘refund 95 percent of accounts.’ It would be great if PokerStars does it. It makes sense to me both ways, if PokerStars does it or they don’t.

BP: After all this time, do you still frequently think about the money you have stuck?

BH: It gets brought up a decent amount at the tables here [at the WSOP], but not as much as last year. I think about it once a week pretty seriously, asking, ‘When is this [deal] going to happen?’ But it’s not something that gets to me or makes me upset. I’ve had a few pretty bad nights where I was really upset about it, but that was last year when it seemed like nobody was going to buy them. I have hope now.

BP: Are people at the tables offering any sort of support?

BH: Yeah. Everyone is pretty friendly about it, but it’s an unintentional needle. They say, ‘Oh man, that really sucks. I have a couple thousand on [Full Tilt], but I don’t know what I’d do if I was you.’ That’s not something that makes me feel better. However, I’ve heard it a lot, so I’m used to it.

BP: What has the process of rebuilding a bankroll been like?

BH: I got dropped by my backer, so I had to sell action this year for the Series, which was a new experience for me. After the Series I am going to have to write checks to like 25 different people who bought like one percent of me. Getting the score recently is going to obviously help my bankroll. It also gave me confidence coming into [today’s $ 1,000 no-limit hold’em], because I feel good about my play, and I’m not going to be sweating money for the rest of the Series. It helps not having the feeling in the back of your head that you need to win one.

Hinkle after his win in 2008BP: This all has changed the way you finance buy-ins?

BH: Yeah. If I had the money I’d buy myself in, not selling any action. This has affected the poker economy a lot. People are dropping their horses. It seemed kind of inevitable without online poker for people to grind. A lot of live backing deals are ending, so people are trying to find ways to get into these events. They are still good events, but it’s a lot of money if you come out here for the summer.

BP: Now, Phil Ivey is back this year and doing well, and people like Erick Lindgren and Layne Flack have been around. How do you feel when you see those guys playing? In February 2012, a lawyer for Groupe Bernard Tapie came out with a statement that a handful of former site pros borrowed millions and never repaid the debt.

BH: I didn’t realize that about Layne Flack. I think it’s all pretty bad. I think they should pay it back, whether there’s a [PokerStars] deal or not. Ivey has final tabled five things. I think he can maybe afford to do it. I don’t know. I don’t want to get into it too much because I’m sure they have legal counsel to tell them how to handle it. I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t tell them what to do with their money. But I feel like if you owe somebody money you should pay them back.

BP: With regards to prominent guys who once promoted Full Tilt — Andy Bloch, for example, won a bracelet recently — being quiet or saying nothing of substance, how does them just being here make you feel?

Accused Ponzi schemer Howard LedererBH: I don’t have a problem with the pros who were getting paid by Full Tilt to go out there and endorse the company. The people I have a problem with are [Chris] Ferguson, [Howard] Lederer, and Ray Bitar, who is probably the worst one. I haven’t seen those guys here for obvious reasons. I think they are in different countries.

BP: Other members of the poker community who I’ve talked to are basically withholding judgment on others associated with Full Tilt until the whole saga ends or more information comes out. Is this where you’re at?

BH: Yeah. I want to see what happens with the [PokerStars] deal. Either way, I’d like them to say, ‘Alright here is the money we owed the company.’ Hopefully it can be thrown in toward players’ bankrolls being refunded. It seems like the fairest way to do it.

BP: You have no anger or malice?

BH: No. I don’t get too angry at people. I am pretty even keel most of the time. I try to stay positive. I don’t want to hate anybody.

BP: What gives you this ability to be so patient and relaxed, when it’s such a huge sum of money that was stolen from you?

BH: My dad is a really even-keel guy, and my mom is super positive all the time. So, I feel like the combination of those two things helps me tell myself, ‘Just don’t let it get to you.’ Keeping those thoughts in my head helps not to let it affect me in the rest of my life. Because there’s nothing I can do about it. I guess that’s how I do it — I get it from my parents.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 12:32 am by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Blair, Full, Hinkle, Rebuilds, Tilt, WSOP

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Blair Hinkle Optimistic Despite $1 Million in His Defunct Full Tilt Poker Account

Blair HinkleDespite allegations of paying out $ 440 million to its board members and other owners since 2007, beleaguered online site Full Tilt Poker, operating as a “global Ponzi Scheme,” owes $ 150 million to U.S. players. One million of that figure rightfully belongs to poker pro Blair Hinkle.

This past February Hinkle won $ 1.2 million in a Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) main event. His prize was one of the largest the site had ever awarded, and it coincided with the company’s alleged insolvency. Hinkle had no way of knowing that his money was in serious danger, or that his winnings existed partly as what authorities have called “phantom funds” within the site.

According to Hinkle, the company took about a month to respond to his emails asking to raise his $ 8,000 per-day limit on cashing out. The site then asked him to re-verify his account. By the time the process was over, it was April and Black Friday had hit the poker community. Furthermore, none of his requests to withdraw just $ 48,000 of his winnings had been successful.

Looking back, Hinkle said that maybe there was something he could have done immediately after the score to retrieve some of his winnings, but that he had no way of knowing what was going to happen in the upcoming months. The Department of Justice claims that around this time period Full Tilt had only $ 60 million in its bank accounts while owing about $ 390 million globally.

Hinkle, a winner of a World Series of Poker bracelet in 2008, is one of poker’s best young players and was looking to use some of his poker profits to buy a house in Kansas City. However with such a huge sum frozen online, Hinkle has had to postpone his plans of being a homeowner.

“Things would be way different if I had my Full Tilt money, but at the same time I’m pretty happy with where I’m right now — just trying to stay positive,” Hinkle said.

“I think if Full Tilt goes under, there is a chance, at least I am hoping, that I will get at least 20 percent of money back because they’ll have to liquidate [Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Rafe Furst’s] assets in order to pay back some of the money. Depending on what the Department of Justice confiscated and whatever else could happen, I am obviously going to try and get as much back as possible. Let’s hope they get this investor and can take care of it quick, because it doesn’t look like they have a big window anymore.”

According to eGaming Review Magazine, two days after the DoJ’s amendment to the civil complaint “an unnamed party from within the gambling industry” signed a non-binding letter of intent for potential investment in Full Tilt. The Alderney Gambling Control Commission has yet to issue any word publicly on the alleged ongoing negotiations.

“I’m going day-by-day,” Hinkle said. “It’s been such a roller coaster for the last couple months. Every other day there has been good news or bad news. I’m taking it with a grain of salt until something definitive happens with the company.”

Many of the players with substantial money on Full Tilt are caught between a rock and hard place, deciding what action to take against the company they are hoping could recover to the point of paying what is owed. In this light, Hinkle isn’t sure what suing could do. “I have looked at my options and haven’t decided to do anything at this point. I think it’s better to wait it out. Another lawsuit on top of another lawsuit isn’t going to make it any easier for the company to make a deal.”

Hinkle said he isn’t sure that the people running Full Tilt had malicious intent, or whether it was gross incompetence. Either way, he isn’t angry, but he said they deserve to face criminal charges. (Only a civil complaint has been levied against Lederer, Ferguson, and Furst at the present time.)

Despite the nature of the allegations against Full Tilt, Hinkle said he is also disappointed in the DoJ, specifically in their timing. “I feel like they are trying to make a show of Full Tilt, or of poker in general.” Hinkle questions whether its primary concern is to get players cashed out.

The horrendous headlines for poker in the spring and summer months, to go along with Hinkle’s personal dilemma of having more than $ 1 million stuck on the defunct gambling site, have not damaged his enjoyment of the game. He has been spending some time lately in live cash games.

Hinkle credits his composure to what had made him a successful poker player in the first place. He has always been tilt-averse. “My style of play in tournaments has always been to care less about the money and more about winning the event. For that reason I don’t view money as something you should get upset about. Most good poker players have a good way to get over a losing session or a downswing. I think this mindset has helped me with the Full Tilt situation and allowed me to concentrate on other things in life. I know that I’m going to be successful with poker in the future. If I don’t get the $ 1 million, I’ll just have to grind away again.”

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus

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Published on 6:30 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , account, Blair, Defunct, Despite, Full, Hinkle, Million, Optimistic, Poker, Tilt

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Blair Hinkle Scores $1 Million in FTOPS Main Event

Blair HinkleThe FTOPS XIX main event wrapped up early Monday morning, after setting the record for the largest prize pool in the site’s history.

At the end, the final three players decided to make a deal, which netted eventual runner-up Blair “blur5f6” Hinkle a mammoth $ 1.1 million and winner GIAMPP nearly $ 900,000.

The $ 600+$ 40 buy-in no-limit hold’em event was held as a multi-entry, allowing all players to register up to six times. As a result, 14,479 players sat down at the virtual felt for a share of the $ 8,687,400 prize pool.

Here is a look at the final results:

1. GIAMPP — $ 877,949.74*
2. Blair “blur5f6” Hinkle — $ 1,162,949.74*
3. SirMad — $ 805,440.26*
4. Nayza — $ 451,744.80
5. Dan “WiLDmAn75” Buzgon — $ 321,433.80
6. J NOCK — $ 230,216.10
7. 425wedabest — $ 165,060.60
8. beerocrat — $ 121,623.60
9. Nick “Colonel Mustard” Stowell — $ 86,005.26

Scott ClementsAnother highlight from the series was Full Tilt Pro Scott Clements winning event no. 19 ($ 10,000 no-limit hold’em heads up) after remaining undefeated through an elite field of 128 players.

Clements banked nearly $ 300,000 after a deal at the final match. Italian and fellow Full Tilt Pro Alessio Isaia scored $ 285,500 for the runner-up finish.

Clements’ win, which was the largest online score of his career, brings his career earnings to more than $ 5 million.

Additional winners from the series include David “OSUTexan” Walker, Mike “SirWatts” Watson, Sam “miserd00d” Stein, Marius “DevilTruck” Olsvik, Alex “AD_84” Debus, Nick “Grippolio” Grippo, Mike “Scary_Tiger” Kaufman, Mike “CuteIsWhatIAim4” Telker, Chris “MrDoggy” Klodnicki, Alex “derdings” Jung, and Alex “-AKwow-” Kim.

The winner of the FTOPS XIX leader board competition is Paul “paulgees81” Volpe. Volpe made four final tables en route to capturing the series’ top honors and a special prize package of entries to FTOPS XX events. He also currently sits atop the 2011 Card Player Online Player of the Year (OPOY) race with 3,024 points.

If you don’t have an account but would like to compete in future events, click on the banner below. Card Player readers are eligible for a deposit bonus up to $ 600.

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Published on 5:40 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Blair, Event, FTOPS, Hinkle, Main, Million, Scores

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Poker Tournament Trail Q and A — Blair Hinkle

Blair HinkleBlair Hinkle recently won the $ 1,500 main event at the World Series of Poker Circuit stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Missouri native took home $ 88,555, a WSOP Circuit gold ring, and a seat in the $ 1 million WSOP Circuit National Championship thanks to the victory. He has earned $ 1,483,426 in lifetime winnings and his trophy case continues to grow. Winning is very important to the young poker professional and his aggressive style has allowed him to do so. He now has a WSOP Circuit gold ring to pair with WSOP gold bracelet.

Card Player caught up with Hinkle after the final table in Iowa and he talked about poker strategy, the WSOP Circuit tour’s presence in the Midwest, and having the support of his family.

Ryan Lucchesi: You have been no stranger to wild swings during your career so far and that was no different here at the final table in Iowa. What were your feelings today as you watched your chip stack run laps around your opponents?

Blair Hinkle: I really felt like that if I could get a run of luck going like winning a few flips, which is what finally happened, then I could really build up a huge stack. Every time I would build my stack, 80-90 percent of my hands were without showdown. So I didn’t have to show my hands and I was able to mix in bluffs. When I had it was when I had to show my hand. Getting it to the river and showing I had it, while the rest of the time it was bluffs and my chips kept building. But then you have to play the big all-in pots because you run into those situations. I finally started running well in those and my chips finally started going up and they never came back.

RL: You started this final day playing very aggressively and as a result you gained more chips than anyone during the first level of play. Was that always your plan heading into the final stages of the tournament?

BH: Actually I told my brother Grant, I talked to him right before, and I said, “I think I’m going to take it easy to start off today.” For other people that might be different but it just worked out where I was getting a few hands and then everything started to click. Situations were working out where I could tell what the right move was and I wasn’t even afraid to put in a ton of chips.

I would hold myself back when I’m not playing as well, but when I saw these spots and it was working I was like, “Alright, no more sitting around, you’ve got the table under control, you can make moves.” And it ended up working out very well.

RL: How important is it to just respond to what the table is giving you in any situation, whether it takes you out of your comfort zone, or in this case right into your comfort zone?

BH: I went with my gut feeling. Sometimes you’re on and things are working out great. I was making a lot of small raises on dry boards, those types of things. Sometimes people just come over the top of you and shove in those situations, but today it was all working out perfect.

RL: When do you feel like you had control of things in this tournament?

BH: The swings kept pushing things back. I felt like I was in control the entire day in terms of what I thought other players would do and how they would react to my play. I did make a mistake on my A-9 vs. A-J hand. I told myself, “Alright, I’m going to look at this hand and if it’s a really good hand I’m going to raise-call because I knew he was going to shove.”

When he shoved he stood up and looked like he was trying to intimidate me to make the call. I should have told myself, “A-9 is just not good enough anymore.” I should have changed my plan. That was the one little misstep I feel like. Luckily I won some flips after that and got back on track.

RL: How does the ring win compare to the bracelet? The money is not the same, but how important are the titles to you as you continue to build your poker resume?

BH: The most important thing to me is winning. The money is great, and I do take that into account when I’m playing. When I see a bubble and I’m a shorter stack I do take that into account and try to move up a little bit. I might make some lay downs as opposed to re-shoving on somebody.

The titles mean more because…because when they describe a pro for ESPN they don’t say, “He has three third places at the World Series, they say he has this title or that title.” Unless you’re Hellmuth and you have a million cashes then they start to bring that up. You have to play for so long to get to those numbers. You’re not getting the big scores and the notoriety unless you’re winning.

RL: You have established yourself as one of the best poker players from the Midwest. The WSOP Circuit series reaches out to a lot of Midwestern poker cities. How important is the Circuit for poker in the Midwest in your opinion?

BH: I think it’s going to be huge. I was surprised by the turnout here, 250 players when in February they had 60. I think it is partially because the structure is a lot better and the other part is the fact that they lowered the buy-in.

Which I think is really smart because with the economy being rough people in the Midwest aren’t going to come out and put down $ 5,000 right now to play in a poker tournament. This is better and I think it’s going to help poker grow in the Midwest if we can keep having big turnouts.

RL: You locked up a seat in the WSOP Circuit National Championship with your win here. Does that change your plans to play in Circuit events this season? Are you going to participate in many of the events hosted in the Midwest?

BH: I feel like I have to play in a couple more. I just heard about the one in Indiana and I will play in the St. Louis one for sure. The one in Southern Indiana is just a six-hour drive, which is reasonable, so I think I’m going to go for it.

RL: I’m sure a lot of your family will show up to support you at the St. Louis event and I see your mother was here to support you today. How much does it mean to have her rooting for you?

BH: I think it means I’m going to win the tournament. When she shows up at the final table it always works out well for me.

RL: So what happens if both you and your brother Grant make the final table in St. Louis? Do you finish first and second?

BH: I think if that happened then one of us gets first and the other gets ninth [laughs].

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Published on 7:13 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Blair, Hinkle, Poker, Tournament, Trail

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