James Sudworth is a young British player who is probably better known for his love of Jagermesister and energy drinks than he is for his poker, but that’s not to say the guy can’t play. Sudworth has picked up $229,345 in live tournament winnings but in terms of big scores he just hasn’t quite been able to cross that final hurdle. For instance, he finished seventh in a $2,500 WSOP six-handed event in 2009 to collect $54,777, while first place would have paid him $552,745. That, as they say, is poker.
Closing is far from being Sudworth’s problem at the moment, it’s simply getting over the line and into the money. The Brit is entrenched as one of those trying to avoid the bubble bursting in his face, although you’d be hard-pressed to spot him showing any pressure. James Dempsey wandered over from his $2,000 side event to give him support: “You’re the best player in this event,” said Dempsey, before adding the rubdown, “with a stack of less than ten big blinds. You’d do Mickey Wernick proud.”
Wernick, aka ‘The worm’ or ‘The legend’ as he latterly tried to rechristen himself, is an old school grinder who sits 60th on the England all-time money list with $1,022,844 yet holds a podium position of 3rd in England number of cashes with 137, behind British poker institutions Surinder Sunar (182) and Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott (198).
So is it time to nit up like Mickey? we asked.
“No, it’s find a hand time,” said Sudworth. And find a hand he did.
Table big stack João Paulo Simão opened to 6,500 and Sudworth moved in from the button for his last remaining chips, which looked to be around 24,000 deep (around nine big blinds at the time).
“Don’t get too sad,” said Sudworth trying to show a little confidence.
Simão replied: “Sorry, I have to call. My hand is too strong.”
Sudworth tabled 8♥8♠ to put him marginally ahead of Simão’s A♦10♣ and the Brazilian quickly started calling for Pele, the most famous football player to ever pull on the number ten shirt.
The flop came out 4♦6♥3♦. No ten
“Come on, Pele!” chanted Simão excitedly.
“If a ten comes I’m going to have hunt down Pele and kill him,” said Sudworth (this of course was meant as joke, Pele fans, no retribution is needed).
The turn and river blanked out and Sudworth doubled to 52,000 still leaving him in the danger zone with the blinds going up to 2000-4000 but certainly taking him of the immediate frying pan, if you’re allowing us to mix our metaphors. Just go with it.
Level 16: blinds 2000-4000, ante 500
Players: 76 of 477
Average stack: 188,000
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