Jamie Gold won the biggest WSOP Main Event ever but it hasn’t all been plain sailing since then: “I’m not interested in the court of public opinion, I’m only interested in the Federal Court”

Jamie Gold has had half his $12m frozen, and is the producer of upcoming reality TV show ‘America’s Hottest Mom’

Congratulations on your win. I was out there watching you from the rail.

Oh, you were there were you? Did you play?

I played in one of the $1,500 tournaments.

How did you do?

I was doing okay until I had one too many cans of Red Bull.

[Laughing] I’m sorry.

That’s okay. Has your win sunk in yet?

Yeah, it’s just starting to. I’m starting to realise what happened and it feels good.

You had what everyone needs to win the Main Event these days – a combination of good cards and good play. And you completely dominated it.

That’s what they tell me… I was chip leader from the third day on.

When did you feel like you were going to win it?

You know, I purposefully tried not to think about that. I always believed I would make the final table but I never thought about winning. You can’t concentrate on the game if you’re thinking about winning the tournament.

And did you play aggressively from the start? Is that how you got your big chip stack?

That’s my style. I’m always aggressive. I do all the things you’re not supposed to do. I play 80 percent of my hands, I talk a lot, I show my bluffs and I bluff a lot. All the things I was told not to do I did and it seemed to work. On the final table, everyone was telling me that if I just sat back and waited for everyone else to play and let them all bust out I would still be chip leader with two people left. I’d be guaranteed second place and $6m and then I could play it out as chip leader but I wasn’t willing to do that. I went after everyone and took out seven of the eight people. Everyone told me that. Hellmuth told me, Brunson told me, Johnny told me, everyone told me to play exactly the opposite of the way that I was playing and I didn’t listen, I just played the way I felt I had to play.

And you were very vocal as well, which is unusual. You definitely induced the final call…

I induced a lot of calls, but the last hand I made sure he called.

And you seemed to know instantly you’d won with the Queen.

I knew instantly every time I got someone to call me or someone to put me all-in. I’ve heard Richard Lee (sixth place finisher) talk a lot and I’m sorry he’s so bitter. He’s the only one that’s said negative stuff about me – that I made a bad play, that I was just lucky, that I should never have called him. For me when you call with the best hand, that’s a pretty good play. He said you can’t trap with Queens. So the fact that I trapped him with Queens makes it an even better play. I knew as soon as he went all-in. I shouted, ‘I got ya!’ I obviously knew something. It took me four hours to make that play but I did it. I was so focused I knew exactly what cards everyone had all the time.

It might be an obvious question but who did you fear most on the final table?

Well, I’m actually not going to give you the answer you’re expecting. The night before I was most concerned with Allen Cunningham, but believe it or not, on the table he was the least of my concerns. I was most concerned with Richard Lee because as I was building my stack from 40 to 50 to 60 million, he was going from 10 to 20 to 30 million. And he was the only one consistently playing back at me. That’s why I knew I had to trap him and it took me four hours to get that hand. That’s why I limped on the button with Queens, which no one else would do.

Reader question: Did you think the table draw was favourable to you?

Yes it was very favourable. It was great that I drew after Allen. He was the most experienced player and, until the final day, the favourite to win. In all the Las Vegas odds compilers I was always number two, but on the final day most people put me as favourite – I think I was about 7/2.

You said that you needed to get lucky to knock him out and in the end it came down to a race.

When I said lucky, I felt that I wouldn’t be able to outplay him. It turned out that I was outplaying him on the table and I gave him a lot more credit than maybe I should have. As a rookie playing against the best in the world I didn’t realise how good I could be. With Allen I thought the quickest and easiest way to get him out was to put him in a race. I had K-J suited and he ended up having Tens. I figured we were 50-50 and I was getting 2/1 on the pot, so it was a really easy call. I don’t know why but I celebrated when I saw his hand. People might have wondered why I was so happy when I had to race but that’s exactly what I was waiting for. Even if he doubled up to 12 [million], what was I on, 60? He’d have to double through me twice, which I was not going to let him do.

People say you got very lucky, do you think that’s fair?

I got lucky once when I hit the Seven for the straight – I was drawing to four Twos and a Seven and hit. Every other time I was all-in or someone pushed on me when I was pushing or I was allin, I was the favourite. I was always ahead, I never got lucky except I was lucky that no one got lucky on me. When you see it on TV no one’s going to say, ‘he got lucky’, they’re all going to say, ‘he outplayed everybody’. I heard Phil Hellmuth say that every time I throw my chips in in a certain way that I’ve got nothing. What he didn’t realise is that I did that when I had the Queens. So that’s probably the best player in the world and he thinks he’s got a read on me. Well, yeah he did, but I did it purposefully, I want people to think they have a read on me so I can change my game and trick them. Then they get cocky and make mistakes.

You say this was your first Main Event. Did you play in any of the other WSOP tournaments?

I bought myself into the $5,000 [no-limit] and I busted out of that really quickly. I flopped a set and someone hit a full house so I got unlucky. I played well for an hour. In the Main Event I played well for 90 hours – 15 hours a day over 10 days and I wasn’t sleeping very much, it gets really gruelling. And I never really made a mistake. You know, never once did I make a mistake in the whole tournament. I don’t imagine I’ll ever play that well again, or anybody else for that matter, I don’t know how anyone can play that well. It was a once-in-alifetime thing.

How’s it going to change you?

The sad thing is I can’t really play poker anymore because everyone’s after me. I can’t sit in a regular game ever again because I’m at a 9/1 disadvantage. So I’m going to continue to play tournaments – I realise that I’m now the ambassador for poker, that’s what everyone keeps telling me, that I have a responsibility to the game.

Do you see that yourself?

I was an agent for celebrities so I understand the responsibility you have to the public when you’re a public figure. There are nine-yearold kids that have posters of me on their walls. I could shun that responsibility but I’m not going to. There are certain things I’ve been asked to be a spokesperson for, which I’m not going to do because I don’t believe it’s a positive thing to portray to children. I realise I have a responsibility and I’m going to make a career out of it, even though I’m going to carry on doing what I do. I’m producing a TV show at the moment called The Hottest Mom in America. You can go to hottestmominamerica. com if you want information on it.

Have you been surprised about the negative stuff that’s come up surrounding your win?

No, because like every celebrity it’s just part of the business, it’s what happens, people are going to write negative things about you. And they’re not true so I don’t even acknowledge it.

Is that why you haven’t been vocal in your defence? Or is it because of the impending legal case?

Yeah, I’m just letting my lawyers handle it and they’ve advised me not to talk about it. I’m not interested in the court of public opinion, I’m only interested in the Federal Court. I’m going to leave the case there…

And you think it’s definitely…

JG’s PR person: I’ve gotta get Jamie off now Dave.
And he does. We’ll keep you up-to-date with all of the legal proceedings as well as any developments out of the courtroom as and when they happen.

Who are ya?

The Hollywood agent from Malibu came from nowhere to win this year’s Main Event. But with Johnny Chan’s tutorage Gold took apart the field like no one has ever done before. His previous biggest win was $54,225 for first place in an LA tourney.

If you like amazing stories like this then you should be reading PokerPlayer magazine as its full of similar great writing

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