We speak to WSOPE champion John Juanda moments after his epic win
Does it feel like you just played the longest final table in WSOP history?
It’s the longest final table I’ve ever played. I can’t believe anyone has played one that’s longer.
You’ve had lots of near misses in WSOP bracelet events. Did you ever think it wasn’t going to be your day again?
He [Alekhin] had me down a couple of times, and I was worried. Early on I was confident I was going to win, but when I was short-stacked I was worried, thinking, ‘Not again… I’m not going to finish second again.’ I was short but I didn’t give up. I tried my best, and you have to give the last two players [Alekhin and November Niner Ivan Demidov] a lot of credit – they played great poker.
It’s been five years since your last bracelet win. It must feel good to be back in contention?
For two years Daniel [Negreanu] and I weren’t winning any tournaments and a lot of people assumed we were washed up – that all these young kids were better than us. There are a lot of great young players out there, but when we’re motivated, we can still play. I just hope I don’t have to wait another five years for my next bracelet.
How does this compare to the first bracelet?
I think of the four bracelets this is the most special. This is one of the top three events that I really want to win. It’s this one, the Main Event in Vegas and the WPT World Championship title.
You’ve invested in an MRI clinic – is it important to put your money to good use?
Absolutely, I’m a Buddhist and I believe in good karma. I believe every time I do good things, good things come back to me, and even if they don’t it still makes me feel good to help people. I’ve had a lot of help to get where I am today so maybe it’s my turn to help people back.
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