It was Day 1 of the Super Seniors event at the 2017 World Series of Poker. Sixty-six-year-old James Moore walked into the Rio with a strong sense of confidence. And why not? He won this tournament last year.We made it a point to talk to Moore on that fateful day, and he quoted Stu Unger: "Anyone can win a tournament. Defending it is where it's at."Two days later, Moore did just that.Moore went back-to-back in the Super Seniors event on Tuesday, a feat not often seen at the World Series of Poker. Tuan Le did it in 2014/2015 in the $10K 2-7 Triple Draw. Thang Luu did it in 2008/2009 in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better. And there's the much heralded back to back Main Event titles earned by Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, and Johnny Chan. But that's it.Moore now finds himself in the company of poker's greats by navigating 1,476 players last year and another 1,720 players this year to defend his title and claim his second bracelet.Moore, a radiologist, hails from New Hope, a thriving artist community about an hour outside of Philadelphia. He mainly works from home, thanks to modern technology, so patience and focus are something that he is used to employing and obviously has transferred to his poker playing.Moore and his wife go to the theater and some artistic events, and they love their life in the country. But there's another side to Moore. He also loves the game of poker and frequently spends his time playing games in Philadelphia and Atlantic City."Last year, I had this feeling that I was extremely lucky to win," he told PokerNews after his second win. "I just wanted to take my game up a notch. So I started playing fairly regularly in the Philadelphia area. Not to mention, I'm only a few hours outside of Atlantic City, so I'm able to go over and play there. I even played a WPT event. Even though I've been working on my game, I still have ways to go regarding the quality of my play."When we talked to Moore on Day 1, we asked him what his strategy was to secure his second title. His strategy was simple, "Day 1, just survive. Day 2, collect chips. Day 3, win."Everything worked as planned."It was a rough first day; I had pocket aces cracked by ace-ten. You don't really expect that kind of thing, but it happens from time to time. I lost a lot of my chips there. I wanted to survive on Day 1, and I did. Barely."He started Day 2 short, but he still had some chips to work with holding about 17 big blinds."It didn't help having TJ Cloutier on my left. That's a tough spot to be in. But I came in hyper-aggressive with no cards and built my stack to about 80,000. Then I had a run of cards that you just wouldn't believe. It was embarrassing how good I ran."Day 3 began with Moore third in chips, and there were 22 players that stood between him and another winner's photo. He took some beats early on and spent most of the day playing short."The field gets tougher as tougher as times goes on. You run into a lot of really fine players. I played short most of the day, and my goal was to try and maintain patience, which isn't really too difficult for me. I was just focused on making the best decision at the time. That was really all I could do. I guess my patience paid off."Preparation and learning is important to Moore. After last year's win, he was motivated to work hard to improve his game. He wanted to show up this summer as a worthy champion and playing his best. When you talk to him, you can sense his love and respect for the game of poker and how important it is for him to represent it well.That's why putting in the time at the card rooms over the past year was important to him. He was getting ready for this summer. He is quick to acknowledge that there was a definite difference between his play this year and last, and he attributes that difference to his time at the tables."In the past, I've had a tendency to fold a lot on flops to other people's bets when I had nothing, and now I'm a lot stickier. I think that has to be one of the best improvements in my game."Moore only played two WSOP events this year, the Seniors and Super Seniors. Last year was the same. After winning his second bracelet, we asked him if he might be expanding his WSOP schedule next year."I don't know the answer to that. I'm sort of shell-shocked at this moment. Working on your game is a process. It's very hard. I run into a quality of play that's pretty awesome out here and I want to be prepared to be competitive in whatever events I decide to play."You can just look at him and tell how much this means to him. His calm and confident exterior gave way to a shaky, soft, and somewhat disbelieving voice when asked what was next."I would like to be described as someone with a deep and fundamental understanding of the game. And I don't think I'm quite there yet."Moore has the heart of a true champion. He's not ready to rest on his laurels, and at 66 years old, he has a strong desire to keep moving forward to make sure he leaves a legacy that includes being a solid game player."I'm not sure what the next steps are to improve my game, maybe it's time to get a coach. I'll certainly continue to read, study the game and of course, continue to play."Moore is definitely looking forward to coming back next year as the two-time defending champion to survive Day 1, collect chips on Day 2 and claim a third straight title on Day 3. It only makes sense to stick with what works.
After three long hours and 133 hands of heads-up play, James Moore accomplished the amazing feat of winning the World Series of Poker $1,000 Super Seniors event in back-to-back years. This year's win earned him $259,230 and a second gold WSOP bracelet after defeating Kerry Goldberg, a worthy opponent in his own right. Last year, Moore pocketed $230,626, earning himself almost half a million dollars in this event across two series.This event attracted a total of 1,720 entries for a total prize pool worth $1,548,000 paying out 258 spots. The numbers in this event are up from 1,476 entries and a prize pool of $1,328,400 last year, proving that this event is most definitely a successful one.In the final hand, the final two players saw a queen-high flop and got it all in, with Goldberg being the player at risk. He held second pair, but Moore had top pair and they had the same kickers. The turn gave both players two pair and Moore held on to capture a second title for a second straight year. Goldberg may have fallen short of the title, but he took home $160,120 for his impressive run in this event.Moore is currently a full-time Radiologist just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania even though he is able to work from home. After winning the Super Seniors Event last year, Moore said he felt like he got lucky so he wanted to go out and improve his game. He has played frequently in the Philly area and also attended a WPT event in Atlantic City. When asked what he has done to improve his game, Moore replied with "I am really focused on making the best decisions at any given time. I have become a little bit more sticky on flops, instead of just folding to a bet all the time."Last year was the first year Moore was eligible to compete in the Super Seniors Event and now he has gone two-for-two. "I am shell-shocked at this point," Moore said about his most recent victory. Moore came into heads-up play with a big chip deficit and slowly worked his way into the lead. "Once we got to even in chips, that's when I began to feel more confident."Moore will be returning next year to once again defend his title in the Super Seniors Event and will take his shot at the Seniors Event again as well. "I'm not sure if I will play any other events other than those two - we'll have to see next year," Moore said with a shrug of the shoulders. Going forward, Moore still wants to continue playing poker and continue getting better. "I want to be described as someone with a deep understanding of the fundamentals of the game."This event attracted some big names, and some of the players who went deep but were unable to make the elusive final table included Armand 'Oyster King' King (29th place $6,535), James Woods(34th place - $6,535), June Jenkins (101st place - $2,025), Michael Shahade (118th place - $2,025), Tom McCormick (134th place - $1,856), TJ Cloutier (174th place - $1,723), and Susie Isaacs (211th place - $1,550).Final Table ActionThe official final table of nine lasted seven and a half hours and a total of 288 hands. It began after the elimination of Stanley Siegel in 10th place ($15,804) when he lost a flip with pocket fives against the ace-king of Goldberg. His elimination set the stage for what was an eventful final table.Action began with the first seven pots getting taken down preflop, and then Terry Stahldreher was the first to go in ninth place ($20,296) in the eight hand. He ripped his stack in the middle with ten-five off suit and was unfortunate enough to run into Moore's pocket aces. He couldn't catch a break and made his way to the rail.Daniel Favreau was next to go. David Smith moved all in on the button with king-three off suit and Favreau called for slightly more in the big blind with two sevens. Smith managed to back into a straight and Favreau was left with less than one big blind, only to bust in the next hand with eight-three off suit. He pocketed $26,365 for his deep run today. Just two hands later, Smith picked up ace-jack of spades and moved in again, this time running into Moore's ace-king and was unable to get there. He settled for seventh place and a payout worth $34,641,Almost 20 hands later, Darrell Ticehurst lost his stack to John Isler in back-to-back hands. He first doubled him up after getting his kings cracked by ace-nine suited, and in the next hand moved all in with a flush draw but couldn't get there against Isler's top pair. He battled to the top of the counts at one point, but had to be happy with $46,029 for his sixth place finish.Just ten short minutes later, Ken 'Teach' Aldridge saw his hopes of winning a second WSOP bracelet get dashed after running pocket kings into the aces of Moore. He left the final table with a massive smile on his face, just what he is known for, and shook every player's hand on his way out. He even thanked all of the staff on the floor individually. Aldridge missed two flights in the last two days due to the fact that he kept finding a bag in this event, so it's safe to say he is just fine with his payout of $61,842 for fifth place.Almost an hour and a half of play went by, and by the dinner break, Moore had put together a nice lead with 3,800,000 in chips, while his opponents all had under two million. In just the fourth hand of play after dinner, Veronica Daly flopped top set and decided to slow play it. Unfortunately for her, Moore back into a straight and she called off her stack on the river after Moore shoved. She earned herself the title of Last Woman Standing in this event, and pocketed $84,005 for fourth place.An hour and ten minutes, and about 50 hands, went by before the next elimination, and it was Isler who would find himself flipping with ace-queen against Moore's pocket threes. Moore flopped a set and after getting a count, Isler had just less than Moore and was eliminated in third place for a nice payday worth $115,357.Heads-up play lasted three hours and Moore was the one who eventually claimed his second bracelet in back-to-back wins. It was a special way to end a fun-filled tournament, and there is certainly no reason why this event won't continue to be successful.
Ben Yu won the $10,000 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship after triumphing over a field of 80 players and a star-studded final table.Coming into the day third in chips, Yu soon chipped up and battled with eventual runner-up Shaun Deeb for the chip lead before overcoming the two-time bracelet winner heads-up to join him in the two-time winners club.Event #34 Final Table ResultsPlaceNameCountryPrize1Ben YuUnited States$232,7382Shaun DeebUnited States$143,8423Nick SchulmanUnited States$98,3374Mike WatsonCanada$68,6015Shawn BuchananCanada$48,8546Mike MatusowUnited States$35,532Deeb led the way at the start of the final day, with just six players left all vying for the gold bracelet.On Sunday, Mike Matusow was saying that he was looking to “bring the pain” on the final table day, but a couple of mistimed bluffs resulted in his elimination in sixth ($35,532) after he was eliminated by Yu. It was Matusow's third final table of the series already.Next to go was Shawn Buchanan (5th - $48,854), whose nine-low fell to Deeb’s eight-perfect. Fellow Canadian Mike Watson was next to go when his pat-ten wasn’t good enough against Deeb who made a seven. He exited in fourth place for $68,601.Three-handed was an enthralling affair, with shortstack Nick Schulman doubling up multiple times to stay alive. Eventually, he fell to Yu who made eight-perfect to eliminate the two-time 2-7 Lowball bracelet winner in third ($98,337).It was perhaps fitting that the players who had done the most damage in eliminating players, and the pair who had tussled for the chip lead the most over the course of the final day, were heads-up.In one corner was Yu, looking for his second bracelet after his $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship bracelet in 2015. In the other corner was two-time bracelet winner Deeb looking for his third bracelet in three years.Eventually, it was Yu who triumphed after a thoroughly one-sided heads-up affair. He celebrated loudly with his rail which had been cheering every single pot. He takes home $232,738 for his efforts and his second WSOP gold bracelet.Reflecting on his victory, Yu admitted that the final table was indeed a tough one with the quality of players seated around it."It was very tough. The media often overblows and says that every final table is hard. But this table and this field was actually really tough."You have Shaun Deeb who is one of the few players who can get away with playing so loose because he's so good post-flop. You've got Nick Schulman, one of the Bobby's Room end-bosses. Winning in everything he plays."I don't have people in poker that I look up to, but Mike Watson is definitely one of them."Yu was three-handed against Deeb and Schulman, both of whom had two bracelets. He said that he wasn't phased by this."I knew that I was up against tough competition because of who they were and watching them play the last two days. Against these two I was either break-even or slightly losing."It wasn't the bracelets that intimidated me, it was knowing how they play and knowing how great they are at poker!"
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