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Will Ron Amos Win the 2010 WSOP Main Event

4 May 2010, By:

Were you surprised that Quincy is the Geographical center point of poker? Could you describe the poker community in Quincy - are there many active players and are there any venues for live poker?

I'm not sure about the science of your theory that Quincy is the geographical epicenter of poker. However, I do hope to shake things up at the WSOP main event.  Like many others I was inspired to play poker after watching Chris Moneymaker take down the main event. For a considerable time I couldn't find a local game to play in until a friend told me about a poker club that he belonged to,  

the RRAGS Rounders & Rouges Associated Gaming Society.  This was exactly what I was looking for, a good group of guys that were serious about playing Texas Holdem.

For a considerable time I couldn't find a local game to play in until a friend told me about a poker club that he belonged to, the RRAGS Rounders & Rouges Associated Gaming Society.  This was exactly what I was looking for, a good group of guys that were serious about playing Texas Holdem.

The club had purchased many books and didn't play deuces and one eyed jacks as wild cards.  There was even a mission statement: "We are forming this club to become the best poker players that we can and to send as many club members as possible to a major poker tournament such as the WSOP or WPT."

There are no local casino poker rooms in the area, but usually there is a game going somewhere.

Ron Amos Quick Facts

Occupation Mechanical Engineer
Favorite poker hand Pocket 8s
Favorite music Def Leppard and 80s rock
Favorite sports team St. Louis Cardinals
Favorite books Anything by Dan Harrington

Who I'd like to be heads up

with for the WSOP title this year

Daniel Negreanu


What type of city is Quincy? Is it famous for something else besides being the center of poker?

Quincy has a population of about 45,000 and is separated from big cities by miles of corn fields.  It is a great community to raise a family with jobs based on farming and manufacturing.  Quincy is most famous for debates between Abraham Lincoln and Steven Douglas.  This past week President Obama was here in Quincy and the community for a visit.

In 2009, you finished 344th in the WSOP Main Event, which is quite an accomplishment. Let's start with the boring part. How did you go out and how did it feel to finish only 343 spots away from the title?

After you hear how I went out, you may want to change your pick to win the main event.  On Day 5 my stack was less than half of what it had once been with just under 10 M.  There were two players at my table that were raising almost every hand.  On this particular hand one of them made the standard raise of just slightly less than 1 M.  The big stack at the table had been playing tight aggressive and re-raised to 4 M.  Facing a raise and re-raise, I planned to quickly fold like I had been doing with my rag hands.

However, I looked down at Big Slick suited, the best two cards that I had seen in 8 hours.  The initial raiser was of little concern since he was raising every other hand.  The standard re-raise at the table was 3 M and the big stack had made this re-raise previously.  After consideration I decided that the big stack was tired of the stealing and wanted the hand over pre-flop.  I didn't want to fold again and I also didn't want to stick 40% of my stack in the pot hoping to flop an Ace or a King.

I decided that my opponents should have a tight image of me and that my opponents probably were not that strong.  I pushed all in and was called by both.  Even though I rivered a king the initial raisers Aces were too much.  Any finish other than first is nauseating and starts the internal dialogue.  "Why did I push with AK facing a raise and re-raise?"  "Why did the guy have to wake up with a monster when I finally get a legitimate hand?"  "I didn't want to just survive but wanted to make the final table; I couldn't just keep waiting!"  "My poker club buddies are going to be bummed."  "Where can I get some Tums!"

Were you up against any big names along the way?

On day three, I played all day with Billy Kopp.  I left the table very impressed with his play, and told many that I thought he would do well.  Of course he should have made it to the final table except for his meltdown against Darvin Moon.  I asked him about the Darvin hand while playing against him on-line and he referred me to an interview that he had done.  He said that it was an aggressive play that he would frequently make.

Darvin said in an interview that he could tell Billy wasn't that strong, and after watching the video I have to agree.  I believe that Billy made a huge mistake on that hand.  I couldn't tell that Darvin hadn't boated, could Billy tell?  Ironically, the Darvin call was similar to great calls I saw Billy make on day 3.  On day 4 I played an hour or so with Joe Sebok before our table was broke.

Could you run us through some of your key hands: big pots, bluffs, monster calls, suck-outs etc?

Day 1: I had built my stack up to about 45K when I hit a set of aces on a suited board.  My top set ended up losing to a nut flush.  Fortunately I didn't lose too much because the other guy didn't bet it too hard and I was back to a little over 30K.

Near the end of day 1, I flopped a set of kings on a two card suited board I bet 3K and he raised to 8K on the flop and I smooth called.  The turn brought the potential for an open ended straight draw in addition to the flush draw potential.  I checked and he bet 10K.  Now most of the time I would have pushed all in here, but for some reason I decided to risk it and smooth call again.  Despite my prayers for no diamond Ace or 9, the river was the 9.  I checked to him again and he bet 15K.  My first thought was damn he hit his straight.  I don't normally talk at the table while involved in a hand, but I asked "You hit your straight, didn't you?"  He immediately replied "No!" and then added "I had it the whole way."  I believed his "NO!" answer and made the call feeling relatively safe.  I won the hand and that got me to 68K at the end of day 1.

Day 2 was really up and down for me.  The most memorable hand on day two was my kings busting an opponent's aces.  I had him easily covered, but it did add to my stack nicely.

Day 3 was my big day.  It started out nicely when I sent the Hendon Mob's Barney Boatman to the rail.  I raised with pocket 8s UTG and Barney was the player to my immediate left.  He looked at his whole cards and for a split second reached for raising chips, before quickly smooth calling.  Alarm bells went off in my head; Aces or Kings but I think he would have raised with kings.  There ended up being about 4 to the flop, which was Q 8 3 with two hearts.  I debated how to proceed and decided since he had a big hand the best thing to do was bet into him, with my set of eights.  I bet approximately 2/3 of the pot which he again smooth called and the other players got out of the way.  The turn brought a potential straight but otherwise no worries.  I had him covered by a little and decided to push all in, he didn't like it but made the call with his aces.  That hand gave me a lot of confidence and from there I had a great day and finished with a nice stack of 437K.

In retrospect, are you satisfied with your performance last year?

Absolutely!  I didn't go out to Vegas expecting to win or even cash.  I went out to enjoy the experience.

Dennis Phillips is probably the most famous player from Quincy. Have you met him or even played against him, and are there any other Quincy players we should have an eye on?

Because I didn't expect to win I decided to copy Dennis Phillips and wear the Cardinal Baseball Cap.  I'm not a person that normally seeks autographs, but decided that if I got the cap autographed I wouldn't come back completely empty handed.  I met Dennis several times while out there and had him sign the cap along with the other pros that stayed in the tournament long enough.

There are a number of good players in the area.  However, I'm not sure if any are going to play in the main event.

If you go to the WSOP this year, what are your goals?

I plan to play in the WSOP even though I haven't been playing well lately.  I really should have some goals, but Carpe Diem, bring me chips!

Did you play in the WSOP Circuit event in Saint Louis?

I only had time to play in one event, a good friend and a member of my poker club, Kevin Shimp, also went down and played.  We bought in at different times and amazingly ended up seated right next to each other, out of 288 players.  Dennis Phillips walks around the room talking to many people before taking his seat at our table too.  It was not my day as I never got above my starting chip stack.  However, Kevin knocked both Dennis Phillips and Nelly out of the tournament and went on to finish second.  A very disappointing second for him; he was sick about the heads up play after having a commanding chip lead.

In the Saint Louis Circuit Main Event, another Quincy player, Gary Lambert, ended up with a 3rd place finish, after winning a satellite seat into the event.  I hope that one or both of them will play in the main event this year.

What do you do when you're not playing poker?

My work and family keep me busy.  Other hobbies include basketball, hunting, and fishing.


The whole Poker Junkie Team wishes Ron Amos good luck in this year's World Series of Poker, although we doubt he needs it with his geographical edge.


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