Jamie Gold Makes Final Table In $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Event At 2015 World Series Of Poker

2006 Main Event Champion Eyeing Second Bracelet

Back at the 2006 World Series of Poker, TV and film producer Jamie Gold found himself in the midst of arguably the most improbable run in the history of tournament poker. He assumed control of the chip lead on the third day of the 8,773-player main event and never lost it over the next seven days of action. The tournament still stands as the largest prize pool in poker history.

Since winning the main event for $12 million, Gold, now 45 years old, has cashed for just $73,694 in WSOP bracelet events. If you exclude his £27,150 cash in the 2007 WSOP Europe main event, Gold has had under $20,000 in cashes at the WSOP in Las Vegas since his bracelet. That’s the lowest out of any of the main event champions since Chris Moneymaker won in 2003.

However, the cold streak is over. Gold sat with one of the big stacks with two tables remaining in this week’s $1,500 no-limit hold’em event at the 2015 WSOP and eventually made the final table at around 8 p.m. local time in Las Vegas. Gold and his opponents were battling it out for a first-place prize of $531,037, but for Gold it’s also about validation and proving to himself that he can still compete at a high level on the same stage that made him a poker household name.

“I took the last six months to retool my game, so something is going right,” Gold told Card Player. “My game has changed completely, if it hadn’t I’d have no shot. I have tried to at least understand the way the greatest young players are playing the game. I do think they are so far ahead of the way the game was played before. You have to update your game every couple of years. People sit down at the table and constantly tell me that they know how I play from watching me nine years ago on TV. It’s a pretty ignorant thing to say. A lot of them say they feel like it was just yesterday, but it was really nine years ago. I have changed my game, but I still have so much to learn. I am getting some decent results. I do plan on making a comeback to poker.”

Gold still spends most of his time pursuing business ventures, some related to poker, some not, so playing has never really been a full-time gig, but he wants to play more at some point in his life. “When I retire maybe I can play poker full-time,” he said.

Gold loved to talk about his holdings during his historic main event run, and he often simply told the truth about his cards, revealed later during ESPN broadcasts. It often caused his opponents to make the wrong decisions, and sometimes just donate chips to the man who already had heaps of them. In one televised instance, Gold flashed his opponent a card during a hand, and the move worked to his advantage. Verbalizing his thought processes is something he still does, but to a lesser degree these days due to less of a tolerance for players talking about their cards during the hand.

It’s a change to tournament poker policy that many in the game have applauded, but Gold said that it makes poker on TV less entertaining for the casual fan. “Stale” is how he describes some coverage.

In a pot on Tuesday against poker pro Natasha Barbour, Gold opened to 6,000 and Barbour three-bet him to 17,000. According to WSOP live reporting, Gold asked her for a count on her stack, saying, “under 50 [thousand], right?” Barbour nodded that the estimation was correct.

Gold announced that he was all-in, and Barbour asked: “Abusing the bubble?” Gold responded truthfully, “I’m not bluffing for fifty,” and eventually said to the table that he had had A-K after his opponent folded A-K face-up. For Gold, this is all part of his approach to tournament poker.

“The chance that someone out-talks me is pretty slim,” Gold said. “They definitely can outplay me, but not out-talk me. I’ve pretty much got that down.”

On the Internet, poker fans often comment on Gold’s bluffing, which became famous in 2006. His lines were unorthodox, but they worked. Gold ran a bluff deep in the $1,500 that has one remembering not only his main event run, but also his big moves on GSN’s High Stakes Poker.

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2006 WSOP Champ Jamie Gold Thinks "Maybe I Can Compete Again" and Talks YouStake

Nine years ago, Jamie Gold was on top of the poker world. Whether you were entertained or annoyed by his table-talking antics, there's no denying Gold's victory in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event was impressive. Not only did he hold onto the chip lead from Day 4 onward, he eliminated seven of his eight opponents at the final table, which included Paul Wasicka, Michael Binger, and Allen Cunningham.

Gold has returned to the Rio numerous times over the years, but his appearances at the WSOP are sporadic and commonly around the Main Event. Not in 2015. This year Gold arrived early to take part in a full schedule, or at least the busiest he's played in the better part of a decade.

"This is the first time doing a long run of tournaments," Gold told PokerNews. "I think I'm going to do 12 or 13 events. About a year ago I decided I wanted to start playing again. I took six months to train with people who I believe to be really talented, young players. The game changes all the time, so I wanted to make sure I could still compete. I ran pretty well after. I played six events, cashed in four, and made two final tables."

Indeed, since July of last year Gold has added some cashes to his poker résumé including a 17th-place finish in the WSOP Circuit West Palm Beach $580 No-Limit Hold'em $500K GTD event for $4,955; 17th in the 2014 World Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville Bounty Scramble Main Event for $20,788; sixth in the 2014 Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open $570 No-Limit Hold'em Deeper Stack for $43,107; and most recently 10th in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Event #16 $1,650 No-Limit Hold'em Eight-Handed for $4,125.

"I think maybe I can compete again," Gold said with a sly smile. "At the same time, we've been developing, the first fully-integrated sports-staking and sponsorship platform that allows the masses to invest in skilled players. We're allowing anyone in the world to invest in over 500 of the best players in the world."

YouStake, which launches June 1, seeks to create a fantasy sports experience between fans and poker players/celebrities, one that involves direct social interaction.

"There's a simple and secure marketplace now, and they do everything from collecting the entry fees, the registration of the event, the issuance of the tax documentation, and distribution of the winnings," said Gold. "We also have a celebrity area, and I'm sure you've heard about Jose Conseco [joining the site]. He's really excited. He's definitely going to be offering packages."

According to Gold, the baseball legend and long-time poker player is most excited about getting his large Twitter following involved.

"There are so many people who would love to say they have a piece of him," Gold explained. "It's a decent investment, but obviously a lot of people might say they'd rather invest in a professional poker player. However, fans of Jose would much rather invest in him or another celebrity."

For those interested in investing in more experienced players, Gold revealed that some of poker's best are slated to offer packages on YouStake including fellow WSOP Main Event winners Greg Raymer and Joe Cada, as well as reigning WPT Player of the Year Anthony Zinno, who actually invested in the company.

Those interested can invest as little as $20, and in exchange will receive personalized updates from players, who are allowed to create their own packages. Gold created his own package, and quickly sold out.

"One of the reasons I'm playing that many events is because I'm staked," Gold admitted. "On my own, I'd probably play half as many."

One of those events didn't appear to be the wildly popular The Colossus, which was happening all around him while he played cash.

"I think the people who run the WSOP are brilliant at what they do, not just for them, but for the players," said Gold. "I personally don't love the turbo short-stacked style of starting a tournament, but how else could they do it and be able to handle it?"

So how did Gold feel about The Colossus beating the record for most players in a live tournament, which was previously set in the event he had won (the 2006 WSOP Main Event attracted 8,773 players)?

"I love the fact that they're breaking the record," Gold gushed. "However, I want them to break what I believe is a bigger record, the $82,512,162 prize pool. I would love to see 20,000 people in a Main Event for $10,000 a pop, a $200,000,000 prize pool. That's what I want to see. If UIGEA didn't happen, it was coming."

Meanwhile, with so many players packed into the Rio, it seemed only a matter of time before fans inundated Gold.

"Definitely at the Rio during the World Series of Poker, but in life it's slowed down a bit," Gold replied when asked if fame still precedes him. "I still get stared at a lot, but people used to get really excited and want to be physical — you know touch you and get close — but now it's much more, 'oh hey, look.' It's a much easier fame. Life is good, I'm very lucky."


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