MEET THE LATEST WSOP CHAMPION – HENRY LU
Name: Henry Lu
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Current Residence: Bensonhurst (Brooklyn, NY) Marital Status: Single
Profession: Professional Poker Player
Previous Occupation: Student
Education: Attended Syracuse University
Number of WSOP final-table appearances: 1
Number of WSOP gold bracelet victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP finish: 56th (2011)
First-Place Prize Money: $654,380
Total WSOP Earnings: $669,938
Note: Lu will be classified as a professional poker player in WSOP records, since he does play full-time exclusively and has no other occupation.
INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER – HENRY LU
Question: Great match. What impressed a lot of people was that you never gave up. You could have said ‘Alright I’m just going to shove with this.’ But you never cracked. Talk about what you were thinking while you were playing as the dog most of the final table.
Lu: While, I just kept my composure. It’s good having friends there to talk to during breaks and stuff. To keep my head together but there are some points where I thought about just spewing all-in. I kept it, and waited for Ace-King and got a pretty lucky double up. And then from there, we were pretty even in stacks, we just played some poker.
Question: It was interesting since you were sitting in the one seat and you could actually see your friends right in front of you where Neil had his back to his gallery. Did you get some inspiration from looking or were you so focused that you are not even thinking about that.
Lu: No, I mean I play for fun. I always make faces at them and stuff, you know because it’s not that serious. I mean, I am not that used to playing live where you see the person’s face. If you see me play I almost never think, ‘I know what I am going to do.’
Question: Is this scene here, the stage, the lights, the Internet broadcast, and whatever -- is this what you expected the experience to be like?
Lu: No, I actually hated the table. If you see me play I was on top of the table because you are playing with your hands like curled up like a T-Rex or something. I hated it -- that’s why once I got heads-up my whole body was on top of the table and we were just playing after I’m there.
Question: What does this win mean for you? What’s your plan moving on from here?
Lu: I’ll keep playing poker. A World Series of Poker win has got to be a pinnacle of anybody’s career. I am 22, so this is like my second series so, it’s a good start, it’s going good so far.
Question: Can you tell us a little about your background? What you did before you got in to poker?
Lu: Well, I played a lot in High School. But I was playing super small and throughout college I went to Syracuse University. I played a ton online and stuff and after Black Friday sucked but by then I was 21 and I started coming here to Las Vegas.
Question: What did you want to be when you were going to school?
Lu: I am really not really sure; I was pretty distracted, from poker. I was a Bio major because my parents wanted me to do that go to med-school.
Question: Might that still be in your future or is this maybe is this going to be it for you?
Lu: Oh yeah possibly -- but right now this is going well, so we’ll stick to it.
Question: It seemed like you really kicked it into action during the heads-up match. Did you have a specific plan against Neil Channing?
Lu: Well, at first he was super aggressive – super, super aggressive. So, I tightened up a lot to try to take advantage of him over-playing a lot of his hands. Once I built up a big enough stack, I pretty much just leaned on him until he broke. He played really good. I got some pretty lucky key double-ups where he had Ace-Ten versus my Ace-King and the first hand I had Ace-Queen vs. his Ace-Jack you know, so he is not getting away. I got pretty lucky to be on the winning side.
Question: With 11 players remaining, you had one big blind left. What were you thinking at the time?
Lu: I was going to go out in 11th place, and I would have been happy. It’s a nice score. But it’s like, ‘hey man,’ now it’s like, ‘now you can just play a lot more care free.’ So yeah, the pressure was off. I thought I was done already. Coming to the final table was already more than what I expected. It worked. One blind and a chair, that is all you need.