MEET THE LATEST WSOP CHAMPION
Name: Steven Loube
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Education: Loube did his undergrad at Georgia Tech and attended the University of Georgia (UGA) for law school. He finished his degree in London, England.
Profession: Personal Injury Attorney -- owns his own law firm.
Number of WSOP Cashes: 1
Number of WSOP gold bracelet victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP finish: This marked Steven’s first WSOP in-the-money finish.
First-Place Prize Money: $267,345
Hobbies: When Loube isn’t playing cards or working, he can be found playing Call of Duty.
INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER
Q: You’re one for one in WSOP events. How does it feel?
A: It feels really awesome. I feel really lucky.
Q: Having never played in a WSOP event before, what were your expectations when this tournament began three days ago?
A: You know, we play Big “O” back home, so it was just Big “O” with one less card. We always play high-low. I just felt like that’s an event I’m used to playing for big money and I felt very, very comfortable doing it. Everyone knows how to play Hold’em. In High-low people make all kinds of mistakes that I don’t make. I make all kinds of mistakes they don’t make (laughs). I felt very comfortable.
Q: This is something that people who play hundreds of tournaments a year will never experience. What will your lasting memory be of this day?
A: I’m just happy my friends and family are here. They flew in last night at midnight or 2 a.m., whenever we stopped (Day 2 play). I’m just happy I got to share it with them.
Q: Having never played a WSOP event before, what prompted you to make the trip to Las Vegas?
A: Well basically, an attorney at my law firm already had entered and he said, ‘Hey. Just come on out. Let’s do it.’ So I said, ‘Ok. Whatever.’ And I just jumped on a plane. That was four days ago. I booked the flight the next day.
Q: How would you rate yourself as a poker player?
A: I’m a cash player. I only play cash. I don’t like tournaments. My biggest cash before was a $50 house cash -- only good for food, not for liquor (laughs). That’s pretty much it. This is just a fun experience. I don’t plan on trying to repeat it. I will probably come (to the WSOP) next year and play one more.
Q: What kind of adjustments were you making coming from a Big “O” home game, to playing Omaha against some of the best player in the world?
A: The Big “O” players we play with -- we play kind of for high stakes -- and they’re actually pretty darn good. It actually worked out, because when you’re playing Big “O” you’re kind of ‘nut pedaling.’ You have to have the best hand. I took that into the tournament and became very conservative because hands were never as good. I was just waiting for those really, really good hands and really good moments. It got me playing really conservative and it worked out pretty well. I played very tight, waited for my moments and then just tried to trap people.
Q: Were you intimidated at all?
A: Not even a little bit. I’m just so comfortable with the game… I really am. I was very nervous. Not intimidated, but very nervous. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep last night. I couldn’t sleep two nights ago. I’ve had about two hours of sleep the entire tournament. The first day I played until 1 a.m. and then I played Big “O” (cash games) until 8 a.m. Then I went back to my room and couldn’t sleep so I went, worked out, then played it again. I got two hours of sleep last night.
Q: What were your expectations coming into this event.
A: I didn’t know. I thought it would be cool if I cashed. At the end of Day 1 I was 22nd (in chips). So I was like, ‘Oh. Wow. I can do this.’
Q: At what point did winning the tournament seem like a realistic possibility?
A: I don’t know. I don’t know when I realized it. I was nervous because I thought I could do it. So maybe from the beginning? I don’t know… after the first day. I thought I could do it. That’s why I was really nervous, because I really wanted to do it.
Q: So is the tournament being over a pretty big weight off your shoulders?
A: I’m so mentally exhausted. Absolutely. My neck has stopped hurting now. Absolutely. All the tension is gone.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I’m scheduled to leave (for Atlanta) Saturday, but I might stay until Sunday. I’ll probably play some blackjack (laughs) and some more Big “O”. I don’t think I’ll enter any more events.
Q: Do you have any plans for the $270,000?
A: Down payment on a house. We (his girlfriend of three years, Nina, and him) have been looking anyways, so maybe we can upgrade our price range a little bit. She’s going to want a really nice ring now. Way nicer than we had planned.