MEET THE LATEST WSOP CHAMPION – JIM WILLERSON
Name: Neil James Willerson – goes by JIM WILLERSON
Birthplace: Dallas, TX
Residence: San Antonio, TX
Marital Status: Single
Education: Southern Methodist University (SMU)
Major: Law Degree
WSOP Cashes: 6
WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
WSOP Wins (with this victory): 1
WSOP-Related Earnings: $805,360 Note: Willerson will be classified as an amateur poker player in WSOP records, since he has another full-time job.
INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER
Question: Lets back up to day one. You were up against more than 3,000 poker players. Is your goal on day one to make the money? Or, are you thinking -- I’m going to win it? What are you thinking going into a huge tourney like this?
Willerson: Just try to put yourself into position. Just try to get some kind of a decent stack to where you at least have an opportunity to make a final table or something like that. Just try to get as many chips as I can. Question: You just won like $700,000, a ridiculous amount of money for most people. Is it Life changing in some ways? Willerson: I think so. I mean, its way more than I have ever won before. I don’t know yet what I’m going to do with it or anything yet.
Question: What was your biggest poker win before this?
Willerson: This year same type of event -- I won $30,000.
Question: What about the importance of the gold bracelet to you? What does that mean?
Willerson: Well this is my goal. I wanted to win at least one bracelet and I wanted to make a deep run in the Main Event. Those were the two goals that I really wanted to do in poker. I don’t know if I ever really believed that I would win -- especially in a field of over 3,000 like that.
Question: You’re an attorney. What kind of law do you practice?
Willerson: I have a general practice. I use to work for the district attorney’s office in San Antonio, Texas. Then, I went into private practice. I do a combination of things. I just have a practice office with two other lawyers and they have been texting me like crazy while I’ve been here.
Question: Let’s fast forward to heads up play.
Willerson: I wanted to try and finish it last night. It wasn’t because I felt like I had some advantage one way or the other. When I came out today, he came out really aggressive and he won the first five or six hands. I didn’t have anything to really play with and fight back with. I kind of wanted to wait for a decent hand or an opportunity to get involved. I was like, ‘come on let’s get a little better here,’ because it’s a little embarrassing when someone wins the first several hands in a row against you. It looks bad at first.
Question: How many events have you played this year?
Willerson: I think a total of eight. I’m two for eight basically.
Question: How many years have you attended the World Series of Poker?
Willerson: Last year was the first year I came and really played the tournaments. I cashed a few times last year. This will be the third year that I’m playing in the Main Event.