MEET THE LATEST WSOP CHAMPION – CHRIS TRYBA
Name: Christopher Tryba
Birthplace: Boston, MA
Current Residence: Las Vegas, NV (also calls Massachusetts his home)
Profession: Professional Poker Player (10 years)
Previous Occupation: Real Estate, Consultant to a non-profit organization
Marital Status: Single
Number of WSOP Cashes: 10 (plus 24 WSOP Circuit cashes)
Number of WSOP final table appearances: 3
Number of WSOP gold bracelet victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP finish: 7th
Total WSOP Earnings: $344,757 ($552,008 when combined with WSOP Circuit earnings)
Other Interesting Things: Known for his trademark white t-shirts and baseball cap
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER
Question: You’ve been around tournament poker for a long time. How does it feel to break through and get a win?
Tryba: It feels really good. It just feels really good… It’s some validation. It just feels really good. Question: The winning hand was a straight flush. Talk about how it felt that moment when Cajelais moved all-in.
Tryba: I was looking over at my buddy and I knew (Cajelais) was going to raise. I was looking at him and I knew he wasn’t looking at me. I was like, ‘This is it. It’s all going in right here and I know he can’t beat me. This is awesome. This is unbelievable that this is going to happen. Erik played great. They all played great. It was an unbelievable final table. I just had to keep on keepin’ on. Sometimes it went well, sometimes it went poorly. I just ended up really good.
Question: Talk about the final table and working your way through so many tough competitors. Tryba: You just make the next right decisions and just try to do what you can do and hopefully it all turns out okay. Today it turned out okay.
Question: What’s your take on the Limit/No-Limit mixed format?
Tryba: I really got all my chips in the Limit structure only because (the limits) were probably a little bit too high. Although I heard they’re going to do something to adjust that -- obviously I can’t complain too much. I just won the tournament. It was awesome. I enjoyed it.
Question: What was your immediate reaction when you got the straight flush?
Tryba: I flopped a pair. Then, I turned a straight-flush draw and then hit the straight flush on the river. I lead into him and I was hoping he was just going to let loose. I was hoping he had a big enough hand – a full house, or three nines. I was really hoping he had a big enough hand to come over the top. If I check-raise him it looks way stronger and he might get away from the king-high straight he had. He had a really big hand too. You can’t really fault Erik for getting all his chips in there. It’s just crazy that I had a straight flush. I could have a flush, I could have a full house, but when I lead it probably looked a lot weaker and I was really hoping he would take the bait. It’s the only time this whole tournament I lead into a river like that. It was just the right move at the right time. I think the reason why I exploded like I did was because I was sitting there for three minutes trying not to show anything and hoping he’s going to light it up. When he lit it up I just exploded. It felt great, man.
Question: What does the rest of the WSOP look like for you?
Tryba: Keep my nose to the grindstone. I’m not going to change anything. I had some early mild success -- a 10th, a 17th. Things just didn’t go my way. I’ve been doing this healthy thing. I’ve lost 60 pounds or so and I’ve been trying to keep my nose to the grindstone. I’ve been really busy and I started yoga which is really cool. I’ve wanted to go for the last four days but I just couldn’t fit it in. Sleep is more important. I can’t fit everything in. Unfortunately, as much as I like this new Bikram yoga, I’ve had to put that on the back burner for a few days and sleep. I leave here at three in the morning, I don’t fall asleep until 5:30 and I have to be back at two. There’s not that many hours between 6 a.m. and two in the afternoon. I knew coming in to this World Series, I was really hoping something special was going to happen. I qualified for the freeroll really early this year and I went and I spent time with my folks. I’m juiced, I lost 60 pounds. If a person hasn’t played these tournaments for the whole summer, you can’t really explain it. It’s so mentally and physically exhausting that you have to be ready for it. This year I was going to try to put my best foot forward and be ready -- and I think I’m ready.
Question: Was the decision to get healthier and lose some weight poker related?
Tryba: It was triggered to a specific event three or four years ago. I had got up to 310 pounds and I had really bad back issues. I was at a table with Shaun Deeb and when you’re miserable, you’re just miserable. You’re not in a good mood and something very minor happened at the table with a dealer and I (got out of line). Shaun Deeb said something. He had the courage to say something and I’ve never forgotten that. It’s a really stressful game at times. Emotions are right there, they’re raw and sometimes I act, as a person, in ways I don’t want to act. But I never forgot that and I always knew that in order for me to take another step forward I would have to do something about being 310 pounds and having really bad back issues. You just can’t sit here day in and day and be miserable and do well. I can’t do it. I knew I couldn’t do it. That’s a very specific thing and I never forgot (Shaun) saying something and I still haven’t thanked him. I still owe him a thank you. I thought about that for a long time and that’s not how I want to be remembered in this community -- as a (expletive deleted). Things happen at the poker table. Emotions ride high and sometimes people are jerks. It can be a high-stress situation. There’s a lot of money on the line. But I don’t want to be remembered as a (expletive deleted). I’m sure I’m going to be a (expletive deleted) again, in the future, it’s just part of my nature. But I try not to be and I’ll never forget (Shaun) having the courage to say something and it was the spark that made me want to change what was going on with me that made me miserable. Thanks, Shaun Deeb.