Jason Wheeler is one of a number of Mexamericans who have become regulars on the EPT over the last year and has certainly been one of the more successful ones. Eleven EPT cashes, three of which have been in main events, have totted up to $175,746 but it's looking like he saved the best for last.
The American is currently chasing down Ben Vinson's 2,260,000 chip lead with a burgeoning 1,700,000 stack with just 20 players remaining in the main event. We caught up with Wheeler at the break, just before his rush to the top knocking out Tudor Grangure with kings holding against ace-king.
"It's going pretty well. I've only been in a couple of spots, won one and lost one so I'm down slightly but I feel I'm playing well. The table's decently tough but there are some spots on it for sure," said Wheeler, not knowing that he'd be on the right side of a cooler shortly after.
There have been plenty of non-Europeans on the EPT over the last few seasons but a spike in US players since last April has reinvigorated the tour with the likes of Wheeler, Steve O'Dwyer and Olivier Busquet tearing up these events.
"I really started last Fall after Black Friday. That kind of forced me to start travelling. I came over, made some runs and decided to keep coming over until I win something. I'm living in Mexico but I've been over in Europe for six of the last twelve months. If you travel the live circuit you're on the road a lot. The biggest change for me since two years ago is that I used to be mainly online but I'm now translating that into live," said Wheeler.
That transition seems to be going well so far but was there much to adjust to?
"At first definitely, but after a while I found that I preferred live because I feel I can define player's ranges much better across multiple streets. It's one of the strengths of my game post-flop. My edge live is much better live than it is online. I'm definitely surprised that there are the soft spots that are (still in) but that's what happens at these things that you have a few big names and a few slip through. Definitely I like my chances if I can make the final table," said Wheeler.
News has just come through that Wheeler has bust out after hitting top two-pair against top set. Out in 18th for €40,000.
Level 24: blinds 12,000-24,000, ante 3,000
Players: 20 of 665
Average stack: 997,500
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