Yadin Shemmer is no dummy. The man worked on Wall Street and ran a hedge fund. He plays poker--high stakes Pot-Limit Omaha, to be exact--as a hobby. Yes, a hobby. That's a short way of saying, you don't expect him to do anything boneheaded.
"Making the final table was unexpected," the man known as Science told us after his win.
See, he'd been playing the $530 Omaha Hi-Lo event for about six hours from London. It was pretty darned late at night. And, well, he dozed off for an hour and half. Happens to the best of us. Chalk it up to a $530 dropped in a sewer grate and go back to sleep.
"When I woke up, my computer was hibernating and I assumed I had been blinded away," he said. "Nonetheless, I fired up the laptop and was amazed to discover that I still had about 10K in chips, which was just about 30% more than starting chips."
He was really out-chipped by several players, but he buckled down and turned a nap into a WCOOP bracelet.
Shemmer started playing poker ten years ago when he was in college. At the time he was psychology major.
"I was instantly drawn to the game and believe that like many sports, poker is ultimately about conquering yourself and less about beating your opponents," he said. "There are many situations where players know the right move but cannot bring themselves to make it because they are either afraid (in the case of calling a large bet or making a big bluff) or reckless (in the case where they should fold to an obviously better hand). Poker is about controlling your desire to gamble and your fear of losing. This element of the game has kept me interested for ten years and will never go away."
So, here we have a guy who, as we stated before, has done alright for himself in the smarts department. He's a guy who plays high stakes PLO and travels regularly to London and Paris on business where he finds time to play at the Vic and Aviation Club. He's won more playing PLO cash than he won in the WCOOP.
"My philosophy is 'good things happen to good hands'" he said. "I think this is especially true of Pot Limit Omaha, where certain hands can completely dominate others and where having redraws is so critical. Its fine to make small bluffs and pick up orphan pots but when you put your entire stack at risk, you want dominating hands which block your opponents outs and have freeroll potential."
Now that he has a WCOOP bracelet, he's focusing on Vegas and the World Series.
"I played a few tourneys this year and narrowly missed the bubble in two tournaments," he said. "I will be going back to Vegas until I win."
Good luck, Yadin. Oh, and a piece of advice. Don't try napping on the tables in Vegas. We tried it a couple of times and it doesn't go over well.