“I guess it’s like when you jump out of a plane with a parachute,” said Joris “BillLewinsky” Ruijs when he spoke with PokerStars Blog about winning his second WCOOP title earlier this week.
“The second time it’s still a major thrill, but it’s a couple of percent less exciting than it was the first time.”
The Dutch poker pro had just won Event #36-H, the $530 buy-in eight-handed no-limit hold’em with progressive knockouts. Having outlasted a huge 1,839-entry field to win, Ruijs enjoyed a nice payday $128,879.48 — about $70K for first prize plus more than $58K thanks to having secured the lion’s share of bounties.
“Don’t get me wrong! This one still feels pretty good,” Ruijs was quick to add. “I’m still feeling a lot of excitement!”
The tournament itself he says was fairly typical. “I felt like I was playing pretty good… but usually everyone feels like that when they win.”
He described having accumulated enough chips to apply some pressure and deviate from usual strategies in order “to lean on people a bit.” “I think I did well generally in the tournament and at the final table, although I did get extremely lucky, too, a couple of times.”
At the final table Ruijs noted “everybody was playing especially tight,” enabling him to take some pots and build his stack up a bit.
“Four-handed was a really long battle,” he continues. “The chip leader was very aggressive while the other two guys looked like they were trying to ladder mostly. So I was a bit stuck in the middle trying to play against the big stack but not wanting to bust before the other two did. That was an interesting scenario.”
Three-handed also lasted a while. “It wasn’t all going my way,” he says. “I made a couple of mistakes, but then I got a run of cards.” After getting to heads-up against Brazil’s “RenanToniolo,” things went quickly, with Ruijs winning within a half-dozen hands or so.
We had just spoken with Ruijs this summer about having won his second SCOOP title (among other successes).
Aside from taking a couple of days off to attend a wedding, Ruijs is once more playing a full schedule during WCOOP. As he’s done in the past, Ruijs has gathered with some poker-playing friends for the series in order both to provide each other mutual reinforcement and to enjoy some company while grinding away at event after event.
“We always do this,” he explains. “We get together to analyze hands and talk strategy, then during the three weeks we go out and do sports and get exercise to make sure we get an optimal performance” when at the tables.
“It’s important to get your eyes off the screen for a bit,” he says. “It’s also nice to be with other people, because otherwise it can be pretty lonely.”
As noted, Ruijs has reached the winner’s circle many times before. With more than $1.8 million in live tournament earnings and something like 3 to 4 times that online, he’s well rehearsed in how to handle the endgame.
Indeed, looking back, while that first WCOOP win had been for less money than this one, it somehow seemed “bigger.”
“When I won my first one, I was a lot more excited. Emotionally it was a lot bigger, and the impact it had on me was a lot bigger,” Ruijs explains.
“I’m pretty experienced now and have had at a lot of final tables, so now I’m more used to what is happening when you get to a final table and win a lot of money. [But back then] I wasn’t playing as high stakes as I am now, and I hadn’t won as much.”
Even so, when it comes to collecting that final pot and winning another tournament, the feeling never gets old.
“When the final table finishes and you feel your body relaxing” after having been tensed up for so long, it’s always kind of “euphoric,” he confirms.
Congrats Joris “BillLewinsky” Ruijs for the win! And good luck to him and everyone else who continues to chase that winning feeling… again and again.
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