Name: Jeremy Ausmus
Age: 32 (turns 33 in September)
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada (been since 2005, Born in Lamar, Colorado)
Chip Count: 9,805,000 (9th overall)
Occupation: Professional Poker Player
College: Colorado State University, Bachelor’s Degree
Twitter Handle: @jeremyausmus
Marital Status: Married, wife Adria (Married in 2009)
Children: 20-month-old daughter Calia; 2nd child due November 3
Poker Experience: 8 years
WSOP Earnings: $114,623
WSOP Cashes: 13 (8 in 2012)
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 9th place – 2011 WSOP, Event #5, $1500 Seven Card Stud
Main Event Results: None previous (8 in 2012)
Events Entered: 29
Events Cashed: 9
Ausmus was interviewed the day following reaching the final table (July 17). Here is the transcript of that interview:
WSOP: How long have you been a poker pro?
AUSMUS: Since I moved to Las Vegas in 2005 and done it full time. That’s been my only source of income since 2004.
WSOP: What did you do before that?
AUSMUS: I was in college. I worked at a cabinet shop. Woodworking. I did that through high school too.
WSOP: Do you ever want to get back into that some day?
AUSMUS: Sort of. My wife would like me to, so I can make all the stuff around the house.
WSOP: You have two kids?
AUSMUS: We have one and then one on the way. She’s due on November 3rd, but she’s measuring early. So, likely right around the final table.
WSOP: What’s the plan if she goes into labor during the final table?
AUSMUS: I guess she’ll want me to play poker. I’m sure.
WSOP: This isn’t just any final table. That’s a weird situation to be in.
AUSMUS: Yeah, it’s crazy. It will be an action-packed week, maybe day. Who knows? We’ll see.
WSOP: Is it a little overwhelming that all these major life events are happening at the same time?
AUSMUS: I guess. I’m fine with it. It might be kind of stressful. But what are you going do? It’s good stuff that’s happening, not bad stuff.
WSOP: So, with a child on the way, are you just going to spend most of your down time at home, getting ready for that?
AUSMUS: Yes. Normally, I’m a pretty full-time player. I’ll probably go to the Bellagio four times a week and play cash games. But now that this happened, I can kind of relax. We have a trip scheduled to the East Coast to see some friends. But yes, I’m sure I’ll play some, but not grind 30-40 hours a week like normal. And the series is done, where I played 300 hours throughout the series probably. So, I deserve a little time off.
WSOP: Do you travel much to play poker or do you stay mainly in Las Vegas?
AUSMUS: With a family and stuff, I don’t do a lot of traveling, I just play cash games at the Bellagio. I used to be mainly an online player. And since Black Friday, I just play live cash. I travel rarely for tournaments. The WSOP, I go all out, though. I go to Los Angeles for the LAPC.
WSOP: How many WSOP bracelet events did you play in this year?
AUSMUS: I played 28 or 30. Lots.
WSOP: You must feel like you’re in a good place since you’ve cashed nine times this summer. Do you feel like you’re just playing well? Running well?
AUSMUS: Probably both. It’s not like the best player in the world cashes nine times a year. And it’s not like just anyone can cash nine times either. So, I think it’s both. I’m playing well, and I’ve ran well.
WSOP: What was the Main Event like for you? Were there any times that you were worried that you weren’t going to make it?
AUSMUS: Yes, I was low a few of the days. I was down to 20-30 big blinds several times on several days. But I just stayed positive and looked for opportunities to get it in. I set-over-set three people during this tournament. And then on the last hand of Day 4 or 5, I got all-in on the turn with queens, and the guy had a set of eights and I rivered a queen. So, if you count that one, I set-over-set people four times, which is ridiculous.
WSOP: Are you burnt-out at all? Are you ready to not play poker for a day or two?
AUSMUS: Yes, that sounds nice. But I really enjoy poker still a lot. I like the game. I enjoy playing. But it will be good to have a break and spend time with my family now because I’m just super-tired. I just grinded more than I have ever grinded. It will be good to spend time with my daughter and my wife.
WSOP: How did you start playing poker in the first place?
AUSMUS: Just in college. It’s funny. I watched Rounders, and I was wondering -- cause I’ve always been into games, video games, chess, just strategy, thinking games and poker –- and I watched the movie and was wondering if you could really make a living with poker. I didn’t know if it was all luck or skill. So, I went and bought a book. I watched the movie like five times in a week, me and my roommate. Then I went and bought a book from Barnes & Noble, and it said, “Yeah, you can make a living playing poker.” So, I was really intrigued and bought more books about, like, how to play poker for a living basically. And then, you know, it was blowing up then, and I met some people that liked to play, and then I got into some games around town. Then I went to travel to Black Hawk (casino in Colorado where he was living) on the weekends. And it just escalated more and more into playing a lot, winning and improving.
WSOP: Did you have success in poker right away when you started playing? Was it something that just came naturally?
AUSMUS: Yes, I did. I started doing well right away. Not online. But I could beat the games around town then.
WSOP: The poker pro story is usually not that of the family man. I think being a family man is a bit unusual in your line of work, right?
AUSMUS: Yeah, it definitely is. I think it’s kind of good, though. I have good balance. A lot of these kids, they live, breathe and eat poker, so they get really good at poker. It takes them to the top. But, just to get away from that sometimes. And, you know, my wife gives me a life away from poker and my daughter too. It’s good to have that break. And I still have poker friends. I mean, I’ve worked with them over the years to get where I’m at. But yes, I’m in the minority, being a family man in poker.
WSOP: If you get the ninth place money, are you going splurge on anything?
AUSMUS: Probably not. I might pay off my house, maybe. Some responsible stuff like that. I probably won’t go and buy a nice watch. So many poker players have nice watches. I’ve gone back-and-forth over the past few years on that one. I’m like, “I kind of want a nice watch. And kind of not.” I’m not a nice watch kind of guy. So, no, probably not. I’ll probably just add it to my bankroll. I’m going pay down some debt. We’ve been talking about doing some remodeling on the house.
WSOP: You can get that cabinetry after all.