Heads-Up: Jeff Williams
At the age of 19, Jeff "yellowsub86" Williams won €900,000 after taking the title at the European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo. Two years later Williams is finally eligible to play in the World Series of Poker. He's already earned more than $440,000 in the 2008 WSOP, recording three cashes, including a second place finish in Event #5 ($1,000 No Limit Hold 'em w/rebuys). WorldSeriesofPoker.com caught up with Williams on Day 2a of the Main Event.

WSOP.com: Jeff, this was your first year at the WSOP and while you didn't win a bracelet, you came pretty close in Event #5. Tell us about your WSOP this year.

Jeff: Oh, it definitely beat my expectations. I obviously didn't expect to do anything like I did in event five and I had a couple of other cashes in some of the other rebuys. Overall I was very pleased.

WSOP.com: You cashed in three rebuy events, is there something about rebuys that suits your style or was that just coincidence?

Jeff: Something about the deeper stacks, I think. I do well picking up chips in those . . . I don't know, I guess the results speak for themselves.

WSOP.com: Were you living in a house with friends during the WSOP?

Jeff: Yeah, we rented a house. It was great. We rented one last year, also. I didn't play, but I got to hear the stories and everything so it was fun to be out here.

WSOP.com: Did you have a better WSOP than your housemates?

Jeff: I had a really good series so, yeah.

WSOP.com: Was it fun to have bragging rights in the house?

Jeff: (laughs) I would brag every once it a while, when it needed to happen.

WSOP.com: This being your first year, what surprised you most about playing in the WSOP?

Jeff: Everybody is here. There's so many pros here and so many online guys. Especially in the first rebuy there were so many online guys deep. It was kind of fun to play with those guys. I've been playing online with them for years and to come out and play with them live was really fun.

WSOP.com: Were you surprised to be named on Bluff Magazine's list of young players to watch at the WSOP?

Jeff: It was definitely surprising. Someone sent me the article and I was like 'really, stop pulling my leg.' And then I saw that I was number two. Somebody must have done something wrong (laughs).

WSOP.com: Unlike a lot of other young successful players, you've decided to stay in school. What lead you to that decision?

Jeff: Besides my parents really wanting me to, I'm pretty close to being finished and I've found a major that I really like. I'm majoring in history and I'm kind of a nerd like that, I really like that kind of stuff, so it's been pretty easy. And this is going to be my last year, if everything goes according to plan.

WSOP.com: You play a lot online. Which field do you think is tougher, the big online tournaments or the WSOP Main Event?

Jeff: Oh, jeez. The level of play, at least early in the Main Event, was, uh, it was pretty easy. I heard that from a lot of people. But the Sunday majors online are pretty easy in beginning too. So I guess it's comparable.

WSOP.com: What was the most atrocious play you saw on Day 1 of the Main Event?

Jeff: Oh, where do we start. I saw king-jack and king-six get all-in for 20,000 each with blinds at 50/100 on a K-X-X flop. The guy with king-six was like mind boggled that his hand wasn't good. (laughs) 'Top pair, yo,' you know. Amazing that his top pair wasn't good. And most live players don't play the short stack tremendously well. I think that's an advantage that a lot of online players have because we always have 20 blinds, so I think maybe we have more skill in that than live players.

WSOP.com: And how has your Main Event been going so far?

Jeff: Well, at 300/600 blinds I had 6,000 chips and now I have about 175,000, so I ran really well and got lucky a couple of times.

WSOP.com: Was there one huge hand that helped you get where you are now?

Jeff: Yeah. I won a 120,000 chip pot. I got queens all in on a 9-9-3-4 board against pocket threes. I hit a queen, so that was nice. That was really nice.

WSOP.com: Do you come into each level or day with a strategy?

Jeff: Not really. I just play each hand, see who's at the table, who's defending their blinds a lot. If they're Europeans, they're crazy, if they're old guys, they're usually more tight. So I come into each day and just kind of play it by ear.

WSOP.com: Thanks for talking with us Jeff, good luck.

Jeff Williams had a big stack of 175,000 going into the last level of play on Day 2a. If he survives the day he will return on Thursday for Day 3.