MEET THE NOVEMBER NINE
Name: Jason Senti
Louis Park, MN (USA)
Chip Count: 7,625,000 (Last in chips)
Senti will turn 29 years-old in October.
Senti was born and grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota.Senti is pronounced Cent-eye.
Senti attended and graduated from the University of North Dakota. He earned a degree in engineering.
Senti spent six months backpacking around Europe when he was 19-years-old.
Senti lives in St. Louis Park, MN, which is in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
Senti is a professional poker player. Prior to playing, he was an electrical engineer for three years.
Senti is married with no children.
This is the third year Senti has attended the WSOP.
Senti has one previous WSOP in-the-money finish. He made it to the third round of the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Championship (Event #29). His finish paid $17,987.
Q&A with Jason
Below is a brief Q&A with Senti, taken just hours after he made it to the November Nine.
Question: Talk about making the transition from previously working as an engineer to playing poker for a living.
Senti: It was a big leap. First thing I did was, I set myself up with six months of expenses. I put some living expenses away and then set up a separate account for my poker bankroll. Then, I went for it. I was very fortunate to run really well during the first couple of months. I have not had to look back since.
Question: What did your wife (fiancé at the time) think of your decision?
Senti: She trusted me to do whatever I wanted. She totally believes in me all the way. She knows that if I think I can do something, and I am confident about it, then everything will be okay. I am inherently a pretty responsible guy.
Question: Discuss making the transition from playing poker online to playing live.
Senti: It was never that big of a deal for me. The biggest difference is, it take a lot longer to get reads on your opponents. With playing tendencies, you can learn much quicker playing online. In live games, you can make some assumptions about how they play, but there are so many fewer hands. At first, I was a bit nervous. I thought I would get read easily by the big scary pros. But now, I really do not think that is as big a deal. For anyone who is thinking of getting into this, I would just say, play live poker and try to feel comfortable at the table.
Question: What were your expectations coming into this year’s WSOP?
Senti: This was the third year I have come to the World Series of Poker. To be honest, this year my expectations were much lower. I told myself, I do not want to come out here this summer and grind it for six-weeks and spend $60,000 or $70,000 on events -- being well aware that the majority of time I am going to come out behind (financially). The reason you play tournaments is for big scores. It’s a very high variance game. So, my expectation coming in this summer was to play three events – the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, and the Main Event. I expected to walk away having spent $25,000 in those three events, and not cashing. But, I decided to come out and try my best and also to see a lot of people that I do not get a chance to see but once a year, and hang out and have a good time. Of course, it turned out a lot better than that.
Question: What were the moments of exhilaration for you so far in the Main Event?
Senti: Most of those were the big, all-in moments. One of my favorite moments happened when we were on the bubble of 18 players, going from three tables down to two. There was both a pay jump and some more prestige making the final two tables. There was a hand I won with pocket queens that was a real fist-pump moment. I had just gone to 17 million in chips and we were down to 18 players, and I was thinking, ‘Now, it’s getting close. Now, I have just nine more guys to get through, and I have a stack.’ It didn’t exactly go exactly the way I wanted it to (being lower on chips now), but hey – I made the final nine.
Question: Has anything surprised you at this year’s WSOP?
Senti: The most surprising part was that it really is a bit of an endurance test. I had heard people say many times that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I heard it comes down to be a test of endurance, and all this kind of stuff. And I was pretty much like – no, I don’t think so. I think you play good poker. It’s not that many decisions in an hour. You can get through 12 hours a day. It’s not a big deal. What you need more than anything is to play very well and get very lucky. But now, I see that endurance really is a very big part of it. I am falling apart tired right now. I am shocked that I am not slurring my words. It’s been a long, long run. Even after Day Five and Day Six, I was already exhausted. At the time, I almost would have felt okay to bust. I thought, at least it would be over. My friends were all going to come out and we were going to party. I figured, there was no way I was going to be playing in Day Eight in the Main Event, right? I kind of wanted to get it all over. But luckily for me, whenever I got those feelings, a break would come, or I would talk myself out of that attitude. I realize you only get so many opportunities like this. At least, give it all you’ve got.
Question: How have your family and friends reacted to you making the final nine, and how many people do you think will come here to cheer for you in November?
Senti: I’m getting a lot of texts, and e-mails, and phone calls. Unfortunately, I have barely talked to anybody. I have not even talked to my parents yet. I’m shocked at the reaction I have seen so far. As far as the number of people, I assume I will have at least fifty. I am not sure of the number, but I am sure I will have a very large cheering section.
Question: What if a genie were to pop out of a bottle and make you an offer. Right now, the genie offers you second place. You get $5.5 million as the runner up. You get plenty of face time on television. But, you do not get the win. Would you take the deal?
Senti: I’d take it. I know that’s not the answer that I am supposed to give. From an expected value standpoint, that’s too good a deal to pass up. I’m short stacked. I really want to win, don’t get me wrong. I really, really, really want to win. But if this hypothetical situation came up where I would be guaranteed six times the amount of money I have right now, I have to take it. If nothing else, one thing that puts it into perspective for me is – for me personally, I would love to have the title. But I also think that the extra few million dollars (taking the guarantee) is a really big deal. It’s a big deal to my parents, since maybe I could help them retire. It’s a big deal to my family, and friends, and charity. It’s a big deal to my kids, whenever we have them, to be able to send them to private school and college. So, if I have to pick between money and the extra glory of winning, I would take the money.
The Main Event championship final table, also known as the November Nine, will be played starting on November 6th, 2010. The initial session of play will narrow the nine finalists down to two survivors. The final two players return two days later on November 8th to play heads-up for the 2010 world championship. This year’s winner will receive $8,944,138 in prize money, the coveted WSOP gold bracelet, and designation as the 2010 world poker champion.
To see a full list of all players who cashed in this year's Main Event, click here.