Don't let the name fool you. Brandon Fish knows how to play poker and he has proven it time and again. Lat year, the poker pro from Kearney, Nebraska cashed an impressive ten times over the course of the Circuit season, securing an at-large bid into the 2012 WSOP National Championship presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof.
Now, Fish is in the elite group of two-time WSOP National Championship qualifiers after an impressive run at the recent Circuit event at Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City. Fish started off the series right by winning the second-largest preliminary event of this season, the $365 re-entry Event #2. The event, which drew 858 entries, boasted a first place prize of $50,862. Fish claimed that sum plus his first Circuit ring. After starting the event strong, Fish ended the series strong as well, making a deep run in the Main Event. While his 14th place finish came up shy of another final table, the showing did earn him enough points to claim the Casino Champion title.
That is not to say Fish didn't have a sweat on his hands. The twelfth and final event of the series featured a player who could pass him in the standings, Richard E. Ward. Rather than head home uncertain of his standing, Fish decided to rail the Event 12 ($365 Turbo) action.
"Funny thing is, my buddy actually got fifth in the turbo," Fish explained. "I saw there wasn't as many points as compared to a lot of other stops for Casino Champ this time and I got thinking, 'Sixth, man that's 22.5 points. I've got something to sweat here. If he wins I'm in trouble.'"
Fish stayed out of trouble, as Ward finished in sixth place, clearing the way for Fish to take the title and claim the National Champion seat. He becomes the 16th person ever to qualify for multiple National Championship events. For Fish, the shot at redemption makes up for his near miss in the Main Event.
"I felt like I made the right play on the gentlemen [in the Main Event]. I ended up getting it in two pair to one pair. You can't really ask for much better. I isolated him preflop with a mediocre hand just planning to outplay him postflop. I ended up getting him to overship top pair into two pair. You can't ask for much more. I got counterfeited on the river. If it wasn't for that hand, I probably final table. I'm obviously very, very disappointed, big money difference. Only consolation I can take at this point is it looks like I get to play the freeroll again."
Fish's run in this most recent National Championship last July was short-lived to say the least. "I went out pretty quick with aces," Fish recalled. "The guy made probably a loose call preflop. I maybe could have gotten away on the river. He flopped a pretty disguised set. It was a tough set-up. Obviously I'm looking forward to being back in it and doing a hell of a lot better."
We will have to wait until May to find out how Fish will fare in the New Orleans event, but for now there is no doubt that this guy knows how to find success on the WSOP Circuit.