Jeff Gibralter Wins Horseshoe Bossier City’s Main Event Championship
Bossier City, LA (September 24, 2012) – Jeff Gibralter is used to performing under intense pressure.
The 44-year-old former professional golfer-turned poker pro from the Dallas suburb of Rockwall has spent a of time touring -- both as a golfer and poker player. In fact, he even once competed in a PGA event. Gibralter competed on various golf tours for several years, until he finally decided to put away his clubs in exchange for a permanent seat at the poker table.
But the lessons he learned as a golf pro would serve him well in a new game.
One time, Gibralter was offered a wild betting proposition. He was challenged to sink a single putt for $20,000. Gibralter was playing against a wealthy group of Dallas businessmen. They knew the man who once tore up golf courses all over the South was talented. He also had a special niche for putting.
Gibralter was given the option of trying a 60-foot putt ten times. He had to sink the putt just once to collect the $20,000.
Tempted strongly by the money and confident in his abilities, nevertheless Gibralter opted to pass on the wager. He decided that he wasn’t fully prepared to make such a large bet without being more in command of the situation. So, Gibralter politely declined the chance to win (or lose) $20,000.
Over the next few weeks, Gibralter spent a lot of extra time out on the putting green. He worked on his 60-foot putts. He got better at judging the distance. After countless strokes and misses, which gradually became near-misses, and then more than a few successful putts, Gibralter decided he was finally ready to accept the challenge if it was offered again.
Sure enough, the same businessman that had made the previous offer prodded Gibralter again give the putting a try. This time, the former pro accepted the proposition.
The outcome was almost anti-climactic.
Gibralter sunk the 60-footer on the third shot. He collected $20,000 in cash.
The golf story reveals a lot about the man who won the latest World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event Championship, held at Horseshoe Bossier City. The $1,600 buy-in tournament drew a field of 405 players, including a number of Circuit ring owners and gold bracelet champions. The muscular fitness guru outlasted all of them and pocketed $133,648 plus his first gold ring. He also earned a seat into the WSOP National Championship presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof, to be played in New Orleans next May.
Gibralter’s experience as a professional golfer and how he maneuvered his way to a successful $20,000 shot, influenced how he handled similar opportunities and challenges in poker. Consider the following last year.
In January, Gibralter found himself sitting at the final table of the Main Event Championship at Choctaw Casino, in Oklahoma. He admitted to making a devastating error in judgment that cost him a higher finish, and perhaps even a victory.
“I played one hand really badly,” Gibralter recalled about the hand that took place nine months earlier. “I know I played it completely wrong. But I learned from that. I think that mistake and what I did afterward helped me win here today.”
Gibralter went on to explain how the experience of playing in a WSOP Circuit finale months ago gave him a greater sense of confidence coming into this most recent championship, held at Bossier City.
Like before in golf, Gibralter thought deeply about the situation. He studied with more intensity. He learned from his mistakes. And eventually, he found himself facing the same opportunity as he’d encountered out on a Dallas golf course.
But this time, the stakes weren’t just for $20,000. The prize was more like $133,000.
Indeed, Gibralter didn’t choke this time. He planted himself firmly at the table, visualized what it would take to be successful, and then performed exactly as scripted. In Bossier City, Gibralter not only shot par for the course, he sunk a hole in one.
“It’s great to win,” Gibralter said. “This means a lot. I expect I’m going to be playing a few more of these and now I know what it takes to win.”
Final Table Finishers
Here is more from your latest WSOP Circuit Champion:
1st: Jeff Gibralter ROCKWALL, TX, US $133,648
2nd: Jay Diaz BROWNFIELD, TX, US $82,590
3rd: Clifford Fisher ADDISON, TX, US $60,349
4th: Abraham Araya CARROLLTON, TX, US $44,809
5th: Seneca Easley FORT WORTH, TX, US $33,789
6th: Pedro Rios HOUSTON, TX, US $25,861
7th: Jesse Maupin ROCKWALL, TX, US $20,084
8th: Mark Burford SHREVEPORT, LA, US $15,819
9th: Jimmy Parker YUKON, OK, US $12,636