This is turning into an astounding World Series of Poker for poker pro Tom Schneider. And we're not even half way into the schedule yet.Schneider's most recent moment of glory came in the $5,000 buy-in HORSE tournament. Remarkably, he won $1,500 buy-in HORSE tournament which concluded a week ago. Perhaps just as impressive – this was Schneider's sixth cash at this series.Given the way Schneider is running right now, he's certainly a threat to join the “triple win club,” which refers to the elite group of players who have won three gold bracelets within a single year. He could also challenge the record for most cashes in a single year. Ironically, the player who holds the “most cashes” record with 12, is Russian player Konstantin Puchkov, who finished eighth in this tournament.There's more. Should Schneider keep up this level of success, he could also become the first two-time WSOP Player of the Year winner. He currently sits just behind the 2004 Player of the Year, Daniel Negreanu, in this year's ranks.Schneider collected $318,955 and his fourth career gold bracelet. He has two wins in 2013 and two wins in 2007.Aside from poker, Schneider is an investor and chief Financial Officer for Loudmouth Golf, which is the maker of pants and shorts, mostly with shocking color schemes. In fact, Schneider was decked out in one of his favorite pair of shorts at the final table. It's become his trademark.Schneider is 53-years-old. He lives in Scottsdale, AZ with his wife Julie, herself no stranger to cashing at the WSOP. He is also an aspiring musician and songwriter. He's written several songs, a few of which have been recorded in studio. Benjamin Scholl, from Trappe, PA finished as runner-up. He was denied what would have been his second gold bracelet. Scholl won his first gold bracelet last year.
MEET GOLD BRACELET WINNER – TOM SCHNEIDERName: Tom Schneider Current Residence: Scottsdale, AZ (USA) Birthplace: Indianapolis, IN (USA) Age: 53 Marital Status: Married Children: 3 Profession: Professional Poker Player / Businessman Hobby: Country-Western Singer and Songwriter WSOP Cashes (including this event): 31 First WSOP Cash (year): 2002 WSOP Final Table Appearances: 8 WSOP Wins (with this victory): 4 WSOP Earnings: $1,501,094
INTERVIEW WITH THE CHAMPION
WSOP: How does it feel to win your fourth WSOP gold bracelet?
Schneider: I'm exhausted to be honest. Of course, I am so thankful to win and be here, but this was a very tough tournament. They guys I was up against in this event. They were all really great players.
WSOP: Of the two gold bracelets you won so far this year, which event was tougher?
Schneider: They were both tough. Of course, Greg Mueller is always difficult to play against. And all the other guys. Benjamin Scholl, who came in second, played great. I got really lucky to win it against these guys.
WSOP: Does winning inspire you to play more events and chase records?
Schneider: Yeah. When the WSOP is going on, there's no rest for the weary. You have to get going.
WSOP: Does this mean you will play in the $50K buy-in HORSE Championship?
Schneider: I'm not sure. I like to play when I feel right. But right now, I actually feel so tired – almost like I do at the end of the World Series. I have played nothing but poker. I'm not sleeping as much as I normally do, but that's okay. Don't feel too sorry for me. I'll be alright.
WSOP: This is shaping up to be a huge year for you. Did you do anything different coming into this WSOP than other years?
Schneider: I am doing some other things outside of poker now that help me. It's such a grind to play poker all the time and you have to get away from it sometimes. I'm working on Loudmouth Golf, so my mind is on something different. I don't always have to play poker. I can now sit and talk to people who are doing positive things. I've also started writing music and am taking guitar lessons. I play golf. So, I have other passions outside of poker. So, getting away from it on a regular basis clears your mind. Doing business or writing songs and making music – it's constructive for me. So when I arrived this year at the WSOP, I was ready to play.
WSOP: You counter the image of the modern poker player, who is often one-dimensional and focuses only on the game. Do you have any advice for others who would like to be where you are standing someday?
Schneider: I don't think it's the right way to live. I think poker is an interesting and fun game, but there's so much more to life and things to experience other than sitting at a poker table. I hate to see young kids when they have commitments outside of poker and they abandon them....there's so many other things in life you need to pay attention to.
WSOP: Does this year feel similar to 2007 when you won Player of the Year?
Schneider: It does feel that way, a little, but this year when we had 14 players to go in the first one that I won, I felt like I was going to win. Then, in this one, we were a little deeper, but I had the same feeling. I think that can help guide you and make you play better. I've made final tables where I didn't have that feeling. So, knowing you are going to win it and then actually winning it are two different things. Sometimes people get impatient and rush things, but you have to wait until the right opportunities come along.
WSOP: How do you feel about your chances to win a third gold bracelet?
Schneider: I feel really good about it. I am playing well. I am sensing other people and how they feel about hands better than I have in the past.
WSOP: What do you think of your chances to repeat as WSOP Player of the Year?
Schneider: I know the WSOP includes the gold bracelet events overseas. I had not planned on going over there (to Asia and Europe). If I win one more or if I have the point lead, I might go. I'll see how it goes, but I'd like to close it out here in Las Vegas.
WSOP: Do you take any added pride in winning tw HORSE titles, which is an all-around test of poker skill?
Schneider: Yes, but it's more than that. When I talk to younger players, I tell them that if you are just a No-Limit Hold'em player there are a lot more skills you can pick up from these other games. If you can learn new games fast, and think about how to play a hand, you develop your own skills. You have to think about the game, which is what I love about mixed games. It makes you think how to play more games and I think that gives you an edge in all games.ODDS AND ENDSThe final table included five of eight players who had previously won gold bracelets – including Tom Schneider, Benjamin Scholl, Greg Mueller, Adam Friedman, David Benyamine, and Konstantin Puchkov.