Sometimes, a tournament outcome boils down to a single comment.“I just expected to get second,” Deep Pulusani said moments after winning his first gold bracelet. “I was down 8 to 1 and didn't think I had a chance.”Pulusani more than had a chance. He managed to outfox the player who largely dominated play during most of the final table, ultimately winning the $3,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event. First place paid $592,684. This was Pulusani's first gold bracelet win.Indeed, when there were four players remaining, it seemed everyone had just about conceded the victory to Niall Farrell, who was hoping to become the first British champion of the 2013 WSOP. Three rivals jockeyed for position, each hoping to move up into second place.When Pulusani ended up playing Farrell for what amounted to the gold bracelet and a difference in prize money amounting to about $225,000, he was pretty much on a freeroll. Even though he hadn't played that many hands or gotten into many confrontations, Pulasani was just pleased to still be at the table.At that point, the cards turned in the 24-year-old poker pro and music blogger's favor. He managed to reverse the advantage and then took control, leaving the British poker fans on the rail in a state of frustration and disappointment. And so England's WSOP drought continues. Not so for the host Americans.Pulusani grew up in Huntsville, Alabama. He attended college in Alabama before moving to Las Vegas to try poker, at least for a time. Now two years later, he's still at it. On the side, Pulusani is an active blogger for the music industry. He specializes in electronic music.
However, on this night, the only music Pulusani was hearing was a victory march and the sign of a ringing cash register, crediting nearly $600,000 into his bankroll.
MEET GOLD BRACELET WINNER – DEEP PULUSANI
Name: Deep Pulusani (a.k.a. Sandeep Pulusani)
Current Residence: San Francisco, CA (USA)
Birthplace: Huntsville, AL (USA)
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Professional Poker Player
Side Occupation: Music Blogger
WSOP Cashes (including this event): 9
First WSOP Cash (year): 2011
WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
WSOP Wins (with this victory): 1
WSOP Career Earnings: $669,301INTERVIEW WITH THE CHAMPION
WSOP: How does it feel to win your first WSOP gold bracelet?
Pulusani: This has been a crazy grind the whole day. It probably won't even hit me until tomorrow.
WSOP: You played so well heads up, overcoming an 8 to 1 chip disadvantage. Is heads-up your specialty?
Pulusani: I don't think it was either of our specialties. We were just doing it on the fly. I did have some heads-up specialists that were on my rail, but I really think it was more a matter of us going by feel. Luckily, I was able to hit some cards and that had a lot to do with how things turned out.
WSOP: What's your poker background?
Pulusani: I moved to Las Vegas in 2010 after college in Alabama. I played in cash games mostly. I traveled to some tournaments, but I mostly play cash games. Of course, you can't get this feeling from winning in a cash game, so this is pretty special.
WSOP: You were really short-stacked for most of the final table, and especially heads up. Can you talk about that?
Pulusani: I came into the final table with the attitude that there were two really big stacks. Everyone else was basically middle of the road. One of the players was very aggressive. So, that forced action. For me, it made me wait for a hand. The money jumps were getting so high that it made sense to wait because the stacks were getting short. It didn't do that much for me to double up, but it could be crippling if I lost. So, my strategy was to play snug and wait for others to get knocked out. Like when it was four players, there was one player who had all the chips. It was like the rest off us were not playing for first anymore, but rather the higher pay jump. If you get second, you can then play heads-up. That was my goal.
WSOP: Tell us about your involvement in music, which we understand is also a passion.
Pulusani: I started an electronic music blog about two and a half years ago. It's been going strong since then. Anyone that wants to check it out can go to: www.vibeaddict.com It's mostly new releases in the genre. We post them and write blurbs about the things that are hot and new in music.
WSOP: Any last thoughts on what this experience has been like.
Pulusani: It's really surreal. There's nothing to explain it. You dream about it as a poker player. When it finally happens, it really doesn't feel like it's real. It's still a blur right now.