Name: Billy Pappaconstantinou
Twitter: @MasTaPaPz
Age: 29
Hometown: Lowell, MA
Occupation: Professional foosball player, part-time poker dealer
Employer/Company Name: Self-employed
Marital Status: Single
Years entered Main Event: 1
WSOP Earnings: $0
WSOP Cashes: 0
WSOP Final Tables: 0
Best Main Event Finish: None

WSOP
: You’re one of the only amateurs at this final table. Will you do any sort of preparation these next for months?


Pappaconstantinou: No. Honestly, I just heard that Newhouse was at the final table last year, that’s how unknown I am. I have no idea who any of the guys are, so that makes me a little bit less intimidated by them. Even when someone was telling me about someone, I’m like, “I don’t want to know,” because then I’m gonna freak out at how much better they are than me at this game.

WSOP: Was it crazy to you when you find out Newhouse had made the final table two years in a row?

Pappaconstantinou: Yeah, I asked him and he told me he made the final table last year. That’s the best feat in World Series of Poker history, right? I don’t even think anything’s close. I’m like way back in the Harrington days and he did that…and Raymer…That’s the last time I’ve watched, but this has to be the biggest feat ever.


WSOP: If you don’t want to know much about your competitors, are you planning to avoid the TV coverage this fall?


Pappaconstantinou: No, that I guess I will, since I have played with them. I don’t think I’ll be as intimidated now, but I don’t know how much it will help. They’re going to watch it to and probably change their games a little bit. I’ll watch it just cause it is a cool experience. I don’t know if I’ll watch it too much to learn because they’re gonna watch it and know what we’re looking at, so they might change it up.


WSOP: A lot of people get coaches or consult friends who play a lot. Is that something you would consider?

Pappaconstantinou: No, I would just rather have the support of my close friends. I don’t want…we call them groupies…come out. I had someone today write me and say, “Hey, I’m a coach and I’ve been under the spotlight and know what it takes, would you want help?” I don’t want to get involved with someone and get that close with a person I don’t know. I don’t want to be taken advantage of, pretty much.


WSOP: How does your Main Event experience compare to the World Championship of foosball?


Pappaconstantinou: This is just a whole new world. This is just still unrealistic. In foosball, I can control what’s going on, but this is just foolish [laughs]. This is a dream, you know? I’m not ready for this whole media thing coming up, I’m pretty shy.


WSOP: Your story has an interesting angle because we don’t often have people who compete seriously in something else besides poker.

Pappaconstantinou: That’s the good thing, I probably won’t have to answer too many questions about poker and more about foosball. That’s much easier and that part I don’t mind.

WSOP
: Prior to the Main Event, you’d never played a buy-in over $500. You’ve just played seven days of serious poker. How much has your game grown over the course of this tournament?


Pappaconstantinou: I think it has grown a lot, it has. Yesterday, I was telling someone, I did something totally different than I’ve done before in poker, and yesterday I really dominated as best as I could. I didn’t lose a big pot, so this new strategy seemed to work. Today I came back and said I would do it again, and I kind of pansied out a little bit. I didn’t play as good today, but I was fortunate enough to pick up a big hand when another person got a big hand and that helped get me here.


WSOP: At what point in the tournament did you start thinking the final table was in reach?


Pappaconstantinou: I was setting small goals. The first was to get through Day 1. Then, try to cash. Top 100, top 50, top 27. When I won the big pot last night, I said, ‘okay it is realistic now.’