Derivatives Trader from New York scores first bracelet and $537,710
Las Vegas, NV (June 11, 2018) - Jeremy Wien was supposed to be at work on Monday. He wasn’t. He was in the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino winning his first World Series of Poker bracelet.
The derivatives trader from New York needed to take more time off from work than he planned because he bested a field of 518 players to win his first WSOP title and $537,710 in the $5,000 big blind ante no-limit hold'em tournament.
“It’s pretty surreal,” said Wien. “It’s not what I do for a living, but I come out here for a few tournaments every summer, sometimes as many as 15 or so. You know, I got close to a final table once a few years ago, I’ve had a few cashes, but other than that, nothing crazy. I never actually expected it to happen, even though I’ve dreamed about it. I’ve given my bracelet ceremony speech a few times in my head.”
When he says he wasn’t expecting it to happen, he wasn’t kidding. Wien was scheduled to fly back easy over the weekend and make it to work on Monday morning and didn’t pack enough clothes to make it through the tournament.
His wife flew out on Sunday to bring him clean clothes to wear at the final table. She stayed on the rail throughout the entire final table and sweated every hand he played en route to victory.
Wien got his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University, where he learned to play the game he loves online. He put up some decent results online and used the game to help him land an internship in the world of finance.
“During my internship interview at Goldman Sachs, I spent 30 minutes in the interview and I spent about 25 minutes talking about poker,” said Wien. “I said ‘Look, you’re going to be interviewing people with 4.0’s from Harvard. I don’t have that. Not that Georgetown is a slouchy school, but here’s where I think I can learn this from you guys.’ And I talked about poker as the skill sets translating.”
He’s the latest of many traders to put up solid results in the poker world after finding success on Wall Street. To Wien, it’s no surprise that there is a lot of crossover between the two careers.
“A lot of the skill sets translate,” said Wien. “There is a mathematical component, but I think that’s a little overrated. I think it’s a lot about risk/reward. It’s about understanding when there is good value in something and where there is not. And, at least from my part, a lot about psychology.
“Like market psychology. Sometimes good news comes out and the market goes down, and people wonder why. The reaction might not be what you think and it’s the same thing in poker. Obviously, whatever people are saying to you at the table, but also their betting structure and things like that, and deconstructing what you think they’re going to do, and also, what you think they think you’re going to do. And all of the levels that you can go to.”
Playing in one of the higher buy-in no-limit hold’em events, Wien was bound to go up against plenty of top level pros. Thanks to playing the heads-up championship event last week, he felt good coming into a final table filled with some of the best in the world.
“I won my first match and lost my second,” said Wien about his heads-up experience. “My wife told me it was a waste of money. She was probably right at the time, but for being results oriented, it gave me a lot of confidence, actually. Not just in heads-up, but even in general, I felt like I played well in that tournament. Just that I can compete with these guys.”
Wien defeated David Laka heads-up, a 21-year-old professional poker player from Spain that currently lives in London. Laka is a short-handed and heads-up specialist online that also has seven figures in live earnings from tournaments in Europe.
This wasn’t anything that Wien knew before the heads-up match began. He deliberately tries to not look up players at his table.
“I don’t want to change how I play,” said Wien about why he doesn’t do research on his opponents. “I feel like I have a different style that’s very different from them. I’m very nitty. It’s obviously different in heads-up, but in general I play a little nitty and try to pick my spots. It hasn’t always worked, but it worked out this week.”
Wien doesn’t research his opponents, but he does make very calculated decisions with what his opponents know about him. It was a driving factor in why Wien declined to take a 60-minute dinner break during what ended up being a nearly five-hour heads-up battle.
“I was playing tight most of the table, even when it was short-handed,” said Wien. “I made a couple of moves on him that I had picked up in his betting patters … I felt like I had that, but with the one-hour delay, I didn’t want to have a dinner break where he could learn that about me and then think that I am capable.”
The final table was reached late on Sunday evening, and they finished out the rest of the current level before bagging up for the night. Patrick Truong was eliminated by Shawn Buchanan when his ace-king lost a flip to Buchanan’s pocket queens.
Truong was the last player to be eliminated on Sunday and the final eight players returned on at noon on Monday to play down to champion.
Buchanan’s elimination of Truong gave him the chip lead coming into the final day and Richard Tuhrim was on the short stack with just 16 big blinds at the start of Monday’s action. Tuhrim was eliminated just a couple orbits into the day when his king-ten was dominated by Jeremy Wien’s ace-king.
Tuhrim was all in preflop and Wien flopped an ace, which left Tuhrim drawing dead on the turn. He earned $45,558 for his deep run.
Seven-handed play lasted for nearly three hours with chip leads changing hands and several double ups. Nearly 60 hands after Tuhrim was eliminated in eighth, David Peters fell in seventh.
Peters, who was arguably the most accomplished player at the final table, was the short stack after Jake Schindler doubled through him and was finished off by Laka. Peters moved all in for his last six big blinds on the button and was called by Laka out of the big blind.
Laka’s queen-seven was up against Peters’ king-ten. Laka paired his queen on the turn to eliminate Peters in seventh place.
Just two hands later, Laka struck again, sending Buchanan home in sixth place. It was a cutoff vs. button battle where Buchanan four-bet all in with pocket fives and ran into Laka’s pocket jacks. The board ran out clean and Laka eliminated two players in three hands.
On the very next hand, another player was eliminated, but it was at the hands of Eric Blair. John Amato moved all in on the button for about 13 big blinds and got action from Eric Blair in the small blind.
It was Amato’s up against Blair’s . The board ran out and Amato was eliminated in fifth place at the hands of the former top online pro.
The casualties continued to pile up during the 40,000/80,000 level with Schindler hitting the rail 10 hands later. Schindler got all in preflop with pocket kings against Laka’s ace-king. The flop and turn were safe for Schindler, but an ace came on the river and he was eliminated in fourth.
After playing seven-handed for nearly three hours, they field was down to three players in a span of 13 hands.
That pot gave Laka a sizable chip lead over Blair and Wien. They finished out the rest of the level and the Laka eliminated Blair near the end of the next level. Throughout three-handed play, Laka seemed to tread water, while the two shorter stacks battled it out to stay alive.
Blair moved all in on the button for his last seven big blinds and Laka called out of the big blind. Laka showed and was in the lead against Blair’s eight-nine offsuit. Laka flopped a jack and faded runners to a straight to give himself a massive, 5-to-1 chip lead heads-up against Jeremy Wien.
Wien battled back, however. Over the course of several hands, Wien chipped away and cut it to a 2.5-to-1 chip lead. Then, Wien doubled up when he spiked a three-outer with ace-nine against Laka’s pocket tens, which gave him the chip lead and started the long heads-up duel.
On the 138th hand of just heads-up play, Wien found himself on the right end of a cold deck. Laka picked up pocket queens and ran into Wien’s pocket aces. They got all the chips into the middle on a jack-high flop and Wien’s hand held up. They counted down both stacks and verified that Wien had the bigger stack and won the tournament.
Final Table Results:
1st: Jeremy Wien - $537,710
2nd: David Laka - $332,328
3rd: Eric Blair - $228,307
4th: Jake Schindler - $159,575
5th: John Amato - $113,510
6th: Shawn Buchanan - $82,199
7th: David Peters - $60,618
8th: Richard Tuhrim - $45,538
9th: Patrick Truong - $34,862
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