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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | Poker Personalities

WSOP Diary of Tom Schneider: 2007 POY Ready to Repeat

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Out of the world of high-limit cash games, typically in Arizona casinos, Tom Schneider has made quite an impact on the poker tournament scene over the past several years. And the stellar year he had at the 2007 World Series of Poker catapulted him to a status that only he could have predicted.

At the tables Tom is an unassuming player, never causing a scene or making a spectacle of himself, merely exhibiting respect for the game and his competitors. It could be the years he spent at the highest levels of the corporate business world that taught him valuable lessons that have helped him become one of the most respected players in poker.

But all the while, Tom stayed under the radar for many of his years playing tournaments. He had two cashes in the 2002 WSOP, one of which was a final table in the $3000 pot-limit hold’em event. He had one cash in the 2003 WSOP, several other prominent event finishes over the next few years, but 2006 was a significant year. Not only did he make a World Poker Tour final table at the Reno World Poker Challenge and finish in third there, but he cleared seventh at a WSOP Caesars Circuit event and fifth at the WSOP $1500 limit hold’em shootout.

Then came 2007 when he took the WSOP by storm. He started out by winning the $2500 Omaha/seven-card stud hi/lo 8-or-better event, and final tabled the $2500 H.O.R.S.E. tournament the next week for a fourth place finish. The clincher was a victory in the $1000 seven-card stud hi/lo 8-or-better event a few weeks later. He was subsequently dubbed the 2007 WSOP Player of the Year. Later in the year, he also made a WPT final table at the Bicycle’s Legends of Poker, the WSOP Caesars Indiana championship event, and several other smaller-scale tournaments. It was a banner year for Tom.

So, when he came to the World Series of Poker in 2008 to defend his 2008 POY title, he was shocked to see that his photo was missing from the wall of champions. For the first time, Harrah’s decided to pay tribute to Players of the Year from 2004 through 2007, though Tom’s banner was glaringly missing from the wall on the day before the WSOP was scheduled to start. It was then that Tom spoke about his goals for this year’s WSOP.

JN: What do you have in mind for this year’s World Series?

TS:
I have new goals after arriving at the World Series. The absence of my picture as ‘07 Player of the Year makes me very determined to win the ’08 Player of the Year so that there will be two blank spots up where the pictures are. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Julie (his wife) and I showed up here yesterday to the World Series, and they’ve really done a nice job on the room with pictures of all the past main event winners. This year, I think it’s new, they have the Players of the Year from ’04, ’05, and ’06, and there’s a big blank spot where ’07 should be. I don’t know why, but that’s my new inspiration. I always use something like that to inspire me to do something; if someone tells me I can’t do something or I get neglected or whatever, I find inspiration in that.

JN: Last year, you set very specific goals to win two bracelets and Player of the Year. Do you have similar goals this year?

TS:
This year, I want to win two bracelets. I’m going to be playing in more events than I did last year, and I’m playing in a lot more no-limit hold’em events. I was really tired of no-limit last year and only played in about three of them, and I have a little bit of the excitement back for no-limit, so I’m going to be playing in more of those $1500 no-limit events. I’ll play pretty fast and try to get there, and if I don’t, I’ll move on. Virtually every day this year, I will be playing a tournament. If I’m not in one from last night, I’ll be playing in another. It’s a little bit of a different strategy in that I’m playing more events. My goal is definitely to win two bracelets, and it’ll help me win Player of the Year, and I don’t know if anyone has ever won two back-to-back, so that would be kind of cool.

JN: How many championship events are you going to play?

TS:
I will probably play all of the championship events except for possibly the no-limit heads-up event. My experience at the NBC National Heads-Up Championship wasn’t so great in that there’s not a lot of maneuvering. If you play for a period of time, it’s going to be an all-in fest, and I don’t think I have as much experience heads-up, and I feel like I might be wasting some money. I might not play the championship seven-stud event either; I think stud is the game that I play the least of so that might be another event I don’t play.

Note: By the official start of the World Series of Poker on May 30th, Tom’s banner was hung in its appropriate place on the wall of champions.

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