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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | WSOP 2008 Tournaments

WSOP Diary of Scott Clements: One Final Table Down, Bracelet to Go

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The first conversation with Scott Clements took place less than one week ago, and he noted that he had very specific goals for the 2008 World Series of Poker. He planned to cash five times, make two final tables, and win one bracelet. It only took a few days to check one of those items off the list.

In the wee hours of Thursday morning, June 5th, Scott secured his seat at the final table of Event #6, the Omaha hi-lo split 8-or-better tournament. He came in with a sufficient amount of chips, fourth out of nine players, and began final table play with his signature aggressive style. But the cards didn’t cooperate, and with wife Courtney watching and cheering him on, he ended his run for a bracelet in ninth place with $22,172 to show for it.

Scott is one of the most intimidating faces to see at a table. He has an intense stare, and whether it is aimed at an opponent, the dealer, or simply the cards, everyone is a little taken aback and put on edge – not in a frightening way, only in the sense that this is one serious player not to be taken lightly.

But he has another side that becomes evident when he is not in a hand. Courtney was sitting up in the Milwaukee’s Best Light Lounge and looked down over the table to watch her husband at play, as this was the only seating available for family and friends. When Scott needed any encouragement, he simply looked up at her. Eyes were locked, smiles were exchanged, and he seemed immediately energized and ready to face another hand. Even upon his ninth place elimination and the frustration that accompanies a frustrating finish, he rushed to find her, shared a few private moments, and all was well. They walked hand in hand to the cashier cage, said their goodbyes, and he bought into the next tournament. It was a rare sight in a game that tests relationships on a regular basis; seeing such unconditional commitment that transcends the world of poker was a bright spot in this 2008 WSOP grind for sure.

As far as the final table and his ability to simply move on to the next game, Scott chatted about this later in the evening.

JN: Tell me about the Omaha final table.

SC:
The big hand that I lost a lot of my chips – a little over a third – was when I had A-Q-3-4 with diamonds, I called a raise and had three other callers pre-flop. There was already 140K in the pot with 600/1200 blinds. On the flop, and I had the nut diamond draw with 4-7-9 with two diamonds. It was check, check, bet, raise to 2400, and I three-bet trying to isolate and see the turn, but it went call, call from the two checkers, then another call and a four-bet. At this point, I probably should’ve just called, but I decided to five-bet because of the five-way action. The turn brought a low card – a 6. One of the guys was all-in with his bet, and call, call, call. The river was a 5 and gave me the 7-high straight. It was over a 500K pot at this point, so that was one where I lost most of my chips. Most of the hands, I can’t really remember. I raised then folded a lot of hands.

JN: How did you feel going into the final table?

SC:
I felt great. I thought the structure was very impressive, and I was happy with how long it took to get down to the final table. Usually, those events are a lot shorter, so I was happy that they gave us a lot of play – a lot of 3-5 and 5-10 levels were added in addition to all the normal levels I’d played in the past. I thought the structure was great and was very happy going in. Sometimes with Omaha, if you miss, that’s the way it goes. The last hand I remember was I had A-A-3-6 single-suited, and at this point, I was down to like 117K. It gets raised, I three-bet 45K, and everyone else folded except the raiser who called. The flop came K-10-4 with two hearts. He checked, I bet 15K, he called. The turn came a Jack, which is like the worst card in the deck for me; any low card would have given me outs if he’s got me beat already. He checked, I checked behind, and the river paired the 10. He bet, and I knew that he might be bluffing the river, and I called. He had A-K-Q-Q. That was it.

JN: How disappointed were you?

SC:
It’s always disappointing to make it to the final table and not come out victorious. I think I would’ve been disappointed with second place, too, just as much.

JN: After the ninth place finish, and after not having much sleep, as Courtney noted that there was construction going on at your condo, what prompted you to buy in to the Omaha/stud event that was already in progress?

SC:
I come to the World Series to work, not to stop and rest. I really enjoy the hi-lo events, so this is one I was looking forward to. I even wanted them to start that final table at 3:00 so if it was a good final table, and if I was still in when we were down to fewer players, I’d register for this Omaha/stud event before the cut-off at 7pm and blind off while I finished the final table, then come play in this tournament. I am a little tired, but I’ve had a lot of coffee today. I was pretty wired for a little bit, and I’m kind of jumping around everywhere.

JN: How are you doing in this tournament (at the break around midnight)?

SC:
I’m doing well. Average is about 9K, and I’ve got about 20,400. It doesn’t seem like the structure is as good, but I think that just like the later rounds that were so good in the Omaha, this one is going to level off. I heard that they plan to speed it up in the beginning and slow it down later. I really wish they would make it nine levels a day, or at least just on Day 1, to cut the fields down, but it is what it is.

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