Posted on 07 June 2011
Successfully defending a major is no small feat. Sören Erickson took down 2 Nationals in a row and now Jackson Zheng has backed up on his 2010 New Zealand Poker Open Title. The Open is rapidly becoming the North Islands answer to Christchurch Casinos Nationals and with just under 200 runners winning this years event was a tough ask. jackson Walked away with $50,615.00, his 2nd major title, we caught up with up the day after…
PNZ: Coming into final table did you feel any extra pressure as the defending champ?
JZ: Definitely, I really wanted a back-to-back win. It felt out of reach at the start because I came into the final table with a slightly below average stack, but going for the win was definitely my primary aim.
PNZ: Tough final 9. Who were you most concerned about?
JZ: I felt everyone played really well but I rated Cole Swannack as my toughest competition. Cole is a very accomplished online and live poker player. I was lucky to have position on him and then also lucky that he busted out early in 9th place.
PNZ: Every poker tournament has a turning point, what hand made your run possible?
JZ: Actually I didn’t feel like I won too many particularly big hands. I was all-in for my tournament life in the middle of day 2 with J7s after a failed steal, but managed to win against 99. Later on Day 2 I coolered Koray Turker really really bad getting it in with QQ against his JJ after a ton of aggressive history; for a bit of a backstory: at the start of day 2 I rereraised all-in against Koray for what was a 130k pot (average at that point was about 45k) with 44. Koray tanked for a while and CALLED with Q9o.
I lost that one, but it just goes to show just how aggressive our dynamic was! But on Day 3 I just acquired a lot of chips with either non-showdown winnings, valuebetting, or getting it in with more than a 2:1 edge. It’s always nice to dodge people’s outs though
PNZ: I’m sure there may have been a 3 barrel bluff or two, want to fess up now?
Who? What? When?
JZ: I didn’t really get too many chances to get out of line postflop, which isn’t too normal for me. I made quite a few preflop moves though. On the final table, during 6-handed play (I believe), I raised on the button with A5s. Akshay reraised me in the small blind to 1/4 of his stack. I’d been playing with Akshay over the past 2 days and we had quite a bit of aggressive history already (for the most part, he’d been getting the best of me previously). It was, however, the first time Akshay had reraised me preflop. I felt he would be particularly light in this instance and decided to shove. Akshay thought for a couple of seconds and folded, at which point I showed the 5 of clubs
PNZ: The field was significantly bigger than last year. Was it more of a grind?
JZ: It didn’t feel as bad as last year. Last year we played it over 2 days, which led to a much more grueling schedule. This year was much more relaxed, with the tournament spread out over 3 days, so no one day was particularly long. I played a ton of live cash games between Day 1 and Day 2 though, so overall I’m still pretty exhausted from the grind!
PNZ: Did you buy in or sat? Did you rebuy? What do you think of the repecharge system?
JZ: I bought in directly with the intention of rebuying if I failed on Day 1. I played on Thursday so as to give me all 3 chances to rebuy if I needed it. I really like repechage systems for this reason as it allows people who want to to buy in multiple times, yet it still allows people on a tighter budget to take a shot.
PNZ: Are you off to WSOP?
Not for me this year, as far as I know New Zealanders still have to pay a sickening 30% tax on all tournament prizes in the US. This means effectively a 40% tournament entry fee (compared to the normal 10%). I don’t think that this is beatable for any WSOP events other than the Main Event, so I’m not going. Even though Vegas is amazing .
PNZ: Any last words?
JZ: Shoutout to pokernzforum.com! Sign up IMO!
As you may have guessed Jackson has just relaunched our poker forum at the new URl of http://www.pokernzforum.com He’ll be just one of the many poker players jumping on there to give advice, talk through hands, and most importantly talking trash!
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