Local Player Michael Frierson Turns a 1,000x ROI at WPT bestbet Scramble
Michael Frierson, a recreational local poker player, busted short of the title in fourth place in the $5,000 buy-in World Poker Tour (WPT) bestbet Scramble on Tuesday. But he had one heck of a run, turning a $120 satellite buy-in into $123,900, better than 1,000 times his investment.
The Floridian who lives just 10 minutes from bestbet Jacksonville, one of the top poker rooms in the US, spoke with PokerNews following his bust-out hand. Although he was in good spirits and ecstatic about his deep run, and the life-changing money that came with it, he'd like to have the final hand back.
Right Thought Process, Wrong Timing
Prior to his elimination hand, he brought up the idea of a chop, but the chip leader at the time wasn't down. On the next hand, he picked up AQ, a strong hand that is even stronger four-handed.
"Me saying that kind of eludes to the fact that I care about the money, so I was taking that into account," Frierson said of bringing up the possibility of a chop. "Then, on the very next hand, I get ace-queen, so I'm taking that into account and I raised a little extra because I have two big stacks on my left I'm expecting them to take that information and try to pressure me."
Frierson's logic makes sense, but the deck didn't seem to care. After raising to 150,000, Heng Zhang called on the button before Frederic Normand three-bet to 800,000 from the small blind. Expecting his opponents to put pressure on him following his chop discussion, Frierson jammed all in for 3,200,000, but rant into Normand's KK.
The board of J3262 was of no help to the local poker player and he was out in fourth place. Had he gone for a call against the three-bet instead of a shove, he could have folded to a flop bet and still had about 40 big blinds, potentially laddering up even further. But hindsight is 20/20, and it's hard to find a negative in a 1,000x return on investment (ROI).
Frierson didn't just win a single satellite to enter the World Poker Tour event. He first won a $120 buy-in satellite just to get into a $580 satellite, which he again won, and then he finished fourth out of a 365-player field for the six-figure payday. It wasn't his first sizable tournament cash, however.
Earlier this year, the local player finished fourth in a $2,000 buy-in tournament at bestbet Jacksonville during the Winter Series Open for $33,366. With his score on Tuesday, he now has about $185,000 in The Hendon Mob cashes.
Frierson, who works in group sales and constrution management out of his home along with his wife, plans to spend his winnings wisely instead of going after some flashy purchases. Although he admits that may be "boring" to most, paying off bills and saving is a wiser investment.
"When I got the 33k earlier this year, I had all these ideas about turning it into more, and I'd say I learned a lesson from that," Frierson said. "First thing I wanna do is all the boring stuff. I definitely didn't wanna take my first 33k win and pay all my debts, but I should have."
Frierson doesn't like to travel to play poker, although he did acknowledge he'd consider making a close trip or two, perhaps to Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida or Harrah's Cherokee in North Carolina. His preference is to play locally at his home casino bestbet Jacksonville. He doesn't have to leave his wife or two young kids home, and why leave to play poker when he's having so much success just down the road from his house?
Frierson didn't win the $351,650 first place prize and he won't be joining the WPT Champions Club this week. But he won enough to improve his financial situation, and who knows, maybe one day he'll have his name etched on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Trophy.
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