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Final Table Takedown: Jessica Teusl Caps Off Incredible WSOP With Ladies Event Title

by Craig Tapscott |  Published: Sep 21, 2022

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Jessica Teusl learned the game of poker from her father when she was 18, but after earning her master’s degree from Seeburg Castle University in her native Austria she opened her own advertising agency. Poker remained a hobby she kept mostly quiet, that is until she took down the Casinos Austria Poker Tour Snow Festival event in 2020.

This summer, the 31-year-old had her best series showing ever. Teusl finished eighth in the $1,500 Monster Stack for $120,455. Incredibly, this came on the same night that her boyfriend, Stefan Lehner, won his first bracelet in the $3,000 no-limit hold’em event.

A couple weeks later, Teusl topped herself by winning the $1,000 Ladies Championship event, picking up her first career bracelet and the $166,975 first-place prize.

“I’ve had such a crazy time at the WSOP this year,” Teusl told reporters at the time. “We are going to celebrate now. We have two bracelets to celebrate!”

Teusl enjoys being an inspiration for women in poker as an influencer and content creator on social media. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @JessicaTeusl.

Card Player caught up with Teusl to break down a couple of hands from her latest victory.

Event: WSOP Ladies
Buy-In: $1,000
Entrants: 1,074
Prize Pool: $955,860
First-Place Prize: $166,975

Stacks: Jessica Teusl – 10,375,000 (34.5 BB) Christina Gollins – 3,150,000 (10.5 BB) Julie Le – 7,925,000 (26 BB)
Blinds: 150,000-300,000
Big Blind Ante: 300,000
Players Remaining: 3

Craig Tapscott: How did you prepare for the final table?

Jessica Teusl: I came to the table as a short stack and thought about all the ranges, solvers, and strategies for different scenarios. I slept a lot, took a shower, and made sure I stayed calm and kept a cool head.

To be honest, there wasn’t much time for more preparation because we had already played for over 10 hours the day before. It had been a long day and of course I wanted to go to bed early. For me it was not the first time that I’ve stood under the hot lights, the camera, and final table pressure. But of course, when the bracelet is so close, it’s something else altogether to be there and be prepared.

CT: Had you done any research on your opponents?

JT: Yes, of course. I made sure I had all the info on my opponents. And I already knew how some of them played from the previous days. To begin the final table, we knew where the button was going to be before the start of the table. I looked at who was sitting where, especially when I was in the big blind, etc.

Action: Gollins jammed all-in from the button. Le called from the small blind.

JT: I was in the big blind holding pocket nines, 9Heart Suit 9Diamond Suit.

CT: What thoughts were running through your mind at this point? There are a lot of different scenarios to consider that could play out. Do you call and see the flop, or shove and try to isolate the all-in player?

JT: I went into the tank because in this spot Le has either a monster, or a hand that will fold against my all-in. Having two nines in the big blind is definitely too strong to fold in this spot. But it is also not that nice to jam and get called by a hand like Q-Q+. Also, pocket nines do not have any blockers for those nutted hands. Hands such as A-K or A-Q I would have jammed preflop for sure.

CT: Why? Explain a little deeper for our readers.

JT: Because I block the strongest hands Le could have and therefore the jam becomes much more profitable getting a preflop fold from her.

CT: Were there any other factors regarding your final decision here?

JT: One more thought that arrived me at my final decision. If I called, Le is almost never going to bluff me off my hand post-flop, because she would be happy with the pay jump. And there is also no side pot to win, which makes it very unattractive to bluff. This is why I decided to call after a pretty, long tank.

Teusl called.

Flop: AClub Suit 10Club Suit 8Diamond Suit (pot: 10,050,000)

Le checked. Teusl checked.

Turn: 3Club Suit (pot: 10,050,000)

Le checked. Teusl checked.

River: 2Heart Suit (pot: 10,050,000)

Le and Teusl checked again. Le turned over KDiamond Suit QHeart Suit, and Teusl showed her pocket nines. Gollins revealed KHeart Suit 9Spade Suit and was eliminated in third place. Teusl won the pot of 10,050,000.

JT: My thinking about the hand came true post-flop. Obviously, you always need to be a little lucky to win against two opponents with nines.

CT: I’m curious. I watched the hand replay on YouTube. Commentator Jennifer Shahade was thinking you were going to shove. It was definitely a very interesting spot. Even though the final results were in your favor, did you review the hand when all was said and done and determine you made the right choice?

JT: I have talked to many very good poker players about the hand, and they agreed with me. Even if there are a few arguments to play the hand differently, I think I made the right decision in this scenario and this tournament. I’m happy with my decision and my thoughts.

CT: Excellent. It was a very interesting spot to watch play out.

Stacks: Jessica Teusl – 16,400,000 (54 BB) Julie Le – 5,050,000 (17 BB)
Blinds: 150,000-300,000
Big Blind Ante: 300,000
Players Remaining: 2

CT: You were heads up for the title. Le had been a very aggressive opponent thus far. What was the plan considering your sizable chip advantage?

JT: Actually, I wanted to play small ball poker and avoid the variance and win the bracelet that way. But I give full credit to Le. I had to change my game plan, because she played very aggressive and often did things that other opponents don’t do.

Action: Le limped in from the button.

JT: I was in the big blind with 7-2 offsuit. And I had a 3:1 chip lead.

CT: So, what was the best play here?

JT: Playing aggressive in these spots is very often a good way to win chips in the long run.

There are a few reasons: First, we were playing with a big blind ante, so the odds for the small blind were very good to play hands in position with a limp. In fact, it should be the preferred option, because at this stack depth re-jams are very likely. I assumed she knew that and was wide enough there with limping. You probably shouldn’t be folding any hand there in heads-up, except when you play against a very aggressive opponent.

Secondly, I assumed she wouldn’t defend wide enough against an isolation raise from the big blind with calls and limp jams. The third argument why I decided to iso-raise trash hands like 7-2 at a high frequency is because I assumed she would not trap wide enough on the button in these spots at this stack depth, because the ratio of trash hands to playable hands was in my favor.

Teusl raised to 900,000.

Le responded by shoving with QHeart Suit 3Heart Suit, and Teusl folded. Le won the pot of 1,650,000.

CT: Wow. She shoved with queen high. Why do you think she shoved here so light?

JT: I know. As you can see, my assumptions were wrong, because in this spot Le limp-jammed holding Q-3 suited against my isolation raise. So probably she assumed I had raised this hand far too wide, otherwise this play doesn’t make any sense.

CT: Why else do you think she shoved?

JT: Another reason could have been that she was pretty well informed by her rail. The stream was about 30 minutes delayed, so that was possible. I was also getting information from my rail. I did my best to adapt pretty quickly to these types of aggressive moves from Le.

All in all, I was very happy with myself. I stayed calm. When things weren’t going my way after losing several pots at the start of our match, I turned the momentum around back my way.

CT: Congratulations on the big win. Let’s talk a little about your approach to the game. What do you consider the most important aspect of successful poker?

JT: The most important thing is bankroll management, which means that you only play with the money you feel comfortable with. This may sound stupid or strange at first, but every hobby costs money. You should never play over your limit where you don’t feel comfortable.

It’s also important to keep a cool head and make decisions quickly. I’ve learned to deal with defeat because you can’t influence variance or luck. ♠