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Poker Pro 'Can't Think Of A Single Thing' He'd Buy If He Won $7.5M In Super High Roller Bowl

Nothing Would Change About David Peters If He Won Year's Most Expensive Tournament, Not Even His Wardrobe

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There’s probably not a professional poker player on the planet more humble than David Peters.

With more than $5 million in lifetime tournament scores spread across more than 260 career cashes on the tournament circuit, Peters is one of the game’s road warriors. He says he lives out of a suitcase, and he plays buy-ins these days as low as $500 and now as high as $500,000.

On Friday, going into the second day of action in the 2015 Super High Roller Bowl at Aria casino, Peters held the top stack with 27 left out of a 43-player starting field consisting of the game’s top pros and wealthiest enthusiasts.

Peters sold a lot of himself to enter the priciest tournament of 2015. It’s also the biggest event of his life. In March, Peters won $651,895 at an EPT event for his largest score ever. Peters stands to win $7,525,000 if he has all the chips when the Super High Roller Bowl is over on Saturday.

Card Player spoke to the poker pro from Toledo, Ohio before the start of play on Friday.

Brian Pempus: How are you feeling in this tournament?

David Peters: I am feeling great. Yesterday went very well. It ended up being a tougher tournament than we all expected. Playing against the best players in the world is a test of your skills. I love to battle, so it should be a lot of fun. We’re very deep, so there’s going to be a lot of play.

BP: Do you mean that there are fewer recreational players?

DP: Yeah, there were fewer recreational players than we thought. I guess some of them didn’t end up playing when they originally thought they were going to. Yesterday I had one of the toughest tables that I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s fun playing with the best, though. You want that test.

BP: Did yesterday sort of prove to you that you are really in the zone right now?

DP: Yeah, I definitely feel like I am playing very well right now. I feel like I am in the zone. I have been playing and working a ton for the last several months, so I am feeling very good about my game right now. I am ready to just play as best as I can.

BP: Is this the biggest tournament of your life?

David Peters on day 1DP: Yeah, it definitely feels that way. Buy-in wise it certainly is, but I’ve played several $100,000 buy-in events and big-field tournaments. I play with these guys all the time, so I won’t be scared or uncomfortable. I am looking forward to this.

BP: How is your WSOP going so far?

DP: It started off pretty well. I got third in the $3,000 shootout and then 10th in the $10,000 pot-limit hold’em after that, but it’s been downhill since then. Hopefully I can make a comeback with this tournament. This could definitely make up for the summer (laughs).

BP: When you play you are pretty quiet at the table. Do you like doing that? Do you just sit back and try to observe your opponents and maybe try to get some reads?

DP: Yeah, I am pretty quiet at the table. I am just trying to be in the zone and trying to focus on things as much as I can. I don’t know, I guess I don’t get too much into the table talk. For the most part I try to be really in the zone.

BP: Do you ever have opponents who try to get you to talk and give away something?

DP: Oh yeah, definitely sometimes (laughs). But when I am in a hand I am pretty statuesque. I am not going to give away too much, at least I don’t think so.

BP: You’ve had amazing results over your poker career, and you seem like one of the more humble poker players around. Do you feel like you are sort of different from many in the poker community in this way?

DP: Yeah, I think I am humble. I’m confident, but I am not outgoing or outspoken, or bragging about myself. That’s not my personality. I just go about my business, do work and try to play the best I can and whatever happens, happens.

BP: It seems like every summer you get deep in events and are quietly recording result after result.

DP: Yeah, several people refer to me as the ‘silent assassin’ (laughs). I’ve heard that a few times over my career. But yeah, that’s pretty much how I go about it. I don’t mind being called that. It’s just funny.

BP: Do you consider yourself one of the best without a WSOP bracelet?

DP: I try not to compare myself to other people, but yeah I’d say I’m up there. Hopefully I can get it soon. I’ve been close a few times. Hopefully one of these days.

BP: You’re not as flashy as some of the ‘high rollers’ in this tournament. Do you consider yourself to be a high roller but not a high roller in many ways?

DP: Oh yeah, I am the last person you’ll ever see wearing an expensive watch. I could have a billion dollars and I’d still be wearing the same clothes I’m wearing now, the same clothes I’ve worn my whole life. I don’t care about stuff like that or material things like that. You’re not going to see me being flashy ever (laughs).

BP: Does it ever feel strange to be immersed in a world where many people are flashy?

DP: Yeah, it’s a little strange. A lot of times I don’t agree with the way some people go about it, but everyone has their own views on how they want to live their life or spend their money. I just kind of disagree with buying a lot of expensive things, but you can spend your money how you want. It’s definitely a lot different than the normal world, or people with normal jobs. I definitely feel like a normal guy.

BP: Is part of this also trying to have good bankroll management so you can stay in the game as long as you can and prepare for the inevitable downswing?

DP: Yeah, a lot of it is trying to prepare for downswings, and to set myself up for the future. Being able to spend money in ways that I want to spend, ways that would make my life happier. Buying a watch isn’t going to make me happier, buying a $100,000 car isn’t going to make my happier. One day being able to, I don’t know, be financially secure and travel the world, or help my parents out, or whatever I can do, that type of stuff makes my happy. That’s hopefully what I can save money up for.

BP: So there’s nothing you would splurge on if you won this tournament?

DP: I can’t think of a single thing (laughs). I’d just save up, maybe invest.

BP: Now, if you win this tournament you are going to be all over TV and getting a lot of attention. Is this going to be something you are just going to deal with or will you enjoy it?

DP: Yeah, I don’t really mind attention. I just don’t go out and seek it. It would be nice to get a little more recognition I guess. It would be fun. I wouldn’t mind it too much I don’t think.

BP: Do you know if a lot of people sold percentages of themselves for this tournament?

DP: Yeah, there are probably not many people who have all of themselves in this. Most sold a very large amount. For such a big buy-in it’s understandable. Nobody’s bankroll is going to be good enough to play a $500,000 (laughs). A lot of people sold a lot of action. It would be interesting to know how much everyone has of themselves, but it’s hard to figure out.

BP: Is there any added pressure to get your investors their money back?

DP: Nah, it doesn’t put any more pressure on me. They invested in me because they had faith in me and they trusted me. I am just going play my game no matter what. I’m not going to be scared to make a big bluff or a big call because of what they might think.