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From the EPT Grand Final: Mel Judah

Talks About His Steady Progress So Far


Mel Judah Mel Judah has been around the poker scene for quite some time, and he has more than $3 million in tournament earnings. The Australian player has nabbed numerous scores in multiple tournament circuits and he is currently in Monte Carlo competing in the European Poker Tour Grand Final. Judah’s only EPT cash to date came in 2006 when he finished 22nd in the Big Double: Baden. Card Player spoke to Judah while he was on a break from the tournament.

Lizzy Harrison: How is everything going for you today?

Mel Judah: This tournament has been going very steady for me the entire time.

LH: That is the best way for a tournament to go.

MJ: It is. I have had no downswings today. I have been gradually building up my chip stack. At this moment in time [7:35 PM CET], I have 76,000 in chips, and I began today with 47,000. I am happy right now.

LH: How did you manage to stay on such an even keel?

MJ: I really play my table more than anything else. I make sure to know which players are tight, which players are strong, and which players are weak. If you have the wrong type of player behind you, and they do make a move, that generally means that they have a hand. My table right now is a mixture of players. The ones on my left make their decisions based on what I do, obviously. There are also one or two weak players right now, or at least I consider them to be weak players.

LH: Today the prize pool was announced, and it is the largest in European poker tournament history [€8,420,000]. What do you think that says about the industry?

MJ: I think that it is unbelievable. It means that we don’t have to go to America. Prize pools in poker tournaments have grown all over the world, not only in Europe, but also in Australia. They have gotten big and they are only going to get bigger. The only thing is that the tournaments are going to get tougher and tougher. You need a lot of luck to win; I don’t care how well you play. You need a lot of luck when you are behind, and you need a lot of luck when you are in front so that your hand stands up, especially toward the end.

LH: We’re getting closer to the money in this event; there are only about 200 players remaining of the 842 that began, and only 80 will get paid. Does play change at this stage of a tournament?

MJ:  It does, but it changes much more when it is the last table and a half that has to go before they reach the money. The big stacks try to bully their tables at that point. They have to be careful, however, to not double up the short stacks. There is no point in trying to bluff a short stack if he is forced to call you. I have seen chip leaders try to make moves with hands like 9-3, and that is pointless. Sometimes, if you are the chip leader but do not have a hand, you should let someone else do the bullying.