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WSOP: Bracelet Winner Q and A -- Jimmy Shultz

Shultz Shares his Thoughts on Weathering the Tournament Strom and his Inspiration to Donate 25 Percent of his Winnings

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Jimmy SchultzJimmy Schultz won his first gold bracelet last night in the $1,500 limit hold'em event. As you will read below he was very humble about the win and gracious to his competitors. He rose to the top of a tough field that included Erick Lindgren, Ali Eslami, and Vinny Vinh on the final day of competition and Schultz outlasted them all. He also eliminated six players at the final table to truly claim his victory. This was not what Schultz was most excited about after the final table though.

Schultz is a mortgage broker who currently lives in Columbus, Ohio. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, where one of his friends, Louis Mulkey, was a firefighter. Mulkey tragically passed away when the roof of a warehouse where he was fighting a blaze collapsed on him and eight others from the Charleston Fire Department on June 18, 2007. All nine of them perished in the blaze, it was the largest loss of firefighters' lives since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Shultz was reminded of the loss of his friend when ESPN ran a video segment that featured the Summerville Green Wave high school basketball team that Mulkey used to coach. The team won the 2008 South Carolina state basketball championship and dedicated the win to Mulkey's memory. Schultz was touched by this and wanted to do something so he took his shot at the World Series of Poker to raise some money to honor the memory of his former friend.

After the final table he announced that he would be donating 25 percent of his winnings to a special fund set up for the Charleston Fire Department. It was when Schutlz was aked about his inspiration to do this that his face lit up during the post-final table interview.

Ryan Lucchesi:
This was a long tournament, and the blinds got quite high by the end of play. How much of a factor was that playing into your decision four handed, three handed, and then heads up?

Jimmy Shultz: You know I’ll be honest with you I was never all-in in this tournament, and I was only short stacked a couple of times, so I was just very selective with my hole cards and not too worried about the blinds. I used the fold tool to a T. I can say that’s one of the reasons I’m standing here right now I believe. I was patient enough to withstand all the hurdles and pitfalls that a player goes through en route to winning a tournament.

RL: You were the undertaker at the final table, sending player after player to the rail. Were you focusing on attacking the short stacks and keying in on them? Were you aggressively attacking them?

JS:
I was definitely attacking those players at that point. Any smart poker player will tell you that that’s what they do. You have to keep the pressure on your other opponent’s at all times. You never know, you let off the pressure and you open yourself up for defeat.

RL: Was there anybody you were especially worried about coming into the final table from the big names remaining, or a tough competitor at one of your tables earlier in the tournament?

JS: I wouldn’t say worried, but there were a lot of great players here. Obviously Lindgren, I’m really impressed with Eslami, he’s a really great player. He mixes it up really well. I believe if you’re a great player you need to mix it up and you have to keep everybody on their toes…He had enough chips to where when we got to the final table I thought that he would be a major concern. I thought he would actually be around a lot longer than he was. He’s a great poker player and a great guy from what I got to know.

RL: You talked about weathering the hurdles and pitfalls to win. How important was that during your volatile heads-up match with Zach Fellows?

JS:
I just want to commend Zach on how he played; he did mix it up very well. I was concerned with him…from what I saw from him he has a bright future in poker. When you’re at the card table you do and say a lot of things to put people in certain situations, and he was very good at that. I’m just fortunate to be where I’m at today, I really, really am thankful.

RL: I hear you’re donating 25 percent of your winnings to the fire department in your hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. What inspired you to do that?

JS: That’s where I grew up and Louis was a good friend of mine, he was a good guy, and good for the community. He was just a good person in generaI. It just kind of touched me when I saw his kids at Summerville high school and what they all went through, when ESPN ran that promo. I thought to myself what can I do in honor of Louis and the eight other guys that perished in that fire of the warehouse that collapsed, and I came up with this. Why not come here, give 25 percent, and do something good for the community. I’m thrilled to be in this position to be able to do that…it’s going to be a great feeling for me to able to give that, and not just say you’re going to do it, but do it…I can’t wait to be able see the looks on their faces, and the community when they receive that check. I’m sure they’re going to put it to good use, those guys at the fire department are all great guys and they perform a great service for the community.