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WSOP: Main Event Q and A -- Joe Bishop

Joe Bishop Talks About Gearing Up for a Final Table Run


Joe BishopJoe Bishop, from Cincinnati, Ohio, is among the final 27 players in the 2008 World Series of Poker main event. He has never cashed in a WSOP tournament, yet finds himself on the brink of earning a seat at the game's biggest stage. He entered day 7 with just over 4.8 million in chips, which was below the average count, yet it put him in 13th place of the final 27. Three hours into day 7, Bishop had vaulted into second place overall, thanks in part to a massive pot where he turned quads against David "Chino" Rheem shortly after play had been reduced to two tables. He had increased his stack to over 14 million by that time.

Bishop spoke with Card Player before play had began on day 7 of the main event.

Cameron Yoos
: You mentioned you were on a bit of a cooler last night and then stopped the bleeding prior to the final break. Did that break come at the perfect time for you?

Joe Bishop: The cooler happened just before the break, and then, in the final 20 minutes, I managed to pull another 500,000 in steal raises just to get myself over two million. And there was still two [eliminations needed]. So, on the break, I called a friend who was on the Internet and I said, "OK, it's time for decisions. I want you to give me every chip count below me, and hurry up, I only have seven minutes. I want every chip count below me, and every payout structure level ahead of me.

So, we went through it, and he said "So, what's up? What's up?
" And I told him, "I'm either going to fold like a coward, or I'm going to say screw it." Then I hung up on him.

Then, after the break I stole a couple more, and then the aces happened. And then, in the second-to-last hand of the night, I got A K against Dennis [Phillips], who outplayed me well in that cooler before the break. I raised to I think 250,000 from second position, I believe. And Dennis popped back at me again, just like he's been doing all night. And I just smooth-called, because he'd done a couple of goofy things earlier. I was hoping for a low flop, and it came 10 high, so I popped it for a million at him right there. He took a while, and I even told him, "Hey, I'll show you, because I don't want you to run me down
." So, he folded, and he said he had A-J.

CY: It has been surprising how quickly eliminations have been coming in the main event. There haven't been any 5 a.m. end times or anything like that. What do you think of the schedule?

JB: Yeah, it's been kind of bizarre. It's been nice, but I don't know if it matters, because I haven't been sleeping much anyways. But it does seem to get the shorter stacks even a little more active, which is nice.

CY: What do you expect out of today? Do you think people will be tightening up just because they are so close to the final table?

JB: I don't know. I would think they are. I know a lot of guys were just folding just to get to the next [payout level]. But right now, with things being where they are, I would think you're going to see a couple of quick, early fall-offs. You have to, with the chip stacks being what they are. And then, my goal, the number I have set right now, is I want to hit dinner break at 7.5 million. If I can do that, then it will allow me to play enough to where I probably don't have to make any completely dangerous moves.

CY: Looking ahead, if you make it to the final table, there is the whole issue of it being played in November. What are your opinions on that?

JB: Right now, as tired as I am, I'm actually kind of happy about it. The last few nights, I've had everyone calling, all of the guys from the poker club are after me 24/7, which is fun, but it's getting a little tiring. I fell asleep three times last night, and every time I wasn't out for an hour and the phone would ring again.

CY: There has been a lot of talk about people who make the final table hiring professionals to coach them over the next four months. Would you consider something like that?

JB: Why wouldn't you? You'd be a fool not to. Anybody knows, with the numbers being what they are, the odds of me ever being this deep in the main event again are ridiculous. If you're not taking any advantage you can, then you're a fool. There is a reason why at home I have 25 poker books and 10 DVDs. Any poker player is looking for an advantage.