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Winner's Circle -- Steve Brecher

Brecher Talks About His Win at a Long Bay 101 Final Table


Steve Brecher wins 2009 Bay 101 Shooting StarThe Winner’s Circle takes a look at the biggest wins from the tournament trail by the players that made it happen. This series will look at the big hands, toughest opponents, and paths to victory each player took in their most recent tournament win through their own eyes and words. If you ever wanted to know what it takes to win a major poker tournament, this is a good place to start.

This week’s winner is Steve Brecher, who just took home the title at the Bay 101 Shooting Star $10,000 no-limit hold’em championship. Brecher defeated Kathy Liebert and Chris Moore, among others, at a marathon final table that lasted 12 hours. During 319 hands of final-table competition, Brecher rose to the top and claimed the $1,025,500 first-place prize.

Card Player caught up with Brecher at the post-final table press conference and he talked about his win.

Card Player:
You have made it deep into a couple of $10,000 buy-in events before. How does it feel to close the deal and win one?

Steve Brecher: It feels terrific. It’s my first major tournament win, and it’s something I’ve been hustling after for a long time, and here it is. I’m ecstatic, I’m not usually a very animated guy, but I’d be more animated now if I hadn’t just played 12 hours of poker.

What do you think the difference was this time around?

SB: I was just able to stay focused and stay out of trouble. On some occasions in the past, I have made dumb plays, and I was able to avoid that this time. I was able to play my A-game, which was, with a little bit of luck, good enough to win.

CP: What did you think of the tournament structure at this event? We really got to see some deep-stack poker when action got down to four-handed and three-handed tonight.

SB: I love it, but not everybody does; it depends on your style, but it’s just perfect for me. I have made Excel programs to make graphs to diagram various structures; I’m a student of structures. For a four-day event, this is a fantastic structure.

Can you tell us your thought process during the A-K vs. A-Q hand that you played against Kathy Liebert?

We got it all in before the flop. I mean, when heads up, A-Q is a good enough hand to do that with, but she had A-K, and I turned a straight, and that was the crucial hand at the final table. It was the only time I sucked out after the money got in during the entire tournament. It's nothing to be proud of about sucking out, but that's the way it happened, and I can accept the result.

CP: During the very long stretches of play four-handed and three-handed play, what kind of information were you able to compile about your opponents that eventually led to your victory?

SB: Well, nothing explicit. I played with Chris Moore quite a bit yesterday, so I had a good feel for his style of play, which is extremely aggressive. On several occasions I took advantage of his perception of me, which is kind of the opposite of extremely aggressive. He’s a really tough guy to play against, and if he is so inclined, he’s going to be a tough competitor on the tour for quite a while.



over 12 years ago

After this interview I recalled another hand in which I sucked out after the money was in: on Day 1A, Paul Wasicka open-raised from the cutoff, I shoved with A4s from the big blind, he called with 99, and I caught an A on the flop. --Steve