John Thompson is the only repeat ClubWPT package winner anyone on WPT staff can remember. He won a package to Thunder Valley in 2022, he punched his ticket a second time and won a package for the $5,000 World Poker Tour bestbet Scramble.
Thompson enjoys the surrounding events of a tournament this size as much as he does playing them. He had a VIP dinner Friday night with Vince Van Patten, Ivy Teves and Tugba Ercan of the Royal Flush Crew. “Dinner was great, it was very nice and Vince is such a great host,” Thompson said.
At the start of the day he was presented with his winner’s bag before cards flew. He appeared visibly stiff and said, “The trip has been good so far, but the plane got my back out of sync.”
On the felt in Jacksonville
Then for Thompson’s time on the felt he was seated next to Van Patten’s partner in the booth – Tony Dunst. “It was great playing next to Tony,” he said. “He was really short and I had two chances to felt him, but he’s too smart.”
We caught up with Thompson on the first break of the day as he was stretching his legs. “No damage so far. No big hands, just small ones,” he said. His spirits were up but he was still feeling his flight. “I feel good, but I got to thank Tugba as she gave me some Advil because my back is wrecked.”
Unfortunately, Thompson couldn’t gain much traction in the early levels. Before the second break he played his final hand. “I’m kind of embarrassed – I had pocket aces on a weak flop. I bet 12,000, a good player to my left raised to 27,000 and I thought he flopped a set,” said Thompson.
“I know I should’ve folded but I would have been short stacked,” he added. “I had been tight so maybe (I represented) an over pair on a nine-high board. I called and he had three nines.”
Setting sail with WPT Voyage
His next goal is to be the first three-time ClubWPT package winner for the WPT Voyage in March. Thompson was happy about one play he made, “Luckily, I dodged quad eights – it was the only good decision I made today.”