Jamie Gold came out of nowhere with his deceptive speech play and aggressive style to win the 2006 WSOP Main Event. Before this past year’s main event, the 2006 championship held the record for most entries, with 8,773 players, and the biggest winner’s paycheck was a whopping $12,000,000.
This year, the WSOP brought Gold back as an ambassador for the iconic brand. During the opening day ceremonies of the Main Event, he was honored to proclaim the famous words, “Shuffle up and deal!”
Gold is currently focused on a few projects besides his favorite hobby, poker. He’s curating sports betting information and AI data with a very impressive win-rate over the past three years. For more information on Gold’s business and poker adventures, follow him on X/Twitter and Instagram.
What’s one bit of essential prep you do before a big tournament or cash game session?
“I’ve always been a big proponent of diet and hydration, eating clean and taking supplements, IV therapy, and proper hydration. It is not simply drinking water and certainly not tap water, which is toxic.
“That kind of prep is essential to my state of mind and provides an edge at the tables. In 2006, when I tried to explain that to people as a vital aspect of playing the Main Event, most thought it was unnecessary or my odd way of living. I think it’s widely understood now.”
What piece of strategy advice did you get when you first started playing that you wish you had ignored?
“I was fortunate to have access to many legendary and successful players when I was playing in the Los Angeles poker clubs. I learned as much as I could from them.
“One thing I wish I had done differently: I immediately jumped into the bigger games. I did that because I could afford the losses as I was told to play with the best to learn from the best. However, I skipped a lot of opportunities to learn at the lower-level games over time. I should have worked up to that.”
What’s the dumbest thing you’ve seen or done at the poker table?
“How much time do you have here? I have seen and done way too many dumb things over the last 30 years. I can’t even judge the dumbest.”
What’s your most memorable hand?
“It was probably the key hand in the 2006 WSOP Main Event, which was actually on day one, where I was one hand away from busting around dinner. But I built it up to a top 20 stack near the end of the day.
“Then I got into it with the chip-leader when I flopped a set of 3s in the big blind. It was a three-way pot which ended up heads-up, with a straight and flush board and all-in on the river. I felt I probably should fold, but based on his physical and verbal tells, I figured out that he was bluffing. I made a crazy call that put me into the top 10, and I never looked back.”
What’s your single best piece of advice for poker players?
“We live in a time where all the available information is accessible, as opposed to before there was even an internet or online poker to train with. Back then, it took us 10 years or more to experience and learn what they can now learn in one year.
“Experience over time always plays an integral role that can’t be replaced, but the level of play overall from younger and beginning players is so far superior now. So, take advantage of all that info, read all you can, watch video teaching, and play as often as you can afford at the lower stakes. Take diligent notes and be open to new concepts and ideas on improving.”
If you owned a poker room, who’s the first player you’d want to sign as an ambassador and why?
“I would look for the best combination of legendary appeal (both positive and negative; the haters want to play with them too, with a need to beat them as much or more than the fans do) and a keen business acumen.
“Very few professional poker players are both the sharpest business and marketing minds as they spend their lives playing poker. They usually don’t have the time to dedicate to high-level day-to-day business over 20 or 30 years to be of value in building a room in that way. They have the ability but lack the overall detailed experience, so there are very few options. If purely for the fame or daily poker play factor, there are many more choices.”
WSOP image courtesy of the WSOP