We caught up with Dan O'Brien on the break of Event #19:$10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship to talk to him a bit about the World Series of Poker, what to do in Las Vegas, and how much it would cost for him to jump off the Stratosphere.
What is your favorite event to play at the World Series of Poker?
No-limit 2-7 single draw. I think it's one of my best events relative to the field, especially the $1,500. The field is soft. This event [Event #19: $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship] is a little bit tougher, but I love the game. It's a great game.
Where is your favorite to go eat in Las Vegas?
Oyshi. They have all you can eat sushi for $26. It's the absolute best and the manager knows all of us by name.
If your friends come into town who have never been to Vegas. Where would you take them?
They would probably go to my house and we'd probably do something in the back yard, or I don't know. I try to stay away from the clubs. If I had to go though, maybe Rain at the Palms.
Let's say you're taking your seat at the start of the tournament, who do you not want to see with the same table draw as you?
I need to think about this.[laughs]I don't want to give you an actual good player. Skip it, I'll get you at the end.
What do you like to do on your days off from the WSOP?
Golf, work out, [Wait don't write that!] Golf, hang out, occasionally play drinking games until 5 a.m. Typical 20-something activities.
Have you heard any crazy prop bets from any players?
Andy Bloch almost got $25,000 for eating an absurd amount of giant cupcakes. Other than that, Tom Dwan has a ton of money out on him trying to win a bracelet.
Do you do anything special to prepare before a tournament?
I sleep, sometimes I play golf, and sometimes I go in the pool. Especially now, if I'm out of a tournament, I'm probably just hanging out. This is my 12th event and we're not even halfway done, so I'm going to be playing a lot of events.
Oh, and my favorite club is Rehab. That's by far the best. It's not really a club club, but that's the answer. Anytime someone comes into town we have to go to Rehab.
There's a new "thrill-ride" at the Stratosphere that basically has people free-falling 855 feet. How much would someone have to pay you to make that jump?
Wow, I definitely wouldn't do it for free because I don't think it's that much fun. Like skydiving, it's probably awesome, but there's always a risk that the parachute won't open. Just like there's always a risk the bungee cord will break. The thing is, since it's all tested, I'll assume the risk is very very small. I can see doing it for $10,000.
If you couldn't play poker, what kind of job would you have?
I would either be trading in the stock market or I'd be a professional baseball player.
Would you rather have seven final tables or a bracelet?
One bracelet. [He answered before the question was fully uttered.] Well it depends if two of those final tables are Main Event final tables, then I'd rather have those I suppose. If it's for a lot more money, then the seven final tables, but for the most part, everyone just wants to win. I'd be very surprised if anyone said seven final tables, especially anyone competitive.
About 30 minutes after the interview was over, we got a text from O'Brien, answering the question about who he would not want to see seated at his table.
Allen Kessler, because he is pessimism personified and I just don't need that energy at the table.