It's good to be Jonathan Little. Not only does the noted poker author have a new book, Excelling at No-Limit Hold'em (click here to read PokerNews' review), launching on Saturday, but he'll also be playing for his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet as he is one of eight players remaining in Event #25: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 8-Handed.
"I've had the best hand every time," Little told us after bagging and tagging the event. "I've actually not gotten it in bad all tournament. I've had four flips, won three and lost one, so that’s way better than you can hope four. I've got her all in against people who've had three outs twice, and I won both of those, so I'm running above expectations."
It might come as a surprise to learn Little has yet to capture a gold bracelet. That's not to say he hasn't come close. In his 26 WSOP cashes, which account for $521,296 in earnings, Little has a pair of third-place finishes. The first was back in 2010 in Event #53: $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout for $73,218, and the other in 2013 in Event #32: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed for $238,833.
Away from the WSOP Little has had a ton of success. He has more than $6 million in lifetime earnings (including the WSOP), with two World Poker Tour titles on his résumé – 2007 Mirage Poker Showdown for $1,066,295 and 2008 World Poker Finals for $1,120.310. Little also finished runner-up in the 2007 North American Poker Championships for $738,821 and was subsequently named the WPT Season 6 Player of the Year.
On top of all that, Little has established himself as one of the game's premiere authors with such hits as Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker series and The Main Event with Jonathan Little. In his latest work, Little enlisted the help of some of poker's biggest names.
"People can expect some sort of a book launch," Little said with a laugh. "I don't know quite what we're doing. It's going to be at the Gripsed booth by the buy-in cage near the Amazon Room. They're setting that up right now as I talk to you. We'll be there signing books. I talked to a bunch of the authors who said they'll come by roughly at 6 p.m. Fans will be able to get copies at that booth throughout the WSOP."
Little continued: "Phil [Hellmuth] said he's going to be coming by the booth. Everyone's going to be there. Hellmuth's done great, Olivier Busquet, he's part of the book and took third in the Millionaire Maker. Mike Sexton also took ninth in that, he's part of the book. Scott Clements took fourth in the Omaha Hi/Lo Championship, so a good showing thus far [from authors of the book], and I somehow final tabled."
With so many pros attached the book is already being compared to a classic.
"It's probably going to be better," Little said about claims that the book will be the next Super/System. "The problem with Super/System is that it was spread between a bunch of games whereas we're talking purely about no-limit hold'em. We're spending 500 pages on one game, they spent 500 pages on seven games or something like that. It'll be more in depth. Super/System's great though."
Little's book launch has been months in the making, but before he can get to that he'll have to contend with seven tough competitors in Event #25: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 8-Handed, which began with 493 players and created a prize pool of $2,317,100.
France's Pierre Milan, who won a gold bracelet last year after taking down Event #29: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em for $536,768, leads the pack with 3.031 million, but he faces some stiff competition that includes reigning WPT Player of the Year Anthony Zinno (908,000) and three-time WSOP bracelet winner and 888poker's latest Team Pro, Dominik Nitsche (861,000). Despite the stellar lineup, Little is feeling good.
"I've been trying to take it easy and relax," Little told PokerNews. "I find myself running post-flop bluffs, just in spots where it seems good. I've been posting about them on Share My Pair, not on Twitter for everyone to see, but for the people who actually follow me on Share My Pair. They're having fun with them."
Here's a look at where Little stands:
The Final Table
|1||Jeff Tomlinson||Jupiter, FL||1,363,000|
|2||Dominik Nitsche||Minden, Germany||861,000|
|3||Dan O'Brien||Las Vegas, NV||1,095,000|
|4||Pierre Milan||Paris, France||3,031,000|
|6||Jonathan Jaffe||Longmeadow, MA||2,205,000|
|7||Jonathan Little||Las Vegas, NV||2,039,000|
|8||Anthony Zinno||Boston, MA||908,000|
The final eight players – who account for four gold bracelets and seven WPT championships – will return at 1:00 p.m. local time on Saturday to play down to a winner. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see who walks away with the $567,724 first-place prize.
Meanwhile, Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em is currently available for pre-ordering at the D&B Publishing website and at Amazon. Also, later this year and in 2016 free monthly webinars will be held to give readers a chance to follow-up and interact with the book’s contributors — find out more at the book’s website.