Sam Greenwood scored the first World Series of Poker gold bracelet of his career and the first one for Canada in 2015, winning Event #22: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $318,977. He topped a field of 1,915 runners in joining brother Max Greenwood, who won a $1,000 rebuy event in 2008, as a WSOP champion.
Not bad for his first-ever live tournament win.
"I won most of my preflop all ins and didn't step on any land mines," Greenwood said. "I made some hands and got paid off when I did."
He defeated Cole Jackson heads up. It's not often you don't have a sweat in poker, but Greenwood managed to take the bracelet with a cinch hand after he called a min-raise to 160,000 and then checked a flop. Jackson bet 150,000, and Greenwood raised to 400,000. Jackson called, and Greenwood bet 575,000 on the turn. Jackson shipped it, and Sam snapped it off with the . That was it, as Jackson was dead with the .
Greenwood yelled the good news to a rail that included Dani Stern, Justin Bonomo, Dan Smith, and his brother, Max, and they celebrated as Jackson shook his head and walked away. The bunch then went for an unusual winner's photo as all the men in the group took their shirts off and posed.
"I've been a part of big rails before," Greenwood said. "You always want to be on the other side. It's good to have a breakthrough."
Greenwood had put together a live tournament career with north of $1 million in cashes coming into this event, but WSOP success had mostly eluded him. His highest finishes had been two 17th-place results and the biggest cash was for $22,000. A player who has had some of his biggest scores in high roller events, he admitted that early levels in smaller WSOP events can be a drag.
"Sometimes I can be unfocused, messing around on my phone and and not following the action," he said. "Once you get deep, you start to focus as you realize your getting down to it."
When he finds himself in position to realistically contend, his mentality changes.
"As a competitive person, there are 2,000 people that started in the tournament and you want to be the last one standing," he said. "I can adjust and start playing my best when I get deep."
Despite what Greenwood described as his biggest net cash, he refused to term himself a professional poker player.
"I'm a poker enthusiast," he said. "I'm an entrepreneur. I've made some money with poker and I'm just looking for opportunities to invest it. I'm an entrepreneur."
Now, he has $318,977 more to invest.