Jack Sinclair might not be a familiar face to many of the players in the field, but this 26-year-old has got some serious game. Sinclair mainly cut his teeth online and came to try his hand in the live games at the prodding of his friends, Philipp Gruissem and Anton Morgenstern. No big deal.
Being an online pro who doesn't play a lot live and having a huge chip stack with 40 people left in the Main Event has to be a surreal experience. We asked Sinclair what it felt like to be here and if the experience has started to sink in.
"I'm trying not to think too much about that. But, yeah, it is definitely surreal. I keep thinking, 'It's been fun.' If I make it to the next break, I'll be happy."
It's always an advantage to show up to the table with your opponents not having a clue who you are. The less people know about you at the table, the better. But apparently, Sinclair can't use that to his advantage for more than one hand.
"As soon as I sit down at a table, people automatically assume I'm three-betting them light and doing a bunch of crazy stuff. I don't know why; it must be the way I look at them or something. If someone looks me up, they are basically going to find nothing. They might think, 'This guy's going to be a huge fish.' I sit down and play one hand, and my image is completely gone. Maybe the first hand I play, I can get away with something. But overall no."
No one would argue that the Main Event is the ultimate grind. The days start to run together, hands are forgotten, and what happened when becomes a blur. Sinclair, however, was able to recall his Main Event journey with amazing detail. Here it is in his own words.
Sinclair's Main Event Journey (So Far) In Own Words
Day 1: It was just a breeze. I won most of the pots I played. Every bluff went through and value bet got called.
Day 2: It was kind of similar. It was quite smooth, but then I made a few bad decisions towards the end. I came through it with a decent-sized stack.
Day 3: I had a horrendous table draw. The first four hours of the day, it was just brutal. It was the toughest table I've played the entire tournament. In fact, it's probably the toughest table I've played live ever.
There was one really old woman. You know when you sit down at a table, and there's an old woman there, you're like, "Sweet." Then within the first hour, she three-bet four people, and I was like, "Dammit! I've got the most aggressive grandmother in the world." So that was really tough and I managed to survive.
I got really short coming into the bubble. I had just about 60k with about 200 people off the money. At this point, I was like, "This is going to suck because I'm going to have 10k on the bubble and sit there and fold."
I kept playing aggressively, and I jammed queens, and someone called me with nines. Then I won six of the next ten hands and went on a crazy heater. I had a big stack on the bubble and was able to abuse my table for the next couple of hours.
Day 4: I had Mickey Craft at my table on my direct left. That's an experience I'll never forget. Mickey was just completely insane. And we got moved to the secondary feature table, and he calmed down. He was much calmer than he was for the five hours before. I couldn't believe he was on my left. That was tilting.
I did manage to double up through Mickey three times. In between each double, I got quite low on chips and then doubled up and then got low. I did increase my stack a decent amount on that day. If I were on Mickey's left, then I would have probably won the tournament by now. Mickey's a great guy. It was actually the most fun I've had at a table, possibly ever.
Day 5: Again, it was quite tough. I started the day with 1.7 million and ended with 2.2 million. It wasn't a great day. I had some ups and downs. I had Shyam Srinivasan on my left, and he was tough, and I had David Guay on my right, and he was tough. Quite a tough table. I just kept thinking, "It can't be as bad as that Day 3."
So it kept me a little bit calm. I just scraped through the day. I won a flip at the end of the day to sort of have a dream, as it were.
Day 6: I came into the day with 30 big blinds and had an insane day. I came in with less than 30bbs, and now I've 17 and a bit million. It's been quite the day.