We have not had a British winner of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event since Mansour Matloubi took down the 1990 event, and unless that streak is broken, Craig McCorkell will head back to his home in London as the only British player to win a WSOP bracelet in 2012. McCorkell earned $368,593 and the coveted sliver of gold after taking down Event #36: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em. We just caught up with McCorkell over a cup of coffee in Starbucks and this is what he had to say.
Unless someone from Britain wins the WSOP Main Event, you are going to be going home as the only British winner. Was it a realistic goal for you to win a bracelet before the series started?
I definitely had a goal to win a bracelet, but realistically I just wanted to play the best that I could. I entered 14-15 WSOP events and I had a goal to win one of them for sure.
Playing in 14-15 events costs a lot of money. How much does it cost for a player to go through a WSOP schedule like that?
It’s pretty huge. You can do Vegas pretty cheaply, depending on your schedule. You can come out here and enter a ton of cheaper tournaments like at Caesars for example. You don’t have to buy-in all of the big WSOP stuff, but if you do it gets really expensive. For someone like me you are talking at least $60k but more like $80k to be honest.
So you really need to do some serious cashing to just break even?
Definitely, but it’s not the only reason I come out here. It’s sort of a semi-holiday and there is a lot of prestige involved with final tabling the WSOP events and such.
You have a girlfriend. Do you think your arrangements for future series will change?
I have been with her for two years. I do think I will probably end up coming for a shorter period of time – maybe three weeks. Being away for six weeks is tough. I am lucky that I don’t have other additional responsibilities at home otherwise it would be really difficult.
How many chips do you have at the moment?
I started the day with 640,000, but it hasn’t been a great day. I have 595,000 at the moment.
What’s your table like and do you have a specific Day Four plan?
I have Eric Baldwin to my left and Daniel Negreanu to my immediate right. I am just going to play as loose as the table will let me play. The Main Event has an amazing structure which means you can be so patient. A lot of people have cashed with 60 or 70k which is only double starting stack, so you can really grind it out?
What is your history in this event?
I have only played twice before. Two Day 3 bust-outs so this is my first cash.
Do you feel different since you won the bracelet?
I definitely have more confidence right now. Poker is really streaky and people go on heaters – you notice that all of the time – so hopefully mine will continue and I also continue to play well.
Have you had more attention since your win?
My friends are really happy for me and I have been congratulated by a lot of people, but I haven’t noticed any significant changes.
Let’s imagine you would die if you didn’t punch one of your friends really hard in the face. Who would it be and why?
This is a hard question because there are so many of them…Madison Bergeron probably just because he is so annoying.
If you could change one thing about Chris ‘NigDawG’ Brammer what would it be?
To be awake for more hours of the day, he sleeps for 15 hours plays a bit and then goes back to sleep.
Give me three players who you would always have railing you to victory in a WSOP Main Event final table
Sam ‘Slacker’ Grafton is the most amazing rail ever, Richard Trigg for his vocal chanting ability and Rhys Jones.
Give me three words to describe Brian Hastings