Brett "Gank" Jungblut, a young tournament specialist, charged out in front in the late stages to run off with the 16th event of Winnin’ o’ the Green 2004 at the Bicycle Casino, $300 limit hold’em. On the final hand he had only 8-4 against Mickey "Mouse" Mills’ K-10. Mills flopped a king and checked. The slow-play backfired because Jungblut, who wouldn’t have called a bet, caught runner-runner 4-8 to exterminate the mouse and win the rebuy event.
This was an interesting final table. Besides the usual pros it included a surgeon, a stuntwoman and, of course, the mouse, actually an attorney running a real estate investment trust who also boasts two 7-stud championships at Commerce. The table got underway with $1,000-$2,000 limits and a bit over 30 minutes remaining. It instantly became a slaughter, with four players knocked out in 15 minutes.
First to go was restaurant owner Gary Baber. He was ahead with pocket 10s to Nicholas Dileo’s 7s until a 7 flopped. Next, Hung Nguyen was all in with Q-10. Dileo, a New York pro, had A-4, flopped an ace and caught a 4 on the river. Christopher Wong, arriving with only $1,500, had his pocket jacks chewed up by the mouse’s pocket queens and finished eighth. Finally, Soontaree "Terri" Rathbone had pocket kings against A-3 for Dileo. The flop was 6-6-3, and then a trey turned to fill him.
The table now settled into a more normal pace lasting another 125 hands. With limits at $1,500-$3,000, Dileo led the pack with about 50k while stuntwoman Susan Traube had a tenth as much. Then Mickey Mouse, down to 4k with Q-J against J.C. Tran’s Ah-6h, let out a whoop when he flopped a straight.
The stuntlady now began her own death-defying acts. With only 2k left, she outran Albert Song. He flopped a flush, but she made a bigger one with Ad when a fourth diamond turned. Next she chopped with Dileo, A-K vs. A-K, then went all in again and won with K-7 when a 7 flopped. "She swims with sharks," cried Mickey Mouse, referring to one of her stunt specialties. (And what did he think she was doing at the table?)
The mouse, meanwhile, was grabbing cheese from his opponents. As he beat Tran with a flopped flush, spectators began chanting the Mickey Mouse theme song. He then finished off Traube, who invested her last $500 with pocket 7s. "I’m done," she said, when Mickey turned up pocket queens. Queens also proved the downfall of Song, the surgeon. Jungblut cut him out of the tournament when his ladies held up against 5-5.
With 2-4k limits, the count was: Dileo, 51k; Mills, 49k; Jungblut, 35.5k; and Tran, 9.5k. Tran was next out. "How much do you have?" Jungblut asked as he raised. "Eighty thousand," Tran replied. Not quite. Holding A-2, Tran went all in on a 10-8-2 flop and lost to Jungblut’s pocket 9s. At this point Dileo had 68k to 39 for Mills and 38 for Jungblut, and a deal was cut for the bulk of the prize money.
As play continued, Jungblut took a hit with K-9 against Dileo’s A-9 and later went all in for $500, again against Dileo. "Send me home, Nicky," he said, but he got to stay when his Js-4s turned into three jacks.
With limits approaching 3-6k, the three were fairly close. Later, Dileo was suddenly cut down to 9k when Jungblut showed pocket aces. The 9k disappeared on the next hand in three-way action when Jungblut, with A-4, flopped two pair. Heads-up, Mills had about 32k to 112 for Jungblut. The mouse gave his last squeak a few hands later when Jungblut’s runner-runner ended the evening.
Bret "Gank" (his online poker moniker) Jungblut is a charter member of "the Crew," originally six players sharing the same house and bankroll. They’re now down to four and are going separate ways with separate bankrolls, but the shared knowledge, he said, benefited him tremendously. Jungblut began playing poker in college because the competitiveness (he played basketball for one season) appealed to him. "Winning is more important to me than the money," he said. After fulfilling his promise to his parents to get his business degree, he began playing professionally seven years ago.
His preferred game had been Omaha hi-lo but now it’s hold’em after three wins in three months. He also won at the Hustler’s Grand Slam and in a big online event. Jungblut plays a lot of online tournaments and placed third in the Poker Stars rankings last year. His game plan now is to focus on $300-$500 buy-in casino events.