An unprecedented poker feat for Mr. Gee

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When it comes to some of the most amazing accomplishments at the World Series of Poker Main Event, pro Steve Gee of Sacramento has cemented his name among the greats by having one of the most amazing back-to-back runs in main-event history.

In 2010, Gee won his first WSOP bracelet and $472K by outlasting more than 3,000 players in a $1K no-limit hold’em event.

In 2012, Gee made his first deep main-event run by making the October Nine, beating more than 6,500 players and finishing ninth for $754K. Gee followed that up this past summer in a 6,300-plus field with a 24th-place finish in the main for $285K. He has a home in Northern California and plays at Bay 101 (San Jose, Calif.), Capitol Casino (Sacramento) and Thunder Valley Casino Resort (Lincoln, Calif.).

When did you start getting serious about playing poker full time? I started playing in local cardrooms at age 20 and would play for around 60 hours per week. I loved the game so much and moved up in stakes during the next two years. I crushed all the local games so I went on the road to play the biggest games in California. For the next five years, I was playing the lowball tournament at Oaks Card Club (Emeryville, Calif.) and in SoCal we were playing $100-$200 draw lowball. Unlike today, I was the only young gun in the high-stakes games in the ’70s.

Tell us a little bit about your playing style. Mental toughness is one of my strengths and I believe that is a big reason I am able to do well in tournaments. I am always fighting to stay alive as long as I have a chip and a chair. I prefer small-ball poker and force opponents to play turns and rivers against me, which allows me to chip up slowly.

What about your WSOP experiences in the main event and your bracelet victory in 2010? As far as this year’s main-event run, busting out 24th was just so painful, but looking back at it now, I can see that it was a great run. My bracelet win was the greatest feeling I have ever experienced as a poker player. It’s hard to describe as it was that surreal. It was a dream for me when I realized I was now part of the exclusive club of WSOP gold-bracelet winners.

Any advice for players looking to play their first big tournament? Don’t be intimidated. Don’t be awestruck. Play your style that you have been successful with in the past and don’t try to make fancy plays to impress anyone.

— Email Garrett Roth at roth@anteupmagazine.com.