Cigar-Toting WPT Choctaw Runner-Up Steven Buckner Playing for His Gradual Mother

Steven Buckner

Steven Buckner is on an extended heater that’s seen him stride across the country to varied poker excursions and circuit stops and shield pack up hundreds of thousands of greenbacks in match earnings in the assignment.

In the past 14 months, the Coral Springs, Florida resident has played the full lot from the 2021 Wynn Summer Classic in Las Vegas to the World Series of Poker Circuit quit in Cherokee, North Carolina and the Bally’s Colorado Poker Championship.

Most particularly, Buckner, an eclectic personality who is laborious to miss at the poker desk with his in style unlit cigar, shimmering tracksuit and blaring Italian bark, accomplished second in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw Predominant Occasion in Could well unbiased for a profession-simplest $320,000. Earlier than that, Buckner accomplished 12th in the WPT Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Delivery in Hollywood, Florida for $61,935 and later 70th in the WPT Seminole Laborious Rock Poker Showdown for $13,100.

“I’ve been operating deep in a ramification of WPTs,” Buckner talked about as he smoked a thick cigar that had turn into a exiguous nub subsequent to a Venetian slot machine. “I mean, I’m right enjoying successfully.”

Buckner took a whereas to talk about with PokerNews as he played in Day 1c of the WPT Venetian Predominant Occasion on July 14. The Floridian talked about how his mother’s contemporary passing inspired him to hit stride to varied poker stops and the intention Probability Kornuth snatched the WPT Choctaw victory some distance off from him.

Playing With a Reason

Earlier than Buckner, a retired swap proprietor, started touring to poker stops across the country, he spent four months caring for his aged mother, together with feeding and bathing her.

“She asked me to shield up her and never attach her in a dwelling, and I did,” he talked about. “I took care of her for 17-18 hours a day.”

Steven Buckner
Steven Buckner at WPT Choctaw

It used to be when his mother handed away that Buckner decided to position his rotund focal point on poker.

“I actually bask in my mom, however when she handed, I right went on the highway,” Buckner talked about tearfully. “And since I’ve been on the highway, I know she’s taking a leer after me and I’m doing what I actually bask in. I’ve bought terminate to $600,000 in cashes in 14 months. So I’m doing what I actually bask in and I’m right joyful the build I’m at.”

Denied a WPT Title

Buckner came within inches of a success his maiden WPT title after getting heads-up in opposition to Kornuth, who is for the time being the high-ranked GPI player.

In a pivotal hand, which used to be documented by the WPT reporting team, Kornuth moved all in with {q-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} and used to be called by Buckner with {q-Clubs}{10-Hearts}, inserting Buckner in a gargantuan plight to shield terminate it all. That is how Buckner remembers it all going down:

“He (Kornuth) says ‘I’m all in,’ I talked about ‘I call,’ queen-ten versus queen-nine of diamonds. Queen on the flop and one diamond, he appears at the digicam and me and he says, ‘Cuz, I’m due a suck-out.’ And it goes runner-runner diamond and he denies me the title and $487,000 — and my name on the (Mike Sexton WPT Champions) Cup that will presumably well presumably never skedaddle away.”

Steven Buckner
Steven Buckner at WPT Choctaw

It did not cease gorgeous there, however Kornuth went on to shield the lead and shield terminate his have faith first WPT title.

“I have to silent’ve received that,” Buckner talked about as he shook his cigar. “I would’ve been the second oldest WPT title (winner) in historical past.”

Any other Deep Bustle

It did not shield long for Buckner to produce yet any other deep hotfoot as he played a heavy schedule at the WSOP at Bally’s and Paris, together with the marquee $10,000 Predominant Occasion. Buckner made it to Day 5 earlier than being eradicated in 355th build of residing for $36,000, however a lot of the atomize used to be completed the day past when he took a brutal beat for many of his stack after getting it in as a mammoth well-liked with {j-Clubs}{j-Diamonds} in opposition to the {a-Hearts}{5-Hearts} of a shorter-stacked opponent.

“He right GTOs f***in’ 475,000 in the heart, the blinds are 10,000/15,000 … I wake up with two jacks, I f***in’ ship 675,000 and play a million-chip pot,” Buckner remembered. “He turns over ace-five of hearts. (The flop is) ten, nine, eight, all shaded. Flip nine, river ace.”

Steven Buckner
Steven Buckner

Simplest Free to Play Slots

Buckner used to be left with crumbs however survived the remainder of Day 4 earlier than being eradicated early the following day. He can’t lend a hand however judge issues would’ve played out powerful otherwise had that river now not been an ace.

“Now, you give me 1.2 million second level into Day 4, it adjustments your total complexity of the build I’m in Day 5,” he defined. “I ain’t donkin’ my chips off. I nursed that 200,000 for f***in’ five hours … I woulda went lots deeper than what I did with 1.2 million.”

Playing His Hang Sport

As Buckner took a atomize from the Day 1c match action, he made a sigh about the strength of the enviornment that incorporated Kristen Foxen, who he confronted off with at the WPC Choctaw final desk, as successfully as WPT champions Phil Laak, Noah Schwartz and Kornuth himself.

“I actually bask in that we’re enjoying with gargantuan avid gamers,” he talked about. “That is now not Choctaw, now; let’s give an explanation for that. That is now not Choctaw, the build they don’t lay down high pair high kicker and moreover you gotta wade via minefields to procure the build I purchased. Nonetheless I actually bask in enjoying with higher avid gamers. I mean, I’m actually joyful.”

WPT Venetian
WPT Venetian

While Buckner realizes that he’s going via off in opposition to gargantuan avid gamers, he’s now not in the least intimidated.

“I’m now not terrorized,” he talked about convincingly, conserving a cigar that had long past out minutes ago. “I right play my game. They wipe their ass the same skill I invent. They procure two playing cards, I procure two playing cards. I’m now not terrorized of them. They rob to three-wager, four-wager; I right play my game and I invent my thing.”

Buckner used to be regarded as one of 228 avid gamers who survived to fetch on Day 1c. He returned on Day 2 with a stack price 65 mammoth blinds however used to be eradicated earlier than reaching the cash, inserting an cease to his latest hotfoot for a first WPT title. Apply along the most realistic WPT Venetian action with updates from the WPT reporting team.

Photos courtesy Joe Giron and WPT

Author: editor

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