MIKE LEAH IN FOCUS: Two More Cashes and No Rest for the Wicked

Over the seven weeks of the 2015 World Series of Poker, BLUFF.com will have unfettered and candid access to Mike Leah as he grinds his way through the WSOP schedule. While the normal narrative out of the WSOP is all about winners and bracelets, we’re aiming to show you the highs and lows of Leah’s run at another WSOP bracelet.

Mike Leah continues to go from event to event, cashing along the way.

Mike Leah continues to go from event to event, cashing along the way.

Just a few days removed from bubbling the final table of the $10,000 Razz event Mike Leah found himself in position again for a shot at his second WSOP bracelet. Day 1 of the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event didn’t exactly go that well for Leah though. He finished 29th out of 40 in chips. Day 2 was a different story altogether.

Leah found some momentum early in the day and made a few hands. When play was down to two tables Leah felt another final table was coming. After David Matthews busted in eighth it turns out that he was right. Briefly.

“There was this kind of wild card at the table, which is the guy that ended up winning it, who’s playing very, very erratic. He raised. I called drawing one to a nine. I made my nine,” said Leah of one of his final hands against Christian Pham. “He also drew one and he bet into me, but not very big. And he was betting really really big when he had big hands, so I value raised, and I had a 9-7, he had a 9-6 and that cost me a lot more of my chips.”

Pham’s erratic play may be connected to the fact that he’d never played the game before and was learning as he went. Leah eventually busted in seventh place for his third cash and second final table of the summer.

“it was frustrating, I guess, to work that hard to get down to the final table and then bust out in the first spot,” said Leah. “And also the fact that they had us keep playing. I thought we were going to be done at 7:00.” Rather than end Day 2 when they reached the official final table the tournament kept running, robbing Leah of the final table experience.

“Not that it really affected anything, but I didn’t get to kind of prepare and go to the final table, put on a Blue Jays jersey, and get on live stream and all that stuff, so it was kind of almost like it didn’t happen,” said Leah.

Leah wasted no time in getting back in play, jumping in the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event the next day. In a field full of land mines, Leah made it to the dinner break and since he wasn’t multi-tabling at the time he was able to actually enjoy it.

“Definitely tired, but not burned out. This is my first dinner break in a while. I got to hang out for an hour and have a nap and watch some of the ballgame, so I feel a bit refreshed coming back from dinner break, but if I bust this – or even if I don’t – I might be jumping in the $10K Stud event later on.”

Early on in the Series Leah was under the weather and was fighting a cold. The long days of the WSOP don’t exactly make it easy to get past a cold. Some call it the WSOP Flu, but Leah says he’s feeling better and getting the sleep he needs which leads to him making better decisions at the table.

“I’m actually proud of myself that I’ve been playing really good and solid, and not overly gambling, especially with another event coming up tonight,” said Leah. “Being that I’ve played that good so far, I’m going to try to keep playing my A game and try and make a run in this instead of just dusting off and jumping in the Stud.”

After making it through the the day in the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event, Leah tweeted he still wasn’t sure what to do.

“It’ll be another long day, but there’s always days during the summer that end up being short if there’s just an early bust out and not a later event, and I seem to be over the cold that I had earlier, so I’ve actually been sleeping better, so that helps,” said Leah.

To the surprise of nobody, Leah did jump into the $10K Stud Championship late in the day and managed to bag up another stack. Leah finished Day 1 of that event with 52,000, just under the average stack of 53,500.

Returning for Day 2 of both events Leah was a busy man until he finally busted the Stud event. He did manage to ride his $1,000 PLO stack into the money though, finishing with a decent return on the investment.

Just over 2.5 weeks into the WSOP, Leah doesn’t seem to think there are any days off coming up for him. It’s not that the schedule won’t allow them – it will – but rather he’d hate to skip any opportunity to make another deep run and maybe win that second bracelet.

“I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a day off knowing that I’m missing an event that I want to play because I want to play everything,” said Leah. “But this is what I wait all year for, so I’m not going to complain or anything. This is what I live for.”

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Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief at BLUFF.com
Editor in Chief: Lance Bradley began working with BLUFF in March 2008 and was named Editor in Chief in August 2009. Prior to joining BLUFF Bradley launched an independent poker blog, ThePokerBiz.com in 2006. Before entering the world of poker media he was the Poker Room Manager for Bodog from January 2004 until June 2006. He graduated from the Applied Journalism program Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada.
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