By Sean Chaffin
The good news? If you were one of the 34 people who staked Faded Spade playing cards founder Tom Wheaton (pictured), then you doubled your money from the investment in his play in the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic. The bad news? Wheaton was hoping for a bit of a deeper run to make the final table, but he ultimately fell short with a 19th-place finish for $19,990.
Despite a little disappointment, it was a huge finish by Wheaton, who was making his first major tournament entry at the $10,000 buy-in level.
“I am disappointed in the moment, but I am extremely proud with the journey,” Wheaton said after being eliminated. “I couldn’t ask for a better experience.”
Prior to entering, Wheaton worked on his game through LearnWPT.com with help from poker coach Nick Binger. He also ran hands by WPT Champions Club member Tony Dunst throughout the event to stay fresh and fix any mistakes on the fly.
“I feel like I played really well,” Wheaton said. “I came here wanting to be a lot more aggressive than the players expected me to be. There were a couple hands I wish I could take back, but overall I think the three-bet strategy and the turn-bet strategy I came in with are what really helped catapult me to this point. But man, I want to still be playing.”
The 38-year-old entrepreneur from Orlando, Florida, decided to turn his love of poker and playing cards into an opportunity to promote not only his company but also YouStake.com. He partnered with the site to sell his action and backers’ pledges ranged from $20 to $2,000, which turned out to be a nice investment.
“It’s just a great story,” Wheaton said. “I mean, it’s great exposure for Faded Spade, and I think I kind of proved to myself that I can handle this environment. I wasn’t intimidated, I decided not to get bullied, and I tried to be the aggressor. I’m happy with that.
“Obviously, a better result would have been the final table, but I couldn’t ask for a better run and a better result.”
With his cards set to be used for Wednesday’s final table of the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic and for a full-tournament debut later in the WPT Tournament of Champions, it is quite a week for Wheaton. Win or lose, his cards are always laid on the felt.
Click here to continue following coverage from the Season XVI WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic at ARIA Resort & Casino.
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