The World Series of Poker Main Event starts with thousands of players. Some are the biggest names in poker, some are professionals with years of tournament experience and some are players from around the world looking to take their shot. Daniel Ott fits that final categorization and heading into the Day 6 dinner break, Ott is near the top of the current leader board.
Ott may not have the past tournament resume that some of his competitors but for the Pennsylvanian, playing the Main Event has been a plan years in the making.
“Going into this year, I was going to play the Main Event no matter what. I was going to take my shot.” Ott said before the Day 6 recess, before adding that he had a good year playing online cash leading up to the summer. That is when Ott recorded his first-career WSOP scores earlier in the series and one of them came in the $1,000 Tag Team event, which, according to Ott, shouldn’t even count.
“I got to admit, that was all him.” Ott said, pointing to his twin brother Dylan, who is out in Las Vegas to support Daniel with his mother and sister. “The Tag Team was his, I didn’t even win any chips!”
Daniel Ott has made up for those Tag Team woes in a big way over the last few days. He’s currently second in chips, behind Germany’s Robin Hegele, with both players moving to the PokerGO and ESPN feature table after the dinner break.
That feature table appearance brings Ott’s Main Event journey full circle, as he, like so many other players, was first introduced to the game from ESPN broadcasts.
“I was 12-years-old and saw it on ESPN, the year Moneymaker won,” the 25-year-old said. “I saw it on TV and was like, you can win a lot of money and it seemed so fun. We started playing with friends and ever since, I’ve just kept playing and working hard. I’m pretty comfortable with the game and the strategy of it.”
From a technical standpoint, Ott has seemed more than comfortable through the first few levels of Day 6 but there have been a few times where the magnitude of the tournament has creeped into this mind.
“I haven’t made a deep run in any live tournament, ever, so I didn’t know how I’d react to the big stakes or if I’d get nervous later on.” Ott said, before adding, “It turns out, I’m kind of feeling okay. Sometimes the pressure hits me and I can’t focus for a second but then I just zone back in and play my game.”
That game has taken Ott to the precipice of the Main Event final table and his journey there will be captured in full. PokerGO and ESPN will broadcast live coverage of the rest of Day 6 and Day 7, with Ott and his leading stack headlining the way.