“That would mean everything,” Lacey Jones said when asked about the idea of making the final table in the WSOP Main Event.
Taking an above average stack into the late hours of Day 3, Jones slowly but surely works on turning that dream into a reality.
“This is something I’ve been wanting for so long, ever since I started playing poker. Doing well in this tournament has been a goal of mine, and hitting that goal is such a great feeling.
Jones does many things, of which on-camera hosting, modeling and running her own skin care business are just a few. Right now, however, Jones is focused and locked in to make a deep run in the WSOP Main Event as she has a ton of chips with the money bubble looming.
A lot of things have changed for Jones recently, moving back to the USA after six years in Hong Kong and Macau, allowing her to focus more on poker and spending time with her friends and family. Jones’ husband Keith Gipson has been a regular in some of the world’s biggest cash games, and with his help, she’s feeling stronger than ever at the poker table.
“With what I know now and how it’s clicking, I look back and realize how much better I’ve could’ve done if I had put this much effort in before,” Jones reflects on past years when she focused predominantly focused on her TV hosting and modeling career.
Playing poker has never been Jones’ main focus, but since investing more time into studying the game she’s seen an immediate payoff.
“I wasn’t taking poker all that seriously. Now, I really want to give it a go, and with my husband coaching me I’ve gotten a lot better.”
About the changes to her game, Jones explains that she used to be way too tight, but practice and studying have helped her open up her game.
“I gave people too much credit. More practice and the ability to put people on ranges has really strengthened my play.”
Taking confidence in her play along with around 400,000 into the money bubble stage of this event, Jones has plenty of reason to smile and feel good about her chances of making a considerable run towards the big money.
“I’m feeling great, but there’s still a long way to go. Everyone likes having chips in the Main Event, right?” she said with a big smile, soaking it all in.
“I feel the adrenalin, but I do a lot of breathing exercises and meditation, and that helps to calm me down and realize that it’s a game, that we’re here to have fun and how you can’t get too wrapped up in it because that’s going to lead to making bad decisions. You just have to focus and keep your eye on the prize.”
Despite investing more time into sharpening her game, Jones doesn’t consider herself a professional player. With the perspective of her husband, who’s still in the Main Event with a far smaller stack, playing high stakes cash games, Jones realizes that it would take even more time and dedication to reach the top level of the game.
“Seeing how much time my husband puts into the game makes me realize that I’m not near that level. I think that knowing and seeing that makes it a bit easier for me to do my own thing, as it takes away some of that pressure.”
While she might not be a professional, Jones definitely thinks like a pro when it comes to finding her edges and exploiting those that underestimate her on this journey to a big score in the Main Event.
“The ‘female factor’ gets guys to try and bluff me a lot, which is great. Some people still might remember me from a long time ago, and how tight I played, and that might help me as well.”
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