David “Chino” Rheem will have the seventh largest chip stack at the final table when play resumes in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event. Ever since the tournament was paused for over 100 days starting back in July, his world has been turned upside down.
Poker News Daily: What have the past 100 days been like?
Rheem: The past 100 days have been a little bit of a summer vacation. It’s been more relaxing than stressing. I’ve been traveling and playing poker all over the world.
PND: What has stood out to you the most as you’ve been able to watch your competition play on ESPN each week?
Rheem: As far as watching the competition, nothing has stood out too much. I haven’t seen my opponents play hands from pre-flop to the flop, turn, and river. ESPN just shows them calling an all in or something like that. What stood out more to me is the aggression of some of the players. It was kind of surprising.
PND: Have you thought about adjusting your game plan based upon what you’ve seen on television?
Rheem: I’ve definitely thought a lot about making adjustments. It’s definitely going to require a new mindset. As far as strategy goes, I don’t want to talk about it until after it’s over. You just have to be focused. You don’t want to have any distractions. You need to go in with have a clear head and play as best as you can.
PND: What kinds of sponsorship opportunities have you been presented with?
Rheem: I really can’t talk about those. I’ve gotten some offers, but that’s a sensitive subject. It’s more of a compliment, however, to receive offers and it’s definitely been a surprise.
PND: Has the final table looming over your head impacted the level of success you’ve had since the tournament ended?
Rheem: It definitely has. I’ve played in a lot of tournaments over the past 100 days. Subconsciously, I know that I have the final table coming up and it takes away my concentration and focus. It takes away from some of the play. I don’t take these tournaments as seriously.
PND: Talk about the play of Ivan Demidov, who made the final tables of both the WSOP and WSOP Europe Main Events.
Rheem: He’s a great player and is playing phenomenally right now. Congratulations to him on making both final tables.
PND: What stood out to you while watching your own game on television?
Rheem: I was very pleased with the way ESPN edited and the way I came off. I was real happy with the things I saw. My reading skills were on point pretty good. In some of the hands, it shows me goofing off, but for the most part I was happy with the laydowns I made.
PND: Would you be disappointed if you didn’t win the WSOP Main Event?
Rheem: Of course. What kind of question is that? I don’t play for the camera. I don’t play for the limelight. The prestige of winning the Main Event means a lot to me.
PND: Have the past 100 days played out like you thought they would?
Rheem: I had no idea how anything would play out. I’m just taking it as it is.