Over the weekend, you may have noticed a very familiar name atop the leaderboard in the Full Tilt Sunday Major: Jon apestylesVan Fleet (pictured). After undergoing a few life changes as of late, he’s on what he calls “a massive heater with very little volume.”
“It’s a good way to start the year for sure,” Van Fleet told PocketFives about his big win for $33,000. There were 627 entrants in the field last week and he scooped 20% of the $165,000 prize pool. It was the fifth largest cash we have tracked for him on Full Tilt.
He had a “massive” chip lead when six players remained and re-shoved a button opener with 9-3 offsuit. The raiser called and tabled tens, ultimately winning the hand with two pair. “The reason I did it was because there was a stack with 2.5 big blinds,” Van Fleet said of the hand. “According to ICM, the villain should only be calling with J-J+. That said, I don’t blame his call. I made the mistake of assuming the villain was going to call ICM tight. I also thought he was raising the button way more loosely than he should have.”
Despite the setback and dropping to fourth place out of four players left, the longtime PocketFives community member mounted a comeback that included running a big bluff and capitalizing on a hand where he was dealt Q-Q.
So what happened in his life? What has changed now? “Grinding 70 hours a week became unimportant,” Van Fleet said. “Balance, meditation, physical health, friendships, and community service became more important.” He volunteers at a drug treatment center, employs lots of meditation, and is headed to a ten-day “silent retreat” soon.
Despite all of the extracurricular activities, he is still focused on poker: “I’m trying to solve poker, so I study a lot. I watch a lot of videos and use programs. I’d like to beat Zoom 500 by the end of the year. I’m starting small, though, and analyzing my game a lot.”
Besides all of the mental and physical changes in his life, Van Fleet is reentering the music business. “apestyles was originally my DJ name,” Van Fleet said. “I stopped making music a long time ago. I was thinking about taking it back up as a hobby. I’m not going to worry about doing it professionally, just trying to make stuff I like and have fun with it. Technology has changed so much since I was DJing and making music, so there will be a learning curve, but it’ll be fun.”
We closed by talking about the recently-revealed 2015 World Series of Poker schedule, which features 68 bracelet events, including an online tournament as well as a $565 Colossus event that promises to have one of the largest fields in WSOP history. “The schedule looks like it should appeal to recreational players with some of the smaller buy-ins. I like the deeper stacks of the bigger buy-in tournaments. To be honest, I may stay online. The fields get so nice around WSOP time. I might grind hard and try to scoop up the monies.”
Van Fleet took third in the Double Vision Sunday Million in December for over $100,000 officially, one of his five career $100,000+ tournament scores online. He is up to $6.6 million in cashes total, the 14th most of anyone in our community. Van Fleet has been a member of our site ever since Year 1 and is #84 worldwide in the PocketFives Rankings.
He owns one WCOOP and two FTOPS titles and has two victories in the Super Tuesday. Other tournaments he has won over the years include the PokerStars $109 Rebuy (twice), PokerStars $215 Rebuy (twice), Full Tilt $100 Rebuy, and Full Tilt $1K Saturday.
Congrats to Van Fleet on his latest win!