Joseph Kuether (daPHUNNIEman) Wins WSOPC Rincon Main Event


In recent weeks, 36 players finished in the money in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit stop in Rincon. The re-entry tournament sported a $1,600 buy-in and, when the final card was dealt, Joe daPHUNNIEman Kuether (pictured) walked away with the title and $111,000.

The Wisconsin native has been on a tear on the live poker scene as of late. Besides his WSOP Circuit Main Event gold ring, Kuether triumphed in two $500 No Limit Hold’em events during the Wynn Classic in March for $40,000 total. He’s now won the last three tournaments he’s cashed in, according to the Hendon Mob, and opened up to PocketFives about his recent hot streak.

PocketFives: Thanks for joining us. We take it you’re pretty pumped about live poker right now given you’ve won each of the last three times you’ve cashed.

Joe Kuether: Yeah, March was a pretty good month obviously. I have been playing a lot and have been pretty motivated lately, especially with the WSOP coming up soon.

PocketFives: Your three recent live wins amount to over $150,000 total. Did the two Wynn Classic victories propel you to victory in the WSOPC Rincon Main Event?

Joe Kuether: I was going to go out to Bay 101, but had played some of the Wynn prelims and the fields were so good that I just decided to stay in Las Vegas and grind those. I was at the L.A. Poker Classic for a month before that and it didn’t go so well, so it was nice to get a few final tables and wins in some smaller tournaments.

I felt like I was playing pretty good, so that probably made me more likely to go to Rincon. Some people were telling me to go because of the Circuit points, but I was kind of sick of traveling around, so I just decided to go for the Main Event.

PocketFives: That turned out to be a pretty good decision. Have you strayed more toward live poker following Black Friday?

Joe Kuether: I always played live poker in some capacity, but played more online before Black Friday. I decided to move out to Vegas after Black Friday instead of moving abroad and have just been playing a lot more live and traveling to more tournaments than I used to. In the past, I didn’t play much live poker outside of the WSOP.

PocketFives: Can you talk about whether fatigue was a factor in you besting Chris Cronin heads-up in Rincon?

Joe Kuether: The heads-up was pretty short. We were even when it got heads-up and without any disrespect to him, I was pretty confident when we got to heads-up and was able to chip him down. I think in general I play pretty well over long hours, which is an advantage I have over people who aren’t as used to the long hours in these tournaments. I don’t really get worn out or anything because of my experience and playing so much.

PocketFives: Longtime poker pro Freddie Deeb (pictured) took fourth place in the WSOPC Rincon Main Event for $37,000. Can you critique his play?

Joe Kuether: I didn’t play much with him until the last day. He seemed pretty irritated with me, as I was winning a lot of big pots against him. He did a good job of waiting out some of the other short stacks and basically went from eighth to fourth just by folding his 10 to 15 big blinds.

PocketFives: We noticed that you had about $660,000 in winnings on Full Tiltprior to Black Friday and the site getting its license revoked.

Joe Kuether: It was pretty poor timing last year. I had my biggest online win on Full Tilt a week or two before Black Friday. I went from feeling pretty good going into the summer and the WSOP to not knowing if I’d ever see that money again.

PocketFives: What about the 2012 WSOP scheduleare you most excited for?

Joe Kuether: Not really any specific tournament, although some of the new ones look pretty cool. I haven’t really gone through the whole schedule, but I’m just excited about being able to play a lot of big tournaments. I have played so much less since Black Friday, so it will be nice to play a lot then. I don’t really mind the grind, especially during the WSOP.