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[caption width="640"] Jesse 'No_Xcape' Elliott has NJCOOP in his rearview mirror as he chases down the PokerStars Festival New Jersey Main Event title[/caption] Earlier this week Jesse ‘No_Xcape’ Elliott, the #10-ranked online poker player in New Jersey, thought he had put the exclamation point on an impressive run of poker when he took down the first ever PokerStars New Jersey Championship of Online Poker Main Event for $38,380. Eight days before that he won his first NJCOOP title when he won the $350 buy-in Sunday Special Special Edition for $19,299. Sandwiched in between those two wins were two other NJCOOP final tables; an eighth place finish and a third place that came after a chop. The rarity of putting up two big wins in such a short time span isn’t lost on Elliott. “What can I say? Back to back? What are the chances of that happening? And in one of the biggest weekends in New Jersey online poker history,” said Elliott. “To win a $100K and a $200K (guarantee) and then chop (another one) and get to play it out with Chris Moneymaker? That doesn’t happen.” While the two wins were great for the bankroll and a real confidence booster, Elliott looks back at the one he chopped and has some regrets - something he chalks up to not having a killer instinct because of a moral dilemma poker gives him. “I ended up getting screwed on the deal. I chopped for third place money by like two bucks. I should have won it,” said Elliott. “Sometimes I’m too nice and chop instead, because poker is kind of weird for me because I don’t like taking other people’s money but that’s the nature of what you have to do, to hurt, to beat them. It’s kind of like a Catch 22 for me.” Now he’s on to Day 3 of the PokerStars Festival New Jersey with just 23 players remaining. He’s got the fifth shortest stack after losing a big pot late on Day 2, but considering it’s an event he almost didn’t play for a couple of reason, having a shot at the $38,220 first place prize money is basically a bonus. “I almost didn’t come but the two wins and then I told my buddy Justin ‘pocketprofits’ Wong ‘If I win big money (Tuesday night) I have to go. I have to ride it out’ and I chopped the Borgata $10K so here we are,” said Elliott. That’s right, a day after winning nearly $40K in the NJCOOP Main Event he posted another big score online and that’s when he decided to make the one hour drive from his home in Sewell, NJ to play the $1,000 buy-in PokerStars Festival Main Event. There’s also another reason he almost didn’t bother to come to Atlantic City this week. His three year old daughter, one of three kids, isn’t a big fan of daddy leaving the house to work. “I almost didn’t even come to this because I hate it when she says ‘Daddy stay”. and I say I gotta go to work. ‘Oh, okay, I’ll go up to work with you in the office”’, because she’ll lay on the floor while i’m playing online,” said Elliott. “Me and her are inseparable because I had a really rough upbringing with my father, so I try to over the top with stuff like that.” The NJCOOP Main Event win almost didn’t happen for a couple of reasons. The two-day event started on Sunday, the same day as partypoker was having massive geolocation issues right at the height of its Garden State Super Series Main Event. Elliott was playing that too but just like a number of players that kept getting disconnected from the party software. “Because of what was going on with Party/Borgata that day, I was actually blinding out of the (PokerStars) Main because I kept restarting my computer, thinking that the geo-problem was on my end,” said Elliott. “And I thought it was weird because it wasn’t happening on Stars but it was happening on Party, so I kept restarting. I restarted twice and I lost like 7,000 in the Main on Stars.” That was on his second entry in the event, which also almost didn’t happen. “I actually satellited twice, thankfully, into the Main through PokerStars. If I didn’t get that second satellite win and have the 500 tournament dollars sitting there, I don’t know if I would have re-bought,” said Elliott. “I do this for a living, I know it’s a huge prizepool, but I have a mortgage. You have to protect your money or you’re going to be gone. You hear horror stories of a lot of these guys going busto. I have three kids. But thank god I won that second one or that would have been a $38,000 mistake.”
[caption width="640"] Jesse Elliott won the PokerStars NJCOOP Main Event in October and is setting his sights on bigger scores to come. (Borgata photo)[/caption] Since PokerStarsNJ was first introduced to the New Jersey online poker scene, there has been a considerable effort made by the site to offer online championship serie's in the state similar to what is offered on its worldwide client. The limitations on the population in New Jersey make it difficult to draw a player pool the size of the SCOOP or WCOOP but nonetheless, the NJCOOP series in October was considered a success by many. The NJCOOP Main Event brought together a field of 425 of the state’s finest to compete for a $200,000 guaranteed prize pool and in the end it was New Jersey’s own Jesse ‘No_Xcape’ Elliott who won the event. On his path to victory, Elliott defeated the likes of Darren ‘oldmoneyd’ Elias to claim victory and the $38,000 first place prize. That win wasn’t the only victory for Elliott during NJCOOP, as he beat Chris Moneymaker heads up to win the “Sunday Special” for nearly $18,000 more. Elliott says the win versus Moneymaker helped to raise his confidence and overall, he enjoyed the experience of playing with top professionals. “(My) confidence was raised after beating Chris Moneymaker just the week before and then going on to outlast the man, Darren Elias, and Victor Ramdin at the final table of the NJCOOP Main Event. (I) also had the chance to play with Elias during the Stars Festival at Resorts for the main event. We both went deep in that event but didn’t make the final table.” Elliott dabbles in live tournament play when his schedule allows for but with the sizable five-figure score added to his bankroll, is looking to play more than he has in the past. “The win has granted me the ability to play more live events. If you look at my Hendon Mob it’s rather sad [laughs]. It’s rare when I get to play decent live events because I have three kids at home. It honestly sucks because I would love to travel the USA to get some nice scores but on the same note, I wouldn’t trade the kids for it. So, I’ll have to find some live events that fit my schedule.” True to his word, Elliott is playing more live and has a few cashes to back up the added volume. Elliott made the final two tables in the PokerStars Festival New JerseyMain Event and has scores from the 2016 Borgata Fall Poker Open and the recently completed Parx Big Stax XX series. He may not be widely recognized by his face when he plays live, but Elliott can generally be found wearing his UFC hat that allows his love for mixed martial arts to shine through. Elliott’s online screen names reflect famed MMA fighter Ronda Rousey along with the film, “No Xcape.” Like many in poker, Elliott is a fan of the competitive aspect of the game that incidentally ties in with the sport he found by accident. “I didn’t get into UFC until around 2010. I was at a house party and playing beer bong and some kid kept saying ‘Let’s go GSP (Georges St. Pierre).’ ‘I was like who the hell is GSP?’ And when I Googled it I noticed that there was a resemblance and that got me into watching the sport. Keep in mind this is when I weighed a tad bit less [laughs],” said Elliott “Like many of the poker guys, I’m trying to get back in shape but like poker, it’s a grind. A UFC fight is like the final table of any tournament. Only one of us is going to come out alive and that competitiveness what drives me.” As the year moves forward and more live main events crop up, Elliott has a goal in mind of playing in some of the events available but is keeping is his primary focus on beating New Jersey’s best on a nightly basis. “My focus is to accomplish the most that I can within my bankroll. I’m not a fan of backing so I must make sure to use my money wisely and really focus on game selection especially online in NJ. Almost every night you’re playing against the best kids in the state. I don’t think these guys get enough credit,” said Elliott. “I’m hoping to satty into the WSOP (Circuit) main at Harrah’s via online [and] I keep trying to win the Sunday $40k on Borgata as well so I can get a Spring Championship seat, which would be awesome.”