FEATURE: Jono shows that poker is, indeed, everybody’s game

PMA special feature

Everybody’s Game. That’s the motto of the 888PL and APL – no one epitomises that sentiment more than MAIN EVENT III fifth-place finisher Jono Bredin (pictured with thanks to Gazi Photography). The 22-year-old from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula has Cerebral Palsy and is wheelchair-bound.

He uses an iPad to communicate and needs helpers to show him his cards and place his bets. But that didn’t stop him finishing fifth in a field of 445 players in last weekend’s MAIN EVENT III at Crown Melbourne. His performance netted him $23,800 and a seat in the next MAIN EVENT scheduled for later this year, valued at $1200.

“At the start when other players see me in the wheelchair they feel sorry for me. But it doesn’t last long! When I start taking their chips they forget about the chair,” he said.

Indeed, Jono wasn’t even intending to play the MAIN EVENT: “I was meant to be going out with mates one Saturday night but they cancelled the day before. Mum bought me into a $60 tournament that night instead and I won a package!”

Jono quickly earned the respect of his MAIN EVENT rivals using a combination of aggression and reasoned play that resulted in him reaching the final table fourth in chips.

His stack see-sawed through the early stages of the final table until the 51st hand when he shoved pre-flop with Q-2. Eventual champion Amjed Slewa made the call after much deliberation and turned over A-5. The board was dealt 9-A-3-4-10 sending Jono to the rail.

Jono has been playing poker since he was 13 and began competing for cash about four years ago. He plays weekly pub poker tournaments in Langwarrin and as many online games for which he can find time.

“I love playing online because I can play multi-games. I’ve played up to 10 at a time,” Jono said.

Many young players would be tempted to use a big cash to buy a seat at an event previously out of their reach. But Jono has strict rules for his bankroll and is not tempted by next month’s WSOP event at Crown. Instead, he will use his winnings to build his bankroll.

“I’ll use it for $22 buy-ins online. I’ve heard of top players who have lost hundreds of games in a row online. Having this money means it won’t matter so much if that happens to me,” he said.

Jono also wanted to thank everyone who helped him along the way to this meritorious result.

“I’d like to thank Crown and the Full House Group for everything they did to make sure I got a fair go. I’d also like to thank my Mum (Vicky) for buying me in to the $60 tournament where I won my MAIN EVENT ticket and the people who helped me play at the MAIN EVENT – Christa, Breeanna, Amanda, Rick, Joanne, Luke, Todd and Casey.”

Like most poker players Jono’s ultimate dream is to play the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas. And it’s a dream he nurtures with patience and focus. His family are planning a trip to the US in 2014 including a visit to Sin City: “It costs $10,000 to play that event and until I can afford it I’m not going to play,” he said.

For now he has his sights set on winning a satellite to an ANZPT event: “I have a mate who plays them a lot, maybe we could maybe travel together!”

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