Dissecting the PartyPoker Big Game With Jesse May

TAGs: audio interview, bwin wpt cyprus classic, Jesse May, Lee Davy, PartyPoker Big Game VII, World Poker Tour, WPT, WPT Champions Club, WPT Cyprus

Dissecting the PartyPoker Big Game With Jesse May Audio

Dissecting the PartyPoker Big Game With Jesse MayTrying to convey the emotion of poker to the reader, or listener, who is not fortunate enough to be present is a difficult task, but it’s one that Jesse May revels in. As the commentator for the PartyPoker Big Game he has been there, seen it and has a wardrobe full of the t-shirts. So what did the Voice of Poker think about the Big Game VII.

“It was a different environment this year. Usually we are in a place where we struggle to find enough guys with the money to play. This time we had a list as long as your arm. Every time someone got knocked out there were Turks, Romanians, Russians and Cypriots all waiting to put their money down.”

So who were the biggest winners and losers in the game?

“The big winner was Big Rog {Roger Hairabedian}. Now I was shocked…because he’s a guy you see playing on the WPT a lot. I always thought he was a tight, conservative, nuts type of player and for sure this is how he started. For the first few hands he sat there quiet as a mouse and only played his strong hands. Then after the break, when he came back he went completely bananas. He was laughing, joking and playing every hand. He was the big winner in the game, deserved it and was quite probably the best player. The biggest loser in the game was Michael Mizrachi. He was probably down about $30k and just didn’t get going.”

Was there a particular dynamic that people can look forward to when the event airs on Sky?

‘The main story for me was the dynamics between Dominik Nitsche and The Jungleman {Dan Cates}. We have been singing the praises of Nitsche for a long time. We have said that he has the ability to be amongst the top players in the game, and it’s been happening him for this year. Their little battle was great and Nitsche was adamant that he had a live tell on the Jungleman which was quite interesting.”
The Big Game deploys a system whereby players get voted off, either by the players or public vote. In Cyprus it was left to the fans to vote and there were some consternations after the very loose Russian, Alexey Rybin, was voted off after playing in every hand and winning a ton of money. What does May think of democracy?

“Listen…they have had several thousand years to prove that democracy doesn’t work. You just don’t get anywhere if you give someone the vote. A couple of big games ago they voted off Viffer when he was playing every hand, having fun and winning plenty of money; this time it was Alexey Rybin. He was $20k ahead, was playing every pot and he was voted off. We nearly had a player revolt. So I think in future you need to give the public a vote, but also give them a helping hand.”

The Big Game is a tried and tested format, but there is always room for improvement. One man who has been involved in this game more than most is May. Does he see a way of improving this spectacle?

“Last night the Big Game could have gotten a whole lot bigger. The cap might have damaged it a little bit. I don’t think people realize just how much money there is in Cyprus. Last night there was a $500/$1000 game in here. There were several players who were approached to play who said, ‘$20k you think that’s a Big Game…I’m not going to play. So maybe we could create the possibility of making it bigger if the chance presents itself.’

Jesse May will be the lead commentator when the bwin WPT Cyprus Merit Classic Main Event Final Table kicks off on Wed, Aug 21. A final table that will be streamed live at


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