Yes, I am a poker junkie. That is me holding my winning medallion at Caesar’s.
The fix I seek is more than just money; it is the prestige of poker titles.
WHY? The appealing thing about poker, is that it equalizes people. I have sat at tables with a huge variety of people. It doesn’t matter what your race, sex, stature or religion is, poker is a table of people playing a game. The common thread that all players have is that they are there to win.
WHAT? The holy grail of poker titles is to win the World Series of Poker, No Limit Hold ‘Em, Main Event (WSOP,NLHE, ME). That title comes with a gold and diamond bracelet as well as millions of dollars. There are also WSOP Circuit Events. The prize for those is a ring.
HOW? My husband Doug and I participated in our first WSOP event in 2006 and have played continually as timing and funds permit. To make money at a WSOP you usually have to place in the top 100 players. The number of players in an event varies. The events Doug & I have played have had anywhere from 1200 players to 3500 players. Here is Doug (Titan) at an event in 2006.
Part of the excitement of participating in a major event, is being with so many fellow poker enthusiasts. Additionally, you are amongst poker greats. I have to admit that I was star struck more than once while walking the hallways at the Rio. There are plenty of celebrities. Doug was pleased to meet Jennifer Tilly.
Poker is about keeping your cool and having a stoic poker face. When I encountered my favorite poker player, Johnny Chan, in the lobby at a WSOP event in 2007, I was not calm and cool at all. Doug saved the day and calmly said “Johnny, hey buddy, would you mind a picture with my wife?” They had met previously a couple of times and were familiar. Johnny was quite pleasant he chatted with me & we took a picture. It was definitely a high point in my life.
Poker can be exciting and glamorous at times, but playing poker tests your emotions and endurance. To money at an event you need to play hundreds of hands, build your stack and avoid elimination. No player is immune from bad luck. If you persevere for 10-12 hours, you may get to put your chips in baggies and play again the next day. You leave tired and sore from sitting and focusing for so long. There are massage therapists available during tournaments, which is a nice temporary diversion, but doesn’t really help your game.
Winning! The objective, is of course to win. This turns out to be the most thrilling aspect of poker. I have won plenty of times, by not a major title as of yet. As mentioned, Doug has moneyed at the WSOP. In his 2008 event, it was very late and all the players were tired and waiting for the bubble to break, (the bubble is point when players get the prize money). This picture was taken when the announcement was made that all players left – are in the money. Doug does look thrilled 😉
The quest will continue. There are times the cards fall in your favor and many times they don’t. I want to keep playing WSOP events so I will be there when the cards line up to thrill me and I take home that elusive jewellery.