You pick up degrees in finance and accounting, become a CPA, and have what turns out to be a successful and varied career in business. Finally about five years ago you reach a stage in your life where you decide to take a shot at being a poker pro. You excel in the cash games, and have some early tourney triumphs, cashing a couple of times in the 2002 WSOP and making a final table. You cash again in an event during the 2003 series. You’re also enjoying some success in the higher-stakes cash games. This poker thing is working out.
You decide to write a book about your life in business and poker, then start doing a weekly poker podcast with a couple of buds. In the spring of 2006, you make a WPT final table and finish third, netting a cool quarter mil. By the time the 2007 WSOP arrives, you’ve had 10 cashes in major events, all of which were no-limit or limit hold ’em tourneys.
The week before the series, a listener to your podcast calls in and asks what your plans are for the series. You reply, “I plan on playing in as many events as I possibly can. I will not be playing any stud events [or] stud high-low. I will be playing in the razz -- razz is the only stud event that I will be playing in. And I’ll be playing in every pot limit Omaha, and every deuce-to-seven no limit, and triple draw deuce-to-seven, and a lot of no-limit Hold ’em and limit Hold ’em events . . . I plan on playing in . . . the smaller H.O.R.S.E. events as well, and my goal is to make it in the money as many times as I possibly can this year.”
You make a decent run in Event No. 3 (the $1,500 pot limit Hold ’em event), but bust out on Sunday and find yourself without a tourney until tomorrow’s pot limit Omaha w/rebuys. So, despite your intentions to avoid the stud high-low games, you decide to jump into Event No. 5, the $2,500 Omaha high-low/stud high-low event. A lot of big names among other 326 who register with you, including Josh Arieh, Chris Bell, David Benyamine, Andy Bloch, Chad Brown, Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, Johnny Chan, Bill Chen, Allen Cunningham, Annie Duke, Chris Ferguson, Ted Forrest, Barry Greenstein, Jennifer Harman, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Toto Leonidas, Erick Lindgren, Mike Matusow, Michael Mizrachi, Men Nguyen, Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, John Phan, Greg Raymer, Huck Seed, David Sklansky, Amir Vahedi, and Cyndy Violette. Among dozens of other toughies. And ESPN is scheduled to cover the final table.
Why not, right? It’ll be a challenge. Kind of a freeroll, really. No expectations. If you bust out early, you’ve got that PLO event tomorrow . . . .
You make it through Day 1 in good shape. Real good shape, as a matter of fact. You are chip leader. So much for that PLO event. Next day goes pretty well, too. The tourney plays down to the final table, and you are still on top. By a hell of lot, actually, with your 526,000-chip stack more than twice what second place has.
You get to the final table. There’s Ferguson, Duke, Benyamine, Bell, and Phan. But you’ve got chips. You maintain your lead as players hit the rail. Eventually you make it to heads-up with a tough player named Ed Tonnellier. You start heads-up with about a 5-to-3 chip advantage. Things continue to go your way. Suddenly you get Tonnellier in a tough spot where he can’t make a hand, and a huge pot is pushed your way. He’s still got chips, but how much?
Three thousand. Meanwhile, your mountain of a stack is around 1,664,000. Kind of thing probably wouldn’t happen in a no-limit tourney, where he’d have likely been able to get those last chips in. A quick calculation . . . you have about a 550-to-1 chip advantage.
That’s the sweet moment I was talking about.
It’s about to happen.
You’re about to take your first WSOP bracelet.
And . . . after a stretching the moment out a few more minutes . . . you do.
So, how does it feel?
Score one for the good guys.
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Labels: *high society