Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hail to the New Bubblebassador

This year’s World Series of Poker Main Event saw the top 1,011 finishers make the money. From a starting field of 6,737 for the $10,000 buy-in event, that meant the top 15% cashed. Those who made the minimum of $15,000 still realized a decent return, plus the not insignificant story of cashing in the world’s most famous poker tournament.

This year a fellow named Adam Furgatch was the player who late on Day 3 found himself finishing 1,012th, one spot shy of the money. All in for exactly one big blind with Q-9 versus Georgios Zisimopoulos’s A-7, Furgatch failed to improve and was out even before hand-for-hand play could begin.

The Californian was hardly in sour spirits, though. In fact, from his perspective, he’d earned a pretty neat story out of the deal, too.

I remember reading Howard Swains’s post about Furgatch’s knockout on the PokerStars blog back in July, where Howard noted Furgatch “actually seemed pretty delighted with the way things panned out.”

Knowing he was either barely going to miss the money or make that min-cash, Furgatch found a lot of silver lining in the result -- which also happened to include a free entry into next year’s WSOP Main Event (not a bad consolation prize).

“I was going to go out soon more than likely, with my chip stack,” Furgatch told Howard. “But now I get the experience of being the bubble boy.”

Marty Derbyshire talked to Furgatch for PokerNews as well, and he similarly told Marty how much he valued the experience of bubbling, noting that “the difference between that and maybe going out a few hands later for an extra $5,000... the experience may be worth $5,000.”

I was reminded of Furgatch this week when watching the new episodes of the WSOP Main Event coverage on ESPN. They’re up to Day 6, but for some reason decided this week to flash back to Day 3 and share Furgatch talking again about how interesting and worthwhile the experience of being the bubble was to him.

Along the way, this year’s 1,012th-place finisher jokingly invented a title for himself.

“I must say that I will take my duties as bubblebassador -- poker’s bubblebassador -- very seriously,” says Furgatch. “Because for everybody who plays for hours and hours and days and days and doesn’t quite get to the money... just never give up, never give up. Which I didn’t and all of a sudden something very strange and magical happened. So you just never know in the game of poker.”

Had to grin at that, as well as his concluding promise to “do my best to represent all... the poker bubblers everywhere.”

Just by inventing and assuming the “bubblebassador” title, Furgatch has already gotten his tenure off to an excellent start. Which is important, because bubblers tend to start better than they finish.

Image: ESPN

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