As if you didn’t know it (and many people stopped caring) It’s World Series of Poker time in Las Vegas. That means the poker rooms are filled with stooges trying to make the scratch to get a seat at the WSOP Main Event. What many of these players don’t realize is that they are playing against some of the best in the business who are undercover and scouting the poker rooms looking for the stooges.
Many of them claim they can make more money picking off the wann-be’s in the casino poker rooms than they can in the real game… But I digress. The real thing is happening at the Rio. The World Series of Poker goes until July 15. Then they break with the final nine set to resume play Nov. 4-5. The final table will be broadcast on ESPN.
My First Touch of WSOP Magic
When I first moved to Las Vegas with Sazzy in 2001, I got a job as a chauffeur. This is when the WSOP was still family owned and played at Binions. My “pick up” was across the mall from the famous Binions, the Golden Nugget and it was a Thursday. The WSOP 2001 had just got started in serious play.
The bellman put his bags in the trunk and my client got in and he was smiling. No… he was beaming. I mean his lights were on full. Glowing like he had just been laid by 72 virgins. Nothing was going to make this guy’s day turn blue.
We were stuck in traffic and had time to talk, so I asked what made him so dam happy? Usually people leaving are depressed or hung over. He was smiling like some hooker just set him on-fire. He laughed at the comment. But said it wasn’t anything sexual in that way….. Although it was memorable…
It was Sunday and he was in line to checkout. But the lines were long. So, while he waited his turn, he popped a $20 bill in the nearest slot machine and won. He kept winning. His first $20 turned into $40 became $100 became 1000, became $2000. Then he stopped.
He knew the WSOP was starting and buy in that day was $2000. So why not? (pre-internet poker rage). His flight wasn’t until later that night anyway…
The Streak Started
Giving the bellman his bags, he walked over to Binions and plunked down his $2000 for the buy-in. By the end of the night, he was in the winners circle and the Golden Nugget called to say his suite is waiting and it was comp’d. “I never get sh*t Comped” was his response. Now he had a suite at the Golden Nugget. For free!
The Happy Ending
Sunday became Monday. Monday became Tuesday. The winning continued. Then came Thursday and the buy-in was $30,000. The equivalent to what he owed on his house. He was sitting there with enough money to pay off his mortgage. And in a few hours he played it all and lost it all.
Why was a man who took a $20 bill and turned it into a spot at the $30,000 table at the World Series of Poker so dam happy? Because “I got to play with the big boys of poker.” He figured his wife was going to kill him, but he said he would die happy with the memories he had playing it large in Las Vegas…
Some ordinary man who was in “Lost Wages” for a silly conference, who never bets anything big or have anything earth shattering happen to him, got to sit at the big table of poker royalty and play with more money than he could ever before imagine. He lost it all and was the happiest man alive with a only-in-Las vegas story to tell his buddies back home.
Plus I got a $50 tip in Golden Nugget chips….