First, allow me to state for the record that I am the worst blogger in history. Clearly, I need to write them with any sort of regularity or remove this page from my site.
As some of you may know, I competed in my first World Series of Poker Main Event in early July of this year. My new partners at HollywoodPoker.com bank rolled the $10,000 entrance fee in hopes that I would get some press for our launch in Oct (More about that soon. I mean it.), and perhaps sign up a celebrity or 6 in the process. Well, as you may be watching (as of this entry) on ESPN's weekly coverage, I lasted longer than anyone thought I might, myself included. I'm still doing press for that, as well as HollywoodPoker.com, and this week I was asked to answer 4 questions for Vegas Player Magazine, which sits in wait on every coffee table of every room or suite of all the Caesars Resorts, which far exceeds their numerous properties in Las Vegas, at this point. My answer ended up being more than I have shared as of yet, so I thought I would share them here before they appear in said magazine.
Did you ever think you would get that far?
I really had no delusions about my abilities against what I call True Tournament Players. I'm a cash game player, and my style doesn't lend itself to tournament play, in theory. In any tournament, and especially one of this magnitude, players last as long as I did by avoiding bad luck. Like in life, when your time is up, it's up. There's no logic, no fairness, no rhyme or reason; the luck went to "the other guy" this time, and it's just your moment to be done. I entered my first WSOP Main Event with the solitary mindset to avoid putting my chips at risk, and I did so way more conservatively than most others.
What was your goal entering the tournament?
My first goal was to survive Day One, so that my friends couldn't bust my balls til the end of time. Secondly, I was there for my new partner, HollywoodPoker.com - a new Play-For-Free site, where fans can play with celebrities, all of which have a bounty on their heads - So, my second gaol was to get as much press as I could for HollywoodPoker.com, and I felt that I needed to somehow last through Day Two in order to get the "real" press on Day Three. Reaching the "min-cash" on Day Four was not really on my mind at all. It just didn't seem realistic for a cash-game player like me.
What did it feel like to knock out four-time World Series Of Poker bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu? What did you say to him afterward?
It actually felt horrible. He's one of my favorite pros to watch, so the chance to play with him (AND at the Feature Table) was the highlight of the Main Event for me. His ability to read hands is simply the best I've seen. In fact, he read my pocket 9's, while we were playing on camera at the Feature Table, and I promise you that I did not make the face he said I did (indicating to him that I had 9's) so, I have no idea how he read 9's, and not 8's or 10's. Needless to say, taking Daniel out was like the first time you beat your dad in the driveway at one-on-one basketball. It really was an awful feeling knowing that I personally ended Daniel's tournament life. He was the last remaining pro of his level at that point. And on Day Five, you're just so acutely aware of the importance of surviving, so you just feel it much more when you knock someone out. Let me put a little more perspective on that. When the tournament started, there were something like six hundred and seventy tables. When I busted out, there were fifteen. As important as survival is everyday, during every level of the Main Event, trust me, the end of your tournament life is insanely more impactful when you can literally see all the remaining tables. As for what I said to him afterwards, I said I was sorry and then asked, "I had to call you, right?" I asked for reassurance from a poker hero, but also because I had called his all-in shove with Ace-Queen, off, which is a hand Doyle Brunson insists is more dangerous than most, cause you'll lose with it much more than win with it. Daniel agreed that I had no choice, given the exact situation.
You cashed in the Main Event, what were your thougts when you got that check?
My first though was, "I guess this is real now..." Shortly thereafter, though, I was mostly thrilled that I would finally have an enjoyable answer to my least favorite question from fans regarding poker. I play mostly in home games, and in those No Limit cash games the most anyone wins or loses is four or five grand. Consequently, people are always asking, "What's the most you've ever won playing poker," and my answer ($6,500) always felt lame. Thanks to the 2012 WSOP Main Event and HollywoodPoker.com, I can now smile and answer that question with, "I once won $52,718.00."