Posts Tagged ‘WSOP’

Anyone blessed enough to engage in raw competition for a living can easily recognize the bullet point moments in their career. For a poker player, no stage compares to the World Series Main Event Final Table. The bright lights of a national audience; ESPN cameras catching every moment of weakness, every heavy breath of uncertainty while $8.5 million hangs in the balance. It would be impossible not to get caught up in the magnitude of it all, that is assuming preparation wasn’t possible.

Much like the professional athlete, gains made in the offseason define future success; to use a tired cliche: fail to prepare, prepare to fail. That’s where the WSOP separates itself from all other events. A three month layoff to develop not only a plan of attack, but also to best replicate the high pressure situation of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I know first hand what it feels like to get close and come up short, having made a 7 day run. I also have a vivid picture of what it’s like to be a November Niner, accented by all the intricacies that we ignore when dreaming of glory. As my good friend, Phil Collins, went into the final table last year I had the utmost confidence he was a favorite to finish in the top three. After being on the stage and actually feeling the weight of the moment, simply from the stands, it’s unreasonable to assign any sort of expectation. I do know that given the opportunity myself, I would spend every day of that layoff engulfed in details; learning the ins and outs of all the weighing factors and how they affect the mechanics of play.

Unable to obtain my own shot at poker immortality, I was very interested when Jason Somerville invited me to be a part of his coaching process for Octo Niner, Russell Thomas. My mindset has been submerged in strategy content, as I’ve been working hard to help Insta Poker grow. Being so engaged lately, I feel I can really contribute to the quality of content, as well as provide some perspective. I can’t begin to describe the diligence with which Jason has approached this project. The attention to detail all while surrounding Russell with intelligent, poker savvy people has created a very true to life experience. He’s also taken on the responsibility of hiring a production crew to document Russell’s road leading up Oct. 29th. I’m not sure what most finalist have done in the past, or even what the other 8 are doing this year, but I am certain it’s not as thorough as the clinic Jason is hosting.

Episode 1: The Final Table