It’s that time of year again to reflect and be thankful for what we’ve got, especially our health and loved ones. It’s also a time for giving – and partypoker is doing that ‘big time’ this holiday season. Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas (starting Xmas day thru Jan 5th) at partypoker where more than $1m will be won!
Prizes will be given to all players. Those include signed copies of “Life’s a Gamble” (my book – which you will love), signed Carl Froch boxing gloves, partypoker MILLIONS Phase 1 entries, $100 cash bonuses, other bonuses, plus a $2500 package to the U.S. Darts Masters in Las Vegas. Click here to learn more about these amazing giveaways.
Personally, I’ve got so much to be thankful for – starting with my eight-year-old son Ty. And I’m extremely fortunate to have jobs that I truly love – commentator on the World Poker Tour and ambassador for partypoker. I’m also thankful to now be a WPT champion! In November, I won the partypoker.net WPTMontreal event besting a field of 648 players to claim the title. There’s hope for everyone!
When you get older (and have been playing poker as long as I have), you sincerely appreciate success when you achieve it because you realize how difficult it is not only to make final tables, but to get the “W” when you get there. I wish I could tell you that I played the greatest poker of all time in my Montreal win, that I made a 1000 moves during the tournament and picked off every bluff attempt, but that wasn’t the case. I felt I played well, but honestly, I was very lucky in that tournament. It was just my time.
My first tournament cash was in January 1981 at Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker. I finished 3rd in the $1k buy-in Razz event. (Amazingly, Amarillo Slim only paid 3 places in his tournaments in those days: 1st = 60%, 2nd = 30%, and 3rd = 10%. I was over the moon to cash in that 95 player field and collect $9500.) In over 35 years of playing poker tournaments, I don’t ever remember winning two pots or more where I was all-in and at risk as a dominant underdog (2-1 or more) in any tournament.
In the Montreal event, which was five days of play, I did it once each day – and on Day 3, I even hit a one-outer on the river to survive! (OK, if you want to know – with about 45 players left, the ante was 500, blinds were 2/4k and I was first to act with 60k in chips. I moved all-in with two black nines. The guy behind me went all-in with two Aces and the guy behind him went all-in with A-K of diamonds – and they both had more chips than me. The flop was 10-7-2 with two diamonds! The turn was the 5 of clubs and before they revealed the river card, I said, “Nine of hearts, please.” Boom! Destiny was on my side as I more than tripled up and eventually went to the final table as chip leader. It’s nice to be lucky!
Within an hour of my trophy presentation (and Playground Poker has the coolest trophy on the WPT – a championship belt), I was on the way to the airport to go to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in beautiful Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, where partypoker was guaranteeing $3m in two tournaments ($1m in the partypoker WPT Caribbean event and $2m in the partypoker Million)! As players, you have to appreciate the incredible guarantees that Tom Waters, CEO of partypoker, and Rob Yong, owner of Dusk Till Dawn, put up for both online and live events.
These guys never cease to amaze me. The sad thing about Punta Cana wasn’t that they didn’t make the guarantees (they did), but that the weather was diabolical. It rained every day but the last day of the week – after I left. (It was the most rain they’ve had there in 40 years.) That put a damper on things. We were all dreaming about a week of sunshine in paradise – but no. It was just another bad beat but I’m sure those of you that went didn’t fault partypoker for the weather. Incidentally, “Thank You” to all those who attended. It was an amazing turnout.
As for me, it was the shortest time in WPT history to enjoy a win before playing in another WPT event. What a difference a day makes in tournament poker! I fired three bullets in the $5k buy-in partypoker WPT Caribbean event and was out before the first break on Day 2. From a champ to a chump in 24 hours! It’s that kind of experience, however, that makes me appreciate my win in Montreal that much more. I truly wish all of you could experience winning a major poker championship at least once in your life. There’s nothing like that sense of achievement and self-satisfaction for accomplishing a goal, to say nothing of the thrill of victory. It makes all the pain and suffering of tournament poker along the way worth while.
Thanks again for playing on partypoker. And don’t miss out on the 12 Days of Christmas giveaways!