PartyPoker’s WSOP for Life and WSOP for Life VIP Race promotions kick off this week. You can win entry to the WSOP Main Event every year for ‘life’! Here, PartyPoker ambassador Mike Sexton recalls his first ever WSOP.

I’d been a professional poker player for eight years before I made my first trip to the WSOP in 1984. That trip changed my life forever.

Back then, they had tournaments every other day, so if you went to the WSOP for a week (which I did), you could only play in three events. I did play in three events, made two final tables, and knew right then that as long as I lived, I would never miss another WSOP.

I decided to move from North Carolina to Vegas

In fact, because of that success at my first WSOP, I decided to move from North Carolina to Vegas – and ended up staying for 25 years. (I just moved to California this past December, because we have a 20 month old son that we didn’t want to raise in Vegas.)

Incredibly, 26 years later, I will never forget the hand I went busted on in the 1984 Pot Limit Omaha tournament – the first-ever PLO tourney in WSOP history. We were down to five players and we were all pretty close in chip count.

If you raise it, I’m going to set you all-in

David Sklansky was there as was Tom McEvoy, the reigning world champion at the time. McEvoy was by far the most aggressive, raising nearly every pot. As he raised again I looked down at A-K-Q-8 double suited in clubs and diamonds. I probably should have raised, but I called. The flop came Q-8-3 with two hearts. He bet the pot.

As I was thinking, he could see I was going to play the pot and said, “If you raise it, I’m going to set you all-in.” I responded, “Well, I guess you’re setting me all-in, then, because I’m raising.”

I raised and true to his word, he set me all-in. He turned up 3-4-5-8 with no hearts! He flopped bottom two pair while I had top two pair. YIPPEE!

The turn card was a seven, and the river card was a six. He back-doored a straight to win the pot! I was heart-broken. I really felt like I should have won a bracelet in my first-ever WSOP appearance, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen and it took me five more years before I got one.

Keep watching PartyPoker blog in the upcoming weeks for more of Mike Sexton’s WSOP memories.

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