Who has in itch to be filthy rich?
Who gives a hoot for a lot of loot?
Who longs to live a life of perfect ease?
And be swamped by necessary luxuries?
Who wants to be a millionaire?
Finding your way to the Palladium Suite on the 48th floor of the Palazzo hotel is no mean feat. The elevator ride lasts so long you feel as if you are being transported straight to the feet of the pearly gates. Then after walking down corridors that would do The Shining proud, you eventually end up at the big white double doors.
You push them open and are attacked from all angles. Party Poker VIP Managers want some of your time, the six-foot tall blonde bombshell of a bar maid wants to get you a drink, the merchandise manager throws a tape measure around your waist and the live reporter wants to you to spill your personal guts all over the floor.
Welcome to the world of a WSOP qualifier
Welcome to the world of a Party Poker, World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Qualifier. We love people at Party Poker, they come in all different physical shapes and sizes, some of them have different decorations attached to their form such as sunglasses, ear rings, hats and rings and not one person looks or thinks the same as the next.
Today has been a superb eclectic mix of the very essence of what it means to be human. As usual, despite the fact that everyone was so different they did all have one thing in common, they all wanted to be millionaires!
Let’s be honest here. Let’s cut all of the crap out right from the get go. If you enter a competition to win over $5 million then part of the reason that you enter it is because you want to want to be a millionaire.
A mix of the amateur and the professional
Who wants a supersonic plane?
There was a distinctive mix of the amateur and the professional today. On the professional front the doors opened wide for the likes of Ryan Smith. Smith was here for his 3rd consecutive WSOP and even had TV time on his resume with his recent stint at the Party Poker Big Game in Nottingham. He had smelled the riches that poker could bring you and he liked it so much he had come back for more.
Eric Backlund was also here for his 3rd consecutive WSOP and he was riding the crest of the poker wave for as long as it lasted. Backlund, a journalism student, hoping that he could become the latest Duhamel while poker was still offering such golden fruit.
Online phenom Chris Moorman was experiencing a WSOP of a lifetime and his friend has just arrived on cue to grab some of the limelight. Part time beekeeper Greg Howard, from the blue side of Manchester, has just recently won over $200k in a Sunday major and he was in Vegas hungry for the taste of more honey.
Age Spets had everyone covered as he arrived to participate in his fifth WSOP. The former sponsored player sat in front of me with a gold Aussie Millions ring on his finger and you were instinctively aware that he knew his way around the felt. Spets was here hoping that he could improve on his 2006 WSOP $178,296 4th place finish.
When it comes to being a millionaire we know you need an ounce of luck along with your ounce of skill. Take the very talented but fortunate John Gushue, a Canadian who won the Party Poker bad beat jackpot, after his straight flush was beaten by a higher straight flush, and didn’t even realise he had won his bounty of $90,000 because he was ten-tabling at the time.
All the casinos are the same
We also saw a plethora of the inexperienced pass through the big white doors. Dominic Wehner, David Stimpar, Jason Leyland and Loedewijk Debets all were breaking their WSOP hymen here in Vegas courtesy of Party Poker.
We also get the odd surprise or two but my favourite of the day came from young Jan Phillipi. The youngster from Germany told me that it was his first time in Vegas, and when I asked him what his first impressions were he told me that he was disappointed.
“All the casinos are the same,” he told me.
Who wants a marble swimming pool too?
But when it comes to being a millionaire no one has more experience than 25-year old Austrian Sebastian Panny. The archeology student enjoying his 3rd WSOP was once a contestant on the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
If you are going to win the WSOP Main Event then you need a bit of gamble about you and Panny has it in droves. When faced with a question that would lose him €60,000 if he got it wrong, Panny decided to take a guess. For him, the rewards of success far outweighed the depth of despair of defeat. Panny took the guess, got it wrong and lost that €60,000.
Who wants to be a millionaire?