Adventures into the World of WSOP -III

derek kadota

Thomas PrestonPart 3: Playing with the “Big Boys”!
Okay, so I’m sure everyone’s been waiting in breathless anticipation for Part 3 of my adventures into the world of WSOP (ha!), so I won’t keep you all in suspense any longer – let me show you my latest hand!

As soon as I sat down at another table for the next game, I noticed that Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was sitting to my right. Now, there’s a story behind “Jesus” and me – we’d met at a Pre-Grammy’s party several years back and had a great chat about poker. And now here I was, finally sitting down at a poker table with “Jesus”, who’s known as one of the smartest poker players in the world. This guy has a PhD in Computer Science, so what the heck was I doing at this table? Okay, deep breath – let’s get some of that yoga calm going….

During a break in our game, I asked “Jesus” if he remembered the Pre-Grammy’s party and he politely said he did. I then mentioned to him that I had a picture of the two of us that I wanted to e-mail to him if that was okay. I was totally stoked when he gave me his e-mail address and immediately started getting carried away with my thoughts:

1. I have an e-mail address of a poker pro, so now I can possibly correspond with him regularly!
2. If I get far enough in the tournament, maybe I could get sponsorship for “Fill Tilt Poker”, one of the premier online poker sites that “Jesus” helped build.
3. Maybe I could even get coaching from one of the top poker pros.

So there I was, day-dreaming and getting way ahead of myself – until I realized that I needed to re-focus on my ultimate goal of making it through Day 1! So out came my trusty YogaHub strap and – a few stretches and mind-relaxation techniques later – I was ready to play on!

Well, as luck would have it, I couldn’t play many hands at this new table and ended up going card dead in a few sessions. Maybe it was because I was so conscious of “Jesus” sitting to the right of me that I just didn’t want to make a mistake. However, the good news was that I was still the chip leader at my table and I was determined NOT to give away any big pots to anyone – not even to “Jesus”!

We broke for dinner soon after and I was relieved to get something to eat. I didn’t even realize how hungry I was until I saw the food! My body had literally been on energy drinks ALL day! I’d consumed two Rockstar energy drinks, as well as a couple of other drinks that were being promoted at the WSOP to “keep you awake.” The casino cashier had given me a complimentary $10 food voucher when I’d entered the WSOP tournament, and I decided to spend it all because my body was craving for REAL food. I was going to be smart about it, though, because I did NOT want my stomach to be upset while playing, so I ordered a healthy soup and salad.

As I was eating, I noticed several older gentlemen sitting right across from me, one of the notables being Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Jr.

Being as young as I am, I only knew “Amarillo Slim” Preston by reputation – and I couldn’t believe that I was actually looking at this living poker legend in person. He looks just like his nickname – a slim man from Amarillo, Texas wearing a cowboy hat. When I say that “Slim” is a legend, I mean it in the true sense of the word. This self-proclaimed gambler has been known to bet on anything, anytime, anywhere. For me to even get a glimpse of him was all I needed to get back some motivation after the dinner break.

So my stomach was full and the tournament was back at full steam. Looking at the list of players, I saw that only 150 players remained and only 72 would be able to cash in the money at the end of Day 1. To me, this was FAR from over, because the blinds were increasing and the field of players was whittling down to the “survival to the fittest.” As noted, I stuck to my game plan by not getting into big pots and folded when I was up against any other chip leaders. Of course, since I was the chip leader at my table, I knew that there was a huge target on me!

As play started to draw to a close on Day 1, players were starting to feel the crunch of being eliminated right before the bubble of 72. I was very comfortable with my chip stack because I was currently running in 17th place, and as long as I didn’t make any big mistakes, I would accomplish my goal.

An hour passed, and we finally got to the remaining 72 players! I was in the money! I’d accomplished the goal that I set for myself. My first instinct was to celebrate excessively, but I knew that my body and mind were hungry for yet another goal – and that was to make the final nine players for the televised FINAL TABLE on ESPN. I had always wondered what it would take to get there and I could hardly believe that I was now so close to living that dream.

When Day 1 was finally over, I drove back to the hotel, beaming from ear to ear with an ever-so-proud look on my face. Back in my room, I immediately went to bed and closed my eyes, thinking how grand it would be to be on TV and show the world my poker skills and abilities – not to mention all those cool YogaHub products! But after lying in bed for an hour, I was still bright-eyed and staring at the wall. All those energy drinks I had consumed earlier had wired me so much that I just couldn’t get to sleep. So I started to strategize and carefully plan what I would do in Day 2 – and that was to accumulate chips!

Attaining my goal of not only surviving Day 1 but making money as well was just so surreal. I’d killed two birds with one stone and everything else from now on would be icing on the cake – and I LOVE cake!

[tags]world series of poker, wsop, stretches, mind relaxation, stress relief, yoga and poker player[/tags]

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