World Series of Poker – Part II

derek kadota

JesusPart 2: Am I really here?
In my last blog, I told you about how I’d always dreamt of playing in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas. Well, I was lucky enough to be able to make that dream a reality by having various sponsors, including YogaHub, generously agree to sponsor me.

When I left off in my last blog, I had arrived in Vegas, registered for the tournament, and then had dinner and an early night so that I’d be refreshed and ready to play the next day.

I woke at six the next morning and started off the day by going through some yoga stretches to relax my body and prepare myself for the day’s event. The anxiety and anticipation I was feeling was immense, so practicing my yoga was a great way to cool down my body and calm my mind.

I continued to prepare myself on my drive to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino by channeling positive thoughts and energy so that I could hone my inner focus on the all-important goal – surviving Day 1!

When I arrived at the Amazon Room in the Rio, I spent a few minutes just standing in the middle of the room, completely engrossed in the pictures of all the great legends who have built their careers on playing poker. Could I be the next superstar?

Reality-check time!

I finally sat down at my designated poker table and began to check out every one of my opponents. At first, I was a little intimidated by the players because I was sure many of them had played in World Series events before – little did they know (and there was no way I was going to tell them) that this was going to be my FIRST TIME EVER!

As the cards began to fly, I settled down into a comfort level, feeling like I was playing in a home game. For the first few hours, I felt that nothing could go wrong, and I started picking up pots here and there, eventually becoming the chip leader at my table at the end of the first break.

Keeping in mind how essential it was to maintain relaxation and calm in mind and body, whenever there was a break I would stretch my body using an elastic strap given to me by YogaHub’s founder, Christina Souza Ma. I used it to stretch my hands and back, and it really did a great job in releasing the tension I’d been feeling!

When play resumed, a poker pro finally sat our table, causing everyone to groan but me – I was too starry eyed! It was none other than David “Devilfish” Ulliott!

Being the rookie at the table, the only two things I knew about “Devilfish” was that he wore gold knuckleduster rings with “DEVIL” on his right hand and “FISH” on his left. I also knew that he always tries to intimidate opponents with his presence. Well, I decided that I was not going to let him bully me – and that’s exactly what happened. Every time I raised the pot, he would make some sarcastic remark, making it sound like I was too scared to play. But I maintained my yoga calm and continued to play my game. Sure enough, “Devilfish” soon got eliminated and our table was eventually broken up.

The announcer informed everyone that a total of 720 players had registered and that 72 players would win the money. As I was walking to my next assigned table, I noticed that half the players had already been eliminated – and it was only four hours into the tournament! I tried not to let all this get to my head, but instead continued by focusing on my mission, which was to survive Day 1!

But, as I said, we were only four hours into the tournament and there was still a long way to go! So check out my next blog, when I’ll tell you all about how exciting it was to play with some of WSOP’s superstars!

[tags], , , yoga and poker player[/tags]

One Response to “World Series of Poker – Part II”

  1. Hey Derek,

    There are some that would have a difficult time reconciling the gambling game of poker with the the non-harming and non-greedy preceps of yoga.

    I am not one of them. You bring yoga to where you are at the moment–whether that’s a poker game or a silent retreat. That yoga practice helps you see more clearly what serves your greater good and what does not. Who am I to say how you live your yoga?

    I get that that mindset at times when I approach my yoga business as, well, a business! Some think the two can’t be reconciled. I say my yoga practice goes with me wherever I go. So there:-)

    Much love (and good luck!)


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