Life On The Rail: 2012 WSOP Main Event

Read all about my experience in the 2012 World Series of Poker. The ups, the downs, my bust-out as well as my re-invigoration from a friend who was crushing it. 

I still remember the feeling after I busted the main event. My stomach dropped, I was in a bit of a daze, and all I could feel was sadness. It’s really hard getting knocked out after playing so good for so long, even though I knew going in that busting before the final table was the most likely result, it still hurt. I went to the rail to get some comfort from my buddy Greg Bell who had been on the rail with me since day 2, it was really nice to have support. He asked me if I wanted to go sweat luckychewy and Gregy since their tables were both close to the rail. I walked over to wish them good luck but then I the feelings crept up, I couldn’t be around the Rio anymore, I needed to get away for a little bit.

It’s important to de-stress after a long week’s work. Emotions are all over the place, and you have to do whatever it takes to centre yourself. Yeah it sucks busting the main event, it really fuckin' sucks, but there’s always next year and there’s always another tournament. Fortunately I still had some friend’s whose dreams were alive and kicking and I wanted to do my best to help them make it to the end.

We got a call around 6pm that Gregy lost a massive pot before dinner break leaving him with 3 big blinds and that chewy got knocked out on a sick cooler. Looked like we were gonna have to book those flights home early. Almost everyone else had already left the house, it felt eerie, it’s like those scenes at the end of Real World where nobody can believe that the experience is actually over. Greg and I had some beers, relaxed and enjoyed the Vegas heat as it was quite possibly going to be our last night there. It had been a fun summer, I came out vegas a winner and I had learned so much from so many great people, it had showed in my play. An hour passed from dinner, two, three…it was strange that gregy hadn’t come home yet. Around midnight he strolled through the door “4.4 million guys, going into day 6, we need it boys!”

The words were music to my ears, I couldn’t think of a sweeter sound. Thank god we hadn’t booked flights home yet. The dream was still alive and we were gonna be in vegas to live it!

Greg went with gregy to start the day, I told him we’d be there shortly. Around 2pm Tony Gregg picked me up from the house and we were on our way to the Rio where we met up with C-Lo and some of the other poker players. The atmosphere was crazy. There were only 5 tables left, Gregy was on the feature table, and a few of my buddies also had other friend’s still in the running. First stop, the beer stand.

We got a couple of rounds and made our way to our seats. Gregy came over to give us a high five, and we gave him some words of encouragement. Needless to say he played great, building his stack up to 6 million and change without getting into many showdowns at all. It was a master class in poker, we figured he was just getting hit with the deck, but he wasn’t, he was just outplaying opponents left right and centre. There was a certain aura about him, despite how much money they were playing for, it didnt seem to phase him whatsoever. Everyone else was feeling the pinch of the stakes rising and that was playing to Gregy’s advantage, heavily.

We met some of the members of Team Betfair there. They were rooting for Lizzy Hillie who was also on the feature table with Gregy. We promised to cheer for them as long as the pot wasn’t heads up between our runners. They were all extremely friendly and we had a great time drinking beers, doing shots and just loving the moment, sharing the pleasure that our friend’s in the tournament were feeling. Things got a little awkward the next day when they were going to war a fair bit, but you guy’s know the rule ‘bros before hoes’, we wouldn’t sell out on Gregy for some pretty face norwegian gal. Having more players to cheer for is always fun, and it helped us bond with some great new friends who I’ll hopefully run into sometime on the tour. It’s so rare to have a friend go deep in a big event, and even rarer for them to be sitting with comfortable chips, its one of the most exhilirating feelings I’ve experienced, and I’m so happy that I made the decision to go rail, rather than moping around the house depressed about my own misfortune in the Main Event.

When the day wrapped up, we were all pretty exhausted, Tony, C-Lo, Greg and I had probably gone thru about 50 drinks between the four of us and Gregy had been playing poker for near 72 hours this week. We were down to 3 tables and the chances of making an epic run were still very, very real. We went out for some pho (vietnamese noodle soup, best soup ever) with the crew, but Gregy and I dipped early, the kid needed to get some sleep, and I wanted to have a chance to chill with him before the big day tomorrow. Normally I try to take it easy after a hard night’s drinking, but we had something more important planned, the biggest support group and the loudest day 7 rail the WSOP had ever witnessed. It’s amazing how much of an impact a strong rail can have during a tournament, for the 6-max Final table Gregy had by far the loudest rail (after the British player got eliminated) and look what happened there! We had all the ingredients we needed, about 15 loud dudes, hot chicks, lots of booze, and most importantly the best player left in the tournament to root for.

Photo Credit: Ross Elliott | Flickr