I started to catch the World Poker Tour on TV in appx 2006-2007. Then one day while going out to eat with the family I saw an ad on the door to the bar of the restaurant that would change my world. ” win a seat to the World Series of Poker. Freerolls every Wed.” I thought , ” I can do this. “
I got my hand on every poker book I could find, I bought a deck of cards and practiced hands. I showed up to the freerolls and consistently finished top 10 if not winning every night.
For the big freeroll to win an all expenses paid trip to Seattle to play a freeroll where the winner won seat at the wsop main event, I was a no show, family vacation time. I realized I was either going to have to choose poker or my family. I chose the latter. An acquaintance of mine won the trip to Seattle. He went deep at that freeroll of over 1,000 but someone else got the paid seat to the wsop main event.
Poker grew in the area & clubs started to offer real cash tournaments and cash games. It became a ritual for me to have a night out Thursday nights, let off some steam, relax and take down some prize money once in a while.
I have some awesome memories, crazy hands , crazy characters & juicy pots. We used to self deal, then within the last year we got dealers in, this is eventually what did the club in. The state gaming commission got a complaint about tipping the dealers. ( not sure who or why they complained but I guess its against state regulations ). Then there was another complaint about cash on the table made to the state ( again against state regulations)
Anyway, the club has some other events and the state said to stop the poker or shut down the whole club operations ( so much for a free country )
I probably won half a dozen tournaments plus over the course of the years playing sporadically there. My best cash was in a quarterly where I chopped 1st & 2nd place with another player. ( quarterlies had $60 dollar buy in’s , 80 plus players ). I also won a paid entry into a Heartland Poker Tour satellite which the guy I rode to the tournament with won 1 of the 2 seats into the tournament from the satellite entry he and I won.
Tonight we freerolled. For every $100 buy in you had in the last 2 months in the cash games you got 1000 in chips. Some players had 1,000 and top player had 53,000. I had 15,000 in chips. We had 8 tables tonight.
I didn’t go out strong with a win. I was holding my own , I got moved to another table ,& had about 37,000 in chips. First hand at the new table I have A 10 diamonds,I raised. 1caller. Flop comes A 10 J, i go all in , dude calls, has me covered, he has A K . dud on turn, river queen for his straight.
As I sat in my car tonight while the rest of the players played i realized the dream of the big money, name in lights is over. Yes, the dream is over. However, I look back at the experiences, personalities and cards that came at that club. We had a unique setup, I wouldn’t have changed it & I have no regrets.
Yes, the dream is over. In my life I have my family to tend to, I made my decision 8 years ago which would come first. However, you may be at a point in your life where you can follow your dream to take down the big one. If you have that opportunity & desire I ask you to go for it. Take it down for those of us in the mighty midwest who started out with a dream to take down the big one & life just happened along the way.