BY RUSS SCOTT
RELEASE: JUNE 29, 2010
WSOP Gold Bracelet Truly an Amateur Player’s Dream
When you crunch the numbers, you clearly see the truth behind the first words of most amateur players after winning a World Series of Poker gold bracelet: “This is a dream come true!”
Through the first 43 (out of 57) bracelet tournaments at this year’s WSOP, just eight amateurs prevailed from a total of 47,441 entries. Pros and semipros won the other 35 events.
So it really is a “dream come true” for victorious amateurs. Perhaps, given the odds, you even could call it a “pipe dream” come true.
In the hectic aftermath of every amateur’s victory, even before the accomplishment fully sinks in, each new champ sits down with WSOP media director Nolan Dalla for an official interview. Not surprisingly, the answers glow with joy.
Just for fun, since you also likely have a bracelet dream, try to imagine what your responses would be as you read comments from some of this year’s winning amateurs.
* Jeff Tebben, 39, a medical supplies salesman from Oak Grove, Mo., who won $503,389 against a huge field of 3,289 players in just his third WSOP event:
“This is just surreal. It’s really a dream come true. I can’t believe it.
“I have a home game in Kansas City that Grant Hinkle (a bracelet winner in 2008) has been playing in for a while. It’s just incredible having two people from the same home game to win here.
“I just about have the house paid off. So, that’s going to get taken care of right away. And, I will buy my wife a new car.”
* Vanessa Hellebuyck, 35, a freelance web designer and accomplished pianist from Paris, France, who collected $192,132 and became just the second non-American to win the Ladies Championship:
“I am in the clouds now. This is my first World Series. It means the world to me. I can’t describe it. I don’t know what more I can do now, except maybe win another event that is not the Ladies event.
“I think (my training as a pianist) helps me to concentrate (at the poker table). I do not have a good poker face.
“I left my children back in Paris. So, when I do trips like this, I think I have more pressure than others because I do not want to be away from them. I feel the need to bring something back for them (so that) being away is worth it.”
* Simon Watt, 27, a software developer from Auckland, New Zealand, whose first WSOP cash was worth $614,248 and earned him two distinctions — the spoiler who defeated overwhelming crowd favorite and poker phenom Tom “Durrrr” Dwan, and the first bracelet winner in history from New Zealand:
“I’m not sure yet (what the victory means). It’s very special, obviously. My parents initially were not too keen on my playing poker, especially my mother. This should help.
“It was amazing. It was strange. It would have been crazy enough to just make the final table. But to play against Durrrr heads-up made it much better.”
“It (the carnival atmosphere and cheering for Dwan) did not bother me at all. You just have to concentrate on the hands and try to forget how much money you are playing for.”
* Harold Angle, 78, a retired sales executive from Sun City, Fla., who played his first hand of poker in 1946 and was down to just four $100 chips in the Seniors Championship before staging an amazing rally and winning $487,994:
“I don’t know if I will ever get over this. It’s overwhelming.
“The first two hours of this tournament, I did not win a hand. I had to have patience.
“I’ve really been blessed. I was blessed with family first (a 60-year marriage, three children, 10 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren). This win was great, but they are what matters most.”
E-mail your poker questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit www.creators.com or www.luckydogpoker.com.
COPYRIGHT 2010 RUSS SCOTT
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