Dr. Tape here. I just got back from the 2011 World Series of Poker main Eveent. The Main Event is the largest poker tournament on Earth. This year there were ove 6800 entrants and I was soooo very lucky to be a part of it. The atmosphere was electric, the camaraderie was infectious. Waves of excitement coursed through the room. Even though I won't be the champ this year I had a marvelous time and I need to go back (not want to, need to).
I got to meet top pros like Mike Caro, Mike Matusow, Eric Seidel and Phil Gordon. Bill Gazes was at my table on Day 1. They couldn't have been nicer and they were eager to take a picture or answer a question. I took a seminar with Phil Gordon on thought process that got me as far into the tournament as I did. Unfortunately two bad beats knocked me out.
There was plenty of human drama throughout. At my table was Ivan from San Diego whose wife had just given birth 2 days before and she MADE HIM GO PLAY POKER!!! My kind of woman. There was Illya the Russian guy who invited me out to Sedona. There was Paul Pritchett who made a hole-in-one in a charity golf tournament to win a seat in the Main Event.
The most moving were a trio of guys from Lafayette, IN. Dave won a seat at an American Legion Hall poker tournament and promptly gave it to his friend Mike who is confined to a wheelchair. Dave and another fellow named Mike act as assistants to Mike as allowed under the rules. I got to meet these guys and it was truly inspirational talking to them.
I also noticed that a very large percentage of the guys at the Main Event also played golf. Coincidence? Maybe not. Card rooms at country clubs were the home of high stakes gin games for many years. The move to poker is only natural.
Golfers tend to be pretty nice guys. The game of golf, while very competitive, is played to a high standard of sportmanship. This seems to have carried over to poker. While everyone wanted to win everyone exhibited tremendous control and courtesy. Both games teach life lessons about winning and losing, recovery from a bad situations and how to finish the job.
Dr. Tape feels that if more people played golf and poker the world would be a much better place. People would get out of the house, meet some nice people and promote good manners throughout society. Is this so bad? I don't think so. So come on world, start playing now.