Yesterday was July 13th, 2010. That's the day I busted out of the World Series of Poker main event. It's also the day I cashed in my very first main event, good for $21,327. Not bad for a guy who hated tournaments and hasn't played No Limit for a living since 2007.
The turning point of my WSOP came midway through Day 4. I had almost 190k chips when a dude dressed in a white cowboy suit covered with green shamrocks came to the rail.
"Rub the clover for luck!" his wife suggested.
"They ain't clovers, they shamrocks," he retorted.
"No thanks, I've got my Buddha right here," I said as I lifted my little Buddha card protector. "Today's backwards St. Patty's Day, anyway." I muttered something about the luck of the Irish, world history, and irony before I looked down to see two black aces. I raised and got one caller, yielding a stack-to-pot ratio of about thirteen.
Thirteen. The number holds special meaning to a lot of people. Triskaidekaphobia in this country is so strong that I haven't seen a Vegas hotel with a thirteenth floor. When we're talking about stack-to-pot ratios in No Limit Holdem, aces can be said to have triskaidekaphobia. I lost about 71k chips on the hand and wound up playing defense for the rest of the tournament. Luck of the Irish.
July 13th was also my aunt's birthday. I say "was" because she died of throat cancer on my friend's 21st birthday in 1999. She may win the award for nicest person I've known in my entire life. Unfortunately, she's not the only family I've lost to cancer, including my father, my uncle, and a bunch of cats.
This year the WSOP has an official charity, preventcancer.org, and suggests donating 1% of our winnings to the fight against cancer. I was sporting the green 1% patch all tournament and gave 1% of my winnings, which only amounts to a couple hundred dollars. But if everyone donates 1%, that will amount to over $680k from the main event alone.
Coincidence and synchronicity often exist where you look for them, but yesterday, it felt like they were looking for me.