Confessions of a Poker Writer: The Millionaire Maker (Part Two)

TAGs: jackie glazier, Lee Davy, Millionaire Maker, Writer Confessions, WSOP 2014

Confessions of a Poker Writer: The Millionaire Maker (Part Two)Lee Davy continues his confessions series with the second part of his Millionaire Maker story.

Please make sure you read Part One of this Two Part story or else you want have a clue what I’m talking about!

I look down at a pair of kings. I open for 75, with blinds at 25/25, and I get two callers. The flop is ace high, I bet 150 and the player in position calls. The turn is the [8c], I check, he bets and I fold.

“Of course there is an ace on the flop.” I tell myself, “There’s always an ace on the flop.”

There I go again.

The self-defeating talk.

“The money will come; the cards will come. The money will come; the cards will come.” I mimic in my mind.

Then I get my first real test of the day.

A young kid, wearing a baseball cap and grimace, opens from early position with blinds at 25/50, and I call with pocket tens in mid-position and there is a second caller behind me.

The flop is 832 (2 x hearts), he bets 225, I call and the second flatter folds. The turn is the [7d] and he bets 525 and I once again make the call. Then the river is the [Kd] and like a metronome he bets 875. I tank for quite a while, figure things out, end up thinking he is full of shit, and make the call. He shows pocket sixes and I pick up a nice pot.

Jackie Glazier joins the table.

I look at her with these, ‘do you remember me?’ eyes and she looks at me with these ‘who the fuck are you’ eyes.

After a few orbits I decide to introduce myself to her, and suddenly she remembers me. It must be the hair. She’s really nice and I interview her at the break. The Talker, who is still astounded that I have never had tea with the Queen, asks her if she is famous.

“No,” she replies.

I am flying.

I have a decent chip stack, the table is pretty good and I feel good. Then I go and cock it up and make a mistake.

I open [Ah] [Jh] from UTG+1 and guy to my left calls, as does the button. The flop is [Jd] [9c] [5c]; I bet 225 and they both call. The turn is the [7h] and I bet once more; this time for 525, and only The Talker makes the call. The river is the [Jd] and I bet 1,100; he makes it 3,300 and I call.

He shows me pocket nines for the full house, and I have 2,500 left and egg on my face.

The blinds are still 25/50 so I have plenty of room to play cards, and I do that to end the level with 4,450.

At the break it’s the Vanessa Selbst bracelet ceremony. She is standing on the spot that I have been visualizing standing on all morning. I don’t have much time for bracelet ceremonies, unless they are British, but I was looking forward to this one. If I have a favorite poker player then I guess Selbst is the one for me.

The Talker disagreed.

“Get her off!’

“This isn’t the Oscars!”

A few more voices of dissent are brave enough to join in.

The Talker starts booing and I’m glad when the whole thing is over, because if it would have carried on a bit longer I would have had to say something to him.

When the action resumes he tells me that he is going to get a photo done with Jay Farber and Scotty Nguyen. He also wants to take a photo of Phil Hellmuth and Jennifer Tilly’s breasts.

“So who have you snapped so far?” I ask trying my best not to appear rude.

“I have a great shot of me with Daniel Negreanu.”

He starts thumbing his pictures and shows me a photo of Daniel Negreanu playing cards, and The Talker being snapped a million miles away, with his thumbs up, on the rail


“The only person who has blown me off is Matusow. I asked him for a photo and he said no. He was a real dick about it as well.”

Jackie Glazier opens off a short stack. I look down and see AJo, in position, I three-bet and she folds.

I open with KJo and get four callers. The flop is Q73r and it checks around to the turn and we see the [Tc]. The big blind leads for 900, and with two people to act behind me I pop it up to 2,100 and take down the pot.

The blinds are 100/200 a100 and I have 14.3k.

There is an all-in for 3,750 and I call with eights and lose. I end the level with 9k.

I start to get really tired. I’m not really getting any cards and my stack has dropped to that zone where I can’t really open any hands. The Talker is out, the baseball cap wearing kid with the grimace is also out, and so is Jackie Glazier.

I finish Day One with 10,100 chips and I am really proud of myself. It’s my fourth WSOP event, and the first time I have made a Day 2.

Liza picks me up and gives me a big kiss and a hug. She is so supportive of me. I know she doesn’t really like it when I play poker, and would much prefer I earned my money a different way, but she knows it’s important to me and throws her full weight of support behind me which is important.

I go home and spend some time looking at some shove/fold charts. I am going to be starting with 13bb and it’s all-in or fold.

When I get to my seat I am really happy to see Athanasios Polychronopoulos at my table. A lot of these poker players become your friends, over time, and I certainly count Athanasios as that.

I was also excited to watch him play. Sitting at the table through every hand is so different than reporting on the occasional hand. He is a two-time WSOP bracelet winner and knows how to get through huge fields.

I don’t know how he does it?

But things didn’t go well for Athanasios. He lost a succession of pots to end up extremely short and there was no way I thought he was going to survive. Two days later and he was still deep in the money with over half a million chips.

I still don’t know how he does it?

I get a walk in my first hand and that feels great.

Then an old guy, with a huge stack, sits on my left. We get chatting and he tells me that he has been running white-hot.

“I can’t lose a hand,” he says.

His name is Larry, and he comes out here every year to play a few tournaments and cash games. He is on his own, but his wife is coming out in a few days, and is bringing her father.

“It’s his first time in Vegas.” He tells me.

I pick up J9o in the small blind and look down at my 8.5k and move all-in. I’m not happy when Larry makes the call. He turns over KQo and I flop a nine to double up. Athanasios throws me a happy wink from across the table and I feel confident.

At this point I am not giving much thought to the money. I am stranded in the Pavilion and our clock has just been given to the Daily Deepstack. I have no idea how long we have left, how many are left in or how many get paid?

The blinds are now 500/1000. I pick up AQo in mid-position and move all-in – everyone folds. Then there is a raise from early position and I move all-in from the next seat holding AKo and he folds.

I continue talking to Larry. He seems like a lovely bloke. Someone who just plays for fun. Nothing too serious. He tells me to watch Mystere and not O, and then I look down and see [Ah] [Jh].

I open and Larry calls behind. The two of us head to a flop and I like what I see. It’s king high with two hearts. For a fleeting moment I thought it was a jack, but this board is still good enough for me. I decide to check-shove believing I am going to take it down a large percentage of the time.

I check, he bets and I move all-in.

“I can’t see how I can fold this.” Says Larry.

Now I want him to fold.

“Fold…fold…fold…fold…fold.” I mutter in my head, over and over again.

“I call.”

I throw my cards on the table and Larry does likewise. He has KQo for top pair and I need an ace or a heart. I stay in my seat. I know the cards are coming for me.

“The money is coming; the cards are coming. The money is coming; the cards are coming.” I say in my head, over and over again.


And then


And just like that – I’m out.

I collect my things, Larry gives me an apology and Athanasios stands up to give me a hug.

Athanasios would go on to cash for $8,830, and Larry would pick up $50,614 for a 19th place finish.

At least my chips went to a good cause.

I wander back to the media room, send a text Liza to tell her the bad news.

“You did great honey.” Came the reply.

I open my laptop and send Facebook messages to people who have backed me. I start to feel like shit for the first time. I really wanted to win them some money for having faith in me. It was important to me.

I look up at the clock and see that I have busted somewhere between 950 and 900th place. I can also see that 819 players are going to get paid. Man I was close.

I decide to write a few articles.

After 30-minutes has passed I hear a huge roar.

“Congratulations! You are all in the money!”

Negative thoughts flood my mind.

I close my eyes.

Take a deep breath…and type.


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