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Lori Ray

Nickname: Evil Ewok

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Location: Colorado Springs, Co.

Email: Lori.L.Ray@comcast.net


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Work Hard / Play Hard. Living the Dream.

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The WSOP Experience

Submitted On: 01/22/2017

I cannot even remember when I joined the PPPG.It seems a lifetime ago. So many things have changed.The season-ending pilgrimage to Vegas each year, though – has remained the highlight of each year. Thanks to the efforts of the organizers of this group - Gary, Tara, Greg, Ken & Dee' - it is ever-changing - and always interesting.

I have played at an 'official' event only twice - once, during the inaugural season, when the founder handed me a $500 chip from his winnings, then several years later, when I won First place in the league. It was very nerve-wracking to be playing with 'the league's money'. To say they were intimidating experiences in an understatement. But, they were also eye-opening and illuminating learning experiences.

Both of the events I played were $550 events. The field was huge in each case. To appear at a single table - which is one of over a hundred tables - all playing toward the illustrious goal of qualifying for the $10,000 event - impresses upon the individual that you are one of thousands - all vying for the Holy Grail - a ticket to the big tournament.

I was also amazed at the variety of play. Despite having spent over $500 to play poker - some folks were playing so aggressive and loose that they might as well have chanted: 'Go Big or Go Home'. I wish I had exhibited that kind of confidence when I played.

Alas - I played my usual style - tight and conservative - waiting for an opportunity to strike the unsuspecting. When you play in this manner, some folks assume that every time you do finally play, you have a mighty hand. Not always so. However, with the wild & crazy loose players at the table, you never know when they will actually have a hand. They never hesitate to jump into any hand - with any two cards.

Watching people, learning their patterns & 'tells' becomes the focus. The guy that always raises on the dealer button. The lady that suddenly stops chatting when she has a hand. The guy with the headphones, sunglasses and hat - thinks that by hiding & acting aloof - that we won't notice that his hand shakes when he has a strong hand. The kid who is bragging about being a professional online player is quick to go all-in with his tiny pocket pair again. And then there's the guy who's trying to get in my head - by raising my big blind four times in a row. I'm doing my best to just smile & fold, smile & fold. Inwardly, I am wishing for a HUGE hand on my blind.

The play is very different in Vegas than playing at other venues. People come here from all over the world. The experiences that brought them to this moment - color every decision that they make - right here, right now. Is that air of confidence - due to the cards in your hand, or your success from a different tournament? Is it just false bravado to cover how you really feel? Do you really have something better hand than my pocket kings?

In the end, I finished 'out of the money'. But - I walked away with an experience of a lifetime. It was fun. I learned from it, and I'll do it again.

The losers lounge is either the pool at the Rio - where one can commiserate with fellow league players - or the Bellagio Fountains. At any rate - even when you lose in Vegas - you win. You still get to experience the sights, sounds & tastes of this enormous playground for adults. Every time I go - it is a different experience. Besides the poker, there are just too many things to see & do - to get it all in one trip. Thank you, PPPG, for introducing me to experiences I would not have otherwise encountered. I am eternally grateful.

Submitted On: 09/18/2007
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