The November Nine are set. They have to wait 111 days to return to play for the nearly $9 million dollar top prize. While we wait, I am left wondering if it's worth it. Over 70,000 entrants from 117 countries put up about $200 million dollars to play for their share of fame and riches at the 2010 WSOP. Under 70 of them won bracelets or get the fame accorded with being part of the November Nine. What percent of the thousands returned home profitable? Is the journey more valuable than the destination?
Hundreds of people supplement the players at the WSOP, whether they are press from around the world or the large Harrah's led crew of dealers, masseuses, tournament staff, food and accommodations people. We each play our part in creating a positive environment for these warriors to battle. We seek to present this quest for fame and riches in the best light. For the poker players, is it their innate desire for competition that brings them back each year? Is it a desire to potentially enrich themselves that motivates them? Can their fame and exposure for their poker careers be achieved in any other concentrated fashion? For those that come for the entire series, is it also about the camaraderie of being with fellow poker friends in such an entertaining city?
To me personally, the most poignant comment overheard this year...
"My wife might even like me then." - a random poker player's comment about winning the Main Event
Any passionate poker player invests a lot of time and resources into a game they love. Certainly, that is time that could be spent elsewhere. They play for various reasons; love of the game, the stimulation of competition, and of course for hopes of profit. Those around them, family and friends, often don't understand or appreciate their efforts. Unless you achieve some big score or visible victory, it is unlikely that they will ever embrace you.
To many people, results are all that matters. Your sweat equity in poker counts for little. So when a PC member recently queried me about how to get their spouse to appreciate them more, I said show them results. Manage your life so they see you have a balance with your poker. Manage your results so that when you profit that they somehow benefit from it. Learn to manage yourself so they can come to embrace your poker journey, even if they remain without any desire to join you in the details of how you get your results.
The WSOP represents the most intense period each year at which a poker player can seek those desired results. I'll see you next year.