About two weeks ago I was walking through Commerce during the Heavenly Hold Ďem series when Jerry Yang approached me. I met Jerry on day 5 of the main event last year when he was at my table, on a hand where he was all in for his tournament life.
I hadnít been playing at the table for very long as it was towards the beginning of the day, but for the hour or so that I had been playing, I didnít take much notice of this soft-spoken, mild-mannered man dressed sharply in a suit and dark shades. I had raised in early position, got re-raised by someone behind me, and Jerry shoved from the big blind. I folded, the guy behind me called, and I watched the hand unfold and wondered quietly where this aggressive play was coming from as I had not witnessed it from him prior to this hand. Jerry doubled up through this guy on the hand, and for the next two to three hours we played at the same table, he began to accumulate a large stack of chips. He won that hand, and seemingly never looked back. He was gracious when he won, composed in defeat, and when they finally broke our table, he was cordial and wished everyone luck. At this point there were probably 100 or so players left, Jerry then went on to win the whole shebang, as you all know.
Although Jerry has been fairly quiet since his win, my interaction with him has reflected nothing but a genuine, positive, and gracious person. So when Jerry approached me two weeks ago to tell me about a tournament series he was hosting at his home casino, Lake Elsinore, I wanted to try to make it out. The main event was Saturday the 24th, and the buy in was $1,000. I wanted to make an effort to show my support for the reigning WSOP Champ, and that is exactly what I did. The drive was obv a bit longer than I would like, but I found Lake Elsinore Casino to be friendly, courteous, and professional. Everyone there was great, and it was nice to see how proud they were of Jerry and his accomplishments. I didnít do so well in the tourney, but I am really glad I was able to show my support. Whether or not you think Jerry is a great player or not, will always remain a subjective opinion. I believe Jerry Yang is a great person, and has been a great ambassador for the game during his tenure as WSOP Champ.
On another note, I am so incredibly obsessed with the NBA Playoffs right now. Call me a fair weather fan damnit, but I havenít been this excited about basketball since the last time Lakers went to the Western Conference. We are sooo back, I can feel it. However, this little obsession has turned into my first little foray into the horrible, cruel, complicated world of sports betting. Needless to say I am down a little between betting on both the Western Conf. and the East. So far my biggest win has been from betting the Celtics money line in Game 3. That was an awesome win and super fun game to sweat. Just say no, people! Game 4 of Lakers vs. Spurs today, got a little wager going, wish me luck, or maybe I need to learn my lesson and rid myself of this nasty little newfound habit sooner than later.
Last but certainly not least, the tragedy of the earthquake that has struck Western China only seems to be getting worse. With two aftershocks above 5.0 after the original quake the death toll is rising to upwards of 70,000 lives. Please take the time to say a quick prayer for them, as well as their families, and everyone who is lending a hand to help assist in this crisis. There are many organizations online that you can make a donation to as every little bit helps.
Oh, one more side note, if you havenít read Bryan Devonshireís blog already, he will be leaving us here at pokerpages. I wish him the best of luck in all of his other endeavors, and I know our friendship will last far beyond his days here. I met Devo because we both blogged for pokerpages back in the day, and I am glad that he has found so much success in poker since then.
I will be headed to Vegas for the first event of the WSOP this Thursday and I will be blogging about every tourney I play as well as have fun anecdotes to share with you all. Stay tuned! =)
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