Back from break I’m at table #321 for a few hands when I see a floor person busting out the racks – ANOTHER ETERNAL MOVE…

JF Damn ItBut then I pretended like I’m Kate Winslet and the table is Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and erase it from my memory. That makes the move a little easier.

Who Runs the World?

Twenty minutes later I sit down at table #78 and I realize I’m sandwiched between 2 other fierce women (what are the chances?)…

Destiny Strut

Except I’m not Beyoncé in this female trifecta.  No, that role falls to the older white woman on my right who has a mini-skyscraper for a chipstack.


Jessica Wellman is on my left with a lil’ Michelle Williams stack. And I’m Kelly Rowland with a just below average stack, tryin’a get something started and take some chips from Beyoncé but it’s just not happening for me.  Here’s the kicker – Beyonce goes on her phone to look at her My Stack app then conveniently quips, “Pokernews says I’m the chipleader of the tournament!”   Perfection (at least she’s on my right)…needless to say the next few levels are uneventful, a rehash of my first table – card dead redux.

The best hand I have is  AdKc

in early position. And when I raise, everyone knows it and it’s like there’s this collective, “HEY, welcome to the table!”


I watch my stack dwindle before me until the end of Level 9 when I get desperate (knowing the blinds are about to go to 400/800/100 ante) and find a playable, but not great, hand. With less than 7 big blinds, I shove on the button with…


and get called by the Big Blind, who has two of my 9s. And just like that, my friends, I’m out. I work my way out of the Brasilia room looking back at the tournament clock yearningly and sit outside on the floor in the hallway getting the shoulda-coulda-woulda’s out of my system…

“Just 2 more levels and I’d have made it to Day 2…”

“9-10dd, really? I could’ve just min raised and folded instead of shoving…”

“I should’ve just folded and waited for a better hand…”

“WHY didn’t I just HOLD ON??”

Hold On

After that I hang around, have dinner, and root my girl 888 Poker Pro Jessica Dawley on (one of my other Epic Poker Training coaches). She’s on her fourth bullet of the last Colossus flight and has played morning and night for two days in a row. I’m nicknaming her Jessica “Da’ Machine” Dawley – former military woman, deployed to warzones in Iraq and Afghanistan, now grinding another sixteen-plus-hour day. I rail her for a bit and give her some good juju as Loni Harwood walks over to chat with her.

As they have their exchange I wonder what it must be like to be these super women in poker, travelling the circuit from one place to another just playing freakin’ poker. I want to ask Loni a million questions, but I look at her and go blank…and “I’m a big fan” flies out of my mouth. Well that just triggers one of my more outgoing and boisterous alter egos to rip into me:  FRIGGIN’ GREAT!! Scintillating shit, Shakespeare! “I’m a big fan”?!?  Where are your Barbara Walters questions that you’ve been sittin’ on cuz you don’t have enough characters on Twitter waiting for a day like this right here?!? Seriously?!

I ignore the yelling voice inside my head to make small talk, say goodnight to Jessica, and tell Loni it was great meeting– Yeah, why don’t you write “WELCOME TO CLICHEVILLE: IN YOUR MOUTH” !?!?!

Sigh…I go back to my hotel and figure all the good players are at the Rio and decide to lose a cash game session thanks to one big runner-runner-cooler-hand at 3am. MOUTH AND BRAIN NOT WORKING…CALL IT A NIGHT, EINSTEIN.

I give in to the voice since I’m still jetlagged and go to bed. The next day I take the day off from poker to hike with friends and to reflect on my play. Of course, it’s the day after that you see the light. I realize there were spots at that last table that I could’ve taken that I didn’t against some players like Throat Clearing Kid…I named this youngish-looking guy that because it wasn’t like a tell, he just cleared his throat sporadically all the time…

TCK was two to my right and one to Beyoncé’s right. He liked raising tons in the hijack, on my button (I think it’s because he thought he had the three women at the table stacked on his left, but I’ll leave the man vs. woman table dynamic for another blog). And I know he didn’t have much a lot of times because he’d get to showdown sometimes and WOOSH — I’d get hit by the gust of wind that were his cards.  I recognized he was taking way too many shots like that from the hijack position and every time he did, the little 3bet Kill Bill ninja O-Ren Ishii with the great instincts from Volume 1 inside of me would flip a switch…


But I didn’t listen.  Instead, I sat there intimidated by the moment, getting caught up in the ominousness and idea of Colossus as I was actually sitting there…playing at Colossus. I had broken my rule of being present. Later, I posted two of my hands on @ShareMyPair (from Part 1  of this blog) and Natasha Barbour, Hard Rock Tampa Poker Ambassador and my go-to Epic Poker Training coach for live tournament hand analysis who has been tremendously helpful, gave me great advice on the hand against Joker that made me think, “and that’s why I’m still an amateur…” (here they are again for confirmation — Hand 1 and Hand 2)

Even after all of the hand analysis and reflecting back it was hard to not be upset about not making a deep run. No matter how much I told myself, “but I made it to Level 9, almost the end of the day!!” it wasn’t enough. My one bullet wasn’t enough, but hey Jessica made it in the money on bullet #4 (congrats Jess)!!!

Variance had officially welcomed me to Vegas.   My visualizations as victor — the one with the gargantuan stack, the pile of hundred dollar bricks, and the bracelet — had failed me. Alas, it was not to be, but at least someone who could easily be my brother took it down!

EV 05 Bracelet Winner_Cord Garcia
EV 05 Bracelet Winner_Cord Garcia

And to Variance I say in the words of Lil’ Wayne, who so eloquently uttered this in Jennifer Lopez’s hit “I’m Into You” from the Love? Album:

“Every finish line is the beginning of a new race, haaa…”

Until the next tournament!


Photo Credits:

Cord Garcia, 2015 Colossus Champion:  http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-news/18878-cord-garcia-wins-world-series-of-poker-colossus-event-for-638-880

Gifs:  Gify.com



  1. Absolutely Eloquent! I have been in Casino Business for 21 years as a Craps dealer, You obviously are quite versed in the language of that world! I have been playing poker for 15 years and it really gave me a rush to read this. To think we most likely met at a bush party! I do have to wonder if we may have ever been at same table together while I was working at Caesar’s Palace and Venetian during 2005-2008. I also opened the Hard Rock Hollywood and am currently in West Palm Beach. WARRIOR LOVE JANICE!!!!! See ya at the tables sometime I hope!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sven! Thanks so much for the love, so happy you got a rush haha! If I could put a gif here for you I would. I don’t think I ever played at Caesar’s or Venetian during that time. I mostly played at Harrah’s, MGM, Rio and the seedier places like Excalibur, Luxor, & Sahara (now SLS).
      Hope to definitely see you at the tables, if you see me please be sure to say hi!


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