Home Poker Diary of a Professional Poker Player: Meet the Ambassadors

Diary of a Professional Poker Player: Meet the Ambassadors

by Paul Hewson
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Nikki Limo

Paul Hewson was joined by some famous poker names this past week at WPT Montreal – and the chips were flying across the table. Let’s take a look at his progress and check out what strategies could be useful at top-rated online poker rooms.


Monday, May 13

Time for Event No. 4 of WPT Montreal: the $300 No Limit Hold’em tournament. It’s not exactly the WSOP Main Event, and if making money were my only concern, I’d be at the cash tables instead.

Again, assuming perhaps modestly (perhaps, who’s to say really) that I’m a decent poker player, I expect to make about 20% back on average for my buy-in and entry fees, so that’s… let’s see, carry the one… $60. For something that will take several hours to complete if I’m lucky. But never mind all that – I’m in it to win it. Ganbatte!

I didn’t win it. Just like the Bounty tournament, I made another deep run into the Top 40, but this time, I needed to “suck out” on the river just to make it this far – twice. Once was with AQ versus KK, where I flopped and rivered a Queen; the other was AK versus AQ, where my opponent had flopped a Queen. Wish I could have saved some of that luck for a more opportune moment.

Tuesday, May 14

Crazy times, my friends. I started the day by playing the “Meet-Up Game” at the cash tables, featuring the global ambassadors and friends of the World Poker Tour.

There were two separate games, one at $1/$3 and the other at $2/$5. I signed up for both, but I only played $1/$3 because I’m on a shoestring budget at this point. Never gamble with money you can’t afford to lose – and yes, poker is gambling, even if skill accounts for maybe 70% of this game.

The ambassadors rotated in and out of the different tables, so everyone got to play with everyone if they stuck around long enough. I had to bail after four hours for a tournament, but I did get to play with the following luminaries:

  • Nikki Limo
  • Conrad Simpson
  • Brad Owen
  • Matt Savage
  • Patrick Tardif

Vince Van Patten, Tony Dunst, Jon Van Fleet and Xuan Liu were there as well.

These games were a poker player’s dream; there were “splash pots” with tournament tickets and swag bags thrown in, and both Conrad and Patrick were regularly going all-in blind to keep the action flowing.

It would have been a lot more fun for Yours Truly if I hadn’t lost $300, mind you. I got felted jamming 66 and top set on a wet 654 board when my opponent rivered a flush. Then I missed a splash pot while I was busy reloading. If that weren’t bad enough, I was probably caught on camera stuffing my face with turkey sandwiches. Never be seen eating on television.

So I dusted myself off and headed back to the festival tent for a $180 satellite into the WPT Prime event. These are “Milestone” satellites, meaning you instantly win your seat once you accumulate a certain number of chips. At that point, you and your chips are removed from play. You can also make it in the old-fashioned way by surviving long enough.

There’s not much difference in strategy between Milestone and regular satellites. Things get somewhat interesting when you get close to the target number of chips; there’s no point in risking too much of your stack at this juncture, so you might want to tighten up – and conversely, if you have fewer chips, relentlessly attack your opponents who are on the verge of qualifying.

Neither scenario came into play for me. I was card-dead nearly the whole time, folding my way through six levels until I re-shipped AKs and lost a flip to 66. Zee pokere, she iz a cruelle mistresse.

Wednesday, May 15

Plan A was to enter tonight’s $400 satellite at 6 PM for Le Grand Orange, the WPT Montreal Championship. However, I got waylaid with work, and I’m still waiting for one of my clients (not this one) to pay me for April. So no cash games today; we’ll try again for tomorrow’s satty. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

Didn’t mean to leave you on such a cliffhanger. Will I win my seat into the main event? Will I then crush the field and take home life-changing money? You’ll have to tune in next week to find out – although the only conceivable answer to me is yes, of course I’m going to win every single tournament I enter from here on in.

So it is written; so shall it be done.

author avatar
Paul Hewson
Paul Hewson (not that one) is a poker player/writer from the Pacific Northwest, appearing on the World Poker Tour, MILLIONS Tour and the WSOP Circuit series. Hewson is the senior writer for the Bodog Poker family; Texas Hold’em is his specialty, with side hustles in 8-Game and Badugi. He’s an Abe Limon Guy.

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