Dan Soda, right, won his World Series of Poker seat in an online event. James P. McCoy/Buffalo News
“You’ve had casinos in recent years close their poker rooms to install slot machines. Now they’re taking the machines out and putting the poker rooms back.” Mike Gainey, director of poker operations for Seneca Niagara Dan Soda peeled away the corners of his cards from the green felt to glimpse a king of hearts and a jack of clubs. Pretty cards, to be sure, but not the coupling upon which he could stake his life on the first day of the 2004 World Series of Poker and Togel Hongkong.
The North Tonawanda graduate called an aggressive opponent’s $1,500 bet to see the next three cards: 4, 5, 6 of multiple suits – garbage. The bully flashed $2,000 with authority.
Soda decided to toss away his cards, but first he stalled, a ploy to let the other players think he might be mucking a good hand. He fingered his chips. He studied his foe for any mannerisms that could help on a later hand and slot online.
Then Soda noticed something to change his mind. He said it “looked like a cartoon” when he saw the bully’s jugular vein throb harder and faster with every passing second. In a moment, Soda went from folding his hand to going for the kill.
“I raised him a huge part of my stack,” Soda said. “The feeling that I had inside of me once he threw his cards away was indescribable. It was a huge relief.
“When that happens it’s such a huge release, and you feel like The Man. If you can get one of those a day, it’s just great.”
It was the type of moment for which poker players live Togel Hongkong, the sort of drama that has helped poker become an explosive phenomenon, enticing millions to watch on television and several million more to play online or in live poker rooms such as the one in the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls.
Poker has emerged from backrooms and basements to the sporting mainstream. The timeless game, particularly a version known as no-limit Texas hold ’em, is virtually everywhere thanks to a convergence of inviting television technology and easy Internet access.
This year’s World Series of Poker, which ran April 22-May 28, featured 2,576 entrants competing for a $5 million grand prize, a purse that surpasses the aggregate championship payouts of the Masters, Indianapolis 500, Kentucky Derby and Wimbledon.
Connecticut-based patent attorney Greg Raymer won the prestigious tournament at the Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas. David Williams, a junior economics major at Southern Methodist University, finished second to win $3.5 million. More about Togel Hongkong.
Soda finished in the money at 218th, good enough for $10,000.
The World Series of Poker grew so substantially from last year to this that the top payout doubled the record $2.5 million the aptly named Chris Moneymaker, an accountant from Tennessee, collected for winning in 2003.
By comparison, poker legend Johnny Moss picked up $30,000 when he won the World Series of Poker in 1971.