Maryland Live and Podcast Pride

I know I haven’t quite finished the WCOOP review here. I got sidetracked by WPT Maryland, and after three long days of playing that (I finished 32nd), WCOOP feels like a distant memory. I’m going to make a series for Tournament Poker Edge with key hands from the WPT, so I probably won’t be posting a lot more about it here.

It was a great experience in a lot of ways, but one that I want to highlight as to do with the Thinking Poker Podcast. One of our goals from the beginning was to showcase a much broader spectrum of perspectives on the poker world than one typically sees in poker media. We wanted to talk not just to famous players but also to recreational players, to “workaday” professionals, and to people who work around poker as dealers, journalists, etc.

It amazed me, when I stopped to think about it, just how many former podcast guests were at Maryland Live for this event. I hate to do this because I’ll probably leave one off, but off the top of my head: Sam Grafton, Olivier Busquet, Elena Stover, Chase Bianchi, Clayton Fletcher, Christian Soto, Matt Berkey, Christian Harder, and Ari Engel all played the tournament. Martin Harris covered the event for the WPT, Joe Giron was taking photographs, Nicole Rejiester was dealing, and of course Matt Savage was there running the show. So not only were there so many former guests there, but they represented so many different facets of the poker world, which made me feel like we’d really done what we set out to do.

Another of out goals – mine, anyway – was to make new friends and compel myself to spend more time interacting socially with more different people, which is the kind of thing that I know is good for me even though I don’t always make time for it.

Christian Soto is a great example of a friend I met because of the podcast, and it was a lot of fun playing with him on Day 2 of the event. We both busted around the same time, with good but not great results, and neither of us felt great about how we’d handled a few key spots. I know I, for one, lost a good deal of sleep thinking about what I could/shove have done differently with AK, and woke up this morning feeling somewhat morose.

Fortunately, Christian made time to record an in-person interview with me before his train back to New Jersey. Laughing and talking through hands with him was exactly the boost that my spirits needed, and an hour and a half later I was in a great mood (though sad to leave him at the train station!). Poker, especially tournament poker, really can be just brutally taxing, and I’ve found the best remedy is to talk about those feelings with someone who knows them himself.

So, on that front as well, mission accomplished. I can’t wait to share our conversation with you on Monday. Thanks Christian!

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