Two fun poker stories
Where is the weirdest place you’ve played poker? I have multi-tabled my Sunday session in the empty bathtub of a London hotel. I once played poker whilst taking off, shoving every hand desperately as my plane sped down the runway, fortunately winning the heads-up before I lost my 4G signal.
Jamie Kerstetter won a WSOP circuit ring from the ladies’ bathroom
In 2020, Ryan DePaulo famously won a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in the parking lot of a Whole Foods store. Adding herself to the annals of weird poker victors, two nights ago, Jamie Kerstetter won a WSOP circuit ring from the ladies’ bathroom of The Wynn Hotel. As toilets go, it’s pretty plush, but she was playing on her phone just for the record. The WSOP has put us in a bowling alley, but they still draw the line before putting us in ‘the john.’
Meanwhile, across the hall in the Wynn, there was a poker tournament taking place. The Wynn was hosting a $1600 buy-in Mystery Bounty as part of its Millions festival, and one Irishman was particularly glad he made the trip. He might have only finished in 85th position in the tournament, but Padraig O’Neill scooped the big one when he pulled the $100,000 envelope from the drum.
The poker world is a serious place with serious sums of money being redistributed on a daily basis. It can be a dog-eat-dog and sometimes cut-throat world but, occasionally, it dishes up some fun stories. This is one of those occasions.
Kerstetter does a number one
One of the most popular people in the poker community, WSOP commentator and Twitter-pro Jamie Kerstetter, capped off a successful fortnight in the strangest of ways. Last week, she held on to her title as the GPI Global Poker Awards ‘Twit of the Year.’ This week, she won her first WSOP circuit ring from the comfort of… the ladies’ toilet.
Event #9 of the WSOP Circuit Online guaranteed $100,000 and drew a total field of 246 entrants. When the dust settled, just Jamie ‘DanBilzerian’ Kerstetter remained, having face-kicked and balcony-thrown her competition over seven hours of play.
She had been multi-tabling, playing on WSOP.com on her phone whilst also playing the ‘Wynn Mystery’ Bounty. After busting the latter, she sat in a cafe contemplating whether or not to re-buy when suddenly she spun up a chip-lead stack in the Circuit Event. Needless to say, from there it received her full attention.
Kerstetter celebrated with her dog Neutron
VegasSlotsOnline News reached out to Kerstetter for more details on the unusual circumstances behind her win. “I’m not gonna do your homework for you, Lappin,” snapped Kerstetter. “Ask me some specific questions.”
The following dialogue ensued.
VSO News: “Fine then. How much time did you spend in the toilet.”
Jamie: “I was in the hand washing area, not actually on the shitter! (LOL)”
VSO News: “This is on the record so I’m quoting you on that.”
I needed a wall outlet somewhere quiet”
Jamie: “You’re the worst. Anyway, during the final table, my phone got really low on battery so I needed a wall outlet somewhere quiet so that’s where I was when it ended. They say women spend too much time in the restroom. Maybe they’re just grinding online.”
VSO News: “How did you celebrate?”
Jamie: “I went home to my puppy Neutron. He was really happy for me.”
VSO News: “Does this mean he will be getting the posh doggy treats next month?”
Jamie: “He always gets those. This just means I get to eat too.”
At the same time as Kerstetter was showered in glory, hole cards were also being kind to others in the actual poker room of The Wynn.
Konarske and Rambo draw first blood
The Mystery Bounty format is the funnest thing to happen to poker in a long time. Sure, it skews poker more towards gambling but so do a lot of poker formats. There was going to be a Mystery Bounty at the 2020 WSOP but in its absence, the Wynn has successfully popularized the format.
The latest edition was part of the Wynn Millions festival taking place right now. The $1600 event got a whopping 2103 entries with half the prize pool going to the pay-out structure and the other half going to the Mystery Bounty pool.
Konarske bagged $222,000 and Halpern got $200,000
The tag line for the first Rambo movie was “Heroes never die…” This seemed rather apt when Laszlo Nagy was eliminated in third place and Eddy Konarske agreed to chop up the $422,000 left in the prize pool with Rambo Halpern. Konarske bagged $222,000 and Halpern got $200,000,
Despite these fantastic paydays, Padraig O’Neill, an Irish pro who busted in 85th place for $5,000, ended up stealing some of the headlines. The reason?
O’Neill gets cut a huge cheque
Little did O’Neill realize the significance of the moment when he knocked out UK pro Rob Sherwood, calling blind versus blind with Seven-Eight off-suit for 7 big blinds.
I will have to buy Rob dinner when I next see him.”
“There was a delay between opening the envelope and realizing I had binked 100k,” O’Neill told VSO News. “A fair few people have told me that I looked a little underwhelmed. I can assure you that I was very much delighted. I will have to buy Rob dinner when I next see him.”
It is fair to say that the room was buzzing with excitement when Day 2 kicked off and the Mystery Bounties first came into play. There were still 200 players left but everyone was engaged, giving the action their full focus.
“Everyone was calculating if a call or fold would mean covering or not covering short stacks,” O’Neill explained. “Players were sweating small pots between other players far more than usual. I think this concept is here to stay and can see every series having a mystery bounty tournament in the future.”
It’s hard to disagree with O’Neill, a former European Masters of Poker champion who made a big splash in 2021 when he won back-to-back Unibet Open Online Main Events. The purists might not like them, but there is no denying the popularity of the new Mystery Bounty format. In fact, I predict the first online poker site to get market with this game will reap huge rewards.