Jumping up and down chased by a two year old: "Purkenya" and her TCOOP win
It's not easy looking after a two year old, particularly when you're trying to get them to sleep. It's even harder when you're trying to get them to drop off while deep in a TCOOP event with an eye on a first prize of nearly $22,000. You want to do a good job with the kids an' all, but there comes a point when it's impossible.
In case you were wondering that point is when you win your first TCOOP title and you're jumping up and down for ten straight minutes, with the two year old now giggling, and chasing you around the house.
Welcome to the story of how "Purkenya" won TCOOP Event #21.
"It was amazing, a dream come true. I kept thinking about the theme song 'This is going to be the best day of my life.'"
This is Carol Anne Miller, "Purkenya" on PokerStars (after her favourite coffee). Not for her headphones and an enormous monitor to zone out in front of. Miller's is a more organic approach to the game, with the distractions of everyday life competing for her attention as much as the next to act alert.
"My daughter was sick and I was watching my young granddaughter. She had arrived at my house about an hour into the tourney. I think she is my good luck charm.
That good luck was worth Miller's biggest payday in poker, one that nearly didn't happen at all.
"I played this tourney not realizing it was a re-entry," she said. "I was doing fairly well and then got knocked out in one hand. My friend pugsly1961 was also playing. I sent him a message telling him I died and he sent me a message back asking if I was going to re-enter. I checked that I could and then re-entered. If he hadn't informed me, I wouldn't have been back in the game."
Miller, 53, can rightly claim to have some experience in the game, picking up her first cards 40 years ago.
"I started playing nickel anti stud with friends. I started playing hold'em way before it was the current trend. Not sure when that was...decades ago. "
She's had a few results, good ones that do more than pay the bills (including more than $5,000 in the PokerStars Hot 33 that same day), all of which makes her plan to retire next year even more likely.
Things can happen when you open a PokerStars account, not least winning a TCOOP title. If you don't have a PokerStars account getting one couldn't be easier. Click here to get started.
Now playing means not just poker, but playing with her two granddaughters, both under the age of two. The house is full of the family, which is exactly how she likes it.
"My mom's health has not been good and she recently moved in with me so I could take care of her. She is 86 and I love her to pieces. It is good to have her close and she is doing much better here at my home.
"My oldest daughter moved home from Australia with her husband and young daughter. They have been living in my basement suit while they are getting settled back in Canada. She has lived in Australia for seven years. It is so awesome to have them home now and I have enjoyed developing a wonderful relationship with my granddaughter. We are very close.
Miller raised her own daughter as a single parent, and now enjoys an obvious pleasure of having a large family close by. Some are even poker players, and got to see first-hand the moment when Miller won the last hand and a TCOOP title.
"One of my sons-in-law was also here cheering me on as well as a friend from work I was conversing with on Facebook. I was so excited when I won. I just started yelling and jumping up and down...for like ten minutes."
Which brings the story back around to Miller's granddaughter, no longer anywhere close to sleep, giggling, and chasing her grandmother around the house.
"I had been struggling to get her to sleep through the end of the tourney. It was very difficult to settle down enough to rock her to sleep."
Carol Anne Miller is one of many amateur PokerStars players who have won a TCOOP title. You can do the same, with two more days of TCOOP left to play this weekend. Check out the TCOOP homepage for details.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley. Don't forget to follow the Blog on twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.