WSOP Main Event: Er, Mum, I've something I need to tell you

by Mad Harper

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It's the phone call every mother dreads. The phone call when you discover that all your hopes for your hard-working, academic, college-attending son have come to nothing. The phone call when said son announces that, he's really really sorry Mom, but he's dropping out of college and becoming a poker pro.

This is what Rita Bower went through last Autumn when son Marcus finally realized that he could make more in a week playing poker online than most people make in a year. But like many Moms the world over, Rita wants her son to be happy. He said: "I was really dreading telling my folks. My Mom was worried about my poker-playing even last summer and at that point I was only in 25 cent games. My parents are both teachers and my brother's a doctor and my sister's at college so you can imagine, it wasn't an easy call to make. I was almost having a breakdown about it actually but my Mom could tell I was really upset so she just said that if it was what I really wanted to do, then I should go ahead and do it."

Marcus Bower

For Marcus -- known as "allin2k5" online -- turning pro was not a decision he regrets, however difficult it was to tell his family. He reckons his winnings this year alone have come close to $100,000. He is thrilled to be appearing in the PokerStars blog. He said: "I always read it. And now I'm in it -- I'm psyched to be in the blog." As luck would have it, Joe Hachem was on the PokerStars stand when Marcus and I dropped in to pick up a baseball cap -- so it was a double bonus for the Pennsylvania 22-year-old: a picture with the current World Champion, which is being published in the PokerStars blog.

Update: Marcus survived Day 1 and will be going into Day 2 on Tuesday with nearly $16,000 in chips. His survival is impressive given that, according to his email to me this morning, a pair of 9s was the best hand he had all day.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker