WSOP Main Event: The pain of Brian Nadell
Over the last few days, I have watched dozens and dozens of people see their hopes and dreams shattered as they got knocked out of the main event. But never have I seen anyone as devastated, as grief-stricken, as absolutely crushed as Brian Nadell.
Brian fell to his knees and visibly sobbed when his ATc was beaten by local boy Ken Jacobs' KJs just before the dinner break. The pair both live in Las Vegas, they play together - and Brian knew he had the better hand.
He said: "I never suck out on anyone. I have only sucked out once this whole tournament. I only play when I know I have the best hand. The guys here, they are willing to risk all their chips on a coin flip. They play Hold'em like it's a video game. Jeez, most of them still live with their parents. But this is a game that is so skillful, the most skillful game there is, but they don't play it that way."
In the last few weeks, Brian has played eight WSOP tournaments and cashed in four of them. He clearly believed - to the very bottom of his soul - that this was his year, that this was it - he was going to be the next World Series of Poker Champion. And it is the horrible realisation that it's not going to happen (this year at least) which has broken Brian so irrevocably.
Brian, who turned pro 20 years ago and has been living in Las Vegas for 15 years,said: "I have worked so hard for this for so long. I felt I just had to make a stand this time. I knew I had the best hand - and winning this tournament was going to prove something I just have to prove. This tournament meant everything to me, everything. I have to grind away and I played so hard for this bracelet. I put so much heart into this thing.
"I've played so many tournaments - I've had four 2nd places, two 3rd. Now I've come 65th - it just makes me feel like I haven't accomplished anything. And there was so much I wanted to do. With that money, with that title ... well, this world is a terrible place. We have two wars going on, global warming. We are handing the planet to our children in a terrible state and, as World Champion, I really wanted make a difference. I wanted to do so much."