WSOP Main Event: Why you should always play online - or the story of Peter Vu
For the first 18 years of his life - well, at least since he was old enough to pick up cards - Peter Vu has been playing poker with his family at their home in south London, England. The Vus - Peter, his brother Tony, their four sisters plus Mum and Dad - used to spend hours sitting around the kitchen table playing Chinese poker (a bit like five-card stud) for an average buy-in of 1 pound.
Peter is the first to admit that he wasn't actually very good in this home game - in fact, he was rubbish. He couldn't take the smallest pot (and we really are talking real small here) off anyone in the family. Nevertheless, at age 18, Peter found himself heading down to the local snooker club to play in the back-room, quasi-illegal (no, make that massively illegal) one-table cash game.
According to Peter, he wasn't much good there either but he and his mate Charlie "Chan" Phong had a great time - splitting buy-ins and time at the table - at the regular Monday night get-together.
Then came the Big One. Charlie won £1,500 in a cash game. It was a turning point for young Peter and suddenly the young accountancy student was down at the Snooker Club every night -- and regularly benefiting from Charlie's skill at the table. Hard to consider this a turning point, given that it was Charlie who was winning all the time. And you might also wonder how Peter ended up in Vegas. Did Charlie win the seat but give it to Peter? How on earth did Peter get out here?
Well, the fact is, that Peter's 20-year bad beat ended the very first day he started playing online. From the start, he was coining it in. Tournaments, cash games - he just couldn't lose, and in the last few years, he's won dozens of $50+ Sit n' Gos as well as many other tournaments. He's now playing full-time (bye-bye, accountancy) and is making a decent living.
But for Peter, now 28, the best win of all is his seat at this year's WSOP. For a whopping investment of $15 (a $5 tournament with rebuy and add-on, which took him into a $160 double shoot-out, which he won) Peter has found himself at the biggest sporting event in history. Good luck, Peter Vu! I hope you do brilliantly.
Update:After four hours' play, Peter has already built up a $19,000 chipstack and is being dubbed 'Pocket Aces' by the others at his table. Grinninng broadly, Peter said: "Yeah, it's going well. Three pocket Aces and three pocket Jacks."