WSOP 2015: For whom the WhatsApp bell tolls



Jake Cody_WSOP_d4.jpg


You've heard of the walk of shame, the long journey each player must make when they bust the main event. It takes them along the Rio corridors either to the casino, where they can drown themselves in business and noise, or to the taxi rank, where they can escape to the outside world. It's a busy route today and not one filled with many smiling faces.

But this is the digital age, and some players have another humiliation which they must undergo if things head south. Jake Cody knows this all too well.

"Me and a lot of the English guys have a WhatsApp group," he said. "We all change the title every day to the "day 4 lads" or whatever."

The group is a place to chat, swap stories and generally encourage each other. But members know there is a rule. As soon as you're eliminated you have to leave the group.

"It's usually a 'good luck boys', a sad face, and then...."

There was something tragic about this form of ostracism, but oddly noble too. Not exactly a bottle of whisky and a revolver, but a touching "go on without me" sentiment, familiar to pioneers and explorers.

None of which ruins the excitement they each feel at this stage of the tournament. As a professional poker player there is no better feeling that to wake up on Day 4 of the Main Event and know you're still in, with the possible exception of doing the same thing on Day 5, and Day 6, and so on.

And for Cody, as we wrote earlier in the Series, it comes after a difficult summer, one which featured zero cashes. All that changed this week. After a difficult opening day, which reduced his stack to 22,000, Cody turned that into 340,000 on Day 2. That helps when it comes to whitewashing the summer.

"It's already helped soften the blow a little bit," said Cody. "It felt so good to actually make the money. Technically if I reached the top 50 or the top 100 I'd feel really good, and obviously anything better than that.

"At the same time though, as soon as you make it that far, although it's a great achievement whenever you bust you're devastated you didn't go further. You can't be happy until you make the final table. Then you can't be happy unless you win!"
For now though, his eyes are on keeping this feeling going as long as possible, even as the voices on WhatsApp go quiet.

"Hopefully I'll be here in a few days talking to myself," he said, before reconsidering. "No! Talking to all of them would be good."

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.