As we were making our rounds throughout the cavernous Pavilion tournament area, a conversation caught our attention that reminded us why the World Series of Poker is the one of the most uniquely special spectacles in all of sport.
Jason Mencher of New York, NY was overheard telling a fellow player how excited he was to be competing, and surviving the first day of play, in a WSOP bracelet event. We heard the young player mention that his mother Marla and girlfriend Lauren were anxiously awaiting an update as to his status thus far, and that they would be absolutely ecstatic to know that he is entering Day 2 with 24,525 chips.
While his stack may not be one of the biggest in the room, the sheer joy that Mencher showed while telling his tale reminded us of one thing. While the professional players and their pursuit of prizes and prestige may dominate most of the WSOP coverage, it is amateur players like Mencher and the thousands of others like him who are truly the lifeblood of this two-month poker extravaganza.