Day 2 has come to a close here at the 2014 Paddy Power Poker Irish Open €2,250 no-limit hold’em main event. The day began with 253 players remaining from a starting field of 411, but ...
Jarrett Nash Explains Decision To Skip Day 5 of World Series Of Poker Main Event
Chose To Pass On A Potential $8.5 Million In Order To Observe The Sabbath
Despite the Main Event field shrinking on Saturday, the headline of the day was a recreational poker player electing to skip the day in order to observe the Sabbath. After repeated attempts at contacting Jarrett Nash in his Bellagio hotel room, he was finally reached.
Contrary to an original source, the religion isn’t Judaism. Nash told Card Player that he and his wife are non-denominational Christians who take a day of rest every weekend from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. “No pleasures of the self,” Nash said.
One of those pleasures was making a deep run in poker’s most prestigious tournament, but Nash is certain of his choice and has no regrets of blinding off his stack of more than 500,000. He busted in 171st for about $45,000, money, he said, that “God has a plan for.”
Despite the $8.5 million first-place prize as a potential destiny, Nash is happy taking just $45,000. He said he picked up his prize money after 8 p.m. local time.
Nash came to Las Vegas strictly to play the Main Event. He said he has no problem reconciling his fundamentalism with poker, an activity that he calls “a clean game.”
Based on the tournament’s schedule, Nash was confident he could make the money before having to take a day off. (He left before play was over on Friday, telling tournament staff he wouldn’t return). However, he was hoping that his stack would still be around after Saturday’s sundown. Still, he isn’t disappointed that he was eliminated around 6 p.m. local time.
“I knew what was going to happen,” he said.
When asked what he would say to those in the poker world who might criticize his decision, Nash said he “would always tell someone to seek the lord.”
He comes from a family of mostly Baptists. He said they are supporting and understand his decision to pass up on a potential seven-figure payday in order to stay true to his beliefs.
Card Player originally reported on the story during the afternoon — while his chip stack was still alive — speaking with Nash’s cousin who knew some information about the situation. His cousin told Card Player that it was the faith of Nash’s wife, not his own, that was the culprit for his truancy. According to Nash, both are deeply pious, and it was always a joint-decision.
Nash, who has been playing poker for three years, said he will keep entering tournaments.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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