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Summer of 2012- The Whirlwind Continues

by Amanda Musumeci |  Published: Aug 03, '12


 This summer was an amazing one. For those of you who missed it, I was fortunate enough to get myself to two final tables at this summer's World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. These were my only two cashes of the summer, however, they were both incredible experiences that were challenging, lucrative, and most of all, confidence boosting to a whole new dimension.

Coming off of what I considered an amazing first full year of live poker, I was extremely excited to get out to Vegas for WSOP.  It's the series that all professionals and amateurs alike look forward to each year.  I had really high hopes. I was fortunate to gain enough points in my few months playing the WSOP Circuit Tour that I qualified for free into the WSOP National Championship 10k. I made arrangements in a nice and comfortable rental home for the summer with a few friends and my then boyfriend, Ryan Eriquezzo(we will delve into the story of Ryan in my next post). I again made my way across the country in my, at this point, beat up SUV, cat in lap, and packed to the brim.

As my check engine light seemed to harass me endlessly, I made my trek from east to west for the umpteenth time to find myself in Las Vegas a week later. I got settled into the rental home, did my standard mass food shopping run to stock up, and took a few quiet nights to prep for WSOP.

While the first few WSOP events didn't bring any deep runs for me, I did come upon a big opportunity a few weeks in as Event #9 played down in the 2012 WSOP. This event was unique to the WSOP, as it was a new structure, which allowed players to re-enter one time if they busted on the first day. Due to the re-entry structure, the field inflated to over 3,400 entries! It was one of the largest recorded fields outside of the WSOP Main Event recorded in the history of the series.

A few days into this event... and BANG!!!  ... I find myself at the final table playing for nearly 800k to 1st! This time was a rocky time in my relationship with Ryan. I came into the final table in a pretty sad mood due to some issues we were having(to be discussed later), but was quickly able to bring myself back to reality and remind myself how truly lucky I was to have the opportunity that I had in front of me. I was sitting among some really tough opponents at this final table. Some of the names you all may recognize who made it to this final table with me were names such as Greg Mueller, Brian Rast, and the eventual winner of the event, Ashkan Razavi. I knew I had to focus, play my best, and get a little lucky to get through these tough opponents.

Lucky I got.. again. One of the first hands I pick up on the final table turns into a massive pot that would propel me to the chip lead where I got in a pair of Aces vs AceKing preflop. This chip lead helps me sustain a stack while the other players began to bust out around me. The eventual and short-lived heads-up match began with me as a major underdog, as my opponent, Ashkan, had a 6:1 chip lead on me. Heads-up play may have lasted 30 minutes at most before my chip deficit and being on the better-end of a  coin flip found Ashkan as the winner of that shiny new WSOP Bracelet. Again I fade that WSOP jewelry!! ARGHH!! My consolation prize was 2nd place money, which was nothing to sneeze at. My efforts and ability to stay focused(and my luck in running good) led me to my largest payday to date, or $481,600.

This was by far my biggest lifetime achievement, both in and out of poker. I kept myself focused since this was, after all, only event #9 of a series that goes nearly 60 events deep. It was a quiet remainder of the series, as I went on to cash in exactly zero events after that run. It wasn't until my 2nd to last event that I made another run at the gold. This was the WSOP National Championship event that I had won the freeroll into. This was a pretty insane experience, as my boyfriend Ryan and I found ourselves going through some really tough issues in our relationship. Ryan had also won a free seat into this event along our journeys together throughout the previous year of grinding the WSOP Circuit Tour.

I was in for a little life variance, as Ryan and I found ourselves face-to-face, both having made it through the field to a final table. The bad luck comes in when you factor in that Ryan and I had some MAJOR personal issues going on(that I made rather public; to be discussed in next blog).  Normally it would be an amazing experience to final table an event with your significant other.  The circumstances have even broader implications, as the WSOP National Championship was one of only two WSOP events that gets filmed and broadcasted nationwide on ESPN. The whole world was going to have to watch this personal and tense moment in my life...

To read more about the incidents leading up to and surrounding the time of the National Championship, read on into my next blog.
Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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