I never got the chance to blog/write much for Backdoor Quads during my recent trip to work at the World Series of Poker. Now that I’m back in the U.K., and the jet-lag has finished coursing through my veins, I want to take the opportunity to reflect on my time in Vegas through a series of open letters. The first is to two-time 2016 bracelet winner Ian Johns:
Two years ago when I went to an EPT in Barcelona, I did some work experience with the PokerStars Blog. I was standing on the tournament floor alongside veteran live reporter and poker writer Marc Convey, who was accompanying me at the time. His inexhaustible knowledge for players and their respective bracelet and tournament wins was something I aspired to from that moment on. Every poker writer has their own specific knowledge based on what festivals they worked at, and what tournaments they reported on.
Event #8: $1,500 H.OR.S.E. was not the first event of the 2016 WSOP that I reported on, but it was the first tournament that I worked from start to finish with my colleague Darrel Plant. Once you get down to around four tables in any event, you should be getting to the point where you know the names of most of the field.
You weren’t one of the names that stood out, to me at least. I’m sure you remember that there were a whole host of big names left with ~25 players left. Eventual runner-up Justin Bonomo, as well as the likes of Matt Glantz, Ismael Bojang, Jean Montury, Scotty Nguyen and Andre Akkari were on my list, but you weren’t.
You won that event, I’m sure you don’t need reminding. For the rest of the World Series, your name was one of the first into my notebook on a Day 1, almost as a symbol of my burgeoning career. You went on to win a second bracelet, your third overall. I have a feeling that in years to come, for some reason or another, the subject of double-bracelet winners in one year or H.O.R.S.E. bracelet winners will come up. At that time, I will no longer be scrabbling around for names, because your name will be at the top of that list.
I congratulate you once more on an amazing summer, and I thank you for being part of my first World Series of Poker.