When Jon Broderick takes his spot -- Table 8, Seat 4 -- in the Brasilia Room at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino today, he’ll be as ready as he can possibly be to make his dream come true.
Broderick is taking part in the 2014 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, one of nearly 10,000 competitors hoping to prove they can play no-limit Hold’em better than anyone else and take home the eight-figure championship prize.
“This,” said the 39-year-old Danvers resident, “is my opportunity to play with the best in the world, to see if I can actually stand up and win against them.
“This will be a learning opportunity for sure, but I know enough to get me there, trust my instincts and skill, and see where it gets me. I look at it this way: all these guys who are professional players were me at one point. And it’s the only professional sport where I can put on my pants on the same way as them and we can be equals.”
With so many players starting out, The World Series of Poker (or WSOP) is initially broken up into three-day segments: today, tomorrow and Monday. Those who advance in each of those segments will be condensed beginning Tuesday and, should they continue to keep their stacks high, could conceivably keep playing until July 14. At that point, the final nine players standing will leave Sin City and return prior to Thanksgiving for the ‘November Nine’ to determine this year’s WSOP champion. Every one of those nine players is guaranteed at least one million dollars, said Broderick.
“I’ve been mentally preparing for this for months doing tons of research, lots of reading and playing in a lot of tournaments,” said Broderick, who will stay at The Rio for as long as he’s in Vegas. “All the cards will be coming out the same way for everyone; at this point, it’s all mental. You can’t let yourself by psyched out by more well-known players.”