Vegas Or Bust: Main Event Or Bust?

On a recent morning, I looked at the Hendon Mob website that tracks tournament results, to see if I'd moved up the ranks this summer.

"I'm now in the top 100 for Alabama all-time tournament money winners," I said to Amy across the couch.

"Ninety-ninth, huh?" she quipped.

"Ninety-eighth, actually!" I replied.

Ok, so that's nothing to get terribly excited about, but despite recent flameouts in the past week - I did not learn my lesson, played two more Omaha bracelet events at the WSOP and lasted a total of about six hours between them - it has been a solid summer.

Take away my Monster Stack score and I'm practically even for the trip, but that's the boom or bust nature of poker tournaments - one good run sandwiched between bad results can make your trip.

As Independence Day eve drew to a close, Amy and I mapped out our remaining days in Vegas, primarily family activities for the next few days with a date night for us on July 7, the evening before her birthday. I hadn't planned to play poker on her birthday, but with limited days to qualify for the Main Event it's proving a necessity if I'm going to try to get into that tournament on the cheap. If I fail to quality in a live mega satellite at the Rio on July 8 or the online satellite on July 9, I have a potential backup plan - if I can sell half my action, or $5,000, I might bite the bullet and invest $5,000 of my summer profits into the Main Event.

Such staking arrangements are much more common in the poker world than you'd think. In fact, most players you see on TV cashing for huge scores owe much of that money to their backers. I've mostly resisted going down that road over the years, but I also see the benefits of the deal: it allows players to take shots at bigger events they otherwise couldn't afford, potentially jumpstarting their tournament careers.

I've put up a package on, a popular site in which people can buy a share of a player's entry fee to have a rooting interest, and hopefully make some money in the process. Let's say that a butterfly flaps its wings the right way and I win the $10 million first prize. Suddenly, a 1 percent share bought for $100 is worth $10,000.

Realistic? Maybe not, but considering I'm now 2-for-2 in cashing deep-stacked format WSOP events, a profit certainly isn't unrealistic.

And as a bonus enticement, any stakers will be acknowledged in the forthcoming book about this summer.

See? It's a win, win.