A congrats to Tristan Wade on his WSOPE Bracelet win.
It’s been a while since I’ve played poker outside of the home game. Since I took a 4th place finish at the $120 buy-in Venetian in Las Vegas during Brett’s bachelor party, I haven’t hit the tables at all. Some of the reasons have been financial. I just can’t really afford to go play poker these days. But honestly, most of the reason has been a loss of excitement and desire, as I find myself losing the capability to connect to the game regularly.
I find myself having a more difficult time these days watching poker on television or even reading about it online. I’ll tune in when people that I know are doing well in an event, like a friend of mine Tristan Wade, who just won his first WSOP Bracelet. I first met Tristan at the World Series of Poker last year when he’d made a deep run in the Main Event. He was a standout character among the crowd of seemingly nameless poker players and I enjoyed my time with him. He was readily accessible and eager to talk about hands that he’d mixed it up in, and had an overwhelming joy that exuded from his ear to ear grin about the reality of just getting to play poker. He definitely wasn’t a fish out of water, quite the opposite. Wade knew exactly what he was doing. But he wore his emotions across his face in the Amazon Room, and you could just tell that he was enjoying every second of the opportunity to just be playing cards.
I met up with Tristan earlier this year in a small card room in Northern California for the DeepStacks Live training course, where Tristan is the lead instructor (you can read about my full trip report on that event here). He was the first instructor that I had that day, and I was amazed by how much information that he gathered on every player at our 10 handed table after a short 30 minute observation period. But when he sat down and actually taught poker to the students, it became apparent, this guy is on a different level than everyone else. I was able to observe a little of that in his play at the series last year when he was at the table with highly regarded online pro poker player Cole “CTS” South. And then I followed Tristan (probably more than he knows) online quite a bit to study his tight-aggressive style of play back when that sort of thing was allowed (side note here to offer a special thanks to the DOJ for protecting me from this type of behavior any longer – *sarcasm*). It was obvious to me that he was going to have a big year at the series if he found the backing for it, and sure enough, he did, and he did.
Tristan final tabled a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Event, ultimately getting coolered a couple of times after being one of the chip leaders at the table. I was glued to the live feed on WSOP.com for hours where there was no elimination, having people survive multiple all-in’s and calls, and the losing hand being the bigger stack for what seemed like forever. Then Tristan finally ended up on the wrong end of a showdown on consecutive hands after the blinds rose to a level that really took all of the play away. Nevertheless, it was a solid performance by an exceptional player that kick started a few other amazing results.
Tristan really showed off his skills as a player when he final tabled the most talent laden event of the WSOP this year, the $10k Six-Max Championship. Wade earned the biggest payday of his poker career finishing in 4th place for $292k, after putting in several days work playing shorthanded against the very best of the best in the game today. It was a remarkable feat and he was only survived
by players like Bertrand “Elky” Grosspellier, Chris “Moorman1″ Moorman, and eventual champ, Joe Ebanks. The talent pool was the “who’s who” of online poker elite, and being physically present in the Amazon room to watch it all go down at the Rio this year was something that I’ll never forget.
But Cannes, France proved to be the time to add some jewelry to his mantle when Tristan finally ended a bracelet event with all of the chips, taking home a championship in the €3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout event. His prize was actually less than his earning in the $10k Six Max event (he’d win the US equivalent of roughly $243k after the exchange rate), but Tristan’s name would be cemented in WSOP history as a bracelet winner. And I couldn’t be happier for him.
Seeing stories from guys like Tristan find wins like this is what makes the game of poker so incredibly wonderful. It’s always great when one of the good guys gets a win, and road win’s are even sweeter. Wade’s win in France deserves all the accolades that can be thrown on the kid because if I know anything about Tristan, it’s that this bracelet is merely the first step of what will undoubtedly be an incredible run in the poker universe.