Eleanor Uy stood on the rail with Jay Jones, waiting for the Tournament Director to give the word to grab her seat in the $1k Ladies Event. Jay had introduced Eleanor to poker, but he'd somehow neglected to tell her about the butterflies she would feel.
"I'm so nervous," Eleanor said. "I'm just trying to do deep breathing to settle down." The exercise physiologist should know something about breathing, her nursing school education coming in handy. Eleanor lives in Summit, New Jersey, far enough removed from New York City to retain the elegance that is small town New Jersey yet close enough to hop into the city for a meal or show.
"I hope she does better than I've done," said Jay. "I played in the $1k re-buy and the $2.5k HORSE event this week. I lasted a long time in each but busted short of the money."
As she settled down in the 4s at Table 27, a smile brightened her face as players introduced themselves to one another. The instant camaraderie of the Ladies Event is distinct each year, an informal sorority of players who share a passion for this game of poker.
Eleanor immediately got short-stacked, then made one of the smartest moves a new tourney player can make: she left. "I got down to $1k, then I just took a bathroom break to settle down. I came back and felt much better."
She made it to the first break by the skin of her teeth. "There were two limpers in front of me, and I looked down at A-Qo. I decided that was as good as any to get all my chips in because the blinds were 50/100 and I had 900 left. Then the button called me and turned over Q-Q. I spiked an ace, but there were three diamonds on the board and she had . I was very fortunate to make it out of there, and now I'm back to $1.8k."
Eleanor's tourney game has been built on the internet. "I could tell who the more experienced players were. The new players played very tight, but the better players made calls I would never make. The chips have been flying at our table, and I've just stayed steady."
When Doyle Brunson busts from a tournament, a round of applause erupts from the players as he makes his way to the door. For Eleanor, it was an anonymous exit. She took her tiger card protector and made her way to Jay, and the duo was now a combined 0-3 in WSOP events. It may have cost Eleanor $1,000, but the memories of her hours at the World Series of Poker will last a lifetime. And she has the photo to prove it.