So far this year, Douglas Carli has cashed in twelve major poker tournaments, three of those events were here at the WSOP. When Douglas is playing, you don't have to look far to find Karen. She's the most dedicated family member that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I can always count on Karen to flash a much needed smile my way. I don't think I've ever seen her in a bad mood. She's so happy to be here and such a supportive and caring wife.
A few days ago we ran into one another in the hallway and Karen was beaming as she told me the latest event Doug was playing in. I was dying to ask her a few questions and she was happy to oblige. I had to know first and foremost if she gambled herself and her answer was "No, I don't." Somehow I wasn't surprised by her response. My theory was that if she spent time gambling, maybe I'd see her playing in the Ladies Event or at a cash table or even in the casino at the blackjack tables. I've never seen her any of these places.
"Well, if you don't gamble and you are here watching Doug play everyday, don't you get bored?" She smiled and laughed "Everyone asks me that question, and no, I don't get bored, I'm actually quite busy". So, what keeps Karen busy? Actually, she has a pretty normal routine that includes having lunch together, going to the gym, watching him play, breaking for dinner, and taking care of lingering paperwork. Doug used to be a stock broker and although he's retired, he still takes care of existing clients that have been with him for years. Karen pitches in and makes sure that everything runs smoothly so that Doug can follow his dream.
What's not to love about this relationship? When I see them together I am immediately envious of the comfort, dedication and love they share. It's no wonder that Doug is playing so well, he has the most supportive wife in poker cheering him on everyday.
Based in Ohio, the Carli's have been married for 26 years, they are high school sweethearts and they are going strong. With all of the success Doug is having, does Karen spend much time at the mall? I know I would! "My weakness is Thomas Kinkaid paintings," she shyly whispered. Ahhhh - I know the place well! Shortly before heading to Las Vegas this year they had the house renovated and Karen finally had her gallery purchases from last year hung, thus clearing the way for her to head over to the Desert Passage Shops and pick out a few new ones. I'd bet Doug is happy to treat his wife to a new painting - it's the least he can do!
I did a little research and found that the first time Doug played in the WSOP was in 2005. He cashed in 36th place that year. Pretty impressive! There is a long list of cashes that followed. So, how did he get his start? Well, he's been playing in home games with his father and his four brothers since he was in grade school. A funny little story she told me was that Doug once played in a charity event at a Catholic church in Newton Falls, Ohio a few years back. The church was raided for illegal gambling, and everyone was arrested. Eventually the charges were dropped, but it took a year, a lawyer, and plenty of money to resolve the case.
They don't have any children, but they do have proud parents back home eagerly awaiting the daily results. I for one will be following Doug's progress closely. Karen and he will be here through the entirely of the WSOP. He's planning on playing in the Main Event, and he's definitely one to keep your eye on.
It's obvious that they travel all over the country to play poker, but what about going out of the country? Does Doug have any interest in playing the Aussie Millions? She assures me that someday they will follow the circuit outside of the U.S., she looks forward to visiting Australia, and when they do, sightseeing will be a top priority. Well Karen, I hope to see you over there myself. Maybe we can hit up the Thomas Kinkaid gallery together.