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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | Poker Personalities

WSOP Diary of Kristy Gazes: On Main Event Day, It’s All Good

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The history between Kristy Gazes and the World Series of Poker has been a rocky one. While she excels at other tournament series on a regular basis, the WSOP has been somewhat of a thorn in her side.

Her best performance at the WSOP was in 2001 when she made the final table of the $2,000 S.H.O.E. event and finished fifth. But since then, she has not seen another WSOP final table and only cashed once per year – if that. That was until this year. With some inspiration from motivational teachers and an attempt to live life with a more positive outlook, Kristy came to the 2008 WSOP with a fresh attitude. Though her constant singing of the Rio theme song and the occasional boogie down the hallway that leads to the Amazon Room was a little tongue-in-cheek, it was part of her attempt to try something new.

And it worked, to a certain extent. She cashed three times out of eleven tournaments so far this year, but more importantly, she felt more energized and less disappointed by keeping things in a positive light. Despite a health challenge and a change in her personal life that she admitted has been a tough emotional journey, her outlook is optimistic, and she was all smiles when discussing her 2008 WSOP.

We spoke as she began her main event journey on Day 1B and made her way over to chat with me during the madness that is break time in the hallway of the Rio, the navigation of which is a challenge in itself.

JN: We’re at the main event. How do you feel about the rest of the World Series that is behind you now?

I feel good. I played eleven events and cashed in three, which is the best I’ve ever done at the World Series as far as the number of cashes. It’s the best I’ve ever done money-wise, too, and I’m only down a very minute amount for the Series. I really stuck to my plan by playing when I wanted; For example, I skipped the $50K H.O.R.S.E. because I wasn’t feeling great that day. I think that’s much better for me, for everyone really, to just listen to themselves when they wake up in the morning. I wasn’t so desperate to win a bracelet or anything of that nature… I mean, I’d love to win one, but I’ve got to play when I feel good instead of burning my money and my backer’s money. It’s better to be responsible and play well.

JN: Have you played any cash games?

I played cash once at the Bellagio, a no-limit game, and I lost my ass, damn it! (Laughs) No, that was it, and I haven’t played any other poker. I’ve just been doing my other business, which has been really rocky lately because the stock market is in the toilet, but I’ve been concentrating on that. Other than that, I’ve been going back and forth to L.A. and doing some stuff for Full Tilt, so it’s a pretty boring life! Go to bed at 10pm, get up at 5am… Yee-haw!

JN: Would you like to share any information about your health issues?

Well, I have a health challenge that I deal with, and I’ve had it for a long time. I have to go back [to L.A.] sometimes, and my doctor tells me if I can play or not for long periods of time, and normally he says it’s fine. It’s something I’ve been dealing with for 20 years, so it’s not like it’s new this year. It’s just that when I’m playing poker, sometimes I get a little too tired, and bad play follows that. It’s a challenge, but I try to be positive. They’re challenges, not problems! (Laughs) That’s what Anthony Robbins taught me.

JN: Have your efforts to be positive, with affirmations and a different thought process, helped you this year?

Absolutely. For me, without getting too much into the metaphysical bullshit, I think you create your own reality. If I believe it’s going to be fun and a good experience, then results will follow. Do what you love, have a good time…I really believe in that. It might be mish-mash to most people, but it clearly works for me, and I’m going to stick with it.

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