Lifelong 64-year-outdated poker player Michael Muniz built an unconventional trek to Las Vegas for the 2021 Globe Sequence of Poker, the initial time he’d at any time created it to the collection. And he couldn’t be a lot more ecstatic to are living out a extended-time dream.
The Queens, New York resident loves the video game of poker and the WSOP so much that he put in over 60 several hours traveling cross country just to enjoy in The Reunion, a $500 invest in-in no-restrict hold’em match with a $5 million promise (and, yes, the assure was met).
Why did not he just travel the customary route, by air? As he described in a supper break interview at the Rio with PokerNews, “I will not fly.” He has a fear of flying and stated he failed to thoughts investing additional than two days on a teach.
“I got definitely blessed, for about 20 hours or so, the seats next to me have been empty so it was rather at ease,” Muniz claimed.
From Dependancy to Results
Muniz’ highway to the WSOP wasn’t all roses and rainbows. His life went downhill in the 1980s when he grew to become addicted to large medication. He went from operating on Wall Road to homeless, sleeping on a train, and he missing almost everything.
In 1989, he was arrested for the 1st time and was at a small place in existence. While he isn’t very pleased of his previous transgressions, he is enthusiastic about remaining two days absent from 32 yrs of sobriety.
“October 6, 1989, because then I haven’t touched any beer, no prescription drugs, 32 many years,” he proudly claimed.
Daily life arrived whole circle for the poker admirer right after he stopped making use of medications and ingesting alcohol. He put in 24 several years performing for the exact same trains that he expended innumerable nights sleeping on because of to staying homeless. Much less than two several years back, he retired a sober man, entire of lifetime, and ready to spend his golden decades actively playing poker.
Muniz missing his wife in 2014 and when he speaks of her, his eyes light-weight up. She wasn’t enthusiastic about poker like he is, but she never ever stood in his way of playing the match he enjoys.
Lifelong Poker Participant
Muniz realized to enjoy poker from his grandfather when he was a kid. As an adult, he’s had some achievements in reduced stakes tournaments, possessing cashed for about $38,000, which include his major rating at any time, $12,316 for second put in a 2015 WSOP Circuit celebration in Massachusetts.
Right after spending over 60 hrs traveling to Las Vegas from New York by Amtrak, he took a seat in Function #4: $500 The Reunion No-Restrict Hold’em. On Day 1c of the $5 million guaranteed tournament, he was unable to spin up a stack and progress to Working day 2. But he did return on Monday morning to enter Event #8: $600 No-Restrict Hold’em Deepstack.
Again in New York, Muniz plays in a neighborhood poker game dubbed “Major Boys Poker Club.” He’s proudly sporting his club’s shirt at the World Sequence of Poker. The first-time WSOP participant also frequents nearby Borgata, an MGM Resorts-owned casino in Atlantic City. But he doesn’t perform hard cash online games really frequently.
“Just lately, in June, I played dollars,” Muniz stated. “I am the worst in the entire world at cash video games. I play nuts in cash online games. In a match, I am far more affected person, I just wait, I could double up here, I could bluff in this article. You can find a lot extra strategy than cash.”
He states his major problem with money games is that he can just go to the ATM and shed more revenue, whereas in a event the moment he’s out, he is out.
Win or get rid of, Muniz is even now alive, he is sober, he has a daughter and five grandchildren he loves, and he’s ready to perform his most loved interest — poker. On top rated of that, he’s residing out a dream, playing in the World Sequence of Poker. The only issue left for him to do on this journey, other than income in an party or gain a bracelet, is to fulfill his most loved poker players — Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and Phil Ivey. Potentially, he’ll get that chance right before he heads back again to New York this week.