Lifelong 64-calendar year-aged poker player Michael Muniz designed an strange trek to Las Vegas for the 2021 Globe Collection of Poker, the first time he’d at any time built it to the sequence. And he could not be extra ecstatic to dwell out a extended-time aspiration.
The Queens, New York resident enjoys the match of poker and the WSOP so considerably that he invested about 60 several hours traveling cross region just to play in The Reunion, a $500 acquire-in no-restrict hold’em match with a $5 million warranty (and, indeed, the promise was satisfied).
Why did not he just journey the customary route, by air? As he explained in a supper break job interview at the Rio with PokerNews, “I don’t fly.” He has a fear of traveling and stated he didn’t brain shelling out extra than two times on a practice.
“I acquired truly blessed, for about 20 hrs or so, the seats upcoming to me have been empty so it was really comfy,” Muniz claimed.
From Habit to Achievement
Muniz’ highway to the WSOP wasn’t all roses and rainbows. His existence went downhill in the 1980s when he became addicted to weighty prescription drugs. He went from functioning on Wall Avenue to homeless, sleeping on a prepare, and he shed every little thing.
In 1989, he was arrested for the initial time and was at a minimal level in lifetime. Even though he is just not happy of his previous transgressions, he’s enthusiastic about becoming two times absent from 32 a long time of sobriety.
“Oct 6, 1989, since then I haven’t touched any beer, no drugs, 32 yrs,” he proudly mentioned.
Everyday living arrived comprehensive circle for the poker lover just after he stopped working with prescription drugs and drinking alcoholic beverages. He put in 24 yrs functioning for the similar trains that he expended many nights sleeping on due to getting homeless. A lot less than two yrs in the past, he retired a sober man, whole of lifestyle, and completely ready to spend his golden several years playing poker.
Muniz missing his wife in 2014 and when he speaks of her, his eyes light up. She was not enthusiastic about poker like he is, but she never stood in his way of participating in the match he loves.
Lifelong Poker Participant
Muniz acquired to participate in poker from his grandfather when he was a kid. As an grownup, he is had some good results in minimal stakes tournaments, acquiring cashed for about $38,000, which includes his major rating at any time, $12,316 for 2nd area in a 2015 WSOP Circuit function in Massachusetts.
Soon after paying about 60 hours traveling to Las Vegas from New York by Amtrak, he took a seat in Event #4: $500 The Reunion No-Restrict Hold’em. On Working day 1c of the $5 million confirmed event, he was not able to spin up a stack and advance to Working day 2. But he did return on Monday early morning to enter Celebration #8: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack.
Back in New York, Muniz plays in a nearby poker activity dubbed “Large Boys Poker Club.” He is proudly sporting his club’s shirt at the World Sequence of Poker. The very first-time WSOP participant also frequents nearby Borgata, an MGM Resorts-owned casino in Atlantic City. But he won’t engage in cash online games very generally.
“Recently, in June, I played hard cash,” Muniz explained. “I am the worst in the globe at funds online games. I participate in crazy in dollars video games. In a tournament, I am a lot more individual, I just wait around, I could double up here, I could bluff here. There’s a lot far more system than hard cash.”
He says his largest issue with dollars video games is that he can just go to the ATM and lose far more income, while in a event at the time he is out, he’s out.
Get or shed, Muniz is nevertheless alive, he’s sober, he has a daughter and 5 grandchildren he enjoys, and he is in a position to participate in his beloved hobby — poker. On top rated of that, he’s residing out a desire, taking part in in the World Collection of Poker. The only point remaining for him to do on this journey, other than income in an event or acquire a bracelet, is to fulfill his favored poker players — Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and Phil Ivey. Probably, he’ll get that chance ahead of he heads again to New York this 7 days.