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888 qualifier relaxes his way to WSOP money
888.com qualifier Fernando Gordo woke up at 10:30 a.m. on July 10 full of optimism for the day ahead. He'd made it through two days of play in the World Series of Poker Main Event at the Rio and now he was on his way to another day of play ... at the Venetian.
"I got up at 11:30 a.m. after a long lie-in and watched a couple of romantic comedies," Gordo wrote in his tournament diary. "It was a real pleasure not to be thinking about Poker after three gruelling days."
Thinking that it was another rest day for players, Gordo headed to the Grand Luxe Cafe for his favorite breakfast, chicken and waffles, instead of heading to the Rio to play in Day 3. After breakfast he thought about heading to the Rio for some poker, but changed his mind.
"Thought about the Rio and its depressing atmosphere and decided that rather than having my aces cracked by a short-stack with sevens, I would go downstairs, have a swim and enjoy the beautiful ladies on display at the Palazzo pool," Gordo wrote.
After a haircut and a head massage, Gordo finally felt ready to take on some poker action. But rather than head to the Rio where he figured he'd have to hear a bunch of bad beat stories on the way to his table, he decided to take on the $540 tournament over at the Venetian.
While 1,308 hopefuls fought their way to the WSOP money bubble at the Rio and a potential multimillion-dollar top prize, Gordo was battling at the Venetian for a $50,000 first-place prize.
He spent a few hours playing before he busted out of the tournament and then decided to take a swim, read the papers from his home back in Argentina and have a nice dinner.
Meanwhile, Gordo's chair was doing quite well for him at the Rio. All-in on the blinds for his last $3,400, Gordo won a race with his A-J against a pair of tens, which prompted his table to rename the hand the Fernando for the rest of the day.
At 10:30 p.m. Gordo's chair was still in the mix as the money bubble finally approached. Who would go first? Fernando's empty chair, or some unlucky player who had fought his heart out for that $21,300 payout and the right to say "I cashed in the WSOP"?
Just as his hero Vinny Vinh had done twice in the 2007 WSOP, Gordo made it into the money without having been there to play most of the day. At 11:30 p.m. the bubble burst and Gordo had officially made it into the money with $1,600 in chips, just four antes away from busting out of the tournament.
At around that same time, he bumped into another 888.com qualifier in the lobby, who had just busted out of the tournament in the money.
"They're in the money?" Fernando asked. "Well I better go and pick up my check."
He went over to the tournament director at the Rio, who asked where he had been all day.
"I was sure that I would be able to get in the money with at least two hands to spare, so why waste the day in a stuffy, crowded room, when you can enjoy the delights of Sin City and still cash in the event?" Gordo replied.
His math was off by two hands, and Gordo actually managed to ease his way into the money with $1,600, four antes to spare.
"I had a great day and then went over to the Rio once the bubble burst to see if I could start playing some poker," Gordo said. "I raised with a 7-5 of diamonds to see if I could steal the blinds but unfortunately found the big blind with aces. Poker can be so cruel!"
Gordo ended Day 3 in 656th place, good for a $21,300 payday after having spent most of his day just relaxing and enjoying what Las Vegas has to offer.
(Contributed by Jonny Natas, 888.com head of offline poker)