When the WSOP rolls around it’s time for poker pros to get down to business. There’s nowhere else in the world that even comes close as far as the amount of money up for grabs and the variety of poker games being spread.
That’s putting Canucks fans in a tough spot and forcing them to make a decision between their team and their bottom line.
Full Tilt sponsored pro and Vancouver native Greg “FBT” Mueller is feeling the pain of being away from his home town during the NHL finals perhaps more than anyone.
“Hockey’s my life outside of poker,” explained Mueller, a professional hockey player turned poker pro who has won two bracelets at the WSOP.
“It’s what I do all year long, have fun and go to hockey games, but the World Series is when I have to work."
But just because fans aren’t in Vancouver doesn’t mean they aren’t celebrating. The tournament room at the WSOP is full of players flying their team’s colors, and sports books and bars around Las Vegas are filled with supporters during the game.
Game day at the Rio in Las Vegas.
“At the Palazzo Sports Book it’s 95% Canucks jerseys and Canucks shirts and it’s just packed with fans,” said Mueller.
Depending on where you go to watch the game, you might be forced to stand and cheer. That’s exactly what happened to Matt Jarvis, a die-hard Canucks fan who’s won more than $1 million at the WSOP.
“We went to a bar called Blondie’s the other night for a game and it was just packed,” Jarvis told PokerListings.com.
“We showed up like 30 minutes before the game and there wasn’t even a chance we were going to get a seat.”
Like many Vancouverites Jarvis grew up cheering for the Canucks.
“I used to draw pictures of the Canucks and send them to the players with the cards and they’d sign them and send them back,” he said.
“I was the happiest kid in the world.”
While Greg Mueller told us he hopes Vancouver wins in Boston so he won’t be faced with the decision of whether to head home for a possible win in Game 7, Jarvis already has his flight booked to make it back for the next home game on June 10.
Speaking to anyone in a Canucks jersey, even in Las Vegas, it’s easy to tell that something special is happening right now in Vancouver.
“We’ve never actually won as the Canucks and everyone’s just going absolutely crazy,” said Mueller.
“It seems like there’s more hype about this in Vancouver than there was for the Gold Medal game.”
At time of publishing the Vancouver Canucks lead the Boston Bruins 2-1 in the series.