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This summer we wanted to present the World Series of Poker through the eyes of the ultimate poker fan. To do it we took our cameras to Las Vegas and surprised a recreational poker player with a $1,111 buy-in to a the Little One for One Drop, a special WSOP gold bracelet event. $111 of every buy-in in the Little One for One Drop goes the humanitarian organization One Drop. Joe Fox is a real estate agent in Phoenix and was in Vegas with his wife Stephanie and three kids attending a wedding. Joe and Stephanie are both big poker fans and host a monthly home game at what they call The Fox Den Casino. To get Joe ready we set him up with a strategy coaching session with Maria Ho, a professional poker player who has earned more than $1.5 million playing live poker tournaments. Check out the full short poker documentary to see the World Series of Poker through Joe's eyes
Matt: Being in Las Vegas in July is like standing on the surface of the sun. Humans weren't built for this. So why is it that every year this hotel gets thousands of people to make the trip from all over the world in the dead of summer? Welcome to the World Series of Poker. It's free for anyone to walk into the World Series of Poker and watch their heroes in action. But for most poker fans sitting down and actually playing with them is just a dream. This year at the World Series, Poker Listings found the ultimate poker fan and surprised him with a buy in to a gold bracelet event.
Joe: Being at the World Series of Poker in person is like the Grand Canyon. Pictures don't do it justice. When you walk up and see that massive cavern it's unbelievable. When you walk into the amazon room here automatically you hear the chips shuffling which is a sound that I absolutely adore. There's buzz in the air, it's just amazing, it's electric, television doesn't do it justice.
Stephanie: It is a dream for him to get to play in the World Series of Poker. He's absolutely amazing. Amazing husband, amazing dad, amazing friend and he's very genuine, everything you see is exactly what you get.
Matt: Well we're here at the 2014 World Series of Poker. This is Joe and Stephanie Fox, both big poker fans, both big recreational players. Joe we've got some good news for you, we're very happy to meet such a passionate poker player and we're actually going to buy you in to the little one for one drop tomorrow...
Joe: Are you serious?
Matt: ...in the World Series and...
Joe: Are you serious? That's tomorrow?
Matt: Yeah, it starts tomorrow.
Joe: That's not, no.
Joe: Is this one of those funny camera deals?
Joe: You're serious?
Matt: This is for real. You're going in I've got the money in my pocket, I'm going to take you to registration right now.
Joe: Oh my gosh, that is awesome. Wow! Oh my gosh!
Matt: Congratulations, man.
Pien: The little one for one drop is a special tournament here at the World Series of Poker because $111 of each buy in goes directly to one drop. One drop ensures safe water access all over the world.
Joe: Registration, right here. Okay, thanks. I've got to go to number seven. This is perfect. Registration for the little one.
Man 1: The little one?
Man 1: All right. Tomorrow at 12pm on the second, pavilion white, table 125 seat number four.
Joe: Awesome. Thank you so much.
Man 1: You're very welcome. You have a good day.
Joe: Thank you, you too. All right here we go. We're ready to go, ready to take it down, thank you Poker Listings, you guys rock!
Joe: Hi. How's it going?
Maria: I'm Maria.
Joe: I'm Joe, good to see you.
Maria: Nice to meet you. Very exciting for you.
Joe: Yeah, thanks for taking the time. What are your thoughts on some strategy for getting started, for surviving day one.
Maria: Yeah. So you will have one bullet in this, right?
Joe: One bullet.
Matt: Maria Ho has been making a living playing poker for more than a decade, and so far she's earned more than 1.5 million dollars playing live poker tournaments.
Maria: Wide range and so if you're three bet shoves get through then you're picking up you know five, six...
Matt: In 2007 Maria was the last woman standing in the 10,000 dollar buy in WSOP main event, finishing 38th out of 6,358 players.
Maria: I am so excited for you and I'm going to get your table number and I'm going to come check up on you on break so.
Joe: Awesome. Thank you so much, it was a pleasure.
Maria: Yeah it was, good luck.
Joe: Thank you. Yeah, Maria's strategies and advice were awesome. Gave me confidence for tomorrow, I'm ready to implement what she's done and play patient poker and hopefully go deep. So I'm really looking forward to it. It was awesome.
Man 2: Good afternoon and welcome to the little one for one drop.
Joe: I'm a huge poker nerd. I read all the books. I've done all the studying. I've watched it all on TV. I watch online episodes. I might be the biggest poker fan out there, I'm not sure.
Matt: Winning the World Series of Poker bracelet isn't easy. It takes hard work and perseverance to go deep in a tournament with thousands of players. Like most people in this event, Joe's day didn't last long, but the good news is the next time he comes to the World Series he'll be one step closer to making his dream a reality.
Joe: Yeah, so the tournament didn't go quite as I expected. Had some high hopes, got involved in a hand early where I thought a player was bluffing, so I lost half my stack on that one. Then getting short stack, woke up with pocket jacks I was happy to see that shoved it all in. Got called by ace nine off suit, spiked an ace and I'm out so. Overall, fabulous experience, I would definitely do it again. It gives me motivation to come back and play another event next year. This was the highlight of my trip. I'm not done with poker yet. I'm going to be back again and again and again. Thanks so much.