This isn't the first time former NBA player Bob Sura has competed in the $10,000 buy-in World Series of Poker Main Event but it is his deepest run so far.
Sura told PokerListings it's been a few years since he played this event last but that his friends talked him into entering.
“It's good to be in Day 3 with a bit of chips,” said Sura. “I've played it five or six times.”
Sura entered Day 3 with 107,000, not far behind the average and still plenty of chips to work with compared to the size of the blinds at this point in the tournament.
Day 3 is money day in the Main Event and will likely wrap up when the field is cut down to the 1,084 who get paid.
Bob Sura is hoping he'll be among them. He has a tough road ahead, however, with two very strong players on his table.
“I never made it past Day 2 so this is my best result after five or six attempts. It's already been fun to make it this deep and I've really enjoyed the process.”
Sura started the day sitting across the table from Kathy Liebert, a WSOP bracelet winner who finished 17th in the Main Event in both 1998 and 2000.
Shortly after, former WSOP Main Event champion and living poker legend Scotty Nguyen joined the table. Nguyen filled a seat that became vacant thanks to Sura busting its original occupant.
Sura opened two consecutive hands during the first orbit of play. The first won him the blinds and antes but during the second he ran into some opposition.
Sura opened to 4,400 with blinds at 1k/2k and Liebert flat-called in position. The player in the big blind moved all-in for about 21k and after a bit of thought Sura re-raised to 50,000.
Liebert let it go and Sura tabled A7 which was out in front of the all-in player's KQ. Sura flopped an ace and it held up to take his stack up to around 135,000.
Sura Likes High-Stakes Cash and Tourneys
Sura said he picked up poker in 2005 when he retired from the NBA due to injuries but it was only in the last few years that he really started working on his game.
“I normally like to play high-stakes cash as well as tournaments. I play in Houston and LA and some of the big games here in Vegas,” said Sura.
“In the last few years I've started working more on my game, got some coaching and gotten a lot better so I actually enjoy playing a lot more now.”
Sura also said he's become friends with lots of poker pros including Antonio Esfandiari and Tom Marchese.
“I get some tips from them and take everything they say to heart and try to apply it,” he said.
According to Sura poker was getting big in the NBA right around the time he retired. 2005 was right in the middle of the poker boom and Sura said it caught on among ball players fast. He said it's a perfect game to have fun and kill time on plane rides and in hotel rooms when teams are on the road.
With the NBA Summer League playing in Vegas right now, Sura said he's running into tons of people from his days as a pro ball player.
“I haven't watched too many games but I'm running into lots of old teammates, friends and coaches all over the place down here,” he said.
“The athletes are crazy in today's NBA. When I watch it now I wonder how I was ever able to compete with that. Who knows where it's going to be in five or ten years from now.”