I win. My buddy Matt periodically looks in. He tells me I am surrounded by professional players. I say "O.K."
As you might expect, when there are 11 people left, play becomes pretty intense. Every hand seems very important. In the end, I am in the hand where the last player gets eliminated. 10 of us get our seats for the next day. It's almost midnight.
As I am walking to the cashier to pick-up my ticket for the next day's tournament, one of the players offers to buy the seat from me for a tiny discount. Essentially, $25,000 cash. I pause. I take stock of my situation. I am still out the $5250 entry fee. My only other hope of recouping that expense is to win something at the tournament tomorrow and that tournament will be filled with accomplished professional players. Selling the seat is the smart move. I thank the guy and ask him to ask me again tomorrow.
I briefly think about spending the night at the hotel at The Mohegan Sun Casino. The drive home and back is 4 hours roundtrip. I am wearing jeans and a t-shirt and have not much in my pockets, except my iPod, a book, and my wallet. I make the trip home where I tell myself I can shave and get a fresh change of clothes for tomorrow's event. It will, after all, be filmed by ESPN.