Chapter 19Save Your Chips for When You’ll Need the Least Amount of Luck to Win

Poker felt so refreshing. Yeah, Owen’s body still ached from the fall. Yeah, his chip stack was getting incrementally smaller. Yeah, his brain was fried from having played 20 hours of poker in the past 48 hours. But this was such a different world than business. And he was still in!

Right now his strategy consisted of a lot of folding and making conversation around the table. He liked the current table. Everybody seemed to be like him—happy to be here. Not overly competitive. At least not until they got to the money. Owen had never thought in a thousand years he’d actually get to the money, but here he was.

The day started with only 900 players, just a fraction of the 7,200 that started round one. The top 650 were all guaranteed a cash payout of at least $20,000. Owen had seen a lot of players around other tables leave. And simple math said that having already played three hours and change, they must be getting close to that magic 650.

The other players could feel it, too. There was Tony from San Diego, who owned his own business manufacturing ultra-quality label makers for chemical companies or something like that. There was Tony 2, the Navy vet who had retired to Vegas. There was Kerry the former lawyer and currently rich wife. They were all talkative, especially Tony 2. He had asked Owen where he got all those scratches and bruises and, without really waiting for an answer, guessed a motorcycle ...

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