Gotta do what you gotta do
This COVID-19 pandemic has turned the poker world (and everything else) upside down. The World Series of Poker is weird right now. The live Series postponed (probably cancelled, if I may use another parenthetical), one leg of the WSOP is being played online right now on WSOP.com with another coming up on GGPoker in a few days. One the baked-in problems with the 2020 WSOP Online is that the current portion on WSOP.com is open only to people in Nevada or New Jersey because those are the only states where WSOP.com. It was that “in” the state part that posed no problem for New York resident Ryan “joeyisamush” Depaulo Sunday night, as he won the 2020 World Series of Poker Online Event #12: $500 The BIG 500 No-Limit Hold’em from his car in New Jersey.
While having the WSOP online poses problems, it’s that sort of flexibility that it also offers. Players in Nevada don’t have to travel to the Rio in Las Vegas to play. They can still sit at home, as long as they are within the state’s borders.
The same thing goes for someone like Depaulo. The high-strung YouTuber doesn’t live in New Jersey, but he lives close enough where he can drive across the border, find somewhere to situate himself for several hours with an internet connection, and play on WSOP.com. My in-laws know the drill – they live in New York just minutes from the Jersey border and will drive there to get cheaper gas (though they also have to let someone pump it for them).
Nobody has ever been so happy at Whole Foods
And so there Depaulo was on Sunday night, sitting in his car in a Whole Foods shopping center parking lot, clicking away on WSOP.com. It’s not exactly the environment we all imagine when we dream about winning a World Series of Poker bracelet, but it’s the environment some people have to work with right now.
The tournament went so long, particularly with the later start time on the east coast, that Depaulo won when the sun was coming up and people were arriving at the strip mall for work. The guy micturated in bottles and fast food soda cups, for crying out loud.
Of course, being a YouTuber, Depaulo had his phone taking video of his crowning poker achievement. After a few seconds filming his laptop’s screen and blasting celebratory f-bombs, he jumped out of his car and yelled to nobody in particular, “I’M A LEGEND!”
My favorite part of the short video he posted on Twitter was when he immediately panned to a Whole Foods customer wheeling a shopping cart and realizing that bystanders might be a bit weirded out by someone yelling in a parking lot early in the morning, he then yelled, “SORRY!”
The $160,000 victory is one of the largest of Depaulo’s poker career. In live tournaments, he has $225,644 in winnings, $208,643 of which came from a third place finish in last year’s WSOP Colossus.
Next up: poker player wins a WSOP bracelet while walking around town playing Pokemon Go.