The Only Person to Appear at the WSOP ME Final Table Each of the Last Three Years1 year ago
The 2017 WSOP Main Event is underway and every player who doles out the $10K entry fee is aiming for a final table finish and a payday in the millions.
The grueling competition is intense and navigating your way through more than 6,000 opponents is a monumental task. It's extremely difficult to land among the final nine Main Event players once during a career, let alone in consecutive years.
Mark Newhouse managed to do it in 2013 and 2014 with two straight 9th place finishes. His second appearance at the final table in 2014 turned out to be a huge disappointment following an ill-timed bluff after Newhouse entered final table action 3rd in chips.
A Big Deal
There is one individual who has taken a seat at the final table the last three years in a row without any worries about playing strategies, bluffing, or eliminating opponents. Her name is Heather Alcorn and she's been dealing poker at the WSOP the past six years.
What started out as a desire to travel and have some fun while doing something different that didn't require any business decisions on her part has "turned into a career," Alcorn told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The mom of two from Ozark, Missouri, Alcorn is one of more than 1,000 dealers who descend on Las Vegas every summer to ply their trade at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino for poker's most celebrated annual festival. And getting to do so at the final table is kind of like a major league baseball umpire being chosen to officiate the World Series. It's a big deal - pardon the pun.
Long Hours and Sometimes Ungrateful Players
After 13 years in real estate and the long hours of work associated with entrepreneurship as a salon owner, the 40-year old Alcorn feels contented "being in the background" as a dealer while the players get all the attention.
“I was trying to take the stress out of my life," Alcorn stated.
Some may say that WSOP poker dealers are under a great deal of stress considering that they have to audition for the job as well as know about 20 different poker variants. Then there are the 60-hour work weeks, the math involved with dealing, controlling the flow of the game, all the while under the scrutinizing gaze of poker players who sometimes blame dealers for their own misfortunes at the table.
“One of the first things I tell poker dealers is it looks a lot easier than it actually is,” said poker dealer supervisor Kim Smith.
Dealers at the final table are chosen by ESPN producers after careful evaluation of their work during the more than 70 events on the WSOP schedule. Alcorn is hoping for a fourth consecutive final table appearance to add to her list of memorable hands dealt during her WSOP career.
Check Your Privilege
Those memorable hands include the final hand when Martin Jacobson won the Main Event championship in 2014, Joseph McKeehen's victory in 2015, and then again last year when Qui Nguyen took home the title. She was also witness to the shenanigans of William Kassouf when the Brit's excessive table talk got under the skin of a number of players.
Sounds like the makings of a book with a working title of "My Years at the WSOP Final Table" from the viewpoint of the dealer, which might be kind of interesting. In any event, whoever emerges among the final nine players at this year's Main Event may once again see Alcorn dealing the action.
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