Poker Stories: Two Highrollers’ WSOP Journey
Being a poker pro isn’t for the feint of heart. The dramatic swings—from being on top of the world one moment to being in the depths of life’s worst misery an hour later—are intense to say the least.
We get a firsthand look at this life in the poker documentary Nosebleed, which followers two French pros, Alex 'Alexonmoon' Luneau and Sebastian 'Seb86' Sabic as they transition from high-stakes online cash games to grinding tournaments in Las Vegas at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) as they try and try again to win a coveted 1st place bracelet.
It’s About Winning and Glory
One thing is abundantly clear: being a poker pro takes a serious competitive attitude, and if you’re not winning then nothing matters. While most people think about the life-changing money that winning a huge poker tournament will bring, that’s not these guys’ motivation.
Alex explains that even “winning the Main Event wouldn’t change anything for me… maybe I could spend a bit more on wine.” Since these guys are already filthy rich from their cash game earnings, winning a couple million in a tournament isn’t going to make that big of a difference.
However, that doesn’t make losing any less impactful. There’s nothing that they want more to win, and, when they bust over and over again, the frustration mounts.
“I busted at 6 PM, and now it’s 3 AM. I’ve been drinking since then,” says Sebastian one night. “Only victory makes you happy. And since it never happens, you’re never happy.”
In between these bouts of post-loss depression, however, they live it up like kings. Between blowing thousands at Michelin star restaurants to popping bottles at high-end nightclubs, they spend like crazy even after losing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars at the poker table.
It’s truly impressive how they manage to so quickly transition from one state to another. There’s no stability or evenness in their time in Vegas. They’re either having the worst day of their life or the best, and it can all happen within the span of a single day.
Ultimately, these guys know that they can crush cash games, make a solid living, and afford to lose fistfuls of cash while also living in luxury.
That’s the mentality that it takes to survive as a poker highroller.