The Next Big Unknown

July 4, 2005 at 9:22 am (Pop Culture on Parade)

The last few years, unknown poker players have been making a large impact at the World Series of Poker Championships. Winning the No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em event has made instant superstars out of guys like Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer. So, while I was cruising Fark.com today, this article caught my eye.

KILLEEN, Texas – A computer goof has Robert Guinther headed for a seat at the World Series of Poker tournament in Las Vegas later this week.

Guinther, 65, entered what he thought was a $10 online poker tournament, but midway through he realized that he had accidentally clicked on a World Series of Poker satellite tournament with a $100 entry fee and it was too late to back out. He went on to win, defeating 180 other competitors and earning a spot in the WSOP $10,000 no-limit championship.

The tournament, which begins Thursday, will involve more than 6,600 players who either qualified by winning a satellite tournament or paid the $10,000 entry fee.

"This is the dream of a lifetime," Guinther said. "I watch these guys on television all the time, and I'm excited about the chance to sit down and play with them."

Guinther's son, Rik, kept tabs on his father's progress from his home computer in San Antonio and had to explain just what the victory meant.

"When I won, I let out a big Yes!" Guinther said. "I just thought I had won $11,000, but then my son told me over the phone, 'Dad, you've just won a seat in the World Series of Poker!' I screamed so loud, you wouldn't believe it."

Guinther, who settled in Killeen after retiring as an Army sergeant first class in 1985, says he's a little nervous about the next step but knows he'll be fine once play begins.

Copyright 2005, Killeen Daily Herald, http://www.kdhnews.com

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