We’re not quite ready to stop rambling about PokerStars employee and all-round legend Garry Gates’ incredible World Series of Poker Main Event run just yet. And luckily for us, his valiant efforts are also still fresh in the mind of poker vlogger, cash game grinder, and one of Gates’ close friends, Johnnie Moreno (better known in the poker world as Johnnie Vibes).
We’ve written a lot about Garry Gates these past couple of weeks. PokerStars Blog’s Howard Swains was on the tournament floor at the Rio in Las Vegas bringing us the best write ups from what was surely one of the most exciting Main Events in recent years.
When Gates bowed out in fourth place to win $3M, it wasn’t a time for “what might have been”, but rather a chance to celebrate what already was. Poker’s Martin Harris (author of the fantastic new book Poker and Pop Culture) recently compared Gates’ run to Chris Moneymaker’s back in 2003.
“For me, watching the Main Event was a little different this year,” Harris wrote. “Sitting there among the final nine was my buddy, the serious-though-by-no-means-a-pro player Garry Gates.
“They say poker is a “zero sum game.” In concrete terms — when only talking about the money — poker is undeniably that. But that doesn’t mean the game doesn’t produce more winners than losers. Sometimes, in fact, it somehow feels like we’re all winning.
“Poker brought Moneymaker and Gates together, both literally as friends and now in their shared role as ambassadors for the game. It has brought us together, too, to watch them and support them, and to stay with the game going forward.”
One man who was closer than most to Gates’ Main Event run was Johnnie Vibes. He was actually staying at Gates’ home in Henderson, Nevada throughout the wild ride.
In his latest vlog (which you can watch below) Vibes tells us about his own Main Event journey, which ended in 1,266th place (good for a $15,000 cash). But his attention then switches to his good friend Garry, a man who was a part of Moreno’s wedding, and at that point in the video had reached the final nine and was guaranteed a million bucks.
“Garry is the ultimate story of the everyday man with the job, the poker enthusiast, who has great instincts, who is not a tournament crusher sicko, rising above it all and final tabling the Main Event. This is what the WSOP is all about,” Vibes tells his audience.
“We’re going to conclude this vlog in Garry’s honour. Can Garry run this up and win the Main Event? Oh my gosh, that would be so amazing.”
…and here I thought I was done crying over the 2019 WSOP. ? Huge thanks to my guy @JohnnieVibes for including my story in his WSOP sign-off vlog. High quality stuff, as always. ? https://t.co/OijJxVU14L
— Garry Gates (@GarryGates) July 24, 2019
Vibes then interviews Gates at the latter’s house, presumably on Gates’ day off leading up to the final table. Gates explains that the only poker he gets to play regularly is his $1/$2 local cash game, but each summer he gets to fire a couple of WSOP events.
Boy, was that a good idea in 2019.
“[Garry] busted in fourth place,” Vibes says at the end of the vlog. “I think it shows an amazing story of an underdog who bested a field of nearly 9,000 people to take home $3M. It’s what the poker dream is.”
WSOP photography by pokerphotoarchive.com