Harold Angle had just six chips in his hand at one point during Day 1.
Better late than never. That’s how Harold Angle felt after his first World Series of Poker event in 2010.
Angle, 78, of Sun City, Fla., participated in his first event this year, the $1K Seniors Championship. He beat a field of 3,142 players to claim the $487,000 first-place prize, a WSOP bracelet and the “Golden Eagle” trophy, awarded to the winner of the senior event.
Ante Up’s Garrett Roth had a chance to catch up with Angle and chat about his amazing run.
What are some of the variations of poker that you play?
Well, I started playing poker when I was about 15 or 16 years old. We would play five-card stud and jacks-or-better draw. The stud game was $1 to get in. It’s been a long time since I first started. Now I just play hold’em. I’ve only been playing hold’em for about five years, so it’s still a new game to me. I’m at the (Tampa) Hard Rock most of the time where I usually play the $2-$5 no-limit cash games.
Explain a little bit about your experience this year at the WSOP.
This was my first time playing at the World Series. I arrived two days before the tournament and played one $200 tournament a day before, but my first (and only) series tournament this year was the seniors event. I should have played the main event after, but I was exhausted after 14 hours the first day, 13 hours the second day and 11 hours the last day. It’s a great event and I will play it next year and probably the main event as well.
On Day 1, I was down to (600) chips. It was pretty unbelievable how it ended up working out. My grandson took 1,500 pictures of me during the tournament (he’s a photographer) and my favorite one was a picture of me when I held up my last (600) chips. I have it sitting on my desk right now. I had just told him that I was about to be out and then I came back and won it. It was unbelievable.
Being your first series tournament, what were the main factors that contributed to your win?
There are certain things you need in this game: knowledge, patience and luck. I had all three and it all came together. My two daughters, sons-in-law and my wife were all there as well supporting me. My daughters were crying after the win; it was awesome.
I’ve also got three kids, 10 grandchildren and six great grandchildren and they were all up the entire night on the computer. One minute after the last hand was played out, it was up on the computer and they all saw. They were all over the country in Ohio, South Carolina and Florida. It was a pretty big event for my family. They couldn’t believe Ol’ Grandpa could do all that. One of them said, “Grandpa IS for real, isn’t he?”
I couldn’t believe it how things work like that, to be so lucky in life and then to have something like that happen. It really is still unbelievable to me.