She can cross playing WSOP off bucket list

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Katherine Leon, a native San Diegan who has been playing poker since 1987, belongs to a local poker club, which is where she won an all-expenses-paid trip to Vegas and a seat in the World Series of Poker’s Event 38, a $1,500 buy-in tournament.

She earned the most points over the past year at her poker club, which she has belonged to for three years, and that earned her the opportunity to compete for a bracelet. Like so many poker players, it was a dream come true for her.

“I know it will be an exciting and exhausting tournament, but this is what we poker players dream of,” Katherine said before the event. “When I sit down at my table I will be able to cross playing in a WSOP bracelet event off my bucket list.”

Not only was it exciting, but she played at her first table with 2009 world champ Joe Cada, and she managed to outlast him and 2,094 entrants to place 439th. While she finished out of the money, it’s still an impressive showing for a WSOP rookie.

“What a fantastic time I had,” she said. Plus her bucket list is now a little shorter.

TOURNAMENT TIDBITS: The Oceans 11 annual July 4 tournament and barbecue attracted 177 entrants for a $53,100 prize pool. Elias Alawi claimed the title and $6,285. While the top 10 all took home at least $3,495, those who placed 11-18 each won $640 from the $340 event. … On July 2, the Sycuan poker room started its mega satellites for entry into the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

These tournaments will be Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 6:30 until Oct. 24. Top 10 qualify for the super satellites Oct. 29-Nov. 7. Top players from each super (number to be determined at a later date) return Nov. 11 to play for the grand prize, which includes the $10,300 buy-in and $1K for travel expenses.

PERSONALITIES: On July 4 my husband, Rick, and I were playing in a sociable $1-$2 no-limit hold’em game in the Barona poker room. At 11:30 p.m. it was announced our dealer, Younger Phelps, had just dealt his last hand of poker. After five years he had been promoted to a floor supervisor. Congratulations and good luck in your new position.

— LoriaAnn Persinger is Ante Up’s SoCal Ambassador.