Putting together a deep run in the WSOP Main Event can be an exhausting experience. Being able to come home and decompress at the end of each night is key. Having a roommate to do that with is vital.
So what do you do if your roommate is also deep in the Main Event? That’s what Chad Power and Chris Brand are going through right now and both players have had a good start to Day 6. Sharing the experience with a good friend is making it all the more special.
“It’s like I’m in the tournament twice. I really, as much as I wanna win, I’ve lived with Chris for probably two years now, and obviously we’ve become good friends and I just want him to do as well as I want to do. Almost,” said Power during the first break of Day 6.
Power and Brand were introduced to each other a few years ago when a college buddy of Brand’s moved in with Power. Not long after that Brand moved in as well. Now every summer they come to Las Vegas from their house in Maryland to play cash games during the WSOP while also taking the occasional shot at a tournament and this year that included the Main Event.
“There’s a handful of us that live in a house. I stake a bunch of people. I stake them all for cash,” said Power, who did well enough in cash games this summer to put a few people in the Main Event. “Though I didn’t stake (Chris) for the Main Event though, his dad has that honor.”
Each night for the past week the pair have returned home to their rented house and attempted to relax. But in a house full of poker players and two of them still alive in poker’s biggest event, chilling on the couch and watching SportsCenter while knocking back a Corona isn’t on the agenda.
“We come together, talk about a lot of hands and go over a lot of spots and stuff like that. It’s a lot of poker. A lot of poker,” said Brand. Power admits that the long days are tiring but still can’t just call asleep when he gets in the door.
“I come home, I’m just exhausted but at the same time I just have this adrenaline flowing. So it’s kinda like, can you chug three red bulls and then take a nap? It’s tough. I kinda have to relax for a little bit. I check Facebook and Twitter and they blow up and I try to read and respond to people who are wishing me good luck, trying to be polite to them. That sometimes can take a couple of hours and then try to get 4 or 5 hours of sleep.
The pair was so focused on the cash game scene that they played a really limited tournament schedule. Each played three events, including the Main. Power played and cashed in the Colossus and then bubbled the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship while Brand played the Colossus and the $1,000 PLO event.
To anybody who regularly follows the WSOP from home, a schedule with only three events on it doesn’t sound like one that belongs to a pro. Brand and Power don’t have a strong tournament pedigree. The last event Brand cashed in was back in 2012 and his lifetime earnings is around $25,000. Power’s numbers are slightly better. His 460th place finish in the Colossus earned him $5,615 and pushed his career earnings over $50,000.
At the start of the day Power was really happy with how things were going and what the potential that the day held for him.
“Almost doubled up here, just a million away. I can’t imagine a better start to the day. It’s going really well,” said Power. “I love my table draw and from what I understand we’re the last to break too. I think today should be a really good day for me.”
Brand’s table draw wasn’t nearly as ideal but he got a break early on that has lead to potentially greener pastures.
“I started off on a pretty tough table. Lot of big chips and I had a lot, so it was pretty unfortunate,” said Brand of a starting table that included Matt Jarvis, Fedor Holz, Pierre Neuville and Max Steinberg. “But luckily our table broke within two orbits and I got to a pretty good table.”
As for the ultimate dream scenario where both players advance to the November Nine and eventually get heads up for the bracelet and $7.6 million, each has a different take.
“He’s a really good heads-up player. So he’ll definitely be tough,” said Brand in assessing the match-up. Brand’s kind words about his roommate and potential opponent weren’t exactly echoed by Power.
“I’m just going to crush him that’s all,’ joked Brand. “I’m going to wish him the best luck in the world up until that point and then end it, no chop.”
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