A Transcona gambler took his talents all the way to Sin City.
Dylan Ellis made his way to the World Series of Poker at the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. earlier this month, playing in Event 60, the No-Limit Hold ’Em event with a $1,500 buy-in.
It was the 24-year-old’s first trip to play in the tournament. His particular event ran from July 5 to 7, but Ellis bowed out after about four hours of playing time after dropping a couple of big hands.
He was jittery early on, but gradually realized he wasn’t playing against the stars of the game.
"At first, I was extremely nervous and excited," he said. "I needed to sit down and see the play of the hands being turned over — then I definitely realized that they weren’t top-tier players."
Ellis qualified through the PlayNow.com website, which he used for only four days before punching his ticket to the World Series of Poker. The package included $1,000 for accommodations and $1,500 with which to buy in.
Ellis said Hold ’Em is his preferred game, though he dabbles in others. He said he grew up watching his father, Daryl, playing online Hold ’Em growing up, and they soon began to play against each other.
"That was our main bonding thing," said Ellis, who began playing when he was 16. "We can win money and bond, so it’s a nice combination."
The Transcona Collegiate Institute graduate grew up three minutes away from Club Regent Casino, calling it his "home base."
Ellis plans to play in satellite tournaments in the hopes of qualifying for bigger events in British Columbia and Quebec later this year, but doesn’t plan to change up too much as he chases greater success. He referred to his game plan as situational.
"Usually I don’t veer from my usual strategy," he said. "I have a strategy, but I couldn’t really explain it."