WSOP: Bar-Hopping, Scooter-Driving, Satellite-Winning Eric Hicks

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Eric Hicks won his WSOP Main Event seat online - almost entirely by accident.

Eric Hicks came to Las Vegas early last weekend to play the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event and was a little bit bothered to discover it didn’t start until Monday.

A small business owner from El Segundo, CA, Hicks decided to make the most of the weekend and played the $888 Lucky Eights event. Before busting that event, he jumped in the $215 WSOP Main Event Scramble on WSOP.com that guaranteed 25 seats to the Main Event.

“I was playing in the Scrambler. I was #1 in the Scrambler, early on and we started bar-hopping, drinking beers and I was bragging to everybody, ‘Look, I’m #1 in chips’,” said Hicks, who has held the chip lead at various points on Day 2AB of the Main Event. “It was me on my scooter, playing the scrambler. People couldn’t believe it.”

Hicks eventually closed out that win and started prepping for his Main Event, which started on Monday.

“I was going to go home, (my wife) had plane tickets for us on Monday. I came here accidentally, thinking I could play on the weekend,” said Hicks. “Then I won the scrambler and had to play on Monday and I had a flight on Tuesday.”

Hicks and his wife run an electric bike and car company back home and he knows that as long as he’s in Vegas, the business back home is going to suffer a little bit.

“It’s a really hard time for us. We’ve got to be back fighting, battling there,” said Hicks, whose wife returned home on Tuesday before coming back to Vegas on Thursday. “I didn’t feel like I should leave when I’ve got a big stack on Day 1, so I stayed here and stayed in the mindset. She came back last night.”

Hicks has no difficulty settling in and focusing on the cards when he’s playing.

“When I’m here, I forget all about it. It’s my one break of the year, it’s really fun for me and I don’t think of business at all when I’m here. When I start to think about it, I get depressed like ‘oh, I should be back there working’,” said Hicks, who has had a top five Main Event stack before. In 2014, he finished 467th for $25,756.

Eric Hicks won his Main Event seat while driving around on his scooter.

Last year he final tabled the $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha, but don’t ask him to talk about. It’s got nothing to do with bad memories – he finished fourth – but more to do with a complete lack of memories.

“I love playing. I drink when I play. I swore I wouldn’t do what I did last year, I made a final table and I have no memory of it. I got so drunk,” said Hicks. “That’s the worst bad beat story of all time, I’ve always wanted to make a final table. This year I’m going to take it more seriously.”

Sitting on a top ten stack late on Day 2AB, Hicks doesn’t have visions of making the final table and becoming a millionaire. He’s over the moon just to see his name on top of the Main Event – even this early.

“I don’t even dream I’m going to make the final table. I’m just glad to be the chip leader for one moment in time. That’s enough for me. I’ll be happy whatever happens. I was #1 in chips for one time in this event and I’m proud of that. Now I can just relax,” said Hicks. “I really don’t think I’m going to final table there’s a lot to go wrong between now and then.”