The long days of the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event don’t bother Roger Lussier in the least. The father of two from Long Island, New York works long days in his day job. Err, day jobs.
Lussier, who started Day 6 of the Main Event sitting almost right in the middle of the chip counts, hosts a morning rock show on Long Island, an afternoon talk show in Tampa, Florida and on weekends he’s the public address announcer at New York Islanders games.
“I’m a bit busy but I squeeze in poker a lot,” said Lussier. He used to play more poker, but those three gigs, plus some commercial work he does on the side, makes traveling for big tournaments nearly impossible.
“They all start during the week. I don’t know why, so I just play the Saturday tournaments. But I play locally at home all the time,” said Lussier.
He’s playing in the Main Event after winning his way in through a local league that sent three players to Vegas this year.
“We had 24 guys play. So I’ve got 75% of myself. It’s just been great,” said Lussier. “I had vacation points to use anyways, so I’ve been off the whole time.”
He played the Main Event back in 2014 and made it to Day 2 before busting on the final hand of the night. That experience helped him set some goals for this year. He didn’t want to embarrass himself on Day 1. He wanted to survive Day 2. And lastly, he wanted to cash. All of that has been accomplished and now he’s hoping to continue the grind to wherever it takes him.
“Every day I wake up and I can’t believe I’m doing this again. So Day 6 is crazy,” said Lussier. “It’s an unbelievably different feeling. I’ve never had this feeling, I’ve done a lot of cool stuff in my life, but this is really cool.”
Every night, Lussier has managed to bag up more chips than he started the day with. It gives the illusion of a smooth, easy ride into the top 1% of the 7,874-player field, but Lussier insists that’s not even close to the truth.
“I’ve had some bumps. I had a big one (Sunday), that was my biggest one. I put in 700,000 chip with ace-queen. I don’t know what I was doing, but I made a mental error and gave up 700,000 chips. It kills me to this minute,” said Lussier, of the hand where he and another player flopped top pair against Alex Lynskey’s flopped middle set. “Everything goes in waves and there have been explosions, just wait for the cards – they come. The situations, just find the holes in peoples play. It’s all there.”
The other players from the league in Long Island are all following along from home. The players each have a 1.8% piece of whatever Lussier wins. Rather than allow himself to be distracted by incoming texts and social media updates to his listeners back home, Lussier has delegated those duties elsewhere.
“I have a buddy of mine actually handling all of that, all of the communications with everybody. So I just send him my updates and he sends it to everybody. On breaks, I handle two twitter accounts and Facebook,” said Lussier. “My wife handles everything, I’ve got another guy handling stuff. It’s unbelievable. I’ve got a five-person team that’s making sure that all I have to think about is this.”
Running into the Amazon Room for this morning’s 11 am start time, Lussier fired a quick message to his radio show partners.
“I said, ‘I hope you guys see the irony in that I’m running into a room at 10:56’ – which is the time that our Tampa show starts, we’re on at 11 am every day – ‘for a whole different reason’. They all laughed because they all get it, we’re all rushing in to get on the air on time.”