Poker Bucket List - Casino Monte Carlo

My Poker Bucket List

Every poker player worth his or her salt has a poker bucket list. Whether it’s to play in Paris or win the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, everyone has their own must-do poker experiences before they fold their last hand. My poker bucket list has evolved over time. Five years ago, one of my items was cashing for $1,000 in a tournament. I have since exceeded that amount both at the Venetian Casino in Vegas and at my favorite local card room, Hampton Falls. So now I’ve kicked that goal up to $5,000. For many years I yearned for Vegas, and now, happily, Paul and I make an annual visit to Sin City. So my eye is now on the Monaco prize.

In no particular order, below are the items on my poker bucket list.


Poker Bucket List

Win Over $5,000 in a Single Tournament

As mentioned above, I broke the $1,000 cash barrier a couple years ago. Sure, I could aim for a $2,000 cash next, but why not aim high? Paul and I usually play sub-$200 buy-in tournaments, so it is rare that first prize surpasses $5,000. However, we occasionally play in larger fields with larger buy-ins, such as when we take our yearly sojourn to the WSOP. While we are not entering the Main Event any time soon, there are plenty of smaller stakes tournaments in town during the World Series that offer reasonable buy-ins and have top prizes over $5,000.

Win a WSOP Bracelet 

This goal is likely a bit farther in the distance. Especially as we don’t see ourselves laying down over $1,000 each on a single tournament any time soon. But you never know, we could always play some WSOP satellites and win lammers to enter a bracelet event and go on an epic run.

Hey, a girl can dream.


Play in the WSOP Main Event

Rounding out the World Series of Poker section of my bucket list is, of course, the Main Event. Most poker players dream of being able to gather the resources to play in the Main. Two years ago we played a ten game series of satellites to send one player to the Main Event. Paul was within inches of winning the entry. Then another player sucked out on two different hands to crush his Main Event dreams. He still has nightmares about it. Don’t ask him about it, he’ll describe it in excruciating detail. (*sigh*)

Someday we will get there.

Play Poker in Monaco

Playing in a fancy card room in Monaco is definitely on my poker bucket list. I imagine myself in a beautiful ballgown playing across the table from James Bond and bluffing him off pocket Aces. Or maybe just in a halfway decent outfit and outlasting Paul in a tournament held in a plush poker room. Either way, a Monaco casino seems like somewhere I need to visit before I die.

Poker Bucket List - Casino Monte Carlo
A Monte Carlo Casino

Win a Bad Beat

Paul has already knocked this one off his poker bucket list. About five years ago, he flopped a royal flush and his opponent caught up to quad 10’s. Paul won about $12,000 with the good end of the beat, enabling us to, among other things, enter the aforementioned Main Event satellite.

I, however, have never won a bad beat. Unfortunately, they are becoming scarce as cash High Hands have become the card room lottery shot of choice. Where’s the romance in a $500 high hand? I’ll take the one time $400,000 Foxwoods bad beat jackpot any day of the week. I’ve been playing over ten years now. Seems like I’m due. Right?


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Play Against Daniel Negreanu

I am a big fan of Daniel Negreanu as a poker player. I have read much of his writing on poker, enjoyed his MasterClass, and even watch his annual WSOP Vlogs on YouTube. Negreanu is one of the great all-time tournament poker players. So, of course, it’s on my poker bucket list to match wits across the table with Daniel.  On the one hand, he’s Daniel Negreanu, he’ll probably wipe the floor with me. On the other hand, I’ve watched him bust in tournament after tournament on that WSOP Vlog.  Maybe I can add “knocked Daniel Negreanu out of a WSOP event” to my completed poker bucket list someday!

Take a Poker Cruise

I’ve only taken a few cruises in my life: to Alaska, the Western Caribbean, and a Disney cruise with the kids when they were young. This summer Paul and I are taking a cruise to Cuba (stay tuned for the report). While most cruise ships have a casino, we’ve found that when regular cruises offer poker, it’s seldom very active. On the Western Caribbean cruise, they offered one electronic poker table and hosted supposed daily Sit-n-Gos. Paul haunted that table on an almost hourly basis. There was never anyone there. Apparently the other 2,000 people on the ship didn’t think playing poker in a dark room was a choice cruise activity. When it’s 80 degrees in February with three outdoor pools, it’s hard to blame them.

Since we think that poker and travel are a perfect mix (see the entire purpose for this blog), we know that we’ll eventually take a poker cruise. The trick will be finding one where the destination is as appealing as the tournaments they offer. A couple of years ago, I came across a poker cruise to Oslo, Helsinki, and St. Petersburg that offered a variety of poker tournaments and cash play. That seems about right for the bucket list.

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Start Our Poker Pilgrimage!

Of course, the biggest poker bucket list item of all is to finally be able to get out and start our poker pilgrimage. We’ve started planning a mini-pilgrimage for the fall of 2021, with the full pilgrimage starting 2022. So close, and yet so very far away…


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