A New Jersey man, diagnosed with leukemia 8 years ago, is having his biggest moment at the poker table in the $25,000 PSPC Bahamas.
Damon Ferrante, a numismatist from Parsipanny, New Jersey found his passion for poker for the worst possible reason. He’s not chasing fame or fortune at the tables. Playing cards is simply a coping mechanism for him. Ferrante was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011, but as he puts it, poker helps him forget about his health struggles.
“I’ve found that my focus on my health and other problems take a back seat while playing, and all of my attention shifts to poker once the cards are in the air. Too many people find they have cancer or other ailments and simply give up on life. It can lead to their ultimate demise.” – he told the British news outlet Daily Record.
He was interviewed a few days before playing in the PSPC Bahamas.
Early Success with Small Tournaments
After receiving the devastating news from his doctor, Ferrante focused on playing small buy-in poker tournaments in Atlantic City. He quickly found he has a knack for No-Limit Texas Hold’em and started taking home prizes. He claims he “can’t even count how many [tournaments] I won down there”. Luckily, his Hendon page helps.
According to that, he’s amassed a little over $50,000 in live tournament earnings. The amount comes from a total of 21 cashes over the course of 10 years. The biggest cash of his career is a $10,000 payday from the 2017 Borgata Deepstack Challenge.
His profile feature in the Daily Record also mentions a $7,500 first prize in the New Jersey State Poker Championship which does not show up on his Hendon page.
His Big Chance at the 2019 PSPC Bahamas
Ferrante’s story was brought to PokerStars’ attention by a local tournament organizer Andre Akkari. PS decided to offer the New Jersey man an ambassadorship deal so he can represent them at charity tournaments.
As a part of his deal, Ferrante also got a $30K platinum pass to the PokerStars NL Hold’em Players Championship in the Bahamas. He got the great news from none other than 2003 WSOP Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker via Skype.
As for his tournament chances, Ferrante felt confident he would finish in the money, even among the top 10% of the players – given that event drew 1,039 entries, that would have meant at least a 103rd place.
However, the tournament is on its Day2 and with the Colombian Farrit Jattin in the lead, Damon Ferrante is no longer in the field. According to the man himself, he lost two consecutive hands with top two pair at the end of Day1. The unlucky streak ended his tournament early.
“At the end of day 1 … 3 hands remaining, I was dealt top 2 pair in back to back hands, and my opponents got very lucky and out drew me 2 hands in a row” said Damon.
This isn’t the Only Heartwarming Story Involving Poker Tournaments
Just a few weeks ago, after Christmas Day the online poker community was charmed by a man named Jeremy’s reaction. He received a WSOP buy-in from his wife as a gift and was so overwhelmed by it that he broke down to tears.
All he major influencers of the poker world talked about Jeremy’s story, including Joe Ingram, Daniel Negreanu and the aforementioned Moneymaker. As a result, the Tennessee man also got a Platinum Pass to the $25K PCA Players Championship.
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