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Gary Trask

Gary  Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has worked as a writer and editor more than 20 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee and a current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame voting panel.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

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Young millionaires Su and Marchington show class and dignity in defeat at WSOP Main Event

15 Jul 2019

By Gary Trask
LAS VEGAS -- For a couple of newly minted 20-something millionaires, Timothy Su and Nick Marchington don’t exactly have any grand celebration plans.

After both players were among the first three to be eliminated from the World Series of Poker Main Event’s final table on Sunday night at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, they were asked what their immediate plans were.

Their answers may disappoint you.

“The celebration tonight is going to be some sleep,” said the 21-year-old Marchington, who fell short in a bid to become the youngest player to win the Main Event when he bowed out in eighth place, good for $1.25 million. “And after that I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll go and get something nice to eat with my family. But, yeah, for now it’s a good night’s rest.”

“I haven’t really thought that far ahead,” the 25-year-old Su said when asked what the first thing he will buy once he cashes the $1.525 million he earned by finishing in seventh place out of a massive field of 8,569. “The plan right now is to fly back to Boston and go back to work on Wednesday or Thursday.”

Come again? You just won over a million dollars, you're in — of all places to be with a pile of money — Las Vegas, and your “plan” is to sleep and work?

Kids these days ...

But in all seriousness, the manner in which the two handled themselves this week at the table and, more notably, away from the table was quite impressive. As a father of three teenagers, I’d be thrilled if my kids handle themselves with the class and dignity that Su and Marchington put on display after being suddenly catapulted onto the biggest stage in poker.

Even in defeat, the two players smiled, answered every question asked of them by the media and tipped their cap to their opponents. They thanked their family and friends for their support, they were even-keeled about their newfound riches, and they both stated that they had zero regrets about how they played.

For Su, the dreamlike run to the final table was so unlikely because he is an amateur player taking part in his first WSOP. He admitted that in a few key spots he may have played a bit too aggressively, but he wasn’t about to second-guess himself.

“There’s no regrets on anything, that’s for sure,” said the Allentown, Pennsylvania native who now resides in Boston. “In terms of the pots I won and lost, sometimes you can make the best decision and it doesn’t work out and that’s an awesome lesson that poker teaches.

“If you’ve chosen to play poker, winning and losing is part of the game. It’s bound to happen whether you’re the best player in the world or the worst player. There is a lot of luck involved and you’re bound to lose sometimes. It happens, so it doesn’t really bother me.”

The unassuming and pleasant Su is a software engineer at a start-up company in Boston called Canopy, and he’s also an accomplished musician. He said the lessons he has learned from playing poker relate to his other interests.

“I think just like with all my other hobbies and interests and my profession, the way you have to approach those to become efficient is the same thing that applies to poker,” he said. “It takes a lot of talking to people, reading, studying and trying to figure out how to better yourself every day. That’s what I try to do.”

As for Marchington, the online poker pro from London was having a real tough time in his first trip to the WSOP this summer. He had played in more than 30 events with just one cash before he entered the Main Event with zero expectations.

“I was pretty much ready to play the Main, see what happened and go home and lick my wounds, but here I am,” he said. “I’m definitely more of an online player, but I love playing the World Series. It’s like a summer camp. I’ll definitely be back next year and I’ll try and add in some more live stops around the world.”

Marchington was clearly touched by the support he has received from family and friends. His mother, Allie, and his grandparents all flew in for the final table, which meant a lot to him since they were not thrilled when he made the decision a year ago to drop out of college and play poker professionally.

“It was incredible having them around and actually being here,” he said. “Honestly, I got real emotional when I saw them pull up at the hotel. It was great to have them say that they’re really proud of me. I’m just really happy to have them here.”

Like Su, Marchington got caught with his hand in the cookie jar in a few key moments over the last few days, causing him to fall from the Day 6 chip leader to the short stack at the final table. But, also like Su, he wasn’t going to lose sleep over it when his head hit the pillow last night with that $1.25 million check on the nightstand.

“I don’t regret my mind set going in,” he said. “I think people were playing quite money scared and I was trying to win the tournament. I wasn’t trying to play for ninth. I was going for the $10 million. Didn’t work out this time, but maybe next time.”

Settling for $1.25 million isn’t a bad consolation prize. And unlike many 21-year-olds you may know, or the 21-year-old you once were, Marchington isn’t about to change his lifestyle. In fact, the big score seemed to give him more perspective on life.

“I think I’m going to try and stand still for a while instead of just trying to go for it,” said Marchington, who told us earlier in the week that his hobbies are “poker, poker and more poker. “It’s a very big amount of money. I think in the last year my life balance with poker and everything else hasn’t been so good, so maybe now I can try and figure out the other things in life, and not just poker.”

And his message to younger players thinking of trying to do what he’s done at a young age?

“My No. 1 piece of advice would be to be responsible with your money and be realistic with how you are playing and your skill level,” he said. “You need to really study your game and believe in yourself.”

Polite and wise beyond their years. Let’s hope we see more of “kids” like Su and Marchington on the big stage soon. Poker will be a better game for it. That’s for sure.

 
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