Blogs and Commentary

posted 07.07.2013 at 8-45 p.m. by Sean Burns

All In: Rock's Dawick a Fixture at the WSOP

Photo courtesy of the Toronto Rock

UPDATE: July 12 - 12p.m.

Dawick is still going strong at the WSOP, having made it through three days of the grinding tournament, beginning Friday's play as one of just 666 players remaining in the running.

The top 648 players finish in the money, so Dawick, who starts Friday with $170,500 in chips, is very close to cashing in. The overall chip leader at the start of Day 4 is Maxx Coleman, who has $1,071,500 in front of him.

"I think I've been able to play three days of mistake-free poker," says Dawick. I've been just playing pretty straight up - I haven't been getting great cards, but I'm happy that I've been able to chip up every day. Started with $30,000, ended day one at $45, Ended Day 2 $85 and now I'm where I'm at after three"

Coming out of the gate, Dawick lost a third of his chip stack early, watching a pair of queens get bested to drop him to just over $20,000. But since that low point, he's been steadily climbing in chip counttoget to the level he enters Day 4 with. During that time, he's been at tables with actor Ray Romano, made $70,000 in one sitting and even survived an all-in where he paired an ace on the river to beat pocket kings.

Needless to say, it's been an eventful tournament.

"I'm not here to play to come in like 630th just to finish in the money," he says. "There aren't any easy tables left in the tournament - I could go out there [Friday] and be sitting with four professional players on one table. If I get a chance to be aggressive, I'm gonna do it.

"Today's the day to make a run... If I can keep the same trend I've had and finish today with $340 K in chips, I'll be in a really good place."

Keep up with Dawick on twitter - @JDawick

Poker may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of downtime activities for lacrosse players, but the boom in the game's popularity that accompanied the release of movies like 'Rounders' and the televising of the World Series of Poker on ESPN has hit just as hard in the lax crowd as anywhere else.

One of my favorite random moments in my years of covering the game was winding up at a casino on the night off before the medal round in Manchester during the 2010 FIL World Championships. As the only night where players didn't have a game the following day, more than a few of players in the tournament were enjoying their free night with a trip to the tables, poker included.

What most players (including myself) haven't experienced is something like sitting at a table with Jason Alexander and former WSOP Champion Greg Raymer. Jamie Dawick, however, can make that claim.

Dawick, the owner and president of the Toronto Rock, is playing in his tenth World Series event, which began this weekend.

"This is the only event like it - you can just pay your money, and you're playing with the best," says Dawick, who was recently honored as the NLL's Executive of the Year. "You can't do that with the NLL Championship. You can't do it with the world series.

"You show up, get your entrance [players can either earn their way in via satellite tournaments, or pay a $10,000 cash fee for a seat], and then you're sitting next to Doyle Brunson."

Though he opted for a cash entrance this year, Dawick is no slouch at the tables. He finished in the money in 2007 by making it to the tournament's fourth day. He ended up in 363rd place, taking home $34,664. Last year, he made it to the end of the second day of the event, which is a grind of 12-14 hour days for as long as you can keep a stack of chips in front of you.

A typical day at the event starts at noon, and if you make it through, you bag your chips somewhere around 2:30 a.m. Dawick started this year with the 'B' group, which means if he makes it through Sunday's action, he'd be back on Tuesday for his second day. During that long shift, you get an hour and a half break for dinner and a couple sporadic bathroom breaks throughout.

Most of the time, however, the pressure is on.

"In no-limit hold-em, if you make one mistake, you're going to the rail," says Dawick. "There are times late in the day where you're really fighting the clock. There's the mental grind, and it's physically tough too, but you've got to battle through all that. It's a marathon, not a sprint."

Since he purchased the Rock in 2009, he's made it a point to wear team gear on the tables, which has led to quite a few chats with fans of the game on those break times.

And it never hurts that he made it on a featured table during that 2009 Main Event, seated between Alexander - who you may also recognize as George Costanza of Seinfeld - and Raymer, who won the 2004 event. He was in full Rock regalia, and got the team plenty of press through the television commentary.

Now that he's a veteran of the the tournament, do the Rock players try to take a run at him on the tables?

Of course they do.

"Are you kidding, of course they love to take a shot at me," he says of the games that inevitably break out when the squad has down time on road trips.

"It's more of a little fun thing to do, we don't do any huge stakes, but they definitely like to give me a little of that 'oh, you play in the world series?' stuff sometimes. But if a guy thinks he knows a little more, you can take advantage of that, so its all in good fun."

Dawick, at last check, had made it to the halfway point of day one. He'll be updating his status on twitter - follow him at @JDawick