Day 3 of the World Series of Poker Main Event is always one of the most exciting days of the summer. The tournament usually plays into the money on Day 3 and this year, just over 1,000 players will record Main Event cashes by the end of the night if the schedule cooperates. For some, that will be a dream come true but others, Chino Rheem included, are looking ahead.
“I came here to win,” Rheem said during an extended break from the PokerGO outer feature table. “Obviously, everyone wants to make the money for like $15,000. I’ll be honest with you, that does nothing for my life.”
One of the reasons a min-cash in the Main Event wouldn’t move the needle for Rheem, he has already experienced the highest highs of the Main Event. The California professional made the November Nine in 2008, finishing 7th for a $1.7 million result, one of four such seven-figure scores that Rheem has amassed throughout his tournament career.
With around 1,800 players coming back from the second Day 3 break of the day, the Main Event is a long way from getting real but even close to a decade after making the November Nine, Rheem remembers the exact point of when his Main Event run became real.
“We were deep and then they’d announced ‘Such and such got eliminated for $187,000 blah, blah, blah.’ That’s when it got real for me.” Rheem said, adding, “I was like, ‘Holy shit. We’re moving up in big money.’”
Big money and Chino Rheem have always been in close contact throughout his career. Along with his November Nine run in 2008, Rheem has three World Poker Tour titles, with his first coming just a few months after final tabling the Main Event. His most recent, came last year, when Rheem won the $10,000 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Finale and Rheem then fell a few spots short of a record-setting fourth WPT victory this past spring, instead settling for bronze in the WPT Shooting Star Main Event.
Those victories and nearly $9 million in career earnings aside, Rheem doesn’t concern himself with those past results or his poker legacy.
“Legacy, reputation, I don’t give a f**k about all that. It really doesn’t matter to me, people can think or say whatever they want. Anyone who knows me, knows me.” Rheem said, before admitting that a WSOP bracelet is something that he cares about. “To win the Main Event, to win a very prestigious tournament would be so cool. I’ve won a lot of WPTs and other things but I do really want a bracelet. It is sort of haunting me, I want a bracelet but for the most part, I play for the money.”
With just over $8 million awaiting the eventual Main Event champion, there is money to be won this week. While another run to the final table would likely cement Rheem as one of the best to ever play the game, that is another thing that Rheem doesn’t concern himself with.
“I’ll be the first person to say I am not the best player in the world.” Rheem said, before adding, “But when I show up and play my best, I can hang with whoever is considered the best and that’s all that matters to me.”