There are colorful poker players and then there are colorful poker players. John Hesp, the oldest player remaining in the World Series of Poker Main Event, fits one of those descriptions with his personality and the other with his eye-catching attire.
The Englishman began the Main Event with the goal of satisfying an item high on his bucket list and now, a few days later, he is just a day and a half from the final table.
“This was at the top of my bucket list,” Hesp said before the dinner break, before adding, “My first achievement was to make the cash, the top thousand. Then I thought, top-five hundred, top-hundred and here we are. I don’t even know how many are left.”
44 players returned from the dinner break and with so many achievements already unlocked, Hesp took some time to reflect on what he’s done over the last week.
“It is unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable.” Hesp said. “I’m living a dream.”
Those thoughts mirror so many that take their shots in the Main Event, especially someone who has been around the game for so long. Hesp has played poker for the last 20 years and was introduced to No Limit Hold’em close to a dozen years ago, during the poker boom.
Since then, Hesp has taken monthly trips to his local casino in Sheffield, England to play small stakes cash games but the 64-year-old wanted to experience something different. The Main Event has given him that and more.
“You experience different people from so many different levels,” Hesp said about the players that compete in the Main Event. “I’ve done that here. I’ve mixed with professionals, amateurs and I have just loved the experience.”
Now, Hesp is right in the mix at the PokerGO feature table. He is seated with former November Niners Ben Lamb, Michael Ruane and Antione Saout and if Hesp can keep his dream run alive, he could be joining those players in the most exclusive fraternity in all of poker.