Robin Scory remembers days of not wanting to get out of bed a few years ago. He often felt depressed and just not himself. Some childhood struggles played a part in that and eventually he knew something had to change. The native of Vancouver, Canada, enjoyed playing poker and figured maybe focusing more on the game might offer a distraction from the way he felt. A headlong dive into improving his skills in January via online courses followed and he’s now playing in his first World Series of Poker Main Event.

“I was sleeping all day and I'm like, ‘Well, I can't get out of bed and if I'm going to stay in bed I’ll just grab the tablet,” he says.

As a child, Scory’s parents split up and that led to moving throughout his childhood, attending several schools and not always for very long. Poker seems to have helped him find some peace with that and to slowly get past his depression. He also finds the game can help one’s mind set in all aspects of life.

“I think it's still got some work to do,” he says. “But poker helps with everything – dealing with your bureaucracies, dealing with negotiating, it helps everything. It got me inspired and motivated. I've always played it, but just guess I kind of just fell back on it.”

Scory’s wife was the first to suggest that they both take up the game while on a trip to Las Vegas and staying at the Plaza. He remembers being scared but eventually jumped into action. They’re now quite a poker-playing couple.

Back in Vancouver, Scory plays in casinos and also in a monthly poker league. The group features 100 players and meets regularly in a meeting space at a golf club. The tournament costs $200 and there is also cash on the line in the prize pool each month as well. The club also plays online each Monday. Scory didn’t win one of the league’s two seats up for grabs this year, but decided to take his shot anyway.

“I've been playing for 20 years and never really did it,” he says. “Now I'm almost in my mid 50s. And that's when you make the most money because you're set in your career. And so I was just like, ‘Fuck it. I'm doing it.’”

As the anticipation built for the first day of the Main Event, Scory was one of those waiting to take their seat. “It's electric,” he noted as he waited for the doors to open. An electrical lineman by trade, he’s now hoping to see his chip stack climb throughout the day.

“I hope so,” he said with a laugh about that possibility and the potential for a big score. “Then I won’t have to climb any more.”

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