The World Series of Poker $10,000 World Championship Main Event is the proverbial carrot on a stick that keeps players coming every year, even if they lose. Army veteran turned poker pro Tim Burt has a five year odyssey with the Main Event and has every intention of going all the way this year.

Burt busted the Main Event early in 2013 and 2012, failing to make the money. But since then, he’s cashed in the Main Event for three straight years – improving each year. “It’s been a great learning experience – I’ve really gotten used to the structure,” he said.

Burt’s Main Event Cashes

2014 – 537th place for $22,678
2015 – 404th place for $24,622
2016 – 166th place for $42,285

“Well, I’ve played the last five years, cashed in the last three but gone deeper every year,” said Burt. “I’m hoping to top 166th place this year – I told my friends I’d take fifth this year where I can win next year, because if I ever win I can do any better.”

Tim Burt is always a lock to make the table enjoyable. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Burt was halfway joking about making a final table run, he’s confident while in the middle of a pretty awful downswing. “I played the whole Series here and I’m still looking for the first bracelet,” he said. “I had a really depressing summer with just five min-cashes and I lost a lot. As we all know, this one event can turn everything around.”

“My day started off good, the last two levels of Day 1A I chipped up from 41K to 131K after dinner,” he said. “ I basically won two big pots – I got paid off with a full house and basically floated a guy in a huge four-bet hand preflop. I was pretty certain we had the same hand – ace king – and I was able to take the pot away from him on the turn, those two hands earned me nearly 100K.”

Burt is in position to chase down Ronnie Bardah’s record of cashing in five consecutive Main Events, which came to an end in 2014.

“They changed the starting stack from 30K to 50K but I don’t think it changed the tournament that much,” Burt said. “It was great, but now we’re getting in the money earlier in Day 3. Hopefully I can make another deep run this year. I’m looking to go all the way this year, I really like how the Final Table plays out this year.”

“This is the best structure in the world and I think my biggest edge is being able to wait it out and be patient and not spazz,” he added. “I just saw a 100K pot where I guy punted in 50K with eight five of diamonds against two aces and got there. I’m just hoping I can catch those punts.”

Burt served as part of a tank crew in two tours in Iraq. While he was halfway around the globe he was able to have a little taste of home by playing poker. “I played mostly on the Internet, partypoker let me play when I was in Iraq,” he said.

“On my second tour I was assigned to my Executive Officer’s tank, so we didn’t go out much,” he continued. “We had satellite internet there and I won $50 or $60 grand while I was over there in a year. My friends were like, ‘Damn Specialist Burt, you made more than the Colonel over here.’ So, after my four-year tour that was enough for me because I was printing money on the Internet and took it for granted.”