WSOP Main Event Moment – Seven months ago, Michael Graydon was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The 40-year-old poker player, who talked with PokerNews, put out a tweet asking for a partial sponsorship for the next WSOP Main Event Moment, and he immediately discovered the poker community’s generosity.
Graydon was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and has two kids, ages 9 and 6, with his wife Haley, whom he has been married to for 12 years. Ten months ago, the family man had to break the dreadful news to his loved ones.
“Back in December (2020), I went to the ENT for a sinus infection and informed him about a strange spasm I was feeling in my neck,” Graydon said to PokerNews.
WSOP Main Event Moment : The Poker Community Rises
That was the beginning of his medical issues. When the doctor discovered that he had a paralyzed vocal chord, he had an MRI of his brain performed. He went for a follow-up MRI three months later, and it was determined that he had a slow-growing malignant glioma of the brainstem.
His brain cancer is fatal, he revealed in a message to the poker community, but it doesn’t mean he’ll stop living. Graydon had no clue what was about to happen to him. He first requested that donors fund 70% of his 10,000 USD WSOP Main Event Moment buy-in at no markup. He immediately found interested investors, but a few others wanted to go even further.
Winner and Volunteering
MJ Gonzales, who assisted Daniel Negreanu during his online heads-up challenge against Doug Polk, volunteered to cover the whole buy-in and give Graydon the right to keep all wins.
After that, Jonathan Depa stepped in to divide the buy-in with Gonzales. The poker community’s generosity did not end there. Maria Ho then offered to pay for Graydon’s plane ticket to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. The Alabama Crimson Tide fan (“Roll Tide,” he joyfully shouts) wants to fly out on November 6 to participate in the Day 1D session.
But hold on, there’s more. Graydon will receive free unlimited meals from All-American Dave, a healthy food-eating truck that caters to poker players, while he is in town.
“I was just blown away,” Graydon remarked of the kindness of the poker community. “I shouldn’t have been shocked since I’ve seen the poker community come up for everyone time and time again.” They truly have a gold heart and constantly look for their own.
What’s even more bizarre is that MJ Gonzales volunteered to pay for my whole entrance so that I could retain 100 percent of myself, and the people who wanted to buy parts were overjoyed.
WSOP Main Event Moment : Years of Poker Playing
Graydon, who operates a landscaping firm, will not be entering his first poker tournament when he enters the WSOP Main Event Moment. In 2019, he competed in the global championship event and made it to Day 2, but fell short of the prize money. However, in 2009, he cashed in poker’s most famous yearly event, finishing 483rd for 25,027 USD.
“I’ve always liked the game, and when I’m playing, all my troubles and anxieties go,” the father of two explained.
“When I was 15, I began playing in the back of a Mexican restaurant. In the last 10-15 years, I’ve only played in a few WSOP Circuit events, where I’ve cashed a few times, with my best result being 11th in the WSOP Circuit Main Event in Atlantic City in March of 2017. I won the marathon in the World Series a few years back. I’ve never taken the plunge into full-time poker since I’ve always had to work.”
WSOP Main Event Moment : Not a Death Penalty
Being diagnosed with terminal cancer is a difficult experience for anybody, especially a parent with young children. But he isn’t going to give up fighting the cancer, and he remains upbeat.
“I was in disbelief at first because it didn’t seem real,” Graydon said of his reaction to learning about his illness.
“However, the weeks that followed helped me appreciate life more and focus on the things that truly mattered in life. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, so make the most of today, and I’m constantly searching for ways to make someone else’s day better since you never know what others are going through. And someone is always in a worse situation.”
Graydon has no idea how much time he has left. He stated it may be one to two years, but if his treatment (radiotherapy and chemotherapy) goes well, he could live for another ten years, if not longer.
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