Not all of us have the ability to plunk down $10,000 to play in the WSOP Main Event. Even among those who do, not all of them have the chops (or the good fortune) to make it to the Final Table. Getting to be the center of attention in the poker world, on display for the world to see via the ESPN cameras, is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. It makes sense, then, that it’s something that any and every poker fan would love to be able to experience on their own. Perhaps the next-best thing to actually playing and making it to the final table is winning a seat to watch it live, in person. That’s precisely the fantastic opportunity that Linda Weissler, of Southern California, has won in a sweepstakes run by Shop.WSOP.com.

WSOP final table tickets

To have entered the contest, all one needed to do was enter their contact details and register for the Shop.WSOP.com mailing list. Among the thousands who entered, it seems like Linda was really “Lady Luck”. In addition to winning two tickets and have front row seats on July 20-22 as poker’s world champion is crowned, she also won $1,000 to put towards travel – a nice extra bonus!

I got in touch with Linda to ask her some questions about winning the tickets to watch the WSOP Main Event Final Table. Let’s all live vicariously through her; I hope you enjoy this short winner’s interview.

Linda Weissler poker
Linda Weissler

How did you first hear about the contest?

Well, actually, my husband and I were planning  getaways  during summer break. We looked up things happening in Las Vegas, as well as looking at rooms at any of the Caesars Entertainment Group of Hotels, and this contest somehow “just popped up”.  I thought, “wouldn’t it be fun to win, and be right in the action?”  I love to not only see how things work, but when you have the opportunity to feel  the energy – it’s great.  So, I entered, and fortunately won.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got into poker.

Well,  I’ve lived in Los Angeles most of my life.  I am an educator, and have had the privilege of teaching others about the rich history of Los Angeles. I feel so fortunate to live in such an exciting city and I try to take part in whatever the city has to offer. We attend concerts, exhibits, festivals, as often as possible.  I live in a high-rise, and feel  the beat of Los Angeles  from my home!  I also appreciate that we are only a few hours driving time to Las Vegas.  Since I was a kid, I loved the shows, the entertainers, the lights, and of course the food. I also love video poker slots,  a trait I inherited from so many relatives.

Linda Weissler poker
Linda, enjoying a good gamble

Have you been to Las Vegas before? The WSOP?

I’ve been to Las Vegas zillions of times! Of course, I still long for “old Las Vegas”, and really hated every implosion of the “classic hotels”.  We did manage to go to some auctions and we have silly memorabilia from the best. With all of that said, I have never attended the World Series of Poker, so you can imagine how excited I am!

Who are your favorite poker players to watch on TV and why?

I enjoy watching poker tournaments on television. I think I take in all the emotional drama being played out at the tables. I do tend to pick a personal favorite and root for them. Sometimes, I disagree with their decisions, but then I realize “what do I know?” But I really do enjoy celebrity tournaments. I’m not so tense and I find them very entertaining. The spontaneous remarks from the commentators – Norman Chad and Lon McEachern – are hysterical and the (recreational) players’ facial expressions are so animated,  in contrast to (those of) the pros.

LISTEN: Interview with Poker Commentator Norman Chad

Who will you be taking with you on your special winner’s trip? How did they react when you told them you had won?

I am taking my husband  with me. Dennis and I are so excited. This opportunity will really be the highlight of our summer.  We are now “prepping” to be familiar with the players so that we can be 100% emotionally involved.  We love excitement and drama,  so to be in the same room – at the WSOP Final Table – is unbelievable!

Linda Weissler

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