Blinded in a horrifying car crash, this poker player has made a major comeback Perhaps one of the most heartwarming of the human stories emerging from the World Series of Poker currently running in Las Vegas is that of blind player Jason Holbrook which Fox News reported this week.
The Bakersfield, California man started playing America's favourite card game at the age of five and growing up to become a savvy player in family and community games. But it looked as if his poker days were over back in 1991 when, just before his 21st birthday, he was involved in a road accident in which his head was pinned beneath a truck and severely injured. Rescued in a coma, he awoke a month later to the medical news that his sight was irrevocably lost.
This did not deter him, however, and he has learned to play with a helper whispering what cards he holds, what the community cards are and what people are betting. The ‘whisperer' does the same for the flop, turn and river, but isn't allowed to express any opinions or give Holbrook any extra information.
It was good enough to get the blind player a win worth a $10 000 World Series of Poker Main Event seat in a satellite competition at the Golden West Casino, and he intends to take the main prize at the Rio.
Holbrook is confident in his ability, and says he feels his blindness is really an advantage, allowing him to see tells other people can't.
When the Main Event starts July 6, Holbrook will be there competing with thousands of other entrants for the multi-million dollar grand prize and not expecting – or giving – any quarter.