Battling Most cancers, Kevin Varnell Gifted WSOP Seat by Poker Professional Son


Poker professional Craig Varnell got here up with a cool reward thought for his father, Kevin Varnell, who was identified with mind most cancers final 12 months — a seat in WSOP Occasion #52: $1,000 Seniors Championship.

The elder Varnell is not a lot of a poker participant, not like his son who has over $2.5 million in dwell event cashes, however he enjoys the sport recreationally and was thrilled to obtain such a beneficiant provide.

Varnell, who lives in Denver, Colorado, is a 65-year-old retired United Airways mechanic. Final summer season, he went to the physician the place he found some uneasy information.

“They did an MRI and located a tumor the scale of a golf ball in my mind,” he instructed PokerNews moments after his elimination from the Seniors occasion.

A Cool Expertise

Talking of that Seniors occasion, Varnell competed within the Day 1a flight on Wednesday. He arrived at his seat within the Rio Conference Heart’s Pavilion room at 10 a.m., proper on time. Sadly, for the in poor health however upbeat newbie poker participant, he did not final lengthy. He was eradicated from the event shortly earlier than the primary break on Day 1.

“Boy, I did not even make it to the break,” Varnell mentioned with a sigh as he overheard the event director announce the primary break seated close to the desk the place he misplaced his stack.

Enjoying within the event, nevertheless, wasn’t about successful or shedding for Varnell. He’d by no means competed in a WSOP occasion, or any main poker event, and he was up in opposition to some nice gamers within the Seniors occasion. The expertise of popping out to Vegas to play in a giant event was most necessary, and he was grateful that his son received him into the sport.

“It was fulfilling, it was enjoyable,” Varnell mentioned of his first-ever poker event.

Being that Varnell is not an enormous fan of poker and infrequently performs, he does not have a prolonged listing of favourite poker gamers. However he does have a few professionals he is fairly keen on, none extra so than his son, Craig, after all.

Doyle Brunson is the one I might love to satisfy,” Varnell mentioned. “He is a gentleman.”

Battling Well being Points

kevin varnell poker

Varnell does not get round as simply as he did when he was youthful, however he is not a homebody both. He was fast to notice that the stroll from his Rio lodge room to the conference heart was fairly the hike.

“I am an previous fats man, so it is laborious for me to do this seven-mile stroll,” he joked.

It isn’t fairly seven miles, and even one mile, however he is additionally admittedly no spring hen. He walks with a pair of trekking poles to assist his steadiness, and he is been going to a health care provider twice every week for the previous 15 months.

On July 17, 2020, he was first identified with mind most cancers. He remembers the date vividly. He confirmed an image of his MRI, which indicated a tumor the scale of a golf ball. Varnell’s situation is extreme, forcing him to get checked out by a health care provider usually. However the constructive is that the illness is not terminal at this level.

When talking with Varnell, it is clear he has a constructive mindset and likes to joke round. Varnell is engaged to a lady he speaks fairly fondly of. He praised her for sticking with him following the most cancers prognosis.

Ardour for Music

Varnell’s true passions are fishing and music. He owns a powerful guitar assortment and used to play in a band again in his youthful days. The guitar he most cherishes was personally autographed twice by Les Paul, his favourite guitarist.

kevin varnell les paul
A a lot youthful Kevin Varnell with guitarist Les Paul in 1993.

Lower than a month previous to his most cancers prognosis, Varnell retired from the airline business. Simply his luck, he acknowledged, as quickly as he was excited to get pleasure from his golden years, he grew to become in poor health.

“I have been attempting to go fishing, however largely I have been going to medical doctors all of the rattling time,” Varnell mentioned of what he is been as much as since retiring. “That is mainly it’s medical doctors.”

This week, nevertheless, he received to flee his common routine due to the generosity of his son. As an alternative of spending his days on the physician, he performed some poker and loved the town of Las Vegas.

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