Last weekend, the popular land-based property called Pearl River Resort was home to a poker festival called Pearl River Poker Open. The series offered a total of nine different tournaments and attracted a lot of players, awarding more than $1.1 million in prizes.
Some of the players who managed to catch a title were Nicholas Hawkins, Hiep Doan, Sabrathia Smith, Teddy Conner, Thomas Blakenship, Russell Boyette, and Kenard Bowie. The Main Event was taken down by a player called Dan Lowery, who managed to win a total of $72,693 for his effort. Still, this is a story about a player called David “AtomBomb” Hendrix, who managed to win Event #4: $200 No-Limit Hold’em $20K GTD.
Hendrix had plenty of supporters on the rail, and many of them were extremely happy when the player they were rooting for managed to top the event and get a winner’s photo. Getting this award came with a couple of obstacles for Hendrix because he suffers from Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, which is also called spinal muscular atrophy type one. Despite that, he finally managed to land his first trophy, and many would argue that it was long overdue due to his great poker skills.
Werdnig-Hoffmann is the most severe of all spinal muscular atrophy diseases. Symptoms include poor muscle tone, lack of motor development, and serious motor weakness. The disease is usually discovered during the first six months of someone’s life. It’s usually progressive and affects muscles the most, causing early death. In most cases, patients pass away before they turn two, and a lot also die in early childhood. Hendrix stated that doctors had told him he had been the oldest living person in the US with that diagnosis.
The Story of Hendrix
Hendrix has been a fighter his whole life. He said that he has been called a “badass” and even a “resilient fighter” by his friends as he managed to avoid death several times, always coming back. Hendrix himself also believes he was a huge fighter both on and off the felt, and he proved his point by taking down an event.
He was born in 1990 in Amory, Mississippi, where he still lives. During the first 18 years of his life, he was frequently visiting Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
He was adopted by his biological grandmother and her husband which Hendrix considers his grandfather. He experienced pneumonia during his childhood, which is actually the reason why he was visiting a hospital frequently.
One of his life-changing events was when he bought Super Systems Volumes 1 and 2 by the legendary Doyle Brunson, Godfather of Poker. Since he was unable to play sports, he decided to try playing poker as it didn’t require any difficult body movements. In a way, he was equal to all other poker players.
He explained that he felt that he was equal to everyone in poker and that his wheelchair and disability go away whenever he is in the zone, playing the popular card game. He added that playing poker felt exactly like where he was supposed to be.
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