June 22, 2022

Rail Poker Player Friends Fighting ALS in WSOP Main Event

Andy Talbot, a longtime poker fan battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), entered Day 1d of the World Series of Poker 2021 (WSOP) Main Event on Sunday. He was not alone as his friends from the home game surprised him by showing up to watch him compete.

Talbot, 57, is a former general aviation pilot who was reportedly flying from his home in northern Nevada to a home game in San Jose, Calif., Hosted by his friend Marc Atherton, who is also present at the WSOP.

Do not abandon

In March 2020, her fiancé Melanie Enman Recount PokerNews, Andy began to scramble his speech, which worried his friends and family. It wasn’t until June 2021, however, before he was officially diagnosed with ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. There is currently no cure for ALS, but that hasn’t stopped Talbot from living the dream of playing in poker’s most prestigious annual tournament.

Enman said they were hopeful that a trial drug called AMX0035 would be accelerated and delivered to them by the first of the year. They hope the drug will help her condition and prolong her life while improving her quality of life.

On Monday, Talbot and Enman will fly to the Grand Canyon to get married. His goal for Day 1d, however, is on play poker. A number of Talbot’s pals and family showed up at the Rio and stood behind him to cheer him on as he entered the Main Event.

McEachern, Friends of the Rail Talbot home game

Andy Talbot

The home squad includes Lon McEachern, the longtime WSOP TV announcer, who has known Talbot for over 15 years. The two played against each other for many years in a home game in San Jose.

Executive Director WPT Matt Sauvage Talbot has also known Talbot for many years. In fact, Talbot participated in the annual Savages Golf Tournament in Las Vegas.

“I’ve known Andy for over 35 years and he’s always been a great friend,” Savage said. PokerNews. “He’s a good golfer but he had the nickname ‘The Human Rain Delay’ because of his deliberate approach to the game.”

Savage called his friend a “reliable, trustworthy guy who never had a hard time talking about anyone.” The longtime tournament director who is one of the 10 finalists of the Poker Hall of Fame said Talbot is an amateur poker player who often calls him during home games to help him make a decision in a game.

“Thirty years ago we were playing low limit poker games that I will never forget,” said Savage.

During the dinner break on Day 1d, Talbot left the table with 26,000 chips remaining, down from his starting stack of 60,000 chips.

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