Earlier this year, PlayWPT, in partnership with TruScribe.com, launched the Why I Love Poker contest that sought to find personal stories from WPT fans about why they love poker and how the game has impacted their lives. Four months after launch, World Poker Tour is pleased to announce Maria “Peach” Krebs as the contest’s winner.
After more than 70,000 views, votes, and engagements on social media, Krebs’ touching story about connecting with her ailing father through poker was chosen as the grand prize winner. PlayWPT is now sending Krebs to play in the televised Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event next month, which includes seven nights at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and $1,000 in spending money.
“I am beyond elated; humbled,” Krebs told The News Item. “I’m so excited to share with the world who my father really was.”
The contest received hundreds of amazing submissions, and following an extensive selection process three heartfelt stories were picked as finalists. Krebs’ heartfelt story was one of them. Enlisting the help of the professional team at TruScribe.com, the finalists’ stories were then turned into animated whiteboard videos, with music and voiceovers.
“I’m just so honored to be given such an opportunity, I’m very blessed,” Krebs told the world Poker Tour. “I don’t want to lose the opportunity to be a part of something so amazing. I’m excited.”
Krebs is a longtime WPT fan, recording and watching every WPT episode. It was through the World Poker Tour’s television broadcast that Krebs came across PlayWPT’s Why I Love Poker commercial, asking fans to send in their poker stories. While watching the WPT with her husband, Krebs saw the commercial and immediately asked her husband to rewind the show so that she could see the commercial again. It had clearly resonated with her and she was compelled to submit her story.
“I said to my husband, ‘Stop that and rewind it,’ and he did,” Krebs recalled. “I said, ‘I’m strongly compelled to write a story about my dad, because it matters.”
Following the episode, Krebs got to her, and by the time her husband had returned from work the next day she had written her story and was ready to send it off.
“I felt really strong that I should do this; that I needed to share it with the world,” Krebs added. “Because people forever say to me, ‘How did you ever start playing this game?’ And then I tell them.”
As it would turn out, the decision proved to be a perfect one. Not only did Krebs win the Why I Love Poker contest, but the World Poker Tour received many messages and comments about how much her story touched them.
Known to his poker pals as “The Colonel,” Krebs’ father was the consummate table captain. As a child, Krebs never discussed poker with him, but much later in life, after he suffered a debilitating condition, the game of poker created common ground for father and daughter to connect through ways that were impossible before.
Krebs says she plays poker a few times a month, and has also played in some big tournaments before, but poker isn’t her full-time job. She is the owner of a hair salon and a new grandmother, which makes it a little difficult for Krebs to play a lot of poker like she used to. She’s even played in the WPT Borgata Poker Open twice before, although she failed to reach the money.
“Playing the WPT Borgata Poker Open was the time my life!” Krebs said emphatically. “The Borgata is the best place to play poker on the East Coast.”
Win or lose, Krebs story and her play in the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open is to be featured in next season’s broadcast of the World Poker Tour. While this will be Krebs first television appearance on the World Poker Tour, she is not new to the silver screen, having been a cast member on The Amazing Race 2 some 15 years ago. She’s hoping she can top her sixth-place finish in The Amazing Race with a better performance at next month’s WPT Borgata Poker Open, but if you ask her, she’ll tell you she’s already won.
To view the videos for the three finalists, including Krebs’ winning story, head to PlayWPT.com/stories.