By Sean Chaffin
As the final table plays out here at HyperX Esports Arena at Luxor, Stacey Jones’ Stetson cowboy hat stands out as the cameras film the action. Jones is a former country music singer and now owns a nightclub in his hometown of Odessa, Texas.
As he attempts to work his short stack up throughout the day, one of his biggest fans will be watching the action back home in his hometown. His 83-year-old father Clifford and his mother Nancy will be checking out each bet and bluff on the PokerGO live stream.
Clifford followed the action throughout the tournament at Choctaw, but wasn’t able to make the trip to Las Vegas.
“My dad has some health issues and just really can’t get out and around like he once could,” Jones says. “He’s enjoyed getting on the computer and reading about the tournament. He’s beaten a heart attack, and he beat cancer three years ago. He’s tough and I think he’ll be around until he’s 100, but he just can’t get around well and didn’t feel like making the trip to Vegas.”
Growing up in a ranching family, his father raised cattle and Jones learned plenty about the job. But life in the entertainment was more of an interest to the younger Jones.
Here at HyperX Esports Arena, Jones worked his short stack up a bit during the first hour of play and had moved into fifth. Several friends and family members were in the arena supporting him including his sister Dana and girlfriend Valerie.
Plenty of people back in Odessa will also be sending him some positive energy. Some of his staff at his club, named Basin Nights for the Permian Basin geographic region in Texas where Odessa is located, sent him a good luck text with all of them at the club next to a sign read: “Congratulations Stacey.”
Having his father cheering him on back home means a lot and Jones is playing a bit for his dad. Speaking about his father’s battles with ailing health and how much he means to him made Jones a bit emotional before the start of the final table.
“My dad’s my hero,” he says. “And when he says he’s proud of me, even at age 56 I love hearing that.”
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.
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