Back in poker's glory days the world was captivated by an inspirational story to emerge from the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event, as Hal Lubarsky became the first legally blind player to compete on poker's premier stage.
Lubarsky was born with the ability to see, and during his late 20s he relocated to Las Vegas with dreams of becoming a professional poker player. He competed against many of Sin City's top players at that time, becoming a regular in $150/$300 H.O.R.S.E. games and living that aforementioned dream — until a hereditary dystrophy known as retinitis pigmentos left Lubarsky without the sight so many of us take for granted.
Following a period of depression Lubarsky used poker to pull himself out of the doldrums, devising a way to continue playing the game he loves and diving back into the world of flops and folds despite not being able to see the felt. In 2007 Lubarsky garnered worldwide attention during ESPN's now-legendary broadcasts of the WSOP Main Event, with viewers becoming captivated by the image of Lubarsky playing poker alongside an assistant who reads his cards and informs him of the action.
Lubarsky did much more than simply enter the event, however, as his deep run to a 197th-place finish in the Main Event earned him $51,398, along with a certain sense of validation and the widespread respect of his poker peers.
Seated directly in front of the PokerNews' Live Reporting desk here today, Lubarsky is looking for his fifth career cash at the WSOP, so we'll be sure to track his progress throughout the day.