WSOP Online bracelet winner says he'll never play online again

Jon Pill
Posted on: August 15, 2020 17:32 PDT

When Ron McMillen won the WSOP Online $1,000 6-max No-Limit Holdem event on the 10th of July 2020, he made headlines.

This tournament was the first time the 70-year-old from Iowa had picked up a mouse to play poker online. And he won a WSOP bracelet along with $188,214.

Now McMillen is making headlines for claiming he’ll never play online again.

An analog guy in a digital world

The 180 seems a little ungrateful, but for the forty-ish years he’s been playing, McMillen has always treated poker as a social pleasure.

Besides, as he puts it in a recent interview, “I can be really addicted to things. I love to go outside and I love to hunt and fish. I have a little acreage. [...] I have a wife, I have grown children, and I just want to spend some time in my business. I still stay involved in it. If I started playing online poker, I’m afraid that this would get a little bit nuts.”

His path to the final table wasn’t as smooth as it might have looked. Some poker playing pals invited him over to join a house full of grinders for the series. He opted to join in for a few days. After buying himself a new MacBook Air for the occasion, he downloaded the WSOP client. That’s when the trouble started.

“I had a terrible time getting Caesars to recognize my account,” he told the interviewer. First, he’d registered his account under “Ron” rather than “Ronald”. So he missed the first event he’d planned to play. Then they needed his social security card.

“I don’t know where my social security card is,” he said. “I probably haven’t had one for 50 years. I had to get receipts from my bank as proof of who I was. I barely got in on time the next day to play the tournament that I won.”

“I don’t believe in letting the old man in.”

But he did get signed up eventually.

Despite being in his seventies, McMillen has stayed spry. When he won, he leaped out of his seat and fist-pumped the air. One of his housemates captured the moment on video. A live moment at a digital World Series.

His secret is staying young at heart he says. “I don’t believe in letting the old man in. I big game hunt. My feet hurt, my arches hurt, my back hurts, but the other option is to go out and get a La-Z-Boy and watch TV. And I’m not a La-Z-Boy or TV guy.”

That aversion to the couch is also part of why he won’t be coming back for more online action. He’s got places to be.

He ended the interview saying, “I can see why I won’t ever do it again. I never played cash online here because I think I’d get wrapped up in it.”