Michael Graydon, a father of two from Birmingham, Alabama, was recently diagnosed with a slow-growing brain tumor, but he hasn’t let his diagnosis stop him from reaching his goals. Since receiving his diagnosis, he has been invited to the World Series of Poker Main Event to compete alongside some of the greatest poker players alive today.
Aside from being gift the opportunity to go to this event by players in the poker community, Graydon was also gifted merchandise from companies, other players and strangers who wished him well. His flights were also paid for by GGPoker, who sponsored the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Graydon explained the story of his diagnosis in an interview with LadBible, “In December of 2020 I went to the ENT for a normal sinus infection. While there I told my doctor about a weird spasm I had been having in my neck, so he did a scope and found that I had a paralyzed vocal cord. He ordered an MRI of my brain and that's when they found the tumor. They diagnosed me with a malignant slow-growing glioma of the brain stem.”
Graydon also discussed the poker event, saying, “The World Series of Poker main event is every poker player's dream. It's the most prestigious poker tournament in the world. You can enter by paying $10,000 or for people like me who don't have that kind of money, you can sell pieces of yourself [the money you'll play with] and people who buy pieces get the equivalent percentage of your winnings to how much they put towards the buy in."
And speaking on the experience of being gifted the opportunity to go to the poker event, Graydon said, “I was overwhelmed by the amount of love and support from the poker community. It still feels like a dream. I was extremely excited and it can't get here soon enough!”