I looked down at a king and a jack. Good enough. I pushed all of my chips in. Unfortunately, another player had an ace and a jack and he called my bet.

I was about a 3-1 underdog as we waited for the five community cards. An ace came on the flop and that was that. See ya later.

I was ushered away by the floor manager, who told me I had finished in 54th place and won $7,255.

They took me over to cashier's cage and cut me a check - I requested a check instead of cash, so I couldn't do anything stupid with my winnings - and filled out some paperwork so the IRS can send me a note of congratulations in January.

Although I felt like an idiot for losing all my chips on a mediocre hand like king-jack, I took solace in the fact that 2,072 people had felt like idiots before me. For a first foray into the WSOP, not bad at all.

Now I can't wait until the 2007 WSOP.

I'll be back to defend 54th place.

Jeff Civian

Age: 58

Background: civil engineer; current chairman of the Healdsburg Planning Commission; former member of Sonoma County and Windsor planning commissions.


Brigette Mansell

Age: 53

Background: high school English teacher, speech and debate coach; volunteer at the Raven Performing Arts Theater, including acting experience.


Tim Meinken

Age: 61

Background: owns “Gordian Knot,” approximate 1,000-case winery; former pension and benefits consultant.


Eric Ziedrich

Age: 58

Background: owns and operates Healdsburg Lumber Co.; former Healdsburg city councilman and twice appointed mayor; former school board president; former city planning commissioner; founding member Healdsburg District Hospital Board.


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