I did play in the main event, unfortunately that is not me in the image above :)
I made it fairly deep into day 2 of the event (close to 18 hours of play) and then the deck of cards went pretty cold and the dream ended there. Making money doesn't start until after at least 3 days of playing. The stamina required to stay focused hour after hour, for multiple days at a time is hard to understand. One hand or mental mistake can derail the entire tournament.
To even get to the point where I was able to register for the event I had a very hot run of tournaments in the spring events around the SF bay area. I came close to a huge six figure score but in the end I couldn't outlast a few (much better) pros but was happy to have a new highlight in my amateur poker career. Being around so many professionals and holding my own gave me the confidence to book the 90 minute flight to Las Vegas and play a few larger field and buy-in tournaments.
I did not follow very good bankroll management but I only play for fun and so I was happy to use a portion of the winnings for the "once in a lifetime (for me)" experience of the Main Event.
This is what one of the multiple poker rooms full of hundreds of tables looks like... it's insane.