Friday, October 22, 2004

Day Three: $1000 LHE...Things Fall Apart

The Limit Hold'em tournament is when things really started falling apart for the WPPA. As if day one and two weren't bad enough, day three was worse.

Fortunately, day three was also when I met some of the most friendly and outstanding people during this festival. Max Pescatori comes to mind, as does Gregg Fund and Dan Heimiller.

Things started off shaky with only 16 players. Feeling that limit Hold’em is one of my worst games, and not having won any satellites the day before, I didn't buy-in. Instead, I chose to be a reporter.

I was shocked that the play was so good and explosive. I had expected to be nodding off, but instead was riveted to the final table.

When players were contemplating buying in, I stood by the desk, trying my best to offset Brian's negative attitude and constant complaints about the tournament. Brian's attitude of life is 'he who yells loudest wins,' but I figured if I could just intercept the players first, I might be able to present a better face for the tourney.

Max Pescatori and Charlie Shoten were at the desk, buying in. I was trying to tell Max that the WPPA was going to add some NLHE events every day, in addition to the "main" event scheduled.

The day before, in the Stud tourney, I'd told Louis that the Four Queens had made sure to run a NLHE tourney each day, in addition to the "main" event. I said it might be an idea worth considering, if it boosted attendance. We could have a NLHE event at noon, followed by the day's "main event" at 2pm. He thought it was a great idea, and we started the wheels in motion.

Far from liking the idea of attendance actually improving, Brian went ballistic. I, however, did not know that he'd gone ballistic at the idea until the next day, when I was trying to explain it to Max. Suddenly, in the middle of my sentence, Brian went nuts, screaming at Max and me about the situation.

Just a few minutes later is when Brian once again went off on Max about the idea of Charlie leaving his luggage in his room, as reported in another post. Ugh.

Although Brian would rather commit suicide than actually see the WPPA succeed, we did get a tournament that day. Only sixteen, but something.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, in walks David Levi. He went to the regular tournament area and approached Marlin. Marlin, David, Dennis Horton and I were gathered around him to hear the story.

David asked, "What the heck happened?" Marlin asked what he meant. David asked, "What happened to the WPPA tournament?" Marlin assumed he meant why weren't the regular tourney tables filled. Marlin explained, "Oh, it's over there," and pointed in the direction of our hidden area.

David looked puzzled, then questioned, "No, I mean what happened to the WPPA? I heard it was canceled."

We all looked at him in shock. "Canceled? It's not canceled, it's going on right over there!" Marlin pointed again. David said, "That's weird, everyone in Aruba was saying it was canceled." Marlin asked him who 'everyone' was. David told us that it was all over the island, he even heard it from the people running the WPT.

Great, as if the Orleans hadn't done all they could to sabotage the event, here comes the WPT to give it another kick into the trashcan.

We just stood there agape. David called some people who were still in the Aruba final event. We all stood there while he called player after player, telling them they'd been lied to. Marlin was so stunned at the lying going on in Aruba that he even got on the phone with some of the players. I think David Chui was one of them. They confirmed that it was all over Aruba that the WPPA had been canceled.

David was outraged and swore he was going to call everyone he knew, as well as going to the Bellagio and spreading it around there. It was too late for David to enter the LHE event, but he said that this was atrocious, that they would attempt to sabotage the WPPA this way. A little healthy competition never hurt anyone.

The rest of the day went off okay. I was in awe about the final table play, but I've already talked about that, both in this post, and in my write-up of that event.

At the end of the day it's the game, it's poker. It's all about poker, right? Not about this political stuff. I loved watching the final three play this sucker out. It was truly world-class play, and played so well.

Dan Heimiller is sort of the Ted Forrest of unknowns. No one knows him, until they look up his record, and then they are just sitting there in awe. Dan is tough to talk to, no doubt about it. But isn't that why poker is the great equalizer? Because we don't have to have great speaking skills, great social skills. Our playing sizes us up, not our speaking or social abilities. Dan's mind is so full of poker that he can be a tough nut to crack. Not a problem with Super-Felicia, I just kept at him, until I realized that I liked Dan quite a bit, on top of thinking he was an excellent player.

I also liked his parting comment on tourneys. He said his favorite tourney game was the game that he just won! Cute, like Dan, and always surprising.