Monday, October 25, 2004

Wrap Up of Days Five Through Eight

Friday brought us a NLHE Shootout. We were all hoping for more players, but again we were disappointed.

I did get to really meet Dennis Horton on Friday. I liked him very much and we stayed close during the rest of the festival. Dennis has a good heart and is trusting of others. He accepts new people very readily, giving them the benefit of the doubt, always.

Although he was at the table with Kathy Liebert, and had a small piece of her, he did not hesitate to knock her out when he got a chance. Kathy had a pair of fours and flopped a set. Dennis had A5 of diamonds, flopped a five and the nut flush draw. His flush got there and he knocked out Kathy. No hesitation whatsoever. Great ethical standards, IMO.

Adrian Toms was also playing. He is a Brit I met at the Four Queens. We sat together during the Razz tourney, as well. I have come to like him quite a bit.

By day five, it seems as though we had some "core" players. For good or evil, they stuck it out until the end. Charlie Shoten, Dennis Horton, Kathy Liebert, Tom Franklin and Jean Gaspard seemed among these diehards. I have to give all of them some respect for cutting their EV in place of trying to support a start-up organization.
Saturday was another day of revelations. It was the first $1500 event, a NLHE tourney. While we only attracted 44 players, they were some of the best. By this time, I was noticing that the competition had become very tough. I suppose word had spread that the structure was extremely slow, comparable to a cash game or the early days of the WSOP. This brought out some unbelievably good players.

When Amir Vahedi walked in he looked a little disturbed. Relating a horrifying story, Amir told me that when he walked in from the parking garage on Monday to play in the inaugural event, someone met him in the hall leading to the tournament area. He was told him that the WPPA had cancelled the tournament, and was led back out to the garage, not even allowed near the hidden WPPA tourney area.

I think that sums up what the Orleans thinks of the WPPA, and players' rights.

Some of the other greats who showed up on Saturday included Carl McKelvey, Warren Karp, Charlie Shoten, "Shadow," Tom Franklin, Franco Brunetti and Harley Hall. Shadow would stay for the remainder of the festival, save the main event. He wanted to get home to his family in Montana. He was another of the so-called "volunteers" who expressed shock that he was listed on the WPPA page. He said he wasn't even a member of the WPPA, much less a volunteer. He also said that Louis has approached him about the WPPA, but he'd been so busy that he'd never gotten back to Louis. I think this kind of subterfuge was the basis of the whole list of "volunteers."

I think that this event probably was the most exciting event of any, even including the main event. I was simply flabbergasted at the quality of play. Franco Brunetti was incredible. Terry Fleischer kept everyone on their toes with his absolute recklessness in almost any hand.

The tourney lasted until 4:30 in the morning, and even then, a four-way deal was made.

Shadow was among the dealmakers, and started reminding everyone as they were getting paid that I was NOT getting paid, and to please remember me. I said that I had volunteered, fully knowing what I was getting myself into, and also that I felt the players should not be punished for the cheapness of the Orleans and/or the WPPA. My protests were heard but overridden. Franco and his two French friends seemed almost offended that no one was paying me for my time, and kept reminding Franco to give me some money, since I'd stayed from noon until 4:30 am covering this event. All of the players were extremely kind to me. I had not met this type of considerate poker player until the WPPA, so for that, I am forever grateful.
On Sunday I was exhausted. We had a NLHE event at noon, followed by the Stud event at 2pm.

"Minneapolis" Jim Meehan showed up for the NLHE event, and stayed for the rest of the tourneys. He was extremely kind during these days, often foregoing his bad boy reputation that I've witnessed in other events. He treated me very well, asking for my e-mail address during his last day of the final event, so that we could keep in touch.

He says that I misquoted him once, but I didn't mean to do so. I think I misunderstood what he was trying to say. The players had decided to change the structure somewhat in the NLHE event, and as the tourney ended, Jim commented on the structure. I was playing in the Stud event at the time, so I had no idea that he meant the revised structure, not the original. He seemed a little dismayed at being misquoted, but I assured him that I would set the record straight in my journal.

I didn't cash in the Stud event. I was so tired, completely beat. We only got eight players, but the field was much softer than the previous week. I took a few too many beats, and paid them off, not knowing that I was beat as often as I usually do. Sleep deprivation had cost me some of my ability, and as soon as I busted out, in fifth place, I went to our room and crashed.

I was sorely disappointed that once again the Orleans decided to change the structure, without our permission. Our levels were only 45 minutes long, instead of the promised hour. So my $1500 buy-in obviously meant nothing to them. They changed OUR game at will.