Dog eat lion
I returned the Taurus to Avis and, after the obligatory argument about the tank being full even though the Taurus gas-gauge needle, which took about 10 minutes to recover from a fill, still read 7/8, hopped the next flight to San Jose, where I rented a lovely white Kia Splenda from Hertz and checked into my room at the Beverly Heritage Hotel. The hotel advertised free Internet but it was only free because it didn't work very well so I just used my Verizon 5220 card which worked fine here in the heart of Silicon Valley. I couldn't find anybody for dinner so I had a nice room-service meal and a little Grey Goose on ice.
The next morning I drove over to Bay 101 and got my video portrait taken in case I appeared on TV for this show. They had no food comps so I grabbed a tuna melt and some iced tea in the casino restaurant with Matt "Jacks Up" Matros, Mark Gregorich, and Andy "The Rock" Bloch. We chowed down on the final bites and they called for us to be seated but none of these had started close to on time so we weren't too worried. I drew table 14, seat eight. John Sutton, a local entry, was on my left in seat nine. In seat one was Jeri Thomas, one of the few women to have a World Series bracelet (Seven-Card Stud, 2000). I was happy and alarmed to see my friend Erick "E-Dog" Lindgren, one of the toughest no-limit players on the planet, in seat two. To his left in seat three was veteran Steve "Zee" Zolotow. In seat four was Card Player writer Allyn Jaffrey-Shulman, Barry's wife. In seat five was Phil "Unabomber" Laak. In seat six was an eccentric, long-haired guy with a thick middle-eastern accent with whom I had played with before but who had never wanted to give me his name. I finally got it out of him: Davood Mehrmand. Finally, on my right was the ubiquitous Men "The Master" Nguyen.
While we waited for the camera crews to mike up the featured table, I told the beautiful Allyn that she was the only human being on earth who could make "Shulman" sound like a waspy name. "Are you with the Newport Jaffrey-Shulmans?" I asked. She smiled and twinkled her eye. "No, the Laguna Beach Jaffrey-Shulmans." Nice place, Laguna Beach.
Finally the cards were in the air. Bay 101 had shuffle machines at all the tables, which I thought should be required for all high-stakes games and tournaments as it both eliminated some possibilities for cheating and allowed for more hands per hour. We started with 10,000 and I played a few small pots, down to 8000 or so, when I got involved in a pot with E-Dog. He made a small raise in early position and I called on the Big Blind with Ace-Seven of Spades. The flop Came Ace-King-Deuce. He milked me with small bets on every street and turned over a set of Deuces to take it down. Half my stack gone, E-Dog raised again in the same position and got calls from Zee, Men on the small blind, and me on the big blind with the same Ace-Seven of Spades. The flop came King-Queen-Four, two Spades. With the nut flush draw and an overcard I was looking to check-raise all in but Men bet out 600. I decided to call that and see what Erick and Zee would do. E-Dog made it 2000. Zee called and Men folded. I put Erick on a big King, Zee on a worse Flush draw, and Men on who knows what. I shoved in the rest of my chips, E-Dog immediately moved in, and Zee, who had less than me, called. When we turned the cards over, not only were we all on Flush draws but Men said he had one too! I of course had the best draw but Erick, unfortunately, did have the King, and with only three Spades and three Aces left in the deck it held up and Zee and I were out of the contest. I finished 141st out of 169.
I tore myself away from the Beverly Heritage and took the next flight out. Next stop: The PartyPoker Million cruise.