Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Stars in Town
Every few weeks there is a big tournament somewhere in Vegas and many of the big poker stars come to town, and lots of them come to play at the Bellagio when the tournament is not going on. This week the Bellagio itself is hosting the Festa al Lago IV Poker Tournament, so last night there were a bunch of big name players there and several huge games. In addition to the regular Bellagio players like Phil Ivey and Chau Giang, some of the more notable players playing last night were Sam Farha, Johnny Chan, and Barry Greenstein (I think... otherwise it was some guy who looks like him but has a beard). Also hanging around were John Juanda, David Williams, and Daniel Negreanu. The night before I saw the legendary Doyle Brunson for the first time. At one point he left the room on his motorized wheelchair thing and was honking at the cocktail waitresses and others and laughing... he seems pretty laid back. Anyway, in addition to the usual 2K-4K limit game that Ivey, Giang, and company play in, some high stakes no limit games started up, including a 50-100 NL holdem game with a $25 ante. This game only attracted 4 or 5 players, including Farha. Since all the high limit tables were already in use, this game was spread right in the middle of the room. At one point, while I was piddling away at my 2-5 NL game, a crowd gathered suddenly around the 50-100 game. Supposedly, Farha had just lost a $200K pot with two pair to some guy who had had a set. Farha just laughed at all the attention it was getting. When I cashed out a couple of hours later, I walked by their table and saw that the guy who had won that hand was sitting behind two huge stacks of $100 bills and piles of chips in colors I rarely ever see- mostly $1K and $5K but also some I didn't even recognize. Unbelievable. It makes the $400 I made in 2-5 seem kinda meaningless. At least I probably did better than Sammy.