I've been a bad community memeber, in that this tournament came together over the last month from Dr. Scott Warren and I didn't post it here so that the StR community could try and run the tables. Perhaps I was afraid of the competition. Apparently this Dr Warren's tournament has been going on for the past 5 or 6 years as a Diabetes benefit. He calls in some Kings players, they bring some bounties, if you finished on the final table you got a cash prize and knew that the majority of the buy in went to a good cause. He ran into issues with the Department of Justice last year, and had to move the event to a legitimate casino this year. The event was this past Sunday at Capitol Casino and this year the list included, Evans, Bobby Jackson, Pooh Jeter, Grant Napier, Carl Landry, and a few other notables that I can't remember.
I got a random email about the tournament in November, called my dad who always likes to support causes like Diabetes, and I was staked into the tournament.
As I walked from my car to Capitol Casino I noticed the security guards letting two cars with tinted windows into the roped off parking area. Out pop Tyreke Evans, five dudes all shorter than me, and a latin woman. I walked in the back entrance with the group nonchalantly and follow them until Evans ran into Bobby Jackson and they did that handshake-hug thing. Then I went to go register for the tournament which was supposed to start at 5:PM, but had been bumped back to 6:30 after Westphal called a last minute practice.
I got some food, and watched as a groups of men all got their photos taken with Evans. He, Napier, and Jackson were the only celebrities there early and the tournament was slowly lagging to wait for the other players to appear. I got sat at table four, with my chips, and though we had one open seat it was quite apparent that we did not have any celebrities at our table yet. The players were tense and joking-mumbling about the absence of a celebrity, as they all had prize bounties attached to them if another player knocked them out of the tournament.
At the last minute Dr Warren comes by and lets us know that Carl Landry will be sitting with us. Landry sits down, and then procedes to tell us he's never played cards ever and he needs us to let him know how. The dealer explains the basic best five cards out of seven rules attached to Texas Hold Em, and in going through the card combinations he missed the announcement that the cards were supposed to be dealt. So everyone at our table saved, or lost, two rounds of play "teaching" Carl Landry how to play poker. This whole thing worked out great for me as the first cards I was dealt were pocket Aces.
I raised heavily, and wound up with three or four callers, including Landry. Landry learned how to check, and the guy to my right bet half the pot, on a flop that included a Q and two blanks. I re-raised his bet and after much theatrics Landry also learned to fold, as did the player on my right. Between the two of them I had three times as many chips as I started with after the first hand. This was much of a blessing because there were lots of buybacks in the first hour as well as a 5K supplement during the first break, and these friends of the Doctors were throwing around money like it was mostly going to charity. I didn't have that kind of cash available.
Here's me on the left just after this first hand, you'll notice I'm big blind for 50, and the guy on the right has the basic starting chip stack. I quickly hit pay dirt again with KK and five callers, Landry being one (I think he'd already bought in for the second time). I hit a K on the turn, and took out two all-ins, and got a few more chips from Landry at the showdown where he lost with QQ. He played his cards ok, but he should have guessed I had him dominated with the K on the board and my heavy betting.
Later we were sat with Pooh Jeter and he was short chipped the for most of our time together. He was texting a girl, and the players were giving him advice about what he should tell her his occupation was. Executive Producer of midday productions at News 10 was what they settled on. They moved Landry, and then I was sandwiched between Carmichael Dave and Grant "Peaches" Napier. For a moment I was furious with myself because I had thought about wearing my stretched out Peaches T-Shirt, and decided against it. Yet there I was chip leader at the table, with a healthy stack of Peaches to my right. I took over a third of his chips with a pair of Kings to his pocket Jacks. And someone busted Dave, who didn't have a bounty, but rewarded those players who were talking to him with tee shirts. Grant was enthusiastic about Indiana whom were beating the Lakers on television as we played, talking up Roy Hibbert etc. When they busted our table appart I told him I was looking forward to taking him out, and I had a shirt with his face on it from Sac Town Royalty that said "Oh Boy!" on the back.
He told me didn't know what that was, referring to both the blog and the shirt I assume--which would be an outright lie considering the cease and desist order that Ziller received pertaining this particular garment. But despite my underhanded dickishness, he shook my hand and wished me luck. It was quite respectable.
At the next table I got sat right next to my old friend Landry who had taken out a poker pro, and someone else with a bounty by him self, hoarding the prizes from those lowly pedestrian members of the public who paid good hard cash to have a crack at some Kings swag. It was like watching him shoot close to the rim, where he gets almost anything he wants, pushing through pocket pairs, and three overcard defenders to hit two pair with 6 9. Jeter was at the new table as well, and Landry took him out soon after I sat. Landry was disappointed to learn he could not give chips back to Jeter.
A guy to Landry's right asked if Grant was a nice guy, and Landry quite shrewdly said "You know, I don't know him that well. We just talk basketball, and that's it." Grant got KO'd at another table shortly after this question was asked.
At this point we were down to three tables left, Evans had been bounced super early and had since disappeared into the wind like his jumpshot. I got moved again to Jackson's table and as I sat down he was standing up for his final all in. I didn't even get to say hi really, which was disappointing. With two tables left Landry was the only star in the room and we settled in and made it to a final table of ten. I must have been placed at the right table originally because there were four of us, Landry included, who had made it from our first table together past the 90 other players to the final table.
Landry was milking the attention, flipping his cards over one by one and placing them next to the board to show exactly what he had. It was funny and entertaining and I can't imagine anyone else enjoying themselves as much as he was. Because Landry had knocked out three of the bounty prizes, everyone that made the final table got something. My two friends, who had been playing at my original table, went out 9th and 8th. Landry sucked out on my AJ with a 68 and paired the 8 on the river to cut my stack badly. After that I pushed with a suited A7 and got beat again by Landry when he caught a low pair (taking out me, and another slightly larger all-in). I went out 7th, and was rewarded with 11th row, half-court tickets to todays game against the Pacers. Landry was on my tickets and I had him sign them. I'm taking my dad.
Here they are with the bonus, a preferred parking pass.
Landry finished second, after this young man to the right of Daniel Shapiro, Braden, came back from a 4:1 deficit to ship the whole Tournament. I didn't stick around to watch the final six, but there were some great prizes, and Braden was a shrewd player. Kudos to him for taking Landry down a notch.
As you can imagine, it was quite interesting to see the players and interact with them in light of recent locker room events. Professionally nobody said anything about any drama, or the team really, although at one point Grant suggested that the Kings extend a 10 day contract to the gentleman who hit the half court shot last week. In his words, "Right now, they should sign anyone with an outside shot."
When all was said and done, we raised $14,500 for Diabetes. For those interested in playing next year, send Dr. Scott Warren an email at drscottwarren at comcast dot net.