Saturday, April 10, 2010

Opportunity Village tournament

I just got back from playing at Caesars Palace. One of the reasons I chose it for today's session was that I knew the charity tournament for Opportunity Village would be going on, and I thought it might be fun to keep an eye on that. It was.

I took several breaks from my game and wandered around. My pictures, taken with my puny little Nikon point-and-shoot, won't be nearly as good as others will put up, but I bet mine get posted first! I arrived when the tournament had already been running for nearly two hours, so I'm sure many photo-worthy people had left by then.

Howard Lederer (at the end of the table):

Melissa Hayden:

Allen Cunningham:

Steve Zolotow and Howard Lederer:

This young woman played with a severe disadvantage: a tiara perched atop her head. This is something I've never tried. It's Christina Keegan, Miss Nevada 2010. From what I overhead, the men to the right of her in the photo are cast members from Jersey Boys at the Venetian, though I've never seen the show, so I can't verify their identifies.

But if Miss Nevada had trouble playing poker while wearing a tiara, it was nothing compared to this young woman's handicap. Yes, based on the overhead announcements, she really did play in full showgirl regalia. (They were announcing her elimination just as I took this photo of her on her way out.)

Perry Friedman and Adam Savage. What? You don't know who Adam Savage is? He's only the co-host of my favorite show on television, Mythbusters. Hands-down, he and his partner have the coolest jobs on the planet. They get to build stuff, explore interesting and amusing questions and problems, go to exciting places, and blow up a whole lot of stuff. There are not many people whose lives I envy, but he's on the short list:

Adam Savage and, in the white shirt, my friend Jon Katkin, of the Chaos Theory poker blog:

That shot was taken as the dealer was sorting out the pot in a big three-way all-in confrontation. I think it was Q-Q versus J-J and 6-6. Savage was on the low end of that deal, and was knocked out shortly thereafter. He was a good sport and gave an interview. He was thanked for helping Opportunity Village, and he responded with, "I helped them by losing?!" Funny moment.

Jon made the final table (last six shown here). He was among the final five when I left a few minutes later. I'm sure a full accounting of the day's adventures will be forthcoming on his blog. [Edit: Post just put up here.]

A Twitter message a short time ago announced that the tournament was won by Jeremy Jenson, whom I do not know. I'm not even sure which one he is in the photo above.

There were many cool things offered in an accompanying silent auction, including these:

And, completely unrelated to any of the foregoing, this man, who was just waiting for a seat in a cash game, graciously consented to pose for a picture when I told him how much I liked his T-shirt. I gotta get me one of those!


Memphis MOJO said...

Nice photos. I feel like I was there when I read this blog piece.

JK said...

Jeremy Jensen was the player on my immediate left at the final table.

On the final hand, Gina Hecht - an actress, I think - pushed all in with Queen-9. I re-shoved with pocket 10s and Jensen called with Ac-Jc.

Somehow, he got a hold of CK's whistle and flopped the nut flush... and then picked up running Aces for good measure.

I took second, which was good for $5K and a hotel suite at the Rio during the Main Event. I'll try to put up a post on my blog, but it was a long day, and I'm not sure how coherent I am.

Thanks for the sweat though. It helped. Even if I didn't play 2-4.

Minton said...

Found it in large

Michael said...

Awesome seeing Adam Savage, I'm a total Mythbusters nerd too.