BY RUSS SCOTT
RELEASE: NOVEMBER 16, 2010
Comments Salute Tale of Army Base Hold’em Tournament
Join me now for comments heard at last weekend’s hold’em tournament, the eighth I’ve directed at the U.S. Army installation on the Mississippi River’s Arsenal Island in the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa.
* “What a beautiful place for a poker tournament,” said Donna, a previous trophy winner in this event.
That showing, however, came at the Officers Club where the room felt cramped because of large support columns.
This time, we moved the tourney to the nearby golf clubhouse ballroom with huge windows along two walls, beautiful inlaid wood flooring, and no bothersome center columns.
* “We’re running out of seats and the walk-ins keep coming!” said Cathy, who was handling registration.
Indeed, turnout was 25 percent higher than last time and caused a late scramble to seat everyone. The surge cost us an on-time start – not ideal on a military base where timeliness and precision are a way of life.
* “We don’t have enough volunteer dealers, do we?” asked Ronna from her dealer’s chair before action began. For days I had told her not to worry.
That was a bit optimistic because five of our normal volunteers couldn’t make it. But Jeff and Natalie of the clubhouse staff took a quick training session, and five would-be players – John, Steve, Doug, Mark and Tom – volunteered to deal instead. With stalwarts Teri and Peggy already set, we made it.
Tom was late arriving because of his job, but insistently pushed me out of my emergency dealing stint, saying: “I’ll take over. You get out there on the floor and act busy!”
* “This Veterans Day, please take the time to honor our veterans in some way and to show your appreciation for their service,” wrote Maj. Gen. Yves J. Fontaine, commanding general of the base Sustainment Command.
In welcoming remarks, I read part of his letter printed in the local newspapers. Everyone stood for a moment of silence to remember, honor and thank our veterans, past and present.
* “What a great day for a poker tournament,” Gordy told me during the first scheduled break. We were out on the “smoking deck” with about 15 others, shivering on a gloomy 40-degree day punctuated by 30-mph winds.
His happy mood turned to frustration minutes later when he was eliminated. It helped a little that his wife Donna made a deep run.
* “One minute left in this level,” said 7-year-old Madeline on the microphone. I recognized my granddaughter’s voice, but could only turn and wave from across the room where I was helping a dealer with a question.
Maddie’s mom Valerie was all smiles at recruiting an assistant for tournament announcement duties. The players got a big kick out of it, too.
* “I want one of these trophies. They’re awesome,” said Amy, who jokingly tucked one of the smaller ones inside her jacket and faked a step toward the door.
Alas, I corralled the culprit and told her she’d have to win one fair and square. As well as she plays, that day will come.
* “These hands are crazy. What’s going on?” said Dana, the eventual runner-up, who hit quad fives to knock Joe out in third place and take a hefty chip lead into heads-up action against Mark.
With the top prize and tallest trophy at stake, Mark rallied with three consecutive all-in winners to claim the chip lead. The seesaw silliness then escalated.
Dana called all-in with 7-2 suited (!) and beat Mark’s A-A on a 4-6-7-8-2 board. Mark won all-in with K-Q against Dana’s A-4 when the board came J-A-Q-10-8. Dana’s K-9 led to the river against Mark’s suited Q-2, but the nine that paired Dana on the end also completed Mark’s flush.
The final hand was routine by comparison: Mark’s suited J-7 overtook Dana’s pocket 6-6 when the board showed J-2-A-A-2.
* “Congratulations,” said Ol’ LuckyDog as the winners received their hard-earned trophies.
E-mail your poker questions and comments to email@example.com for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit www.creators.com or www.luckydogpoker.com.
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