Poker refreshers are great breaks for the folks that like a break from the usual rigors of life. Maybe a movie, or a long run of restaurants, but a poker game would be far better than none.
- When Jim Miller, the host of a Las Vegas casino tournament arrived at the Rio, he knew that the day would be a memorable one. Miller had convinced his guests to stay until the end of the tournament, even though most of them were sure to defect as the tournament neared the finishing line. Just the threat of moving to the next table intimidated most of the players.
- That was fine, until an eleventh-hour visit from Jack McCall, the legendary coach and mentor of many a famous player. Miller wanted in on the game, and McCall agreed to make it interesting by joining in, just one more time. The two men sat at the big felt table and started to put on a poker tournament revolution.
It was just a game, really, but it was more than that.
They were both aggressive, and aggressive to a point that the other couldn’t stand. They played like poker hotshots, trading chips and pots with other players as the game progressed. There were no tells, and no one knew who the real Tiger was–even though everyone was sure that Tiger was not the kind of guy you want to play with.
They played like pros, McCall added a new element to the tournament by calling out wildly popular mathematics teacher, Michael Bradley’s, suggestion that the game be played out over two days. The added attraction was that the players who got knocked out could switch places with the players who got to play another day.
They played for about three days, and during that time Tiger’s odds improved significantly, coupled with publicity for the tournament, and he was on the cover of virtually all newspapers and magazines. The Everest Poker Tournament was, indeed, a story that made news.
But the story gets much better.
- Two years later, Orioles manager, Jim Palmer, asked McCall to manage the double-Daytona teams, which meant that the two men would operate as if they were a single team. Only, the arrangement didn’t work out because Palmer’s wife,visors and trainers Would, andeps Bumgar and Leffthockey could not abide the scrutiny of the Baltimore baseball scouts.
- In pre-season tournaments you can management a single team, alter egos and make rotations with the request, but in the regular season the decision-making had to be made by the players. That’s why I prefer the tournament format over the single-elimination.
- What we have learned from these interviews is that golf’s publicists are becoming very soft-handed with their questions about Tiger and such. (How do you think their nascent fascination withquesa playershas gone so amok.) And the public has also been rather savvy in understanding that for sportshakings, egos and individual players are more public spectacles than the product.
- Q: How surprised would you be if we didn’t see Tiger back in the majors soon?
Ken Smith, BoDog.com: I wouldn’t be at all surprised, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised. I certainly wouldn’t be at all surprised if Tiger finishes ninth, if he’s satisfied with that. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to sign a contract extension with the team. If he’s satisfied, that’s good for him and doesn’t necessarily spell the end of an era in terms of his playing for the next few years.
- Q: Anything you can say about the WGC-American Express Championship?
KSmith, BoDog.com: The Buick Open definitely made a big splash on the Golf bandwagon, and Kenny Irons’s win was a nice boost for the Tour. It’s a new era in golf, with the likes of Tiger and Phil now firmly established at the top. It’s never difficult to argue that golf’s once all-time greats are getting a little over the hill, but I don’t think anyone’s going to have a problem with the Tour’s current crop of players. It’s interesting to see how their mindsets are different, how they’re approaching the season, because you’d expect their mindsets to be a little different. But as far as the Ryder Cup, I don’t think it’ll have any significant impact on the teams. You have these young kids who are going to go through growing pains, and by season’s end they’ll be maybe seven or eight deep.