Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday, 02:30 AM, The Rio -- Tony had told me he was going to the high-stakes cash tables, so I walked over to see how he was doing. What I saw was former WSOP Champion Chris Moneymaker tutoring him on Omaha. (Tony's money was already on the table from a Hold'em game, but he sat out the first time they switched to Pot-Limit Omaha, a game that he'd never played before.) Omaha is counter-intuitive to Hold'em players. Chris, whose image on TV kind of leaves me cold, was truly personable, letting Tony see his hole cards and whispering his thinking as he played the hands. Tony returned to his seat when they switched back to Hold'em, but then kept playing when they next changed to Omaha again.
1961 - The opening scene of "The Hustler." Paul Newman (Fast Eddie) pretends to be drunk and makes an "impossible" billiard shot. His partner, Charlie, says that he was just lucky and they start to argue. Fast Eddie wants to bet that he can make the shot again. Charlie doesn't want to take his money. When the bartender says that he'll cover the bet, Charlie shakes his head and says, "I can't watch this," and goes to start the car. You know the rest.
As I left to go upstairs at about 03:15, Tony was crushing Chris in a round of Omaha.

This photo was snapped by Josh Schindler, lawyer for many of the top professionals and a skilled poker player.

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