Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The curtain closes on Reno

Last night was an alcohol induced blur, but here's a few things I remember:

Watching Barry Greenstein bowl demonstrated what a perfectionist he is. Jason, Allie and I watched him roll a number of strikes and saw him return from the lane shaking his head. Even though he knocked down all the pins, Barry knew he had gotten lucky and he wasn't happy he had not rolled a perfect ball. He was there bowling with a lady friend and his son, Joe Sebok. Barry left early as he was still in the main event. As I write, he leads with nine people remaining.

Gavin Smith is not such a good bowler. He and Paul, a cameraman for the WPT, competed against Jason and Allie for smallish wagers. Gavin and Paul won both times, though only because Allie is apparently terrible at bowling. I didn't get in the game except to fill in for Allie while he fetched drinks and I rolled a strike on that one bowl. So therefore I had a perfect game. (Like that logic?)

When I met Gavin he asked me, "Do you play poker?" My response? "Not very well."

Shawn Rice and Hoyt Corkins made it down to the lanes. (Natalie, Hoyt's girlfriend, was already there rolling with the rest of us. She graduated from the same Memphis high school class as Allie. Small world me thinks.) I saw that Shawn was wearing a Texas Tech cap and I, wearing my Bama cap, asked him how he liked the Cotton Bowl. (About as well as Jim Anderson I suspect.) Shawn didn't seem to enjoy my teasing as I patted his meaty shoulders in jest.

There were a number of attractive females among the poker media at the lanes and most everyone was wondering who the heck I was. I tried the James Spader bit on Lena, an editor of some sort with All-In who is stunning, but it wasn't working. Gavin tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Leave her alone. I'm banging that tonight." I think he was joking. I think.

Later at the craps table, Gavin, Allie and Kenna James were throwing big bets down. They were being antagonized by a fellow in Cincinnati Reds garb on the opposite end. I don't remember exactly what Gavin told him, but it was something to the effect of "The dark side's going down Spiderman." Or something like that. Got to love the guy. He is a bit of a nut. You may recall from my previous posts that I saw him chewing on some of those plastic fish at BARGE last year.

And one other thing, Courtney Friel is smokin', I mean SMOKIN', in a pair of jeans.

I awoke around noon today and headed down to the poker room. And it was almost completely dead except for the furious action around the three remaining tables. They played from 27 down to the final six today, with the WPT taping tomorrow. What must it be like to be a player in that situation? I would love to find out. I decided not to bother playing in a game. I bid Jason adieu until New Orleans in May and headed toward the room.

On the way I ran into Kyle, a dealer from Cincinnati I had befriended on the trip. He told me he might not be dealing at the WSOP this summer because he's thinking about just playing. Yep, he's considering moving to Vegas and turning pro. The poker hype keeps churning out dreamers. May Kyle's dreams come true.


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