Recently I had to make a decision purely based on what I felt was right. It fell within a gray area, but in my mind, it was a no-brainer. Two issues were at hand. They were both about accommodating players with special needs.
On my Card Player Cruises poker trip to Australia and New Zealand, I visited Melbourne on the day of the Melbourne Cup, the horse race to end all horse races. The entire town literally closed down for this "holiday." We didn't have tickets to this big event and chose to visit the biggest casino in Australia, Crown Casino instead. Brett Jones, the Crown's charismatic tournament director, gave us the grand tour and hosted a comfortable and casual lunch in the well-appointed cardroom. I know why they draw so many down under for their Aussie Millions and other events. Great place...
Thanks to all of you who answered my question about the four-card flop in my last column. I received comments and suggestions from many readers as well as cardroom executives around the area. Most notably, Mike Shaffer, a lead supervisor at the Rio in Las Vegas, loved the idea of the scramble and reflop of three-fourths of the original bad scenario. He was going to present it to his cardroom manager, Jerome Stone, for possible inclusion into their rule book for both everyday usage and for the 2008 WSOP and beyond.
Casinos continue to grow and thrive and we enable them to build bigger, better, more opulent palaces by playing games we can't beat. Most of you reading this are poker players, and I suggest you stay in the poker room rather than battling it out against the casino. A few issues ago, I wrote about some of the tricks the casinos use to help separate you from your bankroll.
There are so many rules and scenarios in a poker game that you can't possibly know or even learn until you or someone at your table screws up! There also are many "decisions" that can't be made until the exact sequence occurs and then a floorperson does the best that he can under the circumstances.
Having worked as a tournament director and floorperson, I often found myself jolted awake at night rethinking decisions I made. With more time to think things through, I frequently came up with better solutions.
The age old question has always been "does size really matter?" Well, I guess in some things it does, certainly the NBA comes to mind! But does the size of a poker tournament really matter?
The words "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" came ringing back to my subconscious, as I was whisked through Indiana's corn fields to "Mickey's Camp," located outside of Shelbyville, near Indianapolis. Mickey Maurer, businessman, civic leader, attorney, and philanthropist founded Mickey's Camp for men seven years ago, and has raised more than $600,000 for charity since its inception. This year, camp was offered to women for the first time at the Ruth Lilly YWCA. Summer camp was just as I remembered, except now the cabins have air conditioning and inside plumbing.
Each of us who plays poker has similarly minded friends who live, breathe, and eat poker. We can't get enough. Same thing with the casino games players, it seems. While I don't really understand the allure of a craps table, obviously it is a hugely popular pastime. It is the long hours that gamers put in that help the casinos build beautiful establishments, meet their bottom line, and pay the bills.
As I conclude another weekend of teaching World Poker Tour Boot Camp, I was reminded of a comment made to me recently. A student in a recent seminar suggested that players such as Linda Johnson, who had given the seminar with me, and I shouldn't play in ladiesonly poker tournaments. She said that we were too good and it wasn't fair!
Now that I've returned to Las Vegas from Card Player Cruises' annual Alaska poker trip, I will have two weeks in which to compete in some World Series of Poker events, as well as tournaments at the Venetian and Bellagio, before hitting the road again.
My dad is coming for a visit and we will both enter the senior's event at the Rio. I had always thought that if Dad and I entered a "senior" division competitive event together, it would be tennis-how wrong could I be?