Staying alive? Not for Barry Gibb at poker tournament
Especially if you're John Stevenson. Or Gary Flur.
Those two were among the locals sitting at Barry Gibb's table at the Seminole Hard Rock and Casino Friday, for the opening hands of the casino's first big-money charity tournament.
By rules of the recently negotiated compact between the Seminoles and the state (see John Holland's story here), the Hard Rock can hold six big-money tournaments a year, providing a cut of it goes to charity.
In this case, 20 percent of the entry fee went toward the Miami Beach Health Foundation, which Gibb co-chairs. (Accounting question: If you play in a poker tournament where you can win money, but some goes to charity, can you write it off? Trying to find that one out...)
About 90 people showed up for Friday, the first day of play. The tournament is also taking entrants on Saturday. Then those players surviving either of those two opening days meet on Sunday to play it down to a winner.
Back to Gibb. Turns out he plays a little bit in Vegas, according to a family friend, but his wife, Linda, is the real player, he said. A couple of other Gibb relatives also were scattered across the room.
Gibb's friend was a prophet: 55 minutes into the tournament, Linda hit a full house and knocked out Barry, who had a set.
Who are John Stevenson and Gary Flur?
Well, Stevenson owns Stevenson Roofing in Plantation, and was seated next to Gibb (he's also known as "the commissioner" of the basketball court along S.R. A1A and Fort Lauderdale Beach). So when the tournament got ready to start, paparazzi galore started firing off flashbulbs in his eyes. (Apparently Gibb's photo is worth something to celeb photographers.)
"It was kind of cool, no problem," said Stephenson, who like many, plays in bigger tournaments elsewhere in the country, so he was eager to see larger tournaments happen here. (He's the guy in the photo with Gibb. Photo/courtesy of Ralph Notaro/NDM Images)
Flur lives in Plantation Acres and was also at the table, and is a friend of mine, so what the heck, I' m throwing him on the blog here. He's headed out to Vegas for the WSOP in a few days.
2007 WSOP event bracelet winner Fred Goldberg of Plantation showed up, but couldn't play because he had a commitment Sunday. But he said most of the players are the better Hard Rock players, the locals.
A couple of new faces, who didn't give their names, said they were playing in this tournament, but generally don't play in Florida. They don't like the $100 limit buy-in cash game, nor the $1,100 tournaments. But they wanted to support the notion of "big time" poker in South Florida, so they came to play this.
I'll try to get an update up on Sunday, and we'll do a short brief on the winner on Monday.
And a quick update on the poker part: it's 20,000 chip starting stack, the cutoff for the first day of play being blinds of 800 and 1600. So if you just hang in there, you'll be playing on Sunday.
And calling it a charity tournament is correct, but there's cash to be won: I'm guessing it'll pass 200 players after Saturday. That means $2,400 each in the prize pool, for a total of $480,000 going back in. First prize pays what, 30 percent (just a wild guess)? So that would mean $144,000 for the winner. I'll try to get the full payouts in the next day or so; they can't even determine them until Saturday play starts anyway, though.POSTED IN: News (396)