Back in the days before the poker boom, in the days before online poker and huge World Series of Poker fields, the real road gamblers of America made their way around the South, fading the white line and looking for as many games as they could find. The game we all know and love to play, Texas Hold'em, takes its name from the Lone Star state. Now, most of the action is in Vegas or online. But, as the real Texans know, there is still action in the nation's second biggest state.
As you might have seen, a few of us from PokerStars hit Dallas this week for a few days of poker and basketball. The week began with a little game starring a few players from the playoff-bound Dallas Mavericks. As it turned out, 2004 World Series of Poker champ Greg Raymer was able to come along and ended up at the table with a few Dallas Mavericks players (formerly of North Carolina) who were happy to hear Raymer had recently relocated to Raleigh.
Raymer entertains his tablemates with tales of winning the WSOP, picking up big tells, and getting jumped at the Bellagio in 2004
Mavericks guard Jason Terry, known to yell "Man overboard!" when a player busts out of a tournament
Jerry Stackhouse, preparing to play in the tournament with Raymer
Irrespressible Mavericks guard, Darrell Armstrong with his gameface(s) on
The media storm surrounding Raymer and the Mavericks
PokerStars' Rich Korbin sweats (and coaches) Mavericks rookie Josh Powell
Terry coaches a member of the Dallas Maverick's staff (who happened to share a last name--and distant bloodline--with poker pro Sammy Farha).
Greg Raymer with Wendall Wood, a PokerStars player who recently won a PokerStars tournament that sent him on a roadtrip with the Dallas Mavericks
Raymer with the Mavericks
Mavs owners Mark Cuban stops by the suite to meet Greg Raymer
PokerStars player "Kapes," another winner of the Dallas Mavericks roadtrip tournaments
Raymer chats up his fellow PokerStars players in the Mavs suite
Between the third and fourth quarter, somebody from the Mavs organization grabbed Greg Raymer, Rich Korbin, and me. He dragged us through the bowels of the arena where we ran smack-dab into the face of the Mavs dancers.
Raymer, Korbin, and a bevy of lovlies
Before we could appropriately chat up the dancers, we were pushed to center court, where Raymer got entangled in a game of giant-card poker with a Mavs fan.
Raymer meets his opponent
Raymer sets his hand
Raymer's opponent reveals his ace-high flush, crushing the Fossilman's king-high, and once again proving that live, big-card, basketball court poker is rigged
Raymer gives his bust out interview
While the Mavs (and Raymer) lost that night, we found that poker is still alive and well in the Lone Star state. And that makes us all very, very happy. Thanks for having us, Dallas.