2007 World Series: Dinner without Duthie (barely)

It was a dinner fashioned for the poker history books. Among the seven diners, four had written poker books, and three wished they had. I was among them, dining on a miso-oriented sea bass and a cocktail or two. It ended sooner than it should and Tony Holden ended up paying for his own meal. I wouldn't mention that, but apparently it's a thing of history itself.

On the walk back, we argued the marketability of poker literature, poker history, and poker in general. Only the sad walk of European Poker Tour creator John Duthie stopped our progress.

"I had to make a move," he said. His cell phone text messaging system already had half a chapter written on it as Duthie wrote to whoever wanted to know about his progress. The receiver would end up spending half a night reading whatever he was writing.

Apparently, Duthie was down to about 120,000 after the dinner break and decided it was as good a time as any to limp under the gun with pocket queens. At any other table, it might have seemed an odd move. However, Duthie sat with hyper-aggressive Gus Hansen and was nearly sure the Great Dane would make a move.

Hansen obliged Duthie's desires. Before anyone could adequately record it, Duthie was all--in against Hansen's naked ace. And before Duthie knew it, he was in the hallway with his text messaging cell phone.

"How do you spell 'devastated'?" he asked and went back to his texting.

Tony Holden tried to offer his condolences. "At least you have the $25,000."

Duthie's lips screwed up into a twisted mass of regret. Dry and wry, Duthie mumbled, "I'd rather give the $25,000 back and still be in."

As I wrote before, after the bubble breaks, there is no more potential for success until the bracelet. It's like making the NFL Superbowl. Getting there is an achievement in itself. After that, you have two options: succeed or fail.

Duthie walks out tonight feeling like he failed. I'd like to tell him he should remember his success. I know there's no way he'd listen. For guys like Duthie, getting into the money is an indication of nothing more than bull-headed perseverance. Only a win would've been good enough.

Tonight, Duthie is working on the spelling of devastated. His work tonight at the tables is over.

There's nothing I can do about that except write it here.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in