2007 World Series: Finding Terrence

I was sitting in the hallway watching the tape-delayed feed of the heads-up match between Terrence Chan and Hoyt Corkins. The $2,500 short-handed no-limit event was in its third and final day and, based on the fact the real-time match was still going on, I felt good about Terrence's chances.

Terrence Chan, courtesy of Image Masters

Although Hoyt had him out-chipped 2.6 million to 1.5 million at the start of the match. I was just settling in for what I knew would be a long closed circuit viewing when a friend walked up.

"I think it's over," she said.

If you're still watching the TV feed, here's your spoiler warning

I turned and noticed no joy in her face.

"Do you want to know?" she asked.

I nodded. It was going to spoil the rest of the televised match, but I had to know.

"I think Hoyt won," she said.

And so I went, headed for the only place I knew Terrence might be. In a small room, he filled out his paperwork to collect his $287,345 win. I let him be for a while and waited in the hallway. When he walked out, he offered, "Follow me to the cage."

I stepped in stride with Terrence. He introduced me to a friend of his before getting into the gory details. Over the course of an hour, he'd been chipped down to around 800,000, he said. He came in for a raise to 75,000 with Ad4d.

"Because he's Hoyt," Terrence said, "he pushed all-in."

It was true. Hoyt had been playing huge pots pre-flop the past two days. Terrence decided, based on the fact he was heads-up and didn't have as many big blinds as would be required to fold a suited ace, he called.

At the cage, there was more business to take care of, and so I waited while Terrence went through the laborious process of getting paid.

That's when the announcement came over the loudspeaker congratulating Hoyt for his win. Terrence winced, winced again, and then looked up.

"He had king-ten," he said. "King on the turn."

I never know what to say in situations like that. Sure, Terrence had just won more than a quarter million bucks, but it was clear the money didn't mean as much as the bracelet.

I said all I could. "Congratulations, Terrence," and left him to his business.

Over the past three days, I've seen Terrence play some of the best tournament poker he's played in years. Sometimes, though, even the best possible effort can't get you there.

But Terrence will get there.

Count on that.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in