2008 PCA: Spring training for the poker set

Throughout Day 1A, people kept coming up and asking, "Is David Wells a poker player or is he just getting lucky?"

It's starting to look like the people weren't asking the right question.

It's not that Wells is a poker player. There hasn't been a lot of time to learn the game, what with the major league baseball pitching and all. However, it looks like he wasn't entirely getting lucky either.

We learned just today that, in advance of Day 1, some names from the sports and entertainment world got a crash course in tournament poker strategy. Not only that, they got the instruction from some pretty good teachers, known in some circles as Kid Poker and Tom McEvoy.

Friday night, Daniel Negreanu and McEvoy sat down with pitcher Wells, former Philadelhia Flyer Dave "the Hammer" Schultz, and Saturday Night Live alum and comedian Norm Macdonald. While a couple hours of instruction from the likes of Negreanu and McEvoy aren't going to turn the neophytes into champions overnight, it can't hurt.


Negreanu and Wells


Schultz, Wells, Kathy Liebert, and Humberto Brenes

If we need any evidence that Team PokerStars Pro's tutelage worked, witness the chip counts at the end of Day 1A. Schultz finished with 31,000 chips and Wells went to bed well above average with more than 88,000.

I don't know if the athletes will pay Negreanu back in kind, but it would be really fun to see Kid Poker throwing some fastballs and playing the role of "designated fighter" on a local ice rink.