PCA 2012: Sergio Garcia out of bounds
He makes a point of saying that golf his is life, but poker is his entertainment. For much of this week, it seemed that pro golfer Sergio Garcia could make an awful lot of money from his hobby at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, but he will have to be content with $35,000 after busting with around 50 players remaining in the Main Event.
That's still not bad in anyone's book, but for Garcia, a Spaniard who spent a decade at the top of his sport, the money is perhaps less relevant than it would be for most others.
"For him just being here has been tremendous fun," said his friend and Spanish Team PokerStars Pro Juan Manuel Pastor. "He has been able to relax and enjoy his poker. Two days ago it was his birthday, and this week has been the perfect present for him. He loves his poker."
Indeed it has been a great run for Garcia, who is playing for PokerStars here in the Main Event. It ended abruptly, however, just a few minutes ago. On the secondary feature table, and with about 230,000 chips remaining, he had opened under the gun with a bet of 30,000. It was folded around to William Luciano who asked Garcia how much he had left.
"I'm all in," Luciano announced after getting a count.
Garcia did not like it. Not one bit. He leaned back in his chair, hands behind his head. As if the critical nature of his next decision suddenly hit home, he buried his face in his hands. He had made his mind up, though, and made what seemed like a crying call.
Luciano, who had the Spaniard covered, had pocket queens, but Garcia could only turn over A♣J♦. He knew he was in a rough spot, and covered up his face again as the dealer put out the 3♣2♣J♣ flop, a great one for Garcia who, although still behind, now had 14 outs to snatch victory.
Now he buried his head even more as the dealer continued her work. The turn bricked. And so did the river.
With that, the dealer sent Garcia's chips over to a grateful Luciano. Garcia, meanwhile, knew the game was up and was all smiles as he got up off the table, giving handshakes all round before seeing chums on the rail.
"He will be very happy with how his tournament went," continued Pastor, who had been railing Garcia today. "This is the deepest he has gone in a tournament like this, and I said to him, 'Just play your cards well. It may be some time you get to a situation like this again'.
"Perhaps he should not have called the all-in with ace-jack as on many occasions he would not be ahead there. I was hoping he did not call! But as he will tell you, this is entertainment for him and he has enjoyed himself a great deal. It's like a dream for him."
So the list of eliminations grows. Now without a famous golfer in its field, the survivors shrink every closer to the required 24 to end today's play.