2008 World Series: PokerStars Brian

In any poker community, people are often known by a nickname. I've played with a Snake, a Buddha, and yea, verily, a Teddy Foreskin. In the world of underground poker, it's common to never know the name the player's mama gave'em. Such was the case for me in the past several years as I played cards in various venues. With too many Brians in the community, fellow players took to differentiating them however they could. As so came the time when I would hear about PokerStars Brian, so given the name because of a PokerStars letterman jacket he occasionally wore to games.

Brian was a tough player and not one with whom I would trifle if I didn't have to. More than a couple of years passed before I even knew the guy's last name. Over time, I learned his online name, and was pleased to see him finish in the top 226 players of the mega World Series satellite. Today, PokerStars Brian (aka Brian Reingold) sits in the Green Zone of the Amazon Room, Table 4, Seat 3.

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At the break between Level One and Level Two, we caught up with Brian who saw his stack climb by several thousand and then fall down below 15,000. The falling point came with Brian flopped fours full on a 422 board. He was fine when an ace came on the turn, but it went sour with the ten on the river to give his opponent's TT a biggger boat. Unphased, Brian picked up jacks a bit later. With a raise and re-raise in front of him, he mucked his hand. He felt sick when he saw the J89 flop and even worse when he saw two of his opponents get it in. One had AA, the other had QQ. A third player in the hand mucked QQ. How about a ten-ball to give the QQ the straight and the win?

So, all in all, PokerStars Brian survived the slings and arrows of Level One without getting hurt too badly. The tables in the Green Zone are among the last to break here in the Amazon Room, so if all goes as planned, Brian will be sitting in that seat all day long.

Across the way, we're still hearing stories of Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu's good nature as he busted set under set. Like the true champion he is, Negreanu, smiling broadly, stopped to sign autographs and pose for photos for the next quarter of an hour. Some of the fans gathered round table 14/7 will have seen Daniel in action before; for others, it was their first glimpse of Kid Poker. But all will realize they have witnessed something great - a guy who can take a bitter defeat with total good grace and charm.