2008 World Series: Victor Ramdin in good position

I’ve seen various characters in the crowded Amazon Room and beyond this afternoon. Men walking the halls chomping on foot long Churchill cigars; I’ve seen the spitting image of Stan Laurel complete with bowler; several players sporting Mohicans, a young player in bee glasses, a crazy guy crashing symbols, a UFC fighter with face bulging black and blue (he apparently won last night) and a man playing whilst keeping a stuffed toy penguin on his knee. I think everyone will need a rest after Day 1D.

But whilst this is the fourth day of the main event, as far as this new wave of players are concerned – and it’s by far the biggest of the four opening days – it all starts today. What happened yesterday, the day before, and the day before that, is none of their concern. This is the day of their gunfight in the desert - high noon Sunday.

Except if you’re Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin - in which case it starts at half-past high noon.

A dealer with a good arm will cost you a few rounds of blinds in half an hour, but nothing to seriously hamper your chances. In fact ten minutes after arriving any deficit Victor started with was promptly overturned to the tune of five thousand. Late? No, that 30 minutes was intentional.

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A few years ago at the World Series I talked to Victor about his WPT win at Foxwoods. We were talking about his background, his life in the Bronx and the shops he owns in New York City. Thinking I might catch him out I asked him how much he charged for a half gallon of milk. He knew immediately (whilst I forgot). I figured then he was the kind of man who was always on top of his own affairs.

Whether it’s a poker game, how much he sells milk for or how much money it takes Guyana Watch, the charity he supports, to fly a child from his home country to hospital for a life saving heart operation.

This latter point came to many people’s attention after he won the WPT in Foxwoods back in 2006. He decided then to give the organization a large chunk of his winnings, effectively helping to save the lives of several children.

Whether or not the players knew who was due to fill in the empty seat at their table they should by now know he’s a player to be wary of.

After Foxwoods he ran good at the WPT Championship a few weeks later, picking up an additional $146,460 for 11th place. Then three World Series cashes in 2006, one in 2007 and three more this year, not to mention 12 other WPT and EPT cashes in between. I checked all this online. Victor cashes a lot.

So yes, the half hour was intentional. He immediately got stuck into a massage, nodding hello at me (probably unable to speak) rocking to and fro as a massage therapist worked without mercy on his external abdominal obliques. A good position to be in at the start.

Half an hour late, five grand up. This is the last of the day ones. It’s incredible what a break can do.