There was a time in my life, many years ago, when I often found a camera in my face, usually when I wasn’t at work. I was never too happy about it, but grew to just accept it as a fact of my life. When I’m in a poker tournament, I really don’t like being on camera, because the conflict between actor, writer, and poker player rises to the surface of my mind, and usually results in something really brilliant, like getting married to top pair and calling off my entire stack when I know I’m beat. But hey, at least the camera got my good side.
Some professional poker players, though, truly thrive in front of the camera, like Humberto Brenes.
Humberto is at table 158 today, in the same seat where Victor Ramdin played all day yesterday. Humberto started the day with just over T29000, though it looked like he had closer to T50000 when I passed by with CJ a few minutes ago.
“I’m going to watch Humberto for a second,” I said, “I’ll catch up with you in a minute.”
I picked a good time to sweat him, as a short stack went all-in and Humberto stood up, counted out some chips, talked a little bit for the camera, and called.
Humberto turned up Presto (a pair of fives) and the other guy turned up pocket threes. It wasn’t exactly the race the other guy was hoping for, and there was no suckout as the board double-paired The Wheaton (nines and threes.) Humberto scooped the pot, and as he stacked the chips, he turned to PokerStars qualifier Joe G. in the 4 seat and said, “See? I told you wearing PokerStars was good luck! That’s how you made that straight!” The whole table laughed, and I noted that Joe G. was wearing one of the really cool baseball jerseys that we all got this year. Humberto pointed to PokerStars qualifier Bill S. in seat 5, and said, “He is coming up, because he’s wearing PokerStars, too!” The 6 seat, an older man in a simple golf shirt behind a mid-sized stack said, “Hey, I have PokerStars in my heart. Does that count?”
Bill S. reached below the table, pulled out a PokerStars cap, and gave it to the 6 seat, who quickly put it on. I’ll check back in a little bit and see if the PokerStars Mojo™ is workin’ for him.
I headed down Main Street past some Milwaukee’s Best girls toward the quadrant of doom, in pursuit of Barry Greenstein at table 52. I got there just in time to see him push 4000 into a pot that looked to be just over ten. I glanced at the flop, and saw that it was Ace high with two clubs, and realized that I was directly in his line of sight.
I know that Barry is a good enough player to not be distracted by the likes of me, but I did my best to stand really still, figuring that Barry, like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, can only see motion I realized the folly of this assumption, and moved a few steps to my right, to get out of his field of vision . . . only to realize that I’d moved directly behind the only other guy who was in the pot with him. “Crap. Okay, just stand still again.” I thought.
His opponent went into the tank for about a minute, and eventually folded. Barry stacked his chips and looked up at me. He nodded hello, I smiled and waved, and quickly made my exit.Back to Top