OK! There's a lot to cover and I don't want to make this a loooong read so I will get straight to the highlights. It was a long 2 weeks. Some pretty cool stuff happened and some pretty stupid stuff happened, but for the most part, it was a pretty standard two weeks.
The Ladies Event:
If you don't already know, A male entered the event and managed to win it. His name... Kortoski. You can find out about the whole shenanigans by googling Man wins ladies tournament, Borgata. But the gist of it was a little bit of an injustice done by the article written in the Philadelphia Daily News. Which consequently was picked up by almost every single media outlet in the nation. Christ, I saw it on the drudge report.
That article was written by a friend of mine. Unfortunately, he doesn't get to pick titles, and the title led the reader to think that Nicole was upset that the guy was allowed to play. Which couldn't have been further from the truth. Heck, she didn't even know that a guy was playing until half way through the tournament. The article also led the reader to believe that she wouldn't chop. Which is also a little misleading. Nicole offered to chop when she got heads up with the guy. He said he would only chop if he got the trophy and first. This irked Nicole a little because, well, as she told me, she's a competitor, and she felt she was playing not only for herself, but for every other woman in the tournament. She had no problem splitting the bulk of the money with some on the side and playing it out. But this guy didn't want to. He said play for it all or I'm not chopping. Now, in the article, he was quoted as saying two things. 1) "If the Borgata had asked me not to play, I wouldn't have" and 2) "I offered her a chop and she refused to take it."
Both of these quotes are horseshit. If he did make those quotes, which I know he did, he lied. Flat out lied. The casino has to allow any person over the age of 21 the opportunity to play in any posted event, regardless of age race or gender. It's a federal mandate. But when no less than 4 men tried to enter the tournament, Borgata staff politely asked them not to. And they didn't. They're men. This guy, sneaks in under late registration, after all personnel is in the tournament room managing the tournament. He walked in and tried to sit down. One of the staff asked him not to play. "It is a ladies event after all." This guy flat out refused to observe the fact that it was a ladies event. He also insisted in playing.
When it got to the chop, exactly how I stated it above is how it happened. He wasn't valiant in his effort to offer a chop. He specifically said, "No trophy, no chop". Again, Nicole had two issues. One was being the competitor she is and standing up for her fellow ladies who tried to go after this guy the whole time. Second, Nicole already had a second place finish in the 2007 ladies event during Borgata's Winter Open, and she really wanted to win. She felt it was her duty to play it out and try to accomplish the win.
Many of the women in the tournament were pissed at the Borgata for allowing this joke of a human being to play. A lot of them made comments that they would never play again. Unfortunately the Borgata has to follow the law like everyone else. And unfortunately, most didn't bother examining the law before passing judgment. As for the future of the ladies event, who knows. imagine every swinging dick trying to enter and win against a field of women. It's unfortunate, but what the hell are you going to do? I can tell you that the Borgata went above and beyond with their treatment of the situation. I can also tell you that Nicole is very happy how things worked out as well. She is a true competitor and no doubt will have success in the future in poker.
When covering a tournament, one of the first things you do is find out who the players are and pick a few to cover in the early stages. Especially during the main event when there was 1,018 players. We don't do up to the minute chip counts and such as poker news does. That's not what we are hired for. We do updates, and who's who in the field, but we also tell stories of individual players who we think need to be told. We are hired by the Borgata so we try to bring the best stories that will attract people to that casino.
After doing this for almost 3 years, one thing that is inevitable is random players coming up to us looking for a little mention, or coverage. Most know who we are and will ask for a shout out, or some kind of mention because their friends or family are following. That's a good thing. Especially when it's a no name regular who is grinding his or her way to a career in poker. Of course during the main event, the field is so spattered with professionals that I've never heard of, or seen before, that it's a little hectic running around making sure I don't miss one of them. At least one that people would want to follow. There are also ways to act when alerting someone to your presence. If you think you have a presence. Let's take the Maven for example.
Unfortunately I had no idea who this guy was. Nor have I ever heard of him. I'm walking through the field table by table looking for familiar faces. As I walked around the corner of one table, this guy jumps up and asks, "Are you covering the event?", to which I replied yes. "My name is David Chitcosky." "OK", I said as I continued walking heading for a table with at least 4 players whom I recognized.
He grabbed my arm as I continued walking. Now let's think about that for a moment. Those of you who know me. He... GRABBED.... my arm. Envision that for a moment and think about the look on my face as I came to a dead stop, snapped my head around looking first at his hand on my arm and then my expression as I looked him squarely in the eyes.
"David Chitcosky man... Online player of the year... The MAVEN??" he looked baffled that I obviously had no idea who he was. "I took a breath, smiled, and said "I got it".
Needless to say he never got one mention in the blog. Now, that's as far as the story would go. Except...Lucko and Stoner played in the main and had explained to me that the night before they were at the B bar. The "maven" was there as well and approached Stoner because of something stoner had written on 2+2 or somewhere about this guy and the way he did business (he apparently has started a virtual training company with Bodog Ari). This douchebag approached stoner and basically told him to stop and he shouldn't and blah blah blah. This is something stoner wrote like a year or so ago, and this guy goes on to say he's licensed to carry a concealed weapon, and his body guards are over there, etc. Anyway they got into a slight argument right there and the body guards appeared. Nothing transpired but the story lent itself to this guys character. That of a friggin mouse in my mind.
He made it to day three. I had a post up all ready to go. It talked about Michael "The Raven" chikofsky (all wrong names) and how an unnamed player stated that the guy was doing nothing, and probably just waiting to make the cash. Unfortunately, that post never made it to the blog. He went busto shortly before the cash, and I thought better of ripping someone on someone elses blog where we are being paid to write for. It was a lose lose battle for me, so going unmentioned was the best shot I could do. What a total douche. He did eventually approach Al because he heard Al recounting the Lucko/Stoner story and he thought Al was the guy being harassed by his body guards. He told Al he wanted to apologize for his employees behavior and swore it wouldn't happen again. Too funny... or sad. I haven't figured out which one yet.
The final table went down to heads up pretty quick. It was the heads up match that was epic. And epic only for one reason. The guy who won was down to a million and a half chips. His opponent had 30 million at that point. It's over right then and there no? Here was the problem. Mr. Runner up was drinking. He was a bit of a talker as well. Young kid. Always jawing about busting people and so on. But from the moment he sat down at the final table he was asking for cocktail service. He must have had at least 12 beers while playing, and it was evident that by the time he got down to heads up he was pretty ripped up. At one point, he had ordered shots of Patrone for all his boys. 11 total, including one for himself. During every tape break, he would disappear with one of his buddies and do God knows what.
He started out pretty confident, but as the day wore on he would become evidently overwhelmed. See, the players were mike up. Not so that the crowd could hear them but for the taping of the show. We had a speaker box up on the media perch and could hear ever single word this guy was saying. Every single breath. It was pure comedy. The sighs, the "jeeezus'", the slight belching of being inebriated. I also heard him tell a friend that "he wanted one too", when his friend said he was going to the bathroom to "do something". Oh ya, I heard what that one thing was. Just not appropriate to post here. Not like I haven't :) Don't worry waffles, I'll explain on girly chat.
It came to a point where he just stopped caring about the cards. He certainly wasn't a poker player. Not in the sense you and I think about. He had probably around 5k in cashes over 4 events in the past 4 years. So he does play. But he also stated how he was stuck $150k playing black jack. So obviously a gambler. It was appropriate to give him a nickname. I decided on "asphalt" because his opponent just kept steam rolling him towards the end. The outcome was a no brainer, with exception to when he was down 29 to 1 in chips. But the poker gods intervened with some timely short stack double ups and the right guy won.
Overall the event was a huge success. One Thousand players for a $3500 event is huge. I don't care which poker bitch argues that it wasn't "prestigious" enough because of the low buy-in. They better get used to it, cause that's how things are going. If you want to play in large fields, and have an opportunity at a million for first for less than 5k, that's how it's going. $10k events are seeing less and less players these days with the exception of the big one. The $3500 allows more players access to a huge payday. I'm always amazed at the fields the Borgata gets. Kenna James not only played but sung the National Anthem on both day 1's of the main event to start it off. He asked the Borgata to do that. Apparently it's what he does. Kudos to the Borgata for allowing him to do so. Although I thought it was a little gay before he actually did it, I think most players appreciated it, and it was actually cool. He's a good singer, surprisingly.
Thanks goes out to Al, Gorilla, and Brad Utz for being the crack reporters they are. Brad is from North Carolina and loves poker and writing. He's good at what he does as well. He can talk to anyone, knows everyone, and I mean everyone. Knew their nicknames, their online histories, everything. Gorilla... Jeez man. Al and I joke that this guy could have a threesome every single night if he wanted to. And we're talking Borgata Babes here. Not waffles style beach chics. Anytime I needed something from the bar, I just asked gorilla. It was quicker than hunting down a waitress because they were always fawning over him. He is truly the best at what he does. Al is Al. Truly an insider and brings something else that none of us could. I can tell you that the Borgata was very happy with our performance. They have never had more readership than this time around, and we are looking forward to January. I'm sure more of the same stories will come about, and I'm also sure there will be more of an opportunity for even crazier stories!