“The GSF Foundation Charity Poker Tournament is right around the corner (http://www.pdxcharitypoker.com). I would be remiss if I didn’t begin by sending a big congratulations to the GSF Foundation, Mark Halpern, and their team who are leading this years’ event. They have done a wonderful job for this tournament which sponsors the Ronald McDonald House and other children’s charities.
With this said, I want to tell you a little about some of the players on the FGA team. This last week I’ve been witness to an odd sense of tension in some of the players who are expected at the event this Saturday.
I’m not talking about Jennifer Tilly and the Unibomber (Phil Laak) who will be there. They’re used to the pressure of high stakes games. I’m talking about the PDX “FGA” team. Even though this is a charity event – few people want to leave without that feeling of victory. And of course I expect a winner to emerge from FGA – but I have to say I’m worried.
Last years’ overall winner, Bill Lowblad, is on the team and while he professes to care about his new root stock from Stormy Morning Vineyard, I can tell, he’s on edge. His hands seem to house a minor tremor in them this week – sort of like watching the dreaded vineyard root louse, Phyloxera under a microscope! I only hope he gets his nerve back by July 29 when he co-pilots the Cannonball with me (New York to Los Angeles)!
James Marlow, chip leader at half time last year, is also not his normal cheery self. A sense of direction, control, even discipline seems to linger like a pall over his various construction sites that usually teem with humor, topical discussion, and cheese burgers.
Matt Crandall, new to this event, and more at home in race cars and selling the best exotic cars on the west coast (http://www.inventory.gpimports.com), also seems eerily silent these last few days. “However, Matt is quite a strategic thinker so expectations are high for him in this event.”
Brian Williams, outdoor enthusiast and education leader, is expected to make a strong showing (given he brings his ”odds” chart to the tables with him).
Chris Miller (http://www.mastermindvideo.com) and Chris Wagner are wild cards, but it’s clear they also are uneasy at the thought of staring down the likes of Tilly at a poker table.
Michael Stensrud of Hermiston, is new to the world of Cards and Poker Pros – but his recent Internet play and study could enhance his chances to move towards the finals.
Let’s hope the next blog talks of victory as opposed to defeat – however that’s the nice thing about blogs – if no victory by the ”FGA team” – no blog!”