Of course I love any party so I agreed. We met up that night and headed down to Bell Gardens where The Bike is located.
Once I was there I found out that there would be a three day heads up tournament with a $640,000 prize pool. They had invited great players from all over the world, had placed them into brackets by regions to compete.
Todd Brunson, Freddy Deeb, David Oppenheim, Yukon Brad Booth and Patrik Antonious were all chatting at a table when I arrived at the party. I stopped over to say hi and pose for a picture with Freddy. He poked fun at me for slouching down in the photo saying that I didn't need to do that even though he was shorter than me.
Over by the bar were Joe Sebok and Jeff Madsen. No sooner than I said hello I found myself doing Yager Bombs with the boys.
The party was catered with yummy sushi, shrimp, crab and deserts for later. There was also plenty of Moet on hand to keep the party rolling, this put to definite use.
Also running around the shindig were Joe Cassidy, Hasan Habib, Barry Greenstein, Chad Brown, Marco Traniello and Sean Sheikhan, who left the party early to go play Omaha hi lo in the casino.
The point of the party, besides having fun and enjoying a few cocktails, was to announce which players would play each other heads up the next day. There were a few ‘ooohs' and ‘ahhhs' as this was announced and friendly banter when both announced opponents were in attendance of the party.
After the pairings Joe Sebok and Jeff Madsen decided to head out to the Standard Downtown for a few more drinks. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do but my mind was quickly made up when I heard Clonie Gowen, and Todd Brunson were going to play in a preliminary $2100 heads up tournament.
About twelve people entered the mini tournament and they had four people to a table with dealers for each pair. I sat between Clonie and Todd watching them play against their respective opponents.
Clonie pretty much took the aggressive lead on her guy, until they both ran into big hands. She had K-K and luckily for him he hit trip jacks after the flop holding A-J. They got all their money in on the flop, but Clonie had him covered.
Todd wasn't having much better luck and his guy had the chip lead over him. I stepped away for a moment to say goodbye to some friends and when I returned to the table Clonie was shaking her rival's hand.
"Over?" I asked her. "K-9 vs. 7-9 and he hit a seven," she said with a shrug of her shoulders. A few minutes later Todd met the same demise and we all decided to say our goodbyes to the Bicycle Casino.
While we were waiting for cars to arrive Shawn Sheikhan joined us. He had evidently met the same fate at his Omaha table when a guy got lucky on him. With that, we knew that was enough poker for one night and headed to our abodes for that evening.
I wasn't able to attend the actual tournament and not just because I only like to attend events with free food and drink, I actually had a plane to catch to England. If you want to get the scoop on who played who and who won, you can watch the matches online at liveatthebike.com and PokerNetcast.com