Canadian Poker returned to the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton Friday night for the first time since 1999. When I heard about Canadian Poker I pictured a group of gamblers sitting around a poker table playing a new version of Texas Hold Em, Razz or even Stud, but I was sorely mistaken.
Cowboy Poker is a game of chicken where four cowboys sit around a table as a bull with serious anger management problems is turned loose. The game usually ends in less than one minute and the last person sitting in his chair is crowned the champion. What will they think of next?
The grand prize is $500, which to me, doesn't seem worth the danger, but the competitors say that they enjoy the adrenaline and they aren't in it for the money.
Generally bulls don't go after a sitting target, so it's a challenge for the organizers of this event to find aggressive bulls. Obviously this is a dangerous game, so it's also difficult to find four willing participants.
"On Friday, the bull stormed out of the gate, paused momentarily to view its victims, then stormed into the back of Travis Finkbeiner's chair. It came down to a contest between Lourance and Ponoka native Will Evans, but ended after Lourance gave Evans' chair a little push."
"I'm happy I didn't get run over," said Friday night's winner Travis Lourance, who kept his butt in his seat long enough to walk away with the $500 prize.
Even though it's hard to find the perfect bull and adrenaline junky cowboys to participate, it's EASY to fill a stadium full of fans, because just like an accident on the road, we all like to watch a dangerous situation. Even though we know we should look away, we just can't help ourselves.
I love a reckless accident, a gory movie and if I'm told I should stay away from a situation, I'll be the first one there! It's human nature.
Lourance has racked up almost $20,000 in the event over the past seven years. He has a do-or-die strategy and has never left his seat! He's either very brave or very stupid. Either way he holds the record for Cowboy Poker and I'm pretty impressed. I wonder when they will be bringing their game out here to Vegas. We are always looking for a new sport.