It was the 5pm start of yet another tournament here at the World Series. I began it as I normally, walking through the field and looking for familiar faces. There were my buddies Chris "savemyskin" Fargis and a fellow blogger, Garth. And, hey! There's Daniel Negreanu. Best, I get a picture of him, right?
Normally, when taking a picture, I get down on a knee or steady myself on the back of a chair. However, it seemed like a lot of people hadn't shown up yet, and I do something I never do. I put my butt in a chair.
"You wanna raise, buddy?"
I looked around and realized I'd sat right down in the four seat in front of a live stack. Dewey Tomko was looking at me with a wide smile.
"Come on! Let's gamble!" he said.
It was then I realized I'd somehow sat down in the middle of a...get this...$1,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw rebuy event. It was something I had a hard time wrapping my feeble brain around. I have a better than average understanding of hold'em games. I can hold my own in Omaha. I can putter along without embarrassing myself in the stud games. Oh, and I'm a freakin' Pai Gow champion. However, 2-7 Triple Draw is a game that might make me cry if I tried to play it at this level. Not only that, but, pardon me...a limit rebuy tournament? What gives?
My picture of Negreanu became more important. After all, when Doyle Brunson was looking for somebody to write the 2-7 chapter in Super System 2, he picked Daniel. Picture taken, I scooted away before Tomko could talk me into playing the stack or, worse, get me out on the golf course.
Once acclimated to my surroundings, Fargis' appearance made sense. Despite being a young guy, he is a champion in this event. The second to last time I was in Tunica, Fargis won the Triple Draw championship there. A few minutes before the event started, I saw Fargis giving Justin Bonomo a quick primer on how to play.
If there's anybody else I know personally who plays this game at the professional level, it's Greg Raymer. Greg may have his World Series bracelet in no-limit hold'em, but 2-7 is his game. About six months ago, I started talking with Greg about the game. Five minutes later, the cleaning crew was cleaning my gray matter off the walls.
I couldn't find Greg and decided he must be dead. Greg is rarely late and I know that if there was one event he wasn't going to miss, it was this one. After walking through the field three times, I was trying to find a way to tell Greg's wife about his premature demise. Fortunately, as I walked out, Greg was just getting settled in and making himself some green tea.
On the surface, this game looks like nothing but a gambler's draw game. However, a few minutes with Fargis or Greg and you'll learn how much strategy there is to it. It's enough to send me running for the Pai Gow tables and hoping the dealer pulls a nine-high.
The game is now an hour old and is so stacked with pros. I spotted Victor Ramdin, Bill Chen, and Terrence Chan getting settled in for a long night. Unlike other tournaments, I'm not going to make any predictions about this one.
My head can only take so many explosions.