Drama abounded here in the Sunset Ballroom today, with a host of disputes cropping up through the course of the day.
There was no shortage of table talk, with the loudest of the loud being Frankie Flowers. In addition to a name that would feel more at home in an east-coast mob movie, Flowers has the personality to match.
Talking incessantly throughout the afternoon, Frankie backed up his talk with action by the stretch-limousine-load. Seated at the same table as the larger than life Jean-Robert Bellande it was only a matter of time before these two butted heads.
Their first clash came in a hand that began with Flowers opening the pot with a min-raise to $8,000, with blinds of $2,000/$4,000, from second position and getting calls from Bellande, Terry Boyd and Paul Giacobbe. The flop came A♦ J♦ 7♣ and Giacobbe, first to act, bet out $40,000. Bellande and Flowers both called and Boyd opted to fold.
The turn was the 8♥ and after a check from Giacobbe, Flowers shipped his last $60,000. Bellande was next to act and came over the top, moving his $130k stack into the middle as well.
Now most people will tell you that calling two all-ins with nothing but top pair is a great way to go broke but I guess Paul Giacobbe never got the memo. He had Bellande covered by a narrow margin and made the call, turning over his A-K with all the conviction of a royal flush.
Needless to say he was behind in the hand against a set of sevens for Bellande and a flush draw for Frankie. It was surprising to see that Frankie had put his tournament life on the line with Q♦ 8♦ and Jean-Robert made a point of saying so.
Perhaps Frankie knew something we didn't though as the dealer dropped the 4♦ on the river. An absolutely sickened Bellande jumped from his seat and let fly with a barrage of F-Bombs.
Luckily there is no punishment for profanity in this event since he would be serving ten-minute penalties back to back for the rest of his life! Fuming, Bobby paced the room berating Flowers for his play. Even the fact that he had won a nice side-pot from the oblivious Giacobbe did not serve to salve his pain.
As they usually do, things calmed down after a few minutes and play got back to some level of normality. This wasn't the end of Bellande and Frankie's involvement however.
Several orbits later Frankie opened a pot and Jean-Robert moved all-in. Flowers obliged and when the hands were rolled we saw that Bellande was in bad shape with pocket nines to Frankie's pocket jacks. The flop was devoid of help for JR but the turn delivered the two-outer that he must have been praying for.
Now it was Frankie's turn to blow-up, but surprisingly he took it in stride and it even served to break the tension at the table. "I guess I can't complain about you hitting your flush draw anymore," commented Bobby, shaking his head.
From that point on it was nothing but the usual vulgarities and trash-talk that one expects to find at a poker table. Jean-Robert was getting a massage at the time and conversation shifted to his idea for a parlor called "Happy Endings." I won't say any more except that the term "suck-out" was brought into play. Thank god for topical humor.
Another spectacle was provided courtesy of Paul Chabot and Stephen Sangermano. It isn't every day that players come to blows at the poker table, but from a guy in a personalized hockey jersey and another in a t-shirt proclaiming "Fighting Solves Everything," what else can you expect?
Alright, they didn't actually throw down but they got very close. It started with a comment from Sangermano to one of the railbirds by the table. Something to the effect of "You got so lucky in that cash game last night," with liberal use of the word "donkey."
Things had escalated between the player and the spectator when Chabot interjected, "If you've got a problem with him you have a problem with me," directed at Stephen.
The next thing you know they're both on their feet, nose to nose, with the floormen playing the roles of referee for Sangermano and Big John McCarthy for Chabot. Not surprisingly they simmered down and avoided being thrown bodily from the tournament room.
In the midst of all this drama there was actually a poker tournament being played, I assure you. This blog may not cover all the intricacies of today's play but luckily there is a place you can go for that: the Live Updates Page. Here you will find all the action from the first card dealt to the last hand folded.
We're slated to get underway again at noon tomorrow so as always I implore you to tune in then. Step right up and witness the magnificent medicinal miracle of PokerListings.com. It's good for what ails ya!