Day 3 of the Aria Super High Roller Series cash game was fairly bereft of poker pros but that didn’t stop multi-millionaire John Morgan from stealing the show with a highlight-reel hand and a few hilarious stories about his past.
Morgan is the CEO of the Winmark Corporation, best known for the Play It Again Sports retail stores, but he also loves to play poker.
In fact Morgan admitted he frequently plays the $100 tournaments at Aria. It was astounding to poker pro Jean-Robert Bellande that someone with Morgan’s wealth would even bother with such low-stakes events.
“So you have a set and someone sucks out on you and hits a full house and busts you from the tournament, are you upset?” asked an incredulous Bellande.
“No I just go buy into another $100 tournament,” laughed Morgan. “They run every hour!”
Morgan explained his love for poker in more detail.
“It’s more of a sociological experiment,” said Morgan. “You meet some of the most interesting people. Sometimes I play the $100 over at the Orleans too.”
Apparently Morgan has won a few of the events too.
The rest of the players at the table tried to organize a $5,000 last longer prop bet between Morgan and Bellande in the $100 Aria tournament but Bellande wasn’t super keen since Morgan has so much experience playing those particular tournaments.
Morgan Loses "Stone-Cold Minimum"
It’s clear that all that experience has helped improve Morgan’s game as he played an astonishing hand against Bill Perkins that had all the poker pros in the room buzzing.
In the hand Morgan opened for $11,000 and Perkins called from the mandatory straddle.
The flop came Q♦ T♥ 5♣ and Perkins checked but Morgan fired a $25,000 bet. Perkins flatted.
Both players checked the 2♠ turn and the 2♣ river.
Perkins flipped over 5-5 for the flopped set and Morgan revealed A-Q.
“Oh my god!” exploded Jean-Robert Bellande. “He lost the stone-cold minimum. That was awesome.”
“I thought you were gonna take me for a ride,” said Perkins.
“What would you call with?” said Morgan, explaining his thought process.
The hand was enough to earn a fist bump from Antonio Esfandiari who was watching the game, waiting to get a seat.
“Nice hand John!” said Esfandiari. “I would have lost a lot of money on that hand.”
Esfandiari said he would have put Perkins on a variety of hands including K-Q and K-J but Morgan seemed like he never even questioned checking the river.
John Morgan, AKA Bong Hog
Poker isn’t the only thing on the John Morgan Show though. Perkins asked Morgan about his single best business decision over the years.
Morgan couldn’t really think of anything but said that quitting drinking 43 years ago was his best life decision.
“You’re wild enough as it is,” laughed Bellande. “I couldn’t imagine you drinking.”
“You’d be surprised,” said the 70+ year old Morgan. “They used to call me ‘Bong Hog’ in college.”
One again Morgan, who's been the life of the party, made the entire room explode in laughter.