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Player's Stories

The Big One
By Peter Costa

Five hundred and twelve took their chance
They took a seat and made their stance
All with just one goal in mind
All are set for the long hard grind

To show their skill and that they're able
To earn a seat at the final table
To get lucky with no bad beat
To fight for the right to earn that seat

It's high noon the showdown starts
The pulse is raised from beating hearts
Cards in the air, let's start dealing
They've waited a year to feel this feeling

They call, they check, they raise and fold
Some run hot while others cold
They call, they check, they raise and muck
They all need help from lady luck

One by one they drop away
And most are gone by second day
All have stories, some are sad
A real bad beat or just played bad

Some had a draw some had the nuts
But you cannot win on ifs and buts
Some lost their heads, some had to bluff
But they all knew this would be tough

Some got tired while others battled
Some stayed cool while others rattled
Some just threw their stacks away
Some made it through by solid play

As the numbers are decreased
So the tensions are increased
And with each and brand new flop
More and more begin to drop

For those that make last forty-five
They know its good to be alive
For even though first place they yearn
They all have made a small return

As to the final six we go
The rewards in dollars starts to grow
Position play becomes the game
And holding on becomes the aim

The final six now take the table
Each has shown that they are able
In seat one there is "Jesus" Chris
Who must have dreamed of a day like this

In seat two, there is Hasan Habib
Learned to play the game from his crib
Next to him is Jim McManus
A great poker brain with great poker manners

In seat four it's T.J. Cloutier
Lowest stack, but always there
In seat five there's Roman Abinsay
Who hopes that is may be his day

Finally, Steve Kaufman from Ohio
All six are seated; let's start the show
Good luck to each one and all
Deal the cards let's have a ball

"Jesus", with help from above
Is in a position that we would love
He's stacked high, the others low
He sits there while out they go

One by one they drop away
On this crucial final day
First to go was Abinsay
His Ace and Queen did not play

The first bad beat of the final day
Helped to send McManus on his way
He was there to write a book
As fifth place he proudly took

Hasan Habib finally took fourth place
As he constantly ran into an over-raise
His cards were good, the board was mean
As he went out searching for a Queen

The final three, the money's fair
As Kaufman's all-in with top pair
But it is Kaufman's final bet
As "Jesus" Chris, flops a set

The stage is set; we're down to two
Now any decent hand will do
A pair's a pair an Ace an Ace
Now with any hand they raise
Just so they know what this is all for
Out comes the money, the spoils of war
"Jesus" has amassed an awesome lead
But T.J. is one of a special breed

"Jesus" is set for a real hard day
As T.J. takes him all the way
The chips go back to and fro
And then to level stacks they go

"Jesus" looks down and finds an Ace
He makes a move with a hefty raise
T.J. looks and likes his hand
It's now time to make his stand

Over the top, all-in he raises
Both players have one of the Aces
It's down to luck, down to the kicker
Who is strong and who is weaker?

Lets see the cards on their backs
And see how you gamble with your stacks
It's looking good for you T.J.
This could really be your day

All of T.J's past frustration
Could now change to pure elation
His Ace and Queen is looking fine
As "Jesus" shows an Ace and Nine

The flop's no help to either player
But "Jesus" hasn't got a prayer
The "Turn" card comes; it's not a Nine
T.J is looking more than fine

T.J. made his stand; will luck deliver?
Just the final card to turn; the "River"
The crowd is tense, totally absorbed
As the last card's turned to hit the board

If it doesn't pair the board or it's not a Nine
The congrats for T.J., can form a line
But that's not the case; it's not meant to be
As a Nine is turned by destiny

There are no words, what can you say?
Lady luck has ruled the day
But all is fair in love and poker
As the final handshake is now over

What a final, what great fun
Thanks to each and every one
Thanks to Benny for his effort and vision
And for giving us all, our yearly mission

It's now time to mourn and wait
For one long year to evaporate
Then once again we can embrace
This very special poker race

So I wish well to one and all
And see you here in the fall
For the return of the "Hall of Fame"
To enjoy more of this special game

To continue the success of our beloved poker
We need to add a slight makeover
By showing respect to our fellow man
And to being as pleasant as we can

For after all, it's just a game
So lose your chips, but not your name
And win or lose it with a smile
And do it all with charm and style

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