While the last 2000 (plus) players ground their way through the last of the Day Ones, I was actually able to step away from the main battleground there at the Amazon Room for some, shall we say it, fun? Of the parties that have gone on, the one that took place at the Palms on Monday night was one to be there for.
Because of a generous invite from her personnel, I was able to take part in the (hopefully) First Annual Anna Benson Media Invitational tournament. The wife of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kris Benson and a very well viewed media person in her own right, Anna Benson is known for her very outspoken opinions on the world of sports and the way they seem to treat her husband. The party that she was able to put on Monday night was, in the best sense, one of the better parties to take part in.
The party took place in the Real World Suite at the Palms and (if you haven't already seen the program on television) it does capture one of the best views of Las Vegas you can have. I almost had a sense of vertigo when I stepped in front of the full length windows that showed the expanse of Las Vegas at your feet (from about 280 feet up). The rest of the suite, however, seemed small and quite made for the program they shot there. Whether I would spend the money it takes to rent the suite (which I have heard is in the tens of thousands of dollars) depends on where I am in my bankroll at the time!
The persons who appeared (which encompassed countries such as Germany, England, Scandinavia and the United States) were regaled by a DJ before the party even started. The people were mingling (I even was able to square off on the pool tables against some very good European gentlemen and, after beating them, some of the "Golddigger Girls") before the actual action commenced on the poker tables for some fairly serious prizes.
First prize in this event was a cool $5,000. A nice prize admittedly, but second also brought a flat screen television to the victor and third was a great prize as well in a trip to Spring Training with Anna and Kris as the prize. There were twenty media present, as well as Anna, to battle for the top prizes on the floor.
So who do I get to sit next to at the first table? None other than the Golddigger herself, Anna Benson. She is a highly aggressive player and she will force you to make decisions. In a key hand against her, she powered her bets continuously into my calls and, at the river, was able to show an Ace against me. Unfortunately for her, my pocket sevens played and I was able to take a nice pot off of her.
While we were able to sit beside each other, I was able to talk. I asked, "What is tougher: baseball, modeling or poker?" She quickly answered, "Baseball, definitely. Kris is always seemingly on the road and it never seems that we get to spend any time together." I also was able to ask her about Golddiggerpoker.com, her personal online poker site and she commented, "It's something that's continuing to grow. It's such a tough market nowadays, it is really a battle to get things working well."
In last year's Main Event, Anna made a point of emphasizing the "F-bomb" rule and it seemed to work against her. She went on a diatribe of "I can say ****, ****, damn, ****, (fill in the blanks yourself) but I can't say the F-word?" Which she proceeded to do, to her detriment. This year, Anna is going on to Tuesday to Day Two with around 60K in chips, so don't bet against her getting deep in the event.
The DJ continued to pump the jams as the two tables worked their way down to one. I made an amazing suck out with a 10-9 versus Big Slick to make my way to the final table, where everyone (including Anna, former Playboy Playmate Jill Ann Spauding and her paramour) were waiting. At the final table, the ten players decided to cut up the first place prize so everyone would have something to take home and the other prizes were left up for grabs.
I would love to tell you that I will be watching the next NFL season on a nice wide screen TV, but it wasn't meant to be. I made a move from the cutoff with an A-J and was called by the big blind, who turned up (DAMN!) pocket Kings. Once the formalities were done, I was out in eighth place, but still $500 up.
The tournament played on, but the party just kept on going. Antonio Esfandiari and Gavin Smith showed up and got in on both the poker action and the party action as the evening wore on. After the tournament was over (who won? Does it matter?), the party continued on into the night with a bevy of lovely ladies, Gavin Smith and Antonio Esfandiari at the poker table and great music. What else could you ask for?
Ed note: You could ask to play online poker with Antonio at Ultimate Bet, and he might oblige you.