Thursday, August 21, 2008

Amare Stoudemire and Me






At 3:00 PM yesterday I received a text message from my friend, Jeff who invited me to the new shoe release party for Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns.

Jeff is the friend of mine who has formed the company, Knockout Dealers which run poker tournaments. The business idea is that Jeff hires and trains models to deal the cards and they wear fish net stockings and bustiers to look their best. Jeff was hired by the party planner for Amare to run a poker tournament during the party. Since it was such short notice, Jeff was worried he would not have enough players, so he was nice enough to give me a call. He said, "we have 8 prizes to give away and if you play, I will have at least 10 players." With those odds, how can I pass it up?

The party was held at the Rockridge Estate. This infamous property is owned by the estate of the late Scott Coles of Mortgages Ltd. Scott made the business news a couple of months ago when he committed suicide after his wife filed for divorce and his company was sued by various clients for not fully funding the mortgages they had promised. After Scott's death, Mortgages Ltd declared bankruptcy and thousands of local investors are wondering if they will get any of their money back when it's all said and done.

The property itself is unbelievable. It is currently listed for sale at $16,000,000. The first line of the listing says, "If money was no object, this is the house you would build." Check out the pictures above of where the party was held. If you can believe it, this was just the pool house/guest house. We were not allowed in the main residence.
Jeff did not tell me it was a pool party, so I was a bit over dressed. No big deal as there were dozens of hot women running around in various states of undress all night. There were also lots of big black men running around as well. It was definitely not a crowd I am used to running with. It looked like an episode of Entourage.
As for the poker tournament, there were 15 players and 8 prizes to choose from. If you finished in 1st, then you got first pick of the prizes. The prizes included signed Suns jerseys, shoes, Suns tickets, and a $200 gift certificate to Stoudemire's restaurant.
I was seated at the "L" table. The first four people who sat down were named Larry, Louis, Lisa, and Lon. Louis was on my left and I came to find out that the Phoenix Suns had just signed him to a contract. After checking the internets at home, apparently he played sparingly for the 76'ers last year and the Suns picked him up as a free agent. He was a very nice guy and a very bad poker player. My favorite.
Surprisingly the blinds in this tournament were slow moving and I could play my normal patient game and pick my spots. Somehow I gathered chips occasionally and got lucky a few times and made it to the final 3.
The last men standing were myself, Jeff, and Mark (who happened to be the lucky man who has the real estate listing for the house). Jeff was the big chip leader and twice he had Mark all in and behind. Twice Mark went runner-runner to make a full house and stave off elimination.
Eventually I gained the chip lead and took my turn trying to elimate Mark. I pushed all in with KQ and he called with pocket 3's. The flop was Q-Q-3. Mark had not turned over his cards yet, so I figured I was comfortably ahead. He was nice enough to show me the bad news after the flop.
After a long time at 3 handed, Jeff finally went broke and Mark and I were heads up with only 20 BB between us. I was ready for the tournament to be over so I began to push all in frequently. Mark had barely called me all night, but he finally did with ten high. I was lucky enough to have the monster 3-7 in my hand. When I say lucky, I mean I sucked out on him to stay alive in the tournament. Eventually he pushed all in with J-9 and I picked up AQ and made the easy call. My Ace high held up and I won the tournament.
There was going to be a little skill in picking the prize I wanted. Since the party was put together very hastily, they did not have the actual prizes there. I was going to have to depend on Jeff, Amare, and his handlers to come through and deliver the goods. This means taking free tickets or a signed jersey would be a relatively easy thing for them to follow through on. Instead of taking the sure thing, I decided to gamble.
I chose the Amare Stoudemire All Star Package. The NBA All Star game will be in Phoenix in February. Apparently the schedule is party on Thursday, party on Friday, and party on Saturday, followed by the game on Sunday. Amare and his party planner promised me that they would get me into one of the official "All Star" parties that week where I can hob nob with the players and coaches. I give myself a 50/50 chance of this happening, but it's fun to think about. At a minimum I have a great story to tell my son, Jake when he gets older.


1 comment:

sogno said...

You have pee pee pants - Just Sayin