Saturday, July 15, 2006

Shirley Valentine & Poker Stars WSOP 150

I was passed out from exhaustion and never heard my cell phone beep which indicated a text message. It was from Shirley Rosario (aka Poker Babe) and she wrote:
"Flopped a royal flush on the first hand of the omaha tourney!"
That was at 2:09pm a few minutes after Event #24 $3K Omaha Hi/Lo. If you follow Shirley's jourmal you know that Omaha Hi/Lo is one of her best games and you also know that she's been fighting breast cancer. In fact, she's in the middle of chemo treatments. She's one tough cookie and drove all the way out from LA to play in this event.

So on the first hand of the Omaha Hi/Lo event, Shirley had Ax-4x-Kh-Jh. The flop was Ah-Qh-10h. She and Sam Grizzle checked along with another player. A Jack fell on the turn. The other bet, Grizzle folded, and Shirley smooth called. The river was a Queen and she hoped that her opponent caught Quads or possibly a boat. He ended up mucking his hand when Shirley flipped over her Royal Flush.

"I don't think I've ever hit a Royal before," she said with a giddy smile on her face.

Shirley playing in last year's WSOP

I eventually stumbled into the Rio around 5:30pm. She was moved to a tough table that included Marcel Luske, Daniel Negreanu, and Bret "Gank" Jungblutt. Gank and Shirley sat next to each other. Gank sported a grey NewverWin Poker sweatsuit and told me that he bought an ad on the Tao of Poker.

Shirley had both me and Chris Newton sweating her on the rail. I wanted to make sure I gave her some coverage because she's one of many pros that slipped through the cracks of the "official live updates" team. Most of those interns could not pick Johnny Chan out of a crowd and I noticed that she was absent from the chipcounts and updates.

"You have two members of the media sweating you. And even some international press," as I pointed to Chris Newton.

Chris nicknamed her "Shirley Valentine." I liked that and now I'm gonna beat it to a dead horse, or until Shirley complains about it!

Bobby Bellande sat on the table behind Shirley. He was trying to get attention of the hot models walking around in skimpy outfits. Eventually Shirley was moved to Mike Woo's table along with Allen Cunningham.

Shirley busted out just before the dinner break. She told me that she played well despite the outcome.

"I gave the best that I have," she mentioned.

While we were hanging out in the hallway talking, the Omaha event went on dinner break. Shirley made plans to go eat with Mike Woo and he found us outside.

"Where's the Hoooker Bar?" he asked.

* * * * *

Just a reminder that on Sunday, July 16th at 4:30pm EST, Poker Stars is giving away 150 seats to the WSOP main event. Places 1-150 get to go to the big dance. So why aren't you playing?

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