Don't Invite Orel to the Next Poker Game

This weekend in Las Vegas was the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. It started with a field of 64 professional, celebrity, and amateur stars. All the big poker names were there: Hellmuth, Ivey, Hansen, etc. The handful of celebrities included Shannon Elizabeth, Jason Alexander, and Don Cheadle. However one name intrigued me when I saw it in the field - Orel Hershiser. I have actually seen the Hollywood trio mentioned above on poker shows before, so those aren't really surprising, but Orel Hershiser?

Anyone who has played poker heads-up knows that a lot of luck is involved. The big pots are usually won by pushing all-in preflop. If the odds aren't in your favor, you just need a little luck to rake in a ton of chips. So even a person like Orel Hershiser has a chance versus the best players in the world, as long as the right cards hit.

On Friday, Orel defeated poker pro Ted Forrest. He went on to face Allen Cunningham, who is crazy good at poker. Sure enough Orel beat him on Saturday, and went on to beat another pro, Freddy Deeb to advance to the final eight.

A funny sidenote is that I was actually in Las Vegas for a little under 30 seconds on Saturday night to catch a connecting flight. I thought there was a 100% chance I'd be "stuck" in Vegas overnight, but it was not meant to be.

Sadly on Sunday Orel's luck ran out as he was defeated by Andy Bloch. If anyone cares beyond that, the final four ended up being Phil Ivey vs. Jesus Ferguson and Huck Seed vs. Andy Bloch. Coverage can be seen here.

I think it would be a great idea to have a 20 year World Series anniversary heads-up match between Orel and Mr. Dave Stewart. The lasers coming from Stewart's glare have killed lesser men, so maybe it's not a good idea after all. For Orel, it's back to ESPN, where he can play poker with John Kruk (who I hear is a big fan of chips).

1 comment:

Chris Capra said...

Great blog post. If you want to read more about Orel Hershiser and the NBC Heads-up tournament you can go to http://innergangster.blogspot.com

There are photos of the $1/$3 poker game Orel played in at Caesar's Palace with Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer, Scott Lazar and Jason Alexander.