Trash Talk: Mr. Belding Knows My Name

As I mentioned on Friday, I was invited to participate in the Trash Talk Championship of the World, which is a clever title for a high-stakes charity poker tournament put on by the folks at Victory Poker. The $1000 buy-in tournament is this afternoon, so I hope to get some good footage of the celebrity participants.

For now, two stories will have to suffice. They put on a high-stakes cash game last night as part of the weekend events that I was filming before the folks at ESPN360 – filming the game for their purposes – had a big guy with an earpiece come over to tell me to stop filming. So stop I did. But I can relay two items.

The game was a $100-200 NL cash game, and each player, including pros like Antonio Esfandiari, sat down with what looked like $50,000 in front of them. At one point, the players upped the ante by putting on a three-way straddle, which means, in essence, that the big blind became $1,600 with five players already having a piece of the pot. That's insane money. But not as insane as one of the players losing $100,000 in one hand, betting $60K on the turn and his remaining $20K on the river, with trips, only to see his opponent catch a river straight to bust him. Oddly, I was more shaken and upset than he was. (Well, he did have to ask one of the other players for a loan later in the night, so maybe he was more hard-up than he was letting on.)

But the moment of the night had to be when Dennis Haskins came to the poker room to check out the action and say hello to those running the tournament. Waiting to meet Dan Fleyshman from Victory, who was putting on the event, I took the opportunity to introduce myself. The conversation – I swear – went like this:

⇥Me: You're playing in the Trash Talk tournament tomorrow, aren't you?⇥
⇥Haskins: Yes, it should be fun.⇥
⇥Me: My name is Dan. But not the Dan you're looking for.⇥
⇥Haskins: Are you Dan Levy?⇥
⇥Me: …
Mister Belding knows who I am. It turns out, he also flew out of Philly and had to move his flights around (I flew through Dallas, while he went through Detroit), so my name came up with the people helping our transportation issues. We talked a little about the Super Bowl and he said he plans to wear a pair of Wranglers during the game so he could feel more like Brett Favre, a joke that totally went over my head because Mr. Belding KNEW MY NAME. He's as nice as you'd ever want him to be.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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