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The State of California saw an interesting tournament go underway last Sunday. The host, who is not a regular player, decided to sit down and have a go. He topped the field.

California and the Tournament that Almost Was

A poker tournament took place over the weekend in California. On Sunday, the event that coincided with Veterans Day, started in Gardena in one of the sunny states. Hosted by Rob Reid, the manager of two casinos, Lucky Lady and Hustler in the same city, Mr. Reid decided to give the event a go and see if he can’t defeat other competitors.

Seeing the manager of a tournament sit down to play is not new, but Mr. Reid wasn’t very famous for his play and nobody knew what to expect. In honesty, Mr. Reid also had little idea of what was going to happen next, as he continued to amass a respectable chip lead throughout the separate levels.

With $10,000 on the line, Mr. Reid was clearly focused on the prize. It took him eight hours when he finally emerged victorious from the competition, defeating 100-odd players who have decided to come and try their luck.

When the event came to the final three, Mr. Reid suggested to split the prizing money with the other two people standing, and all seemed happy with the move. As the chip leader, the manager claimed first place, adding a somewhat modest $2,000 to his live-long earnings.

However, instead of taking what was rightfully his, Mr. Reid did something different – he gave up the prize and contributed to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund put together to support the efforts of Californian firefighters who are currently fighting wildfires running rampant across the state. Some owners, such as Kim Kardashian and Kanye West even hired private hands to help stave off the flames from their and neighbouring properties.

Mr. Reid shared his appreciation of the people trying to contain the crisis in the South and added that it was a “tragic thing,” indeed. In jest, he suggested that other players should do the same.

Even though Mr. Reid’s success is now logged in the books, he was not always so sure of his own luck. At one point in the tournament, he was on the cusp of elimination, but a luck of the draw produced a Jack, which saved him at just the right moment, propelling him back into the competition.

The Event Itself

It was also a curious thing to watch Mr. Reid advance. As he began amassing his chips, people began supporting him. Given his modest career, it was a new experience for the manager, too, who said that he hadn’t won a tournament since 2012, although his active time in the game was not nearly as much as that of an average player.

Nevertheless, he advanced steadily and at long last shaped up as a bit of an uncontested chip leader. The doubt about the winner settled, Mr. Reid now had all the bargaining power to draw the contract of a truce, and players all got their cut of the prize pool.