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Steve Buckner Wins a Pot and Nearly Sets Off a Fight
Level 14: 1,000-2,000, 200 ante
It started innocently enough.
With the final board showing 8724A and about 22,000 already in the pot, Steve Buckner checked the small blind, Larry Wolf bet from middle position, and Buckner check-raised all in for 86,100. Wolf called with 88 for a set of eights, but Buckner showed 65 to win the pot with an eight-high straight.
Buckner, who had lost a pot earlier with A-J against Wolf's K-K, apparently held a grudge, because he begins celebrating loudly by skipping up and down the aisle. Wolf isn't pleased with Buckner's antics, and says a few things like, "You don't have to act like a jerk. Just take the pot."
A crowd quickly gathers around the table, including media and the WPT cameras, and Buckner is still in full force as he takes his seat, loudly describing the hand to the media. It is taking a long time for the dealer to count down Buckner's all-in bet, and Wolf is eager to just pay off the bet and play the next hand. Buckner's stack is eventually counted down to 86,100, and Wolf ships that amount across the table.
Steve Buckner - 195,000 (97 bb)
Larry Wolf - 54,500 (27 bb)
Technically, that ended the hand, and the dealer begins shuffling to deal the next one. But the media and the crowd is still gathered around the table as Buckner continues to brag about the hand. Wolf tries to get everyone to just move on and continue the tournament. When somebody calls out Wolf for calling Buckner a jerk, Wolf says, "I didn't call him a jerk. I asked him to not be one."
But then Wolf says that Buckner was being a jerk, and he has every right to say that based on Buckner's behavior. But a woman near the table takes exception with this. (She isn't a player, but clearly a railbird who came inside the rail to see what happened.) She says, "He is not a jerk! He is not a jerk! I know this man, and he is a kind man. You don't know him! He is not a jerk!"
Wolf looks at the woman and says, "Who are you? You're not involved in this. You're not even supposed to be here." Wolf argues with the woman for about 10-15 seconds, and then she asks, "Are you Jewish?"
As crazy as this situation was, that line takes it to another level.
Jeremy Schwartz (same table in seat 2) takes huge offense to that line, and he instantly springs up out of his chair to yell at the woman. "Whoa! What the hell was that about?" Schwartz is a big guy, and he rips off his sunglasses, pulls back his hood, and towers over this woman, who doesn't back down.
Schwartz demands to know why she would ask that question, and what in the world being Jewish has to do with any of this. We can't hear what she is saying because Schwartz is yelling, and the entire tournament room seems to come to a stop as if a fight is about to break out. Schwartz never raises his arms, but the mood definitely feels like it could get physical at any moment.
Borgata Tournament Director Tab Duchateau runs over at this point, and he quickly gains control of the situation. He gets Schwartz and the woman to back down a bit, and tells Wolf to calm down so he can handle things. Duchateau asks for a very quick summary of what happened, and 10 seconds later has the woman escorted out of the tournament area by security, and then removed from the room entirely.
For how heated things got in that period of 30-45 seconds, things calm down surprisingly quickly. Within two minutes, even Buckner and Wolf are laughing like old friends. Very surreal.
Update: We've received word from someone who was standing closer to the woman that once Jeremy Schwartz got up in her face, she said, "Whoa, I'm Jewish too."
Christian Harder was seated at the next table, and had this to say about the situation on Twitter:
Dear god poker players are nuts. Almost a fist fight between a girl and dude at adjacent table. Damm Borgata.
Sorted In: Christian Harder, Steve Buckner, Jeremy Schwartz, Larry Wolf, Tab Duchateau, Featured Blog, Borgata, Season IX, Tournaments, Borgata Poker Open
07:45 PM, 09/20/10