The Rio's Carnivale of Poker has concluded and everyone generally
agrees that it was a resounding success. As successful as the
tournament was, it was not without some sadness. The poker world lost
another of the old-timers, Bob Carter. Bob lived in Las Vegas and was
well-known and liked in the poker rooms there.
A couple of years ago, J.J. Volpe organized a group of people who
honored Carter during the World Series of Poker tournament. I know
that Bob enjoyed that day-- a couple of times, I glanced over and saw a
tear in his eye. It was brought up several times that he was a true
gentleman and always conducted himself in that manner.
During the recently concluded Rio tournament, Bob, while playing,
suffered a medical problem. As luck would have it, three doctors were
there at the time. What transpired was like a scene from ER. The three
doctors--Phil Earle, Will Noyes, and my own doctor, David Moskowitz--
administered to Bob.
After working on Bob, they had him stabilized. I watched with admiration
that I cannot describe. The buzz was that Bob's vital signs were back to
normal and he was breathing on his own. Everyone was overjoyed. Bob
then was taken from the Rio on a stretcher by the paramedics.
Thoughts raced through my mind about what a marvelous thing we all
had witnessed. I wanted to write the story right then and there, but I
had signed up for the tournament, so the story would have to wait.
I was knocked out of the tournament that evening, and at that time, I
found out that my friend Bob Carter had not survived.
Earlier in the day, I had planned to get the three doctors together, take
their picture, and do an interview with them-- but all of that disappeared
from my mind, as my friend was not with us anymore. Everyone was sad.
Since that day, I have had a chance to talk to all three doctors
individually, and I have told them how much I admired what they did and
how they did it in such a professional manner. Without exception, they
all said that they did nothing but their job.
Doc Earle, with whom I spoke for a little longer than the other two
doctors, confided to me that he has the best feeling one could imagine
after helping in an emergency like the one that had transpired at the
Rio. His eyes lit up as he told me how much satisfaction he gets by
helping people. He said, "Vince, it's better than winning the World
I don't know if it's proper to speak for someone who no longer is here,
but I am going to do it anyway. So, "thanks" to Drs. Earle, Noyes, and
On a lighter side at the Rio, it seemed that no matter where you went, a
lot of the talk was about the upcoming Tournament of Champions in July.
There are lots of tournaments, but only a few of them are events. The
TOC looks like it will fit into the category of being an event. I believe that
all of Mike Sexton's hard work is going to pay off. I plan on being there,
and I hope that everyone joins me in supporting his tournament. In the
long run, I think the whole poker industry will benefit from it.
Now, here's an even lighter side of the Rio. A friend of mine came in to
play a tournament. He had a friend with him who does not play poker.
After a few hours, my friend happened to be sitting next to me. He had
an average amount of chips at the time when his buddy came over to
the table and asked as innocently as possible, "How much longer are
you going to be?"
For what it's worth ...
Success and Sadness
By Vince Burgio