One of my favorite people in the whole world is Patty Hughes. Patty, as
most of you know, has been running the satellites for numerous
tournaments over the years. She is very efficient but more important, is
able to do her job and still keep her great sense of humor. I keep
wondering who winds her up every morning. I guess truthfully one of
the reasons I like her so much, is that I can make her laugh. Patty’s
laugh is so infectious that it gets me to laughing too.
Having laid the proper groundwork, I’ll get to my little story about one of
Patty’s and my little jokes. It all started a couple of years ago when a
friend of both of ours passed away at a poker table. It had been a few
weeks between when our friend passed away and when we saw each
other, but finally we were together one day, and started discussing our
Patty made the statement of how wonderful it was that our friend had
died doing what he loved to do, playing poker. I hope I don’t come off as
being irreverent but it’s just that that statement has always struck me as
being inaccurate, and actually humorous. Lord knows, people can’t
really mean that, when they make that statement.
So I started a stand-up comedy routine, which eventually had Patty and
me in tears. I began telling her all the things that I love doing, but I don’
t want to die doing. I can’t go into some of the examples that I ran by
Patty, but I am able to relate some of the others that are fit for
I love going to nice restaurants, but I don’t want to die eating in a nice
restaurant having some total stranger doing the Heimlich maneuver on
me, while people are trying to eat.
I love swimming in my pool at home but I’d rather not die in the pool. I
can picture my wife coming home from work, looking for me, and finally
finding me face down in the pool but doing what I love to do.
My wife loves movies but please God don’t take her while we’re at a
movie. That’s a case where I really don’t know what happens. Do they
stop the movie and refund everyone’s money, or just drag the person
out to the lobby and try CPR?
One of my best friends, Jeff Freedman, loves playing golf. I sure hope he
doesn’t die putting out on some hole. Can you imagine the anger in all
those players, playing behind him?
Another good friend of mine, Frank DiElsi, is an actor. I know Frank loves
acting but I pray he doesn’t die on stage. On second thought, maybe
that’s not a good example. Frank has been around a long time so it
probably has already happened to him a couple of times.
Anyway you get the point. I love playing poker but I don’t want all you
guys leaning over me saying, “Who’s that?” “Oh, that’s Vince Burgio. Isn’
t it nice Vince died doing what he loved doing.” No way! Let me die at
home. I don’t have to be doing anything that I like doing. I’d rather die
doing something I hate doing, just as long as I don’t disturb anyone.
And I certainly don’t want a whole bunch of people staring down at me,
in a card club or casino.
Patty and I have another area where we can always get a laugh and
that’s when they get down to the last few people in a super satellite. It
then becomes her job to sit at the table and well, to put it bluntly, watch
to make sure no deals are made. What a job! Sitting at a final table,
doing nothing. I usually go up and whisper in her ear, “If you ever
decide to quit your job, let me know. Okay?” I can bank on her turning
around and giving me a hearty laugh and always followed by a funny
retort, such as, “This job is a lot harder than it looks,” or “It’s taken me
years to perfect my unique system for doing this job.”
In closing, I just want to thank Patty for the great job she does while
keeping that bright and cheerful outlook. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could
all run around with her attitude.
For what it's worth ...
By Vince Burgio