A few years back, a major golf wager came up among poker players during the WSOP. It is my favorite Doyle Brunson story (and for good reason).
During one of the tournaments, Doyle was seated at the same table with high-stakes players Howard Lederer and Huck Seed. Those two were playing a lot of golf at that time and were looking to get Doyle out to the course. Doyle, tired of them egging him on, said he would take me for a partner and play them in a scramble match (meaning you both hit a shot and play the best shot). The catch was that we would scramble our ball from the red tees (ladies tees) and they would scramble their ball from the blue tees at TPC Summerlin. They agreed.
The bet was a $20,000 NASSAU (which means separate bets on the front nine, back nine, and total) with one automatic press a side. The next day, Howard and Huck chided Doyle for taking the bet. Doyle boldly said to them, “If you think you’ve got the nuts, double the bet to $40,000!” They did. ‘Game day’ was set for 30 days after the WSOP.
What amazed me about Doyle making this bet was that neither he (in his sixties at the time) nor I had played any golf in several years. In addition, Doyle was on crutches from a knee operation and couldn’t walk without them. Now Doyle is an action man, but without us having played in so long, it seemed like a pretty daring bet. (Doyle said he forgot more about golf than they would ever know. He didn’t see how they could overcome the tee spot.)Doyle Brunson
After the bet reached $40K, Doyle said to me, “We better go out and see what we can shoot.” The next day, we go to the course and shoot 76 (a horrible score scrambling from the ladies tees). All the way around the course Doyle is moaning, “I can’t believe we’re this bad. We stink. We’re gonna get killed. I’ve got to get out of this bet.” (For your info, Doyle was staking me in the match.)
Doyle goes back to the poker room the next day and after playing a while, he calmly says to Howard and Huck, “What do you guys want to do with this bet?” They said, “What do you mean? We want to play.” Doyle calmly replied, “Well, it’s going to be a close match and my knee is bothering me. I don’t want to injure myself.” They said we had a bet and they wanted to play the match. At this point, Doyle throws his chest out at them and blurts out, “Well, I’ll tell you what. You can either double the bet or cancel it!” (You have to know Doyle to really appreciate this ploy.) They looked at each other and said, “OK. We’ll double it to $80,000!”
Doyle had bluffed at them and they had called. Turning to Plan B, I assured him that I could play from the ladies tees in par with some serious practice. I said I would go to Florida for two weeks and train with Harold Henning, a friend of mine who played on the senior PGA tour (and who was off the following week). Doyle reached in his pocket, pulled out two $5000 chips, flipped them to me and said, “Go train.” (Doyle knows how to take care of his men.)
When I returned to Vegas, my game was as good as it was going to get. Doyle sent a man (who knew Howard and Huck’s game) out to the course to watch me play. I played well. After the round, we went over to Doyle’s house to report in. Doyle asked him what he thought and the guy said, “Doyle, you’ve got the nuts.” Doyle nodded and said, “We’ve got the nuts, do we? Well, if we’ve got the nuts, how much would you like to bet on us?” The guy, who has never bet over $500 on anything, then says, “I want to bet $5000 on you.” Hearing this, Doyle broke into a broad grin and lit up like a Christmas tree. He exclaimed, “That’s good enough for me!”
The next day, Doyle’s back in the poker room and goes into his act. “What do you guys want to do with this bet? It’s going to be a close match, it’s hot out, my knee hurts, etc., etc.” After saying they wanted to play, Doyle again blared out, “Well, you can either double the bet or cancel it!” And they doubled again – up to $160,000. ‘The Match’ was on. It was now a situation where you could win or lose $800,000 in one round of golf!
On game day, which turned out to be the hottest day of the summer, about 50 carts of gamblers followed us around the course. It looked like a PGA Tour event. And what a show they saw. (If only we’d been smart enough to film this event for television – talk about exciting reality TV. Whew!)
Doyle and I jumped out to a two-up lead after four holes. On five, we had about a 12 foot putt for birdie and they had a 40 footer. Howard missed and then Huck drained it. Doyle and I both hit good putts, but they lipped out, one on one side, one on the other. Ouch! Instead of going three-up and being in total command, we were now back to one and one (even), which is how we finished the front nine.
They birdied 10. We birdied 11. This is the way it went until 15. Here, Doyle and I made our only bogey of the day (on the shortest hole on the golf course) to go one down. On 16, we had about a 50 foot putt for birdie (that broke about ten feet to the left) and they had a six foot putt for birdie. Things didn’t look good.
I putted first and didn’t come close to making it. Then Doyle stepped up, whacked it, and before it got half way to the hole he started screaming, “It’s in! It’s in!” Incredibly, the putt went in. The crowd went wild! (Forget television, this should have been on the big screen.)
They made their birdie and were still one up on the back nine, but Doyle’s putt seemingly broke them down. We won 17 and 18 and ended up winning two bets for the day ($320,000). It was an amazing match (that was anything but ‘the nuts’). Doyle had proven that he was still “the man”.
There are certain days in life that you put in a frame and hang on the wall. This was certainly one of them for me. Take care.
Dieser Artikel erschien auf PokerOlymp am 22.05.2007.