I spent the week in Oklahoma competing in Riverwind Casino’s $100,000 Fish & Chips tournament presented by Mark Jeffreys’ BASSZONE.com .
After spending a long week with too much down time, I learned one thing — I’m not a poker master.
There were a lot of tour level anglers who signed up to fish and play cards in this unique event — Kevin VanDam, Rick Clunn, Gerald Swindle, and the list goes on. The format was pretty unique as it combined a two-day fishing tournament on Arbuckle Lake with a one-day poker tournament at the Casino.
Both tournaments stood alone, but they also had a point value that would be combined to come up with an overall winner for the whole event. Dean Rojas and his partner won the fishing event as Dean’s partner caught a Moby Dick 9-pounder on the first day to put them in the lead. Then they held off the field with a limit the next day.
They won $20,000 for the fishing portion, then played cards well enough to win the overall title for another $10,000. I don’t know who won the poker tournament, but there was another group of local poker players who filled in the tables, and one of them took home the $20,000.
The event was a lot of fun, and any time there is a total purse of $50,000 the competition if going to get stiff.
We didn’t do so well.
I partnered with the “King of Arbuckle” for the tournament; Jeffreys himself. I spent the week enjoying myself, not really worrying about the fishing because Mr. BASS ZONE is supposedly always a threat to catch a bunch of big fish on that puddle.
That didn’t happen, I guess with all of the planning of the event, Jeffreys didn’t have as much time to find us fish as I thought — so our poor showing is all his fault. Well, maybe not all his fault, I guess I could have put some time in, too, and perhaps gotten off of the back deck on the first day, but oh well.
On the poker front, I realized that I am a better blackjack player. With blackjack, you don’t have to work in any strategy, you only have count the cards and get as close to 21 as possible without going over. Poker is an entirely different game; the mood became very serious when the tournament started.
I was out of the tournament early; I’m too big a risk taker to stay in the game too long.
Jeffreys and the folks at Riverwind did a great job of making the atmosphere fun. Everything was well-organized and it was a lot of fun — despite my lack of success.
After the event was over, I traveled to Tulsa where I spent a day on the water with Darrell Rollins at Lowrance learning about the new Lowrance HD and HDS fish finders. I’m really glad I did, because this is a whole new learning curve.
They are going to make a difference for me on tour next year — I’ll tell you more about the trip next week.