When it comes to cash game confrontations in poker, they don’t get much bigger than Poker After Dark. Many of the collisions in the archive footage you can find across all seven seasons on PokerGO are heads-up, and this one is no different. With only six players at each table, many pots will inevitably end up going heads-up to the flop. In this case, it’s a clash between two very different players – Alan Meltzer and Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan.
The idea of running the play-out of a pot once or twice is one that, personally, I find frustrating. Once the chips are in, the action should be done and dusted. The bet has been made, it’s been called, let’s see the cards. Surely the notion of running it once or twice (to reduce variance) is one that could be part of the betting before the call itself. Something like this:
Player 1: “$2,500”
Player 2: “You’ve got nothing. Raise to $5,000.”
Player 1: “Ha! $5,000? Let’s make it $20,000. I raise.”
Player 2: “Run it once or twice?”
Player 1 would then have a decision to make, wouldn’t they? Run it once and you’re clearly more confident in your chances. You’re favored to win, in your own mind, anyway. Accept running it twice and that speaks of a draw that’s trying to hit. After the money has gone, in, anyone can couch their chances by running it twice, or three times, hell, why not ten? What’s the limit. If you’re a 49% chance, run it a hundred times then you are unlikely to lose much at all.
Meltzer, in this episode, chooses to run it once and Dwan, ever the gentleman in this situation, it must be said, accepts his choice. Alan Meltzer wins the pot, and a huge one it is, with the buy-in for this episode’s game at $150,000.
Meltzer is an interesting character, both on and off the felt. He clearly loves the game and the action of getting involved in a massive pot with players who are at the peak of their powers. I remember once asking a player who wasn’t dissimilar to age and background to Meltzer, having made a lot of money from music management (Meltzer is credited with discovering the bands Creed and Evanescence) why they loved playing poker.
“Because I want to see the whites of their eyes when I call their bet.” came his reply. From a man who nearly ran me over in a gold Rolls Royce as he pulled up to the casino, I could believe it.
Sadly for Poker After Dark fans, Alan Meltzer won’t be back in the new episodes of the classic show, because he’s permanently unavailable, having passed away in 2011.
Upon his death, two men were surprised to find that they had received a large amount of money bequeathed to the in Meltzer’s will. One was Meltzer’s doorman of 15 years, a Mr. Chamil Demiraj, to whom Meltzer left $500,000.
The other was Meltzer’s chauffeur, Jean Laborde. Meltzer never had children and was divorced a year before his death. Laborde, however, was a 54-year-old father of five at the time of Meltzer’ death. The former music mogul gave Laborde $1 million.
“He was such a nice guy,” said Laborde at the time of Meltzer’s passing. “It’s not a good deal for me, because it means he’s no longer here.”
We may lose poker players to the biggest cash game waiting list of all, but they never really die when they create throwback hands that live on forever.
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