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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Charlie

I don't know him, never met him, but because some people I call my friends and care for, care for him, I care too. Reprinted from www.lasvegasvegas.com written by Pauly from www.taopoker.blogspot.com :

"It's very easy to do a good deed." - Barry Greenstein

Some of you don't know about a guy named Charlie Tuttle. He got dealt a bad hand in life and he's been battling cancer. When the World Series of Poker began, his health took a turn for the worse. His best friend Jason Spaceman wondered if the Poker Prof and myself could find away to cheer Charlie up. His favorite player is Marcel Luske and some of you already know the amazing story how Marcel borrowed my cell phone to call Charlie in the ICU. He even sung to him and that made Charlie laugh for the first time in a very long time.

Our friend Felicia took it upon herself to find as many pros and ask them to do something to help lift Charlie's spirits. Max Pescatori, Barry Greenstein, and John Juanda all took time out of their busy schedules to call Charlie. Barry even said he would send Charlie a copy of his new book. Max sent Charlie a care package and got some of his friends like Jen Harman and Doyle Brunson involved.

In the last few days, Charlie's breathing problems persisted and he was unable to physically talk on the phone. He has internet access now, so I know he's reading this. Charlie, in one of the most amazing moments I have ever witnessed in poker, Barry Greenstein said he was going to win a WSOP event for you. Then he went out and did it.

During one of the breaks at the final table of Event #19 $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, I walked over to Barry Greenstein and thanked him for calling Charlie. His gesture really meant a lot to Charlie, his family and friends, and to a lot of people in the poker community, both players, bloggers, and readers alike. Barry said to me, "It's easy to do a good deed." He understood how the poker boom had made poker pros instant celebrities and that a simple phone call was the least he could do. Before the break was over he told me that he was going to dedicate the victory to Charlie. At that point, I rooted for Barry harder than I ever pulled for any other player before.

In order to get in the position to win this event for Charlie, Barry had to outlast a field of 291 players including a former World Champion in Chris "Jesus" Ferguson. The final table started an hour later than originally scheduled. Apparently, there was a computer error in the payout structure and some of the players who cashed yesterday got more than they should have. As soon as the error had been corrected, play began......

........On the 16th hand of heads up play, Barry won a huge pot when he caught a Wheel straight on the river. Barry held a $400K to $43K chip lead. A few hands later, Barry won his second bracelet. He won $128,505, all of which goes to charity. Paul Vinci played great and he took second place and won $70,680.

I wish I could say that I was paying attention to the hand that Barry beat Paul Vinci with. I was distracted because all I could think about was Charlie and Spaceman. A few moments after he won, Barry spoke to the audience and officially dedicated his victory to Charlie."This one is for Charlie," Barry said as a round of applause filled the room.

Barry couldn't say much more because he was also playing in another WSOP event, the Pot-Limit Hold'em tournament, in the far corner of the poker room. On the way to his table, he barely spoke about his win to the media because he was all choked up. Barry is one of the best poker players in the world and he always has his feelings in check at the table. For a brief moment though, he was overwhelmed with emotion and exposed his vulnerable side.

I think a lot of us involved were a little teary eyed. I had to excuse myself and go into the hallway because I was about to cry. At that moment, the events at the World Series of Poker seemed meaningless compared to the battle that Charlie was fighting. Situations like this make you reassess what's really important in life. Las Vegas is a city built on greed. Poker is a game that often attracts some of the lowest forms of life. However, in the past two weeks, there have been a small group of professional poker players who have earned my respect and admiration. Amidst all the darkness and debauchery, I have caught a few glimpses of the bright side of humanity. The hearts of some of the biggest sharks in Las Vegas are filled with compassion.Tonight was a special night at the World Series of Poker and Barry Greenstien made sure that we would all never forget a guy named Charlie Tuttle.


EDIT: Heard from Dr. Pauly that Charlie has passed away this morning, Wednesday 6/22/05. RIP Charlie.

6 Comments:

Blogger Danny said...

That was an awesome story. What a great group of people. That was awesome of Barry to do that. I really thank you for sharing that story. You cant help but get choked up about it.

7:13 AM  
Blogger James "the nut" said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:31 PM  
Blogger sarahbellum said...

FYI, the link to Tao of Poker is incorrect.

9:37 PM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

Thanks, I corrected it.

9:40 PM  
Blogger JasonSpaceman said...

Hey MissT74 -

You actually played with Charlie in his first Vegas tournament, which he won, at Linda Geenen's place in March. Then he won the only other live tourney he ever played, at the Stardust two days later.

11:22 AM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

Isn't that amazing....I can actually put a face to his name now and it seems to hit closer to home then thinking I didn't know him at all.

I didn't know at the time what he was going through. Such a shame for such a young life. : (

11:26 AM  

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