by Tom McNaughton
The second round of the Cuenca Cup was played on October 27th.
It was a tough crowd that night. It started with TC Tahoe warming them up with a few card tricks and sleight-of-hand moves that left everyone with jaws hanging. No one knows TC’s real name, but after 30 years on the road doing magic and card tricks, this guy could handle a card deck.
I asked him to saw a woman in half, and he said, “No sweat. I’ll bring more equipment next time.”
Though he travels light, backstage he pulled a cuy out of my ear, then turned it into a silver dollar and handed it to me (the dollar, not the cuy). No wonder he’s been banned from every casino on the planet. We’re hoping that TC will return soon for another show. We’re looking for a female volunteer for the saw trick.
“All in Will” Lacy, winner of the first round, returned the Cuenca Cup and it promptly went on display and up for grabs. What a thing of beauty! It’s rumored that the King of Prussia once owned this priceless object. How it got to Cuenca remains a mystery to this day. The Cup has an unusual aroma that some say reminds them of roses or maybe frankincense (others think it smells like sour milk). It's definitely a conversation piece and worth a little sniff, if you get the chance.
As the night wore on, Buddy “Snake Eye” Winston outmaneuvered everyone. A few great bluffs and his own sleight of hand got him the great honor of having his name permanently engraved on the Cuenca Cup in magic marker. I know it will break Buddy’s heart to return the Cup for the third round of the now-infamous Cuenca Cup World Poker Tour.
Anyone who wants to play in the third round is invited: Please RSVP to email@example.com. No experience needed is to play and even less is needed to win. The buy-in is $7. If you'd like to make a donation and not sit with all the usual hustlers who haunt these events, no one will blame you. One hundred percent of the funds are go to the Messengers of Peace Foundation.
Our sincere thanks go out for all the contributors known and unknown. The tour has now raised in excess of $2,000 for Messengers of Peace, which supports an orphanage for 70 disabled and handicapped children in Yunguilla Valley. If you would like a very humbling experience, we can arrange a tour of the orphanage for you. All funds go for very basic needs, such as food.
This third round is generously hosted by DiBacco Restaurante, home of the Tuesday and Thursday Gringo Nights. DiBacco's own John and Lauro will have a special drink and finger-food menu that evening. DiBacco’s offer to host this charity event is very much appreciated.
Date: Wednesday February 8, 6:30 p.m. check-in time; playing begins at 7.
Location: DiBacco on Tarqui, between Simon Bolivar and Gran Colombia.
Photos by Deke Castleman
Top: TC Tahoe competes with the World Cup to dazzle the poker players before the Big Game; middle: the crowd goes crazy for the show, including the current World Cup champion, Buddy "Snake Eyes" Winston, lower left in leather; bottom: after C-betting the flop, Kathleen Ashbrook (right) takes down the hand with a brilliant check-raise on the turn, bluffing Linn Smith, Dan Maloney, and Gary Ashbrook out of a big pot.