Eskimo Goes Down, But Still Alive

by , Jun 19, 2007 | 11:27 am

LAS VEGAS–Will be an interesting final table in the $1,500 Razz event. Not just because Men the Master should be sobered up by 3 pm (pacific) today when cards go in the air; and not just because German poker lass Katja Thater is showing she really knows her shiznit … The big question mark buzzing over lots of heads right now is about Eskimo Clark — who made the final table, despite collapsing twice en route, stopping tournament play while he received medical attention. Oh, and O’Neil Longson is going for his second razz bracelet in three years.

From Bodog Beat:

Paul “Eskimo” Clark collapsed at an earlier event while in the heat out in the “poker sauna”. The incident was attributed mostly to poor health triggered by the conditions in the tent. However, today in the air-conditioned Amazon Room during the $1,500 Razz event, the same convulsions put him on the floor again. Twice.

After both episodes (one of which involved Clark County Fire and Rescue), Eskimo was helped back into his chair to keep playing pursuant to his request to do so (he actually was gripping the bumper of the table, not wanting to leave). At the time, poker players around him were visibly upset at the decision to let him continue, but at time of publish he seems cognizant and well – although no one is sure for how long he will remain so. Whatever the issues are, he is also playing a mean game of Razz. He is currently second in chips with only 12 players remaining. Hopefully, he will remain well enough to play in the final table tomorrow.

When I walked up on it all, paramedics were making their way through the Amazon Room to tend to Eskimo, who had just suffered his second collapse of the day (third of the Series). With play temporarily suspended, players and fans were texting fiercely and making calls, presumably about more than just chip counts. “I don’t know why,” said one rubbernecker on the rail. “He just started twitching and shaking.”

Meanwhile, floor supervisors were keeping an eye on the tournament area as people got moved back. They were discussing rules and plans as it pertained to handling his chips. “That’s what we’ve gotta do. But still call Jack, he needs to know.”

It wasn’t mayhem per se. But there clearly was a frantic buzz inside the ropes. Rio security and Clark County medical were all professional and methodical as they moved (through) the masses. So were the dealers and tourney staff charged with protecting both players and chips. It’s times like these — with both money and actual lives on the line — that certain people’s jobs really matter, no?

At least a few folks in the media believe that, I know. And not to make it about media coverage — because really, it’s not, or at least it shouldn’t be. But there were those who were clearly aware that something newsworthy was happening and kicking into gear while others, just like old times, were physically trying to stand in our way. I suppose the difference is between those who see the WSOP as a public sporting event, and those who see it as a casino marketing event. If I coulda taken any picture, it would’ve been of a wife taking a souvenir photo of her smiling husband posing with a gracious Jennifer Harman, as Paul “Eskimo” Clark lay on the ground semi-conscious (but in the money!) about 12 feet away.

Incidentally, PokerNews — “the Independent Online Poker Authority” — is feeling some effects of being not-so-independent. Having paid for the privilege to be an “official” media sponsor, they had to oblige Harrah’s request to not publish the name of the player needing medical attention in a way that thrice-altered tournament play. Can only wonder how things woulda shaken down had ESPN cameras been covering $1,500 Razz.

For different unofficial perspectives, check out Wicked Chops and The Poker Biz.

One Comment to “Eskimo Goes Down, But Still Alive”

  1. Pokerati | Texas Hold’em Blog | Semi-live and Unofficial at the WSOP » Blog Archive » Deja Vu?Eskimo Clark - Need I Say More?

    […] anyone of the mini-strokes he had last year? The time he collapsed at the table? The time paramedics had to come to the floor of the Amazon Room to check on Eskimo, but he refused to be […]