MARYLAND PET STORE OWNER GETS ASSIST FROM HIS CAT
IN WINNING FERRARI ON FREE ONLINE POKER TOURNAMENT AT PARTYPOKER.NET
Bruce Bartfeld of Churchville, Maryland was playing a free-entry online poker tournament on PartyPoker.net and was running out of chips. The 52-year-old pet store owner says he has his cat Sadie to thank for helping him claw his way backâand right into the seat of a brand new Ferrari F430 Coupe.
âI was really short stacked,â? said Bartfeld. âThen Sadie decided to jump up and sit on my lap and my luck changed for the better. They say cats have nine lives; Sadie certainly gave me a lifeline.â?
Bartfeld was playing in his first tournament in an online poker room. PartyPoker operates the worldâs largest online poker room, PartyPoker.com and its companion play-for-free education site, PartyPoker.net, where Bartfield played in a âfreerollâ? Texas Holdâem tournamentâwithout spending a penny. The married grandfather of one beat thousands of top players and is now the proud owner of a sleek Ferrari F430 Coupe with a 4.3-litre, V8 engine that will top out at 195 mph.
PartyPoker spokesman Warren Lush said: âBruceâs story shows how ordinary guys can go all the way in poker and win fantastic prizes.â?
Commenting on his win, Bartfield said: âA friend of mine kept telling me to play online, but I was a bit cynical. Iâd always been a five or seven-card stud man and have played for years with family over Thanksgiving and Christmas. I learned Texas Holdâem about a year ago, playing with friends, and finally thought Iâd give it a go online when I saw the tournament offering the chance to win a Ferrari.â?
âI remember shouting out to my wife Cookie during the tournament. âHoney Iâm in the final three,â I screamed and she didnât react. She told me afterwards that she didnât want to say anything since she was desperate not to distract me. I rode my luck a lot in the tournament. Sometimes I went all-in with very little and was just praying that others would fold. Luckily for me, they did. Thank goodness for Sadie.â?
Other players may recognize Bartfeldâs poker user name âbestdragon.â? He chose that name because he breeds bearded dragon lizards for sale as pets in his pet store. Lizards and poker are his two primary hobbies. Ten years ago he even provided the snake for WWE wrestler Jake âThe Snakeâ? Roberts when they were in town.
âThis is a major event in my life, âsaid Bartfield. âIâm now going to take my poker a lot more seriously and try and qualify for the World Series of Poker. Iâve seen how ordinary guys like Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker can do it and now I want my chance at the big-time. My accountant knows Steve Dannenmann, who came second in the main event this year. If I could achieve even a little of what he has Iâll be a happy man. My mother made me a dreamer while my father taught me self discipline.â?
No need to dream anymore. Thereâll soon be a new Ferrari sitting in Bartfeldâs driveway. His current car is a Chrysler Town-and-Country van. âThe fact that I won still hasnât sunk in. Iâd always dreamed of having a nice car, but a Ferrari? I havenât had a speeding ticket in 10 years. Iâm going to polish it and perhaps I will sit it on the driveway and let the neighbours look at it!â?
Maybe heâll even let Sadie go for a ride.
Bartfeld wasnât the only winner. Jim Williamson, a 57 year-old railroad worker from Sebring, Florida won the tournament on PartyPoker.com, the companyâs âreal moneyâ gaming site, but decided to take $150,000, the cash equivalent to the car.
âIâm going to use it to pay off bills,â? said Williamson. âI think Iâll never have a better day of poker than I did on the final table. I didnât hit a full house once and never had a hand which Iâd consider to be the nuts. I won the money with ace high. I passed on the car even though I can see the Sebring Speedway from my back garden!â?