A huge commotion occurred by the rail as one player jumped out of his seat in a fit of rage. "He said call!" he roared. "Between two and one. He said call, everybody heard it!"
A board of remained fixed to the felt, and reliable sources filled us in on the back story: Prahlad Friedman had called a bet of 20,000 on the turn and was facing an all-in on the river for 77,200 (pot around 80,000). "I don't know if I can lay this down to you," commented Friedman. "Well call then," responded foe Ted "The Bark" Bort.
Friedman pitched up tent in the think tank, lit a camp fire and dwelt for a good few minutes, maybe more. After a while, his opponent called the clock and a tournament director duly trundled over to the table to issue a one-minute warning.
With 10 seconds remaining, no decision had been made, and the T.D. commenced his countdown: "Three... Two... One... Dead hand." "He said call!" screamed Bort. "Even the rail heard him!" Various members of the crowd nodded in unison, some agreeing verbally.
Despite Bolt's pleas, the T.D. stuck to his guns. "I want that T.D. back, get me another floorman," he demanded. "Oh my God, that's the worst decision ever." Friedman, meanwhile, remained relatively quiet, perhaps surprised to be experiencing an even bigger kerfuffle than 2006's ante-gate.
Within a few minutes, there were four T.D.s grouped together in a football huddle, frantically discussing the situation and the ins and outs of the ruling. Eventually, a spokesman emerged from the group to confirm the decision, and that the hand was indeed dead.
Still foaming at the mouth, Bolt continued his rant. "I want that video tape! I can watch it and have the satisfaction of knowing I busted him out."
After the hand, I spoke to one of the T.D.s regarding the ruling. "Officially, a hand is dead when the T.D. says the word 'one'," he clarified. "But you know, regardless, they have plenty of time. For a clock to be called, they have to have taken a long time already, then they get extra seconds when the T.D's on his way, and then the T.D. has to ask the dealer if he has indeed had enough time. Players can't really nit-pick about that one second. Why don't they just make up their minds with 10 seconds left?"
The most bizarre thing about this hand? Bort has a tendency to bark inexplicably at certain moments, and, well, this was one of those moments. Yep, it's a strange world.