Comedy poker tournament honours Andy Ferguson

GigCity Edmonton Poker comicsMost people spend Family Day with their families. Comedians spend it sleeping off a night spent with their extended family – other comedians.

And what do they do? They play poker, of course.

A who’s who of 24 Edmonton comedians gathered on Feb. 17 for the First Annual Andy Ferguson Memorial Comedians Poker Tournament, and played their hands until 5 a.m. Along with being the first poker tourney for local comics, the date would have been Andy Ferguson’s 24th birthday. The local comedian died in November 2011 as the result of a car accident. He is still greatly missed by the comedy community.

Ottawa “Slim” Hughes was the first one knocked out of the night, and comics fell quickly from there. Last man out before the final table was Alex Fortin, who bet on hands without even seeing what cards were hitting the table – an upsetting turn of events for a guy like Ben Proulx, who was the chip leader at one point but was wiped out holding three aces when a flush was laid on the table across from him.

Event organizer Lars Callieou – an ex-professional poker dealer -failed to make it to the final table as well, knocked out by Steve Schulte, the whitest comedian in Edmonton. To put that in perspective, that’s almost worse than being knocked out by Ryan Short, who has trouble even pronouncing the word “poker.”

There’s always one man heading into a poker tournament that everybody wants at their table: A nice chip grab. Not surprisingly, that man was Danny Martinello, who lost his own chips and then played until midway through the final table, using Keith Sarnoski’s chips. He lost those, too. Martinello wins the award for the only person to ever spend an entire poker tournament worrying more about who would shotgun a beer with him than actually playing his cards.

When all was said and done, Ken Hicks – also an ex-poker dealer – took home the trophy and the $280 jackpot. He beat out another ex-dealer Andy Bowen, who came in third, and “Alan Smithee,” who is not a comedian, but is yet another ex-poker dealer and knows the right people.

(Editor’s note: Alan Smithee’s real name cannot be disclosed – nor can the poker-playing comic who filed this report. Make up your own reasons. Comics are a mysterious bunch.)