Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bach chasing what's rightfully his

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There was a time where winning one big major tournament was enough. Win the WPT Championship, or the National Heads-Up Poker Championships, or the $50,000 HORSE at the World Series of Poker, and you were an instant superstar. You were seen on TV by millions and the sponsors lined up. For the fortunate few who found themselves in that position, the money they made off their victories far exceeded the dollar totals reported in event coverage.

It's easy to look back at those people with envy. They got in on the ground floor and still reap the benefits of that good timing. Watching that pattern continue to assess itself has to be hardest for those who came that close to the promised land.
Meet David Bach. You may not even know the name.
In 2006, Chip Reese won the new, much ballyhooed $50,000 HORSE event. In 2007, it was Freddy Deeb. In '08, we all watched as Scotty Nguyen toppled a tough final table with a few too many beers in his gullet. All three victories were caught on tape, broadcast to an international audience. Those victories had that extra value alluded to above.
In 2009, the HORSE event was no longer being televised. Attendance dropped from 148 players in 2008 to 95 in 2009, but still, the field was a monster and the format a minefield. It was Bach who triumphed. Yes, the $1,276,806 for first place was obviously phenomenal money, but you couldn't help but empathize with Bach if he was a little disappointed when no one seemed to notice the greatest victory of his career.
"It bugs me just a little," Bach admitted after the end Day 4 of play in the 2011 WSOP main event. "To be honest, I was hoping for endorsement money and it never came. It's never come my way. I'd be happy to get it, but it doesn't seem to be my fate. I also would just like to see the broadcast. I never got to see it."


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