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Canadians, Once Again Lost in America! The 2005 'Make it Fo' (MIF) get-together

by Jan Fisher |  Published: Aug 09, 2005


It has been a good year – no, a great year! It has been a long one in many ways, and a short one in many others. I didn't realize how fast the year had gone by until our Canadian MIF (Make it Fo) gang came down again for their annual pokerfest. If you'd like to see how my involvement with this group began, please read my column from last year. It was in Vol. 17/No. 14, July 2, 2004, and can easily be found on the website under magazine/writers/archives. That column was about a goofy and fun group of my friends from the Great White North.

MIF members: (left to right) David Strucke, David Brennan, Tim Jackson, Linda Johnson, Curwin Friesen, Jan Fisher, Don Bent, and Mark Guibert; members not shown include Sean Caragatta, Adam Petryk, Dave Caputo, Mark Tenner, Angelo Compagnoni, and Peter Fisher.

On their annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas this year, they veered north and visited me during the recently concluded Oasis Open poker tournament at the Oasis Resort and Casino in Mesquite, Nevada, which I was hosting.

In 2004, I won the one-table MIF tournament championship, and this year my beloved group rented two vans to transport a larger group to Mesquite to play a two-table event on my home turf. Unable to attend and try to better his second-to-last finish from last year was Doug Dalton, director of poker operations at Bellagio. Linda Johnson won the event this year (after finishing last in 2004), and took home $700 and the ceremonial trophy (see the photo). If you think it looks like a toilet seat cover, you're right. It is decorated with memorabilia from the magazine and will be passed on for generations to come. Sean Caragatta finished second ($400), Mark Guibert third ($296), and Adam Petryk fourth, for a payday of a resounding $4 (we use the number 4 whenever possible with this group, as MIF stands for, "Make it fo!"). I finished a dismal sixth.

This event is designed primarily for fun. More emphasis is put on having a good time than on playing great poker. However, each of these guys is a student of the game, and each year when they come back, their play has improved. Who knows, they might even win their crown back! Never is it more fun to put a bad beat on someone than it is with this group. They take it in stride and have a great time. But don't think these guys don't take the game seriously, as the tourney lasted three hours! Also, Linda and I now have matching MIF vests. We can proudly wear them anytime and anywhere we want, but I am betting they won't be worn again until the same time next year. During the tournament, a player from one of the side games approached one of the "vested" MIF members and asked, "Are you the guy from the article? One of the Canadians?" True story. It was as if she had just seen Britney Spears!

2004 MIF Champion Jan Fisher presents 2005 Champion Linda Johnson the ceremonial trophy (a toilet seat cover).

We have fun with these private functions. If you're interested in doing something similar, talk to the manager of your local cardroom about hosting such an event. It can't hurt to ask. Class dismissed.

As always, please contact me with your poker-related questions and comments. Also, I am happy to entertain your column ideas. For your poker cruise needs, please visit