Cardinal Graelyn is held in high regard among most Imperial Capsuleers, but he also has earned alot of respect among those outside the Amarr Empire.
Remarkable is that during his decade as capsuleer, his loyalty was always with the Amarr Empire, a rare occurence in the capsuleer community. For a long time he was a very active forerunner in Amarr capsuleer affairs, managing to unite many capsuleer organisations with different viewpoints on the Faith and Empire into one. This feat is an excellent example of his impressive diplomatic skills and one of the reasons he has gained alot of respect from friend and foe alike.
More background information can be found here : Concord Datafile: Cardinal Graelyn
To celebrate his 10 years as capsuleer, Cardinal Graelyn organized a poker tournament in association with EoH Poker, followed by an afterparty!
Several capsuleers expressed their interests to attend both the Poker tournament as the after-party.
Poker Tournament: The Cardinal's Table
The people that gathered for Graelyn's poker tournament were a mixed bunch, from total beginners to professional players. It would be a very interesting match to observe with such varied skill-levels and playstyles deployed!
The first few rounds saw people playing with little risk, testing and seeing how their opponents played. Once a few games were played, certain capsuleers started to play more aggressively, causing the knockout of the first group of attendees.
Now the stakes grew higher, as several tried to knock out Cardinal Graelyn to claim the knockout prize attached to it. But as more and more players got knocked out, the cunning and skill of Graelyn showed, as he kept in, despite that he had far less chips than those on the lead.
Eventually Makoto Priani successfully knocked out Graelyn, claiming the knockout prize (100 mill isk) as she kept leading the tournament in number of chips held.
When Avio Yaken got knocked out, and winning the prize money for third place (400 mill isk), it would be a duel between two master poker players, Makoto Priano with around 33K chips and the outnumbered Jurou Yuan with around 11K chips.
But now the game really turned interesting, the duel between these two capsuleers became a game of matching skill, luck and bluff. In a rapid series of fast games, chips went back and forth . Jurou Yuan managed to win a few crucial high stake game, turning the tables around.
As people watched and commented on some of the odd community card combinations, the excitement of the game kept everyone's attention.
And then it occurred, in a thrilling endmatch, the stakes soared up! The chipstacks piled up high and then, Makoto Priani went all in!
And in this climax, the cards were revealed:
-Jurou Yuan shows a Full House, Eights full of Fives
-Makoto Priano shows a Full House, Fives full of Eights
So close, yet so far, but the winners were known! Jurou Yuan won the first prize! 2 billion isk! Runner up at second place, Makoto Priani won 600 mill isk.
After this thrilling conclusion, people were invited to attend the after-party at Cerra Manor Terrace in the Huola system.
Graelyn however announced there were some things planetside he had to resolve before attention the after-party.
The after party
Initially, the after party subject was the thrilling duel between Makoto Priani and Jurou Yuan, where people congratulated both on the exciting game, and analyzed some of their moves and strange community card combinations.
Other parts of the tournament were also discussed, but at lesser detail, by example certain bluff winnings or odd card compositions.
Later on, the varied crowd had several discussions about sensitive subjects. It speaks to Graelyn's skill in selecting people that all these discussions were kept civil, despite that very different and even opposing viewpoints were presented in the arguments & talks.
The subjects ranged from the Amarr Faith to Slavery with Sansha workings and Amarrian ages thrown in. As you see a variety of subjects, many of those fueled by Amarrian expertise.
It is commendable that attendees wanted to learn more about the ways of the Empire and the Amarrians inhabiting it without resorting to stereotypes and black & white views. It is important to note that it wasn't about what was being right or wrong, but more about the why and how, giving people a deeper insight in various Amarr related subjects.
As the central guest of the party didn't show up, the subject of presents also came up, several had bought a gift for Graelyn's 10th year as capsuleer, but wanted to give it to him personally. Sadly, circumstances prohibited Graelyn to show up at the party, so it was decided to give him these gifts later in person.
It was an enjoyable celebration with a varied mix of people that respected each other.
The poker tournament was also a pleasant experience and a fun introduction for me in the poker game. The thrilling duel between the finalists was certainly fun to observe due to it's speed & skill of these capsuleers.
The after party turned out to be a very educational experience on various things Amarr, learning alot of new things, not to mention the ability to discuss certain sensitive subjects in a civil manner. For this I like to thank all attendees for their respectful and civil behaviour.