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Detroit Pistons guard Allen Iverson was mum about the loud horsing around he and his posse reportedly engaged in at Shakopee's Canterbury Card Club.
According to Zach Sussman, president of Zeusentertainment.com, a Minneapolis marketing and promotions company, Iverson was at the club about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday; the Pistons had a game with the Timberwolves Wednesday.
"Iverson, Rasheed Wallace and about six other members of the entourage" were at "a three-card poker table in the casino games room," said Sussman, with whom I communicated via e-mail and the phone. "Sheed didn't wager, explaining to onlookers, I don't gamble, but he certainly had fun sipping [beverages] and jabbing at his friends and other players who weren't doing so hot. AI, on the other hand, had what we call 'rubber band banks' in his pockets -- must have been around $50,000 (at least in one pocket) and he was getting beat up pretty hard at three-card poker."
In other words, the night before the Pistons beat the Timberwolves, AI might have lost money at the casino. We can only hope that some members of his posse were real security guards, as walking around with a wad of cash invites the kind of attention that some pro athletes believe justifies carrying weapons.
"After an hour or so things started getting loud with Iverson and a buddy sharing a bizarre call and answer session," said Sussman. Iverson was calling out, Where you from?, and his buddy was responding, South Side, Chicaaaaagoooooo.
"This was LOUD," wrote Sussman. "After about 10 minutes of this and everyone in the room yelling at them to shut up, the star-struck pit bosses finally went over and asked them to keep it down. The noise subsided and the group left without further incident."
I asked Mike Hochman, the card club's table games director, to confirm the celebrity sighting. "I don't know who that [Iverson] is and I'm not sure I could give that information out if I did," said Hochman, when asked Wednesday if AI was at the casino. "Must be a sports guy. People point them out to me and say 'Hey Michael, that's blah, blah, blah,'" said Hochman, who on his own rarely recognizes stars. Uh-huh.
Hochman also said he does not work nights, but that he would pass my number to his night shift staffers and either they would call me or he would. Neither happened.
I ran the particulars by Timberwolves spokesman Mike Cristaldi, who conveyed my questions to the Pistons team PR person. "I talked to their PR spokesman," Cristaldi said on Thursday. "Basically he talked to Iverson and Iverson, through a team spokesman, had no comment."
And I didn't even inquire about how much AI lost or won.
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