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OK, where were we? That's right, Atlas Shrugged Producer John Aglialoro was at the World Series of Poker and... he was KILLING IT.
Until... the Atlas Shrugged Production team showed up.
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On my way out, I decided to text John and reaffirm my earlier sentiment. I'm pretty sure he got it...
"I doubled up."
"Incredible! That's fantastic!"
"I'm not going."
"Right. We'll record the reading."
"I mean... I'm not going back to the tournament."
The night before, right after I left, John managed to hit a big hand and double-up. Considering John's mid-stacked position, this was a BIG deal.
Today, tournament play was to resume at 12:00 PM. The script reading however, was to begin at 11:00 AM.
"I'm not missing the reading. Maybe later you can go down and get a few pics of my chip stack as it quickly dwindles down. I'm sure the fans will get a real kick out of that."
On the way to the elevator John continued to explain that moments like this don't come around too often, that we have a responsibility to Ayn Rand, that we have a message to get out, and that there would be other tournaments.
We all knew this was the end of the tournament for John. Even if the reading only took a few hours, there would be no way for his stack to hold up against the antes and blinds.
John's success as a businessman is no secret. He's responsible for building, growing and nurturing the success of many companies and currently runs Cybex, one of the largest exercise equipment manufacturers in the world.
What most don't know however is that one of John's biggest passions in life is poker. Making three WSOP final tables and cashing out a total of 16 times suggests that poker may even be what John is most passionate about.
Unless of course... we're talking about the Atlas Shrugged Movies.
And, John was not going to miss the Atlas Shrugged Part 3 script reading for anything.
11:00 AM arrived and so did the Atlas Productions crew - Screenwriters Duncan Scott and Brian O'Toole, Associate Producers Joan Carter and Scott DeSapio (Me), Consultants David Kelley and Barbara Brandon, six very enthusiastic actors, and Producers Harmon Kaslow and... John Aglialoro.
The actors were fantastic and the reading inspired. From Dagny in the Gulch to "This is John Galt speaking..." to the demise of the Harmonizer, five hours seemed to come and go in an instant. The Atlas Shrugged Part III script reading was over.
Applause filled the room and smiles abound.
John stood up.
"Thank you all. That was great. You were fantastic. We have a really great movie here. Ayn would be proud."
John glanced proudly about the room.
"This is the one."
The room's chatter volume began to rise.
"Now... you'll have to excuse me."
John was gone.
And, so was his stack.
By the time John got to the Rio, his stack had taken a serious beating. The situation was bleak. John sat and gave the table a smile.
"What'd you guys do with all my chips?"
With a quick read of the table, John picked his target and masterfully went to work. John waited patiently for all the right moments, setting up his mark for the kill - all the while appearing to trade jabs. And then...
Kings are STRONG. How strong? Against non pocket pairs, kings are around an 80% favorite on average.
John was on the Button with his mark on the Big Blind. The table folded into John. John raised. The Small Blind got out of the way. The mark, having recently lost a hand to John, was tilting and thought John was making a move - exactly what John wanted him to think.
John raised. The mark re-raised. John went all-in. The mark called.
Ace-nothing. John had him.
Until... the Atlas Shrugged Part 3 Production team showed up for a script reading.
The flop came and the mark hit.
At breakfast the next morning, John was all smiles. Mission accomplished. We had a great script reading and we were on track to make our production schedule.
As well as being a great businessman, John is one of the greatest poker players in the world. He is also one of the greatest advocates in the world of Ayn Rand's ideas, of reason, of Capitalism, and, of honor and integrity. To which his heart and mind truly belong, only John knows. One thing is for certain however, everything John does, he does with extreme passion and intensity.
Ayn Rand wrote about heroes. Heroes that some suggest are bigger than life and couldn't possibly exist.
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This post originally appeared at Galt's Gulch Online.