GM Walter Browne has won the National Open way too many times to count. And he was scheduled to play again this year. But as the first round came around, there was no sign of him. He missed the entire National Open.
He did show up to conduct a simul at the same time as GM Victor Korchnoi. However, he tried to finish the simul as fast as possible to rush out of the hotel. This was very unusual.
I later found out that he was busy earning $191,490 at the Rio Casino! And he is still not done. He came in 7th and 2nd in 2 separate poker events and that was his prizes.