Monday, January 14, 2008

ELKY AND THE APPLE

After ElkY won the PCA the other day, PokerStars media coordinator Mad Harper marched into the pressroom and asked if anyone wanted to come to the press conference to interview the Frenchman. An awkward silence and the passing of tumbleweed later, and Mad morphed her request into a plea, mainly focused on my good self who was subsequently dragged out of the pressroom with my claws scratching away at the frame of the door. “But I don’t have anything I want to ask,” I begged. “Ask him if he’s going to buy the latest copy of Starcraft 2,” laughed uber geek Floppy as I departed.

So, in the conference room, I joined er… three other media members to fire questions at the newly crowned champion. Seated at the far end of the table as if he were the father of the family, Elky gleamed like a Cheshire cat who got laid the night prior. Ironically, it’s probably the upcoming night that’s gonna get him laid. What was that Kanye West song called again?

In many ways, ElkY is an odd character. He has very broad shoulders as if he were donning American footballer shoulder pads and his sunglasses remain superglued to the bridge of his nose, even during interviews, which can only distance himself from the person he is speaking to and make it a less personal experience. Think the Terminator, but French - yep, that's it, Arnie with a beret. However, he is always polite and amicable, and therefore a cut above the majority of poker players I cross paths with.

When the press were invited to ask questions, there was, again, another stunned silence, everyone too tired from the week’s blogging to actually care. In fact, once you’ve updated a number of tournaments, they all seem to merge into one and you’ve seen so many millions pass hands that to be seated opposite a guy who’d just won a couple million bucks isn’t quite as intriguing as it once was.

Keeping blissfully stum and daydreaming about my two days off in the Bahamas, Mad inexplicably broke the silence by saying, “Hey, snoopy’s got a question.” “I do?” I replied with the warmth of the spotlight hovering over me. “Yes, go on, ask a question.”

What can I ask him? How can I feign interest? I refuse to ask him a boring question? And then, like a lard covered eel, out it slipped… “Are you going to buy the latest copy of Starcraft 2?” Nooooo, I’ve advertised myself as a geek. This guy has just fended off over a thousand other players to become a millionaire overnight and that is what I ask? “That’s not my question,” I add in a panic, “Floppy asked me to say it. I know nothing about Starcraft.”

If asking such a benign question wasn’t enough, I had to repeat it three times, my Brummie accent failing to break down any language barrier we may have had. To his credit though, he did eventually catch on after Mad translated my question into slow, loud English and ElkY responded with, “Buy a copy? I’m going to buy a thousand!” That’s one for every player he beat, ooh, I like it. Shame that’s not what he meant.

Thankfully, it wasn’t all dwarfs, aliens and Lord of the Rings, as Poker Listings’s Matt took control of proceedings with some constructive questions, basically asking ElkY how his tournament went. ElkY responded by saying that he had 900k at one point but dropped to 130k which was a worry, but then doubled up twice in a row to get back in the game. He also spoke about Pham, who he was highly complimentary of, but then claimed he was able to control his aggression due to him being positioned on his right. "I didn't want to play a huge pot against him," said ElkY, "but I stopped worrying about him when I took out Joe with the A-Q. I felt I had control then and was confident of winning."

The Frenchman also spoke about his deal, admitting that it was a lot of money and that he was simply focussed on the title. He also believed that his opponent may have played differently as a result, which gave him a better shot at glory.

All this was said at double-quick speed. Whether this was because he was still pumped up from the tournament or because he simply always speaks this fast, I wasn’t sure, but either way he sounded like the dude from the Micro Machines advert and it was tough to keep up.

Parting ways, he finished by saying that he would spend the money on partying and would buy everyone a drink at the club. (I almost drowned in the originality of that response.) Shame the club has a dresscode and was, ultimately, rather shite according to my source. I really wish these Vegas style casino clubs didn’t well… exist.

Meanwhile, I caught up with Craig ‘The Apple’ Hopkins in the Atlas bar/restaurant, the latest addition to the fruit basket. His nickname was blonde in origin, a simple photo of Craig eating an apple leading to Floppy referring to him as The Apple (genius, I know!). Either way, it somehow caught on and within minutes, all of his mates back in Chesterfield were roaring “Come on the Apple!” We even sneaked it into his PokerStars bio which subsequently led to numerous Apple references on the EPT live feed, the commentary team using the moniker as if it had been his handle for years. I bet Craig’s glad he didn’t bring a plum to the table.

ElkY and Craig both seem like nice chaps, although I was obviously remaining patriotic and backing the latter, if only for the sea of puns that would have been at my disposal for my news item. The Big Apple, The Apple Takes It To The Core, The Apple Skins The Opposition, the potential was endless (although hopefully better than those three). ElkY, meanwhile, caused all sorts of problems, the best I could muster (and I hesitate to type it, even now) being… “Ooh La La Grospellier.” To everyone who was forced to read that woeful headline, I sincerely apologise.

2 Comments:

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Tam said...

Great blog that one, couple of laugh out loud moments.

You get credit for the one about the plum, but Floppy gets the points for "ask him if he's going to buy Starcraft 2"

 
At 11:48 PM, Blogger seymour cards said...

hey snoopy,
love the blog, any chance of a linkup?

http://www.seymourcards.com

cheers
seymour

 

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