Friday, April 25, 2008


PokerStars media coordinator Mad Harper is renowned for emailing us her pie charts, and after I suggested that her chart was inaccurate and unrepresentative of the field because it had excluded the lesser nations, she got herself into a bit of a fluster. The video clip below was the result. When I was informed that I’d made an appearance, I nearly creamed my pants, fame at last! I’m the ‘man without a face’. Fck my life.

Also continuing to impress are the SikTilt boys Ruri and Hassan, I love their stuff and wish we could afford to bring them to blonde. I was going to try convincing my readers that their Negreanu interview was real, but I think most people know it’s not by now. The mere fact that people weren’t sure, though, is credit to the acting, one take and no rehearsal might I add. Enjoy!

The eventual winner was Candian business student and recent poker pro Glen Chorny. Glen was an odd character, and managed to put his foot in it when he was caught slagging off Michael Martin behind his back. I was in the bar when Chorny strolled in with his folks, the father, incidentally, being a dead ringer for Andy Warhol. Few people congratulated him and he didn’t seem to be getting the rounds in, so I don’t think he was the most popular of victors. At one point, I saw Dani Stern approach him, but I couldn’t quite hear the precise details of the debate. Something about fabricating high stakes hand histories and lying about what he'd won, and they also seemed pissed off that Chorny had said he’d been unlucky in the tournament even though he’d won, it all seemed rather petty. On the flipside, I did hear that Glen Chorny offered to back Asa Smith in a few events after he bad beat him out of the Bahamas EPT, so he can’t be all that bad.

Jeff Garza, Brandon Schaeffer, Michael Martin and a number of others were in the bar, but I was too tired to socialise. I spoke to Brandon and Jeff momentarily, but they seemed drunk, so I decided not to bother. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s trying to talk to people who have been boozing when you’re not just tired, but completely sober. I want people to make sense and be themselves when I talk to them. The only good thing about these moments is that all the gossip and rants come pouring out at breakneck speed, it’s just a shame that the tournament finished so late and limited my ‘Heat Magazine’ time.

More entertaining were the antics of Antonio Esfandiari. He was absolutely leathered and had reeled Jon Tabatabai, Josh Tyler, Sorel Mizzi and co into his drunken antics. At one point, there was a lot of noise coming from the bar. Apparently, Sorel had bet (probably for thousands) Antonio that he couldn’t make ten people lie down on the floor without directly telling them to lie down. I think Antonio pulled it off, but was pulled up on a technicality because he’d told someone else to ask people to lie down on his behalf.

On the way home, we ran into John Kabbaj at the airport. He appears to be “hitting the crossbar” of late, but seems like a nice enough chap, so I hope he strikes gold soon. We were talking about the helicopter journey from Monaco to Nice and he said that Freddy Deeb and Devilfish nearly died in it three years back. “It was a windy day, the helicopter was rocking from side to side and the lights went out. Freddy was sure that was it.” Good lord, imagine your last moments being in the arms of the Fish. He’d either pull out the guitar for one last swansong or give you his trademark wink and say, “Well, we might as well squeeze in a quickie before we go.” I’m not sure what would be scarier.

As we parted ways at the baggage claim I asked the Cabbage if he was going to Vegas and he sighed and said, “Yeah, I guess I’ll be there”. It kind of echoed some of my thoughts of late. Poker can be a trudge at times, but in the end, we love what we do, and would be lost without it. I’m working the World Series with PokerNews this year. I’m not particularly looking forward to it and I know it’s going to kill me, but I’d feel as though I was missing out if I wasn’t in the thick of things. I love the game and all the controversy that surrounds it, there’s so much going on in poker, and I want to be there to see it al unfold.

In a few days I’ll be enjoying a fortnight holiday in Chicago and Toronto. I upload daily results for blonde, so pretty much work 365 days a year. In the two and a half years I’ve worked for the company, I’ve never taken a day off. Even when I went to Amsterdam with Dana, I was doing my work in the mornings. With that in mind, I think these two weeks off are going to be a shock to the system, I’ve become a workaholic of sorts, and don’t feel comfortable if I’m not doing something constructive. When I’m watching TV, I’ll still be adding galleries, updating blondepedia and whatnot with the laptop on my lap. In many ways, I’m an obsessive compulsive, and I hate wasting time.

What’s been concerning me most is the condition of my cyst. I promised Dana that I’d take her on holiday in April, so I was worried that the doctor would say I couldn’t go for whatever reason. However, I went into A&E this morning, and they said that if I took some of their super duper antibiotics, and kept applying the dressing, the mucus should start to ooze out. Nice. I’ll still have to have the cyst removed when I get back, but not having the infection would make life a lot easier. The last thing I want to do is ruin our holiday because I’m not in a fit state to do anything, I guess there’s more important things than poker after all.


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