Poker Blog Round-Up 21st March
Brandi is back! Ok, that’s not actually that exciting but all the bloggers aren’t updating much so I’ve been forced to dip into the wacky world of the 2+2 forums. As you all remember Brandi is an occasional stripper who had a good run at the Bellagio last December. As the poker scene is full of dweebs and she possesses a modicum of attractiveness it didn’t take much for her elevation into poker stardom. The Captain Tom Franklin ‘penis on back’ debacle followed. Since then Brandi has befriended David Sklansky and there was also a scandal involving young hotshot Mark Newhouse. There has also been lots of posting by her on the forums at NeverwinPoker.com, a website started by young guns Dustin Woolf, Bryan Micon and Todd Witteles. Most of these posts seemed to consist of her sexual fantasies about Micon and the odd report about stripping at Spearmint Rhino in Las Vegas.
So what’s the latest I hear you ask? Well, it’s quite complicated and the entire thread takes about two hours to read. To make a long story short Brandi and her new boyfriend Brandon ("pimprexel" on 2+2) go to LA for the LA Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino. They have nowhere to stay and end up staying at the apartment of Neverwin (Dustin Woolf). Apparently, even though Neverwin is a massive winner online it seems he owes everyone left and right. Also, he is completely out of it on pills. Brandi’s boyfriend, himself an ex-junkie, pops a whole load of these pills too and the next thing you know they’re all doing their absolute cobblers online. Mark Newhouse shows up looking to get some of the $100k that Neverwin owes him. According to Brandi though, Neverwin tells everyone else that he has no intention of ever paying Newhouse back. Or something like that.
The whole saga is somewhat convoluted and Brandi’s writing skills are not exactly comparable to Dickens. Brandon contributes to the thread also and promises a bunch of great pictures which at the time of writing have not been put up yet. What’s also interesting is the hate for Brandi that comes across in all the replies from many 2+2ers. Are these young college boys really that threatened by an essentially harmless and rathguer silly young girl? I’m reminded of Mary Whitehouse, the UK’s moral guardian of the media, who obviously stayed up all hours watching TV looking for filth she would be appalled by. If all these 2+2ers really think Brandi is such an “attention whore” why give her the attention and make up a load of carefully considered responses to her posting? It’s astonishing how moral and self-righteous some of those 2+2 kids are. Poker attracts misfits, chancers, hustlers and scumbags and Brandi’s stories illustrate how nothing really changes. The old guard had its share of degenerates (we all know about Stuey’s drug habits, TJ’s sick dice addiction – the list goes on and on) and now we have the new degeneracy. The baton has been safely passed on. Phew! Let’s face it – poker would be utterly dull without this sort of stuff. Here’s to Brandi and more of her crazy shit.
Talking of crazy hustlers I came across an old blog by Ed Moulton. His journal ends around June 2006 but what caught my eye was around 20 entries concerning Moulton’s friendship with Ellix Powers.
For those of you that don’t know, Ellix made the final table of the $5,000 Limit Holdem event at the WSOP in 2004 which was broadcast on ESPN. Ellix is a homeless black guy who at the time had been on a good run which he parlayed into this final table. A true “downtown” character Ellix famously put Positively Fifth Street author James McManus on tilt by straddling blind during the televised final table. McManus told Ellix he was disrespecting the game and then promptly spewed a load of chips to Ellix calling on the river with just Queen high. The cameras followed Ellix outside the ‘Shoe as he excitedly told a pal on his mobile phone that McManus had called him with just Jack High (at the time of writing I have been unable to find this clip on youtube). Naturally Ellix received a degree of infamy for his behaviour although most people at the time felt that McManus was being utterly pompous and got his just desserts.
It’s obviously this notoriety that attracts Ed to Ellix and the entries recounting their friendship make great reading (the rest of his journal seems to be mostly made up of rather bad Haikus so don’t bother with those). Moulton has a terrific ear for the way Ellix speaks and reproduces tt ohe argof a homeless panhandler accurately. Here’s Ellix on his financial situation: “Im half broke, fuck that Im all broke, I aint got nothing. I got people who owe me money, don’t think I don’t have money, but that’s the way it is in the game. See you gotta understand something, you’re never broke once your in the game. I walk around in there, I come up with fifty, hundred dollars. Cause those motherfuckers know I wont be up there in a hotel room with some bitch getting high half an hour later. Ill be right there at the table, see that’s how it is in the game. Once you’re in, you’re in. You’re a good kid David, oh that’s right I mean Ed.”
Or what about Ellix’s thoughts on Las Vegas real estate: “I just want to own that motherfucking piece of dirt right there. That’s all I want. One motherfucking piece of dirt. You know how much that’s worth, probably a whole bunch out here. See all these big fucking buildings. Whats Wynn do, he adds another. Another big fucking building with 50,000 dollar chandeliers. You believe that, 50,000 for a chandelier. That would pay my rent for a year, for a god damn chandelier. And all these motherfuckers come out here looking at the big buildings, don’t know why they were able to build em. Its cause of you, see what Im sayin, these motherfuckers don’t realize they’re getting their money taken.”
During the time that Moulton gets to know him Ellix has a few things going for him on the back of his ESPN appearance, one of them being maybe a documentary. It appears, however, that Ellix is not too bothered by that. Ed writes: “He told me he was going to get into the limit holdem shootout event for the world series of poker and I asked him if the documentary crew was coming back for it. He responded, ‘I dont even want to talk about those motherfuckers, fuck them, the fuck do I need them for – I got ESPN’."
Part 11 of the Ongoing Saga is particularly good as it has a lot of detail about Ellix playing in a tournament at the WSOP and hanging out in the FullTilt hospitality suite at the Rio. There’s simply too much to quote, like I said it’s around 20 chapters long, but it’s great to know that somebody like Ellix, for a brief period at least, had a worthy Boswell to chronicle his life.
For those of you who feel this column is too interested in the dark, flabby underbelly of the poker world I now direct you towards Ben Grundy’s blog. There’s no weird or seedy behaviour and for that matter no sick gambling either, just a good entry with good poker content recounting Milkybarkid’s recent jaunt to the EPT main event in Dortmund.
Ok, that’s the serious bit over with, let’s move on to The Paper. He has updated his excellent blog twice since his last outing and both are good entries as usual. In one he reminisces about a hand he won off Pedro, another living legend at the Vic. Pedro is a tiny Scottish gentleman mostly famous for his never-ending stream of bad beat stories all told in his near incomprehensible Glaswegian accent. All his utterances end with either of these two phrases: “The Geezer!” or “The game, game, game”. In other words he’s a bit mad, but it doesn’t really matter as he’s a likeable fella and to give him credit he’s a winner in the game which is no mean feat at the Vic.
The other entry finds The Paper musing on a complimentary teddy bear with two England supporting lions given to players at the Vic as part of a promotion a few years back. The Paper is thinking of passing said cuddly toys onto some younger punters than himself, “But it seems plain wrong to visit such items of dubious provenance on these innocents – perhaps the capital invested in these furry objects comes directly from the case funds of compulsive degenerates”. If there’s a Pulitzer Prize for blogging my vote goes towards The Paper.
Hugo Martin aka ‘Chimney Sweep’ is a blogger and writer for www.pokerverdict.com, a site for the European online poker community. The site features an online tournament search engine, player blogs and online poker news.