Friday, August 08, 2008

Cards Everywhere, Part III

The third in the series devoted to televised poker...

Time to move into the world of the poker professionals - the otherwise rank-and-file players who've turned into characters on the boob tube. I present to you Snow White and The Seven Dwarves of Poker! Bratty, Catty, Frumpy, Dumpy, Sneaky, Creaky and Spooky. FOUR (4) more posts until #100!!!

The Dwarves...

Phil Hellmuth - "Bratty"
A player that endeared himself to the nickname "Poker Brat", even though he's hardly the youthful sprite that won the World Series Main Event back in 1989. He's played up the "brat" characterization, but he's not actually all that bratty. More accurately, he's just a sore loser, plain and simple. He tends to be rather mercurial and loquacious when the going is good, such as when he wins a hand or a tournament. Phil writes a lot of checks that his performances can't cash, like when he reminds everyone that he's the greatest Texas Hold 'Em player in the world, and that he has the most "bracelets" (awarded to the winner of any given World Series of Poker event). Now larger than life, he's turned himself into a merchandising machine, marketing shirts, hats, and endorsements for, which is nothing more than just another poker web site. Either larger than life, or too big for his britches (as he has become a bit doughy), he's a staple for the merchandising machines that drive poker's continual prominence on the web and late night cable channels.

Annie Duke - "Catty"
The sister of the eternally creepy Howard Lederer (he would be the eighth dwarf), a red-headed "spitfire" of a woman who tries her best to be a sexy, independent E.R.A. type woman of the new millenium. She always hugs and cuddles with anyone she knocks out of a tournament, and seems truly sorry to win any given hand. She almost cried once when she knocked her own brother out of a "Tournament of Champions" event; she went on to win the event, and seemed consistently apologetic in the process. She's a mother of four kids, however, and I've been told she isn't the nicest of people when dealing with the lowly general public. I can't confirm it, so don't send the law my way, Barney Fife.

Jennifer Harman - "Frumpy"
This chick shows up to every poker show imaginable. She has a constant frowny face, and seems a bit too mopey for all the television exposure she receives. Kinda reminds me of Ellen DeGeneres, but only in voice and demeanor. She's a decent player in terms of success, but having blonde hair, some circles decided that she must be one of the very few "poker babes" in such a male-dominated "sport". I just don't get it at times. That said, I will give her big props for her having dealt with plenty of health problems and never complaining about them, so I'll merely give the "frump" tag to her for her facial expressions, not attitude, per se. Frumpy in the nicest way.

Mike "The Mouth" Matusow - "Dumpy"
Again, in any other walk of life, he'd just be a dumpy boob with too much to say. His nickname of "The Mouth" came from constant harrassment of other players while butting heads during a particular hand. As with Hellmuth, his mouth wrote many checks that his card playing couldn't cash, and he'd wither away with small stacks of chips after suffering a humiliating loss. Matusow gained prominence on the airwaves by mere legend, far more than his success at winning tournaments.

Daniel Negreanu - "Sneaky"
A poisonous type of clever fellow who talks too much and has a nefarious sense of what cards are in another player's hand. His demeanor is affable, well mannered, and appreciably sociable. That said, his non-stop chatter is an effective weapon, pancaked upon his ability to figure out, based on "tells" and the like, what the other players have in their hands. He's the definitive example of the friendly neighbor that will loan you a cup of sugar, help rebuild your staircase, and then sleep with your wife. Again, a nice guy, but there's just something about him...

Doyle Brunson - "Creaky"
The great-great-great-great grandfather of so-called "modern" Texas Hold 'Em poker. He's approximately 240 years old, looks twice his age, and seems at the brink of an instant freeze dried transformation into nothing but ashes and a hat. While he is regarded as a genius for the strategic books he's penned, he constantly plays oddly weak hands, and bets when a player of sound mind would have passed on the given cards. Seems like a truly nice guy, so no offense intended. He carries elements of lore and history with him, and he's won quite a few World Series of Poker bracelets, but other than that, he's an anachronistic museum piece that commands respect from the likes of Bratty, Sneaky, Spooky, and Dumpy.

Chris Ferguson - "Spooky"
A spooky, long haired phantom of a guy who hides behind sunglasses and under a wide-brimmed hat. This guy would be denied a job from just about anywhere if for no other reason than the frightening appearance. His long hair and scraggly beard has earned him the arguably sacrilegious nickname of "Jesus". Invariably, one is stuck with hearing commentators continually saying "Jesus has an open ended straight draw" or "Jesus folded". In various modes of partial consciousness, hearing these comments can conjur up some rather wacky dreams.

And Finally, Snow White!

Vanessa Rousso
Of course, the only true "Poker Babe" title has to go to Vanessa Rousso, oh I just love her. She isn't always on televised poker events, but she has won a tournament or two, and looks great in doing so. Smart as a whip (with a newly acquired law degree) the girl can conquer the world. I'm proud of her, and she's the ultimate poker girl in my mind, no apologies for being biased. She's featured in a PokerStars commercial as a bungee jumper, if that reminds anybody. She'll always be my favorite, and I can only hope to see her out in the poker world more often. From what I've discerned thus far, she's very charming and well grounded. I wish her the best. Fine, I have a right to my crushes. Blah.

And Lest We Forget...

None of the aforementioned people have shown up in a Vonage commercial. Stop the Vonage commercials! I hate this dreaded ad campaign, and it's driving me to drive them, and its minions, out of business.

See you next time! Four (4) posts to go!


Anonymous said...

Hey Mike! I've added your email to my Vonage Referral program...I get a free month when you finally drink the Kool aid.


The Vapid Voice said...

Yes! The elusive, legendary Guido has been found, fans! Some of you may have heard me describe him as the all time funniest guy I know. You'll have to trust me on that one.

Joey P. said...

Funny like a clown?