The Gangs of Las Vegas

Friday, July 23rd, 2004, 12:38 pm

I have like a mega-uber post in the works, but can’t I just break it up and do a bunch of little ones? I mean, I have to write about the wine festival I went to, a David Sklansky meltdown, the importance bad hair holds in poker, and I’m even considering re-entering the race for President. I have a lot on my plate. Plus my computer is in dire straits, locking up on me nearly every other keystroke. So let’s post a tidbit, here.

Watched the WSOP events on Tuesday, 2 Hold-Em events. Thomas Keller won the $5K event (isn’t he the chef at the French Laundry, arguably the best restaurant in the US? I mean, this Keller is a 1570 SAT guy, pianist, Stanford grad, WSOP champ…could be). A guy named Scott Fischman won the other Hold-Em event, while his buddies, including the infamous Dutch Boyd, rooted him on.

Let’s talk about Fischman, Boyd et al. About eight of these gentlemen have formed a group which they call “The Crew”, and their intention, as Fischman told us, is to “take over poker”. Uh huh. Now, silly braggodacio is common amongst the young, and apparently these Crewmen are no exception. They’ve had some success, they’re young, the sky’s the limit.

The funniest moment from last year’s WSOP coverage was watching Phil Hellmuth brush his teeth and stand around with no shirt on. It’s gonna take a pretty hysterical scene to top the shot of these skinny white boys walking down a suburban street talking about taking over the poker world. I mean, this is seriously funny stuff. Though I did like the Team Finland hockey jersey the one guy was wearing. Very sharp.

But then I started to think that maybe this wasn’t so funny after all. Because there are other poker gangs out there who might not take this crew’s challenge sitting down. If you’ve been watching the WSOP coverage you’ve seen many players wearing shirts and jerseys bearing the “Full Tilt Poker” name and logo. Some of the top players in the world–Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Phil Gordon, Clonie Gowan, Andy Bloch…the list goes on and on–are heavily involved in the site and have formed a sort of cabal of their own. These are some heavy, heavy hitters, man. Are they going to just let these upstarts move in and take over?

But let’s not forget that poker syndicates are hardly an American monopoly. Ignore the threat of the British Hendon Mob and you do so at your own peril. Barry and Ross Boatman, Ram Vaswani, and Joe “The Elegance” Beevers are not the sort of blokes likely to take a back seat to anybody. And since “The Elegance” is about the best nickname in poker right now, they have may have a edge.

But let’s not forget about the triad controlled by that other well-sobriqueted shark, Men “The Master” Nguyen. Men the Master is the mentor of such top quality players as Minh Nguyen, Hon Le, and I think David “The Dragon” Phan is a cousin. You think Men the Master is going to be afraid of someone like Scott Fischman? Especially after four or five Coronas?

So what’s to come of this looming gang war? Are pieces of Dutch Boyd going to start turning up in Dumpsters all over northern New Jersey? Good luck to the cops if that happens–you’ll need an auditorium for all the suspects with plausible motives. After watching Chris Ferguson throw playing cards through bananas, pickles, and carrots, are we going to watch him slice off Men the Master’s thumb with a well-flicked ace?

Please, poker players everywhere, stop this madness before it begins! There’s plenty to go around. You gotta eat, and let eat. Everyone gets to wet their beak a little. Can’t everyone just…get along?

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4 Responses to “The Gangs of Las Vegas”

  1. Sean Says:

    Speaking as a New Jersey citizen with an uncle in sanitation in Central NJ, let me just say that we will refuse any pieces of Dutch Boyd. I think Pittsburgh is the furthest east he will be allowed.

  2. Uwannabet? Says:

    Gene,
    Please be careful, a hard hitting, truth telling post like this might get you concrete loafers. Maybe we could get one gang to bump off Norm Chad, and blame it on another?
    I guess it’s not wise to talk so openly about this, but I saw the “Crew” on MTV but they were using the alias
    “B@ckstreet B0ys”

  3. hdouble Says:

    Professional wrestling here we come…

  4. Paste This Says:

    Sorry Sean, but my thought at the Dutch Boyd statement was, “One could hope.”

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