Sunday, June 24, 2007

Vinnie Vinh's Second Disappearance Still Unanswered?

(Canada Cal, on duty for Haley---)

Vinnie Vinh's second successive disappearance from the WSOP remains unexplained as of this posting, unless I've missed something in the rush of reports from the Rio. Vinh pulled off what is believed to be an unprecedented double at this year's WSOP, shattering the late Stuey Ungar's previous mark of one, in being blinded off during Day Two of a WSOP event without ever showing up, and still making the money.

Vinh, presumed to be a member in good standing of Men the Master's crew --- if in fact he is, indeed, still standing at all. The most recent forum postings, including many from reliable sources, indicate that Vinh may well have a drug issue, similar to what ultimately felled Ungar, perhaps poker's best raw talent ever. Not that Vinh's the only player to ever have a drug problem, if such reportings hold truth.

Anyhow, Vinh's second-day chair, as duly noted by the Wicked Chops wags, has now claimed both 20th- and 22nd-place cashes in this year's WSOP. Nor is it the only instance this year of a recognizable name having health problems, as seen in Paul "Eskimo" Clark's collapsing at least three times at the tables this year and exhibiting stroke-like symptoms in each. The last two came during the razz event where Clark somehow finished fourth, and other reports suggest that Clark was having diabetic difficulties. The 60-year-old Clark is one of those poker-nomad types who may not have much of an existence outside of the poker world, to explain the willingness to continue competing in such duress.

As for Vinh, though, he's very likely in the same state he was after his first disappearance, if reports can be believed. Likely hospitalized, and hopefully not worse.

The poker world does attract a lot of curious souls. It claims a few, too.

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