Monday, July 16, 2007

Hevad Khan's Rain Dance a Mini-Controversy for the WSOP Final Table

[Canada Cal, surfing the poker Web---]

Hevad 'Rain' Khan is one of the nine qualifiers for the final table of the WSOP Main Event, and while none of the nine seem poised to do a 'Jamie Gold,' Khan had his own unfortunate moment, captured by an amateur camera and already up on YouTube here. It's likely to go down as the 'rain dance' of the player known as 'RainKhan' on Poker Stars.

Khan has a unique claim to fame in the online world as well, being so prolific a sit-and-go multi-tabler that he was once banned by Stars for being a bot, on the grounds that no human could successfully multi-table 28 SNG tables at once, as Khan was shown as doing by Stars' tracking software. Only after Khan submitted a videotape showing himself successfully multi-tabling this quantity of tables -- he's reportedly done as many as 43 at once -- was his Stars account unlocked.

There's been some concern that the colorful Khan could be portrayed as the uber-tool of this year's WSOP in ESPN's pending coverage. It's a possibility, but this episode alone doesn't warrent it. It looks as though Khan was so excited at winning the major showdown that he grabbed the chair without fully comprehending what the chair symbolized.

Back when I first worked in the States, a tale from the 1972 Olympics was still in some persons' memory. That tale concerned American 800-meter gold medalist Dave Wottle, who after winning his gold medal, was so excited that he forgot to remove his trademark cap during the ceremony when the U.S. anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner, was played. It turned out that not only was the alleged slight unintentional, but Wottle's hat was actually pinned on. High style this wasn't, of course.

It's quite possible that Khan and Wottle shared the experience of being so exuberant in the moment of success that they quite forgot their surroundings. As for Khan, he might be a tool; he might not. But the jury should still be out.

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