Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Poker Ethos, Part Some More

I was working on copy-editing the first installment of Matt Savage's new "The Other Side of the Felt" column for PokerNews a week or so ago, and noticing the part therein where Matt decided, as a new casino tournament director, that he was going to let some of the more abusive players know that "there was a new sheriff in town." Savage probably had lots to share with some of the players in an era before tournament rules became somewhat more uniform, but he named only three of the players he targeted: Men "The Master" Nguyen, John Bonetti and Sam Grizzle.

(One wonders, of course, what a 60-something Stuey Ungar would have been capable of in terms of dealer abuse, had he lived to the modern day; he once peed on a dealer, a tale unfortunately left out out of the excellent Ungar bio penned by Nolan Dalla and Peter Alson.)

But this post is about Savage's naming of some dealer abusers, most notably Nguyen, who responded to Savage's declaration by stating, "I am Men the Master, I am Men the Master." Now that's funny.

Men the Master, of course, falls into that category of player whose ethics will be questioned roughly forever, with legendary tales of Men's horses and crew rampant in poker lore for about as long as Men himself has been a winning player and went from "Money Machine" to "The Master" for most-noted nickname. Nope, not gonna go into it. You can start at this very current thread at 2+2, and dig on from there, for other and worse-r stories. Old news, all of it. Nguyen won what --- three events? --- at the recent L.A. Poker Classic, but you can see that there's no focus on that in the 2+2 discussion. That's called a career-damaged reputation, where it no longer matters what's true and what isn't. Past a certain point, image rehabilitation becomes pointless, sort of like the thought of asking Pacman Jones to do United Way commercials for the NFL.

No comments: