(Las Vegas) People You Meet: The 1/2 $100,000-aire

by , Aug 28, 2009 | 5:39 am

Those following @Pokerati may recall an unusual situation I faced in a 1/2 game at the Golden Nugget last weekend — when this guy, “The Duke”, bought in for $100,000 … which he pulled from purple velvet Crown Royal baggies stuffed in a tattered violin case.

I had been trying to place him … was he related to the suit-wearing longhair we media types know as “the devil” (whom I had once sent into a tirade by stacking him at the Golden Nugget). No, no, not related (fingers crossed) … maybe he’s a performer in one a show around town? That would explain why he was playing in this game, but not why he would have $100k in cash (including some in out-of-circulation $500 and $1,000 bills). His business card says “Have Gun, Will Travel”, and lists his title as “Soldier of Fortune”.

Anyhow, it just hit me where I had seen him before, or at least why he looked so familiar. I was playing against not a real hitman, but quasi-legendary humorist Alibaster K. Abthernabther!

In the end, I’d get only about .009 percent of his stack, despite seeing AA, KK, KK, AK, and 77 twice (and flopping two sets) in our first three orbits … and then having him request a seat change and moving directly to my right. Turns out Mr. 50,000 Big Blinds was a ridiculously tight player … saw him (correctly) lay down a set of 4s to a $10 bet into a $25 pot, and chop the only all-in he faced with AKs vs. AKs.

I guess he liked to just sit there in front of money he knew he wasn’t going to lose?


  • Kevin Mathers

    Apparently, he’s a regular in downtown casinos. There was an interview with him on the Gambler’s Book Shop podcast.

  • DanM

    Yeah, the dealers told me he shows up every now and again in different costumes, sometimes as a cowboy, and once as a pirate.

    LOL, right?

  • http://pokerati.com/?author=117 California Jen

    This guy was also at one of the PokerListings parties this summer. In the suit and hat.

  • DanM

    Jen, click the Alibaster link … you will LOVE the Glen Beck tirade.

  • http://pokerati.com/?author=117 California Jen

    That link is hilarious!!! I’ve just put it out on my Twitter and e-mailed to my mom. I might read it every morning just to start my day out with that kind of laughter. Awesome!

  • DanM

    awesome, but i’m pretty sure he’s retired … which is why he’s now playing poker in vegas, ha ha.

  • http://Somewhere Anonymous

    Wow, was he that weird guy creeping me out at the PokerListings house? Somebody, I can’t remember who, kept trying to place him, but I just ignored him as some random.

    Also, “the devil” went pretty deep at Legends, bubbling a few spots before the money. He was creepy the entire time and even prompted a story from Maria Ho that was pretty funny. Amazingly, he sat down to play Mexican Poker the day after he busted right near the final three tables. I’m pretty sure it was 1-2 no-limit.

  • Rakewell

    I described my occasional observations of playing with the Duke here:
    http://pokergrump.blogspot.com/2008/08/hard-rock-stories.html

    Also, Sam O’Connor has featured him in a series of articles in Poker Pro magazine, e.g.,
    http://www.pokerpromagazine.com/the-duke-of-downtown-vegas.html

    Jennifer Tilly briefly describes encountering him here:
    http://www.bluffmagazine.com/magazine/Freemont-Street-Jennifer-Tilly-861.htm

  • Tim

    I played with this guy on the same day, but i played with him at Bills, he was playing 50 cent 1 dollar, lol

  • Jofus

    Played against Duke at the Horseshoe 1-2 nl. Bought in for 100,000 cash. Played about two orbits in wich he only played one hand, ended up laying down KK after geting 3 bet preflop. Nice guy though.