Young Punk Poker

by , Jul 14, 2007 | 4:22 pm

UPDATE: Oops, Dario is out in 96th place — for $67,535. He’ll be back, of course. Hevad “Rain” Kahn (not to be confused with Jeff “Mr. Rain” Banghart) is still alive and well, slightly above the middle of the pack.

LAS VEGAS–Loyal readers have heard me yammer on and on for the better part of 2007 about how this is going to be the Year of the Europeans. So far I’ve been kinda right … while they haven’t dominated this WSOP, they have been a ubiquitous presence deep in just about every event. But the real “Year of” players this year have been the internet kids. Not internet people like Chris Moneymaker … but internet kids. Think about it. The poker boom exploded in 2003. And thus, in 2007, a lot of guys who got their start right around then have just turned 21 — making quite the impression on players at the tables and poker insiders off.

Throughout this World Series, friends and colleagues have been coming up to me saying things like, “You mean you don’t know who RamSquad64 is? Dude.” Or, “JohnnyVoltron, man, JohnnyVoltron!” OK, he sounds familiar. What has he done? But otherwise, sorry, I haven’t really been following the shenanigans on PocketFives. But it seems like soon we might have to. One of the most fascinating stories — Pokerati’s correspondent-on-loan Chris Hanel is all over this one — is a guy named Hevad “Rain” Kahn. This upstate New Yorker was supposedly banned from PokerStars because they thought he was a bot, playing up to 40 sit-n-gos at a time. Kahn then shot a YouTube video to show him playing 26 tables at a time and had his account re-opened. Wow, no? (For some reason I can’t find the vid on YouTube. If anyone else can, please post a link!)

But the kid everyone is really talking about is Dario Minieri (pictured).

It’s hard not to love hate notice this uber-aggressive Harry Potter lookalike, even though the brash, thinks-he-knows-it-all 21-year-old needs a serious ass-kicking. He’s both internet poker millionaire — best known for buying a Porsche with his PokerStars points — and Euro, hailing from Italy. He’s he had an up-and-down rollercoaster ride — apparently fun, not nerve-wracking — and dabbled with the chip lead. But today, seasoned pros are playing back at him as well they should. So far, both Huck Seed and Scotty Nguyen have re-raised all-in against him (I can almost guarantee you with nothing) to whittle away at his chip stack.

Off the table, there’s been a little mini-battle to brand this poker tyke. Apparently he started off as a PokerStars guy who hadn’t signed the paperwork requiring him to get all logoed up. And then somewhere around the time he looked to be a real force, he defected to Full Tilt. Then he supposedly felt bad and was headed back over to Stars … according to semi-verifiable rumors and reports … and yesterday it was hard to tell who’s team he was on, because he spent most of the day getting a massage with his chest pressed into the back of a chair. I’m tellin’ ya … kids these days … they are so smart.

Shortly before play ended last night, Max Pescatori — the Italian Pirate — came around to handle things and had a lengthy and jovial meeting with the Full Tilt bro who hooks up televisable players with patch deals. (Right outside the media room, under the dome at “the crossroads” that echoes clearly.) By the time Minieri would finish play for the night, a posse of Dario fans would gather, presumably to celebrate how he would be starting day 5:

No doubt about it, he’s a true made-for-TV character at the tables — a prototype for future millionaire professional video-gamers in fact. Pokerati’s prediction: Assuming he can adjust to the wiser-player beatdown he ran into at the start of today and/or get lucky, he’ll finish between 8th place and 21st.

UPDATE: Oops, Dario is out in 96th place — for $67,535. He’ll be back, of course. Hevad “Rain” Kahn (not to be confused with Jeff “Mr. Rain” Banghart) is still alive and well, slightly above the middle of the pack.

One Comment to “Young Punk Poker”

  1. Robert "SANBOB" Sanchez

    Here is the link but the video and audio are not in sync. found it under rainkhan.