Going for Broke

by , Jun 1, 2008 | 7:12 am

photo: Jackie Endsley
Putting your last dollar toward a bad-beat jackpot may not have been the best career strategy for this guy.


I got a call yesterday at the WSOP from the Butler. I haven’t seen the guy for a couple months — not since me and my jiu-jitsu coach and heavy metal teacher got booted out of our sweet pad (pool table, poker table, dart board, 65-inch HDTV, Strip-view bedroom, fireplace/jacuzzi bathroom, no utilities) on the Eastside. We of course knew all was headed south when the Butler — the guy who set the whole housing arrangement up — walked into our casa unannounced to do a cocaine deal, and shortly thereafter got busted by The Boss (who owned the house, in theory, though not on paper) for stealing rent money.

(I met the Butler last year at the WSOP, as he was trying to sell his private concierge services to poker players and convince me to turn him into a recurring character on Pokerati.)

Anyhow, so I got a call from an unknown 973 number yesterday that I answered in the press box. “Hey, Dan, it’s John. Are you at the Series? How’s it going?”

“Um, uh, pretty good? We’re just getting rolling … so what’s up? Did you make it to Kansas City?”

“Yeah, and it’s not good. I’m calling because I need a stake.”

“Yeow, dude … can’t help you out. Wouldn’t know how to get you money if I could.”

“Western Union.”

“Sorry, man Have you tried Tom? His number is 602-97… .”

“Well, I guess I’m going to be homeless at 11 o’clock. I guess I’ll just be a bum on the street. I can do that, right, be a bum?”

It all makes me a little sad, frankly … because I think this time he was being serious. And what’s worse I really saw it coming. Maybe not so fast … but eventually he had to go bust. I had played poker with the guy once before, and even though he cleaned me out in some no-stakes mixed games, I knew he was a terrible player, and he thought he was really good. He’s the kinda bombastic, arrogant, loose-aggressive guy any mediocre 1/2 player could talk to for five minutes — not even needing to play a single hand — and realize how easy it would be to crush him, presumably for way more money than he had to lose.

Anyhow, after being booted from The Boss’s house and blaming his misfortune on the employer from whom he was stealing, the dude had nowhere to go, no vehicle, no money, a criminal record, and for whatever unknown reason, no family to fall back on. He headed back toward home in Colorado, and from there somehow managed to wrangle up about $1,800 doing odd jobs for old friends/acquaintences. With that, he planned to head East — “the games are really soft in the Midwest,” he said — and make his living as a pro / “chase a $200,000 bad beat jackpot” at Harrah’s in Kansas City.

Right. Exactly. I know. Listen to the audio for yourself and draw your own conclusions:

Bankroll management with the Butler

Sorry to have already given away the ending, but it was supposed to be kinda a funny post originally, where I would share with you the phone messages he left me seeking guidance on his poker plan. I knew what y’all would say if I asked for Pokeratizens to provide the Butler bankroll-management/game-selection advice … and we’d all have a good laugh about how poker-smart we are and others aren’t.

5 Comments to “Going for Broke”

  1. Kevin Mathers


    I thought you were going with Sussudio there.

  2. DanM

    I do catch the occasional typo on my own, Kmath!

  3. Jaxon

    Great to see you still care, Dan. fuckin A- Good times we had. Funny ass story, but true to the bone. Sucks for “The Butt,” but it sounds like he’s getting off light. He probably should be in jail or prison. Dane and I are doing great… With our little tornado boners at full mast…

  4. DanM

    I woke up feeling a little bad about this post — but then I realized that it’s probably good for totally broke, degenerate poker players to see how their railbirding for “stakes” is perceived by the guys they bug to fund them. To some extent they already are bums … just bums who are running good, maybe, if they happen to have enough for a single-table satellite.

  5. DanM

    ***He probably should be in jail or prison.***

    Seriously, he’s 46-years-old, and not in great health. As strange as this sounds, I think a better career path for him — as opposed to trying to make it as a 2/4 limit pro or part of a low-stakes collusion ring — woulda been to be a drug dealer himself. He did have some decent connections … surely he coulda worked his way up to much bigger drug deals (in Vegas especially) and probably lived high-on-the-hog for 8 or 10 years before inevitably getting busted, at which point he would be able to enjoy his final decade or so in prison. Free food, lodging, health care, etc. Can you think of a better alternative?