3:30am. Sunrise, Florida. I sat in a corner booth at Denny's a couple of weekends ago and sipped an unsweetened iced tea with my voice recorder on as I captured a rare interview with Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot. While I had been soaking in some amazing music, he had been roaming around the parking lot of the Langerado music festival hustling hippies and frat boys while knocking back Jack Daniels and Lemonade and shooting dice. He's the TJ Cloutier of the Keno circuit. He was born in Texas, just like TJ. He constantly wins, just like TJ. But has a horrible weakness for craps, just like TJ. Here are his thoughts on Keno, life, and other topics.
Pauly: Let's talk about your humble beginning in West Texas. Is it true you started out as a competitive eater in Lubbock, Texas? I heard a story that as a teenager, you once ate forty-seven chitlins inside of ninety seconds. Fact or fiction?
NF: No! No! This is why everyone hates you crackers in the media. I'm only doin' this interview with you to set the record straight. Muthafuckas be talkin' shit out there and be gettin' shit all mixed up. So I used to play football. Started three years until I blew my muthafuckin knee out. I used to drink malt liquor in the parking lot behind Dairy Queen for cash. I was the fastest chugger in Lubbock County. I schooled all those muthafuckin crackers and then I slept with their bitches.
Pauly: Did you really get shot in an illegal bingo game in the basement of the Second Christ Baptist church outside of Big Spring, TX?
NF: Yeah, I've been shot at and shot at. But man, you are gettin things mixed up. When I used to play bingo, I ruled that game. Those muthafuckin blue hairs feared PKPNF (Profesional Keno Player Neil Fontenot). They'd be pissing in their Depends as soon as I walked into the church hall. But the reason I got shot was that my baby's momma was pissed that I slept with her sister. She grabbed her granddaddy's shotgun and went after me. Man, I'm lucky that bitch was a bad shot, or I wouldn't be here talkin to your muthafuckin ass.
Pauly: What are your favorite Keno numbers to play?
NF: Listen up muthafucka, I'm not gonna tell you what my favorite muthafuckin' numbers are. Reveal the secrets of PKPNF? You must be a crazy cracker. I play my shit and my shit works. Pauly, you're a cool dude but you gotta learn some muthafuckin respect.
Pauly: Come on, humor me. You don't have a favorite number?
NF: (Sighs). Fo! Yeah muthafcka and forty-fo.
Pauly: What was the worst losing streak of your life?
NF: Dice. Man, dice is my own personal Vietnam. I used to roll up to Plano, TX to steal money from the high school punks. Then I'd lose it in dice games in Hamilton Park. Lost every day for like two muthafuckin years. That's when I had to get a job driving a muthafuckin taxi in Vegas driving around dumb ass drunk tourists all night. I started dating a Mormon stripper from Glitter Gulch and we both got addicted to crystal meth.
Pauly: Why did you decide to relocate to Reno, NV?
NF: 775 in the house! Reno people are God's people. My kind of people. I roll with the people who know the playas. Not those muthafuckas who think they are playas in Gay Vegas. 702 was yesterday. 775 is the future, kid.
Pauly: You are not just one of the best pros on the Keno tournament circuit, but you are also considered the best Bingo cash game player in the world. How does it feel to routinely fleece senior citizens out of their social security checks?
NF: I'ts not just social security. Those muthafuckin blue hairs give me brokerage account checks. Granny don't have to worry about her RMD when PKPNF is in town.
Pauly: Outside of the gambling and Keno world, who do you draw inspiration from? (i.e. famous politicians, athletes, musicians, philosophers...)
NF: UFC fighter Tito Ortiz. Anyone long dickin Jenna Jameson got my respect. You wanna talk about politics? Anyone who runs on the platform of pussy and ass kicking has my support. I also have to give a shout out to my boy K-Fed. We've been tight ever since we met at the Playboy Mansion. He got caught up with that Britney bitch and look what happened? She's a muthafucka pyscho cutter. She shaved her head and snorts too much crystal meth. She's bad news for K-Fed. When he sorts all this shit out, were gonna cut a record together.
Pauly: You used to play football. Any pros you admire?
NF: Just like T.O. is God's gift to football, I'm God's gift to Keno.
Pauly: Describe your pre-game Keno ritual.
NF: I usually roll over to the back of a 7-Eleven to play a muthafuckin' dice game with some poor punk ass kids who think they are from the streets. After I school them, I'm ready to roll in Keno.
Pauly: Do you have any superstitions that we are not aware of?
NF: I hate midgets, man. Short ass muthafuckas freak me the fuck out.
Pauly: In the summer of 2002, the pro Keno circuit was rocked with the infamous "Grannies on Blow" drug scandal, of which they are finally recovering from. Although you were never convicted or found guilty, a lot of Neil Fontenot haters in the press have printed false rumors attributing your success to usage of steroids, horse tranquilizers, and injecting Geritol into your stomach. Care to comment?
NF: See this is the shit I'm talkin about. All lies! Don't the crackers in the media have anything else to talk about like Bush and Iran or some serious shit like that? I've been clean for five years. I haven't touched muthafuckin crystal meth since the incident with my pregnant Mormon stripper girlfriend in the fruit section at Smith's in Vegas. That lawsuit is still pending so I can't talk shit about it.
Pauly: What are the female groupies like on the Keno circuit?
NF: Leathery. Round. Soft. And they smell like muthafuckin ultra 100 methols. Wanna smell my finger?
Pauly: You spoke about one of your kids. How many do you have exactly?
NF: I got four from four different bitches. Only two were from groupies though. I love my kids. Every dollar I make that I don't lose at muthafuckin dice goes to them. Be careful of women who only think about money. Never trust 'em. The bitches always say they are on the pill, when they're not. They were just after my roll. But I love my kids. More than God and the Dallas Cowboys combined.
Pauly: What are their names?
NF: I named the three boys after the cities they were concieved in. Des Moines, Boise, and Reno. And then there's Marley. She's my angel.
Pauly: Keno is catching like wildfire overseas. You were named Croatia's most popular Keno player for the last two years. In Japan, you are considered a cult hero and fans flock by the thousands just to catch a glimpse of you. How has your international rock-star status affected you as a person? And how has it affected your game?
NF: This is exactly why I moved to Reno. I gots to keep a low profile. 775 represent!
Pauly: What's currently on your iPod?
NF: K-Fed, Vanilla Ice, Insane Clown Possie, Creed, ABBA, Ludakris, Christina Aguleria, and ZZ Top.
Pauly: When is your book coming out? And what is the title going to be?
NF: "Yo Bitch! Get Out of My Casinio, I'm Playing Muthafuckin Keno" will be in stores at the end of the summer.
Pauly: What's the coolest thing about being a professional Keno player?
NF: Shit, Pauly, you don't get it, dogg! Ain't nuthin cool about bein' a muthafuckin keno player! My world is tuff. (Laughs) But I make this shit look eeeaaasssyyy cause I'm Neil fukkin Fontenot, professional keno playa!
Pauly: What advice do you have for young players who are considering dropping out of college to become a professional Keno player?
NF: Stay in school muthafuckers. Anyone smart enough to get into college needs to stay there. You want thrills? Play online poker at PokerStars with all the other crackers, you sissy pussy ass muthafuckas. Keno is a street game, yo.
I will be doing a follow up interview with PKPNF in a few weeks. Please submit your questions (shoot me and email or leave them in the comments) and I'll be sure to ask him.
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