I get a lot of mail of the Tao of Poker. Most of it is warm fuzzy fan mail and too many webmasters wanting to buy link ads. And every now and then I come across a gem. Like this one...
Dear Dr. Pauly,
I'm a longtime reader since the 2005 WSOP. I read on your Tao that you back players into tournaments. I wonder if you are interested in backing me into the WSOP this year? My online stats are very impressive. I played as BraveHeart_69 and BradBHart69 on Titan Poker and Chan Poker.
I turned $100 into 100k in a year. My fiancee and I moved to Las Vegas last year. I had a shitty WSOP. My apartment got broken one night when I played in the Deep Stacks at the Venetian. They stole $8,000 in cash. Also took my laptop, flat screen, and karaoke machine. The robber left my front door open and my fiancee's cat got away. We couldnt find the cat and posted LOST signs. No sign of the cat. My fiancee got so depressed that she started using again and then got fired from stealing from her waitress job at PF Changs. She ran up 3k worth of stuff on my credit card and stole the last of my bankroll. She was the only one who knew that I had it stashed away in a frozen bag of peas in the freezer.
I went busto online and started dealing at Palace Station. I had a tough time staying awake on the graveyard shift and got fired. I have been looking for work in construction, my last real job in Ohio before I left. I cant find anything in Vegas.
My last two options are moving in with my grandmother in Wilmington or selling my body. I am good looking enough that I might employ my services to some gigelo. I hope you will considering being my backer. If not, I know that you used to work for Poker News. Maybe you can you get me in touch with Tony G?
I have enclosed a recent picture for you which demonstrates my desperate situation.
Brad "Brave" Hart
P.S. Love your blogs man. Please publish that Vegas book some day.
You can click on the photo to see an enlarged view to see the plight.
Anyway, here's my response...
Thanks for taking the time out to write me and for all the support over the years as a reader.
I am sympathetic to your unfortunate position. We are living in some very harsh economic conditions. Many of my friends, both inside and outside of poker, are feeling the crunch this year. Some of them even had to fire their maids and put their kids in public schools. However, at this time I have to respectfully decline your generous offer to allow me to back you into the 2009 World Series of Poker.
Please understand, that my decision has nothing to do with your gender, color of skin, or sexual orientation. This has everything to do with a simple fact that I only back people that I know.
How can I be sure that you are not trying to pull a fast one over me? You seem like a nice guy who is down on his luck, but in these desperate times, people often resort to desperate measures and compromise their values. In this case, I find it of the utmost importance that I preserve what little net worth that I have remaining after I liquidated all of my stock holdings and purchased gold futures, shotgun ammunition, and several hundred acres of land in British Columbia where I am currently constructing my Armageddon compound.
If I backed you into a few events and you hit a big score, how can I be sure that you will pay me? Will you skip town like a bitch or piss it away at the Rhino in the VIP room? Or will I have to send my brother and some of the boys from the old neighborhood like Mustafa and Boris to hunt you down?
Frankly, you have a lot of balls asking me to back you. Did you not think that I would look up your stats online? I mean, are you really serious about boasting how you crushed the games at Chan Poker? Sure, you won four MTTs on that site, but three of them had less than 20 runners and were nothing more than two table SNGs.
You turned $100 into 100K? Hard to believe that. You strike me as the guy who likes to boast about his winning $100K in a single year, but fails to mention that he blew over $105K in buy-ins alone.
Brad, simply put, there are hundreds of broke-dick bracelet winners out there that I would back before you. When the first "TV caliber pro" asked me in 2005 to take a piece of his action, I was floored by his gesture. Little did I know, that he was broke and unable to find anyone else to back him so he decided to ask people he did not know. These days, I get random calls from pros asking for a piece all the time. Bobby Bellande sent me three text messages while I wrote this email to you. Every once in a while, I'll buy a share or two of a pro or one of my friends, but I know that I'm gambling more than anything else.
The picture that you sent me is quite disturbing on many levels. I'm assuming that it's not fake and indeed, you are the mullet-clad gentleman in the photo.
First of all, unless you work in pest control, no one respects anyone with a mullet.
Secondly, you look more like a guy who would be roaming around Fremont Street in search of stray cigarette butts, than someone who should be playing in the WSOP.
I have to look at the photo from two different perspectives based on the two possible life options that you provided in your email.
Scenario 1: Wilmington with Grandma
Suffice to say, if this photo depicts life with your grandmother in North Carolina, I have to say that you have more problems that you know what to do with. First of all, I'm assuming that the grandmother in question is the lady sitting on the bed and yaking up her beer into a garbage can, with her ripped panties rolled around her cankles.
I have no idea what's up with the broad in the peach-colored leisure suit. How you can allow someone with such obvious poor fashion mix different types of boozes? Amateur mixologists. No wonder your granny is puking up her cookies after doing shots of Jim Beam chased by cheap vodka, the vaporous sort of swill that eats the paint off of cars.
And what's the deal with the zipper pockets? Unless you're a Scandi, that's uber-gay. Where the fuck did you find those things? Did David Bowie have a yard sale or something?
And the shirt? It looks like the curtains of a curry house in London. Do you get a free bowl of mulligatawny with that shirt? Don't worry, it looks good on you.
And brother, what's with the eyes? Are your inbred relatives been meddling with the gene pool again? Or are you just riding the H-train again? Or too broke to afford heroin, so you're stoned to the gourd on cold medicine?
And why are you getting shitty with grammy and Bea Arthur? That seems a bit odd, you shooting up China White, while chunks of vomit trickled off of the icy frigid lips of your beloved grammy.
Scenario 2: Busto Brad aka Male Gigolo
If you are selling your body for sex, then I can at least understand why you'd be caught in a motel room, underneath layers of old lead-based paint peeling from the walls, with two women who look like Lunch Lady Doris from The Simpsons.
It makes me wonder what sort of tawdry sexual explicit role-playing and S&M that the old ladies make you do to their nether regions. Between suicide and a fisting, I'd shoot my brains out. What sort of International Sex Slave Conglomerate have you gotten yourself into? How much Viagra do you have to take to get it up long enough to get down with the ladies?
And those purple pants with zippers? You look like a Tijuana transvestite. You should have never left home and found solace in the bible and thumbed to a random page from the book of Proverbs."A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions." - Proverbs 18:2I can sense the bug-eyed malice in your wilted eyes. You betrayed the gifts that the poker gods bestowed upon you and now your a cock-for-hire servicing shitfaced spinsters.
To sum up Busto Brad, I feel bad for your situation, but life's not fair. Jimmy Carter said that. Shed the self-hatred and do something meaningful with your life. You are a seriously misguided soul. You never should have left your hometown and moved to Las Vegas. The life of a professional player is like digging for fools gold.
Frankly, your sanity comes into question for actually emailing me for advice and financial backing. You should not be emailing me because I am not a real doctor. I just play one on the internet. You need to seek professional help immediately. I suggest shock therapy and Thorazine in large doses.
Best of luck finding backing at this year's WSOP. Hope you can scratch together enough money humping old ladies to buy into the "stimulus" 1K donkament.
I can't thank you enough for your flattering email.
Meth is bad,
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