Las Vegas, NV
Editor's Note: I'd like to welcome the lovely Change100, a member of the Tao of Poker All Stars who will be our fashion reporter for the duration of the WSOP.
Some are already calling 2009 the "Year of the Russian" after one Russkie in a fanny pack took down the $40,000 No-Limit Event. Those basement-dwellers on 2+2 have their panties in a wad as they pray for the "Year of the Online Pro" while Benjo and his fellow chain-smoking Frenchies are putting their hopes on their boy ElkY to make it the "Year of the sequined hoodie-wearing baguette lovers." Well, you're all wrong. 2009 is the Year of the Makeover and during our first week in the Amazon Room, several new looks were revealed among the pokerati. Though there were a few notable successes, most of them were abject failures of massive proportions.
I can't believe that only a few weeks ago, I put Michael DeMichele on my "Top 10 Fashionistas in Poker" list. I feel so dirty and ashamed. The adorable, baby-faced kid in the sweater vest that we met last summer is gone, and has been replaced by this spiky-haired trainwreck pictured above. I had people wailing at me in the PokerNews shoutbox on Day 1 of the $40K no-limit, claiming that it wasn't really him in the photo. It took a good several hours of coaxing to get the fanboys to believe that this visored monstrosity was indeed their man.
DeMichele has taken the worst elements of poker fashion and combined them all to arrive at his latest look. Only Euros can pull scarves off at the table without looking like a total poseur and even when they do, well, they're Euros, so it's OK. The facial hair pattern here may be the biggest tragedy. Is it a beard? A goatee? To me it looks like he just arrived at an arbitrary spot to stop shaving.
Please, please, please I beg of you, bring back the old Michael DeMichele. Seriously, man-- are you actively trying to look like a douchebag?
For those of you confused about the finer aspects of the "douchebag look," here's a textbook reference point for all of you to work from.
I nearly fainted when I saw what last year's WSOP Main Event runner-up Ivan Demidov had done to his hair. Last fall, I declared the Russian dish the player whose junk I'd most like to grab among the November Nine, but not with these tragic cornrows. Thank God the hairdo was only the consequences of a lost prop bet.
"Andy Black! They roll you out of a cave in Pakistan?"
"Haven't heard that one yet," replied Black.
"Did you decide that you won't shave until you win a tourney? In four years your beard will be on the ground. I'm going to buy you a razor at the break!" he bellowed with a laugh.
"How about I let you play with it instead?" was Black's retort.
I'm a somewhat vertically challenged blonde-girl with little upper-body strength and zero training in hand-to-hand combat, so I'll let this photo of Jeff Lisandro's latest fashion statement speak for itself. The shirt was far more reflective in person than in this photo.
All right, enough with the bad makeovers. My eyes are bleeding. Let's give some kudos where kudos are due. Like the perpetually adorable Jennifer Harman, who grew her hair out and is so fucking cute I want to grab her cheeks and squeeze them like an annoying aunt.
Props also go to Isaac Haxton for ditching the latter-day John Lennon look for a cleaned-up haircut and some fierce shades. I suspected a woman was involved with this fashion overhaul and my thoughts were all but confirmed last night when I saw him walking to his car with an attractive blonde after making his runner-up finish in the $40K no-limit.
(All photos courtesy of PokerNews.com. Thanks to Jon, Felipe, and Flipchip!)
Change100 is a writer from Los Angeles, CA. Her "Bird on the Rail" gossip column appears in Bluff Magazine.
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