Friday, October 29, 2004

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

I nearly threw up my coffee and cornflakes the other morning.

Idly watching the Breakfast News on the BBC, when they switch to some sort of expose of gambling in the UK, and interview a "Professional Poker Player", one Ron Fanelli. He was shown yahooing (NOT an uncommon occurence) when winning a pot (an uncommon occurence) at the Gutshot club. The sycophantic commentary then informed us that he had won £200, whereupon my choking turned to uncontrolled laughter.

This guy is one of the MEGA stars at the Vic, a man who, when losing £100 to a marginal bad beat, can steamingly proceed to blow 2 grand in the next twenty minutes. In fact, one seasoned pro told me that he sometimes deliberately makes a bad call against him, in the hope of outdrawing him and provoking this kind of reaction.

But the least attractive of all his qualities (and there are a fair few to choose from), is the fact that he is one of the most unpleasant people you could hope to sit next to at a poker table, even at the Vic, where it seems that dozens of people are vying for some secret "height of unpleasantness" end-of-year cash bonus.

Rudeness, loudness beyond all possible imagining, manic hyena-like laughter, and most of all tantrums at the slightest provocation, all are the stock in trade of the man self-styled "Mad Yank", but more generally known outside his earshot as "That Cunt"