The Backer – Excerpt #1

So here’s the first excerpt (1 or 2 so far) from the piece that my friend and backer, Sheets, is working on. Sheets can call the collection whatever he wants once it gets published, but for now I’m going to call it “The Backer”. It’s copyrighted and it’s a work in progress. Again, if you are a publisher or have any good lines on one, shoot me a line.

Gank Owns
by sheets


…”so it’s a cold a snowy day in linkoping, and i am playing a small tournament online, and doing pretty well. Out of nowhere comes an emergency call from my daughter’s school, saying that school is cancelled, mrs sheets is unreachable, and I have to come pick her up. Well I had been only playing on this site for a week, so i knew almost no one who played there who could take over for me. I called the one person who i thought could find me someone, the now famous Phil Laak. (as an aside, I refuse to use his stage name of “unambomber”. I have known for over 10 years, and for at LEAST 4 nicknames). Now it must be understood that most gambling stories begin with Phil Laak. They dont “begin and end ” with him though, as the oft used phrase suggests, because the thing with Phil is, he is like a small tornado…he comes whirling in, does his thing, and then disappears before anyone realizes what happened, I remember Phil and I spending 3 hours concocting complex backing and swapping arrangements for a 50$ backgammon tournament which neither us could probably afford to play.

In any case, I got a hold of him in the middle of some cash game he was playing in some weird place with some bizarre rich people, and asked him if he knew anyone who could take over for me. He said..”dude , no problem, i’ll get gank to do it”…”GANK??? WHAT THE HELL IS A GANK????”…at this point i didnt care..i gave phil my password to pass along to the GANK or whatveer it was and i asked him how much this “gank” would want of the winnings. Phil told me…”dude he’d probably play for nothing…”. This is the essence of Gank, as I will describe many many times throughout this story.” I said ok fine whatever and left.

When i returned form my errand, gank was just about to go out with AK VS ACES on the bubble when i got a hold of phil and asked who this gank was?…He told me that he was roommates with dutch boyd and some other poker players and phil had been staying with them for a while, and that gank was the number one player on the site based upon their points system. Now, gank had long since busted out when I was still googling him to figure out who the hell was playing for me. It was at this point that I first learned of the crew, which was known about by maybe 6 people. Young kids trying to take over poker???I LOVED THE PASSION.

Now gank sent back the small fee i tried to force him to take, (although phil still inisted on his finders fee of 10$), and I did some more homework on this whole crew thing. I had spent a good part of my youth trying to dominate non traditional occupations as well, so something about what they were doing really struck a chord. I dug up ganks email address through some creative poking around and asked him to get in touch with me . At the time , i was to learn, he was looking for someone to put him in the poker stars wpt event, and phil thought i might be interested, so we hooked up pretty quickly..

I basically asked phil If i should maybe include the whole crew in a backing offer, and let them pick which game should be played by each player, not knowing whrther one player had a particular speacialty. Phil told me that all that bologna didnt matter, becuase gank was the best player at all the games, so I should proabbly just back him. Phil, by the way, is very rarely wrong.

Something about backing him in one tournament didnt sit well with me, as the whole invesment can go up in smoke in one hand. So i sugeested that he go to tunica, Mississippi for the world poker open events, and i would put him in all of them. This seemed counterintuitive to some, as I was putting up 3 times the stake in my scenario. However, I would rather increase my overall stake and diversify the results a little bit. He asked if I would give him maybe 10% of the winnings. He told me he just wanted to play. WOW!. Standard deals called for the player getting 50%, so i basically FORCED him to take 25%. As the tournament was going to start in 6 days, he had to get his act together and leave right away so his train from LA to Tunica Mississippi got there in time. HUH????? He was gonna take a train??? Through CHICAGO no less. He just didnt feel like flying.

He told me he was all pumped…he was gonna play 30k worth of events, all games of very type..maybe 17 tourneys total including the main event ,..He was completely in the zone and ready to kill. Also, just to make sure he had some support down there, he called his friend scott fischman and basically offered to match scotts bankroll if he went with him to tunica. (about 500$ at the time as I recall)Dutch was going to be there too, as poker stars had just refused to allow him to play the wpt cruise event…(thats a whole other story). I was going to go as well for the last few days of it.. I was PSYCHED! I had GANK goin to tunica, ready to clean up, and continue my streak of NEVER BEING WRONG about identifying genius. …what could go wrong?…….

(to be continued)

Posted on May 11, 2005 in Uncategorized

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