The Joey Del Experience: WSOP Tilt, The Peppermint Hippo And The Haters

Posted at 16:25 2009-06-27
Hey guys, well it is getting down to the business end of the poker season now with the WSOP Main Event just around the corner. To my knowledge the last of the Australian contingent heading over to Vegas has left and those of us still here in the land down under appear to be stuck here for the whole month of July.
This was a frustrating week for me in this department as I came tantalisingly close to joining the last group of Aussies heading over to the WSOP Main Event. I told myself that for an event of this magnitude I would not be flying over to Vegas unless I could satellite in or unless I picked up a big enough online tourney cash to pay for the trip. In the preceding weeks the biggest score I managed to have was to win one of the Daily Doubles on Full Tilt Poker for just over $2k so it all came down to the ‘150 seat last chance’ satellite that was held on Full Tilt Poker last Monday morning (Australian time). The odds were stacked against me with over 3,600 runners competing for 150 seats however I came excruciatingly close. I ended up busting out in 157th after 6 hours of play and missed out by just seven places! I took this as a sign that perhaps this wasn’t to be my year and resigned myself to the fact that I would be stuck grinding out MTT’s online from my shoe box apartment as the majority of my friends headed off to Vegas.
It has been an interesting WSOP series so far for Australians. Jeff Lisandro has affirmed his God like status at the series by picking up three bracelets in all of the Stud disciplines on offer. There has also been some good results for other members of the old guard including Tony G, Sam Khouiss, Mel Judah and Van “Sirens” Marcus (not necessarily old but has been around the Australian game for long enough to be in this group now). However the young brigade of Aussies heading over have so far failed to make a lasting impression in the first half of the series. Jay “Seabeast” Kinkade has proven why he is Australia’s number 1 ranked online MTT player by going very deep in an early event but apart from that there has not been much more than a ‘min cash’ for the Aussie online fraternity. Hopefully this can change now that we are at the business end of the series.
A player who is not heading over is somebody who I failed to mention in last week’s “friend review” and as I correctly assume he ‘snap-phone called’ me as soon as the article became live to moan about his omission from my friends list. I am off course talking about Ali “Peppermint Hippo” Khalil who is somewhat of an icon in Aussie poker circles.
 In regards to the WSOP the Hippo has made one of the worst errors that any Aussie can make when it comes to chasing Main Event fame. He has a day job, worse than that he has a day job in the financial sector. This means that upper management basically lol’s at his life whenever he tries to take some time off at the end of the financial year. So in retrospect the Hippo will either need to get good enough at poker to quit his job or adversely, run bad enough at life to get fired. The latter is probably more likely. Ali is one of those guys who believes that there are 24 useable hours in every day. He is not going to let a little thing like “sleep” get in the way of having a good time. Now I must say in case anybody from Ali’s work ends up reading this (which is surprisingly likely) that Ali loves his job and he is dedicated to it. He works very hard and should be commended on that however Ali also works hard at other important areas in life. Gambling obviously needs a lot of time dedicated to it as does eating kebabs and cheeseburgers. Ali is also a philanthropist. He is a compassionate, caring and giving person. It is not unusual to see Ali at a strip club in the early hours of a Wednesday morning stuffing his entire pay packet down some lovely blonde vixens g-string. You may think he does this as he is a dirty Lebanese man and that is what dirty Lebanese men do. However I am sure the real reason is that Ali knows that said big breasted hottie has a mortgage to pay and is trying to help her out... well that is the story that we are going with anyway.
I have found it quite interesting to note that as the popularity of these articles and the Radio Show has grown, a few haters of what I do have emerged. Now haters are nothing new to me. I have done long stints on both commercial and community radio stations in the past and I used to spend most of the time while songs were playing, taking phone calls from listeners explaining to them that they shouldn’t sue me for deformation as I am broke and it would be a waste of time and as the topics got more intense, explaining that they shouldn’t kill me because if I wasn’t around to pleasure their sisters then who would. So people hating on the stuff that I do has never really bothered me. It is just slightly more bizarre here as I am doing a radio show about poker, which is broadcast exclusively on a poker forum. Last week was quite funny. We had a $500 freeroll which you could only gain the password to by listening to the show. This seemed to bother some people as whilst they were quite happy to take the free money that was on offer they thought that listening to my voice for thirty minutes was unfair punishment for them to have to go through for a shot at free money. This makes as much sense to me as my girlfriend wanting me to take her out to dinner but not to talk whilst I am there because I tilt her too much. She is too smart for that, yes I only talk about me and about how really, really good looking I am whenever we go out. But she is intelligent enough to realise that if she doesn’t want to pay for that meal in front of her then she is best to just sit there and cop it for a couple of hours.
These articles that I write have also found a bit of hate which I find even more perplexing. All I am is one guy writing about my experiences as a poker player and a human. Last time I checked there was no law saying that you had to read them. If they bother you don’t read them. I love that the people who hate on them usually quote references from four or five different articles. So you hate them so much but you still read them? I think that you sir need more things to fill up your day.
With both these articles and the radio show I am trying to add to the poker scene. Yes I have fun doing them but I do them for the community as a whole. I am all for criticism, if there is something that you don’t like or that you think would help to improve either of these two projects then please let me know. I will work on doings these as my constant goal is to keep improving everything that I do. However to just write saying that you hate something with no suggestions of improvement is doing nothing. Well that is not true, I suppose it highlights your lack of intelligence. But it is doing nothing to benefit either of these two projects or the poker community. So if your goal was to make yourselves look like a bunch of idiots in front of the rest of the PokerNetwork Forums you have succeeded. If you goal to make me stop, well I am afraid you have failed.
Speaking of PokerNetwork Radio we have a good show this week. Pierre Bush comes on. For those that don’t know Pierre Bush is an iconic member of the Australian Poker community and is also head of Australasian marketing at the about to be launched Redback Poker. We chat about the new site, sports betting and ask the great man (in size as well as stature) which is better Hungry Jacks or McDonalds and why?
Good luck in whatever you do this week.
- Joey Del


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