At the start of yesterday's 17.5-hour odyssey that left us with our final two players in the WSOP Main Event (Joe Cada, the young luckbox and Darvin Moon, the old luckbox), I penned this fashion report for the Tao of Poker. I'm a fan of group costumes, so I was tickled to see that many November Nine fans arrived to cheer for their guys in custom-made shirts. Check it out.
Darvin Moon - Everyone's favorite Maryland logger chose a black polo, jeans, and his beloved New Orleans Saints hat for his final table outfit. No logos. No patches. Nada. Personally, I was hoping for him to play up his country-bumpkin image with a plaid shirt (totally hot this fall) and overalls, his supporters all carrying mini-chainsaws that they'd rev up each time their man won a pot. Instead, Moon's rural brethren are all sporting Wheeling Casino T-shirts that say "Bad Moon Rising" on the front. Eh. Points do go to those "Moonies" who brought heads-on-sticks, featuring their man's image.
James Akenhead - "The Limey" might very well be wearing the same clothes he played Day 8 in-- a black button-down shirt and a matching black Full Tilt hat. He has fans here but they are not in costume. FAIL.
Phil Ivey - Pauly tried to get Otis to bet on the color of Ivey's Full Tilt hat, offering him the field against baby blue. Otis wisely told my beloved to go fuck himself, knowing that's the biggest sucker bet he'd be offered all day. Indeed, Ivey chose his trademark sky-blue cap, pairing it with a black button-down. His superstar entourage, including Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Jen Harman, and sorta-freakish but totally adorable superfans Mel & Pat Humphries all have prime spots onstage.
Kevin Schaffel - Schaffel is wearing the standard PokerStars sponsored player uniform of a black Stars shirt and matching hat, paired with smart tan trousers. He's not exactly lighting the fashion world on fire with that outfit, but at least he didn't take his ninth-place money and hit up Versace for some vertigo-inducing silk shirts. Schaffel's 80 supporters are all decked out in "Schaffel Up and Deal' shirts with a cartoonish rendition of their man on the front-- the weakest of the group fan costumes, IMO.
Steve Begleiter - Begs must be at least a little superstitious because he too is in the same clothes he wore when he made the November Nine back in July-- a navy polo and a red Full Tilt hat. ESPN's continuity peeps must be happy about that choice. His fans, however, get top marks from me for their blue "BEGS, BEGS BEGS!" shirts.
Eric Buchman - Black PokerStars hat. Black PokerStars shirt. No group costumes. Moving on...
Joe Cada - While Cada is in his black PokerStars uniform, his fans went for neon with garish yellow sweatshirts that made my eyes bleed after looking at them for five minutes in the hallway. The pullovers say "Cada" on the back. Just like that, in quotes. Like it's his nickname. But it's his actual name. I'm confused.
Antoine Saout - As much as I'd have loved to see him in a beret, Saout is dressed in head-to-toe Everest swag. Snooze. His fans are packed into the stage left balcony, all wearing royal blue soccer jerseys that say "Saout" on the back (and "Everest Poker" on the front, of course). Their nationalistic pride is showing, as a number of French flags have been spotted in their section. Personally I'd have gone for baguettes-- they're easily visible on-camera and can double as snacks.
Jeff Shulman - I saw Happy sauntering down the hallway earlier in a maroon Phish T-shirt (points for that), which he has now unfortunately covered with a ratty navy CardPlayer hoodie (booooo). It doesn't look like he's been to the barber (or bought a razor) since play finished up last July. Dude...even Pauly cleaned up after Festival 8 and lost the tour beard. In the immortal words of the joker-- "Get your shit together, man!"