Friday, November 13, 2009

WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack Ankles Harrah's

Jeffrey Pollack introduces the 2008 November Nine

Pauly crawled into bed around six this morning and nudged me awake. Ever since Joe Cada wrapped the Main Event bracelet around his wrist early Tuesday morning, there had been rumors that a big story was about to break in the poker world.

"Jeffrey Pollack is out."

Say what? Sure I was already horizontal and only semi-conscious, but you could have knocked me over with a feather.

The poker media lost a huge ally today in Pollack. Say what you want about exclusive media rights and all the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing that came with it, but Pollack never censored independent voices in media row, most notably my beloved and the Tao of Poker, but also sites like Wicked Chops Poker-- not exactly the type of guys who will sugar-coat a story to satisfy a bunch of corporate suits. These guys write about the Hooker Bar, "Ass Girl" and the real, serious degen-ing that surrounds the world's most prestigious poker tournament. Pollack didn't simply allow these outlets to function, he embraced them.

Poker fashion has also lost one of its shining stars. Back in April, I named Pollack one of my Top 10 Poker Fashionistas in a piece on PokerNews. I don't know how he did it, but the man always looked fresh as a freakin' daisy, even after a 20-hour final table. Seriously, I've never seen him look bad. His pinstripe suits were always pressed, and he made bold style choices with his pastel shirts, colorful ties, and coordinating pocket squares. I even composed a haiku ode to the Commish over the November Nine weekend:

Hair cropped like Caesar
Navy suit is wrinkle-free
Real men wear pastels

The WSOP will not be the same without Jeffrey Pollack. Who is going to tweet the "Song of the Day" next year, even if it is a rotating mix of U2, Coldplay and Steely Dan?

Fare thee well Commish. And best of luck. But as you well know now, in our game, it's not about luck.

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