OK, in case you missed it the most amazing thing happened. I woke up yesterday to check who was at the final table, and instead of seeing any big-name pros, I saw nine people that I know personally.
Thus, I'm bringing you the full list of final table-ists, the inside scoop from a man who knows them.
However, a dark side has developed. A vicious lawyer with a face like a melted ice-cream scoop showed up on my front stoop at 8:00 AM sharp, and served me papers to cease and desist. Apparently my utterly true accounts have ruffled some feathers and don't jibe with the "story" that Harrah's Entertainment and ESPN want to "craft." They also claim that I am a "mental case" who is "making" stuff "up". I assure you, nothing can be further from the truth. Nevertheless, this lawyer seems like he means business. He had a Ukrainian bodyguard with him whose neck was riddled with prison tattoos and whose face crawled with dueling scars. I offered him some green tea but he just growled.
No matter. I mock danger and giggle at litigation. So here we go.
Name: Craig Marquis
Occupation: Animal wrassler, truck stop attendant.
Nickname: "Stenchy Pete"
Poker Style: Tighter than Greg LaMond's shorts.
Card Capper: A toe he shot off'n the woman he loved one night when there warnt no moon.
Favorite Country Song: I Wouldn’t Take Her To a Dog Fight, Cause I’m Afraid She’d Win, by Prickles P. Sicking
Brief Bio: Craig Marquis was born in Hartford, CT with a silver spoon in his mouth, and another one in each ear. The doctor had never seen anything like it, but at least his parent were rich enough to pay for removal. His mother was heiress to the Schnoolty paper clip fortune and his daddy was a potato baron who moved them all to Idaho when Craig was just seven. Weeks later, the Depression had claimed every dime and his father had committed suicide by jumping from Boise's tallest building (two stories at the time, but there was a picket fence at the bottom) and his mother wandered off into the wilderness, leaving young Craig Marquis with nothing but his clothes and his teeth.
Luckily, Marquis was taken in by area survivalists, who fed him jerky and trained him in feats of strength by having him fight beasts for their amusement. He started off with larger squirrels and the occasional peevish prairie dog, but soon grew in strength, agility, and local fame, and by the time he was ten he could smack a stoat or beat a badger. At sixteen he "rassled" his first "ba'ar", and the rest was history, or would have been if history cared about near-feral teenagers who could take on large mammals.
Of course all this pugilism took its toll, and by the time I met him on a road trip up to the Northern Territories, Craig had lost an eye, a foot, and most of one thumb to his profession, but, as he will tell you, at least he still has most of his vertebrae. He deals Three Card Monte outside a truck stop outside of Gibbonsville and will fill your tank for you, or shine your bumper. You won't have to ask.
Fun Fact: Craig Marquis has a different toupee for every day of the week, each made from the pelt of a beast he's bested in mortal combat. For the final table, he's planning on wearing the crocodile skullcap.