I am a little -- more than a little -- freaked out.
I am writing this from an undisclosed motel with free (or at least unprotected) wifi. To make a long story short, I am on the lam from shadowy forces in the poker power structure.
I woke up this morning and peeked through the shades on a whim. I'm not given to paranoia but the lawyer with his mafia bodyguard yesterday spooked me. What I saw when I made that fateful peek chilled my blood. There was a yellow car with Harrah's Entertainment decals on the doors parked across the street from my house. Inside the car was the unmistakable figure of Lon McEachern, wearing a fake mustache (possibly borrowed from Norman Chad) and holding binoculars. As I gazed, I saw the rumors of a sniper rifle on the passenger seat. I never poured milk on my cereal, but instead hustled my family out the back door.
Let me be blunt. The organizing bodies behind the World Series of Poker is trying to take me out. To silence me. All because I happen to know each and every member of the final table of this year's main event, and am giving my readership the real story about them, unvarnished and without pancake makeup. Apparently the threat of the public seeing these players as human beings, blackheads and all, instead of as mighty warriors, conflicts enough with the interests of the illuminati that I have become a liability and an intended casualty.
I could stop, but we've gone too far now. I'm going to keep moving for a week or more, but when (if?) I find I safe place, I will return to give you these profiles. The world ought to know the truth. It must.
Godspeed, my friends.
Name: Ylon Schwartz
Occupation: Pig iron seller; thief.
Poker Style: Passive-aggressive. You may take his chips, but he'll give you a serious guilt trip about it.
Card Capper: The world's smallest manhole cover, pried from the sidewalk in front of a roach motel.
Favorite Country Song: You're The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly, by Lindylou Biddinger.
Brief Bio: Ylon has been a sort-of-friend of mine since grade school, and still crashes on my couch whenever one of his girlfriends is trying to find him while holding a hammer or worse. He's that friend. You know the one; seven kinds of fun and eight kinds of trouble. He was kicked out of our middle school for arranging a hamster-fighting ring for gambling purposes. Those hamsters were no good after that; you can't feed a hamster pellets when it has the taste for blood.
He bummed around, finally dropping out of technical college two weeks in after he got his soldering gun privileges revoked for malicious tomfoolery and horseplay with a motherboard after curfew. It was nothing but one hustle after another from there. He finally settled into thievery when he found that he could get top dollar for scrap iron. He has incredibly strong fingers and the arms of an ape, so manhole covers are mere Frisbees to him. One incredible October fortnight, he filched every single manhole in Norwitch, Vermont. He moves from city to city and leaves significant potholes in his wake, and if you suddenly taste sewer water in the middle of your walk, it may just be courtesy of this fellow.
He is the first person in WSOP history to have used raw iron to buy into the Main Event (though Phil Hellmuth used it for a $2000 NLHE Event buyin back in 1987).
Fun Fact: Ylon has 7,934 patents pending, none of them for actual inventions. He's tried to patent solar energy, the idea of holding things in tubes, inertia, gravity, currency as a concept, urination, flatulence, pork pie hats, sidewalks, and himself. When you meet him, he'll present you with his bill for royalties for making use of his intellectual property, which is why the $9 million first place prize seems like peanuts to him.
Also, he's a crazy person.