Last year I woke up one fine July morning to one of the bigger surprises I'd had in a few minutes. Every single member of the 2008 November Nine was a close personal friend or (at the least) a longtime acquaintance of mine. You don't have to tell me that the odds of this happening were staggeringly low. Unbelievable. Breathtaking. Like the better hand holding up at PokerStars. It just isn't something you ever expect to see in your lifetime. But it did, and I told everybody I could the real story about all of them, before the ESPN/Harrahs/Milwaukee's Best/Chase Manhattan/TGIF/KFC corporate machine could crank out the watered-down, family-friendly, totally bowdlerized versions. I nearly died in the attempt, and just yesterday I finally won my suit with Norman Chad for fire-bombing my house while dressed as a Norse Valkyrie, pigtails and all (he didn't need to stuff the bosom of his breastplate, and I still have nightmares about that), to ensure my eternal silence. But I got the word out. Check it:
Scott "Flea-market" Montgomery
"David" Chino "Rheem"
So there it is. I did my duty, OK? OK? My family and I deserve a little peace and quiet. A little rest and relaxation. So imagine my chagrin, my shock and amazement, my outright disbelief, when I realized that the exact same thing had just happened again!!!
That's right. I am good friends with every single member of the final table. The 2009 November Nine are my friends, neighbors, compeers, and sometime colleagues. I don't know what I have done to deserve this, but I've got a target on my back. Like Jason Bourne, except without any ability. And so, I suppose, it's time to pick up the keyboard and throw myself bodily into the breech once more. I'll be bringing these profiles to you over the next couple of weeks, and clearly I'll have to work fast. I've already seen a 9 ft. tall Jack Links sausage whispering furtively in James Akenhead's ear, so the cabal is already at work. They won't hesitate to bring me down.
I'm going to be brave. I'm going to be strong. If you hear a knock on the door, dear reader, it's me, hoping for a safe place for an hour. Just let me in to crash on your couch. I won't even eat your food, unless you have something really good.
Let's get started.
Name: Darvin Moon
Occupation: Human Lie Detector
Nickname: Ol' Poochie
Poker Style: Imaginary but Festive (he often pretends to shake maracas while he's in a hand)
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Card Capper: A monitor from which he four-tables on Full Tilt.
Favorite Country Song: Get Off the Table, Mabel (The Two Dollars is for the Beer), by Bull Moose Jackson
Brief Bio: Born in New York, New York to a couple of theater workers (his mother sold candy in the lobby, his father raised and lowered curtains at union wages), Darvin was raised on the stages of Broadway. He didn't act, he was just raised on the stage, sometimes with a show going on around him. He spent kindergarten and first grade on the set of Death of a Salesman, which made things rough for the matinee show. But the actors were pros, they just pretended that the kid coloring on the floor between Biff and Happy's bed was a figment of Willy Loman's imagination. The show must go on.
Fatefully, in first grade, Darvin Moon was moved over to the set of Cats, where he discovered he was allergic and had to go find a real job. To this day, he can't even stand the sight of a feline. Darvin worked as a tariff clerk down at the shipyard for decades, a profession that he hated, though he was proficient enough at it. "There's no music in valuation of duty rates," he moaned to me more than once, on those occasions when my merchant shipped docked in the Big Apple. "There's no poetry in inspections."
It wasn't until his mid-forties that Moon discovered his true calling. He's a faultless human lie detector, a fact he discovered one brisk April morning on an inspection. The smuggler was a smooth operator, but Darvin sniffed out the prevarication, all right, and nabbed a container full of hot ocelots. The guy tried to bribe him, but they were felines, and Darvin was having none of it. Those cats were worth close to three million on the street. From then on, Darvin was a regular on the court circuit, where the real money is. He played high stakes truth or dare until he had enough dough to quit the Customs house, and he just moved on from there. OJ Simpson reportedly paid him high six figures to stay away from California in the early nineties.
It really is a testament to his complete lack of imagination that he's never taken this skill to the world of poker until now. It's even further testament to his lack of imagination that, when he finally got into poker, he played exclusively online, where his skills were useless. I love the guy, but honestly. Those of us that know him well know that only Darvin can beat Darvin, such as if he blinds out of the final table while obsessively playing online. The chipleader facing a table full of total unknowns, and completely unbluffable, Moon is the favorite to win the whole thing.
Fun Fact: Once, on assignment for FOX News, Darvin discovered that Geraldo Rivera's mustache, is, in fact, a symbiotic alien intelligence from the Area 51 cover-up. But don't tell anybody, OK? He informed me of this in strictest confidence. The alien isn't hurting Geraldo, though some of the higher brain functions may be working only sporadically.