Sometimes I wonder if this is even worth it.
I mean, really. So I know the November Nine personally, for the second year running, in defiance of all probability and common sense. You'd think that I'd be feted by the poker elite, celebrated by the Vegas illuminati, and given the keys to the Rio safe to be quiet. But these types know that life is cheap and hush money is not, so I'm dodging hit men, backbiters, syndicators, riff-raff, and the occasional taxidermist out to make a name for himself. It's sickening, and probably not worth the risk anymore. I'm a family man. I didn't ask for this. The only thing that keeps me going at this anymore is my rigorous pursuit of truth, and my hopes that someday I can sell my story to Hollywood for millions, if not billions. I'm hoping that I'll be played either by Edward Norton, or (if it is a cartoon) David Hasselhoff. More on this in days to come.
Anyway, this is really the one that they've been trying to keep me from telling, and I guess I'm a dead man as soon as I post this, but I just don't care. If I fold now, they win and I'll never be able to look my family in the eye again.
This is my 400th post. Let's all hope and pray for number 401.
Name: Phil Ivey
Occupation: Phil Ivey Impersonator
Nickname: The Tiger Woods of Phil Iveys
Poker Style: Patterned after the game of Phil Ivey
Alignment: Neutral Neutral with Bitters, Shaken
Card Capper: A single golden dragon's testicle.
Favorite Country Song: I Fell In A Pile of You and Got Love All Over Me, by Emily Dickinson
Brief Bio:This isn't going to be easy for a lot of you to hear.
I went to middle school with Phil back when his name was still Braxton Herring Hinkley III. Even then he was a master impersonator, the "Tiger Woods of impressionism", if you will. He could impersonate the sound of the principal's voice with such uncanny precision that the PA announcements could never be trusted unless he was sitting right next to you, but that's not the eerie part. He could actually look EXACTLY like the principal, right down to the mittens (that's another story). He impersonated the school bully until the bully, overwhelmed and confused, transferred schools. He once impersonated the pencil sharpener for an entire week without ever drawing attention to himself, though he did require a lot of floss. My point is, the kid is and was good. The best.
Naturally, he drifted to Vegas and became one of the most celebrated Elvis impersonators of all time. He operated under the name "Swivelhips Jenkins" and brought in top bucks, but it all came crashing down in December of 2003, when he made a pilgrimage to Graceland and discovered that Elvis is, in fact, dead. After that he was inconsolable. He called me up, bawling, and said he was giving up the act. "It wouldn't seem right to impersonate the King as anything but what he is," said then-Braxton to me in his Tennessee drawl. "And that's a corpse. I just ain't ready to make that kinda commitment, cousin."
So, that was it, you know. My boy is a purist. He mailed me his sequined jumpsuit and his sideburns with instructions for its disposal, which I carried out to the letter. I still have no idea how he shaved those sideburns but kept them in one piece.
But Braxton was lost. He limped back to Vegas a broken man, an master craftsman with no muse. He drank from the bottle and watched a lot of TV. And that's when it happened. Call it fate if you like. Call it coincidence. But my man saw Phillip Dometian Ivey getting brutalized with grace late in the 2003 World Series of Poker, and that was it. It was over. Done. He'd found his new calling, and he's been at it ever since. He changed his name legally to "Phil Ivey" and became the greatest Phil Ivey impersonator the world has ever seen.
Last month Braxton (now Phil) entered the World Series Main Event. He's still in it. He's sitting in Seat 3.
I know what you're thinking. It's impossible. It can't be. Balderdash. I am here to tell you friend, that it IS. Deal. Come on, there was a guy dressed in full Native American garb, and you think somebody is going to notice another Phil Ivey? Dude. An average of seventeen Phil Iveys have entered the Main Event in each of the last 5 years. And this one? Is the master.
Here, let me show you what I mean:
This is the real Phil Ivey.
And this is my friend, legally named "Phil Ivey."
"But Goat," I hear you stammering. "If this was true, the real Phil Ivey would have stepped forward. Surely he wouldn't let some impostor use his name in that way."
You poor naive sot. You really did just fall off the grape nut truck, didn't you? Do you even realize how much is at stake for the power brokers of the WSOP? Why, ESPN alone has paid the REAL Phil Ivey eight million just to stay hush-hush. The REAL Phil Ivey already HAS first prize money, and the respect that comes with being the first highly-regarded pro since 2006 to make the final table, to boot. That is how pimp it is to be Phil Ivey, my friends. Now you understand why ol' Braxton would want to impersonate him in the first place.
Hate the message, you all. Don't hate the messenger.
Fun Fact: Phil watches Steel Magnolias pretty much every night, and he cries every single time, but (and this is the fun part) he only cries during the opening credits.