Unbelievably (if you haven't yet heard) I have close personal knowledge of each member of the November Nine for a second straight year. Even more unbelievably, the lawyers at Harrah's Entertainment have contacted me and told me that they are backing down. They're even calling off the hit men, if they can. I don't know who is doing me a favor, or what privileged star decided to shine on me, but I'm making the most of it. I'll be burning off the bios of the final three members of the final table of the 2009 WSOP Main Event this week, before more vindictive minds prevail and I'm once again running for my life.
Name: Joe Cada
Occupation: Cult Leader, Professional Messiah, Meth Dealer
Poker Style: Strong, reliant on reads and on the power to hypnotize weaker minds.
Alignment: Well beyond your limited morality.
Card Capper: Nothing at all.
Favorite Country Song: He Went To Sleep and The Hogs Ate Him (Now Claude's Gone Forever) , by Nathan Nathan
Brief Bio: Joseph "Joe" Cada first came to local prominence in the late seventies, when everybody who was anybody was running off and joining up with a cult. Joe saw this trend and realized that he was no joiner, he was a leader. Of course, becoming a cult leader wasn't as difficult then as it is now. These days, you have to do something dramatic to capture the public attention, like weep and go bug-eyed while hosting a cable "news" program. Back then, all you needed to become a pretty decent sweaty-toothed cult leader was a van with shag carpeting and a pony keg of cheap domestic beer. At the precocious age of twelve, Joe started recruiting people to his compound in Blanding, Utah. As a general rule, you need some meat on your bones before you can go Full Koresh, but Joe was a boy with fervor in his heart and a glaze in his look that would curdle a honey ham with envy. Before long he had 90% of the people in the Four Corners region under his thrall, and with those 18 men and women, he began his empire.
His cult is known as "The Folks," a homogenous group of like-thinking fellow non-travellers, and when I joined up back in 1983, Joe stilled lived on the compound with us. We all called him "Dad" and each night, he'd play the acoustic guitar and croon to us around the campfire at night, while feeding us S'Mores dipped in psychotropic agents that remove free will and fashion sense. Luckily, one festering summer day I was sent out on an errand to one of the meth barns and forgot my compass. I got lost in the foothills, and wandered for two days until I fell down a gulley and broke my leg. Happily, I was kept alive by friendly coyotes until finally my leg was healed and the indoctrination and programming were out of my system. But I still remember Dad and his accoustic guitar, strummin', strummin', strummin'. . . To this day, I shudder when I hear Peter Paul and Mary tunes. Also, I'm not so sure that those were coyotes. They may have been Red Cross workers. Look, what I'm saying is this: The drugs were pretty strong.
The Folks are an odd sort of cult, with disparate beliefs based on various random utterances of "Dad," who doesn't believe in all this stuff so much as he feels pressure on him as a cult leader to come up with a teaching or two. As a result, his followers hold as unshakable articles of their faith a strict regimen of gluten-free bran muffins, the use of farm equipment as marital aids, silk robes, wool slippers, daily readings from their Scripture (a Book of Mormon variant called "The Seven-Sixteenths Nephi", which claims, among other things, that Tony the Tiger is the devil), daily affirmations, pinky rings, mixed martial arts, five hours minimum of chanting and/or transcendental meditation, and making and selling as much methamphetamine as they possibly can. They sell methamphetamine to all the trailer parks west of the Colorado river, and are personal retailers to Andy Rooney. The FBI figures the cult's net worth at roughly $700 krackazillion dollars, according to Forbes Magazine. The haul from San Bernadino meth sales alone is enough to buy and maintain a fleet of private jets, and still have enough left over to book Carrot Top for your son's bar mitsvah.
Air conditioning is forbidden on the compound, as are all media, such as television and Internet and Oprah's magazine. A hypocrite to the core, Joe will have none of this. He hangs out in his Tempe, AZ apartment, sipping Scotch, playing Wii, and entertaining some of his favorite female cult members, until he feels he absolutely must pay a visit to the compound in order to hypnotize them some more. That guy is a hypnotic genius. Some say his eyes are a spiraling shape of madness. I don't know, I won't look into them anymore.
Fun Fact: Joe is as careless with money as he is rich. He never meant to play in the World Series. He bought in thinking he was tipping a hat-check girl, and was too embarrassed to admit his mistake. Now, he stands to make over eight million dollars, or, as he calls it, "walking around money." His lack of interest in the money makes him a cool customer, and a solid shot to win it all. His ability to hypnotize his opponents doesn't hurt, either.