Sometimes I see ghosts. Sometimes I go looking for them; sometimes they go looking for me. When you have haunted the net for as long as I have, the damned place seems littered with the corpses of fallen friends and foes, games and sites.
I like to go to the Neverwinpoker forum for two reasons. I like to see old Linden_Arden, who I used to play with on Stars back in the day; and I am afraid to look at the onlinechamp forum, if it even still exists.
The ghost of Onlinechamp is an instructional one. A couple of years ago, the biggest ring game online was the 15-30 Limit Hilo, then quickly after the 30-60 Hilo. For arrivistes to the poker scene this probably seems incredible. After all there are games many times that size now, some even 10x. But back then, unless you wanted to play King of Ding headsup on UB, this game was it. And because it was the biggest, it also attracted the maddest. And the best. And the worst. I played in the game for quite some time, mostly out of ego as I doubt I made money in it. Not all of the casualties got broke – after all, Big Dave D is never seen on any sites now either – but a fair few got turned into ghosts along the way.
El Ganador evolved into a PLO expert. The clinically insane DARTHVADER seemed to spin off into the stars and out of the Stars, although as a lottery winner in the US he had money to burn. My dear friend LEECHKA seemed to drop off the end of the world. ORION1 seemed to turn himself into a parody of every Cold Country maniac stereotype I ever piss-taked about, either riding the crest of a massive rush or crashing down to near brokedom. Alex1, the tournament wizard and seemingly the worst cash game player I have ever played. And of course the infamous Mr Robert, who is now beating the 75-150, probably chatting no more than 5 words a year and still confounding the critics as to how he did it.
But in my mind the ghost of Onlinechamp overshadows them all. The first time I met OLC, as he was affectionately known, he was being praised by some anonymous railbird. Whereas today you can see this quite often, especially if it’s a well known player, back then it really stood out. As did his catchphrase, “Ship the Sherbert to Herbert” whenever he won a pot. Yes, he really did have a catchphrase.
This probably makes him sound quite annoying. Which he was. But he was also good fun, and as his rush continued, he built his own site, which for a time attracted seem serious names from Stars, including Josh Arieh.
Then the rush ended, and boy did it end. The rumour mill was he lost 60k in a couple of weeks, which effectively wiped him out. He sat in, and then sat out the entire time in the fledgling 100-200 holdem game, clearly just for showboating purposes. The web site was the scene of a very public disintegration. Like one of those scenes in a disaster movie, where the support cables start to “POP” out of the ground, snaking cables whipping around, building swaying, but still standing while you watch and wait for the next snap. At times he seemed barely rational. I guess the end was a very public, lawyer threatening bust up with Josh Arieh.
Of course the tragic thing about this ghost is that if he had held on just a while longer, who knows what might have happened in the super boom of the last year. I mean people go to the Neverwin site even though NEVERWIN ALMOST NEVER POSTS THERE. I guess what haunts poor OLC most is that he would of almost certainly have had a piece of Josh Arieh if they had still been friends, and that alone may have cost him up to $250 000.
I said that sometimes the ghosts come to me. Whilst looking at the Neverwin site, I noticed a very strange post by DanDruff, the 100-200 player. It seems that IMDB.com has an entry for Andy Glazer. For those who don’t know, this is a very comprehensive info site on cinema, maintained by user submissions. Why on earth would the Poker Pundit have an entry there, as he had almost no involvement with the film industry except a cameo in the Stuey movie? This becomes even more curious, if you check out the entry, in that there is a very comprehensive bio, as well as the mention of the date he died and the fact he committed suicide, which in itself is not well know. And who submitted this entry? Andy Glazer. A strange and chilling testimony.
Vincent Gray: Do you know why you're afraid when you're alone? I do