All I Want For Christmas

Ah, Christmas. Don’t you just love it? We can picture you now. You woke up this morning to find
your stocking crammed with Bluff magazines. Now you’re sprawled contentedly on the couch beside a roaring hearth with a bowl of nuts clasped firmly between your thighs and eggnog dribbling down your chin onto the pages of this fine publication. But how do the pros spend Christmas, you wonder, as you slip into unconsciousness. And what do they want from Santa? Well wonder no more, because we asked ’em.

Mike “The Mouth” Matusow
For Christmas, Mike the Mouth wants to “quit taking bad beats late in big poker tournaments.” Let’s not forget that three kings and all the gold, frankincense and myrrh in Vegas couldn’t save Mike from that bad beat at the World Series (ouch, sorry Mike). Let’s hope Santa can help.

New Year’s resolution?
My New Year’s resolution is to “quit playing online poker and get back to live play. And to be a good boy.”

Doyle Brunson
“What I want for Christmas is good health for me, and prosperity for” We’ll drink to that, Doyle.

New Year’s resolution?
“My New Year’s resolution is to slow down a little bit. I’m moving a little bit too fast. My family tell me off.”

Antonio Esfandiari
In Antonio’s dreams, he says he would like to find “a brand new Ferrari” stuffed inside his stocking on Christmas morning. Wouldn’t we all. And in the real world? “Mmm… maybe, like, a super-duper high-tech poker table?”

New Year’s resolution?
“My New Year’s rez is “to PLAY POKER this year. No more screwing off. Time to focus. Oh, and to maintain the workout I’ve been doing for the past year.”

Greg Raymer
“For Christmas,” announces the Fossilman, “I’d like harsher sentences for parole violators…” (Long awkward silence) ”… and World Peace!” “Seriously, though, I don’t even know what I want for Christmas. I haven’t even thought about it. I’m not a very needy person, and don’t have a lot of gadgets or such.”

New Year’s resolution?
“And I never make New Year’s Resolutions. It just never made sense to me. Why would you only do such a thing on this one day? There’s no reason that such a thing should work better on that day, unless the “New Year” thing means something to you. I guess just like poker is one long game, your life is one life, and there’s no point into breaking it up into meaningless segments. As such, I’m just as likely to make a resolution tomorrow as on New Year’s Day.”

Phil Laak
All the Unabomber wants this year is: “Invisibility at will, eternal life on earth, mind-reading powers, and the ability to fly.” Looks like Jennifer Tilly’s got her work cut out. Sweater it is, then…

New Year’s resolution?
Phil’s New Year’s resolution is: “To use my new gifts wisely.”

Lyle Berman
What do you get the man who has everything?

“For Christmas I’d like to see WPT and Lake’s entertainment stocks to be recognized for the value that they’re worth,“ says Lyle. “The WPT stock has been pummeled the last month or so. I’d also like to win a WPT tournament this year.”

Does this guy ever stop thinking about business?

New Year’s resolution?

“My New Year’s Resolution is the same as every year: To spend more time with the family and slow down in business. I don’t manage that every year…” No kidding?

Marcel Luske
“All I want for Christmas is the opportunity to play good tournaments in healthy environments, with nice blind structures that don’t just become crapshoots.”

Well said, Marcel. Although I’m not sure we can buy you that at Macy’s…

New Year’s resolution?
“For my New Year’s resolution,” continues The Flying Dutchman, “I want to finish what I start. I take on too many things, be it new projects or poker tournaments. You lose focus that way. I just need to focus on one thing at a time.”

Chris “Jesus” Ferguson
Let’s not forget that Christmas is really about Jesus. Although when we asked him what he wanted, he seemed a little disarmed and went into the think tank. “I think…” he said eventually, “I’d like a year like the last one. I had a good year last year.”

New Year’s resolution?
“To work harder,” he says immediately. “Always to work harder…”

December 2005