Lee Davy
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The Game of Thrones Guide to Poker Villainy

Where have all the bad boys of poker gone?

There was a time when we would be falling over them, but these days they are inconspicuous by their absence.

To make matters worse some of the cast isn’t even welcome into our game, so we don’t get to feel the intense awkwardness that would drive television audiences to press series record on their Sky TV boxes in their droves.

Take Howard Lederer for example.

If there is a more hated man in poker then I would like to meet him.

A man who puts his house up for sale and gets more media coverage than Keven Stammen’s victory at the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championships, and yet you are more likely to see a Yeti sit down for a game of cards than the former Full Tilt Poker (FTP) ring leader.

On one hand justice is being served. The man who wrecked the lives of so many people shouldn’t be welcome into our poker community; but on the other hand the game is crying out for someone we can hate. I have said it before, and I will say it again, our television coverage of our game has become stale. The casting couch isn’t producing anybody worth watching.

F5 Poker recently ran a hilarious article called ‘The Poker Game of Thrones’ where they begged the question, ‘if poker pros populated Westeros’ what would that world look like.

The article continued with a series of cast lookalikes such as Liv Boeree playing Ygritte the Wildling, David Tuthill playing Samwell Tarly and most hilariously William Reynolds playing Brienne of Tarth.

One lookalike that was missing from the line up was Joffrey Baratheon.

Let’s hope readers are up on their Game of Thrones episodes, and if not-now is a good time to look away because I am about to introduce a spoiler into my text.

Joffrey Baratheon is dead, and his death scene can tell us much about the need for an evil character or two in our poker community.

The actor Jack Gleeson plays the bad guy to absolute perfection. When you watch him act you just want to take a rusty spoon, dig out his liver and feed it to a pig, and yet at the same time, you love watching him.

In his final scene he pours a goblet of wine over Tyrion Lannister’s head. The man who once said of Joffrey Baratheon.

“We’ve had vicious kings, and we’ve had idiot kings, but I don’t think we’ve ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king!”

The King ridicules Tyrion in full view of his watching wedding. The silence and awkwardness was gripping. The look of evil on the Kings face was strangely hypnotic; the faces on the watching audience filled with embarrassment and uncomfortableness.

Then you had the tension between the King and Tyrion. The stare. The unflinching stare. The need for one to try and dominate the other. The use of hate, aggression and superiority to try and tower over his inferior human being.

“Kneel before your king. KNEEL!”

Tyrion didn’t budge. He just stared. Then the soon to be queen cut the tension with a cry for cake.

The crowd erupted jubilantly. Not for cake, but to be free of the tension that had gripped them. But they really wanted blood. They wanted to see the king take more retribution out on Tyrion because that’s what people like to see.

Once the king cuts the cake and the doves are set free he once again returns to ridicule his uncle and the silence falls over the scene once more.

Great television.

Absolutely gripping television.

This is why Game of Thrones is one of the best shows ever made.

Think back through all of the very best movies in the business and what makes them great?

The main protagonist - of course.

But what about the great antagonist?

Darth Vadar and Hannibal Lecter in the movies. Kai Proctor and Clay Burton from Banshee, Gustavo Fring in Breaking Bad, and Ben Linus in Lost taking up the slack in the television world.

The bad guys are always far more interesting than the good guys.

This is what we pay good money for.

We want our apples to be bad.

The Joffrey Baratheon death scene is akin to a great-televised sequence at a poker table.

A cocky, arrogant poker player trying to dominate embarrasses and ridicule someone they believe they have an edge over. The tension. The look of shame written over the other player’s faces as none of them choose to interfere. The stare down. The language. The hate.

It creates atmosphere.

It creates a poker game worth watching.

It turns a game of cards into a game of life.

So where are you Joffrey Baratheon?

Step forward and take your rightful place on poker’s throne.

Come and play the game.

Come and entertain.

We need you.


Dear Lee, SOOO happy and proud to see you here on RankingHero, all the more on the #GoTpoker theme that we loved so much ourselves :)

Btw, I suggested a Joffrey lookalike but must again stress that by all accounts @Viktor "isildur1" Blom's personality is rather the opposite; in fact he is described as friendly, positive and with a generous, sunny disposition - so nothing like the vilain we are looking for in poker ;)




A young talented aggressive kid with a big forehad and a badass frown?
Someone ready to take on the world with a conceiled identity?
I have a different suggestion for Isildur! #GoTpoker 

@Nicolas Levi LOOOOL!!!