WSOP Main Event: When all's said and Don
by Howard Swains
Much of last year's World Series coverage on this blog focused on Anthony Donald Fagan, a PokerStars qualifier who did not fit quite as snugly into the common perception of an internet player as most.
Anthony (known as Don) is a mild-mannered Irishman with a distinctly more tigerish table image. He placed third in a WPT event on season two, but his most impressive poker exploits pre-date both the televised and online poker revolutions: Fagan used to mix it with the likes of Amarillo Slim, Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson et al in the 1970s, when - as "Kalooki Don" - he was among the first Europeans to descend on Las Vegas and baffle the Texas Rounders with super aggressive play and a peculiar accent.
This year's story is less about "Don" than about Don. That's Don Junior; Donald Fagan II, Kalooki Don's offspring who has followed in his father's footsteps into the PokerStars cardroom and qualified for the World Series main event. Like father, like son, Donald Jr cashed in the WPT Aruba event on season three and now, again like Papa Fagan, is playing the second day at the WSOP.
Donald Jr has $18,725 going into Day Two, three thousand more than Don Sr, who, of course, is also playing again. Even more worryingly, for reporters and players alike, is the news that a third Fagan - this one named Anthony Jr - is also no slouch around the poker tables. Next year, we could have Anthony "Don" Fagan, up against Donald Fagan, alongside Anthony Fagan, a brainteaser certain to wreak havoc among the sometimes-less-than-reliable official chip counters.
For now, we'll settle for just one Don. He's not quite among the chip leaders, but he has a workable stack and rich pedigree. Don't be surprised to see him somewhere further up the leaderboard - when all's said and Don.