2008 World Series: The man with the hat

Deep into the money as we are, the chance to be on television increases hour on hour. The cameras really are everywhere, taping every all-in, every big hand that could potentially make one of the memorable moments of the TV coverage. We see all sorts of hijinks aimed at getting the cameras to head your way – from yelling and standing on chairs, to wearing something so outlandish you can’t help get noticed.

PokerStars player Alan Jaffray does neither of these, at least not today, not yet. But Alan is no stranger to grabbing the headlines for unlikely reasons – like wearing women’s clothing, and hats. Earlier this Series, he put on a summer dress, hat and accessories, and tried to enter the World Series Ladies event. He bought in fine the day before but when he turned up to play was politely asked not to take his seat. (He did get his money back.)

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PokerStars player Alan Jaffray

Then there’s another branch of Alan extroversion, a trademark he applies when playing in front of the cameras like Humberto Brenes’ sharks or Greg Raymer’s glasses. Jaffrey wears a ladies hat. It’s a nice one, I’ll say that, a black number with a red flower to the side. It dates back a number of years having perched on the head of a previous Tournament of Champions winner. Rumour has it that it’s also made the cover of Card Player magazine. And with seven cashes in the past two years, two of them at final tables, the hat has made a few appearances.

And all this despite looking like the most unassuming guy in the room. A PokerStars t-shirt, rimless glasses, a save-time-in-the-morning goatee and the smile of a man chipped up to the tune of 908,500. He has his hat with him.

"This is another hat" he says, pointing to a slightly shabby looking thing under his chair. "It's not as nice as my other one but this one fits. I might buy a flower for it in the break."

Today is not time to be short stacked as some bright coloured monsters begin to take shape. The once powerful yellow chips having long since conceded their power to the 5K oranges. And now an even more formidable foe – the dark greens are here worth 25K a pop – sitting atop model Manhattans, nine to a table, ready to be destroyed by a Godzilla hand.

With close to a million himself, Alan’s hat may yet make another appearance.

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The latest news coming from the floor is that PokerStars sponsored player Kirill Gerasimov is now out. A kings verses ace-king scenario with no help for the Russian. Team PokerStars Pro ElkY has also taken a bit hit, having his set rivered by a straight.