World Series memories: Thater sends Men to the men's

wsop2009_thn.gifI've made a number of decisions in my life with the aim of living long enough to regret living so long. I stopped taunting big dogs in 1984. I gave up eating crayons in 2006. In 2007, I vowed never to cross Katja Thater.

Let's be clear. Thater is a sweet and beautiful woman. When relaxing, she is a joy to accompany for a cocktail or all-night blackjack binge. However, to paraphrase Dr. David Banner, you won't like her when she is angry.

As much as we love Thater, when at the table, it always seems like she is miffed. Win or lose, she could cut through a freight car with her eyes. When playing poker, she crushes dreams and eats souls.

Enter Men the Master. We won't belabor the stories about the guy. You've heard them all. Suffice to say, he's used to getting his way. We suspect that when 2007 rolled around, he had not yet had his freight car cut in half.

The event was the 2007 $1,500 Razz WSOP tournament. Fewer than 16 players remained. Thater and Men the Master were among them. Men was in pure Men form. He had several drinking railbirds on his side and all was well until he started tangling with Thater. No matter what the Master did, Thater did him one better. Suddenly, the frivolity ceased. Men was mad.

Fast forward to the next break. I stood post in front of the third urinal from the right in the men's room. I didn't have to peek under the stall to know who was connected to the two visible feet. The rapid-fire Vietnamese gave away the Master on his throne.

"I have ace, two, three," I understood him to say. "Ace, two, three...and then..."

This was my favorite part.

"That lady..."

I couldn't understand a damned word of anything else he said, but whatever he was screaming into his cellphone was undoubtedly about Katja Thater. I've experienced a lot in in the men's room, but nothing has made me laugh as hard as Men preaching from his pulpit about the evils of Lady Thater. When play resumed, Thather ate every soul at the table and walked away with her first World Series bracelet. For his part, Men finished in eighth place, winning enough money to cover his Corona tab and a photocopy of Thater's face to put on his bathroom wall at home.

Look at this face? You'd hardly know she sent Men the Master to the crapper.

This summer will marks the fifth consecutive year the PokerStars Blog has covered the World Series from the Rio. This month, we're taking an occasional look back at our time in the Amazon Ballroom.


Our first time

Multi-tabling with Barry Greenstein

The Randy Meisner incident

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker