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Gary Trask

Gary  Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's Editor in Chief and has worked as a writer and editor more than 20 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee and a current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame voting panel.

Contact Gary at and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

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Top-10 poker pros who would not make a good WSOP commissioner

30 Nov 2009

By Gary Trask
Last week we decided to have some fun and pick 10 poker professionals who we thought would make a good commissioner for the WSOP now that Jeffrey Pollack has stepped down.

We realize that the WSOP has stated that it doesn't plan on replacing Pollack. And even if it did, the players on last week's list would never be offered the job, nor would they likely be willing to take the pay cut and accept the offer.

So to continue the shenanigans, this week we present 10 players who wouldn't even garner consideration for the job. But instead of just telling you why these guys would be a horrible fit to fill Pollack's shoes, we've included some video evidence that clearly states our case.

10. Darvin Moon
A year ago at this time, Moon was an unknown logger from Maryland. Today, he's one of the most recognizable poker players in the world thanks to his unlikely second-place finish in the Main Event and his trademark New Orleans Saints hat. There are plenty of reasons why Moon would never make a good commissioner, starting with the fact that "logistics" just isn't his thing. On the morning of his heads-up match against Joe Cada a few weeks ago, I happened to share an elevator ride with Moon at the Rio. I mentioned to him the big press conference that was set to take place in just a little more than an hour that was to feature him and Cada, and his response was, "What press conference? I don't know nothing about it." Secondly, we have it on tape that Moon has no problem exaggerating the truth – or making bold-face lies – to his wife. Check out the end of the clip:

9. Jamie Gold
Simply put, I wouldn't want to negotiate a decision on what kind of tip to leave the waitress at Denny's with this guy, never mind trying to iron out a multi-million dollar endorsement deal for the WSOP.

8. Gavin Smith
One thing is for sure. If Gavin Smith were named the next WSOP Commish, the atmosphere would suddenly get much more festive at the Rio each summer. But I think the WSOP would probably scratch Gavin's name off their short list of candidates solely on the fact that he's the type of guy that would accept a prop bet that he could stuff 15 large marshmallows in his mouth in less than 150 seconds without swallowing…and win the bet.

7. Sam Grizzle
Sam is just a bit too surly and sarcastic to sit in the WSOP's big chair. But I have to admit I laugh out loud every time I see this clip of him calling Phil Hellmuth a "goof ball that catches cards."

6. Shahram "Shawn" Sheikhan
Never mind the fact that "Sheiky" carries a ton of baggage away from the table. He's also got the reputation as a player who will taunt others at the table and go off when given a bad beat. For proof, here's the clip of his classic run-in with Mike "The Mouth" Matusow at the 2005 WSOP:

5. Tony G.
He's been called "The Mouth from Down Under" for good reason. Take a look:

4. Mike "The Mouth" Matusow
Speaking of obnoxious loud mouths with checkered pasts, here's the poker pro best known for his bombastic outbursts. And in the clip below he goes after Greg Raymer, one of the players who made our "Good Commissioner" list last week.

3. Scotty Nguyen
How many times could Scotty use his catch phrase "Baby!" during a one-minute WSOP bracelet ceremony? I'm guessing the over/under would be 16. And that's if he's sober.

2. Gus Hansen
Being a commissioner in anything requires great discipline and discretion, two things the Great Dane is not known for. Need proof? Check out this episode of Poker Superstars III in 2006 when Gus went all-in blind for 10 straight hands and cleaned out the table.

1. Phil Hellmuth
Hellmuth has done a lot of good for poker and he certainly cares about the greater good of the game. But let's just say when we were looking for a clip to show of him for this list, we had about 100 to choose from to prove why he's be too volatile for the commissioner's role. We ended up choosing his epic blow-up from the 2008 WSOP.

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