Weird Poker Headlines — Honest Vegas Cabbies and the Not-Dead Jeffrey Pollack

hundredsA two-fer of strange tales dominated “news” headlines for poker over the holiday break, with none stranger than the tale of a Las Vegas cabbie whose honesty resulted in the return of $300,000 to an unnamed Vegas poker pro who somehow managed to leave that much money inside a brown paper bag in the back of a cab.

In a story that’s made plenty of headlines both within the poker world and on mainstream sites, driver Gerardo Gamboa figured he’d found a bag of chocolates or something similar, then discovered after reaching in that the bag contained six stacks of hundred-dollar bills.

Amazingly, for this is Vegas, after all, the undisputed champion hometown of “long hauling (wherein short-term $8 cab rides from one casino to another are magically transformed into $25 circle tours of the Strip), this honest cabbie reported the find to his superiors, who then helped trace the misplaced money to the high-stakes poker player, who through double-checking with the casino was able to be confirmed as the owner of the money.

Said unnamed player is 28 years old, and poker forums have been having a heyday trying to figure out who it was, with the odds-on favorites including Andrew Robl, Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo, Jason Koon and Phil Galfond.  (For no reason other than a hunch, your loyal FlushDraw scribe throws a dart at the board and places the bet on Bonomo.  Truth be told, the answer likely will come out in a few days or weeks.)

Gamboa received a feel-good “Driver of the Year” award, tons of nice headlines and media coverage, which means if he’s a competent cabbie he’ll probably always be able to find a job, though the unnamed pro was a bit chintzy with the tip, giving Gamboa only $1,000 for being so honest.  I think $5,000 would have been more fair, in the Christmas spirit and all, though I could name a couple of so called Vegas pros who would’ve left a couple of food-comp coupons and signed photos of themselves and thought that was good.

So in that light, $1,000 was better than nothing — and honesty is always its own reward as well.

So much for one odd story.  Then there’s a totally different tale, that of former WSOP commissioner Jeffrey Pollack, whose photo was very prominently attached to the Atlanta Black Star’s story of the sudden and unexpected passing of film producer Jeff Pollack, who collapsed and died early yesterday morning while jogging on a popular trail in Hermosa Beach, CA, part of greater L.A.

You can see the proof by clicking through to this screengrab posted on Twitter by veteran poker blogger Allen “AlCantHang” Rash.  That’s indeed poker’s Jeffrey Pollack in that photo on the left, as opposed to the other Pollack who unfortunately passed.  That other Pollack usually went by “Jeff,” not “Jeffrey,” and not even bothering to check the photo is a pretty basic blunder for the Atlanta BlackStar site.

It’s the first poker mention in several months for poker’s Jeffrey Pollack, who’s pretty much gone to ground after his disaster, along with Annie Duke, in the ill-fated Epic Poker League affair.  Unlike Duke, who is still trying to carve a few dollars from her earlier poker fame, Jeffrey Pollack is not only still very much alive, but no longer a visible part of the poker scene.


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