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The Scoop -- David Plastik

by The Scoop |  Published: Mar 19, 2010


David Plastik
With more than $2.3 million in lifetime tournament winnings in a career that spans more than a decade, David Plastik is truly one of poker’s journeymen. Once a rock ’n’ roll photographer, Plastik went from taking pictures of legendary music stars to competing against the best poker players in the world for a living.

Diego Cordovez: When poker was first getting on TV and they were starting to broadcast the World Series on ESPN, you made the final table of the H.O.R.S.E. event that Doyle Brunson won, which was a huge thing, because he had not played in the World Series for a while, and he won. You almost won …

David Plastik: I got third. I never should have got third.

Adam Schoenfeld: You took a beat.

DP: I took an insane beat.

DC: You took a terrible beat and kicked a garbage can across the room, and Doyle Brunson said, “In poker, if you can’t handle those beats …” or something.

AS: But in fairness to you, that is the kind of thing where basically the second that your foot hits the can, you know that you shouldn’t do it. It’s not like you think it’s OK.

DP: It wasn’t planned. It was totally by surprise. Playing against Doyle Brunson three-handed in a H.O.R.S.E. tournament was pretty exciting. And going after my first bracelet … I just wanted to get heads up. I said to myself, “OK, if I get heads up, that will be my accomplishment. If I lose to Doyle Brunson at H.O.R.S.E., I mean, hey.”

DC: Good experience.

DP: Brian Haveson was really short-stacked. Doyle and I were the chip leaders when we started, and we were battling it out. It was a great final table; Scotty Nguyen, Bill Gazes, and Chip Jett were there. It was a pretty well-known final table. So, we went in, and I flopped a king-high flush in limit hold’em, three-handed. I just couldn’t believe it when the fourth card of the suit came, and [when I lost] I just exploded and took my cards and whipped them up in the air. I just stormed out; I didn’t even collect my money. Literally the first thing I saw was a garbage can that was knee-high, but the garbage was thigh-high.

DC: [Laughing] This was old Binion’s.

DP: No one ever dumped the garbage, and I literally kicked a 40-yard field goal with that thing.

AS: Now, in recent years, I think you’ve come a long way in controlling your anger.

DP: You get a little older, you get a little wiser. You don’t want to be known for that.

AS: The thing is, you’re an excellent player, with well over $2 million in tournament winnings, and sometimes that’s obscured by your momentary loss of control.

DP: Right. There are a lot of things I regret doing. Everyone has a boiling point, and some people’s comes earlier than other people’s. Some show it at home. And I’ve seen athletes get pretty [upset]. I understand it a little, but I may look like a fool.

DC: But your anger, also, is directed at yourself, not at other people, for the most part. It’s not that you’re abusing other players; you’re just frustrated.

DP: I’m mostly mad at myself, or if someone really ticked me off.

AS: Like Phil Hellmuth, sometimes people will push your buttons intentionally. You’ve done a good job of making your buttons less accessible, but I’ve seen that happen, too.

DP: I’ve been getting a little bit better with these things that, unfortunately, hurt me a few times. A lot of them didn’t get televised, and a lot of them are just hearsay. Nobody knows exactly what happened. Did I really say that? Sometimes a word slips out, and if nobody records it …

DC: Especially in the old days, the poker world was so much smaller that it was like a little sewing circle. Any gossip would immediately circulate everywhere.
DP: Exactly. Spade Suit

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