Hilarious Stories About the Notorious Viffer3 years ago
Poker players come in all shapes and sizes, but the vast majority are just like you and me – normal people who might be worth a line or two in a report somewhere but nothing extraordinary.
Even among the top players, there are those whose exploits you want to read about ( Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan) and those you’d live happily never knowing the details of their lives (Dan Harrington for example).
However some players – the likeable billionaire Bill Perkins, or the scuzzy Chino Rheem – are just crying out to be stories written for our entertainment. One such player is the high-stakes cash games king David ‘Viffer’ Peat, so here are a few tales from the Viffer crypt.
What’s in a name?
Texas Dolly, Action Dan, The Magician – all standard nicknames in the poker world, with fairly mundane backgrounds. I won’t bore you with them…but Viffer? Sounds a bit strange of course, and the reason behind it is less-than-wholesome, even by the standards of a poker site where we are all worldly-wise adults (hopefully!)
Many moons ago, young Mister Peat was playing pool with a lady friend at a party – but the pool cue ended up in a place it wasn’t really designed for! By mutual consent it has to be said – but when a friend walked in on the scene, the girl in question suddenly came over all shy and ran out saying:
"He just viffed me!”
Perhaps a word she made up or perhaps a phrase only shared in certain parts of the US, but in any event the name stuck. David ‘Viffer’ Peat was born amid drunken pool stick antics!
I’m a poker player not a drug dealer!
Most of us will have tried recreational drugs at some point in our lives – and some people more than others if you catch my drift! So when you add huge wads of cash into the mix, an expensive Rolex, and chatting on the phone in an airport departure lounge, you likely have more chance of being pulled up by the cops than most.
For Viffer it was $15,000 in banknotes and a $50,000 gold Rolex– and the cops were DEA from Detroit, who decided to confiscate the lot and hold Peat just long enough that he missed his flight and tournament!
"They played good cop, bad cop and I had about $15 000 cash in my pocket and the bad cop asked why I had so much money on me. I told him what I did and where I was going. They reluctantly let me board the plane.”
That's what Peat explained afterwards, but then revealed that the DEA guys changed their minds and pulled him from his flight before take-off!
Thinking that it might be an elaborate scam/robbery attempt, Viffer said:
"So I yell for someone to call the police… they come over and say I’m screwed and these guys are DEA.“
Pool shark? Only against Hellmuth!
Although not much of a pool player by his own admission, Peat is an inveterate gambler – and he doesn’t like small stakes wagers either! However when he does get action at the table, it’s usually the pool world’s biggest names who take him on – legends like Bustamante offering odds and various other extras to give Peat a fighting chance.
His only big ‘pool’ win, and a hilarious one at that, came in the High Stakes Poker television show. As Phil ‘Unabomber’ Laak recalls:
"I remember him being in a hand with Hellmuth. He had K-9 and Hellmuth had A-K. All the money went in, and when Hellmuth realized he lost, Viffer said, ‘Nine ball, corner pocket.’ He always came up with the burning needle. Viewers loved it and so did the show’s producers.”
Ask me anything!
Many of the top pros – those loud-mouthed media-hungry guys like Matusow and Hellmuth – suddenly clam up when questions are asked which they don’t like. Phil Hellmuth actually has an amazing way of not even hearing such questions!
Peat, on the other hand, has been very open and even started a thread about himself on 2+2. Self-promotion? Maybe, but it’s a gold-mine of personal and poker-related info, running to over 45 pages of questions, answers and troll comments.
“What's the worst beat u have taken in life/poker?” came the question.
"I’ve taken some pretty bad ones - I raised to 600 with 45 on the button, Brandon Adams re-raised to like 2500, I called. Flop 367…2 diamonds. Brandon bet 4k-ish, I raised to 11k-ish…he said I’m all in for 100k. I called. He had 2 black kings…I asked him to run it twice, he said "I can’t win," turn 3 river k gg my life!”
Viffer adds a few briefer beats he’s suffered:
" Sammy Farha one outed me for 650k, durrrr has never lost a pot to me, I have a small penis…man I have a lot of bad beats!”
Molly’s Game and Spiderman
When I wrote about the Hollywood screen adaptation of the best-selling book based on the private high-stakes poker parties hosted by Molly Bloom in New York City, I didn’t know who the top pros were who frequented them. Now I do – and ‘Viffer’ Peat was apparently the best of them all.
Mixing with celebrities like Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck would appeal to many people – being trained at taking their money off them at the same time would be like a dream come true!
Bluff magazine editor Kance Bradley explained the relationship very well in a GQ interview, stating:
"Sure, Viffer gets to tell people, 'I once played with Tobey Maguire,'" says Bradley. "But you've got to remember, for Tobey Maguire, it's like, "I get to say that I played with Viffer.'"
Of course, Viffer could expect to decimate most non-pro players in a cash game, but the maths prodigy is as astute as he is interesting. Bradley knows this and explained that there was no incentive to take the Hollywood brat-pack to the cleaners in one night. "You can skin a sheep only once; you can fleece it multiple times,” stated Bradley, and Viffer in cash games is the ultimate fleece-meister!
Fisticuffs at the Commerce!
There will always be poker players who hate each other or fall out – but it doesn’t often come to blows. The relationship between Peat and Shawn Sheikhan, however, has seen at least two bouts of violence!
Viffer has accused the unpopular Sheikhan of various things, adultery being one and alleging ‘assault’ against Peat’s own girlfriend being another. He even set up a website to denounce Sheikhan of the former.
Sheikhan, however, isn’t long on temper, and apparently dragged Peat from his seat at the table in the Commerce Casino in LA and started beating him up, a witness tweeting at the time:
"The Sheikh just had "Viffer" on the ground kicking and punching him here at Commerce."
So, the world is full of ordinary people and featureless poker pros – but I for one much prefer to have players like David ‘Viffer’ Peat in the limelight! Harrington can teach me strategy, Viffer can play me at pool – but I won’t be turning my back or the lights out, that’s for sure!
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