17 January 2008

Why I Never Finished My Brandi Hawbaker Interview

I saw IGGY's post last week about a new 2+2 thread on Brandi Hawbaker, and I've seen Waffles updating a Cliff's Notes version about the thread. Let me tell you about my own interactions with Brandi, whose phone number in my cell phone always causes me to stop and pause.

Like many, I was intrigued by all of the rigamoro on 2+2 over a year ago with this new girl on the scene. Her name was Brandi Hawbaker or Brandi Rose, she'd been the chipleader at a big Bellagio event only to crash and burn. When the strange 2+2 posts started, many authored by herself, it was hard to figure out if she was even a real person or some cyber-creation.

I was given her phone number and conducted an interview with her over the phone in May of last year. She'd escaped Vegas, she said, and wasn't sure exactly what would happen next. She proclaimed poker greatness, rattling off her stellar results that were to be found nowhere by me, telling me about dark people who had entered her life, about how she'd seen the light.

As I started to listen to the interview and transcribe it, I took my keys off the keyboard and simply listened to it once. I never typed it up and still have the tape here on my desk. Why? I simply didn't feel right about it. I assumed I knew where the truth was in her answers, where the grey area was, where the stretch lines in the truth were, but what was the point? Was there any redeeming value in any of this, to be honest?

Fast forward a couple of months. I'd read the posts about her tutelage under David Sklansky, had seen her at the Rio walking with him, introduced myself to her, gave her a hello every now and then when I would see her. I told her I'd had some problems with the interview and needed to sit down with her again, and she was nothing but nice and gracious to me. She played several events in the WSOP, including the heads-up tourney (see above, one of the first players out of the event--her chips on right).

I didn't know enough about her play and her training with Sklansky to have an opinion about whether the several times that she sat in the Amazon Room were worthwhile. Jennifer Harman had cashed once in the 2007 WSOP, and Brandi had her first cash in a $2k NLHE event. Was all of this lol-blonkaments anyways? Did all of the pot odds and changing gears and position and all of that, was all this one big luckbox anyways? Maybe she was some wunderkid in the mold of Anna or Annette.

The missing piece in all of this for me was that I'd never heard about all the hard work she'd put in, about all the online and live tourneys she'd played in preparation for these big buy-in events.

I never reached back out to Brandi, although I tried to help her as she had her health problem during one event (she'd headed off to the hospital and came back to nurse her stack, IV bandage still in her arm). Maybe I should have. Maybe I should now. Is there any redeeming value in picking apart lives who are more screwed up than your own? Obviously, a huge part of our country think there is (see Britney et al).

Maybe I'll transcribe that tape one day, listen to it again, or even just put it here for anyone to listen to. Maybe.


Blogger 5 said...

There is NEVER ANY REDEEMING VALUE TO PICK APART, DESTROY, AND MALCIOUSLY GOSSIP ABOUT ANOTHER'S LIFE "SCREWED UP OR NOT". If you only really knew this girl. She IS gracious, and kind. Loving, giving, and serving. Kind hearted and sensitive, but she's been forced to develop a thick skin by all the creeps out there bent on trying to bring her down. Words can hurt, or words can heal. And most of the creeps out there are bent on making sure this girl will hurt. Any wonder why she's "screwed up". You don't know her. Don't claim you do. Only makes you look like a fool. And yes, she put in a lot of hard work. She's always been a hard worker. Smart, bright, intelligent, and beautiful too. Why not speak some positive truths about this girl? Or doesn't that get you readers? <> <> <> <> <>

3:58 PM  
Blogger CC said...

5, I don't claim to know Brandi, as I tried to lay out in the couple of interactions I had with her. As I spoke first to her after she was out of Vegas, I hoped that she would be able to put the difficult things in her life behind her. She seems like a genuinely nice girl, and I hope she can escape the situations and individuals that bring her down. I hardly claim to know her and only wish her the best. If you know her, you can tell her there are many folks pulling for her.

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