PCA 2015: Ole Schemion’s Balloon

January 11, 2015

I’m not happy with Ole Schemion, and I don’t care who knows it.

The Season 10 European Poker Tour Player of the Year needs a course in…in…I don’t know what. But he needs one. And he needs it right now.

Let’s just get into it, okay?

For the past several days, Schemion has been sitting at the table, quietly amassing a stack, and doing the whole “Ole Gonna Ole” thing.

But that’s not it.

No, it’s the other thing. I’d give it a name, but I can’t, because he won’t. Here.

Just look.

8G2A2896_PCA2015_Ole_Schemion_Neil Stoddart.jpg

That’s Ole’s Balloon. It’s yellow. It looks a little bit like a one-eyed bird, if birds were soft, looked like two footballs shoved together, and enjoyed being fondled by a hairy German.

Last year, Schemion showed up here with a skateboard. He brought it with him every day. It was peculiar, but not necessarily crazy. Atlantis is a big place, and private transportation is hard to come by.

But this damned balloon…

Francine Watson is one of the top dogs on the TV crew. “I had somebody ask him about it,” she said. “He said it means ‘nothing.'”

“Must be a nihilist,” I said.

See, it’s literally my job to check into things like this. It’s not like it’s vital to the tournament, but everyone who sees the little inflated menace is curious. It’s worth at least checking in to make sure it wasn’t, like, his only childhood friend, rescued from his mother’s basement, reunited in childish love with a promise to never part again (this is actually a plot ripped directly from the children’s show Phineas and Ferb and a character named Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, a name I’m now privately using to refer to Ole).

Schemion presses the balloon against the table with his nearly bare chest. He caresses the little nubbin on its half-a-face. Is it a beak? Is it a nipple? It’s impossible to say because Potentially-Nihlist Ole Doofenshmitz won’t say.

I approached him at the last break. Here is a rough transcript of our conversation.

Me: Can I ask you about the balloon?

Schemion: (silent side-eye).

Me: Can you tell me why you have it?

Schemion: No special reason.

Me: Does it have a name?

Schemion: No.

Me: Are you going to pop it if you bust?

Schemion: I don’t know yet.

And that’s it. That’s all I got out of him.

Listen, I’m the last guy to call a guy out for public displays of affection on an inanimate object. If Ole Schemion wants to parade around in front of the cameras performing some hot Guy-On-Balloon-Bird action, more power to him.

8G2A2250_PCA2015_Ole_Schemion_Neil Stoddart.jpg

But this Unnecessarily Mysterious Watch Me Finger My Balloon Nubbin But Don’t Ask Me About It Thing, well, that’s the kind of thing I just can’t abide. I can’t do my work. Ride in on your skateboard if you like, Ole. It has implicit meaning we can all understand. The Balloon, it just has everybody guessing.

Which I suppose is just how he likes it, isn’t it? He could have aces. He could have deuces. He could have a balloon.

So, maybe it’s just me. Maybe this righteous rage will pass. Maybe everybody will be carrying a balloon around at the next tournament. Then everybody can say, “Brad, you were so, so wrong about Ole’s balloon.”

Until then, well, we can only hope that whoever eventually busts Schemion will lean over and pop the damned thing.

Oh, who am I kidding? He’s probably going to win this tourney like he wins everything else.

I’ll give you 2-1 he puts the champion’s SLYDE watch on the balloon.

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