You Rheem What You Sow
Aug. 18, 2011, Posted by Pokerfarm
Last month, we brought you an in-depth account of David "Chino" Rheem's unique approach to poker: 1) borrow money 2) play cards 3) don't pay money back.
With Chino very much the man of the hour (in the same way swine flu was the disease of 2009), the number of stories of getting "Rheemed" has grown faster than the waiting list Guy Laliberté's poker table.
Canadian pro Will Molson came forward to recount how Chino took him for $40k at the EPT London in 2010. Molson agreed to lend Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi and Chino "The Scumbag" Rheem $20k each to allow them to buy in to the tournament. Due to a processing error, Rheem and Mizrachi each received $40k from Molson. Mizrachi, a well respected player, promptly repaid the $40k, but Chino, despite cashing in the tournament for north of $150k, was less forthcoming. After weeks of goose-chasing, Chino finally got in contact with Molson to let him know the money was gone. Like a well-fitting pair of GAP trousers: classic Chino.
Next out of the woodpile was Tom "durrrr" Dwan who testified to being owed "$$" from the halcyon days following Chino's original WPT win. Joseph "subiime" Cheong also pitched in that he was scammed by Chino for $40k, adding, "First of all, he's a very charming, nice guy. Second of all if he ever won the lottery for $10mil, I guarantee he will pay everyone back." Cheong's message proved prophetic; less than three days after those words were posted, Rheem won the inaugural $20k buy-in Epic Poker League for a cool million bucks.
In a move that will surprise some, Chino immediately repaid his debt of $6k to pro Ben Lamb, whose public tweet over the scam prompted the original maelstrom of Chino stories.
The bad news is that between taxes, any action Chino had sold, and the gargantuan size of his debts, this latest win won't see everyone getting their money back.
The good news, at least if Lamb is to be believed, is that Chino's creditors can expect at least partial payment. (Why Lamb was singled out for full, immediate repayment is undisclosed. Presumably, it's because he complained the loudest.)
Reading The Ballad of Chino Rheem and in the wake of the Jose Macedo debacle, it's impossible not to marvel at the way money is moved around in the professional poker world. Bear in mind, in addition to claims of getting Rheemed from credible pro players, there are a myriad of similar stories from less well-known accounts. If even a fraction turn out to be true, Chino has embarked on a scamming spree such brazen and unashamed proportions as to generate a kind of breathless awe. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you. Fool me a dozen times, shame on you. But fool me relentlessly over a period of years, with a scam as simple as borrowing money and not paying it back, and one has to wonder at what point lending Rheem money crosses the line from "unfortunate" to "foolish".
Joseph Cheong posted, "The poker world is full of borrowing and lending money, so when a well-known player comes to you with believable collateral, it's hard not to lend money."
I may never win the WSOP. I may never ship pots bigger than most people's salaries. I may never (and I have to force my fingers to type this) be a baller. But at least, despite all my failings, my not-lending-money-to-Chino-Rheem skills are second to none. And yes, Cheong, if you're reading this, I do provide coaching.