5 Poker Players Who Have Fallen from Limelight
Below are a few of those players who rose to stardom in an instant but have fallen out of the limelight just as quickly.
For a time, Clonie Gowen was one of the most popular female poker players in the game.
A former teen beauty queen Gowen was famous for both her good looks and her solid skills at the poker table.
Gowen first rose to poker stardom after winning the 2003 WPT Ladies Night Event. Over the next few years she stayed in the poker spotlight primarily due to her association with Full Tilt Poker.
Full Tilt promoted Gowen extensively and she appeared on many of its programs, including Poker After Dark.
Gowen's largest live tournament score came in 2008 when she won the Bellagio Cup IV Main Event in Las Vegas, good for $437,775. Three months later she won the Gold Strike Poker Open Main Event for $193,224.
Gowen's most profitable year was 2008 where she earned $927,201. She has $1.63 million in lifetime earnings, good for 13th on the women's all-time money list.
In November 2008, Gowen filed a lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker for $40 million, claiming Breach of Contract, Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Unjust Enrichment and Fraud.
Gowen was suing over a 1% ownership share she promised in exchange for the use of her likeness. That lawsuit was originally dismissed but an appeals court reinstated the lawsuit in June 2011.
By this time, Black Friday had already occurred and Full Tilt was all but broke. No update has been released on this lawsuit since that time.
Gowen last cashed in a live poker tournament at the 2009 Aussie Millions when she finished 32nd in the Main Event.
One has to assume that without the backing of Full Tilt, she simply either didn't have the bankroll or didn't have the desire to continue playing professionally.
It's hard to believe but it was 2004 when the screaming Swede Mattias Andersson made the final table of the World Series of Poker.
While he played fantastic poker he is more remembered for his antics in the event than for his run.
Andersson finished 8th in the 2004 Main Event for $575,000 but his antics would spur those of many other poker players looking to get air time. One of those players is also on this list.
After his run in the 2004 WSOP Andersson was never able to come close to the same success. His best score was in the 2008 Bellagio Cup IV where he finished 24th for $38,785.
Since then he's had a handful of live cashes with none exceeding $3,000. Very little is known about his day-to-day activities but it appears his time in the limelight has passed.
From 2005 to 2007 Bill Edler was one of the hottest tournament players in the game.
After earning a WSOP circuit ring at the Tunica MS circuit stop in 2006 he went on to finish fifth in the $1,000 Stud 8 or Better Event at the World Series of Poker.
In 2007 Edler had his breakout year. He started the year by winning the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship in Compton, CA and followed that up with a pair of WPT final tables at Bay 101 and the L.A. Poker Classic.
At the 2007 World Series of Poker Edler took down the $5,000 NL Six-Max Event for his first career bracelet and $904,672 in prize money.
A couple of months later Edler won the WPT Gulf Coast Poker Championship in Biloxi, MS for $747,615 and his first WPT title.
Edler finished 2007 with $2.7 million in earnings, earning the Bluff Player of the Year title.
In a three-year span, Edler had won over $3.36 million and was one of the most respected tournament players in the game. Then 2008 came along, and nothing. Edler failed to cash in a single event that year. In 2008, he only cashed for $42,995. In 2010, he made only $10,865 in tournaments.
His last cash listed on his poker resume came in 2011 when he finished fourth in the Heads-Up Event at the Southern Poker Championship in Biloxi, MS.
Nothing else was heard about Edler until 2013 when it was announced that he was one of 34 players inducted in FBI raids on underground poker games tied to Russian organized crime.
Edler's role was considered minor as he was a sportsbetting sharp for baseball. He eventually entered into a deferred prosecution agreement in May 2014 that allowed him to avoid jail time.
Since there has been no mention of Edler since that time, it can be assumed he is meeting the terms of his agreement. However, it appears his poker playing days are over.
If one word was to describe a poker player, the word for Hevad Khan would be BULLDOZER!
By the time the 2007 World Series of Poker rolled around the event had become a spectacle of poker and comedic antics performed by players looking for airtime on ESPN.
The more outlandish the antics, the more ESPN seemed to love it. Enter Hevad Khan.
Khan's celebrations were over-the-top to say the least. From his consistent chanting of BULLDOZER whenever he won a pot to dancing with a chair on national TV, he took the art of excessive celebration to another level.
To say that Caesars was embarrassed over the antics is an understatement. Khan's antics forced what is known as the "Hevad Khan rule" for excessive celebrations.
For a few years following the 2007 WSOP rules were strictly enforced over any type of excessive celebration. Eventually these restrictions were lessened when fans started to complain that ESPN broadcasts were getting stale.
Sadly, Khan's antics have overshadowed what was a great run in poker. At the 2007 WSOP Main Event Khan made the final table and finished sixth for $956,243.
In 2008, Khan took down a $2k preliminary at the Foxwood Poker Classic for $108,187 and later that year won the $10,000 Caesars Palace Classic for $1 million.
Khan came into the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and took down a $2k NL Event for $200,000.
He was seen at other events in 2009 a bit heavier and with a distinctively different demeanor than in the past. He remained relatively quiet during the events and seemed to not enjoy what he was doing.
Khan cashed twice in the 2009 WSOP and has not cashed since. There have been rumors of his playing on different online sites but nothing that's verifiable.
Over a three-year span, Hevad Khan earned $2.54 million. Why he left the game is anyone's guess but we assume he is "bulldozing" his way through his current life's endeavor.
Ellix Powers was the "homeless guy" that made the final table of the $5,000 Limit Hold'em Event at the 2004 World Series of Poker. He eventually finished seventh for $40,040 but not before the infamous "he called me with jack-high" hand against Jim McManus.
For those that don't know the history of Ellix Powers, he is a Limit poker expert from the Los Angeles area.
The 2004 WSOP proved to be the highlight of his career in terms of cashes. Directly after the series he took down a Limit Hold'em Event in Reno for $10,000 but that would prove to be the last 5-figure score of his career.
Over the next few years Powers could be found in the Las Vegas and Los Angeles areas playing in low-limit Limit Hold'em tournaments.
Sadly, Powers' prowess in poker did not extend past Limit poker and as those tournaments began to be phased out, so was Powers as a player. When he's been spotted in recent years many times he doesn't even have the buy-in for a simple cash game.
His last cash was in a $235 Limit Event at Legends of Poker in Los Angeles where he made the final table.
Unfortunately, Ellix Powers is a throwback to the old school days that was never able to adapt to the modern game and has been subsequently phased out of the game.