Saw Randall Emmett playing on LATB last night, I guess he also played on a $25K SNG for Poker After Dark, and is playing in another game in the future. I shared some of my thoughts on this guy in the Slack chat, but decided to create a blog post since the storyline is rather lengthy, and he's in the LA area, and therefore might be someone people come across.
In 2008 the state of MI introduced a Film Stimulus, which basically gave studios tax-free incentive to make movies in Michigan. A ton of movies got made here until the Stimulus was lifted 4 or 5 years ago. Grand Rapids was especially a hotbed b/c things were cheap and there is a lot of space downtown for movie scenes.
Into town came Randall Emmett, who was making the film "Setup" with Bruce Willis and 50 Cent around 2010. Being a degenerative poker player, and with no major casinos close to GR, he ended up playing in the charity poker room that ran the biggest games at the time.
From the jump he was a tremendous asshole. Talked big and bold about all his accomplishments (there were few), his business relationship with 50 Cent (who went broke), and the awesome movie he was making (which tanked). But he was also tremendous action, and people put up with him dumping on us poor, stupid Midwesterners. I myself benefitted greatly from his presence over the course of a few months.
Now, this guy does talk a huge game, but I believe he has money, or at least access to it. And he of course is known in the LA home game scene, because, duh. So he would get drunk and call Phil Helmuth on speaker phone to prove he knew him, and one time Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak actually flew into town for a poker appearance at a Traverse City casino, but they stopped and played in GR with Randall and some locals first.
During this time Randall was losing, but nothing too strange was going on. He might've borrowed small sums of $$$ here or there but was paying things back eventually. Then Bruce Willis came to town to shoot some scenes for the movie, and The Producer organized a huge home game that included Willis. Bruce sucked, but I guess he won something north of $30K in the home game, and from what I was told (wasn't invited) Randall had also won.
Willis' scenes were some of the last for the film, so as they wrapped, The Producer wanted to play big again at the home of one of the dealers for the charity room. Game was formed, and he got destroyed, but he only showed up with 1 buy-in, and he bullied the guys running the game to let him play on their credit. To keep the game going, and because it was well known that The Producer had just booked a huge win in the Bruce Willis game, they agreed. That home game ended, The Producer got smoked, and he left owing the house about $15-$20K.
And just like that, poof. Dude flew back to LA and left the bill behind. Didn't respond to texts, made no effort to make amends. I think he probably didn't have that $$$ liquid right then, but easily could've set up payments if he cared. He clearly didn't care. His asshole buffoonery and trash talking of us "hicks" as he liked to say made it painfully obvious he had shown up to that final home game intent on freerolling everyone.
Fuck that guy. I'm sure he still gets invites everywhere, and can't stiff "known" people in the community, but if he's producing in a place where he doesn't play often, I wouldn't be surprised to hear something like this happen again.