“It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma!” – Joe Pesci as David Ferrie in JFK
Readers of this blog are likely familiar with Tony Bigcharles
a.k.a. TBC, sevencard2003 and likely a host of profane nicknames given by denizens of poker rooms across the United States who have, at one time or another, witnessed the “TBC Experience” – the wacky talk, A-K shoves and crazy meltdowns. Comments in Tony’s blog have skyrocketed over the past few weeks as it looks like the TBC saga, as we know it, may be quickly drawing to a close.
A quick primer for those unfamiliar with Tony … Tony is in his mid-forties, single and lives in Las Vegas or other towns with casinos that feature poker rooms and most importantly, video blackjack, or VBJ, machines. Tony has told the world that he has been diagnosed as being somewhere on the autism spectrum, which is undoubtedly true. Think Asperger’s syndrome mixed with anxiety, fear, paranoia and racist and conservative political rants and you have TBC. His background and upbringing are well chronicled in cyberspace, the most significant of which are a family, including a mother and a son who live in Kansas, fundamentalist Christian and ultra-conservative viewpoints and a history of panhandling and homelessness. Tony has been surviving for several years by playing poker in Las Vegas and occasionally other cities, moving mostly from casino hotel to casino hotel using the comps he earns by his VBJ habit to absorb all or most of the costs of his housing and food.
However, things have recently taken a turn for the worse for Tony. His “roll” – or sockroll as some people call it (money purportedly hidden and carried in a sock), and in reality close to his net worth – has gone down from over $6000 to just above $1000 over the past few months, largely due to Tony’s inability to handle the frustration of losing, causing him to chase good money after bad. A losing poker session of a couple hundred dollars was likely to ignite a VBJ session where the losses were much more severe.
Now, however, Tony is trapped. His roll has gotten so low that he has virtually no money available to risk playing poker. Additionally, no money for VBJ
Those who have met Tony know that he is somewhat different than he appears through his online blog. He does not come off like a nasty person, but seems to be friendlier than one would expect. He appears to be more of a sympathetic, misplaced person than some type of egregious miscreant.
But … the big question is, what now? Many of us who know Tony would like to help, but how to do that is the question. Throwing money his way only enables him to continue his unproductive lifestyle. He rebuffs efforts to assist him in receiving psychological assistance. He comes up with excuse after excuse after excuse as to why he can’t/won’t get a job. His expectations for jobs, relationships and almost anything are not realistic. He feels trapped, and rightly so. He is his own worst enemy.
This drama is getting ready to move on to a new act. I am not sure where TBC is heading, but I can almost guarantee that once you start watching, it is difficult to turn away. Many people who have tried to assist TBC are keeping apprised of the situation, but are fearful of what might happen. If we are fearful, imagine what Tony must be thinking. The sad thing is, only he can turn things around for himself, and the gambling aficionados who follow his blog would likely see betting on his success as a –EV proposition.