Valentino Khan doesn’t play poker. In fact, he doesn’t even know how he got roped into hosting the Texas Hold Em’ Tournament happening on February’s Holy Ship sailing. His friends may be out exploring the sunny streets of Nassau, enjoying lunch on the water, and practicing the Australian art of taking Shoey’s with Cut Snake (another artist-led event happening that same afternoon) but now that Khan’s committed to the game, he wants to win.
The tournament participants who playfully interrupt our interview to remind him that they are after the $100 bounty on his head aren’t enough to shake him either. “I’ve been suckering them into being a little more aggressive. I convince them that I have a good hand, you know, just baiting them so they’ll throw more fucking money down, and that’s my strategy,” Khan says. “The only reason I’m in this now is for the human psychology part of the game.” Khans label-mate and homie AC Slater comes by to give him a high five, and the two have a good laugh when he reveals he’s knocked three guys out of the table despite his minimal experience playing Texas Hold Em’.