Death Metal Poker is All the Rage in Sweden

:: snake

Charlotte_churchPic_mbOther than Charlotte Church and Celine Dion (her early stuff), it’s no secret that my favorite kind of music is Scandinavian death metal. I mean, when it comes to demons and decibels, nothing quite does the trick for me like the hard stuff from places like Gothenburg and Roskilde. So while surfing around the website of my favorite Scandi-metalheads, Dark Tranquillity, I came across some exciting news: Dark Tranquillity’s Martin Br√§ndstr√∂m, who we all know for his wicked chops on “electronics” and seen in the pic here (the black + white one), has gotten a gig as a poker writer for Sweden’s Poker Magazine.

Here’s what he told all us “metallers”:

As you all know, the game of poker has had a huge upswing the last years. Some of us in the band have picked up the habit . . . In the light of this I have hustled myself a column in Sweden’s Poker Magazine. I’ll contribute regularly, telling you about our endeavours both as hard working metallers and as compulsive gamblers. The first column, about the escapades at President Casino, Biloxi (since then completely destroyed by the hurricane Katrina), is printed in this month’s issue which goes on sale tomorrow, so be sure to pick it up!

Well, I just called up my local Borders and they told me they’ve never heard of Sweden’s Poker Magazine, and get this, they don’t even have the quintessential Dark Tranquillity release, Enter Suicidal Angels. And to top it off, they didn’t even know Charlotte Church was planning to write a “Good Sex” book. What a joke. I’m so utterly disappointed.

Tat_mickeAlright, so I’m not really a death metal fan, and I’ve never heard of Dark Tranquillity before (do you like my tattoo though?).

And believe it or not, I’m not even a Celine Dion and Charlotte Church fan either. Well, it’s not that I don’t particularly like them. It’s just that I’m actually allergic to their music, kind of like a peanut allergy; one taste of a note from that skinny, self-centered French-Canadian chick or the pleasantly plump voice of an angel and I start to barf uncontrollably while screaming something about the devil. You know, much like how I imagine a Dark Tranquillity song sounds.

But it is true that metalhead Br√§ndstr√∂m is writing for a poker magazine in Sweden, and that is what’s really disappointing here.

First, it unfortunately continues the trend of poker magazines using ‘celebs’ as their writers, and let’s just say, without naming names, that not everyone who plays poker is Michael Kaplan when it comes to that writin’ stuff. I mean, I have to say I’m a little scared to read about Br√§ndstr√∂m and his bandmates’ “escapades” in Biloxi after reading lyrics such as “hallow minds start to burn with the flaming shades of fall / let disorder arise! / a revenge to be brought to the ones who graveled earth / hides now cloaked in disguise.” But perhaps all that dark stuff is a front because in his website missive, he does use words like “upswing,” “endeavours,” and “escapades,” and those words don’t scare me; in fact, it’s hard to reconcile the way he looks in the pic and his quote about poker. From his pic alone, I was expecting something more like: “enthroned through this age of Donkeys / the weakness of King Jack since aeons emerged / creating Suck-Outs in fetters from cradle to grave / busted out and on the rail with mankind enslaved.”

Rachel_1The second thing I don’t like about this is that Br√§ndstr√∂m’s poker penchant merely perpetuates this ugly trend of the fugly who both rock and play cards. Dave “I’m F-ing Carmen Electra” Navarro, Gene “Who the hell hasn’t F-d Carmen Electra?” Simmons, Chad “Shakespeare” Kroeger, Vince “VD” Neil and now, Martin “Suicide Angel” Br√§ndstr√∂m are just a few of the rockers apparently amped on poker.

And why are they drawn to cards, chips and more?

Well I have a theory that I call the Ric-Paulina Big Bang Theory which goes back to when Ric Ocasek first started banging swimsuit model Paulina Porizkovakalowksi (may be off on the spelling there). At that precise moment, the stars realigned and fugly rockers everywhere began attracting the celestial bodies of gorgeous supermodels and actresses. Just consider Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter (and the new girl he’s got), Justin Timberlake (well he doesn’t rawk but he’s fugly) and Cameron Diaz, Royston Langdon and Liv Tyler, Steven Tyler and anyone he is with, Mick Jagger and Jade Jagger (oh wait, Jade’s his daughter) and the list goes on. So, my theory goes, now that hotties like Shannon Elizabeth, Carmen Electra, Katherine Heigl, Caprice, Estella Warren and others are playing poker regularly, some reverse gravitational pull is going on that is somehow based on the foundation of the Ric-Paulina Big Bang Theory, but in this case the gorgeous are attracting the fugsters of rock over to the poker universe.

Hmm, actually . . . there isn’t really anything scientific about that is there? Guys going where the hot chicks are? Kind of fundamental.

So anyway, we’ll try to keep posted of Br√§ndstr√∂m’s poker bits as they publish and report them here . . . in Swedish of course . . . because I’m sure that would be way more entertaining than reading what he has to say about poker in English.



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