I don’t remember where I first met American Carter Gill. It had to be during Season 2 of the APPT, in 2008. At the time Carter was a brash, swaggering American kid who was (if you’ll pardon the antiquity of the expression), “cruisin’ for a bruisin'”.
To give the 2008 Carter Gill some context, I’ve never been thrown out of a bar in my life – except for one week in Sydney when I was thrown out of two. Both times Carter was with our party. One of those times he left with half his shirt after a scuffle with a bouncer. Suffice it to say, spending time with 2008 Carter Gill was always an exercise in patience, fun and hilarity. And isn’t that a nice little metaphor for poker itself?
Carter’s had a small amount of success on PokerStars, going all the way back to 2007 when he took down a $109 tournament for $8,250. Since then he’s added more than $700,000 in tournament winnings on PokerStars to his poker resume (and, by his own admission, another $1.3 million online overall). He’s also had some success in the live tournament arena. His best individual results, oddly enough, have both come at the WSOP, where he has two final tables: a 3rd-place finish in a $2,000 NLHE event in 2008, and a 4th-place finish last year in the $2,500 Pot-Limit HA. Last year’s final table took place a few weeks before he was banned from all Caesars properties. I never did hear the full, true story of what happened. All I know is that after his Day 1 flight of the WSOP Main Event, he was banned from all Caesars properties for throwing a woman’s clothes out his hotel window. (Caesars recently rescinded the ban.)
There was a time when Carter’s face was popping up all over the world: the NAPT, the EPT, the LAPT and of course the APPT. But we didn’t see much of Carter during 2011. Since Black Friday, he relocated to southeast Asia. He currently makes his home in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, a country with a phenomenally cheap cost of living for a Westerner like Carter. He spends his time playing in some crazy cash games and tournaments in and around Cambodia, and executing whatever hare-brained idea happens to pop into his head. Most recently, Carter offered to do a shot of whiskey for every new twitter follower he received during a specified time period. The number was double digits, but Carter dutifully poured the requisite shots – and took video of himself drinking them.
Here in Cebu he’s off to a good start. He came in a few days early with his Cambodian girlfriend to enjoy some rest and relaxation at the Shangri-La Mactan. His hair is short and he’s dropped a number of pounds that he had acquired from a lifestyle of heavy drinking and partying. He seems to have shrugged off the worst of his sometimes self-destructive tendencies for a more sedate (for Carter at least) lifestyle. In short, he looks good and could be one to watch here in Cebu — as long as he doesn’t start lining up whiskey shots.