Colson Whitehead: Novelist, Essayist, Professional Poker Player

Showing-off his poker face

Bill Simmons’ Grantland, the new site by ESPN’s most popular sports writer, has already racked up some impressive bylines since its launch in June: Chuck Klosterman and Molly Lambert have written stories and Dave Eggers and Malcom Gladwell are consulting editors. We just found out that one of our favorite novelists, Colson Whitehead, will be playing in the World Series of Poker, which is broadcast on ESPN, for an upcoming piece in the sports and pop culture journal. Mr. Whitehead has even started a tumblr, “Poker as Entropic Process,” to try and gain sponsorship:

If you’ve seen the tournament on ESPN, you know that all the real players wear the names of sponsors on their sweatshirts and caps and T-shirts.

I want to blend in, so I am now accepting sponsors. There are two tiers of sponsorship.
In the Premium “God’s Chosen” Sponsorship Level, I will wear your name, enterprise, slogan, or credo on my shirt for $11.25. There are three slots open.

In the Hoi Polloi Sponsorship Level, you can purchase one of 10 Commemorative Signature Bracelets. They will be green or orange in color, I haven’t decided which. On the outside, they will bear the slogan KEEP WINNING HANDS. This will “buck you up” when you need it, an imperative, a prayer, or simple statement of fact, depending. On the inner part of the bracelet, where no one can see, they will read STILL SAD INSIDE. This will remind you of the truth. They will be sold for $4.95.

Mr. Whitehead’s full request can be read here.

Hey, novelists are serious, sensitive, solitary artistes. Being “sad inside” makes for a good poker face, we’re sure.

Colson Whitehead: Novelist, Essayist, Professional Poker Player