"My father was a military man," said Powers. "I was born in Houston, but my family base is really Colorado Springs." He now lives in Reno while also spending time in California.
His final table in the 2004 $5k LH event included TJ Cloutier, David Chiu, An Tran, and bracelet winner John Hennigan. Powers busted out in 7th, taking home $40,040 in the process. But it was the Hannigan's big payday of $325k that he was after.
His quotes are legendary. "I raise in the dark! It's my right!" And this classic: "HE CALLED ME WITH A JACK HIGH! He said I was disrespecting the game and then he called me with a jack high!" As McManus tilted, the television ate up Powers much to the amusement of Hennigan, Chiu, and others at the table.
Ellix became easily recognizable, but that doesn't necessarily lead to success. "I got a lot of attention, but that doesn't mean much sometimes," he said. "Some people have backed me because of it, but I haven't hit it big. A lot of great players are broke, more than you would think. I've done better than some because I don't do make-up, but I still need that one big hit."
His cashes since 2004 reflect the paucity of results on the tournament poker scene: 1st for $10,475 in June 2004, 15th for $1,625 in August 2005, 9th for $1,315 in July 2006 at the Orleans. A tough existence for a proud man.
He's tried a variety of things to capitalize on his poker skills and recognition. "I tried to run a poker school, but my partner and I didn't work it out. I've also been working on a documentary about the raw life of poker. We've been working on it for over two years and have over 300 hours of film that we've edited down to 1 ½ hours. It just needs to be tightened up a bit."
Ellix is here at the World Series of Poker trying to find that one big score that can pull him up. "I'm hustling, moving around a lot. I have my room paid for thirty days, but my bankroll's not too good. I'm hoping to make some connections, because it's really all about networking."
I'll check in with Ellix Powers throughout the World Series to see how successful he is in finding some funds to gain entry into events, as well as get a deeper understanding of who he is.