Something Rotten in Denmark: It’s Poker Writer Thomas Somach

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Controversial, caustic but a popular read: poker writer and special contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, Thomas Somach, may be the most hated man in all of Denmark these days, more hated than.....well....nobody is more hated than Thomas Somach right now.

What did he do to offend the Danes?

In an article putting down Danish poker pro Gus "The Great Dane" Hansen, Somach also manage to offend an entire country by mocking one of its prized landmarks, The little Mermaid sitting at Langelinie in Copenhagen, referring to it as a "stupid mermaid statue".

Somach mostly blasted Hansen and his ego.

"If you're not aware that he is Danish, you might think his nickname "The Great Dane" refers to a dog."

Somach drew plenty of comments - everything from "Fire him!" to "He better not come to Denmark."

Well, we can't fire Tom...he doesn't work for us. He's a contributing writer and has his own poker related website Somach is a popular read at

But Danes should be able to take Somach's remarks. After all, it was Denmark that featured that brought us The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. Some critics of the cartoons described them as Islamophobic or racist, and argued that they are blasphemous to people of the Muslim faith, are intended to humiliate a Danish minority, or are a manifestation of ignorance about the history of Western imperialism.

Oh, and many Muslims the world over cried "Off with the cartoonist' head!" much the same as the Danes want off with Somach's head.

In defense of Denmark, the nation has much more going for it than that mermaid statue and pastries (as Somach claims). For young people, the legal age for drinking alcohol is...none....they don't have one....Hence the reason young Swedes love Denmark.

To buy and drink alcohol in bars you need to be 18, however there is no drinking age outside the bars, and an adult can buy alcohol for you. By tradition youths are privately allowed to drink alcohol after their confirmation.

"I Fart!" means the elevator is in use, and "Pis mig i øret!" doesn't indicate where the rest room is, it's the proper way to thank someone.

To be certain, Denmark is a beautiful country some of us here (with money) plan on visiting real soon, and the people are nice as well. They also are among the most prolific (and successful) gamblers online, which might explain why they have some good poker players.

And what would we have done without Hans Christian Andersen? He wrote "The Little Mermaid". Tom neglected to mention that he was born in Denmark. By the way, the Danes mostly have no clue what a danish (pastry) is.

And - hey Tom - Denmark also developed the lego bricks you used to play with as a kid.

Anyway, Thomas Somach's opinion does not necessarily reflect the views of this website. But people do enjoy reading him...and a little stirring the pot doesn't hurt once in a while.


Payton O'Brien,