Monkies, mavericks and a big TV

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Brad Willis reports on a PokerStars player who blows stuff up and has a keen eye for a good photo...

Captain Wes Deaver blows stuff up. He pilots one of the most famous aircraft in the world. He's flown more than 100 combat missions in Iraq. He's done two wartime tours of duty.

Captain Wes Deaver does not monkey around.

Except for when he does.

Born and raised in Bucyrus, Ohio, the sports nut joined the Marines during his junior year at Miami University. After graduation, he was accepted to Officer Candidate School, turned himself into a pilot, and began flying the AV-8B Harrier "jumpjet" (think Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies, but for real).

Known as AV8Pounder on PokerStars, Deaver had been hording his Frequent Player Points. "I had been saving up FPPs for quite a long time so I could get a large TV," he said. He had his sights set on a massive 63" HDTV.

He also has his sights set on a monkey (because, who doesn't love a monkey, right?). Fortunately for Deaver, PokerStars was offering a mischievous little monkey for 1,000 FPPs in the VIP Store. Turned out, there was a bit of a contest going on that involved getting the monkey to pose for some pictures.

"I always enjoy taking photos in the plane," Deaver told us, "I was excited about this promotion."

Deaver won the contest and 100,000 FPPs. With a picture like this, there's little questions why.

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"It is a view of the world that most people just don't get to experience," Deaver said, "and I like to be able to share that with family and friends."

And, apparently a monkey.

It almost didn't happen. Deaver was grounded for two months after tearing his MCL in a snowboarding mishap. The monkey arrived in time but it the pilot a while to get back in the place. Fortunately, he got back in the air just in time.


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Now, he has a flight-trained monkey and 100,000 FPPS to spend however he likes. The FPPS are going for a 63" Samsung. The monkey? Well, Deaver just became an uncle for the first time. He will get to see his niece this summer.

"I think I will give the monkey to her when I get to see her for the first time," Deaver said. "Maybe someday she will be a player on Pokerstars."

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Deaver landing aboard the USS Peleliu