Amadeus Plinksky is rightly considered one of the greats, if not the greatest, of endurance tiddly-winkers. Born in Portland, Oregon to a English-French father and an Armenian-Indian-Peruvian mother, Amadeus (known as Ama by close friends) was one of three children, his sisters becoming equally successful figures in their own fields of endeavour. Amadeus had already, at the age of 8, swept the boards as a champion kabbadi player, beat poet, raconteur, street-rapper and unorthodox probability mathematician when he discovered tiddly-winks. Legend has it that it was during a street-rapping contest in New York, on a walk-about, disillusioned with the ease of his victory, he came across the famous speed 'tiddlers' of Grand Central Station. Fascinated, he is said to have beaten every single one of the tiddlers that day, except for his last opponent, Mark 'Marky-Mark' Merkin, who was to become his life long friend and mentor.
Driven by an excess of passion Amadeus soon became a recognised household name, working his way up the rankings with a ruthlessness that both intimidated and destroyed his opponents. In 1984, at the mere age of 13, Amadeus Plinksky played Pious 'Gunshot' Griffin, a man thirty years his senior and holder of the Grandmaster (USA) title for 11 of the previous 12 years. In what Winking Monthly called 'a true Heinz moment' Plinksky demolished Gunshot, 'opening 57 varieties of whup-ass on the poor, beleageured man'. Distraught, Gunshot never played tiddlywinks again.
It was at this time that Plinksky transitioned to endurance tiddlywinks, a period that arguably heralded both his greatest time as an athlete, and his most controversial (indeed, the Plinksky family were no strangers to controversy, his sister Andromeda having been stripped of her four Cardsharp Las Vegas Gold Bracelets when it was discovered she hadn't cheated once in any of the tournaments).
Endurance tiddlywinks proved to be the defining discipline for Plinksky. He rapidly dominated the sport, punishing grandmasters from all over the world in breathless matches of extraordinary brilliance. Already renowned for his wayward and mercurial nature, Plinksky became an odd mix of arrogant bravado and withdrawn hermit. Regardless, he pushed harder and longer than anyone thought possible, feats of endurance that led to accusations of drugs use, genetic manipulation and demonic possession, charges that remain unproven to this day.
The only barrier to Plinksky's total dominance was the Russian Grandmaster Sergio Andreivich Tolstoi Rasputin (affectionately known as 'The Sausage' by his fans). They publicly and verbally sparred for five years, each seeking to undermine the other before committing to the final long avoided confrontation.
During this period Plinksky played exhibition matches; creating a world record for the number of simultaneous matches held (5031, all won), defeating IBM's Big Bun and MIT's Emmit supercomputers, as well as the much-loved match against Princess Diana (of the UK) which raised untold millions for her charities.
On March 27, 2001 Plinksky and the Sausage met for their one and only tournament. Consisting of three matches, the first lasted an epic 27 hours, 54 minutes and 12 seconds, with Plinksky shading it at the last. One week later they met again and this time the Sausage was victorious, trouncing his opponent with ease, a result that reportedly left the American shell-shocked and emotionally destitute.
The final confrontation was monumental and tense, with both men at the very top of their game, playing to their utmost abilities. Both played with a skill and imagination rarely seen outside of myth and legend. Controversially the match was abandoned when both men collapsed through exhaustion, just a little over six days into the game.
That final game was never resumed, Plinksky giving a terse fractured and incoherent press conference two days later, stumbling out of the press room in an emotional state. Rasputin the Sausage never recovered from the ordeal and was eventually hospitalised, his many devoted fans donating funds to ensure that he was well cared for until his eventual death in 2007.
Plinksky disappeared soon after the tournament, evaporating from the public eye with a determination reminiscent of his heyday. Claims occasionally surface of the grandmaster playing street 'winks' all over the world, winning his matches with audacious ease, before disappearing back into obscurity. Plinksky was a man of rare genius, the brilliance of his tiddling all too ephemeral, yet shining long in the memory of those who saw him play.