Winners, Losers, Coinflips (January 2011)

Breaking down the month’s movers and shakers into bite-size chunks

by , Jan 31, 2011 | 1:40 pm

The format that seemed to work so well in describing the action at the 2010 WSOP November Nine is going to get the full treatment now (and because I think the daggers that Dan has been sending me with his eyes have finally worked and I need to write something.)

A word about the “scoring system”: This year I want to keep track of how well (or poorly) a player is doing in a given year. +1 point for being a winner, -1 for being a loser, -3 if you have the misfortunate of winning my Screw You award, +3 for being my Player of the Month, and nothing for getting a coinflip. That’s what happens when you have a 50/50 chance. In the long run you just break even.

Winners

  • Daniel Negreanu (1): My feelings about the All-time Money List aside, Daniel has hit the ground running in 2011 with his second place finish in the $100k Super High Roller 6-table SnG at the PCA. Pocketing a cool million a few days into the year has got to make you feel good.
  • Erik Seidel (1): Sure, it’s aided by a $2.5 million score in an obscene $250,000 buy-in event, but Seidel won even more money than Daniel, $3.4 million for the month of January.
  • Hendon Mob (1): For acknowledging the All-Time Money List is kind of turning into a farce and doing something about it by having options to remove Super High Roller SnGs and restricted tournaments.

Losers

  • Viktor Blom (-1): If this guy actually owes $149 MILLION dollars to Swedish tax authorities, it will be safe to say that signing with Pokerstars was the worst thing to happen in his life. Going 2-1 in his Superstar Showdowns isn’t gonna be enough to cover that bill.
  • Prahlad Friedman (-1): A man has got to pay the bills, I’m not going to get into a “is he a sellout?” conversation. That said, the fact that the forums and media are ablaze about his decision to join UB is probably not a good sign for him. His “brand” is likely to have taken a hit and his words about not joining the man have certainly come back to haunt him.
  • The All-Time Money List (-1): Pretty much everyone has been dumping on this lately with the increase in buy-ins reaching astronomically stupid levels. Hendon Mob addressed this and that’s why they are one of the winners, but the list itself still seems like a wasted statistic.

Coinflips

  • Annie Duke/Jeffery Pollack: I like the idea of a new Professional Poker League, but I am soooooo skeptical as to whether they can even pull it off. Also, not letting online play count in your formula looks to me more like laziness than anything else, and removes any player that is in the current generation of contenders.
  • Phil Hellmuth: For someone that’s got to be the biggest free agent in poker by a country mile, his lack of a sponsorship had better be a calculated decision. Or its just that Phil isn’t as marketable as people thought? OK…that’s a stretch.
  • Results from the Bluff Reader’s Choice Awards: Congratulations are in order for The Poker Beat winning its second consecutive RCA, this time in the “Best Web Based Poker Show” category. Still, would be nice to have Pokerati win Best Poker Blog and Cardrunners win Best Poker Resource. Ah well, there is always next year.

The “Eff You, Sir/Madam” Award


Every month there is bound to be at least one player/entity/whatever that deserves special mention for being an idiot for a particular month. It doesn’t have to be rational, its likely to get some flak, and is going to definitely almost always be a mindless rant. So without further adieu, the winner (loser?) is:

  • Russ Hamilton (-3…not including negative karma): This month, I’m going for the low hanging fruit and giving this to Russ Hamilton. In fact, I’m tempted to name the award after him. He made the news earlier this month for flying off the handle at a Florida poker room as he was getting jeered about how bad he was when he couldn’t see the hole cards. He then proceeded to call his opponents “fucking dicks” and that “You do not know what you are talking about; you were not there. You just read about it and think you know.” No, Russ, they do know what they are talking about, because everyone from UB to the poker media to 60 FUCKING MINUTES said that you did it. And you did. So the fact that you grace us with your presence at a poker table anywhere on this Earth should come with the caveat that you are going to get verbally abused. And you should just take it or quit. No one remembers you for your WSOP win, they remember you for being the “fucking dick” who screwed people out of $20 million, and just maybe also for receiving the inaugural Pokerati “Fuck You” award. Maybe.

Player of the Month
The Player of the Month is taken straight from the winners list, and is given a coveted 3 points instead of 1 toward becoming the 2011 Pokerati Winners, Losers, Coinflips player of the year. I suppose. We haven’t really worked out all the details yet.

  • Erik Seidel (3): Anyone that manages to wade through shark infested high roller waters not once but three times and cashes every single time more than deserves to be named Player of the Month. It was a nice progression too, from going 4th in the PCA SHR to 3rd in the Aussie Millions SHR to winning the “Full Tilt proving they can have a bigger buy-in than Stars” event. Very well deserved, and we’ll see if Erik can keep up the momentum in the coming months. If he is not ranking in ESPN’s “The Nuts segment I’d be pretty shocked. (EDIT: He has, just barely. Erik is ranked 10th this month.)

  • Dan Michalski

    >> Also, not letting online play count in your formula looks to me more like laziness than anything else, and removes any player that is in the current generation of contenders. <<

    come on, mark, you get how the whole law and politics stuff works. i gotta think regardless of what anyone decides with regard to online poker, it can’t be LAZINESS. it’s gotta be a conscious decision, no?

    fwiw, i spoke with one of their people, and the company line from the Pollack/Duke group is that they are decidedly “neutral” on all things online poker.

  • http://www.cardrunners.com/blog/spartanfox Mark Gahagan

    I understand the potential legal ramifications from recognizing that online poker even exists in the US. But the way it was presented was not that it was a legal issue, just that they weren’t going to include it. Doing so is likely going to just get a lot of the old guard into the league, and only a select few of the new generation of players. Of course, it remains to be seen, the names haven’t been selected yet, but the top 200 players in poker and top 200 players people want to see on TV are not a 1:1 correlation.

  • Dan Michalski

    good point. i think. but you know i am just jaded — thinking they might wanna establish themselves before letting online sites stick their fingers in it. they tend to wield a lotta power when they are footing the bills.

  • Evensandodds2

    When will we have a 24/7 Poker [and Gaming/Gambling ?] Channel ?  And what’s wrong with Limit and Pot Limit action ?  Some of the best No Limit players of today started in Limit, didn’t they ?