Posts Tagged ‘Matt-Savage’

Instapoker

Reslock joins 5 ring club and the AGA hates PokerStars (and money)

by , Mar 5, 2013 | 1:00 pm

Chris Reslock Photo: WSOP

Chris Reslock
Photo: WSOP


Today’s Boxscore

Chris Reslock $25,480 – WSOP-C Caesars NLHE Prelim
Martin Bader £56,000 – GUKPT London Main Event


There were less than 200 entrees into the WSOP Circuit $580 NLHE event at Caesars in Atlantic City, but the final results were worth notice. AC and east coast legend Chris Reslock joined a very small club when he won the tournament and captured his 5th WSOP-C ring. He joins Ari Engel, Kyle Cartwright, Mark Smith, and Kurt Jewel in the 5 ring club and just one victory behind Alexandru Masek. Reslock has one WSOP bracelet as well, in the 2010 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, and over $1,000,000 in career tournament earnings.

Also underway this week is the price-reduced WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament, the buy-in reduced from $10,000 to $7,500. It looks like the discount is producing similar results as seen at the Borgata when they dropped their price to draw in more people yet still end up with a larger prizepool. Moon Kim is the defending champion.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Tournament Director extraordinaire Matt Savage made it “official” with this tweet, the Bay 101 Shooting Star will top attendance and prizepool numbers from last year’s event.

Casino Industry Opposes PokerStars’ Bid for New Jersey License – The American Gaming Association doesn’t seem too thrilled with the idea of PokerStars buying the Atlantic Club Casino in AC. The AGA sited PokerStar’s troubles with the DOJ and thinks this should prevent them from buying the old haunt.

PokerStars responds to AGA protest of bid to buy Atlantic Club casino – And PokerStars responds.

Daniel Negreanu & Antonio Esfandiari For Choice Center Las Vegas Scam-Cult – Say it ain’t so Daniel! Someone who uses all his might to shout down all the evil people in the world can’t possibly be a shill for a Las Vegas scam company. It’s just not possible, unless it is. Bryan Micon attempts to piece it all together.

2013 WSOP Registration is open – Avoid those crazy, small buyin, weekend registration lines at this summer’s WSOP by registering for your events early and online. Registration is now open.


Instapoker

Matt Salsberg wins, Andy Bloch and Howard Lederer talk

by , Sep 17, 2012 | 3:00 pm

Matt Salsberg
Photo: World Poker Tour


Today’s Boxscore

Matt Salsberg €380,000 – WPT Rendez-Vous à Paris
Pratik Ghatge £71,700- UKIPT London Main Event
Matthew Colvin $21,097 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #1
William Byrnes $20,440 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #2
Tom Franklin $11,930 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #3


It’s fun when something interesting happens in poker, especially when it’s on the results page. Something to temporarily make us forget the muddled, confused state of poker in the world. This week it was one of the fun guys in the game winning a big tournament across the Atlantic Ocean after grinding his way along for several years.

Matt Salsberg is better known as the man behind the scenes as a writer/producer for popular cable shows Entourage and Weeds. He is a regular at the Commerce Casino and a favorite among many of the professionals (especially Matt Stout, but I can’t imagine that has anything to do with “Weeds”). This weekend he put himself firmly on the poker map by winning the WPT Rendez-Vous à Paris at the Aviation Club beating a tough final table including Philipp Gruissem, Tim “Tim0thee” Adams, Mohsin “chicagocards1” Charania, and Fabian Quoss. He defeated Theo Jorgensen heads up to grab the title and €380,000.

He then immediately hopped a plane to the States in enough time to catch Day 1B of the WPT Borgata Poker Open.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – While Salsberg was busy winning his WPT event, the folks at the Commerce put the live stream up on the big screens. Here Matt Savage checks it out while WhoJedi does the grunt work.

Exclusive: FTP Former Shareholder Speaks Out, Interview with Andy Bloch – The poker world has been waiting for some of the former Tilt owners to tell their side and first up is Andy Bloch. My favorite line from the interview is about the GBT offer on the table with a little jab at the PPT debacle, “I was in favor if the players had been “made whole”. But their version of ‘make whole’ is like the french definition of ‘guarantee’.”

The Lederer Files: An Introduction – The Bloch interview was a big deal for a few days but there comes word today from PokerNews about an interview with none other than Howard Lederer. That is a blockbuster scoop which every media outlet would have killed to nab. PokerNews has over 7 hours on video and will release them over a series of time. I suspect they will see a spike in viewers.

Feds eye poker champ’s assets – Of course that Lederer interview occurred on September 8th, before the DOJ filed a second amended complaint against him. Howard Stutz has a look at exactly what Lederer purchased with his ill-gotten gains including a few interesting looking automobiles.

Season XI WPT Grand Prix de Paris: Champion Matt Salsberg – The fun loving Kristy Arnett interviews Matt Salsberg, where the video just happens to last exactly 4:20.


Instapoker

Tour stops, PPA resources, and The Micros

by , Aug 3, 2012 | 2:06 pm

WPT Cyprus Merit Classic


Weekend Events

World Poker Tour Merit Cypris Classic
Gold Strike Tunica World Poker Open $500,000 Guarantee
CardPlayer Poker Tour Choctaw Casino $500,000 Guarantee


CardPlayer Poker Tour? Who knew? Seems it slipped my mind CardPlayer joined the ranks of those creating a series of events around the smaller casinos for the smaller buy-in crowd and a more acceptable schedule for Joe “Poker Player” Smith who has a real job. I barely remembered BLUFF Magazine bought the Mid-States Poker Tour. I guess everyone took a look at the Heartland Poker Tour model and will try to mirror their success.

Without letting the Pollack fox in the henhouse of course.

The World Poker Tour is also kicking off their 11 season in lovely Cyprus this weekend in a non-televised event but still drawing interest thanks to the Mediterranean atmosphere. The WPT returns to Cyprus for the first time since 2009 when the buy-in was $10,300 and drew 181 players. This time it’s only $4,400 but involves re-entries for those who bust (or low on chips) on Day 1A.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Matt Savage always knows how to rub it in, especially to those stuck back in the States with soaring temparatures and a closeup view of their neighbors (who should really keep their shirts on).


PPA Players Repayment Resource Center – The Poker Players Alliance set up a page with all the latest information for US player repayment following the PokerStars/Full Tilt settlement, which right now is a bunch of links with a big dash of hope.

Do we owe PokerStars our gratitude? – One of the interesting reactions to PokerStars buying Full Tilt is the almost universal genuflection at the feet of Stars. Because they did this out of the goodness of their heart and not because it was the best business decision.

Defending Dressage – It has very little (or anything at all) to do with poker, but a fun response from Short-Stacked Shamus to a recent Nolan Dalla post nicely titled “When Masturbation Becomes an Olympic Sport“.

Mizrachi: ‘I won $100K bet, but guy went bankrupt’ – Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi blasted away on Twitter after the WSOP about getting stiffed on a 5-to-1 WSOP bracelet prop bet. Mizrachi was owed $100,000 but the losing player filed for bankruptcy. While some guessed the bad debt was belonged to a former member of Team Full Tilt, turns out it was Giorgio Medici. The Sun Sentinel even managed a quote from Seth Palansky on the matter.

The Micros! – The gang returns with their take on the PokerStars/Full Tilt buyout.


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Instapoker

Japan's First, Rafa Nadal, Ivey Love and Indifference

by , Jun 21, 2012 | 1:27 pm

Naoya Kihara
Photo: PokerNews.com


Today’s WSOP Bracelet Boxscore

Naoya Kihara $512,029 – Event #34 $5,000 PLO 6-Handed
Chris Tryba $210,107 – Event #35 $2,500 Mixed Hold’em


An interesting part of hanging around the Rio during the WSOP is seeing something new every day. Usually it’s bizarre like the man banging his head up against the Amazon Room wall or a dealer spreading a flop during a Deuce-to-Seven hand. Yesterday’s something new was WSOP history.

Naoya Kihara defeated Chris DeMaci to win the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha 6-Handed bracelet, becoming the first WSOP bracelet winner from Japan. Kihara earned $512,029 (or ¥41,000,000*) and looks to find an online sponsorship so he can advance his online career.

(* – h/t Lance Bradley)

Also winning yesterday, in pretty spectacular fashion, was Chris Tryba. He worked his way through the final table of the $2,500 Mix Hold’em final table until he was heads up with Scary-to-Me Erik Cajelais. They went back and forth as normal until the final hand when Cajelias shoved with a King high straight only to get snapped off by Tryba’s rivered straight flush. There was much screaming from your latest WSOP champion.

~

There are a few times during the WSOP when you can be caught in a dangerous situation. Veterans of the Rio Convention Center know to avoid the hallways during the first break of a $1,000 or $1,500 tournaments. The start of the Seniors Championship brings with it the danger of being run over by a constant stream of scooters.

On Wednesday you didn’t want to be near the Mothership when Phil Ivey busted from the Mixed Hold’em event. The place was nearly deserted before Ivey hit the cage. The final table played out in front of friends and family.

Link Dump

Tweet(s) o’ the Day – I don’t use hashtags on Twitter for their intended purpose, usually I’m just being a smartass. Wednesday provided a reason to search on a hashtag. Nobody believes Phil Ivey does his own tweets, so everybody jumped on the train to create some #RealIveyTweets. Click the link above for the entire stream.

43 Things You Probably Don’t Know About the World Series of Poker – Martin Harris has a great list of little known trivia from each of the 43 years of the WSOP. One of the few “don’t miss” articles of the summer.

Ivey Dominant, But Aloof Toward Poker Community – It’s not that Phil Ivey doesn’t like you, he just doesn’t care who you are. Perhaps if someone presented their Full Tilt Black Card it would make a difference.

Rafa Nadal joins PokerStars – The 11-time tennis Grand Slam winner was added to Team PokerStars SportStars just a few weeks after winning the French Open. Nadal joins Boris Becker (tennis legend), Fatima Moreira de Melo (field hockey), Marcus Hellner (cross-country skier).

Favorite Tournament Organizer – Doesn’t have much to do with the WSOP but it does have Tatjana Pasalic. The Matt Savage directed WPT wins the poll.

Weekly Poll Results – Favorite Tournament Organizer – Question of the day Video


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More than Just No-Limit Hold’em for Tourists

PLO, HORSE, AIOF, Mix-Max, and Chinese Hi-Lo (?) make for Challenge Series

by , Apr 23, 2012 | 5:30 am

Matt Savage returns home to Las Vegas tomorrow to take the TD helm for the MGM Grand Challenge Series, which began on Friday anr runs through May 6.

At first glance, this series resembles most “tourist stakes” festivals in Las Vegas — two-and-a-half weeks of two tourneys a day, with buy-ins ranging from $150 to $550 and a $1,600 main event (starting May 1). But a closer look at the schedule reveals that 9 of the 30 events are something other than no-limit Texas hold’em. There are five Omaha events, two HORSE events, a stud event and a hi-lo variant of Chinese Poker. Even the WSOP doesn’t have that.

Matt Savage opted not to include any limit hold’em or pot-limit Words with Friends in the current MGM series line-up, but did include just about everything else.

And six of the hold’em events veer from standard full-ring multi-table freezeout structure — to include turbos, a double-stack event, bounties, an “all-in or fold” tournament (where those are your only two choices on every hand), and a mix-max, where the number of players at each table progressively shrinks (from 10 to 8 to 6 to 4…).

Savage says he  expects a healthy turnout of pros for the Chinese Poker ½ High, ½ 2-7 event.

The idea for this series, he said, was “to provide a variety of games that other series’ in Vegas don’t generally have. No-limit hold’em, while it’s popular, isn’t the only game.”

The Grand Challenge series is taking place in a temporary location on the casino floor,  next to the old lion habitat, while construction on the adjacent bar is underway.

For the first event, a $230 NLHE tournament with 3 day ones, there were more than 300 entrants. The top three finishers chopped for a $10k, $9k, and $9k payout.

Dan played the $150 Pot Limit Omaha with $100 rebuys last night. The Sunday evening event drew 37 players and saw 98 rebuys, for a first prize around $5k. Dan got knocked out just short of the money, with 32 players remaining. I wonder how many hands he played before realizing the odds can actually change when you don’t run it twice.

I’m personally interested in Wednesday’s 6-max NL Hold’em event — something I’ve played before online but never live. We’ll see if my online experience short-handed combined with my looser live cash-game style gives me the edge I anticipate. And if I make the money there, I may just take a shot at the all-in or fold event on Friday. Ever since I heard about it, I’ve been hashing out strategy with friends.

Sounds like it could be really fun or really quick.


Las Vegas @RandomPoker Buzz

Jett & Savage sign with MGM, Aria big game relocates to Bellagio, farewell drunken shenanigans at O'Sheas

by , Mar 22, 2012 | 12:38 pm

It’s hard to play anywhere in Vegas as a non-tourist without hearing noise about the room you’re in or one down The Strip. No wonder so many regs wear headphones. But I keep my ears unplugged to filter through it all for Pokerati — and so Dan has at least half a clue about what’s real, what’s bullshit and what’s a live tell.

Some of what I’ve picked up lately:

Karina Jett is the MGM’s new poker room ambassador, meaning she will promote the room and host the weekly $120 HORSE event at 7:15pm every Tuesday. Jett has hosted the HORSEament previously at the Palms and then M Resort before settling into her new gig at MGM. The inaugural running at MGM featured a drinks-flowing pre-party that saw Cyndy Violette, Gavin Smith, Layne Flack, Allen Kessler, and Erik Seidel.

DonkDown Radio founder Bryan Micon won the tournament last week, beating a pro-filled field of about 80 for a $2k score, along with besting several others in a last-longer bet that paid an added $4k. The next running, earlier this week, attracted a field of about 60 players.

Meanwhile, WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage is also on board with MGM, serving as tournament director for the upcoming Grand Challenge Tournament series. Savage apparently was looking for something else to do in Vegas now that the Epic events are off his calendar.

Occupy Aria?
Players take Ivey Room mixed game back to Bellagio

This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but according to at least one regular player in one of the bigger regular games in Vegas:

FWIW I saw Jean Robert Belande (@BrokeLivingJRB) still playing in Ivey’s room with David Williams (@DWPoker) just last night, so there could be more to this schism. If it’s all political, as Crazy Mike says, that could explain why Barack Obama was in town yesterday.

More…


MMA + Poker = Always a Good Fight

@Randy_Couture charity tourney to help returning soldiers

by , Jan 12, 2012 | 9:18 pm

Some familiar faces and players worth looking up in the charity NLH mix … er … mixed martial arts.

One of my favorite charity tourneys of the year is this Saturday — Operation All In … Randy Couture’s  poker tournament and charity auction benefitting his Xtreme Couture GI Foundation. Karina Jett hosts the event, so you can expect her usual brand of fun and merry band of Full Tilt Red Pros in exile. And because OAI is more MMAish than pokery … well, let’s just say you can be sure to see some rather douchetastic! unique table interaction. And with a reasonable buy-in ($220 w $100 rebuys), you stand to get a fair share of genuine downtown tourists, too — excited by their chance to play with the fighters more so than the poker pros.

The winner gets $10k in cold American cash this year, too … no fancy qualifiers for some future maybe-cool new event in some other country. And though I haven’t personally looked into how legit Randy Couture’s foundation is, I do get a sense he takes the effort kinda personally and isn’t going to let the funds raised here get squandered en route to the beneficiaries. For many soldiers, the war isn’t over just because they are starting to come home.

It’s been an interesting relationship in Vegas between mixed martial arts and poker over the past 12 or so years … the state of which will be on display in the form of tax-deductible feelgood poker … this weekend at the Golden Nugget.

Read below for official deets on what’s going down.

More…


(Way Outside) the Epic Poker League – Main Event Day 2

by , Aug 11, 2011 | 6:52 am

Day 2 of the $20,000 Epic Poker League Main Event concluded with Sam Trickett leading the remaining 18 players, all guaranteed $43,190. Trickett is the only player with a seven-figure chip stack as the field will now be playing for a $1,000,000 first prize as the players agreed to move money from 2nd place to the winner.

Day 2 started with 63 players as Eugene Katchalov, Ben Lamb and Brian Rast held the top three spots. Only Katchalov survived the day with chips as the early action was dominated with several eliminations as Vanessa Selbst, Dwyte Pilgrim, and Phil Laak were among the familiar faces hitting the felt.

Some players complained about the fast structure; leading Commissioner Annie Duke and Tournament Director Matt Savage agreeing to review the structure, among other aspects of the EPL, before their second tournament in September.

The remaining 29 players reached the dinner break with an average stack of about 80 big blinds, with the objective of finishing the day after bursting the money bubble. Antonio Esfandiari, Brandon Cantu, Nam Le, Tom Marchese and Frank Kassela all fell short of earning their first EPL cash when 19 players remained, one from the money. A prolonged bubble period gave Trickett the opportunity to add to his stack, becoming the first EPL player to hold over 1,000,000 in chips.

Two hours into hand-for-hand play, Matt Graham added his name to the long list of EPL firsts as his pocket jacks were cracked by Chino Rheem when he turned a flush to become the EPL’s first bubble boy.

The remaining 18 players return Thursday at 12pm to play down to the final table of six. The field consists of 20 WSOP bracelets, 3 WPT titles and almost $80,000,000 in tournament winnings. Two players who qualified through the Pro/Am over the weekend, Brandon Meyers and Dan Fleyshman, become EPL-eligible for the rest of the season if either player wins the tournament on Friday. Here’s how the Day 3 field will be seated with play resuming with blinds at 2,500/5,000 with a 500 ante (the average stack having ~76 big blinds):

Table 1:

Seat 1: Adam Levy – 587,000
Seat 2: Dan Fleyshman – 82,500
Seat 3: Hafiz Khan – 144,000
Seat 4: Hoyt Corkins – 252,500
Seat 5: Brandon Meyers – 109,500
Seat 6: Isaac Baron – 637,500

Table 2:

Seat 1: Noah Schwartz – 259,500
Seat 2: Matt Glantz – 453,000
Seat 3: Ted Lawson – 210,000
Seat 4: Huck Seed – 93,500
Seat 5: Chino Rheem – 408,000
Seat 6: Gavin Smith – 357,500

Table 3:

Seat 1: Hasan Habib – 646,000
Seat 2: Eugene Katchalov – 418,000
Seat 3: Sam Trickett – 1,032,000
Seat 4: Jason Mercier – 535,500
Seat 5: Justin Bonomo – 42,000
Seat 6: Erik Seidel – 609,000

Live updates and more available at www.epicpoker.com


Good for Poker or Good for TV?

Non-disclosure rule has long existed, and for good reason

by , Aug 1, 2011 | 4:45 am

matt savage table talk

Matt Savage


OP-ED

My dedication to poker tournaments and the game itself is two decades old. Starting with my first foray into the role of tournament director in 1997 and through my founding of the Tournament Directors Association (TDA) with Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher, and Dave Lamb in 2001, I have worked tirelessly to standardize tournament rules and to make poker a better game for everyone involved.

This is the reason that we host the website www.PokerTDA.com, open the TDA to all interested parties, and make myself available on Twitter and other social media outlets. My passion for poker only grows when I share it with others.

The rule is not new, and does not ban table talk by any means … A recreational player may not understand, nor even care to know all the rules, but professionals who make a living at the game should.

During the 2011 World Series of Poker “nearly live” telecast from the Rio, I became aware of comments from Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) through my own Twitter feed (@SavagePoker). He said that the TDA created a “new” rule that banned table talk. This certainly is not the case and in hindsight, it was learned that he had received an incorrect ruling at the table that had nothing to do with TDA rules. Since social media has limited words with which to sufficiently explain the rule and its longtime existence, this clarification seems necessary.

The TDA board, in conjunction with tournament directors and card room managers, has donated thousands of hours to standardize rules in the best interest of the game.  When well-known poker players like Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth choose to say on national television that “the TDA has it wrong” and “does not care about what the players want,” it becomes personal.

More…


Blind Ambition

Zynga Pokercon Vegas Weekend

by , Mar 19, 2011 | 12:18 pm

As the first ever live event for the world’s biggest online poker site (Stars wanna challenge the assertion?) gets underway … we are seeing the super-hyper-turbo nature of free poker play translated to a two-flight weekend at Zynga PokerCon.

There were 45 players left (from the first flight of 250) with blinds at 1,000/2,000. They started with 2,000 chips each, so that translates to … bear with me, doing math here … 18 percent of the field left, 5.5 big blinds for the average stack.

UPDATE (12 minutes later): Blinds just went up. Average stack is now 2.75 BB.
UPDATE (3 minutes later): We are in the money. 27 players remain.
UPDATE (1 minute later): Blinds are up to 3,000/6,000. 3.2 BB for the average.

Though I can hear Matt Savage and Allen Kessler cringing on the inside from wherever they are, the one guarantee with such a faster-than-charity structure is lots of exciting all-in hands. So in some ways reminds me of a WPT broadcast from a few years ago.

CORRECTION: See what happens when you assume? Turns out Matt Savage created this blind structure!

Click the image above to enlarge the blind and payout structures … they play each flight down to 3 … and then sit four others who qualified for ITM seats on Zynga Poker.



Winners, Losers, Coinflips: Feburary 1-28, 2011

Or: Distilling every Poker Story into Bullet Form

by , Feb 28, 2011 | 9:00 am

February is not a huge month for tournaments, but that doesn’t mean there was a shortage of news. In fact, a very large part of the news this month was of the drama bomb variety, which provides easy cannon fodder for people such as myself and helps greatly in determining who came out ahead and who fell far, far behind. Given the sheer volume of stuff that happened, I have been forced agreed to do two of these a month, one for the first half and one for the second. If you want a weekly version of this, well, there is always my podcast, Rabbit Hunt (it’s a shameless plug but it was my excuse for not doing this every week…for the moment anyway). But enough rambling, let’s get going:

Winners

  • Jared Huggins (1) and Pokerstars (1): Thanks for the bait-and-switch Pokerstars! We thought you were a mean, faceless corporation that turned down a homeless poker player just cause and then you say “just kidding!” and he ends up on the show anyway. Jared Huggins is a huge hit over on 2+2, and he is scheduled to appear in the Big Game in the near future. Here’s hoping he not only wins, but wins big. That NAPT Passport (or whatever it is they are going to offer this year) is gonna be huge.
  • Matt Savage (1): Another LAPC, another huge Savage-tournament success. Sure the LAPC numbers aren’t where they were yesterday but it’s still pretty good considering there were a number of poker players that essentially said they wouldn’t give the Commerce business until they changed their stance on i-gambling. Although…I’m sure an exception was made for a $10k WPT tournament.
  • Donkdown Radio (1): They won this month for getting someone whom we are 99.44% certain is Travis Makar. These guys definitely are at the forefront of the “UB Sucks” crowd, and so getting someone that could blow a new hole in the current UB leadership is bound to be the best thing to happen to the show since…well…the last time something happened that was bad for UB I suppose. Of course, swords like this can be double-edged…and I would have simultaneously made these guys losers of the month too. Their saving grace is that it’s too early to tell what is going on in Makar’s head, and we have gotten a few nuggets out of the deal so far, so we will see what develops in the coming weeks. Certainly a good get though.
  • @pkrgssp (1): It’s not too often that someone comes out of nowhere, has a simple mission of just reviewing other people’s work, and gets a ton of attention in a short span of time. His blog is 100% worth adding to your list of things to read in a given day, and he has received props from various folks within the industry, so I think I will add my props by making him one of the winners of the month. Did he actually win anything poker-wise? No, but it might be a twitter/blog that many people will follow in the future (and quite possibly could become the critic version of Kevmath).

Losers

  • Sorel Mizzi (-1): SHOCKING NEWS ALERT! Sorel has been accused of cheating, this time in a live poker setting, and not because he managed to copy himself, though I think he would have made headlines sooner if he did. No, he loses out this time for being accused of dealing from the bottom of the deck by John Racener (as relayed through Shaun Deeb onto 2+2) which set off a firestorm of angry posts in Sorel’s general direction. Still, it’s he-said…he-said, and who would you believe more, the man perma-banned recently unbanned from Full Tilt for cheating or the 3-time Florida DUI champion?
  • The Bellagio Robber (-1: Plus -1 for every year served in prison): You pull off an Oceans 11 style robbery, then completely screw up everything after that. Oh, and he’s the son of a judge. Oh, and he tried selling chips that the Bellagio had changed out months ago. Genius!
  • Joe Sebok/Paul Leggett/UB (-1): No matter what the motives are, however, UB is again in the crosshairs, and whenever that happens, Joe Sebok is forced to pick up his cross and defend the site…again. Seriously I hope they are paying him Phil Hellmuth-levels of money, because otherwise Joe has got to be wondering wtf he’s still doing there. As for Paul Leggett, one cannot say “I never offered a bribe” and then have a leaked email that says “I’m offering a bribe.” Yea…context is probably important, but it certain doesnt look good.
  • Mer “PeachyMer” Brit (-1) and Pokerstars (0): Speaking of 2+2 controversies, the sleuths over at 2+2 felt like Mer Brit’s Team Pokerstars Pro deal was a little too good to be true…and well it probably was. Even Pokerstars admits that there are occasions that her account was used when she was not in the one operating it, including one where she took 2nd in a WCOOP event. There are enough holes and inconsistencies to make most people wonder what vetting process Pokerstars seems to have. Because I personally think I need to get a pro to take over my account if that’s what it takes to get a deal signed these days.

Coinflips

  • Federated Sports + Gaming League (0): Until I see a list of players, I’m not willing to give this league the chance some may say it deserves. They’ve inked a deal with CBS and have a schedule out, but as of right now no one is invited to play and the pro-am idea, while great, is not likely designed to actually get amateurs into their big events (honestly, how many amateurs would/should take their temporary tour cards and drop $20k of their own money into a shark tank?)
  • Peter Eastgate’s Retirement (0): On the one hand, I’m not particularly surprised that a young poker player that “retired” from the game has come back. On the other, Peter seemed like one of those people that would have stuck through it.
  • Haseeb Qurashi/Ashton Griffin/70-mile runs (0): Personally, I hated the amount of coverage this story got…which is why I spent over 10 minutes out of a 45 minute podcast talking about it, because I’m a hypocrite. Still, I think that while we got a fairly uncensored and in-depth look at some of the insane prop-betting that goes on these days in the poker world, I can’t help but thing we simultaneously saw some darker elements that just gives some ammunition to those that would like to see talk of online poker go away, and quickly.
  • Travis Makar (0): Jury is still out on this guy…or at least my jury is. If he has the information he is claiming, this completely longer than necessary leaking of incriminating evidence just feels like a squeeze. Who is he squeezing? No idea, but really if I would in Travis’ shoes, and I was broke, accused of cheating people of millions, and knew of people that had up to this point gotta away with it, maybe I’d do this too. OK…maybe not, but there is something deeper here that we might, as the media, be overlooking for the sake of the initial “ZOMG UB SCANDAL 3.0!” story.

The “Eff You, Sir/Madam” Award


Obviously there were enough stories to go around this month, but there is one particular entity that wins special mention, even if, at the moment, we don’t have a confirmation of additional shenanigans:

  • UB (-3…because fortunately for them my rules allow for a maximum penalty of -3): I joined the poker media unofficially in early 2010, and have been forced to repeatedly cover the UB scandal in all its various forms, from minute amounts of new evidence to the prior scandal to the encryption  bullshit to Donkdown Radio’s repeated calls for the sites demolition to this. And honestly, I’m sick of it. I’m sick of talking about UB in the present tense, and I’m sick of constantly having to listen to people preach that “THIS IS ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG! THE AVALANCHE IS COMING!” Personally, I hope they do find something huge, and that they find it fast. I hope they find that every non-poker pro employee of UB is guilty of being involved, and that they owe $100 million more to players, or whatever number it will take for the site to go under. Not third-tier site under, under-under. And it’s not even because of any personal hatred toward UB (though I have plenty of that), but because it’s because of their continued existence that we keep having to bring up a shining example of what’s wrong with the poker industry not as a historical lesson, but as a current issue. That said, if all this Makar stuff turns into smoke and mirrors, then UB will be able to continue it’s existence….at least until the next minor change in evidence brings all of this up again. (Writer Note: I’m just tired of covering this, so until UB folds or is found innocent, or whatever, I will likely continue to have this vitriol. If they do go under eventually though, maybe this can be called the “UB-Memorial Eff You, Sir/Madam” award.)

Entity of the Month

A bit short on players this month, so the trophy has been changed to the “Entity of the Month” trophy (you’ll note it looks the same). I’ve done a fair job of limiting myself with those in the winner’s box this month, but I think if you have to have a negative for the story you have to show the positive.

  • Donkdown Radio (3): Sorry, this is easily the potentially biggest story of the month at a time where poker pros didn’t even manage to grace the winner’s circle. It’s certainly a case of “right place, right time”, but this could change the face of a scandal that has up to this point just seen a couple people come up with vague suggestions about what “really” happened. If things happen in the exact why the folks at Donkdown hope to see happen, there could be some very hard choices for the pros that are sponsored by the beleaguered site. Not really the site itself…I can’t see them making any “hard” choices necessarily. Either way, you can bet that they will get to the bottom of…whatever bottom they will get to with this.

I know that I didn’t talk about Norm McDonald’s premiere episode of High Stakes Poker, but I feel like everyone needs to see more than one episode of a new host before passing judgment. Come March 15th though…I should definitely have something to say…if there is anything worth saying anyway. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to prep for another UB scandal related interview (no joke, unfortunately).


Merchdawg’s Weekly Podcast Roundup

by , Feb 11, 2011 | 10:53 am

Women’s Poker Hour:

Host Amy Zupko and Jennifer Shahade are joined by Donna Houle to start off this weeks show. Donna is one of the founders of the Pink Ladies Poker Tour. They then move on to discuss the Women’s Poker League on PokerStars before briefly discussing the PCA women’s event. If you want to keep up with some women in poker or ladies only events then check this podcast out. You can listen to the show on WomanPokerPlayer.com or download it directly on iTunes to listen on your iPod later.

Wicked Chops:

With no This Week In Poker this week the entities come together for a TWIP style podcast this week. Just like with TWIP Jess Welman comes on to do “Poker Headlines” before getting into the feature of the show. That feature this week is Erik Siedel who comes on to discuss his recent success, his appearance on “The Micros”, and Rounders 2. Listen to the show on the Wicked Chops site or download it on iTunes.

The Poker Edge:

Eric Siedel is making his rounds this week joining Phil Gordon on The Poker Edge. Before Siedel makes his appearance Andrew Feldman gives this weeks headlines, he is followed by Matt Savage who comes on to discuss the LA Poker Classic and the future of poker. Siedel comes on to close out the show to discuss the high roller cashes that he has enjoyed since the first of the year. The guys finish off the show by handicapping most of the top players chances at winning a WSOP bracelet in 2011. You can listen to the entire podcast on ESPN.com, or download it directly via iTunes.


Minor League Final Table Live on Justin.tv in HD

Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge XVIII Main Event Update

by , Dec 12, 2010 | 6:32 pm

I’m at the Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge still, which is down to the main event final table. Pretty cool that you can see and hear what’s going on at the final table right now. The details on the players and what they’r fighting for is below.

Click “Watch LIVE Video” on the foxwoodslive.com website.  There is optional new-and-improved HD video, live chat with the mods, chip counts/etc from @WhoJedi, and some occasional yammering from the guy responsible for recent hardware/software upgrades – @veeRob, Rob Perelman.

The cam is hooked up to a beam above the table, with a microphone duct-taped onto the felt next to the dealer’s right hand.  This is streamed to their justin.tv/foxwoodspoker site. Slickest part?  You can download the justin.tv app to your Android or iPhone and watch the table there, as well as chat.

Players do really seem to dig being on camera, finding ways to sneak in front of it and streak wave to mom, and stress about the fact that they might be shifted out of the limelight when the tables are rebalanced.

The overall effect is very good.  The audio is clear enough that you can hear the table talk and under-the breath comments (and unfortunately so the chip clatter) quite distinctly. The video in HD mode almost gives enough resolution to zoom into the board cards. Players in the chat log frequently express that they want to know what the board reads.. but improvements for the much-requested “flop cam”, while possible, would potentially cause the Gaming Commission a bit of angina.  @veeRob wrangled a scrolling caption bar to the streaming video, which displays the current blinds/antes.

Both Jay and Rob will be bringing their tech to the  LA Poker Classic with TD Matt Savage in February, where they first introduced the cams last year.

Streamit NOW-> justin.tv/foxwoodspoker
Checkit-> foxwoodslive.com
Follow -> @FoxwoodsPoker

Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge XVIII -> Final Table
$1000+$100 (2-day) Main Event
10 of 265 entrants remain

Level 23 -> Blinds/Antes: 4000/12,000-24,000
Ave Stack: 1,060,000

Prize Pool: $257,050 (guarantee was $100k)
1st: $61,692
2nd: $36,244
3rd: $23,392
4th: $18,765
5th: $14,394
6th: $11,696
7th: $9,768
8th: $7,969
9th: $6,699
10th: $4,883

Seating/Chip Counts
1. Robert Perry 1,034,000
2. Shawn Maillet 433,000
3. Le-Ann Anderson 895,000
4. Carmelo Cambareri 277,000
5. David Espinola 2,023,000
6. Mustapha Mouttaouakil 1,026,000
7. Brian Lee 1,006,000
8. Brad McFarland 2,406,000
9. David Hickman 805,000
10. Michael Woods 685,000


This Week in Poker

by , Oct 24, 2010 | 3:20 am

This Week:

Ty Stewart — new WSOP stuff, Poker Hall of Fame, more WSOPE bracelet debate.
Matt Savage — WPT-Bellagio/Festa al Lago.
Matt Affleck — more WPT-Bellagio/Festa, Washington State, 15th place at WSOP.
Trishelle Canatella — beauty quiz + poker.

Watch the show, and readmore here.


(Way Outside) the Tournament Circuit – Sept. 30

by , Sep 30, 2010 | 5:54 pm

EPT London :: A UK record field of 848 players took part in the £5,000 Main Event, with 128 players making the money, as the winner earns £900,000. The leader after the two day 1’s have been played is Claudio Cecchi with 237,500 in chips. Other notables returning for day 2 at 12pm London time Friday: Barry Shulman – 129,200, Daniel Negreanu – 122,000, Phil Ivey 117,900, Joe Hachem 108,400, Greg Raymer – 105,200, Boris Becker – 94,700, John Juanda – 71,400 and Ivan Demidov – 65,000. Full chip counts for both days are available at PokerNews and the PokerStars blog as well as live updates.

LA Poker Open, Commerce Casino :: The latest tournament series at the Commerce Casino runs Nov. 3-21, running against the NAPT at the Bike. The LAPO’s main event is a $2,085 NL event, w/ re-entry and a $500,000 guarantee LA Poker Open schedule