I’ve joked since even before this show began that guys like Andrew ran with a bunch of thugs — grinder thugs I like to call them, for the way they go after tourist money in Vegas — and sure enough, a 5/10 Vegas reg we know just got out of jail. Find out how a presumably responsible family man poker coach pro like John Kim could end up in in the clink — sharing a cell no less with a former friend/sketchy acquaintance of Chris Moneymaker.
And speaking of jailbirds, or just birds I suppose … are you a lark or an owl? New(ish) scientific evidence suggests the nocturnal nature of many poker players, Andrew included, is genetically coded and comes with distinct evolutionary advantages.
Meanwhile Dave tries his hand at $2/$5 NL for a score … but not before sitting next to Michael Phelps in a drinky 1/3 game at the Palms, where the supposedly cool Olympic megachamp kinda sorta turns out to be a Tobey Maguire-like dick when it comes to unlicensed photography.
All that and how you may or may not want to play KQ-suited when sizing up future action on subsequent streets!
Just what poker needs … another podcast! Yep, I know … but this one is different, it’s special … Vegas Grinders we’re calling it — featuring yours truly @Pokerati with @AndrewNeeme and @RandomPoker …just a few dudes grinding out a life in poker, telling you what’s going on at the local tables.
This week we talk about Michael Phelps’ residence in Vegas and his play at Aria and the Palms; and we compare and contrast the WSOP Circuit event at Caesars Palace and the Venetian Deep Stacks, both of which were playing at the same time in February. Andrew, as it turns out, may or may not be on tilt after bubbling the $365 WSOP-Caesars PLO. We also take a look at the recently released 2013 WSOP schedule, and question the hairiness factor in the new variable buy-in “ladies” event. All that, plus the Millionaire Maker and LOL the tag-team charity tourney this weekend at Binion’s. We wanna know, will Dave ever get there on his heart draw?
Marcel Luske $18,500 – 2013 PCA H.O.R.S.E.
John Dibella $69,780 – 2013 PCA NLHE Turbo
Vladimir Zakharau $68,200 – 2013 PCA PLO Turbo
Christopher Frank $55,720 – 2013 PCA NLHE Bounty
The 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is well underway with the Main Event down to 30-ish some players depending on when/if you read this. Owen Crowe is the big name up on top of the leaderboard with Joe (don’t you dare call me Sebok) Serock and Eddy Sabat among the names on his tail. The Main drew 987 entrants this year, down a bit from last year which drew over a thousand, and the winner will have to figure out how to get $1,859,000 out of the Bahamas.
The next big tournament stops include the WSOP Circuit events at Choctaw, a WPT Regional event somewhere in Florida called Coconut Creek, and the return of the WPT big production to the Borgata Winter Open. Things are definitely back in full swing with the new year.
Tweet of the Day – The Heartland Poker Tour made the big announcement today, their structure for the upcoming season has been updated by none other than Daniel Negreanu. The new structure is a great tweak to an already fantastic tour, but no word from top shelf nit Allen Kessler.
Jonathan Roy $779,710 – World Poker Tour Montreal
Brock Parker $372,568 – Borgata Fall Open
Geoff Smith NZ$80,502 – ANZPT Auckland
The World Poker Tour Montreal stop may not have been a televised event, but that didn’t stop it from drawing all kinds of interest over the weekend. Things started off well when it was obvious attendance was going to be great well before the first card was dealt. Nearly 1,200 players traveled to the Great White North and Playground Poker venue received plenty of kudos from the players.
That was until Allen “King of the Endless Needle” Kessler decided to have one of his first-class hissy fits, even going so far as post his complaints on Facebook, the home of cat videos and high school bullies. Kessler took issue with the 60-minute levels and voiced his complaints publicly on Twitter and once again made a joke out of a real issue.
This final table would have made for some great TV as Canada’s drunkest son Gavin Smith was there on the last day along with Jeff Gross and Pascal Lefrancois. Gross had easily the most famous rail birds in the room as his best friend, and most decorated Olympian ever, Michael Phelps make a surprise visit for support. Eventual winner Jonathan Roy’s rail wasn’t too shabby either with 2010 WSOP Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel among his supporters.
Tweet(s) of the Day – That’s what hell of a cheering section, beats Gavin Smith’s section which probably consisted of bartenders, drunkards, and off duty strippers.
Could Online Poker Help Avert the Fiscal Cliff? – I find all kinds of interesting articles throughout the week in terms of poker, gambling, and people who should be nominated for the Darwin awards. This is good read questioning whether online poker, instead of raising taxes, is a valid way to avoid the “fiscal cliff”. It’s also an SEO bonanza. (Warning, they make you enter an email address to read the entire article.)
Will online poker fall off the fiscal cliff? – On the other side, a horseracing blogger asks if the “fiscal cliff” will kill the chances of online poker in the near future. I’ve officially hit my quota of using the term “fiscal cliff”.
Pro Poker Player Embraces #GivingTuesday – Faraz Jaka, one of the good guys in poker, has a nice bio piece on the Huffington Post about his charitable side. Nice to see poker players being in the news for something positive.
Aaron Massey $651,559 – WinStar River Poker Main Event
Justin Ouimette C$66,000 – Canadian Poker Classic Main
Samad Razavi A$326,125 – ANZPT IV Grand Final
It’s been a crazy time over in Cannes this week at the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event. There was a much publicized €5,000,000 guarantee which wasn’t reached, the founder coming out to deny the evidence of a guarantee and then set his blasters on the “young ego-driven players” who had the stones to call him out. And then Patrick Partouche picked up his ball and went home, saying this would be the last PPT event after a 5 year run.
In the end it might have just turned out to be a misunderstanding/language barrier/marketing strategy gone awry as cooler heads prevailed overnight. Partouche came back Friday morning saying they would add more than €700,000 to cover the “guaranteed” prizepool but still saying this would be the final event of the tour.
Tweet of the Day 1 – Because the first thing I consider when determining who gets my vote for POTUS is the opinion of non-American poker players. I wonder if Negreanu has an opinion. At least we know half the U.S. population will be moving out of the country after the election, we just don’t know who those people will be yet.
Delighted to be playing WSOP Cannes.Could be my last ever.I love America with all my heart but if you guys elect Romney Im out
A.C.’s Golden Nugget in legal war with $1.5 million winners – The story has been going around the last few week’s about the gamblers at the Atlantic City Golden Nugget who noticed a pattern and took advantage of their edge and then had the casino come after them. A judge ordered the casino to pay, at which time the casino owner said “hey, we’re going to be the good guys and pay” not at all because the judge told them.
Will Zynga’s New Hire Exploit Gambling or Consumers? – Online gaming company (and stock market boat anchor) Zynga recently hired former 888 Holdings VP Maytal Ginzburg and that has the financial world wondering how this will steer them as they expand into online gaming.
Game Theory Pilot Episode – A new web based series about poker that I only know about because Tatjana keeps telling the world about it. Hint: give her a role.
Stanley Choi $6,465,560 – Macau High Stakes Challenge
Samad Razavi AUD$326,125 – APPT Melbourne Main Event
Manlio Iemina $161,234 – IPT Campione
It seems Macau might not be on the death watch just quite yet, at least as far as big ticket poker tournaments. An impressive 73 players put up HK$2,000,000 (US$260,000) to play in the Macau High Stakes Challenge at the StarWorld Hotel & Casino. 21 of those players event decided to take advantage of the re-entry option after busting out.
The field was full of rockstars like Erik Seidel, Joe Hachem, Tom Dwan, and Gus Hansen with a final table featuring Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and Sam Trickett. From all reports, the structure for this huge buy-in event played out much like a micro-grinding tournament. Plenty of action and it didn’t take long to find a winner. Not much is published about the victor, Stanley Choi, but we do know he picked up HK$50,149,000 (US$6,465,746) and has his first entry in The Hendon Mob database.
Tweet of the Day – Is Matt Glantz skirting the policies of PokerStars and the ol’ United States of America by sneaking in the WCOOP via internet trickery? According to my double-blind, super-secret contacts within the Stars world, this was just a badly played Twitter joke. Perhaps the poker world should convene a Standards & Conduct Meeting to investigate.
Viktor Blom: The Man, The Myth, The Legend – It’s rare that you will see one top player write/comment in depth about another top player, but that’s exactly what Phil Galfond did on his site when talking about the mythical “Isildur1”.
Filing As a Professional Poker Player/Gambler – If you want some top tips for filling your taxes, why not get the information from a poker playing tax attorney. That’s exactly what Jamie Kerstetter supplied for the folks at CardsChat.
While the entire show seems to be athletic-based — there’s no challenge to Elton John for some dueling pianos, e.g. — poker seems to have slipped in there. (Props to Disney sibling ESPN?) According to @Phil_Hellmuth, he, Mike Matusow, Chris Ferguson, and Erick Lindgren are on set right now filming an episode that we can only presume is Shaq trying to beat the best at Texas Hold’em.
Not sure about the format, but gotta think Lindgren’s got the edge after all his experience on Face the Ace.
Lady Gaga has a new tattoo. WTF — no spade, heart, club, or diamond?
Not exactly … but like Michael Phelps, she did get a special invite — as the pop singer will be playing a show at the Galaxy StarWorld Casino at the same time. Personally, I’m gettin’ a little tired of being bluffed by muffins, but that’s neither here nor there when you’ve got a chance to make a cameo appearance in Johnny Chan’s forthcoming Chinese-language “Poker King” movie, right?
“I wanna hold them like they do in texas please, fold’em let em hit me raise it baby stay with me.” We certainly hope so and cannot believe the coincidence that you are playing live in Macau on Saturday 15th August while the Asian Poker Tour Macau Festival is in full swing at the Galaxy Starworld.
Your ‘Fame Ball’ Tour has been a huge hit and we are sure the plaudits in Macau will be the same as in Osaka, Tokyo, Seoul and Manila but imagine the reaction if you showed your poker face at the Asian Poker Tour Macau Festival! Not only will the venue be full of the world’s best poker players, the tournament is also the backdrop to the first ever Chinese language poker movie ‘Poker King,’ which people would go ‘gaga’ for if you took on a cameo role. Forget the wigs, keep the bleached blonde hair and think about the exposure to a huge audience!
Gambling Times Inc. has filed suit against Scott Lazar, executive producer of Deal, the almost-embarrassing poker movie that flopped (pun inevitable) in movie theaters in 2008. According to super reputable tabloid TMZ, Gambling Times Inc. was promised prominent product placement in the film, and for the lack of it is suing Lazar for $1 million, about ten times more than what the movie garnered in revenue.
Early reports from the $15k main event of WPT Festa al Lago (at Bellagio) … Michael Phelps showed up to play … he’s out. And our favorite Donkey Bomber also just got bombed … he got it all-in with Aces only to have his opponent flop quad Queens.
Yikes, when I said “Feel My Pain,” I didn’t mean it so literally.
I’m following the so-so coverage not-so-closely via CardPlayer.com. A lotta pros … looks to be smaller than last year. Big-name pros playing mostly today (Hellmuth, Brunson, Negreanu, G.Smith, et al), probably because they’ve got the big premier of their poker musical (The Real Deal) at the Venetian tomorrow night.
Michael Phelps made history at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics by winning a record eight gold medals. And his comments to the press about wanting to play some poker in the future garnered much attention from the poker community, as in offers from the Asian Poker Tour and Betfair regarding the WSOP Europe. Neither offer was accepted.
It seems that the swimming legend does things on his own terms. Phelps recently traveled to Las Vegas with some friends as guests of the Palms, and one of his wishes was to meet Doyle and Todd Brunson and Hoyt Corkins.
Photo courtesy of DoylesRoom.com
According to the most recent post on Doyle’s blog, he received a call and brought his son and Corkins, along with Jennifer Harman and Marco Traniello, to meet Phelps for a dinner at Nine Steakhouse at the Palms. “What a nice kid!” Doyle wrote. “Phelps and some of his friends wanted books so I took Super System 1 and 2 to them and they asked all kinds of poker questions. Michael said all he wanted to do in life, was to eat, swim and play poker.”
Oh yeah… I can already see Phelps with a Doyle’s Room cowboy hat at the WSOP in 2009. Obviously, no deals have been signed at this point and Phelps has not accepted any invitations to play in tournaments thus far, but I can see an NBC National Heads-Up Championship and World Series in the kid’s future. Just a personal prediction…
Swimmer Michael Phelps came off an historic Olympics with eight gold medals. And in one of his numerous post-feat interviews, he mentioned that he might like to play in the World Series of Poker. Suddenly, offers were coming from poker tournament organizers like the Asian Poker Tour. Another offer can be added to the list, courtesy of Betfair, the official sponsor of the World Series of Poker Europe.
Even though Betfair worded it with already-overused terms like “human dolphin” and “shark,” the site offered Phelps the chance to play in the WSOPE later this month, even offering to pay the Â£10,000 buy-in to the main event on his behalf. And then the statement on Betfair ruined it with this: “Phelps will be free to wear his famous LZR swim suit at the table although organizers fear it may not give him the same competitive edge outside of the pool.” No word on any response from Phelps.
(Note to poker tour organizers: Quite possibly, refraining from the use of swimming/poker analogies might get your offer taken more seriously. And it might keep writers like me from making fun of you.)
The swimmer who stunned the world by setting a new record with his eight gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing made a statement in one of his post-amazing-feat interviews. Michael Phelps told the Baltimore Sun, “I think it would be cool to play in the World Series of Poker. My game is a little off right now, so I’ll have to start improving it a little bit. But I think that would be cool, and it would be cool to meet some of those poker guys.”
Within days, Poker Shrink reported that Phelps was officially invited to play in the 2009 NBC National Heads-Up Championship. And shortly thereafter, it was the Asian Poker Tour, which is gearing up for its Macau stop scheduled for this week. A representative from the APT wrote an open letter to Phelps, which was posted on 4Flush, with sentences like, “Some have said you are a ‘human dolphin’ but we’re keen to know if history’s greatest swimmer is really a fish. You may have feet that can reach angles others cannot to give you the ultimate swimming technique but just you wait until you’ve got sharks like Vegas poker legend Doyle Brunson chasing you. We’ll see how fast you really are then when they smell blood – get some flippers on those size 14’s!” (Really? Fish and shark references? *Sigh.*)
Most likely, offers from Visa are taking precedence over poker tournaments for Phelps, but it will be interesting to see if he takes anyone up on their offers. My money would be on the NBC Heads-Up Championship, but I imagine the guy just wants to go home and have a beer right about now. If he accepts an offer to play in a poker tournament, it would be absolutely huge for the game…
As BJ Nemeth’s earlier entry mentions, there’s been a few Olympians who’ve played at the World Series of Poker. But none of them would top the credentials of Michael Phelps (from the NY Times:)
An avid cards player, Phelps said it would be cool to participate in the World Series of Poker. â€œMy game is a little off right now,â€ he said, â€œso Iâ€™ll have to start improving it a little bit.â€