A special election during the 4th week of the WSOP will decide Kerry’s full-time replacement, but Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick gets to appoint a stand-in in the interim — which has Frank, who just ended his career as a 16-term Congressman a few weeks ago, ready to come out of retirement.
Though no guarantees, if anything, Frank could prove a strong ally for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid … at least with Frank, he wouldn’t have to get him up to speed on the important issues and/or online poker.
As Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank, together with out-of-the-box GOP hero Rep. Ron Paul, created bi-partisan legislation that was set to undo the UIGEA back in ’08 … but a committee vote on a key amendment that resulted in a surprising tie killed a Republican-assisted effort to slip it into some bank relief. It was online poker’s first big loss in Congress (post-UIGEA), and for many new Pokeraticos, our introduction to lower-level political dirty tricks.
Frank, perhaps curiously, was not a huge fan of “poker only” legislation that he would find himself pushing. The anti-UIGEA stuff he originally put out there with Paul was built on prinicipals of personal freedom, consumer protections, and keeping government off your computer … and if they really believed all that, Frank argued, along with their own estimates online gaming’s ability to generate $40 billion over 10 years … then why limit it to poker, leaving slot players and sports bettors to fend for themselves?
Yesterday marked the anniversary of online poker’s Black Friday. Anyone who ever clicked a raise button remembers the fateful day, and many are reminiscing about how their world changed on April 15, 2011.
Here’s a best-of list of links, tweets and general brooding from over the weekend:
We still love Donkeybomber ’round these parts; just haven’t written much about the famous author and ’07 WSOP Player of the Year lately because … well, um, how do you put this nicely when his biggest accomplishments since then include not having enough money on Full Tilt to actually lose anything, and maybe getting retweeted by @basebaldy AND Jack Effel? (Sorry Pokeratizens for missing the breaking news … )
Well you’re not gonna believe what our balder, gastronomically larger, bi-braceleted pal is up to now: Country music.
Seriously, have a listen to First 5-Song CD, Created in December 2011, a title he apparently shortened prior to mainstream release on iTunes with the simpler, more memorable “EP”, which some say could be subtle commentary on the plight of a one-time WSOP POY seeking recognition as a real pro by Epic Poker.
Say what you will about Full Tilt Poker, but you can’t deny that they played a key role in forever changing the nature of poker entertainment. Even post-Black Friday they continue to do so … only instead of bankrolling the creative efforts, now they merely inspire them (whether all lines are deserved or not):
Song: Full Tilt Poker Blues Artist: The Donks Genre: Blues Release: Sep 2011
Things ready to get underway … Ben Lamb vs. Pius Heinz vs. Martin Staszko. The score is 55 to 108 to 43 … ball on the 600k/1.2mm yard line. The Pius Heinz fans are singing songs in 57 varieties of central European … big hairy Sasquatch is tromping through the crowd giving WSOP fist-bumps … and the Ben Lamb camp is hootin’ it up something fierce. The guy in the actual lamb costume gets on stage with Vegas hoochie-hottie dancers for a few bumps and grinds before Ty Stewart, the noble WSOP shepherd, realizes he’s not part of the show and diplomatically encourages him back to the stands. Woulda been cooler to see cops with billy clubs dart from the sidelines and deck him like a streaker, but hey, maybe next year.
To keep you entertained in the 15 minutes of interim before what’s going on here in the Penn and Teller Theater makes it into the WSOP cloud … enjoy the Brett Richey rap song about Ben Lamb, with a line inspired by Team Pokerati’s favorite crazy DonkeyBomber spouse, Julie Schneider, in “Stack ‘em to the Top”:
On This episode of DonkDown Radio we try (and fail) to call Michael Clemente, known scammer – but we tell the story of his scamming a local Orleans dealer for $1k. WORLD PREMIER OF BRETT “GET CRUNK” RICHEY’S BEN LAMB RAP. We talk with Eric Crain, recent 4th place finisher at some tourney in Hammond. Menachum drops us a parlay that pays $1 for every $2 wagered, and we talk about black men eating pussy with the Iceman. Goldfarb, Karina Jett, HORSE wars, Pokerati Dan + MOAR!
In many ways it’s a disheartening reminder of what Phil Hellmuth can never be … and possibly indicative of poker’s future direction. Say what you will about the struggling American family farm, clearly there’s more money in virtual harvesting than poker, and hence the biggest name in poker (as far as Google is concerned) — and the most powerful celebrity in the world thanks in part to a song talking about poker — has moved beyond Texas Hold’em to sign with Farmville — and the parent company of the biggest online poker site.
Implications are clear … Zynga is planning to take over American agriculture by introducing poker players to the concept that money can indeed grow on trees. It should play great with the kids (who love Lady Gaga).
At a minimum you can see how Zynga’s at least thinking along the similar lines as Caesars:
For all of you who are sick of the average, run-of-the-mill poker hip-hop (I’m looking at you Prahlad and Madsen), you should definitely check out the song below:
It appears to be by a rapper who calls himself Emcee White Noise, who first posted it about a week ago here. The beat sounds like something straight out of GarageBand, but the simple backing tends to complement a pretty serious flow that’s seriously funny. Emcee White Noise drops names like crazy, but the line that got me was “all my skinny girls are astounding with brain, but I date fat chicks just to balance my range.”
Thanks go out to the entities over at WickedChops for the heads-up.
Watched Five Card Stud this afternoon (on Showtime Extreme) … a 1968 western starring Dean Martin and Robert Mitchum about a drunken poker game that turns into a lynching when the new guy turns out to be a cheat. But when the lynch mob starts dying off one-by-one, no one knows who’s seeking vengeance, nor which player will be the last man standing.
It takes place in Colorado in 1880 … the gold rush is on and the town of Rincon is fast becoming known for its juicy games and associated vice. And as much as I was intrigued by the role of black people and Christianity post-Civil War (as portrayed in the late ’60s) … what really stood out was how the players shuffled their chips.
Anyhow, the music is kinda country meets the Doors, with gambler’s lyrics sung by an old-school Vegas crooner. And with last month’s news that production of Rounders 2 is underway … well, Five Card Stud, a song about the game that was the great Uncle to contemporary Texas Hold’em, reminded me how much poker stories have changed over the years, and how much they haven’t.
More confirmation of what we suspected all along upon seeing this video … here’s additional video of the OJ Simpson of Poker playing 2/5 at MGM a couple weeks earlier.
And here’s an amusing video of the other Russ Hamilton, which makes you realize how shafted some people’s legacy can be in Google, particularly for a cultural renegade who sang about the desire to “make love” out of wedlock to a teenage girl in 1957: