Scared Money

by , Aug 4, 2006 | 7:07 pm

LAS VEGAS–Quick little WSOP-stupid rant … As you all probably know by now, this year the WSOP is all about dot-net. Now I’m no lawyer, and I always want to do poker right, but I think I could make a good case in just about any court to convince a jury that dot-net, for all its legitimacy, is hardly distinct from dot-com. Think about it … terrorist-ish groups like Hamas and Hezbollah really do do legitimate things, like pay for people’s medical expenses, build hospitals, homes, etc. That’s what gets people to love them … and from there they are welcome to kill away. Same thing for online poker, really.

OK, maybe not-so-quick a rant … anyhow, the WSOP is clearly scared shitless about dot-com this year. And probably not even half as scared as the actual online sites that make so much money from their dot-com endeavors. Many representatives from non-US poker sites have been warned to not carry dot-com business cards, and for extra protection in the wake of David Carruthers’ arrest, some of them didn’t even bring their computers — presumably fearing there was too much dot-com info on them.

So now, with ESPN cameras rolling even more than before, all media has been warned to cover up any semblance of dot-com … and here’s where I am getting pissy. You see, today I am wearing a shirt for I’m running out of laundry here at the WSOP, so swag it is … and today I am donning “the widowmaker” t-shirt from Mulry & Co. And this is apparently causing a problem. For the WSOP. And for me.

From the “new” official rules, posted today:


And thus, I have been instructed to put a dot-net sticker on my lovely shirt from My first beef with this is that it’s not a gaming site! It’s a friggin’ tablemaker! As far as I know, furniture is not illegal anywhere in America.

A word of advice to the WSOP: Stop posting rules and then changing them nilly-willy. It’s been a theme throughout the 2006 WSOP — inconsistent, on-the-fly decision making, along with declarations of rules that may or may not exist. If you say something is one way, then stick to it! You said “gaming companies.” So stop yelling at me for following the letter of the memo.

With all due respect, you have a lot of intelligent people equating WSOP officialdom with “fuckheads.” I would never say anything so harsh, of course … but I thought you might want to know how others are phrasing their discontent.

And on a more serious note — because really, when it comes to looking out for poker’s interests, we are all on the same team — the WSOP and pro-poker forces should be careful … because basically, with these now-ubiquitous little stickers, they are knowingly putting LIES on the air, particularly when the dot-net site doesn’t even exist. I hear that kinda media misrepresentation can get you shot in England! I also suspect it might alert Bob Goodlatte and his anti-poker cronies to the front-business nature of

Of course maybe I am wrong. Because, you know, “covering up” is always a good way to avoid legal problems.

5 Comments to “Scared Money”

  1. Ed

    I really wanted to do a WSOP trip one day…but after this year I think that dream has changed. Maybe I will just stick with my other dream of visiting Shreveport again for some 2/5 NL action. Less hassle.


  2. DanM

    Nah, it’s still a great tournament, Ed. Possibly the best series of ’em anywhere. We are just critical because we want to let the big organizational-players — CardPlayer, ESPN, Harrah’s, e.g. — that as poker players, we know they are making enough money off it all to expect more.

    it’s like good political debate in America … just because you criticize certain moves doesn’t mean you hate the country and all it stands for. on the contrary, you love and respect what it stands for, and therefore want to keep the standards extra-high.

    or something like that.

  3. Ed

    You think they will use Dallas SWAT next year to enforce their rules?


  4. Pat

    Dan, glad we could provide you with a game-day outfit. And I’m glad that I just registered and redirected to 🙂

    The freelance events manager for one of the second-tier online sites related an interesting story to me the other day that’s germane to this conversation. Back in May he called up the WSOP folks who were in charge of the Gaming Life Expo to see if he could get some qualification on the rules (such as they were) about what promotions would and would not be allowed during the Expo. At first, when he asked them what were the rules, they told him “anything goes.” Then he got into specifics and everything kept changing.

    Girls with painted chests a la the SI swimsuit issue? Ok. But they couldn’t leave the booth, like all the models this year.

    Costumed mascot? Fine, but it had to take the head off if/when in the casino. Don’t want the Rio getting robbed by a bunch of costumed mascots.

    But anything else was ok. Until he asked about it, at which time it immediately became not okay or was otherwise restricted. He then concluded that it would be better to seek forgiveness rather than ask permission for any other promotions.

    As a result, his site was the one that had the marching band (with cheerleaders) start up as they were walking on the casino floor and play all the way down the long hallway into the expo. I’m told that the Gaming Life Expo people were decidedly not happy about the bass drum being pounded all the way down the hallway.

    We had a great time and the Expo was somewhat successful for us, but the Rio/Harrah’s have got to do a better job with management. It’s an easy bet that this thing will be even bigger next year, and come October, they need to start figuring out how to get ahead of the curve.

    Keep up the good work, Dan.

  5. Haley

    Y’know, Dan, what I got a kick out of was that asst. tournament director standing at center court everyday with that honkin’ big roll of black duct tape. I saw him chase one player down the aisle because “.com” appeared on the guy’s duffel bag.