Poker Bowl Redux?

by , Jan 17, 2009 | 11:01 am

As we can tell from a flurry of new comments on an old post, apparently the creator of the Poker Bowl, John Nightingale, is up to his old plausibly criminal heretofore legally uncontested shenanigans … as some fantasy sports players are feeling a little ripped off, kinda like cash-finishers in the Poker Bowl did until the Nevada Gaming Commission held the Palms’ feet to the fire and made the host venue pay up.

Supposedly all was going to be rectified and the event resurrected under new management … and then we didn’t hear from them for a while — televised poker is hard. But as Mathers points out, there’s a new video from October showing what a fun, different, crazy-but-still-true-pokery tournament the Poker Bowl really was, or could have been. You get to see Lacey Jones doing her thing, Mark Seif (and a happily drinky Scotty Nguyen) wearing an Absolute Poker uniform, and lots of moaning and dancing. Fun video. No audio though … gee, televised poker is hard … (or at least good televised poker apparently is).

Supposedly we’ll be seeing the PB (again) in 2009. But that was posted in October, right around the time financial realities were becoming uber-clear to potential backers, so … we’ll have to see if the Poker Bowl can live up to its promise. Meanwhile, the original creator of the event seems to have nothing to do with it — he’s busy taking in a few months worth of upper-middle-class living expenses while fantasy sports players screams “rip-off!”

Good times.

12 Comments to “Poker Bowl Redux?”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    According to their site, they’re announcing details for PokerBowl II sometime this month.

  2. California Jen

    Who in their right minds would actually pony up money for this thing again, knowing what happened last time?

  3. Kevin Mathers

    Besides people who didn’t know what happened last time or the pros who’ll get freerolled into it?

  4. DanM

    Too many freerolls always cause problems. Fine if you want to put a pro in for free, but someone has to foot the buy-in … and not the winners.

    The only exception to this rule (that I can think of off the top of my head) is when freerollers are known. I’ve been to a charity tournament where it was well known the host player and the previous champion were playing without anything added to the prize pool on their behalf. Still made it seem like a worthwhile underlay.

  5. Stop John Nightingale

    So did he wind up paying the poker players, or was it the Palms Casino? I wonder what he gets up to….

  6. DanM

    Someone can feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure all the players got paid (all the vendors did not – Hi Karridy!) … but not by Nightingale himself. So in the end, the event was made good, but not the creator of it.

  7. Stop John Nightingale

    Does anyone know what he is really up to? Does anyone have information on him? Is he a legit crook, ripping off people intentionally? OR is it a gambling problem? Please respond with any available information.

  8. DanM

    Wish I could tell you more, dude, but I hardly know the guy and can only report on what I witnessed at the Poker Bowl and am hearing elsewhere on the web.

    Couldn’t begin to speculate at the roots of what may or may not be a pattern of financial mismanagement. I do know that when problems emerge, he seems to prefer to disappear as opposed to confronting them head-on.

  9. Matt Atkins

    What a shame it was that this turned out the way that it did. It was, by far, the funnest live poker event that I have ever been a part of. It would have been GREAT for TV. I sincerely hope that someone is able to resurrect it. In regards to John, I believe in my heart that he is a good guy that just got in over his head. I really wish that he would have let others help a little more.

  10. Nick

    Since I see a few team owners on here… does anyone have any information regarding the initial team investments? Was the team ownership voided after John went belly up? Is there any legal recourse to get any of that back?

  11. Matt Atkins

    I didn’t own the Denver team. Included in a long list of apparent lies told by John, I was told that I would eventually inherit the Denver team. I put a lot of work into recruiting players for the PokerBowl and was responsible for almost a quarter of the teams being put together. As far as I know, every single one of the teams that I helped put together paid their entire buy-in up front. It took a LOT of sweet talking to get Doyle Brunson and Hoyt Corkins to take part in it, and unfortunately, I was the one who had egg on my face when it all came crumbling down.

  12. Seattle Poker Guy

    I can speak for knowing John (at least I did years ago), and he’s always been a bit on the shady side of things since I met him back in 2002 or so. He owned a check cashing joint for years (might still)which says a lot! He also ran a private home game league, which is where he developed the structure of the Poker Bowl. I played in his first team event that took place at his house, and I never liked the guy. After hearing about the stuff he was trying to sell the local casino’s up here (Seattle) to get the PB rolling, I wasn’t surprised about the financial crisis that went down.