Archive for the ‘Pokerati Society’ Category

Happy Birthday, Sheldon Adelson!

by , Aug 4, 2014 | 4:40 am

Sheldon Adelson turns 81 today, which makes him still just a kid according to my grandmother. We of course all know Adelson is a wealthy man, but I didn’t realize he was the richest person in Nevada (like by far). I mean sure, he woulda made my shortlist if you asked, but I didn’t really place his economic stature in context until seeing this bit of data porn showing who has the largest net worth by state.


So what do you get a man who has everything? OK, maybe Adelson doesn’t have everything, but he does have more personal wealth than the GDP of nearly 100 independent nations. He has so much money ($35.7 billion) that he could singlehandedly pay off ALL of Caesars’ debt and still have more than $12 billion left over — enough to still be the richest person in Nevada, as well as 34 other American states. Sooo … maybe just close your eyes and make a wish?


by , Nov 6, 2012 | 10:57 am

It’s been interesting seeing different industry people come and go as the poker world continues to churn over into something new. Good riddance for some, greener pastures and/or potential prison time for others … either way, it’s good to see poker people thriving in different places.

So check it out … Jeffrey Pollack, one of the more controversial figures in poker (c. 2005-2011) seems to have found his way back to the NBA. The exiled WSOP Commissioner, who partnered with Annie Duke in an effort to save the game (or at least rebrand it) before an Epic flop, apparently has been working closely with Robert Pera and Jason Levien, new owners of the Vancouver Memphis Grizzlies. Best I can tell it will now cost Pera $100 million to properly dick over a city, and maybe there’ll be a party with Justin Timberlake.

The Ultimate Who’s Who of Poker

by , Jul 1, 2012 | 4:10 pm

Here’s the cut-and-pasteable list everybody cares about — who’s playing, and where on earth their money could’ve come from. Is it racist of me to automatically be scared of the Russian businessman without even Googling him? And is it racist of the WSOP to refer to anyone as just an “Asian Businessman”? I’m guessing not really when both words are technically accurate and reveal the only things that really matter to a guy like Black American Professional Poker Gambler Phil Ivey …

1. Bobby Baldwin — Chief Design and Construction Officer, MGM Resorts Intl. (Las Vegas, NV)
2. Frederic Banjout — CEO, Eden Shoes (Paris, France)
3. Bob Bright — CEO, Bright Trading, LLC (Las Vegas, NV)
4. Ilya Bulchev — Businessman (Moscow, Russia)
5. Roland De Wolfe — Professional Poker Player (London, England)
6. Tom Dwan — Professional Poker Player (Edison, NJ)
7. Jonathan Duhamel — Professional Poker Player (Montreal, QC, Canada)
8. David Einhorn — U.S. Hedge Fund Manager (Rye, New York)
9. Antonio Esfandiari — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
10. Phil Galfond — Professional Poker Player (Potomac, MD)
11. Bertrand Grospellier — Professional Poker Player (Paris France)
12. Philipp Gruissem — Professional Poker Player (Germany)
13. Giovanni Guarascio — Businessman (Montreal, Canada)
14. Phil Ivey — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
15. Eugene Katchalov — Professional Poker Player (New York, NY)
16. Cary Katz — CEO, College Loan Corporation (Las Vegas, NV)
17. Jens Kyllönen — Professional Poker Player (Finland)
18. Guy Laliberté — Founder, Cirque du Soleil (Montreal, QC, Canada)
19. Ben Lamb — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
20. Tom Marchese — Professional Poker Player (Parsippanny, NJ)
21. Jason Mercier — Professional Poker Player (Davie, FL)
22. Michael Mizrachi — Professional Poker Player (Miami, FL)
23. John Morgan — CEO, Winmark Corporation (Minneapolis, MN)
24. Daniel Negreanu — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
25. Paul Newey — Chairman, New Wave Ventures (Dorset, United Kingdom)
26. Chamath Palihapitiya — Venture Capitalist (Burlingame, CA)
27. Bill Perkins — Owner, Small Ventures (Private Equity), (Houston, TX)
28. Paul Phua — Asian Businessman (Miri, Malaysia)
29. Brian Rast — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
30. Vivek Rajkumar — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
31. Tobias Reinkemeier — Professional Poker Player (Brighton, Germany)
32. Andrew Robl — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
33. Phil Ruffin — Owner, Treasure Island Resort (Las Vegas, NV)
34. Rick Salomon — Film Producer (Los Angeles, CA)
35. Nick Schulman — Professional Poker Player (New York, NY)
36. Noah Schwartz — Professional Poker Player (Miami, FL)
37. Erik Seidel — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
38. Mike Sexton — Professional Poker Player/Commentator (Las Vegas, NV)
39. Dan Shak — Founder, SHK Asset Management (Philadelphia, PA)
40. Talal Shakerchi — European Hedge Fund Manager (Surrey, England)
41. Mikhail Smirnov — Businessman/Poker Player (Moscow, Russia)
42. Justin Smith — Professional Poker Player (Los Angeles, CA)
43. Brandon Steven — Businessman/Car Dealer Owner (Wichita, KS)
44. Sam Trickett — Professional Poker Player (East Retford, England)
45. Haralabos Voulgaris — Professional Sports Handicapper (Winnipeg, Canada), (Lotto seat)
46. Richard Yong — Asian Businessman (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
47. Gus Hansen — $25,300 Mega Satellite – June 30 at Rio — Professional Poker Player, Denmark
48. Phil Hellmuth — MGM Resorts International VIP winner — June 30, Palo Alto, CA

Annie Duke Issues 10% Challenge to Women Players

by , Sep 9, 2011 | 7:22 pm

Global Poker Index:
Women in the Top 300

(as of Sep 5)

20. Vanessa Selbst
164. Vanessa Rousso
175. Annette Obrestad
188. Melanie Weisner
262. Kathy Liebert

According to Team Pokerati local femme fave @LasVegasPokers, today is “girls day” in Las Vegas. Currently running is the Ladies event in the Caesars Palace Kickoff Classic (a $130 NL event) … and then at 7pm is a $105 Pink Ladies $1000 guarantee at the new Tropicana poker room. (Yay?)

Today is also the final table of the Epic Poker League’s 8-handed NL event. No woman has yet to cash in an Epic event, save for maybe in a satellite to a $1,500 pro-am. In fact, only one woman two women entered this week’s $20k Epic event (J.J. Liu and Vanessa Selbst) … and only one woman cracks the Global Poker Index’s ranking of the top 150 players in the world (Vanessa Selbst #20). Not sure what that says about the only poker league run by a woman save for maybe Pink Ladies … but listen to Epic Commish Annie Duke’s keynote address last week at the Women in Poker Hall of Fame ceremony, where she speaks to essentially the Vegas-to-LA power poker sister set — a potentially hostile audience considering Annie’s public opposition to Ladies Events in the past.

CORRECTION: Vanessa Selbst also entered Epic’s 8-handed event; she was one of the first players eliminated. ALSO: LIPS and HHPT are poker tours or leagues run by women.

MORE CORRECTIONS: Vanessa Selbst also cashed in the first Epic Pro-Am, making Epic a little less women-dry than suggested above.

(Sexist to say rrreow?)

1. Annie Duke: Women in Poker Hall of Fame ceremony, 2011 – 15:50
2. Jan Fisher, emcee follow-up – 1:50



Poker Give-a-Sh*t

by , Sep 4, 2011 | 5:14 am

national poker monthIn the good-for-poker category … Poker Gives is in the midst of its second annual National Poker Month. Not to be confused with the PPA’s National Poker Week, PG’s September declaration is about a nationwide series of charity tournaments “that unites the poker world to generate goodwill through ‘giving back’ and supporting worthwhile charities.” (Emphasis theirs, not mine.)

There have already been events in Arizona and yesterday here in Vegas at the Venetian. Coming up are an event Monday at the Golden Nugget and another at the new Tropicana Poker Room (which fyi, few know, had its opening day on Black Friday) on Saturday. More than 15 events — in the $60 to $125 range — in 15 different venues in seven states.

Click here for the complete schedule.

Our goal is to disperse the highest percentage of funds possible to the charities. While some fundraising operators are actually businesses for profit, Poker Gives is designed to give back and we do so in every way possible. Board members and founding members of Poker Gives receive no salary whatsoever. All expenses and administrative costs are minimized so that the maximum is directed to our charities.

— Poker Gives

Charity tournaments can be a dime a dozen … or more appropriately for poker, probably closer to 5 dimes a dozen. And some are better than others as an event and/or as a fundraiser. But apparently some big-timers in the poker biz (Mike Sexton, Linda Johnson, et al) saw too many such tourneys used as fronts for shady activities I mean not necessarily distributing funds appropriately, and thus back in 2008 created Poker Gives. It’s an effort designed to cultivate the collective giving of poker players and poker rooms around the country to make more notable donations to more mainstream 501c’s (Paralyzed Veterans of America, Make a Wish, Special Olympics, the USO, the Shriners, among others). It also becomes, imho, part of what some say is becoming a “movement” to clean up poker and make it more, er … presentable?

Also this week, as in today, is an Epic Poker charity event at Pokerati’s home room, the Palms. It’s a $240 with $100 rebuys event — hosted by Kevin Pollak, with all sorts of extra goodies overlayed — and the top three winning seats to the upcoming $1,500 Epic Pro-Am.

While this isn’t officially part of National Poker Month (I’m curious why not, too) tonight’s tournament at the Palms does benefit Fallen Heroes USA, a PG thumbs-up charity partner. Should be good times for a good cause; and who knows, maybe a Pokerati Game will break out with extra players in the mood to just be giving money away?

Maria Ho Signs with WinStar

by , May 19, 2011 | 12:18 pm

Continuing the trend of poker players signing with brick-and-mortar (and in the case of WinStar tent) casinos … Maria Ho joins Greg Raymer as a celebrity endorser of WinStar Casino in Far Far North Dallas, Oklahoma. Just in time, btw, to begin pimpin their upcoming big River Tourney. Apparently the satellites are about ready to open … and this year they are guaranteeing a $3 million prize pool.

This tournament has grown and grown into one of the biggest of the year in the country … and not that it would be all Ho and Fossilman’s doing … but I have a feeling this year people outside of Texas and Oklahoma will start to take note.

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes vid of Maria’s commercial shoot with the Chickasaw … who by the way, just officially bought Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, presumably changing the dynamic of Texas gambling legislation, but that’s a story for another time … right now it’s all about the value of Asian poker hotties playing the role of high-stakes cash game player. That and/or being a WSOP main event champion still seem to play well in the poker endorsement world.