Posts Tagged ‘jeffrey-pollack’

Jeffrey Pollack Bids Farewell to the WSOP

Harrah’s Interactive says no plans to replace Commish

by , Nov 13, 2009 | 2:30 am

photo: BJ Nemeth

A shocker but not really … Jeffrey Pollack and Harrah’s are breaking up.

The WSOP Commissioner, President, and Twitterer in Chief‘s last day with Harrah’s and the World Series is today.

“I’ve made the decision after four years of successfully leading the WSOP as a global sports and entertainment property,” he says. “[Today] is my last day. Friday the 13th.”

Pollack — who has never played a poker tournament — took over the reigns shortly after the 2005 WSOP, the first year Harrah’s ran the 35-year-old tournament series bought from Binion’s.

The list of accomplishments under his aegis include drawing more competitors from more countries (putting it on par with the Olympics in terms of numbers), supporting women in poker, helping Don Cheadle and Annie Duke build Ante Up for Africa into a Hollywood A-list charity event, and working closely with players (via the Players Advisory Council) to steadily improve what is undeniably the biggest and arguably the best annual festival of poker tournaments in the world. He credits his team for incorporating TV broadcasting (most recently securing a new long-term contract with ESPN), new media, sponsorship, licensing, and summer-time side events that have made the Rio a real home for the WSOP and part of sure-to-endure poker lore.

“I’ve achieved everything I set out to do and more,” Pollack says.


November Nine Prep-Day

by , Nov 6, 2009 | 7:25 pm

World Series bossman Jeffrey Pollack scoping out the scene during setup at the WSOPenn-and-Teller Theater:

Watch Jeffrey Pollack Vlog: Setting the Table at WSOP 2009 on

Pollack, Moon and Begleiter appear on CNBC

by , | 12:06 pm

CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell has been very busy today reporting from the Penn & Teller Theatre at the Rio as ESPN and the WSOP staff are busy preparing the final table to resume Saturday at 12 noon Pacific time.

Rovell has done brief interviews with WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack, chip leader Darvin Moon, and former Bear Sterns executive Steve Begleiter. The Pollack interview appears below, with the other two interviews after the jump:


ESPN November Nine Conference Call

by , Oct 29, 2009 | 3:59 pm

ESPN had a little tele-press conference about the upcoming coverage of the WSOP November Nine. ESPN’s chief Flack George McNeilly moderated the call, and on it taking questions were Norman Chad, Lon McEachorn and Doug White, ESPN’s Senior Director of Programming and Acquisitions.

(Jeffrey Pollack bowed out with regrets, apparently claiming “tummy-ache”/swine flu.)

For a little preview of what’s in store — from the perspective of storylines, production, and a wee-bit of Darvin Moon sponsorship business …

ESPN 2009 WSOP Main Event Final Table Media Cattle Conference Call
Oct 29 2009
McNeilly, McEachern, Chad, White, et al.


SPOILER ALERT: More heads-up coverage, table/stage a bit closer to the crowd, welcome to the show ESPN Inside Deal, and play along online at Go Phil Ivey or Darvin Moon, and really any of the other guys, too! Akenhead is kinda a funny last name. Presented by Jack’s Links Beef Jerky, yum. Let’s dance.

RE: Phil Hellmuth vs. Harrah’s

by , Oct 1, 2009 | 12:59 pm

OK, I swear we’re going to stop making this blog PhilHellmutherati. But here’s more of the Champ, speaking to the French media about his concerns that Harrah’s forthcoming online poker site could do damage to the WSOP.

You can find the whole show here.


(English starts once Hellmuth gets on the phone.)

Beyond his repeated request for more food and cheaper rooms (previously Hellmuth was seeking “free”), he actually raises some good points, which seem to tie in with his November Nine coaching client’s WSOP beefs.

What he states is fact when acknowledging that a Harrah’s online poker site potentially puts the WSOP in competition with money that has really supported the World Series since it became a Harrah’s property.

He also reiterates his love for Jeffrey Pollack and Ty Stewart, while sending a message plea to their corporate overlords:

“Don’t take us for granted, Harrah’s!

If they do, then they’re in for a fight …

Nice job by Benjo.

Phil Hellmuth Fires First Shot at Harrah’s

Threatens WSOP secession

by , Sep 23, 2009 | 9:00 pm

“Mark my words,” he says.

Phil Hellmuth — fresh off the announcement of his coaching relationship with Harrah’s-hater Jeff Shulman and apparently still on tilt about having to pay for his own room at the WSOP this summer — appeared on the Hardcore Poker Show today (on the internet and Sirius 98) to reveal a Glenn-Beckish unease amongst some big-time pros about the WSOP’s intent to launch its own online poker site … and hints that Full Tilt, PokerStars, and Ultimate Bet might be talking about colluding cooperating to start their own WSOP alternative … a move he suggests could make the WSOP “worth nothing”.

Phil Hellmuth on Hardcore Sports Radio – excerpts
Sep 23 2009

“There’s a huge battle brewing …”


Find the whole interview here.

In addition to the warning, Hellmuth calls out Harrah’s for “not giving any of [money] back to the players” and takes a pop at Jeffrey Pollack for not reassuring him that everything is gonna to be alright; but it seems, without naming names, that his fear and vitriol is really directed at Mitch Garber — FTP, Stars, and UB’s old rival at PartyPoker, who’s never really played nice with any of them before.

My question: How did UB outplay Doyle’s Room for third position in the unofficial alliance of American-friendly online poker rooms?

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Media Day

by , Jul 9, 2009 | 6:04 am

2,044 players remain when the World Series of Poker resumes Friday afternoon for Day 3, so today will mostly consist of the Commish’s media briefing and media tournament down at the Rio. The chip leader when play resumes appears to be Amir Lehavot with 610,500 in chips. An unofficial list of players for Day 3 is now up here. Five levels of play are now scheduled for the duration of the WSOP, with the money expected to be reached for Day 4 Saturday afternoon.

Page 2 consists of Nolan Dalla’s Tournament Report from the conclusion of play with further details:


(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 2b Evening Update

by , Jul 8, 2009 | 8:55 pm

The remaining 1700 players are currently playing the fourth and final level of play today for day 2b, which will join the survivors from yesterday to return Friday at noon as the field will be together for the first time. Troy Weber remains the chip leader with 475,000 in chips. Other notables with chips: Brian Lemke (275,500), Phil Ivey (265,500), Kenny Tran (220,000), Hevad Khan (177,000), Antonio Esfandiari (173,000), Tony Hachem (155,000), Phil Hellmuth (139,000), Ville Wahlbeck (109,000), Kirill Gerasimov (105,000) and Tuan Le (102,000).

Notable eliminations: Bernard Lee, Robert Williamson III, Phil Tom, David Sklansky, Gavin Griffin, Howard Lederer, Scotty Nguyen, Todd “Dan Druff” Witteles (who was at the ESPN feature table with Hellmuth), Shannon Shorr and Erick Lindgren.

Check out the updates and chip counts at here and more stuff from Pokerati during the late hours. WSOP Media tournament and media briefing tomorrow, I’ll be with Team Pokerati in spirit in the tournament. The Commish has quite a few announcements tomorrow, including the Poker Hall of Fame nominees so come back tomorrow.

Day 1D Will Take No More Registrants, Commissioner Apologizes

by , Jul 6, 2009 | 3:11 pm

The room was packed with players, who gathered on short notice to find out what Harrah’s would do with the hundreds (conservative number) of irate/disappointed/confused players who were denied entry to the 2009 WSOP Main Event because of their late arrivals to the sell-out event. Notables in the room included Mike Sexton, Mickey Appelman, and Melissa Hayden.

twitpic: @melissalvla

Between the tournament staff, Harrah’s staff, and security contingent, there were approximately 20 suits, lined in front of the room. Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack addressed the crowd with a prepared statement that began, “We are sorry and I am sorry.” He went on to say that the players would not be allowed to play, and that he understands that it is disappointing. “We wish we could accommodate you,” he said and added that he wished they would have played other starting days.

Questions were beamed at Pollack, many players talking over each other at times. Allegations of special treatment were aimed at Harrah’s, with some players asserting that well-known players were granted entry after others were shut out. Pollack’s response? “Absolutely not.”

Most questions revolved around the option of allowing players to begin play this evening and play through the night or somehow incorporating a Day 1E into the mix, but Pollack insisted that it would be logistically and operationally impossible to do. When someone pushed the subject, WSOP Communications Director Seth Palansky jumped in with a question of his own directed at the player. “Why didn’t you show up earlier?” A collective “oooh” let Palansky know that he may have gone too far with the comment.

Pollack tried to cool the crowd with comments like, “We are not doing this happily today,” but it was clear that the players were not becoming any more satisfied with the comments. With Pollack promising that sell-out tournaments will be the number one topic to be discussed when planning the 2010 WSOP, he eventually ended the meeting with parting words “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Pollack, Palansky, and other executives went out a private side entrance protected by security.

RE: RE: Day 1d Sells Out, Big Names Shut Out

by , | 2:36 pm

Ahh, should be a fun test to see how this plays out. Jeffrey Pollack is to address the mob shortly. From @TaoPauly:

Commissioner Pollack will address the disgruntled players at the Poker Palooza at 2:30pm.

Correction… Antonius is in the field according to ESPN. Lindgren at feature table. Eastgate at secondary table.

Lots of conflicting reports of favoritism. Sully Erna got in now & players in the Diamond Registration line were told to return at 3pm.

I can’t see how anyone could/should be shocked if Diamond players get first dibs. That’s kinda how casinos work, no? When I had Fawcett’s Diamond parking pass, I could get valet parking even when they said “valet full”.

But still … Pollack conceivably bidding farewell to at least a few customers for life, via @JoeSebok:

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Main Event Day 1a Evening Update

by , Jul 3, 2009 | 9:11 pm

The Main Event got underway today with Jack Link’s mascot Sasquatch grunting his way through the “Shuffle Up and Deal” with a field of 1,116 (down from last year’s 1,297) starting day 1a. Jeffrey Pollack’s vlog with Wicked Chops Poker, shown below, hopes to get 5,000 entrants, which would be about 25 precent below last year’s 6,844. The lower than expected numbers could also explain the decision to play only 4 two-hour levels on days 1 and 2.

At the moment, there’s about 4,000 registrants already signed up, most of which are on days 1c and 1d, so don’t be surprised if you hear rumors about Monday’s day 1d being “closed” for registrations to add some entrants to days 1b and 1c. Notables who have already been eliminated today include: Jerry Yang, Freddy Deeb, Orel Hershiser, John Phan, Gabe Kaplan, Davidi Kitai and 2009 EPT Grand Final winner Pieter de Korver. The unofficial chip leader is Dragan Galac at 110,000 in chips, followed by by 2006 EPT Grand Final winner Jeff Williams at 106,000.

Other notables with chips: Jason Alexander (84,500), Eli Elezra (84,300), Tom Schneider (57,000), Phil Laak (46,000) and Jimmy Fricke (45,000). Follow the last level of play at the WSOP site here. Chip counts should be available in the early morning hours, but if you want to see who decided to pay their $10,000 today, a list of Day 1a entrants can be found here. More stuff this weekend, so come back to Pokerati often.

Watch Jeffrey Pollack Vlog on Day 1A of the 2009 WSOP Main Event on

Eastgate and Ivey Make First WSOPE Caesars Cup Picks

by , Jun 30, 2009 | 5:34 pm

The first ever Caesars Cup is set to happen at the World Series of Poker Europe this year. The WSOPE (presented by Betfair) will offer four tournaments, and in the midst of it all will be the Caesars Cup, an invitation-only tournament to pit the Europeans against the Americans, on September 25.

Annette Obrestad is heading up the European team, and today at the Rio she made her first pick. Peter Eastgate will be joining her on the team, along with several other players to be announced, one of whom will win his/her way onto the team through a Betfair online poker leaderboard competition. Daniel Negreanu is the team leader for the Americas, and his first pick was announced by Jeffrey Pollack as Phil Ivey.

Annette Obrestad & Peter Eastgate v. Daniel Negreanu & Phil Ivey

Hard to place any bets at this point, considering many picks have yet to be made.

Question of the Day: Should the WSOP Ever Sell Out?

by , Jun 27, 2009 | 5:46 pm

That’s what @JeffreyPollack wants to know — after today’s $1,500 NLH maxed out with 2,790 entrants (one of which is The Big Randy, fyi). Specifically, he twitters:

should WSOP events ever sell out? Do sell-outs conflict with our brand promise? Or, are they okay?

Though I’m not exactly sure what the “brand promise” of the WSOP is beyond free beef jerky for media (hey, can we get the strips instead of the nuggets? that’d be great … thanks … sesame please), I gotta think the answer is no.

If you let alternates run, then it ultimately becomes the players’ choice whether or not to buy-in.

There could obviously be exceptions for numerically dependent tournaments such as Shootouts and Heads-up events. But I’m not even so sure that those should ever close until X number of necessary logistical minutes before cards go in the air.

Send your thoughts to the Commish in 140 characters or less here.

RE: Today is Hockey Day at the WSOP

All Poker Media Welcome, Per WSOP Commish

by , Jun 17, 2009 | 2:50 pm

Admittedly, hockey is far from my favorite sport. Even hailing from St. Louis Blues country, I’ve never been a hockey fan. So as the NHL Charity Shootout sponsored by PokerStars was underway on the ESPN stage, I wasn’t exactly compelled to check it out.

The decision to grab a pic was more for Pokerati readers than any other reason, but when the security guard told me I wasn’t allowed in the media area, I used Twitter to express my dismay. Within a matter of minutes, WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack was at my work station. “Come with me,” he said in a way that made me think of card counters being taken into the back room to be roughed up nicely. He took me to the NHL game media area, told the security guard I was to be allowed in, and let me know that he simply didn’t want the media to have a bad experience with this event. Done and done. (Later, I’ll see if my new BFF wants to hang out at the clubs.)

Back to the event, three tables full of NHL stars, poker pros, and online qualifiers will play out, and the winners will return to play the final table at 7:30-ish tonight for big money to be donated to their charities of choice. ESPN is filming all of the fun, and Mean Gene is anxiously (understatement of the week) awaiting the arrival of the Stanley Cup around 7pm. Here are a few pics of Table #2 that is still playing out in the Amazon Room.


WSOP Clean and Dirty

by , Jun 13, 2009 | 6:43 am

Two rather distinct views of the World Series, a third of the way through the show, from @JeffreyPollack and Micon, both discussing their party animal ways:

For all J-Pollack V-logs, click here.

For the original Degen Update from the pseudo-media dude with revoked credentials (supposedly related to his video of a player smoking meth) and a tale of violence around a rule dispute in a $65 satellite, click here.