Posts Tagged ‘National anthem’

Ivan Neville at National Poker Week

by , Jul 22, 2009 | 12:04 pm

Had a brief little run-in with Ivan Neville (of the Neville Brothers, and now Dumpstaphunk), who’s a low-stakes poker regular at Harrah’s New Orleans, any casino town he plays music in, and online. Not only did he sing the National Anthem at the USO/PPA charity event last night, but also he’s gone to some meetings with Congresspeople representing Louisiana and Texas … and in at least one case, his presence helped poker win out on a double-booked sked. Oh, and in addition to inspiration for further political involvement, he got an education on how the rebuy period really changes tournament action.

Says Neville: “Poker’s a friggin’ American pastime!”

Neville Brother on Poker+Politics


Iranian Pride Showcased with Winner’s Anthem

Then Regular Poker Resumed, Nothing to See Here

by , Jun 27, 2009 | 6:11 pm

It was a moment for those of us who believed it to be. Surely, it was a moment for 24-year old Bahador Ahmadi, who was celebrating a WSOP victory that came with $278,104 and a gold bracelet, but it was a bit more than that to him. At the Saturday bracelet ceremony, the Iranian-born Canadian resident requested that the anthem played on his behalf be that of his native Iran. He told Nolan Dalla after his win:

In a post-tournament interview, Ahamdi wanted to point out that he is proud of his heritage and supports change in his native country. He believes that playing the Iranian anthem at the WSOP will enable many poker players and the public to better understand the pro-Western attitudes held by many Iranians, both who live within Iran and abroad.

With all of the unrest going on in Iran surrounding the recent election, it was a thought that the people in the Amazon Room would stand with extra pride, exert some sort of extra support for the people of Iran, and it would be a grand moment representing the state of the world (or something like that). In fact, the moment was like any other bracelet ceremony, as the majority of the room stood to respect the anthem of the winner’s country, the winner seemed consumed in his own private moment of silence, and it was over.

Perhaps, however, that is what is notable about the World Series of Poker…and poker tournaments in general. Conflicts that may arise between groups of people or warring countries are not apparent at the poker tables. It’s the demeanor of the person at the table, along with playing style and respect for others that gets the attention rather than their ethnicity or skin color. Others like Dr. Pauly contend that the WSOP is simply so all-consuming that no one responds to news unless it hits them in the face like the death of Michael Jackson. Iran? Never heard any of their music so… Read the Tao of Poker take on the mindset of the players here.

Iranian Wins Bracelet

by , Jun 26, 2009 | 10:10 pm

Iranian bracelet.

You just could tell … 2009 was sure to be a big year for Iran! Thought it was gonna be Farzad Rouhani who did it first at the WSOP — but he got Lisandro’d in a Stud event.

Bahador Ahmadi took down the $2,500 Mixed Hold’em event (limit and no-limit — first prize: $279k).

We’re probably not gonna get the conundrum-y bracelet ceremony I was hoping for … because though Ahmadi is Iranian, he currently calls Canada (BC) his home. But if he were to claim this victory for Iran — and the WSOP were to play the Iranian national anthem — do we stand? Do we turn our backs? And whom would we be speaking to by doing so — Ahmadinejad or supporters of Mousavi?

I suppose that’s kinda what they’re fighting about in the streets of Tehran …

UPDATE (from Cali Jen): They’ll be playing the Iranian national anthem tomorrow at 2:20 (or 2:50 – whatever they decide)

$50k HORSE Field Takes Bigger-Than-Expected Hit

< 100

by , | 5:43 pm

Wow, I took the under … but this is so under I’m not even sure I still win: 95 players in $50k HORSE, compared with 148 the year before, 148 the year before that, and 143 the year before that.

Had there not been a delayed start, the number mighta been closer to 50.

All this on a Day when the WSOP decided to take a risk and play the Sex Pistols version of God Save the Queen in lieu of the British national anthem, which some thought was great, others thought was terrible, and in the end had @WSOPsuits apologizing. (All I can say is yikes, rough day, know how that goes …)

I suspect there’ll be a lot of buzz and analysis over the HORSE field for a some time to come … after all, though not the first event with a decline in entry numbers, it is the most noticeable … resulting in a $2million drop in prize pool and a six-figure hit in the take for WSOP tourney staff.

Hey, bottom line, $50k is harder to come by these days — way more harder than in 2008, and presumably even harder than in early June 2009. But is it the money, or is it the lack of ESPN coverage?

NOTE: More than 25 percent of $50k HORSE players are members of Team Full Tilt. That doesn’t mean FTP ponied up their buy-ins (directly) … but it does say something. Particularly since many of these players were some of the last to buy in, after the entry period would have ended were it not for the cards-in-the-air delay.


Latest WSOP World Standings (through 18 events)

by , Jun 10, 2009 | 4:10 pm

So wow, look at that California vs. Nevada battle … tight tight tight! And for real, where is the Poker Capitol of the World? So much taxable difference between Daniel Alaei and Daniel Negreanu.

California is the only region, btw, with someone to cash in every single event so far. Nevada players (mostly Las Vegans) have cashed in every tournament but one — the $1,500 7cs that Jeff Lisandro won (representing Italy).

“Europe” has cashed in every single event.

One of the biggest surprise shifts has taken place at the bottom of the table — could you theoretically have relegation in poker? — where the Latin Americans have come on strong to surpass the Asia-Pacifickers in bringing home the most skrilla. Most of this comes on the backs of Mexicans, specifically Angel Guillen’s $318k 2nd place score in $2,500 NLH, which a dozen Aussie ITM finishers and a Korean have not been able to match.

Click here to view the complete Pokerati’s complete 2009 WSOP World Standings.

Perhaps in the future the WSOP could take a note from Facebook, allowing players to enter both a current city and a hometown … so say a guy like Daniel Negreanu were to win, he would be tallied for both Canada and the USA, and would have a choice over what anthem he wants to play at his bracelet ceremony. Lots of potential “fun” controversy in that … and we’d finally get to see how good all those California-centric (but US-scattered) Vietnamese really are.

Some newcomers to the 2009 WSOP money:

Both Slovenia and Slovakia booked a cash.

Also … Rhode Island
Washington DC
Puerto Rico

The UK is making a charge to challenge the Russians.

And where’s Denmark, who were certainly more than just Peter Eastgate last year? The Scandis would be doing little if it were not for a few Finns this year.

Texas is the top money-winner without a bracelet.

Mad props to the Hawaiians, who thanks to Lisa Hamilton’s bracelet in the Ladies event, silenced the Alaskans who briefly looked like they were gonna stake a claim to extra-continental American poker supremacy.

With just a few hundred dollars of separation, Maine and Spain are also in a kinda tight race money-wise. They rhyme.

Poker Beat Extra

by , Jun 9, 2009 | 3:29 am

For those who missed our debut special-for-the-WSOP Monday episode live, here’s the podcast … where The Poker Beat crew waxes poetic about Phil Ivey’s bracelet, Daniel Negreanu’s non-bracelet, non-Finnish national anthems, Ladies events, what makes an “online” player, and Joe Sebok’s lie detector prop bet over his knowledge of Beth Shak’s marital status or lack thereof. Also, Chops shows up to declare this World Series the “Year of the Brother” … or maybe it’s the Year of “tha Brothah” … but either way, leave it to the Entities to celebrate poker in all its multicultural greatness.

The Poker Beat
Caldwell, Michalski, Nemeth, Chops, Stapleton

[audio:] subscribe via iTunes

This episode, btw, marks my personal umpteenth appearance on The Poker Beat — making me the “last man standing” amongst hosts and panelists (Go free labor!) and the only guy to appear on every episode since the show’s inception. While that factoid may mark a certain pathos, I’d also like to point out that I am the only one — even with all those extra minutes — who has yet to be called out by the Insider for a factual misstatement.

That’s not to say I haven’t made any errors — made a big one about something really important a month ago, but I guess it just slipped by our wheezey, phlegmy ombudsman.

From the Dept. of: All Scandis Look Alike

by , Jun 8, 2009 | 7:30 am

One of Pokerati’s media eavesdroppers got the real skinny on what went wrong with the Finnish national anthem yesterday. Indeed, Jeffrey Pollack and Seth Palansky acknowledged to each other that the anthem played to honor $10k Mixed World Champion Ville Wahlbeck was not that of his native Finland — it was Sweden’s.


During the ceremony Wahlbeck leaned over to Pollack and said, “This is a nice song, but it’s not the Finnish National Anthem.”

“Roll with it,” Pollack replied.

Palansky said that he got the song off the internet, and it was labeled as “Track #37: Finnish National Anthem.”

LOL, when are WSOP officials going to learn not to trust what they find on the internet?

You can read Wahlbeck’s blog (in Finnish) here.

And now that he’s won a bracelet, have a listen to the youngster Scandi pro talk about how he’s ready to retire from poker … save for the World Series, WSOP-Europe, the EPT, and maybe some other tournaments:

Flops of the Day

by , Jun 7, 2009 | 3:52 pm

The implementation of this year’s WSOP bracelet ceremonies have been a hit thus far, as play is stopped in the Amazon Room for Jack Effel and Jeffrey Pollack to announce the previous day’s bracelet winners, award them the bracelets and Harrah’s Diamond Rewards cards, and play the national anthem(s) of the newest WSOP winners. In general, it seems to go over well each day with players, fans, and media alike. Today? Not so much.

Ville Wahlbeck is a Finnish player, and his ceremony culminated in the playing of the Finnish anthem. Not sure what the song actually was, but Benjo reported that Finnish players seemed perplexed. And according to Benjo‘s conversation with Wahlbeck, it was NOT the Finnish anthem. Whoops.

Yesterday, media row received a visit from Dan Frank, owner of a relatively new player representation company called Top Set. He announced that there would be a “can’t miss” formal introduction of the company just after the start of today’s ladies event.

We watched from media row as a line of people marched into the Amazon Room with a bright-lighted camera filmed the entrance. Led by a petite woman, Frank followed, as did a string of rented ladies in Top Set logo’ed skimpy-ish t-shirts and tight pants, and they all paraded around the room. After taking the long route and finally ending up at a table, the lead woman sat down to play in the event, and the rest of the crew took places on the rail to cheer her on. Who was this woman? No one knows. And the Top Set website said nothing whatsoever about her, as there is no woman even listed as one of their clients. None of the media recognized her. And, she was out of the tournament by the end of the first level. Serious flop.