Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Full Tilt Takes the Fourth

by , Mar 25, 2013 | 11:00 am

From for the week of March 25th …


#1. Full Tilt Poker’s traffic slide just won’t quit. PokerStars has tried bonuses, splashy promotions and even PR stunts to prop up Full Tilt, so it will be interesting to see how PokerStars reacts this week – if they react at all – to FTP’s recent drop into 4th place (by cash game traffic).

#2. PokerStars & NJ: The online poker giant has yet to complete its NJ application. But the PR war between PokerStars and the AGA continues, and looks set to escalate as NJ marches closer to launching real-money online gambling.

#3. NY will almost certainly abandon their brief legislative flirtation with online poker this week when the state’s budget is finally passed.

A week filled with official holidays should ensure that the legislative lull of last week continues through the end of April.



Check out my latest article for Casino Enterprise Management – Five Things Full Tilt Poker Got Right.


#GoodRead – published what is sure to be one of many pieces prescribing a remedy for what ails Full Tilt.

Neat – LIFE slideshow of unpublished photos taken around Vegas in 1955 (h/t @BrianPempus).

Empire (State) Poker Returns?

by , Mar 18, 2013 | 11:42 am

From for the week of March 18th …


#1. The Revolution Network is dealing with two unresolved stories – one regarding lengthy payment delays to a skin and one regarding a possible software bug related to hole cards – as the Lock-fronted network continues to lose ground.

#2. Empire (State) Poker: NY’s tentative step toward regulated online gambling will thrive or die between now and April 1st, the deadline for the state’s budget. Gov. Cuomo seems open to the idea, but we should get a good sense of what support the initiative actually has in the days ahead.

#3. IL and PA. This week could pass with no movement in PA, where a few soft deadlines for the introduction of an online gambling bill have come and gone. But the pressure for legislative progress on the larger issue of casino expansion is significant in IL and should result in a quicker timetable for online poker – one way or the other.



A quick FAQ on Full Tilt repayment. And Marco Valerio’s interview with Salim Adatia, CEO of GLI Interactive – the company behind software testing in Nevada. Plus an update to my Illinois FAQ to reflect last week’s changes to the bill’s “bad actor” clause.


#GoodRead – The New York Times has a good write up of the uncertain environment surrounding daily fantasy sports. Much of it should sound familiar to followers of online poker.

@Follow – @Pokeraddictnet. Often first to news on U.S. facing rooms + regulatory developments at the state level.

Governor Calls for More Casinos ASAP!

by , Jan 27, 2012 | 3:40 pm

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his State of the State address on Jan 4 to say, “We have long flirted and dallied with another potential economic engine — casino gaming — and when it comes to gaming, we’ve been in a state of denial.” Instead of flirting, Cuomo recommended a constitutional amendment that would finally consummate the state’s relationship with gaming.

Aside from making industry lobbyists flush, the governor claimed the Full Monty approach to gaming would generate $1 billion in economic activity. Of course estimated gaming-related revenues have to be taken with a grain of salt. In the fictitious town of Lake Wobegon, all the children were above average. When it comes to gaming revenue estimates, every state and municipality assumes an above-average piece of the pie, ignoring the expansion plans of its neighbors. Read More States Betting on Casino Gambling for Jobs, Revenue.

Not everyone stands to gain. NY currently has nine Indian casinos, five of which are run by the Seneca Nation. The Seneca have a 21-year agreement that gives them exclusive territorial gambling rights. After Cuomo’s speech, they wondered if their gambling treaty would end up being one more “broken promise.” Ouch.  You can read more about their anxiety: Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Gambling Push Opposed by Native American Tribes. 


Lacey Jones: Sure, I’d Get Naked for Playboy

by , Oct 14, 2009 | 4:36 pm

That’s not really the point of this video, but hey, when Lacey Jones talks for 15 seconds about the business of getting naked, people listen.*

The Absolute Poker/Zizzazz girl’s latest spokesmodel gig is with (a gambling-themed clothing line by the people who helped set standards for douchebag- club-culture fashion with Caffeine).

The vid gives a little behind-the-scenes peek at her signing the deal, and then follows her as she hits the streets of Manhattan, where she runs across at least one New York City underground player who offers a glimpse of how the games work there. She also explains how above-ground casinos handle the shark-whale relationship, and eventually starts dressing dudes she meets on the streets … which is kinda like undressing them, but not quite. Special appearance by Spongebob Squarepants.

* listening props: @AlCantHang

Apparent Fed Crackdown on Online Poker Money Transfers

E-check withdrawals and deposits blocked

by , Jun 6, 2009 | 7:45 am

Normally we wouldn’t think much of a thread on 2+2 about some withdrawal problems at a major American-friendly online site. Usually these problems get resolved in a matter of days or maybe weeks, but this time something’s different.

Developing …

We’ll hold off on saying too much until we get more solid information, but basically, checks from PokerStars are “bouncing”, particularly with New York banks. Instant E-checks seems to be the payment processor most notably affected at present. However, it’s not just e-checks … paper checks are proving uncashable, too. Reliable sources tell us that this is not just a little snafu, but that it’s the direct result of DOJ enforcement actions somehow connected to the Federal Court in New York’s Southern District.

This is the same court, of course, that handled Neteller way back when, and more recently came to non-prosecution agreements guilty plea settlements with Anurag Dikshit et al. While the Party Poker dudes are officially in the clear,* is it possible the Feds are now saying, hey, that was fun, and we got a lot of money … let’s try it again with those PokerStars guys!?!

The FBI offers more clarity on who’s agreed to what between Party Poker peeps and the Feds here.

The best I can tell, right now Stars seems to be the target. No confirmation on the fates of Full Tilt and UB payment processing.

UPDATE: Problems at Full Tilt, too. (Thanks, Ken, for the info/link!) And Ultimate Bet.

Regardless, whatever shakes down (pun intended), it raises a lot of questions at an interesting time, considering how much big money gets transfered passed between poker players — particularly in the summer — often on an online site in exchange for casino chips and/or bricks of cash.

Might the value of the Euro have just gone up, at least in the poker economy? Seems plausible if they’re the only ones able to convert online bankrolls into real American WSOP buy-in dollars.

* Cases against (with?) two other Party principals, Ruth Parasol and Russ DeLeon, are still pending in the same court.

Inside the New York Underground

by , Mar 25, 2009 | 2:34 pm

Semi-related to all the activity going on today … there’s a great story in Salon about poker:

A city awash in cards
Inside New York’s underground poker scene, where no one thinks about the recession, or their rent money, when there’s a good hand to be played.

Hi, my name is Jim, and I have a gambling problem.

I told myself the last time was the last time, but here I am, in another bind: $1,000 in chips resting anxiously on the felt in front of me, and the ace-queen of hearts in my hand.

My lone opponent is Al, an egg-shaped old wiseguy who breathes heavy when he has a winner. Right now he’s taking up most of the oxygen in this three-story walk-up.

The rational part of my brain is screaming at me. “Fold, you stupid motherfucker. That’s half a month’s rent you are about to toss into the pot on a draw.” But Al is legendary for losing and that’s all the compulsive part of my brain can focus on. “Maybe he’s bluffing,” it whispers. “Move all-in.”

Read more …

Tao of Pokerati: Benjo in New York City

by , Jan 11, 2009 | 2:50 pm

Yeesh, you go AWOL for just a blip, and suddenly everyone thinks you’ve pulled a Mike Matusow. En route to the Bahamas, the Tao of Pokerati’s favorite Frenchman, Benjo, stopped off in Pauly’s New York hood for some All-American New Years Eve shenanigans (Benjo’s version here and, even funnier, here), and in the process they turned to stimulating discussion of playing poker in prison (tight is right!), the best French players in 2008 (David Benyamine and Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier), what Frenchie players are and are not broke, Benjo’s love for keno and Marrakech hookers, the “Budapest Incident” turned Lesbian Vomit Show … all capped off with a how-to on ordering from the international buffet of Gotham prostitutes. Tao of Pokerati at its finest — always the case when Benjo’s in town!

Book 7: Big Apple Benjo
New York City

Episode 7.1: Jailhouse Rocks (and Maniacs)

Episode 7.2: The (French) Year in Review

Episode 7.3: Hookers around the World! *

*This episode brought to you by Asian Delight Massage.

UPDATE: Benjo nails another French claim to greatness, as ElkY took down PokerStars $25k “High Roller” event in the Bahamas yesterday. Clearly the only “best” French poker analyst in the biz.

November Nine in the Non-Poker Media

by , Nov 2, 2008 | 9:37 pm

photo: Flipchip / LasVegasVegas
Ylon Schwartz, en route to the final table.

For all those negatively noting that the delayed final table isn’t bringing the hype it promised … patience, patience … it’s coming: The New York Times just took note of their hometown favorite, Ylon Schwartz. He’s an interesting character — basically quasi-degenerate meets chess wizard with a soft spot in his heart for kids. His dad left when he was age 2, and his mom died five years ago. He got his start in the New York underground, going 2-for-2 in his first tournaments to win $12,000, giving him the bankroll with which, perhaps unknowingly, he would embark on a new career.

Since Schwartz’s making the WSOP final table, his father has been in touch to be his best friend, and he has basically told him to fuck off.

These are the kind of compelling stories that will come out, regardless of what we in the poker media do or do not have to say about it. And this is why, prediction here: the Live-ish broadcast of the WSOP main event final table on ESPN will be a huge ratings hit.

Remember, the Olympics spends four years and billions of dollars generating, at best, a few months of hype around a few weeks of activity. By scale, it’s only realistic to expect a few months of work (and a few million dollars?) to generate just a few days of hype around an event that takes place over a day-and-a-half.

RE: Murder in the Dallas Underground

New York poker robber arraigned on murder charge this week

by , Sep 12, 2008 | 9:49 am

If the New York justice system is anything like Texas’ (er …), we can expect it to take about a year before the people responsible for the killing of a low-stakes (but high-action) poker player in Arlington. Just this week, New York courts officially charged William Delvalle with the murder of Frank DeSena, who you may recall was the recreational poker player killed last November in the robbery of an underground poker club in midtown Manhattan.

Interesting to note that the courts aren’t even claiming Delvalle pulled the trigger — and yet he still faces life in prison for being the leader of the robbery/homicide. Interesting to me because the poker robbers in Dallas likewise face a similar fate. Sure, laws are different, state-to-state … but not by that much. And without a doubt, though no arrests have been made in any Dallas poker robberies and there’s no certain connection between the latest in Arlington and others around the DFW area that were very similar … poker players in Dallas have a pretty good idea about the identities of at least a few people who have may or may not have donned ski masks and wielded weapons to rape a poker room. (And no, I’m not taking about the police SWAT teams who have done that recently, too — that’s a different story altogether.)

When the Ashton got robbed, I was a little dismissive of the finger-pointing (it was a bad time to be a black Dallas rounder). But now, four or five robberies later — +1 dropped cellphone, +recurring player presences, +1 dead — the reality in this sub-subculture is becoming clearer. Not to mention that police have had their own inside players in games since at least 2006 … we know this for a fact, and even who some of those guys are, but probably not all … but regardless, point being that whether it’s a year from now or not, it’s only a matter of time before we see the poker crooks and the law come to showdown.


The Best Rest of Tao of Pokerati

by , Aug 21, 2008 | 4:28 pm

The 2008 World Series has come and gone and will most likely, in a little less than three months, will come again. In the meantime, while cleaning out the computer(s) we’ve come across these “lost” episodes … recorded in the tail days of the main event. But this is everything … there’s no more, OK? At least not for now. So if you’d like to step back into the WSOP for just a few minutes at a time to the vocal stylings of yours truly and Dr. Pauly, by all means, have a listen/download. Some of it actually seems a little extra interesting with the benefit of a month-or-so of hindsight.

For the entire WSOP season click here.

The heretofore unheard old-new episodes, salvaged from the cut-and-pasting room floor:

Episode 30: The Cost of Donuts
Grubby joins the media to talk main event numbers and the price of trendy donuts in today’s oil economy. (3:19)

Episode 31: Scotchy Poker
Dan+scotch early in the WSOP day=talk of Dario Minieri and Isabelle Mercier. (4:02)

Episode 32: French Warfare
Benjo takes over the mic when Dan calls in drunk, and he and Pauly talk more about Isabelle Mercier live from the Day 2 killing fields. (5:14)

Episode 33: New York & Texas
Michele Lewis joins in as Dan and Pauly break down the difference between Texas and New York humor, or at least the difference between Pauly and Dan. (2:40)

Episode 34: Go Team!
Dallas’ Raj Kattamuri is going deep, and Pauly tracks down Dan in the poker kitchen to find out what it takes to be patched up on Team Pokerati. (2:37)

Episode 35: No Wiener
Benjo is not his usual jovial self as the main event comes to a close and he bids farewell to his American friends in the penultimate WSOP episode of Tao of Pokerati. (4:41)

Episode 36: Unhookered
The traditional late-late night poker-blogger farewell binge drinking at the Rio’s Hooker Bar, with guest appearances by Otis and Mean Gene. (3:29)

Can You Handle The Truth?

I mean at poker

by , Jul 21, 2008 | 9:59 am

Got sucked into a new awesome/terrible reality show yesterday on MTV2 called From G’s to Gents — have already programmed a “season pass” on the Tivo to make sure I don’t miss an episode. The show is done by Jamie Foxx, and the concept revolves around P-Diddy’s personal valet, Fonzworth Bentley, trying to reform gangstas into classy dudes. Anyhow, one of the first contestants eliminated for non-stop yapping and going on near-violent tilt early was a guy named “The Truth” — and he claimed he made his living “hustling” in New York and “playing poker” in Atlantic City. Just wondering if any of you out there have run across him (or anyone like him) at the tables, and what he’s like to play against.

OK, I’m Interested in the Ladies Event Again

And Jean-Robert Bellande’s Video Blog?

by , Jun 8, 2008 | 8:13 pm

Teddy “The Iceman” Munroe: Watch out for this guy. Tough to play against.

Tom is was the chip leader in the $2k Omaha Hi-Lo. That’s pretty cool.

UPDATE: Tom is out. Not cool.

And that limit event he busted out of yesterday … Erick Lindgren just missed the final table, which is now set with some interesting players, including Teddy Munroe, Ali Eslami, and Vinny Vinh. (Teddy and I go way back — last year I’d be typing outside and “The Iceman” would fill me in on the $100-$200 cash action while taking a piss on the tournament tent air conditioners. “Makin’ money, baby!” he’d say before shaking himself dry and heading back to the table.)

Even the $10k 7-Stud World Championship is getting interesting … with Doyle still alive and both Bob and Maureen Feduniak with the potential to become the first ever husband-wife presumably non-collusive team at the final table. Never mind. Since typing this, all the above-mentioned have been eliminated.

I learned about this 7-Stud shape-up from the a WSOP-TV vid. And though I tend to detest any lack of imbeddability, I gotta say I like a lot of what this ESPN/WSOP/Bluff (?) crew has got going here. For example, Harmonie Krieger does a basic feature video interview set on the different jobs people come to the WSOP from. Nice enough, right? — but very real when one of the guys she talks with is Jay Columbo, who ran the legendary Mayfair and Playstation poker clubs in New York City, legally questionable status notwithstanding.

And then, perhaps most shocking to me, I enjoyed Jean-Robert Bellande’s “Surviving the WSOP” — where the young, aspiring Eskimo Clark chronicles his ups and downs at the World Series while his video-podcast editors comment Pop-up Video-style — follow along as he hustles high-rollers for buy-ins.

Even learned something from Phil Ivey’s less exciting V-log … and that is that he’s playing so many big-field, low-buy-in donkfests because he has a lot of side action pending on whether or not he’ll win a bracelet this year. We’ll see if we can’t find out more about this.

Speaking of donkfests, the Ladies Event has already lost 2/3 of its starting field, and of those still remaining, at least three of them are Pokerati MySpace friends: Lacey Jones, Kathy Liebert, and Mandy Baker are looking strong and pretty much representing the spectrum of all that is good about women. Go girls! I mean chicks … er babes .. uh bitches?

UPDATE: Lacey is nursing a short stack. Poker Roadie Amanda Leatherman has come on strong, however, and picked up the aggressive pace. Michele Lewis, Tiffany Michele, and PokerNews editrix Haley Hintze are all out.

In the meantime, primarily because it is awesomely embeddable, check out the debut episode of The Degenerate Report, from Neverwin Poker:

Re: Dallas (Underground) Poker on Film

by , May 15, 2008 | 12:51 pm

Danielle in New York writes in with a little more info about the film project they’ve got working:

Another thing you can add if people are being hesitant to being interviewed or showing us their room, we have filmed in underground poker rooms in NYC. I don’t know how familiar you are with the scene in NY but a couple years ago a big bust broke up a lot of the more well known poker rooms in the city. About 6 months before these busts we were able to film in one of the clubs and interview the owner. Unfortunately since the big bust, its been hard to come by more games in the NYC Area.

One angle I’d love to take while in Dallas, it to interview someone who could talk about all the raids either as someone who was at one of the raids or someone who ran a room that got raided. Of course, if there is an issue of not given out the name of a room or the name of the person we are interviewing, we will abide in any way possible to make everyone comfortable.

I’m not sure how much I got into the extensiveness of our project but our goal is to make the most definitive and comprehensive film about poker in America. We’ve gone everywhere from Vegas to New Orleans to Saratoga Springs to Oklahoma. We’ve interviewed people within the poker community including Annie Duke, Jeffrey Pollack (Commissioner of the WSOP), Phil Hellmuth, Steve Lipscomb (CEO of WPT), Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker, amateur poker players, tournament directors, and poker room mangers from casinos across the US.

So there you have it … I wonder if the poker-room people they end up talking to will be “good” or “bad” gamerunners representing the Dallas scene.

Dallas (Underground) Poker on Film?

by , May 14, 2008 | 5:00 pm

There’s a legitimate New York film-making outfit working on a documentary about the history of poker … and next week they’ll be in Dallas. Naturally, because it has such a relevant role, they want to talk about the Dallas underground — and they’re asking me for contact info for people to talk to, games to see, etc.

I’ve talked with a lot of you before about doing something similar with local news crews — but perhaps not shockingly, ever since the first newscaster to sneak a hidden camera into the Dallas underground ended up getting engaged to the (already married) Chief of Dallas police around the same time her station got a sweeps-week exclusive showing SWAT teams busting up three games simultaneously, most of the “good guys” in the Dallas poker scene have been a little shy about opening their doors to the media … even with assurances that no one would give up any identifying info.

(Ahh, remember the good-ole-days when Stagecoach used to openly run its ballin’ website and pay little-ole poker websites for ads the Observer couldn’t run?)

Anyhow, so this outfit, 4th Row Films, is offering the same guarantees that they will protect identities and locations. Personally I think it would be a shame for this part of poker not to be seen. But I respect the fact people who run these games generally do so to support their gambling addictions families … so I’m not giving out any phone numbers or email addresses without any special OKs. I have, however, suggested they simply drive around to area strip malls looking for the telltale white, wireless doorbells — but that doesn’t seem to be giving them confidence as they fly their people and equipment to town. So if you happen to run a game in Dallas and would like your room to live on long after you die/get arrested and have to plea bargain down your misdemeanor … send me an email and I’ll be happy to put you in touch with the right people.

Male Minority Tourney on Poker After Dark

by , Apr 4, 2008 | 2:06 am

We discussed a poorly received tourney idea on Beyond the Table a year ago — the concept being a “men’s minority event.” I loved the idea because we’ve all played dudes-only before and women have ladies tourneys … but while all women players have been the only representative of their gender at a table before, that’s a dynamic that guys simply don’t get to experience.

Psychology would be fun, results would be interesting …Logistics was the tough part — how to limit the field to 10 (or 15) percent men and still attract the necessary entries. But one thing we never considered was a simple invitational sit-n-go.

So much to my delight, the new episode of Poker after Dark just came on and lo and behold the players this week are Gus Hansen, Vanessa Rousso, J.J. Liu, Clonie Gowen, Beth Shak, and Erica Schoenberg. Very cool — well cast with Gus, who knows they know he knows they know he can be a tad horny influenced by his respect for the ladies.

“We should make all the guys play this format one time,” Clonie just said. Barack Obama presumably agrees, as he just sat down for a very similar 6-handed sit-n-go on The View:

Barack Obama

(L to R) Vanessa Rousso, Clonie Gowen, Gus Hansen, J.J. Liu, Beth Shak, and Erica Schoenberg appear this week on Poker after Dark.