Posts Tagged ‘non-poker media’

Drones Are the New Poker?

by , Feb 11, 2014 | 11:02 am

drone-coverCall it lo-tech, but I bought an actual paper magazine on the way home from Christmas, Popular Science, which lured me with its cover story, “Predictions for 2014”.

Semi-fascinating stuff regarding 3-D printing, a looming crackdown on opiate painkillers, and a right-around-the-corner future filled with bots — the good kind, apparently, not ones that threaten security of the human race and sanctity of Full Tilt Poker. Anyhow, one item that was nifty-neato featured some rhetoric that sounded kinda familiar. Supposedly, according to one of the PS predictions, the drone industry is ready to boom right about now. All they need, say drone profiteers pioneers, is to attach hole-card cams CyberChris Moneymaker a little government oversight to make sure you don’t go attaching laser death beams to go through your neighbor’s underwear drawer.

“We’re one of very few industries that is actually begging for government regulations,” says Ben Gielow, government relations manager at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. FAA rules could potentially lead to a drone registry to help punish reckless piloting.

Exciting stuff … sounds kinda like a drone-age Pocket 5s, no? Let’s just hope (for the sake of the drone pros) that they have more success with that line than the PPA and AGA have had. Meanwhile, the government seems to be making sure this boom doesn’t get out of hand too early … starting by targeting media operations who may or may not be currently benefiting from unregulated drone piloting.

Heating up: Texas Fight for Right to Gamble at Home

by , Jan 14, 2013 | 4:00 pm

Gambling laws in three of Texas’ neighbor states:

Legal gaming: Commercial casinos, tribal casinos, racetrack casinos

Gaming revenue, 2007: $2.566 billion

Revenue from Texas, 2007: $1.016 billion

Legal gaming: Tribal casinos, racetrack casinos

Gaming revenue, 2007: $923.9 million

Revenue from Texas, 2007: $204.2 million

Legal gaming: Tribal casinos, racetrack casinos

Gaming revenue, 2007: $2.478 billion

Revenue from Texas, 2007: $478.4 million

Source: “The Economic and Tax Revenue Impact of Racino Gaming in Texas,” a study for Texans for Economic Development

The Texas Legislature convened its 140-day biennial session last week … and right out the gate, gambling is an issue du jour.

Two relevant bills to follow: the poker bill (Rodriguez – HB 292), which looks to provide for legal and regulated live poker at Texas racetracks and elsewhere; and the casino amendment bill (Ellis – SJR 6), which seeks to establish a Texas Gaming Commission by popular vote of the people, allowing for different types of gaming in specified regions.

Though much remains to be seen about current efforts and their ability to finally bring results to disenfranchised Texas poker commuters and pokerati expats, The Dallas Morning News ran an editorial last week suggesting that the people, even in ever-conservative Texas, are ready to push gaming matters forward, even if it results in a casino:

It makes plenty of good points about money realities (see the sidebar to the right) … and challenges newly elected Tea Party reps to show they really believe in principles of fiscal conservatism more so than being in the pockets of social conservatives. But what caught my eye (and fueled my optimism?) was the “Related” box, where you can see a progression of influential opinion on the matter:

It’s a subtle change, but significant, imho. In 2010 it was about how the legislature *should study* … you know like they should, kinda-sorta look at it, and maybe think about it … by 2011, with Session rolling and different casino interests fighting for the business of building resorts, it was *Texans Deserve*. As in yeah they do, because we’re Texans by-darnit!

Now it’s a more active and agressive *Let’s [do this!]*

So … We should think about it (ok, done that), we deserve this (yes we do), so now there’s nothing else to do but act (and your inaction as a legislator is an assault on my intelligence and freedom).

OK, maybe I’m stretching things a bit. But The Dallas Morning News editorial page is hardly some liberal pink sheet. If anything, the Blue-Haired Lady of Texas journalism represents the collective voice of the conservative heart of the Texas GOP (in a region where George W. Bush and Mr. and Mrs. Pokerati, Sr. alike currently reside). So this slight variation in word choice over the years reveals not just an evolving willingness to see casino entertainment in Texas, but perhaps more important attaches the notion to matters of fiscal responsibility and the conservative principals that got many of them elected.

Online Pokerer Plays Big in Election Politics

by , Oct 23, 2012 | 1:31 pm

PresidentTracker: One of the world’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009 at the WSOP in 2011.
(Photo: PokerListings)

Plenty of talk about polls as we head into the homestretch of our 2012 US Presidential election. Who’s up, who’s down, who asked what and margin-of-error how? Just remember: no matter where you are on the political spectrum, in the horserace journalism of it all, the mainstream media are primary beneficiaries of a tight race. At least that’s what I keep telling myself after making some rather significant wagers on essentially a “gut” feeling that the national economy was improving and no way more than 43 percent of Americans would vote for a guy who strapped his dog to the roof of a car.

But proper analysis is apparently not so simple.

No wonder so many pundits are looking to a former online poker semi-pro to tell us who’s the best bet for president.

Nate Silver, 34, is author of The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t … and he’s all the rage among the politerati these days. His book apparently brings multi-level thinking taught by hand histories into the political sphere. And in doing so, Silver puts online poker on the same level as other imperfect but predictive sciences such as hurricane tracking and counterterrorism. (And nobody seems to be laughing at the comparisons!)

The Signal and the Noise came out the chute in September on the New York Times bestseller list, where it’s currently #15 among all non-fiction books. And at the time of this posting, the book ranked #1 on Amazon for books about math, #1 for technology, and #2 for politics and social sciences.


Full Tilt’s PR Maven Taking on the Real World

by , Jul 22, 2012 | 4:20 pm

You get a sense that something Full Tilty is coming to a close, officially, for good. Not only has Ray Bitar surrendered to authorities in the United States, but now Michele Clayborne, longtime gatekeeper to Team Full Tilt pros and poker industry dominatrix circa 2004-2011, is apparently looking for work. According to her LinkedIn profile, all dealings with FTP are in the past (as of January 2012).

Choose your own irony in the effort to take skills honed at Full Tilt and apply them to the non-poker world in: 8 PR Tips for Conducting Business Globally. (Published in June.) Perhaps surprisingly, blacklisting certain blog sites isn’t one of them, nor is posting falsehoods on internet forums that can be used against your former boss in US federal court.

But good on Michele for turning lemons into lemonade. There’s almost a reality show in it — Online Poker Industry Exiles or something — when the world you helped create comes crashing down, who will come out unscathed, and who still has something to hide!? (Bumpbuh buh!) OK, gotta workshop that concept, obv. But for various reasons different people who made livings in poker off the table are dropping out and/or moving on. And for Full Tilt’s primary spinstress, putting the past behind her means not having to admit (yet) to various Full Tilt shenanigans, which at some point would’ve became her job, as “Head of International PR for Full Tilt,” to cover up.

The People (of Macau) vs. Sheldon Adelson

by , Jul 19, 2012 | 10:31 am

We hear a lot about Sheldon Adelson. Poker players love to hate on the cranky old billionaire because how dare the primary beneficiary of the Venetian’s awesome Deep Stack Extravaganza be against online poker! Wasn’t the Venetian its biggest supporter when they welcomed PokerStars and the NAPT into the USA to someday maybe challenge the supremacy of the WSOP? OK, I’m editorializing and asking you to connect dots here that we haven’t even connected yet on paper. But regardless, Adelson seems to have more problems these days than opposition to online gambling.

Here’s Rachel Maddow (the Vanessa Selbst of cable News?) laying out why the GOP’s big sugardaddy — originally a Newt Gingrich guy — is finding himself in some liberal (and government) crosshairs over the appearance of less than ethical behavior in Macau.

And here is NPR on that same story of Adelson possibly facing legal heat for criminal violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Get the sense the liberal media elite ain’t gonna let this one go?

One Drop to the Rest of the World

by , Jul 1, 2012 | 3:04 pm

Before Black Friday, the poker world seemed to avoid the economic calamities faced by the rest of the world. I’m sure that made the ROW just love all those players seen on ESPN Full Tilt & PokerStars TV. Now, lest we be seen in the same way as the rest of the world when it comes to money, we have One Drop — that holy fugk big event that arguably changes multiple paradigms in the poker world moving forward.

Here’s Alexandra from the Wall Street Journal trying to explain the concept to people who have a hard time thinking of even a $1,500 buy-in as a small event:

Hot(ish) Topic: TechCrunch on Poker

by , Mar 2, 2012 | 2:59 pm

Maybe it was just the mid-day glare … but LOL I thought they were talking about eccentric British billionaire Richard Branson, who has quite an interest in the future of money related to online gaming, not the non-knighted digital gaming wonk Richard Bronson:

But still cool they’re talking online poker legalization on TechCrunch. And Bronson seems to be converting at least a few of those doubting the benefits of online poker’s legitimization.

Ironic Hold’em?

by , Feb 22, 2012 | 1:01 pm

Stumbled across this New York Times crossword puzzle from 2008, revealing a perception of shadiness that persisted well into the heyday of WSOP, Full Tilt, and PokerStars on TV:

poker crossword puzzle new york times

They did, of course, use a question mark disclaimer in the clue, but it probably wouldn’t have made sense without it.

Tiananmen Poker?

by , Jan 30, 2012 | 2:52 pm

Check it out all you haters … PC World magazine, a non-poker-biased publication, has included “online poker lobby” among 10 examples of “How the Web Spurs Political Change”. Though online poker liberalisation doesn’t quite reach the level of using Twitter to overthrow the Egyptian president, Poker Players Alliance activism did receive an “effective” rating, the same as:

  • Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign to stop gay teenagers from killing themselves
  • Russia’s Wintertime Spring to prevent Vladimir Putin from regaining power
  • The Occupy (New York) movement spreading worldwide

Though personally I see Occupy ultimately going the route of Woodstock ’99, overall it’s a good crowd for poker to be runnin’ with. And that sorta social climbing didn’t come because of a Guinness World Record, crazy prop bet, or even a celebrity charity tournament; being on the national radar (in the right way at the right time) comes because of consistent and steady efforts to awaken the right people to what really is total government bullshit! political injustice.

Aces vs. Aces

by , Sep 13, 2011 | 4:35 pm

Have you seen this new reality show on CNN called “The Republican Tea Party Debate”? LOL, the new season is just getting underway, but already I’m looking forward to seeing who gets voted off the island. The first episode last night was full of groaners and OMGs and gawkable moments … the characters are about as good as any Real World/Survivor crew I’ve ever seen before. You can already tell Michelle Bachman is gonna be the Omarosa and Rick Santorum the Puck.

The poker-player’s candidate, Gary Johnson, apparently didn’t make the cut … but poker did enter into the debate when Mitt Romney challenged Texas Governor Rick Perry’s record on job creation … essentially calling him a luckbox.

Not quite the “licensed and regulated online poker” stuff we mighta hoped for … but hey.

Unfortunately, not only do these two look-a-likes reveal an inherent conservative opposition to “regulation” that the Barton Bill will have to overcome, but also they seem to be talking 5-card draw or maybe 7-stud with the four Aces analogy — as if they’re totally unaware that much of the country is playing Pot-Limit Omaha.

Ivey’s White Knight Deal Almost Done + Full Tilt Poker

by , Jul 1, 2011 | 8:51 am

We recorded our first Wicked Chops Podcast yesterday with some friends from across the pond–Ben Fried, who launched Betfair’s poker room–and Kim Lund, who did the same for Poker Room. While some of the content is already dated (a lot of it is speculation about Tilt’s future in light of the AGCC license revocation), still some interesting European perspective on the Tilt situation and their international market perception.

Listen, and read more here.

Barney Frank Calls out Obama for Online Poker Smackdown

by , Apr 18, 2011 | 3:25 pm

In a bout of Democrat-on-Democrat tongue-lashing, longtime online gambling champion Rep. Barney Frank pointed to the Obama Administration, which oversees the DOJ, for pointless prosecutions and an unsmart use of resources, but came short of defending any indicted online poker defendants.

Frank mocked the seizures as the administration “protecting the public from the scourge of inside straights,” and lamented that the Justice Department is more focused on prosecuting online poker sites than those responsible for the mortgage crisis and financial meltdown.

“Go after the people responsible for empty houses, not full houses,” Frank added.

Doh! Barney was doing so well with that first poker metaphor, but then kinda blew it with the addendum, imho.

Still, you see the venerable liberal Congressman willing to finger the President more so than Bill Frist and the Republicans or Eric Holder and SDNY or Spencer Bachus or anyone else. Why would he direct his balk at Barack like this? Sour grapes, non-partisan principle, or something more he’d like the DC press corp to know about Obama’s role in the timing of these indictments?

Monday Morning Clickables

Fear, Fashion, Food, Expanded Footprints

by , Feb 28, 2011 | 12:20 am

Here are a few links to get your mind kickin’ before we get into the throes of poker “news” … to sites that have been on my radar of late for varying reasons. These independently selected, never-for-sale (except at the very top and very bottom) click-worthy internet suggestions are brought to you by the fine folks at:


Tao of Fear — Pauly steps away from poker and Phish to take on the real world, a place that turns out to be filled with (very real) mayhem, foreigners, and death … and that’s just Wall Street pre-Libya! There’s a fine line between current events and conspiracy theory … a few pills and maybe a shot of whiskey, too.

Bill’s Blog and Hardboiled Poker — two of the more thoughtful poker blogs out there … well-informed, and always adding something new to the conversation. I never link to Bill Rini or Shamus enough … but hey, following either of these guys is kinda like a subscription to the New Yorker … so much good stuff, just near-impossible to keep up. I have about eight specific posts from each of them waiting to be written up, but usually about 2/3 through, one of them produces a missive that makes me realize the pedantic flaws in whatever I was originally thinking.

Poro Report 2011 — kinda like Drudge, or actually a lot like Drudge … a well-culled link-dump directing you to the most current and relevant bits of poker news and industry convo harvested from around the internet.

LV Fashion Report — Some new sassy blogger chick’s take on Vegas people and all their outerwear is trying to suggest. (With a few sneak peaks at new Vegas properties, too.) I’m pretty sure “Kate Couture” isn’t her real name, but I think I’ve seen her running around Panorama Towers … so obviously she’s got insight into the most pea-cocky of poker players.

J Gary Wise — my fellow 2x award-winning Poker Beat sparring partner seems to be swimming with craziness these days without TPB to give him a wild-rant fix — (I know the feeling) — and thus the ESPN columnist has been spewing out original, semi-intelligent content rather fierce. Sometimes pokery, sometimes not, but either way, Gary is still Gary, and therefore sure to at some point make you wanna punch him.

A Year of Culinary Curiousity — Former Pokerati contrib Jen Newell has a new non-poker blog … about food and cooking and edible bad beats. In a way, it is kinda like a poker blog, as Jen tries to move up in stakes and hone her kitchen game — skill and luck determining results. Glad she decided against calling the site All You Can Eat, Baby!

Allied Listing:

The Maven Training — If you’re not maximizing your return at the tables, you’re playing suboptimal poker, leaving profits behind. Whether you prefer cash games or tournaments, live or online, be the best at your table by training with accomplished pros. Next boot camp: March 4-6. 10% Pokerati discount here.

The Most Boring Video ever on TMZ

by , Jan 16, 2011 | 11:27 am

Of course it’s ‘starring’ Phil Hellmuth. I bet he likes it.

More Good #ReidBill Buzz Beyond Poker

Forward to your anti-poker friends

by , Dec 11, 2010 | 11:05 am

If this was the message that got out around the Beltway and beyond, you’d think we coulda had the UIGEA Redux done years ago … and would already be gearing up for the relaunch of an American-friendly Sunday Millions in the coming new year. Of course that woulda required legislation that woulda had some 14 interested parties agreeing, “yeah, I can live with that”.

Check it out … read the whole story, but yesterday’s hedline in Slate magazine pretty much says it all, no?

Don’t Hate the Player—or the Game
Sure, Harry Reid’s push to legalize online poker is a favor to the casinos that helped get him re-elected. But it’s also good policy.

Still learning how the politics game works along with the rest of the poker world here … but maybe “good policy” is a red flag to lawmakers who prefer passing stuff that isn’t?