Posts Tagged ‘poker history’

This Day in Historyish: July 2006

DOJ discovers poker blogs

by , Aug 18, 2010 | 12:18 pm

I’m sure this has absolutely nothing to do with anything, obv … but was going through some old pics and came across this screen-grab from July 2006 (some two months before the UIGEA)… when I hadn’t yet discovered the purpose of labeling images more descriptively than just wsop28.jpg, and the Feds apparently hadn’t yet figured out how to hide an IP address when emailing a link to a small-time poker blogger’s suggestive tag.

At the time, Phil Hellmuth had just won his 10th bracelet, no one thought twice about playing on Ultimate Bet, everyone in poker still had money, and Jamie Gold (of all people) seemed to represent the very worst poker had to offer. Ahh, the good ole days … even Russ Hamilton was presumed innocent then.

Though I hardly recall why specifically, something about this visitor seemed peculiar enough for me to wanna preserve the moment. With the benefit of hindsight, I’m sure I was just kidding.

Official number for Main Event – 7,319

by , Jul 8, 2010 | 5:45 pm

The official numbers are in for the Main Event, 2392 players registered on day 1d, making a total of 7,319 players — making it the second largest live tournament in history — with a 1st place prize of $8,944,138. More details at

More details on other payouts as they become available.

Facebook Confirms: 70%-plus of WSOP Fans Are Morons

The complete history of main event entry numbers + nifty charts!

by , Jul 5, 2010 | 6:42 am

History of the World (Series of Poker)

Yep, it’s now time for the WSOP main event numbers game … if entry numbers drop significantly, my ghad what a disaster … whoa is poker! A small drop, as we saw last year, no worries, Team WSOP can spin it accordingly … If they grow slightly, cool, we are right on track since the UIGEA … see, all is fine in the poker world. If they grow TREMENDOUSLY and come anywhere near Jamie Gold-year numbers, holy fugk, the entire world is a better place, starvation has been eliminated, and Osama bin Laden has been captured!

I’m going with “slight increase” … but wouldn’t be surprised to see “slight decrease” or even “slightly bigger than expected increase”. The WSOP’s official fan page on Facebook ran a poll — How many people will you have to beat to win the 2010 WSOP Main Event? — and here were the results:

under 5,000 – 5%
5,000-6,000 – 5%
6,001-7,000 – 25%
7,001-8,000 – 29%
over 8,000 – 36%

Guaranteed: unless we cross the 8k barrier, a super-majority will be wrong.

Fact: They didn’t have these kinda off-base poll results back in the days of Friendster.

From Moss to Moneymaker:
The Early Decades


RE: Main Event Numbers Game

by , | 6:41 am

More fun WSOP main event numbers trivia here:—Legends-Of-The-Main-Event-241979.html

Who knew?!

Revising Poker History

by , Apr 2, 2010 | 5:21 pm

Check it out … Pokerati gold-star commenter Johnny Hughes has a great story in Bluff Europe: When the Most Famous Gambler in the World was a Shill.

In it, he directly challenges Michael Craig and Jim McManus for their takes on legendary gambler Nick the Greek Dandolos, and much of the Chicago-Tex-Vegas history between him, Johnny Moss, and Benny Binion.

I have no idea who’s right … it’s all just old-school mob-time poker to me. My take on Johnny is that he’s a solid writer with proper respect for good storytelling, the game of poker, and historical narrative. He also can end up sometimes way off in left field, like any good Texas senior should.

I actually re-read the story upon noticing the publish date of April 1. But then, after re-re-reading, I found myself second-guessing my second-guessing, which i guess is the whole point of the piece.

A Look Back: Full Tilt at 1 Day Old

by , Feb 16, 2010 | 8:07 am

Woke up this morning talking a little Full Tilt with The Poker Beat crew … and looking back through some old archives …

I remember hearing about this “new site” from Clonie way back before they even existed (and the UIGEA was about as unimaginable as Barack Obama). Was looking to see if I happened to write anything that woulda implied a belief in ownership even before Pokerati’s traffic was borne from Google searches for “Clonie Gowan naked”.

I did not find anything resembling contractual evidence, but I did come across this site’s first-ever post … which seems a bit ironic in hindsight. For those wanting to join me in this self-indulgent quest for perspective:

APRIL 21, 2004
It seems like everyone and their grandmother is opening up an online poker room these days. And why not? Each imaginary table that pops open in the cyberether forms a little vortex of constant pecuniary intake (no matter what’s happening in the game itself). But is the market at a saturation point?

Probably so, but that didn’t stop Full Tilt Poker from going online this week. Despite the competition, I suspect this site — a venture put together by a bunch of top pros (Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, Phil Gordon, et al.) — will fare well. Haven’t played it yet, but at first glance they’ve upped the graphical interface significantly. And the ability to give your avatar facial expressions … very cool. Could change the online game when you think about it.

Posted by Dan Michalski on April 21, 2004 09:20 AM

Click the links, which are … bias or not, honestly surprising that the judge wouldn’t give these sorts of old records a look, let alone her attorneys a chance to depose the other defendants about them.

LOL: Is the market at a saturation point?

ALT HED: Kicking myself for not using an affiliate code

Poker in the Political Maelstrom

by , Nov 29, 2009 | 9:28 pm

Interesting story in the Miami Herald about Joe Cada, Kevin Schaffel (Florida’s representative in the November Nine), skill vs. luck, and whether or not the game is good for you. My favorite line(s):

“We had 115 different countries have players represented this year,” said Seth Palansky, a World Series spokesman. “It’s just an astonishing amount — more than the Olympics.”

To be fair, that’s only more than the Winter Olympics. Poker still has a bit more work to catch the Summer games.

Ha ha. Burn on Palansky.

The story continues:

Not everyone is happy with the poker boom. Gambling critics like the Florida Family Policy Council say the game’s greater social acceptance is largely a result of aggressive PR efforts.

“It’s being promoted as something that’s sexy and adventurous and cool,” said council President John Stemberger. “All the big money is on the side of promoting it, not on the side of educating people as to why it’s not a smart thing.”

True enough, Mr. Stemberger, but the same thing could be said about religion, right? You think our activity can be harmful — and indeed it can — and I think your activity can be harmful … and indeed it can. But that’s where living in the wonderful US of A comes into play … As an American (and Floridians are Americans, even the ones who are Cuban) I have the personal freedom to pursue my happiness, just as you do … even though I can show you example after example of people pursuing the activities Big God money is pushing doing tremendous harm … usually with a lot more blood and death, in fact.

Trust me, when it comes to potentially addictive products, poker is much closer to Starbuck’s than Marlboro … even though financial advisors have shown time and time again how quitting a $5 a day Starbuck’s habit can equal millions of extra retirement dollars in the course of life.

Meanwhile, here’s another Herald story about Florida’s longtime wagering culture as the state considers it’s biggest expansion of gambling in history.

Moon vs. Cada, Amateur vs. Pro, Logger vs. Logger-inner

More semi-historical perspective

by , Nov 9, 2009 | 2:55 pm

Though personally I don’t expect Darvin Moon to look anything like Sammy Farha en route to 2nd place … you gotta love the debate going on over who will, and who should win … let alone whose victory would be “better for poker”.

Super-young but true online pro vs. the “Ultimate Everyman” … you know, if everyman happened to cut trees for a living.

As you know by now, I’m probably as much a Cada fan as I am an Aston Villan (I’ve got Fake$100 invested in his winning) … but the hubbub going on right now reminds me a bit of funny-in-retrospect conversation as WSOP things got down to heads-up in 2003 …

From my first poker magazine piece in the first issue of (the recently resurrected) ALL IN:

On the last day of the 2003 WSOP main event, a handful of eliminated pros gathered around the final table to watch the action. Moneymaker — the Tennessee accountant who had never before played a live tournament — had amassed a sizable chip lead when Mike Matusow turned to fellow professional Eric Siedel and said, “I can’t believe another donkey is going to win the World Series of Poker.”

“You better hope he wins,” Seidel responded. “If Moneymaker can pull this off, it’s going to be worth at least $5 million to you and me over the next two years.”

“Are you crazy?” Matusow said, dismissively.

The only difference this go-round, of course, is that the world has already been introduced to online poker, and the Sammy Farha pro character is being played by a 21-year-old who stands to be the youngest WSOP main event champ in history (for the second year in a row).

Darvin Moon vs. Joe Cada

New Poll: How Long a Heads-up Battle?

by , | 7:34 am


That’s what we wanna know … after Saturday/Sunday’s marathon 9->2 session … how long do you think the heads-up battle between Darvin Moon and Joe Cada will go?

They’re currently in Level 39, with blinds at 500k/1000k + 150k.

Moon has almost the same number of chips he started with, 58,850,000, while Cada, who started with just 13,215,000, now has all the rest — 135,950,000.

What they’re fighting for, essentially: $3.36 million in cash, and then everything else that goes with being WSOP champ.

NOTE: In our previous unscientific poll, Moon got the second-most votes … Cada fourth-most.

The record for WSOP heads-up battles is 7 hours 10 minutes, set by Chip Reese vs. Andy Bloch in 2006. Before that it was 7 hours, in the 1983 main event … where after Doyle Brunson busted out in 3rd on a semi-bluff, an unknown from Michigan, Tom McEvoy, beat Rod Peate for $580,000:

BTW, for a fun historical perspective, watch the start of the television coverage of the 1983 final table here.

BJ’s Guide to the History of Women in Poker

by , Nov 2, 2009 | 4:31 pm

So many jokes to be made about BJ’s Guide to Women in Anything … but regardless, he hooked his pal @MariaHo up with a little cheat sheet to help her prep for her appearance on CNN (“Breaking into the Boys’ Club”). Click below to read it all — a glimpse at what kinda study goes into appearing on TV news as “yourself”, and a pretty good breakdown of a minority’s influence on the game.

(BTW, semi-related but kinda an aside … Kathy Liebert, arguably the most successful on-the-tables female in history … is currently in strong chip position at a final table (5 remaining at time of press) in a $2,500 Foxwoods event. While reading the BJ guide, you can follow her ride as we are on Twitter here.)

BJ’s Guide to the History of Women in Poker

By BJ Nemeth


1.  In major tournament fields (WSOP, WPT, etc.) women usually comprise about 3% of the field. There are no official stats kept.


Official Main Event Update: Day 2a Wrap-up and Then Some

by , Jul 8, 2009 | 5:38 am

Not to steal from Kevin’s more concise thunder … but I happened to miss Day 2a at the Rio, and for those who have more time, Nolan’s official report is loaded with filling details — along with plenty of fun (poker-geeky) factoids and historical perspective:

2009 World Series of Poker Presented by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

Official Report
Event #57
World Championship
World Series of Poker Main Event
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $10,000
Number of Entries: 6,494
Total Players Remaining: 607 (+ 2,922 for Day 2-B) = 3,530
Total Net Prize Pool: $61,043,600
Number of Places Paid: 648
First Place Prize: $8,546,435
July 3–November 10, 2009


History of the WSOP (Part 1 of 3)

The early years

by , Jun 9, 2009 | 5:13 am

The PokerNews video crew has put together a pretty cool documentary about the history of the World Series … something that reminds you that this really is a special event — and that the 40th Anniversary isn’t just an arbitrary milestone:

Stimulus Special Sold Out

by , May 30, 2009 | 11:33 am

Many speculated that it would happen, but the last seat was sold just after 10am this morning, and the number is official: 6,000 entrants for Event 4. Another 2009 WSOP record was set with the final number, and it became the largest non-WSOP main event tournament ever to be held.

Players are already gathering in droves outside the Amazon Room for the first of two starting days of the $1,000 NLHE Stimulus Special. The madness will begin shortly!

See the official word after the jump.


Really? Ten Year Anniversary of Stu’s Death Tomorrow

by , Nov 21, 2008 | 4:18 pm

Tomorrow (Saturday) will be the ten year anniversary of the death of Stu Ungar. The darkness got the best of him at the young age of 45, and he died of an apparent heart attack after years of drug abuse. Strange to think of the places his mind could have taken him if only…

I refer you to Poker Grump’s post on the anniversary for the summary and some current photos of the Oasis Motel (scene of death), like the one below.

Poker on (Lifetime?) TV

by , Oct 20, 2008 | 12:21 am

I never thought I’d say this … but you might want to set your Tivo for Lifetime, on October 25.

Sex and Lies in Sin City: The Ted Binion Scandal
(starring Matthew Modine, Mena Suvari, and Marcia Gay Harden)

[Annoying autoplay video removed]

Not sure what Jim McManus thinks of this (lady-friendly) television adaptation of the story of Ted Binion, Becky Behnen, Sandy Murphy, and Rick Tabish. But it’s the drama-filled tale of Texas gamblers, Vegas strippers, mobs, murder, and so much money … and the one that in some ways surrounded the birth of the WSOP. Perfect television for 31-45-year-old women, no?