Posts Tagged ‘poker-karma’

The Amazing Race Non-Spoiler Alert

by , Oct 19, 2009 | 11:16 am

@AllenKessler got a little peeved at @Pokerati last week for “spoiling” The Amazing Race. Whatever … This week, @Alexpokerguy blew it for me — I had completely forgotten about the show, or at least that it was Sunday. Asshole. Bummer, but hey, such is life when anyone has the ability to condense an hour-long TV show into 140 characters or less.

In case you did miss the show, you can catch episode 5 in its entirety here.

All we’ll tell you about it is that the Racers travel to Dubai, where eight teams are reduced to seven. Semi-spoiled: Tiffany being Tiffany + Maria driving => karmically fitting results.

And for something a little extra, here’s @TiffnyMichelle discovering that not all Arabs are terrorists:

Poker Hall of Shame

RE: Dirty Chop Dodginess

by , Jul 31, 2009 | 3:39 am

photo: Steve Hall
Don’t Trust This Guy: He’s shown a willingness to screw over five fellow poker players and sully the WSOP for just $2,400.

Big congratulations to Savvas Zenonos for successfully stealing $2,400 from the prize pool in a 2009 WSOP main event mega-satellite that was supposed to be shared in a 22-player chop.

Click here for the details of how a good chop can go awry.

It was a skillful play by Zenonos, who hails from Queensland, Australia — effectively mugging five other players of $300-$500 each without even having to reach in their pockets! Nice!

On the benefit of the doubt that it was a simple mistake (despite his saying, “I’m going to screw you over,” before actually doing so), we gave him three days to make good … and then even another couple of weeks before outing him as a brazen petty poker thief here … but no luck.

Zenonos had no cashes at the 2009 WSOP, but did finish 3,050th for number of cashes in 2008, and 2,984th in WSOP money won that year. His lifetime tournament winnings total $7,675 — though these results do not include satellite wins like this one, where he won an agreed-upon $7,800 but left (supposedly he literally ran off) with $10,200.

Pokerati was unable to reach Zenonos for comment, but will respectfully keep him on The Pokerati Bad List until he pays the money he owes (to any or all of the five afflicted) or volunteers to serve 10 days in a pillory at the 2010 WSOP.

Satellite Squeezed: Dirty Chop Dodginess

by , Jul 8, 2009 | 8:20 am

UPDATE: Savvas Zenonos is the bad guy.

Actually, a picture of this ethically challenged poker player is available.

Despite Annie Duke’s assertion that “poker players are the most awesome people in the world!”, we all know the truth: you’ve got some bad apples in the mix. That became very apparent in one of the last $1,060 mega-sats for the main event — where 22 players agreed to a chop, but one of them reneged on the virtual handshake and ran off with more money than he was supposed to keep, effectively ganking $2,400 from the prize pool.

Hey, these are tough times. It’s been a long month+ on the poker frontlines … pressures are high, bankrolls tapped, and casualties have mounted. Character-testing times, to be sure … and save for a few multi-bracelet winners, we’ve all had to re-evaluate not just our play but also our purposes in life at some point during this Series. Thus it’s with little shame that Pokerati has decided to get into the business of morally righteous extortion poker collections.

So here’s the deal, dude: You have until the start of Day 3 — roughly 48 hours — to make good and pay up, or we’re going to out you as a shyster and do our best to make sure that anyone googling your name sees the post revealing you as a poker crook. Cool? It’s not libel when it’s true; and just because you told a few people, allegedly, “I’m going to screw you” prior to doing so, that hardly constitutes “fair” warning.

Click below for the breakdown of how this main event satellite finished up and a good chop went awry — leaving several players, including DonkeyBomber, coming up short when it came time for payouts:

Russ Hamilton Sightings

by , Apr 1, 2009 | 2:27 pm

We’ve called him the Bernie Madoff of Poker, but really, that moniker may no longer be apropos … because Bernie’s in jail. Now he’s more like the OJ Simpson of Poker … a man who most believe has so far gotten away with a shameful crime. Sure, no one has died yet, but honestly, it’s only a matter of time, isn’t it? Folks are still being protective of names, but I keep hearing stories of people who were ripped off by Russ Hamilton the way Mike Matusow claims he was … playing heads-up matches, losing, having Hamilton ship the money back to them, losing again, repeat … pay him off in cash. The results have been mortgaged houses, broken marriages, dangerous drug binges, and near-nervous breakdowns. We are talking very real lives here being very really fucked up … and all accuse the same man, who has thus far dodged criminal prosecution.

What makes it worse for these folks is that they haven’t gotten any refunds from Ultimate Bet — because either they paid off their “debts” in cash, or they too have been flagged for further investigation because of the large money transfers between them and Hamilton. So with that in mind, and some $60 million that would otherwise be in the Poker Economy unaccounted for … it’s always interesting to know what this man who has been convicted of nothing (and, sadly, charged with nothing) is up to.

Micon from Neverwin spotted him recently playing 2/5 NL at Red Rock:

Elsewhere around town, reliable sources tell us Hamilton recently played a bar freeroll at one of the pubs at Flamingo and Jones. (Still seeking confirmation on the bar’s name.) No buy-in and no prizes beyond bar tabs and food coupons. Supposedly playing with him in this same event (about six weeks ago?): Layne Flack.

No word on whether either of them made the final table.

More Matusow on Hamilton’s impact here. (Scroll halfway down.)

UPDATE: The bar where Flack and Hamilton were spotted playing a freeroll is Torino’s.

Dream Team Podcast

Tao of Pokerati

by , Mar 31, 2009 | 6:02 am

Team Tao of Pokerati hits Caesar’s Palace (and Bellagio) for the first open-field running (second overall) of Dream Team Poker. Have a listen to join Pauly and Dan + Shaniac on our ventures to the registration and jersey-issue cocktail party … a pregame breakfast at Cafe Bellagio (where we declare ourselves the favorites, or at least a Top 10 team) … and then back to Caesar’s for the tournament itself. Along the way we analyze the intricacies of team play, formulate an alliance against TJ Cloutier, negotiate a deal to off Jerry Yang, and show you how big bets on March Madness might be the secret antidote to tilt. Intense strategy talk and hand breakdowns to boot …

Chapter 10: Go Team

Episode 10.1: Gel Time

Episode 10.2: Shirts vs. Skins

Episode 10.3: Spam and Eggs

Episode 10.4: Karma, Villanova, and Thor

Episode 10.5: Bustout Strategy

Episode 10.6: Better Luck Next Time

Why It’s Bad to Slowroll

Bad cardplay, emotional taunts lead to famine, pestilence, war

by , Mar 9, 2009 | 12:37 pm

Tom Dwan doesn’t slowroll, and you shouldn’t either.

My latest Bluff column is now up online … in this episode I call out the Scandis for potentially causing a violent international incident:

Without a doubt, for low stakes players MGM cash games can be a test of nerves…. Little did I know it would be a test of my sanity, not to mention my criminal intent.

The villain in this story is a slowroller, so I’m sure most will understand. Before the night was over he had an entire table plotting revenge. The plan was to gang-tackle him in an elevator, beat him senseless, take his money, then beat him some more, and then, just to let him know we weren’t really crooks, roll up the cash and wedge it in his facial orifices. Or at least that’s what one of us was thinking… that’ll teach him proper etiquette!

Dallas Poker Underground Criminal Update

“Black James” wins more bracelets in the World Series of Prison

by , Oct 28, 2008 | 11:38 am

Those of us who may or may not have taken pleasure in throwing a killer-turned-colluder-turned-killer-again under the bus can breathe a slight sigh of relief, knowing there’s one less person out there who might want to do us harm, with his release from prison now looking virtually impossible.

James McDaniel (aka “Black James”) has had eight new charges pressed against him — including [accessory to the?] murder of Meaghan Bosch. If you recall, he was a suspect in the SMU coed/railbird-hottie’s gruesome death, but it was only parole violations that sent the underground poker room operator back to prison (for eight additional years on his ex-cop-killing sentence).

He goes to trial on the new charges in February.

I hate to mix poker talk with murder, but considering that Meaghan gave her life, I have no problem knowing I’ll never get a chance to get back the $300-$400 he stole from me at Choctaw. Ha ha! Fuck you, you Queens-cracking, colluding cheating bitch! Karma, dude.

Attempted Cheater Caught on Tape

by , Jul 11, 2008 | 4:04 pm

These shots were taken on Day 2, and they show the player sitting to Pat Poels’ left trying to sneak a peak at his hole cards. I told Pat about this, btw, and like Tommy Grand or Joey Greco, I showed him the surveillance footage of the disappointing truth.

“It’s better that you know,” I told him.

But Pat reassured me that it’s OK, his opponent didn’t see anything, because “I’m very good at looking at my cards,” he said with a straight face as if he were being totally serious about a practiced skill. “Just ask Robert, he’s told me before when trying to sweat me he can’t see my cards.”
DSCF2238 DSCF2237 DSCF2236

Pat is currently on break in Day 4 of the main event — 450k in chips with 350 players remaining, one of whom is not the guy at right.

Oh, and Tom Won Again

Fans go wild over 64th place finish in $1,500 limit event

by , Jun 8, 2008 | 6:14 pm

That’s two cashes so far for Schneider. This one paid a net $1,743. Congratulations-ish, Tom.. Nice to book another win, and this one should cover two or three of the many dozens of blinds you’ve defended poorly in the cash games! Don’t call it a comeback!

I ran into Angry Julie in the poker kitchen late last night shortly after Tom had busted out, and she was unusually happy. Giddy, I’d even say. She was buying herself a Krispy Kreme donut and Tom an ice cream using the $15 food voucher you get for playing in a WSOP event. Informed that she wouldn’t get back any change, she looked at the guy behind her in line and said, “How much is what he’s having? ($8) Great, his too!”

The dude was super-thankful, but before he could walk away with a smile, she stood there and wouldn’t let him leave until he tipped the cashier. “Not until you put at least a dollar in there,” she said, pointing to the tip basket in front of the register. I know what Tom would think if he saw this: “Leak.”

Meanwhile, Tom thinks Pokerati should be all over the continuing saga of the Donkey Bomber POY Banner. “My picture the only one without a light – rodney dangerfield,” said a text he sent to me yesterday. I checked, and it’s true — everyone else has a big beam accenting their mugs. But considering that I have to sit right below his banner and I don’t want any additional glare, I think we’ll stick to keeping you posted about his feats busting out of a tournament with only nine tables to go.

Going for Broke

by , Jun 1, 2008 | 7:12 am

photo: Jackie Endsley
Putting your last dollar toward a bad-beat jackpot may not have been the best career strategy for this guy.


I got a call yesterday at the WSOP from the Butler. I haven’t seen the guy for a couple months — not since me and my jiu-jitsu coach and heavy metal teacher got booted out of our sweet pad (pool table, poker table, dart board, 65-inch HDTV, Strip-view bedroom, fireplace/jacuzzi bathroom, no utilities) on the Eastside. We of course knew all was headed south when the Butler — the guy who set the whole housing arrangement up — walked into our casa unannounced to do a cocaine deal, and shortly thereafter got busted by The Boss (who owned the house, in theory, though not on paper) for stealing rent money.

(I met the Butler last year at the WSOP, as he was trying to sell his private concierge services to poker players and convince me to turn him into a recurring character on Pokerati.)

Anyhow, so I got a call from an unknown 973 number yesterday that I answered in the press box. “Hey, Dan, it’s John. Are you at the Series? How’s it going?”

“Um, uh, pretty good? We’re just getting rolling … so what’s up? Did you make it to Kansas City?”

“Yeah, and it’s not good. I’m calling because I need a stake.”

“Yeow, dude … can’t help you out. Wouldn’t know how to get you money if I could.”

“Western Union.”

“Sorry, man Have you tried Tom? His number is 602-97… .”


Absolute Poker Releases Statement

by , Jan 12, 2008 | 11:43 am

Without much choice in the matter, Absolute Poker has spoken in the form of a press release from Anna Molley, Vice President of Public and Community Relations.

In short, AP thinks the Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission report is complete and accurate. AP “regrets” the “inadvertent” deletion of records and is most happy to put this “most distressing and regrettable” experience behind them.

Well, as long as AP is happy…

AP is also initiating a series of poker security summits to discuss security with “respected and independent members of the poker community.”

The site is just glad to “close the book on this sordid affair.” Wow. Poor AP. They’ve been through so much…

Here is the full press release: More…

Poker Tells: Holy Suckout

by , Nov 5, 2007 | 2:45 am

Party Foundation?

by , May 29, 2007 | 2:13 pm

I’ll be competing in at least one event in the 2007 WSOP — $1,500 NLH on June 16. Exciting! Even more fun is that it’s all being made possible by our new-good-best friends at Milwaukee’s Best Light. Mmm-mmm. When you think about it, it really is an amazing beer. Go MBL! Guinness-shminness! The Euros will love this stuff!

As part of this sponsorship, I’ve agreed to donate half of any winnings in Event 27 to a reputable charity of my choice. Also cool because, you know, you gotta give to live, right? So it’s on me to figure out who gets Pokerati’s highly anticipated largess. (Milwaukee’s Best Light needs this info by Today morning, fyi.)


Wanted Poker Man Caught (in Texas, not Louisiana)

by , May 24, 2007 | 2:14 am

According to his voicemail, James McDaniel was in Shreveport for the WSOP as police were looking for him. He said something about a satellite — so I dunno, maybe true, even though the current WSOP Circuit event was being held in New Orleans. But according to WSOP sources, he was not registered for any tournaments there.

OK, sorry … am burying the lede. Point of this post is that McDaniel, one of the more notorious figures in mid-stakes Dallas poker, was arrested last night at a University Park apartment. He was unconscious at the time (?) and transported to Parkland Hospital. More info here.

McDaniel’s arrest was not directly related to the death of SMU coed Meaghan Bosch, but was for parole violations and an alleged sexual assault in December 2005.

UPDATE: More detailed telling of this story here.

Re: Poker Poser Headed to Hoosegow

by , May 13, 2007 | 3:34 am

Really good story in yesterday’s Star-Telegram about the rise and fall of Eon Marshall, grandmaster of It gives a little background on Marshall from his pre-poker days … where he seemed to be running something scammy in California … and talks about a semi-religious tale of Eon’s showing up in his signature white limo for a neighborhood Bunko game.

OK, really, I’m not gonna pick on him … too easy to kick a jackass when he’s down. But it’s an interesting reminder about what happened to at least some of the con-men out there who tried to bank it big during the early days of the American poker boom.

Click below to read some of the comments I got via not-for-attribution email about the pleasure that went with this federal-court affirmation that certain types really don’t get to live the good life … at least not for long: