by Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire
Since Black Friday, Americans who considered themselves professional online poker players have been unemployed. One minute online pros like “durrrr” and “OMGClayAiken” were revered as gods among men in the poker universe, and the next, they were considered criminals—enemies of the state.
by: Paul ‘Dr. Pauly’ McGuire
One of the hardest poker decisions to make is knowing when to stop. Easier said than done, right? When you’re running hot, you want to keep pressing your run to maximize profits. Winning streaks are few and far between, so you never want to walk away from that rare opportunity to pad your bankroll. When the winning streak subsides, that point becomes the perfect time to take a vacation in order to reassess your game and enjoy the fruits of your labor (e.g. take your lady friend to a nice dinner, or splurge on good seats at the football game).
Technology advances every day and you’d be surprised how easy it is to create your own animated short film using websites like Xtranormal.com. All you have to do is type your script into the system, pick your avatars, and viola! The software generates a short film for you. Granted, the raw, glitchy shorts are hardly worthy of competition at international festivals like Cannes, but considering that Xtranormal is a free service, you and your friends are able to create something and have a few laughs in the process.
Five weeks passed since the DOJ handed down indictments on April 15, 2011 that decimated the American online poker market. The poker community was still trying to deal with the fallout from Black Friday when the online gaming community was struck with a second wave of indictments.
On May 23, 2011, a Maryland court indicted two major players, ThrillX Systems and K23 Financial Services (BMX Entertainment), for money laundering and running illegal gambling business. As a result, domains affiliated with both companies were seized and shut down by the Feds. Two of those sites were online poker rooms—Doyle’s Room and True Poker. A pair of sports betting sites were also targeted—BookMaker.com and BetEd.com. Also seized were Funtimebingo. com, Goldbnarchcasino.com, Betgrandesports.com, 2Betdsi.com, and Betehorse.com.
By the end of the first quarter of 2011 play, we have some interesting results from the high-stakes cash game on Full Tilt Poker. The Great Dane, Gus Hansen had an auspicious start to the year having netted more than $4.5 million. Hansen bounced back vigorously after a tumultuous 2010. At his lowest point last summer he was stuck over $2 million, but he stopped the bleeding and clawed together a string of winning sessions to finish the year with only a $250,000 deficit. If you go back to August 2010, Hansen has won almost $6.9 million.
At the end of 2010, PokerStars signed the enigmatic “Isildur1” to Team PokerStars. Viktor Blom, a 20 year-old pro from Sweden, officially unmasked himself as Isildur1 in the Bahamas during the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. His unmasking came as no surprise to anyone because it was the most open secret in poker.
Like many newcomers to the world of professional poker, I was introduced to Erik Seidel during the summer of 1998 through a Hollywood film. I was living in Seattle, WA back then. I played in a regular home game every Monday night at the Trout House, where members from an acid-jazz band named Kilgore Trout lived and had transformed their basement into a rehearsal space and recording studio. They allowed my friends to play cards in the kitchen as long as we brought our own beer and smokes. We played low-stakes wild card games and could hear the band jamming down below us. When practice ended, a few band members would join the game that ran ordinarily ran until sunrise.
Poker players are predatory animals who constantly need to be fed. A steady diet of fish and donkeys will do. Sooner or later you’re confronted with the worst case scenario—no fish to feed upon and no donkeys to trap because of the cyclical nature of new players coming in and out of the game. The influx of dead money depends upon the economy and the popularity of poker in pop culture. Because it’s getting harder and harder to find soft games in today’s lean economic times, it’s important to learn how to play other games as an alternative source of income.
Dan Harrington and Erik Seidel were recently inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Their induction ceremony, held inside the Penn and Teller Theatre at the Rio, was part of the November Nine festivities. The main event was down to two players, Jonathan Duhamel and John Racener, but before those two played their heads-up match for the championship, many of the greatest players in the game gathered for a ceremony honoring Harrington and Seidel.
I covered the final table of the 2010 WSOP main event, otherwise known as the November Nine, and sat in the orchestra pit with some of the press corps. We were all buzzing with excitement after we witnessed a hand—pocket nines versus A-Q—that conjured up flashbacks of the final table bubble at the 2003 WSOP main event.