Random Thoughts: Epic Fail Edition
Let's take a scan around the poker world for another edition of Random Thoughts where each paragraph has little to do with the others.
Who even knows what's going on with the Full Tilt sale anymore? You've got Matt Glantz and Doyle Brunson saying you can probably kiss your Full Tilt money goodbye in the same week that Wendeen Eolis is reporting that a Groupe Bernard Tapie lawyer is "significantly confident" that the deal will be finalized perhaps even as soon as the end of this month! I give up. If you could see a line graph of the percentage chance that Full Tilt repays all customers, it would look something like this. Who even knows anymore? If you listen to Matt Glantz, most Full Tilt insiders don't believe a deal will go through. If you listen to Wendeen Eolis, progress is being made and a deal could be imminent. Tens of millions of dollars of outstanding money in the poker economy and there's no way to feel confident one way or the other about whether or not it will surface again. The madness!
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Full Tilt Pro Erick Lindgren allegedly owes high stakes fantasy football participants upwards of six figures. He has failed to pay citing he is cash broke. I played with "E-Dog" last summer deep in the WSOP Main Event. His response to a question asked by another player about the Full Tilt situation was that he wishes they would, "just pay the damn players already." But that's not so easy when you don't have the money, right Erick?
Just days after coming out of the closet and becoming the first openly gay male poker pro, Jason Somerville reached the final table of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic and finished 6th for a $203,000 score. It was his first cash in a live tournament since last summer and his first cash in a non-WSOP event since January 2010. Just some food for thought for anyone looking for ways to snap an extended cold streak.
Are there any good poker podcasts? The podcast model seems like the wave of the media future. Free, on-demand and largely commercial-free content with no restrictions on language or subject matter. Who needs talk radio when you have the Internet? A poker podcast seems interesting in theory. It should have the right combination of poker world commentary mixed in with a little strategy discussion and life philosophy. If you're skeptical about the merits of the podcast model, as I was mere months ago, give a listen to the Joe Rogan podcast. It's hilarious, educational, and addicting. Podcasts have sky-high potential if done correctly.
So who will be the sponsored poker pros of the future? When these Nevada online poker rooms get off the ground and there becomes a demand to put a well-liked and well-known face behind the brand, who will be there? There are only really three kinds of marketable poker pro personalities: those with tarnished images, has-beens (Greg Raymer, etc), and guys with PokerStars. Just about everyone ever associated with Full Tilt can kiss their endorsement potential goodbye if they haven't already done so. The same goes for the folks who have backed UB and an assortment of other shady characters with dirt on their hands. PokerStars seems to have a tight grip on the small handful of respectable, marketable guys left. That leaves just about no one available to shill for emerging brands of the future. Except Phil Hellmuth. He is a free agent who seems to be a nicely positioned for a big sponsorship deal with a U.S. online poker room someday which is pretty incredible given he shilled for UB for nearly a decade. Ben Lamb might be one other candidate for being the next face of poker, but he could do well to lose the spare tire in order to increase his marketability.
It's so wonderful that UK authorities protect their citizens from potentially harmful advertising that links gambling with seduction. Imagine what a wretched country of degenerates they might become if they thought they'd get to see a woman in a bikini at the 888 Poker PokerCam tables. Bravo, UK authorities, bravo!
So the Epic Poker League filed for bankruptcy. You might call that project an epic fail (hold your applause please). They currently owe $1.4 million in overlay and freeroll money to league members. It's low hanging fruit, but what's up with the Lederer family's knack for failing to deliver on promised money to the poker world? You've got Howard with hundreds of millions owed to players from his site Full Tilt and little sister Annie Duke who starts a poker league that fails within a single year and is leaving players with their hands in the air wondering where all the value they were promised disappeared to. She produced a bold faced lie about why event four was cancelled. Wicked Chops Poker is reporting that the company's bankruptcy filings include a sum of $23,000 owed to the Disable Veterans of America. Their parents must be so proud!
[obligatory "we told you so" link regarding this Epic fail].
The poker world could not be more of a disaster right now basically. It feels shameful to even identify as one who enjoys an otherwise wonderful game. You've got a bunch of shady degenerates who ran a business into the ground and owe 9-figures of money to regular folks around the world, a Trump-appointed "business tycoon" running another poker project into the ground and managing to stiff disabled veterans in the meantime, and a government in the most "developed" country in the world that treats poker like a moral hazard but will relent on this outlook one day when it suits their wallet to do so. Quite a lot of B.S. to sift through for people who just want to play some cards.