Pro Websites, Part IV
Better known by his online screenname "ZeeJustin", Justin Bonomo is a successful tournament player. Unfortunately for Justin, he is probably better known as a key figure in an online poker scandal than for his strong tournament finishes, both online and offline.
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In the early part of 2006, it was exposed that Justin was participating in large prize pool tournaments on Party Poker using up to six accounts at once. Party Poker confiscated around $100,000 of Justin's money and banned him from their site. His image was tarnished following that debacle. However, after offering a sincere apology and taking a brief hiatus from the game, the now twenty-one year-old Bonomo is making his mark on the live tournament scene. Last December, he made four final tables in a stretch of thirteen days at the Doyle Brunson North American Poker Classic.
Bonomo also runs a humility-free vanity website that is actually a pretty good portal for tapping into the mind of a top tournament player. Justin's blog entries are well-written and leave readers wishing for more frequent updates. He should also get around to updating his Online Poker Reviews section, noting that a couple of those rooms he reviews have banned him for life.
Dubbed "The Flying Dutchman" for jet-setting all over the world for poker tournaments, Marcel Luske is one of the most recognizable European poker pros in the world. He enjoyed lengthy exposure on ESPN after finishing 13th and 10th in the 2003 and 2004 World Series of Poker Main Events, respectively. Of course, with such exposure, it is only natural that he launched a personal vanity website.
Marcel is one of the few poker pros that has a store on his website. It is here where visitors can purchase hats, t-shirts, and pins with the official "Flying Dutchman" logo. My Dutch friends tell me this apparel is all the rave amongst the kids this spring.
The Frequently Asked Questions section yields an interesting factoid. Evidently, Marcel does not wear his sunglasses upside-down during poker tournaments as a stunt. Rather, it enables him to see his cards on the table without them being dimmed, all while receiving protection from the fluorescent overhead lights.
For his closest fans, Marcel shares his upcoming tournament schedule through his website. Currently, this section indicates Marcel's plans to attend the 2005 World Series of Poker. Take that as a sign that perhaps Marcel's website maintenance skills might not be on par with his poker abilities.
When you're a living legend of your chosen profession, it's advisable to make sure your personal website is top notch. DoyleBrunson.com is just that. This is, without a doubt, one of the best websites of any poker professional.
A several thousand word biography coupled with corresponding pictures on Doyle's life is just one of the impressive features of his site. More practically, there are impressive poker strategy articles organized by skill level. Many of Doyle's strategy articles on his site were previously published by Card Player magazine.
Aside from being the most attractive female poker player (that's a fact, not an opinion), Isabelle Mercier also scores points for running a nice personal website. Mercier does a great job at keeping her website current, unlike most poker pro websites which contain a lot of outdated information.
Mercier, a French-Canadian, quit her job as a poker room manager in Paris to play poker professionally. Since that time, she has won over $500,000 while traveling the world as a poker ambassador.
Her website is available in both English and French. It contains an oft-updated photo-gallery including a few wallpapers for her true die-hard fans. Her online store offers some unique women's poker apparel at hefty prices. The most irregular of these items is a cigar box which has been tailored into a poker-themed purse, complete with a beaded handle. I had to restrain myself from purchasing one to carry my knick-knacks in.
Simon "Aces" Trumper
English player Simon "Aces" Trumper sets the bar for how not to make a personal vanity website. The site's design is offensive to the eyes and annoying to navigate. It does, however, have a lot of content.
Who is Simon Trumper, you ask? In 2004, he was rated the top Omaha player in Europe. He participates in a lot of small and medium-sized buy-in live tournaments around the world. He is remembered for setting tranquil pro Barry Greenstein on tilt during an Omaha event from the 2005 WSOP.
According to Greenstein, Trumper contemplated a river bet for ten minutes before re-raising with the nut flush. After such a delay, Greenstein made a seemingly obvious call with the second-nut flush. Normally, as cool as the other side of the pillow, Greenstein threw a tirade and demanded that Trumper be ejected from the tournament. Trumper went on to finish 5th in the event to win $93,000.
Trumper keeps a blog on his website, but it is painful to read. Don't even bother wading through the dense poker-hand recounts hoping to stumble upon interesting material; there is none to be found. Trumper's blog is case-and-point why many poker pros need someone to edit their writing.