Random Thoughts: Screw You, Sheldon Adelson Edition
This week, billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson spoke out as a moral authority against online gambling. The head of Las Vegas Sands, whose properties include the Venetian in Las Vegas, said he opposes online gambling legislation in the U.S. on moral grounds that the existing technology is not good enough to prevent minors from gambling on the Internet. Posters on the TwoPlusTwo forums have called for a poker player boycott on all Las Vegas Sands properities. The company hosts the popular Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza series which runs four times a year and lures in hoards of poker players for their $300-$2,500 buy-in events.
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Adelson's "moral opposition" to online gaming seems to be a pretty transparent cover up for simple greed. His company has thus far failed to take steps to get their slice of the anticipated online poker pie by teaming with an online poker outfit as other casino groups have done. Adelson didn't seem to have a problem with online poker two years ago when the PokerStars North American Poker Tour (NAPT) series brought 872 players into a $5,000 buy-in tournament held in his Venetian property.
On a personal note, I have, on multiple occasions, seen poker players under the age of 21 playing in the Venetian. If Adelson, whose estimated net worth is $21.5 billion, is really as worried about minors gambling as he claims to be, he might want to start IDing the gamblers in his very own casinos.
Changing the subject, the people at hhSmithy.com have pointed out that Full Tilt Poker's software contains hidden information-grabbing functions to share with the company. Certain image files in the site's software contain extra bytes of information in addition to the actual image data. This hidden info is programmed to read various registry keys and hardware information installed on your machine. It then transmits this information back to Full Tilt Poker. Among the information being collected by Full Tilt is the Windows registry key attached to the machine which downloaded the software. The software includes several failsafes to ensure the info is transmitted to the site. It is unclear exactly what motivated Full Tilt to extract so much information from customers computers. You can tell they're a company ran by poker players because they are all about acquiring as much information as possible without giving any away.
Speaking of Full Tilt... don't they owe people money? Whatever happened with that? It's been a while since any news has come to light about the French investment group bailout. Having a big chunk of money stuck on that site must be so stressful. Is it worth something? Is it worth nothing? Your guess is as good as any. Full Tilt clearly can't be trusted (not that they're saying much of anything anyway). There's just no real solid voice of information keeping people in the loop about their money. What a mess. The morons behind that site should turn themselves over to the authorities out of principal.
If you follow many poker pros on Twitter, you probably saw a fair amount of whining and shock last week about the Bellagio's decision to pay the top 100 finishers in the 413 player Five Diamond World Poker Classic. News flash to whiny poker pros: the Bellagio has been doing this for years. Virtually all WPT events held at Bellagio have paid the top 100 despite field sizes that hover around 500. In this exact same event last year, 100 players were paid in the field of 438. It should have been a known quantity heading into the event that 100 players would get paid. Less whining on Twitter, spoiled poker pros, and more letting history be your guide.
If you don't have an account at 888 Poker, consider getting one. I've been playing there a fair amount since relocating to Mexico and their games are soft. In their weekly $90 plus one optional rebuy $100k guaranteed event, I've gone deep nearly every week I've played it. The structure it suburb and the field is pretty terrible. I'm almost reluctant to point out what good of value this tournament is. Like a mouse who knows where a hidden pile of cheese is, I want it all to myself.
Finally, congrats to SrslySirius for winning the Best Poker Rapper award given out by WickedChopsPoker.com. SrslySirius has made several hilarious poker rap videos. His latest one is an ode to the one and only Tony G. If you haven't seen any of this guy's videos yet, you're missing out!