Random Thoughts: Poke Her Edition
Welcome to another edition of Random Thoughts where each paragraph might have little or nothing to do with the ones preceding and following it:
The potential for puns in the following story is nearly too much for one to handle: last week, 2004 WSOP champ Greg Raymer got busted in a prostitution sting by police in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Raymer's transgressions? Importing sex-slaves from overseas to profit from a large network of underground brothels, right? RIGHT?! Nope. Raymer's only crime was merely being caught soliciting sex from an undercover officer. Yet somehow that was good enough for the front page of the NY Daily News. What can be said about this really other than: poor Greg Raymer. The man was in the wrong place at the wrong time around cops with apparently no real police work to do. Let's all take a moment to look at the Greg Raymer mugshot and feel super-sorry for him. To anyone calling for Raymer's perverted head to be removed from his oversized body, we say the man has suffered more than enough just from the horribly embarrassing publicity fallout from this incident. RIP Greg Raymer's status as an ambassador for poker.
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Alright, moving on.
Jerry Yang's 2007 WSOP Main Event bracelet was recently seized by the Internal Revenue Service. Yang reportedly owes several hundred thousand in back-taxes from some combination of his $8.25 million win and proceeds of a sushi restaurant he opened in Merced, California in 2009. Yang, the last non-20-something to win the WSOP Main Event, characterized his improbable final table run by praying out-loud in the middle of all-ins. It appears that Yang now needs a few more miracles to get out of his troubles with the IRS; at a minimum it appears he owes $572,000 to the U.S. government.
Last week, bwin.party, operators of Party Poker, posted a 17% profits year over year. The losses are being blamed in part by a five percent turnover tax on sports-betting placed on the company in Germany last July. Germany does not deserve all of the blame, however. Revenues from poker and bingo were each down for the company in 2012 compared to 2011 numbers. This seems inevitable. As PokerStars continues to gobble up more online poker market share, gaming operations either need to find a way to compete (not likely) or focus on core offerings not directly in competition with the most successful gaming company on the planet. It will be curious to see how long it takes bwin.party or another major gaming entity to attempt to break into the real-money fantasy sports niche.
Friend of PokerTips Mike McDonald recently got into a Twitter beef with poker pro Jason Mercier. With only a couple dozen players remaining in the EPT London final, Mercier tweeted, "can anyone shut @MikeMcDonald89 up? We are trying to play poker here bud." McDonald shot back, "some people appreciate having someone very friendly at the table. But you obviously know nothing about that!" It's unclear exactly what happened in the exchange beyond that self-proclaimed legend Jason Mercier came off as a bit of a grinch. We've always known McDonald to be a nice fellow so we'll have to assume Mercier is the villain in this minor feud. McDonald updated his Twitter profile pic showing himself getting his picture taken next to a display of Mercier showing off his hoop abilities.
As we approach nearly two years since Black Friday, it's worth pointing out that Full Tilt players still have not been reimbursed by the U.S. government. It remains anyone's guess as to what exactly the hold-up is. A report at The Verge last week suggests players will soon begin to be repaid but offers little in the way of details regarding this repayment. For the sake of Full Tilt's former U.S. customers, hopefully the U.S. dollar is still worth something by the time their money is redistributed.