Lee Davy takes a look at a busy week in the poker media including a bunch of idiots disrespecting women poker players in France; Erick Lindgren looking over his shoulder at the oncoming PokerStars; a whole host of underdogs taking chunks of tops dogs, and the World Series of Poker doing what only they can do.
I will start this week’s little recap in France.
French poker is going through the mill of late. Not only have the authorities decided to ruin the lives of so many people connected with brick and mortar establishments, like the Aviation Club de France (ACF) – by closing them down – but the online poker world doesn’t seem to be providing the live players with the adequate shelter they need.
The French regulator ARJEL issued their Q4 reports this week and it was terrible news for lovers of ring game action. People with a fear of number should look away now.
1. €17.3m decline in online cash game revenue (quarter-on-quarter)
2. €23.8m decline in online cash game revenue (year-on-year)
3. 33% drop in online cash game revenue in the past three years.
4. 10% drop in active player numbers (year-on-year)
Perhaps, that’s why French male poker players have been forced to enter a €220 Ladies Event at the European Poker Tour (EPT) in Deauville? 22 males to be exact, and one of them even won it. The disrespect these 22 players showed has since been elevated to the higher consciousness of the poker community through angry members.
One such angry member was the Global Poker Index (GPI) CEO, Alex Dreyfus, who has inserted the word ‘Unisex’ into the names of every male entrant that cashed, and has since had the acclaim entered into their Hendon Mob statistics.
I just think they are a bunch of cocks.
One final piece of French news this week, and the Ladyboy labeller has announced that Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Patrick Bruel, and Paul Tedeschi will join Erwann Pecheux and Sylvain Loosli to complete the #TeamFrance line up to compete in the inaugural Global Poker Masters (GPM) during EPT Malta.
You may remember that Fabrice Soulier, and the current French No.1 Benjamin Pollak were forced to withdraw from the squad, after their sponsors Betclic Everest Group refused to allow them to play, when Dreyfus made it clear the live stream would be a patch free zone.
The World Series of Poker Drop PokerNews, Add 11-More Bracelets
Ladyboys apart, the talk of the town this week has been the World Series of Poker (WSOP). The most illustrious poker tournament in the world has hit the news for two reasons this week. The first was a bombshell that PokerNews would not be returning in 2015 to provide live tournament updates, and the second was the release of the 46th annual schedule.
The WSOP will be taking their live tournament reporting in-house, after the WSOP Vice-President of Corporate Communications, Seth Palansky, told F5 Poker that the poker news outlet had asked for a 200% increase in the green stuff.
Money is tight, especially if you have more debt than the GDP of a small country. So PokerNews were shown the door, and the WSOP now have the rather difficult task of trying to emulate a 2014 performance that has seen Matthew Parvis and his team nominated for a GPI American Poker Award.
The team at WSOP is facing a tough task, especially when they are expecting record numbers. For the first time in their 46-year history, we will see 68-bracelets doled out, and this includes an online bracelet, and a world record attempt with the $565 buy-in COLOSSUS.
The player’s feedback has also been integrated into the new schedule with changes to structures, deeper stacks, and a whole host of fresh innovate new formats.
It promises to be great, and I suggest, if you want to know what’s going on, you get your ass over there and see it for yourself. PokerNews are not going to be doing that for you.
Live Tournament Round Up
The WSOP is not an exclusive club. There has never been as many live poker tournaments as there are today. Here is a recap of the top news stories from those events; and it was a week where the underdog seemed to cock its leg up and piss all over the more established pros.
Firstly, the Aussie Millions, and Manny Stavropoulos performed an act of Rocky like proportions by winning the 2015 Main Event for $1.2m. The headline act was Brian Rast. The high stakes pro would finish fifth for $250,000 – an amount he would lose in only three hands in the $250,000 LK Boutique Challenge.
The man named after an Ice Age Mammoth was not the only underdog banking large scores this week. Aaron Mermelstein took down the World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Winter Poker Open for $712,350, and back to the Aussie Millions, Richard Yong beat a final table containing more sharks than a chum filled Steven Spielberg set, to take the first prize of $1.4m in the $100,000 Challenge. At least he can pay off the $500,000 the US authorities took from him for his part in the Paul Phua illegal sports betting scandal that’s currently still not resolved in Nevada.
The Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) London Main Event, is always one of the toughest British events of the year. The very best of British talent turn out to try to bag a top score, but this year a Russian, who plays for a bit of a laugh, took the top prize. The loveable Victor Ilyukhin capturing the £82,600 first prize as the former Hendon Mobsters Joe Beevers, Barny Boatman and Ross Boatman all enjoyed very deep runs.
With the underdogs out of the way, it’s time to move onto the top dogs – well two of them at least.
Tom Marchese is the Aria High Roller Bomb after winning back-to-back $25k events this past week. He has amassed over $600,000 in the process – not bad work if you can get it. And Phil Ivey has continued his epic streak in the Aussie Millions $250,000 LK Boutique Challenge event by winning it for the third time in four years. Ivey picked up $1.7m for his win, and now lies third in the Hendon Mob All Time Money list.
PokerStars Pursue Lindgren
One man who desperately needs a few million-dollar scores is Erick Lindgren.
PokerStars are suing the former gambling addict for $2.5m in loans and erroneous payments made by his former employee Full Tilt, during a time when $2m could accidentally be wired into someone’s bank account.
That’s exactly what happened!
Lindgren was wired $2m by Full Tilt for services rendered (which is remarkable in itself), and he was then wired a further $2m by mistake.
I can’t stop laughing as I type this. How could they make this mistake, and how could Lindgren believe they wouldn’t notice?
The money vanished and PokerStars want it to reappear. Lindgren is not paying out – no doubt because he doesn’t have it – and that’s why the whole thing is going to end up in court.
Rousso Removed and Rational Recruit
One way that PokerStars could get their money back is if they employed Erick Lindgren and he worked off his debt. It’s not like there aren’t any vacancies. The Rational Group have just announced details of 76 positions that they need to fill within their company; although I am not sure the role of Accounts Manager, Isle of Man, is a good fit for E-Dog.
While the Rational Group recruit, they are also showing people the door. Long term sponsored pro, Vanessa Rousso, is the latest in a long line of sponsored pros who have recently been told are surplus to requirements. One doubts, however, that she will be applying for one of the 76-available jobs anytime soon.
And that’s Lee Davy Calling the Clock.