Calling The Clock: Hellraiser Unleashed on High Stakes Grinders

TAGs: Calling the Clock, Editorial

The weekly poker news round up sees PokerStars release their first corporate press release since the player’s strike, Jason Chaffetz gets RAWA egg on his face and much more.

Dani Stern is inside Eric Hollreiser’s brain. He is like a tenant. He isn’t paying rent. There is no sign of him leaving.

The VP of Corporate Communications for Amaya and PokerStars is high stakes grinder enemy number one, after penning the first official corporate communications bulletin since the three-day boycott led by Stern.

We are going to have to rename him Eric Hellraiser after his press release entitled “Four $1 Million Freerolls Planned For 2016” went down the gullets of the high stakes grinders like limp lettuce down the throat of a spotty teenager.  He came across as a poker environmentalist, but the likes of Dani Stern and Phil Galfond believe he doesn’t know the difference between a rose and a weed.

Hollreiser made it very clear that they had given PokerStars players sufficient warning about the upcoming changes. It was this point alone that led the masses to demand a beheading. It got worse. Hollreiser told readers that the strike was ‘ineffective’ that the changes were going ahead as planned, and they were the right changes for ALL players at PokerStars.

Calling The Clock: Hellraiser Unleashed on High Stakes GrindersI nearly forgot.

There will be four $1m freerolls in 2016.

Negreanu to Become More Involved

Daniel Negreanu also reacted in print for the first time since the strike. Kid Poker told readers that PokerStars intended to make the changes long before Amaya took over the company, and David Baazov was the only reason it didn’t happen until now. Negreanu writing that Baazov didn’t believe the players had received sufficient warning.

Negreanu also suggested that the PokerStars leviathans would be willing to meet the players on a regular basis, in the future, and apologised for not getting more involved in the issue of poor communication, and said that would change moving forward.

Players Protest at EPT Prague

The players continued the protests at the European Poker Tour (EPT) festival in Prague. They didn’t vote with their feet as once again the festival drew players in their thousands, but 50% of the players who made the €50,000 Super High Roller final table did wear t-shirts that said, ‘We Are Against The Changes in The PokerStars VIP Program.’

The players wearing the t-shirts were Igor Kurganov, Daniel Dvoress and the pair who reached the heads-up phase Steve O’Dwyer and Sam Greenwood. Normally, this would have been a shock, but people were still in a daze over the fact that John Juanda had turned up.

O’Dwyer won the event earning €746,543 in the process.

Stateside Round Up

It wasn’t that long ago that Alex Dreyfus was complaining about PokerStars Team Pros using Heads Up Displays (HUDs) when streaming on Twitch. We wrote about it. I don’t think Nevada-based poker player Tommy Chen read it.

Chen has been caught using an HUD on because he was using it while streaming on Twitch. Personally, I think they should throw the book at him for being so stupid. Then I realised it’s not a book. It’s a tome. Only in America can online poker be illegal and a sentence of 1-6 years in prison be the penalty for using an HUD when you can buy a gun in Walmart. were a little more chilled out than the rules. They issued him with a warning and reported the incident to the Nevada Gaming Commission.

All this may be mute if Sheldon Adelson and his cronies manage to persuade lawmakers the Wire Act needs restoring. On Wednesday, a U.S. House committee listened to people talking a lot of crap in a hearing entitled ‘A Casino in Every Smartphone – Law Enforcement Implications.’

So far the news emanating from the discussion has been positive. Nolan Dalla called it ‘Online Poker’s Biggest Victory in Years,’ before continuing to state that the bill’s sponsor, Jason Chaffetz, got ‘disembowelled before his own subcommittee.’

The main problem for Chaffetz and the other opposers to online poker is it’s up and running, without incident (Tommy Chen aside), in the three states of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. There have been none of the issues that the bad guys are using as excuses to shut down online poker in an attempt to line Adelson’s deep pockets with more silver, a salient point that was raised several times causing Chaffetz’s face to contort with Jim Carrey like efficiency.

There are a few people in the online poker community who wouldn’t mind getting the likes of Chaffetz in the boxing ring. While that isn’t going to happen in a hurry, poker is going to see two of its finest poker players turn into pugilists.

Sorel Mizzi and Brian Rast are going to slug it out over four two-minute round of boxing with all proceeds going to the charities backed by Raising for Effective Giving (REG). The pair will fight in Las Vegas on Dec 30 and tickets cost $20.

Now that’s the type of action one would expect to see on Poker Central, the world’s only 24/7 Poker TV channel that’s not yet aired on TV. All that is about to change after they inked a deal with NCTC – no, not the National Counterterrorism Centre – the National Cable Television Cooperative.

The World Poker Tour (WPT) were also in the news this week, although for all the wrong reasons. The World Poker Fund (WPF) acquired the poker hybrid solution RealDeck for $15m, and numerous media outlets got the two mixed up. It’s a simple mistake to make, and it’s not going to cost $15m to find out.

Player Power

Steve O’Dwyer won the EPT Prague €50k Super High Roller for €746,543; Alexandra Usoltseva won the TonyBet OFC Championship Main Event for €30,007; Maxim Panyak won the OFC World Championship High Roller for €110,000, and Daniel Weinman won the WSOP Circuit Cherokee Main Event for $280,260.

Time Ladies & Gentlemen, please.

Someone has just called the clock.


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