Christmas is over, it’s back to work, with an extended look at a week and a half of poker’s top news stories including Isaac Haxton throwing in the towel at PokerStars, Daniel Negreanu facing money issues, and much more.
PokerStars has changed their logo.
James Altucher recently told me that I should bleed in my first line. PokerStars has changed their logo doesn’t bleed. There is a reason for that. It’s not cutting. It’s mundane. It’s boring. I imagine only people who have branding porn magazines stashed under the mattress will care.
The player’s certainly won’t.
They made the move and money injected to ensure PokerStars growing brands are aligned visually: PokerStars, BetStars and DraftStars.
Members of PokerStars will no doubt have to return all of their clothing and patches. One man who won’t is Isaac Haxton. Team Online member Haxton refused to accept PokerStars’ offer of a contract extension, because he felt the way they had handled the SuperNova and SuperNova Elite changes were ‘unethical.’ He is the second employee to resign over this issue. Alex Millar did so just before Christmas.
Haxton received a lot of support from the poker community. Quite prominent within that support was a lot of calls for other members to quit their roles, most notably Daniel Negreanu. The Canadian seems to be using the ‘keep your enemies closer’ strategy, preferring to stay put and make a difference rather than making a difference through not staying put.
It was a tough Christmas period for Negreanu. The Bank of America closed down his accounts, and Mastercard also stopped him using their services, as Operation Chokepoint continued to piss poker players off across the United States.
Team PokerStars Pro Jason Somerville has not left either. Somerville hit the news this week after declaring his intention to stream his participation in the $100,000 High Roller and Main Event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA). He also inked a deal with the Aussie Millions to do something similar in Oz at the end of the month.
Another member of the PokerStars team hit the news this week after Mediarex Sports & Entertainment announced that Chris Moneymaker would take charge of the Las Vegas franchise at the forthcoming Global Poker League (GPL). The team is called ‘The Las Vegas Moneymakers’. They will reveal the other 11 franchise owners next week.
There are many reasons members of PokerStars Team Pros haven’t been leaving in their droves. One of them will be financial. This week, former employee Greg Raymer reminded everyone of how important that golden chalice of a contract is when he went to the poker street to seek $100,000 in backing because his wife was worried about his poker playing results minus a big fat contract.
One young man not worrying about such trivialities of money or a wife for that matter is Fedor Holz. The German sensation won back-to-back World Poker Tour (WPT) High Roller events over the festive period. He picked up $1.5m for winning the WPT Alpha8 event in Las Vegas, and $3.4m for winning the $200,000 buy-in WPT High Roller in the Philippines.
That’s $5m and change.
That could change a lot of lives.
It’s a damn shame that Fedor Holz isn’t a member of an organisation like Raising For Effective Giving (REG). Had he been so, $100,000 would now be winging its way to effective charities.
REG has over 200 members and this week announced plans to expand upon that by moving into the video gaming industry. They created a sister organisation called Good Gamer and will focus on in-game purchases, with proceeds going towards effective charities.
The players also raised some money for REG over Christmas. Sorel Mizzi and Brian Rast boxed for REG causes. Mizzi battered Rast, knocking him down five times before the ref stopped the fight in Round 3. The pair raised over $8,000 or REG.
There wasn’t very much charitable about one young man’s actions in Cromwell Mint Casino. This week, news broke of a poker dealer operating in that establishment who was stealing thousands of pounds worth of chips by the use of a plastic tube that lengthened from a hole in his trouser pocket to his sock.
A long cylindrical object inside a trouser leg?
It’s no wonder nobody ever searched the lad.
We will end the week, as we normally do, with poker news of a personal nature. Byron Kaverman finished the year at the top of the GPI300, and, despite yet being announced, he also won the 2015 GPI Player of the year award. Anthony Zinno finished second but did win the 2015 Cardplayer Player of the year award. Not satisfied with having two winners, I asked various prominent members of the poker public to give their opinion on who was the better man, and Anthony Zinno won by five votes to two.
Time Ladies and Gentlemen please
Someone just called the clock