Calling the Clock is our weekly news roundup. This week we cover Antonio Esfandiari getting flushed, the Global Poker League team names and managers announced, and much more.
This week saw the very best of poker and the very worst.
I should be waxing lyrical about the Global Poker League, the announcement of the team names, and team managers, but that’s not where we begin. Unfortunately, the biggest news story of the week involves a man pissing in a container while playing on Day 2 of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event.
Antonio Esfandiari, one of the most decorated and well-known celebrity poker players in the world, decided it would be perfectly acceptable to whip out his old boy and take a leak at the table.
Esfandiari told the press that he couldn’t make it to the bathroom because his legs were so tired after lunging all the way from his hotel room to the table, in a prop bet with Bill Perkins.
Perkins bet Esfandiari $50,000 that he couldn’t lunge everywhere he went for a 48hr period.
After Esfandiari had relieved himself at the table, tournament officials disqualified him from the competition leaving him to lunge his way back to his hotel room. The Magician would later apologise profusely before donating his $50,000 prop bet winnings to the One Drop and Raising for Effective Giving (REG) charities.
Global Poker League Franchise Team Managers Announced
Alexander Dreyfus must be praying that there are no such shenanigans when he kickstarts his inaugural Global Poker League (GPL) this year. The Frenchman is single handily trying to inject some professionalism into poker, and people pissing into pots doesn’t do the man any favours on that front.
This week saw Dreyfus announce the team names and team managers for the 12 franchises that will compete in the most exciting event to hit poker since people started walking on the earth.
There is a substantial PokerStars presence smattered throughout the tournament. Dreyfus confirming via Twitter that PokerStars had no involvement in the appointments of Chris MoneyMaker (Las Vegas Moneymakers), Liv Boeree (London Royals), Celina Lin (Hong Kong Stars), Marc-Andre Ladouceur (Montreal Nationals) and Andre Akkari (Sao Paulo Metropolitans).
Other teams and their managers are Philipp Gruissem (Berlin Bears), Maria Ho (Los Angeles Sunset), Anatoly Filatov (Moscow Wolverines), Bryn Kenney (New York Rounders), Faraz Jaka (San Francisco Rush), Fabrice Soulier (Paris Aviators), and Max Pescatori (Rome Emperors).
The managers first task will be to select their team members. The first GPL Draft Day will take place Feb 25. Kara Scott will host the event, and Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth will feature on a special players panel.
Portugal Online Poker Boycott
Online poker players continue to don the gloves and punch back against the big boys, this time in Portugal.
Associação Nacional de Apostadores Online (ANAon). An organisation created to protect the interests of online gamblers in Portugal have voted for a boycott in protest against the decision by Manuela Bandeira, the Director of Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), and Head of Online Gambling, to ring fence online poker liquidity within their country.
ANAon has urged its members, and anyone else based in Portugal, to boycott any new online poker companies that rise from the ashes of the old establishment. The two entities have met to try to find a resolution. That didn’t work.
Sponsorship Merry Go Round
Sam Trickett has signed on as an ambassador for an Indian poker company called Starpoker.in. It’s Trickett’s first deal since breaking ties with Everest in the summer. Matt Glantz has inked a deal to represent Rush Street Gaming and Poker Night in America, and PokerStars has decided it doesn’t need a Team Belgium or Spain after cutting ties with the De Meulder twins and Leo Margets; Jan Heitman also leaves at the end of his contract.
Sorkin and Shak
Fans of poker movies (man, that must be a small list) will be delighted to hear that Aaron Sorkin will make his directorial debut turning Molly’s Game into a feature film. The Oscar-winning screenwriter will be joined by Amy Pascal and Mark Gordon as they try to turn the underground cash game scene into a movie of note. They are up against it. Only Rounders has ever been any good.
Beth Shak knows how to make money.
The woman with more shoes than the continent of Australasia is handing out poker lessons designed to help women find hunky men. She is charging $1,000 per hour for the privilege.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Poker has two homes in January: The Bahamas and Melbourne.
The Aussie Millions has only just begun, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) is drawing to a close.
Bryn Kenney won the Super High Roller for $1.6m, and Steve O’Dwyer won the $50,000 One Day High Roller for just shy of a million.
The other big winner of the week was Christian ‘Eisenhower1’ Jeppsson. The Swede was declared the winner of the coveted PocketFives Tournament Leaderboard for 2015.
Time Ladies and Gentlemen.
Somebody just called the clock.