Calling the Clock: Negreanu Twitter Flare; SCOOP Record; Soulja Boy Bluff

TAGs: Calling the Clock, Editorial

In this week’s Calling the Clock Daniel Negreanu believes it’s easier to win money playing poker today than pre-Internet times; PokerStars Spring Championships of Online Poker sets a new world record, and Soulja Boy was bluffing with his $400m World Poker Fund Holdings claims.

Daniel Negreanu believes it’s easier to win money playing poker today, than before the Internet. I happen to agree with him. I am not alone. There are a lot that doesn’t.

The PokerStars figurehead posted a diatribe of tweets explaining his views on the topic. His views were short and sweet. He believes that the old school pros didn’t have the luxury of the Internet to hone their craft. He also pointed to the advancements in technology surrounding the launch of the Internet. Also, the point that there are so many more professionals playing poker today than before the Internet was also a sure sign that it was easier to win today.

Negreanu then went on to say that the young wizards of the Internet era should give the poker pioneers more respect and that most of them would have been losers in those pre-Internet games.

Two players would have been able to hold their own in those games, according to Negreanu, and they were Scott Seiver and Jason Mercier. One person who would not see eye-to-eye on that comment is Doug Polk, who lambasted Mercier’s credential’s in and around his Spring Championships of Online Poker (SCOOP) win that resulted in a little Twitter war between the pair.

So who is right and who is wrong?

Are the wizards better than the pioneers?

Is Doug Polk better than Jason Mercier?

We will, of course, never know.

PokerStars Set a New World Record

I know my levels of sarcasm can reach absurd heights at times, so please stop loading my chambers with bullets.

PokerStars 2016 SCOOP is done and dusted and given the angst felt within the poker community over the past few months one would imagine it would have been a complete washout.

Calling the Clock: Negreanu Twitter Flare; SCOOP Record; Soulja Boy BluffWRONG!

PokerStars players flocked to the site in their thousands to create a new world record for the largest combined prize pool in a live tournament festival history with players taking home $90,984,283.44. All three Main Events also shattered attendance and prize pool records for SCOOP events.

The person who won the largest slice of that cash is someone who will probably give it all away. Hedge Fund Manager Talal ‘raidalot’ Shakerchi continued his evolution from whale to shark with victory in the $10k (High) Main Event for $1.4m. The London-based trader also finished ninth in the SCOOP Leaderboard thanks to 38 cashes, and five final tables. It was Shakerchi’s third SCOOP title.

Shaun Deeb won the SCOOP Player of the Year (POY) award after cashing in the most events (41) and reached the most final tables (8). Brazil won the most titles (21), and Shawn Buchanan won the most individual titles (3).

So how do they do it?

One way is to pay out millions in endorsement deals to the likes of Neymar and Ronaldo and hope that their loyal followers pick up on the fact that they are sponsored by PokerStars (no mean feat in itself) and decide to pop in, take a look, and get hooked.

This week a global ad campaign featuring Neymar promoting PokerStars Knockout Poker went viral after it received over 100,000 reactions on his Facebook page, including 11,000 shares and 1,400 comments. The video apparently shows Neymar showing off his capoeira football skills, but I can’t confirm because I am living in the UK and the ad is banned because ads involving Neymar breach the UK gambling laws because he is an itsy-bitsy likkle baby.

Stateside Poker News

Treasure Island (TI) is preparing for the influx of poker players heading to the Strip for the WSOP by launching their subscription-based online poker room. They have not used the 888Poker platform as we previously thought they would. Instead, they have partnered with Strategic Entertainment Pty Ltd. A Gold membership will set you back $9.95 per month, and $14.95 for Platinum.

And Living It Loving It (LILI) will take over the TI brick and mortar poker room to offer European poker players a place to compete and watch the European Championships on large screens.

The European-themed room has seven poker tables and will run 24/7. LILI have partnered with Dusk Till Dawn’s Rob Yong and former Aviation Club de France (ACF) owner Bruno Fitoussi on the project.

The World Poker Tour (WPT) launched a new online training site called LearnWPT. Players can pay a monthly fee for access to exclusive training videos created by their one and only instructor Nick Binger.

And the closely named World Poker Fund Holdings (WPFH) was in the news again this week after rap star Soulja Boy tweeted that they had paid him $400m in a five-year endorsement deal.

What’s that I smell?

Is it cat?

Is it dog?


I know that smell anywhere.

It’s bullshit.

The WPFH’s PR firm 1800pr later told a Forbes reporter that youthful exuberance was to blame for the over the top assessment of the rap star. The WPFH isn’t even worth $400m.

Part of the WPFH portfolio is a series of old poker TV shows that nobody wants to watch which brings me nicely to my next story and that’s Poker Central’s tie in with PlayStation Vue. The 24/7 Poker TV Channel is now available on Sony’s pay per month cloud-based TV network that features TV series, movies, and sporting events.

Victoria Coren-Mitchell is proof positive that the US poker community isn’t as xenophobic as we once thought. The Women in Poker Hall of Fame (WiPHOF) inducted both her and Debbie Burkhead into the clique, making the former PokerStars Team Pro the first European ever to be accepted into a Poker Hall of Fame of any kind.

What else happened this week?

Ah, yes.

GVC Holdings signed a 10-year licensing deal with Betfred that will see the UK bookie migrate all their online services to the GVC platform. The news prompted speculation that partypoker would become a network as both brands fall under the GVC umbrella and have online poker rooms.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) site announced Phil Ivey as their newest global partner. Players on the site will get the opportunity to qualify for a WSOP Main Event seat and a meet and greet with the most elusive poker star on the planet.

And Pennsylvania’s hopes for a fully regulated online poker network got a little confusing this week after the House of Representatives rejected Sen. John Payne’s online gambling bill by 107 votes to 81 and then immediately approved a motion to reconsider. Payne was equally as confused considering there had been 47 different meetings and hearings on the bill and yet the panel still didn’t seem to understand what they were voting for.

Personal Praise

Congratulations to Andrew Jankowski, who qualified for the WPT National Nottingham Main Event for a single cent and went on to win the $192,210 first prize. 886 players turned up for the $1m guaranteed event.

Kevin Grabel became the first player to win back-to-back Parx Casino Big Stax Main Events. He defeated 1,548 entrants to take the first prize of $78,450 in the $330 buy-in Main Event and then outlasted 1,184 competitors to win the $550 version.

And David Hubbard won the final WSOP Circuit (WSOPC) Main Event of the season after topping a field of 785 entrants taking home the $235,500 first prize in New Orleans.

Time ladies and gentlemen.

Somebody just called the clock.


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