New York City
Before we begin, go read the latest article from Matt Parvis titled... Isildur1 Speaks.
The Editor of PokerNews landed an exclusive interview with the Swedish online apparition otherwise known as Isildur1. They had some incendiary things to say about Brian Hastings, Full Tilt, and Isildur1 getting fleeced for $4 million because Hastings did his homework and assembled a 50,000 hand database of hand histories in matches between Isildur1 versus some of his friends.
My two cents?
Full Tilt was gifted a huge headache of a Christmas present. It's obviously in their best interest to keep Isildur1 playing on Full Tilt and now they are forced to reprimand Hastings and his cronies. The publicity blitz in the poker media surrounding Isildur1's epic rise to fame was significantly greater than the snoozer otherwise known as the "durrrr Challenge". Shit if you were lurking on the rail then you know that durrrr's matches against Isildur1 were some of the most entertaining online action to watch in recent memory... even more so than his matches against Antonius.
Brian Hastings is an idiot. I don't know the guy at all and that sentence might come off as harsh, but the next time I cross paths with the guy I'll say the same thing. "You're an idiot for exposing yourself. You should have kept your mouth shut."
Which brings me to the next point... remember that scene in Goodfellas when young Henry Hill gets pinched for the first time and he thought all the mobsters were pissed at him? But then he found out they were proud because he took his lumps like a man?
Jimmy Conway: A graduation present. (stuffs bills into Henry's pocket)Heck watch the scene here...
Young Henry: Why? I got pinched.
Jimmy Conway: Everyone does. You did it right. You told them nothing.
Young Henry: I thought you'd be mad.
Jimmy Conway: I'm not mad, I'm proud of you. You took your first pinch like a man, and learned the two greatest things in life. Look at me. Never rat on your friends... and always keep your mouth shut.
About the dirty business of data mining... I used to do it back in the day before Full Tilt banned the practice. My opponents were keeping tabs on me and vice versa. That practice falls on the murky side of online poker.
Of course, here's where I call Brian Hastings a genius. Hastings and his buddies discussed and shared information on how to play Isildur1. I'm sure (no proof, just me talking smack) that Martonas and Isildur1 engaged in lengthy discussions about IKEA, snow, and how to beat the Card Runners guys and durrrr in their native Swedish tongue. If they weren't, then they were foolish. Hastings was much more organized which is why he siphoned off $4 million from Isildur1.
Will Isildur1 get his money back? Who knows. I don't think he should. What's done is done. Let Hastings keep the money. In the end, Hastings still beat the unknown Scandi.
But this situation definitely tarnishes any future high stakes matches. Anytime someone takes down a big score, everyone will wonder if there were shenanigans involved. That's why Hastings should have kept his mouth shut. I know, I know... it's important to maintain the integrity of the game blah blah blah. But in the immortal words of Joey Knish, "Maybe this is a game that can be beat."
Read the continuation of Parvis' Isildur1 interview.
Also check out Change100's astute Hand History Analysis op/ed.
I'm back in NYC in my old neighborhood in the Bronx. I ran into Vinny the Barber and he gave me a haircut. We spoke about a variety of topics from Tiger Woods to the international date line to the time he told me he ran 32 miles in a single day. He asked me what kind of poker stories I was writing about. I mentioned something about a potential cheating situation.
"You know about that guy they caught cheating at a poker game on Arthur Avenue?"
"No, when? What happened?"
"This was a couple of years ago. They caught him and chopped off his hand. With an axe."
"What did they do with the hand? Toss it in the East River?"
"Fuck should I know? Probably fed it to the dogs."
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