Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Link Dump: Vulture Brains, Laak's Publicity Stunt, ElkY WinsTOC Seat, and the Latest Drama in Poker Media

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Happy Friday. While you're counting down to the weekend, here are a few tidbits to enjoy...
If you don't know... ElkY won a TOC seat in sudden-death SNG. The French pro beat out Andy Bloch, Gus Hansen, Don Cheadle, Sorel Mizzi, Michael Mizrachi, Liv Boeree, Gavin Smith and Paul Wasicka in a special SNG. Only The Grinder was the sole bracelet winner at the table. (

Shamus wonders if the 2-7 Lowball event at the WSOP is the Real Tournament of Champions? (Hard-Boiled Poker)

Hat tip to Bill Rini for this gem... Sports bettors smoking vulture brains to gain the ability to predict winner. As someone who has plenty of experience in high-altitude training, let me tell you this... smoking anything from a vulture will not give you secret powers to be able to predict the future. However, smoking vulture brains does cause slight paranoia, cottonmouth, and give you a wicked case of the munchies. Just don't do it in the Rio's parking lot. Anyone caught smoking vulture brains on Harrah's properties will get a lifetime ban. (

My recap about Sunday's festivities is still getting lots of attention. By chance you didn't read it, here you go... Day 10: Most Likely You Go Durrrr's Way (And I'll Go Mine).

Last weekend, Daniel Negreanu criticized PokerNews' official WSOP coverage on Twitter that a lot (if not all) of the staff took as a cheap shot. That was not his intention, and although he later apologized to some staff members, he did not reach out to all of them -- who felt slighted even more. Negreanu posted his opinions on the official updates and chip counts on his blog, which drew a Dear John letter from a veteran of the poker industry who sounded off in an Op/Ed piece titled... Daniel Negreanu Is Right in All the Wrong Ways. (Pokerati)

My take on it all?

I was a part of the first ever official live WSOP coverage team for PokerNews in 2007, and that was the hardest I've ever worked in my life (mind you, I pulled two tours on Wall Street). The staff is underpaid (like all of poker media), overworked, and lacks manpower with a support and tech team that is based out of a former Soviet puppet state 9 or 10 time zones away.

The sober reality is this: it simply costs too much money to properly fund a successful WSOP official coverage team. No matter how good or fast of a job they do, it's never going to live up to the stringent demands on the overly critical public and meet the insatiable self-serving needs of pros and the online poker juntas.

Negreanu has valid points but failed in his way of presenting them. I agree with most of what the anonymous Op/Ed had to say and wish I wrote it and had the balls to post it on the Tao. However the entire issue at hand (and on a larger scale -- the entire concept of poker media) is so convoluted that there is no potential solution.

With that said... it's a war that can't be won, which is why I'm a mercenary sitting on the sidelines. Pay me and I'll shoot whoever you want, but you have to pay triple during the WSOP.

Oh, and by the way... play on PokerStars.

That's it. NGTFOOMO.


  1. michael f.8:29 AM

    "With that said... it's a war that can't be won, which is why I'm a mercenary sitting on the sidelines. Pay me and I'll shoot whoever you want, but you have to pay triple during the WSOP!"


  2. wtf really?1:51 PM

    Why does the poker media always talk about how hard people work.  I work my butt off and if I ever fall behind my boss is not very understanding.  I appreciate their effort but only results matter. When you pay for exclusive rights and do not produce, you will be attacked.  I would hope the poker media would use extreme vigor in making Tony G. answer to these issues.  I have heard over and over how hard the poker media works.  Why has this strigent work ethic not produced Harrahs and Tony G to responds.  I am missing Pollack pretty bad right now.  He would have already addressed this.  He was an approachable leader.

  3. Poker Strategy Guide2:48 PM

    I never knew there were so many problems with Poker media. I think you have the right mentality on being a "mercenary."

  4. Pauly3:21 PM

    If you're critical of the coverage now -- imagine if the crew was populated by people who don't give a fuck. Then you won't get your cheeseburger at all. I'm sorry --- it does matter.

  5. Luke Thomas5:00 PM

    Why not put computer chips in the chips.  I'm sure there is a cost effective way to know exactly how many chips someone has at any moment

  6. wtf really?8:07 PM

    Pauly --  thanks for the information.  I was not aware pokernews did not pay for exclusive coverage.  Of course does this really matter?  They do have an exclusive agreement, right?  If you limit competition then you deserve any attacks.  Are there any plans to actuaaly have Harrahs or Pokernews respond to these issues?

  7. wtf really?8:19 PM

    Hey Pauly--  what is your opinion about having having Card Player, Bluff and Poker News working the wsop and partnering to cover chip counts.  The sitres would then be free to cover otehr news as seen fit.  You would three times the staff.  If money is the issue then one company is not the answer.  There are many examples of competitors working together to lower costs.  It would be up to the sites to attract the consumer. 

  8. Pauly2:19 AM

    I would like to see a "dedicated" chip count service paid for by Harrah's/WSOP and a free market for reporting services. That would spur competition and provide for better updates, and at the least everyone would be checking multiple web sources instead of just one website.

    If that doesn't work... flying monkeys.

  9. wtf really?2:07 AM

    sound idea---wish/hope it happens.  Harrahs makes so much money from the wsop but I fear they will never make the investment.  Of course the voyeur in me would like the monkeys!