Annie Duke Poker Player

Sucking Out On The Rivers Charity Poker Tournament Red Carpet (VIDEO)

Watch Annie Dukes Sucking Out On The Rivers Charity Poker Event on

Not a ton of big WSOP events or parties going on yet. There was a party at Blush featuring Huck Seed that didn't allow media, and that's about it. So fortunately the Sucking Out On The Rivers charity poker tournament, hosted by Annie Duke, stepped up and filled some of that void.

A bunch of top pros and 20 Joan Rivers impersonators showed up, all to the benefit of Refugees International. Above is the red carpet video. It's just like high school. Highlights include Annie Dukes' take on American Idol and Jeffrey Pollack on anticipated WSOP turn-out.

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Annie Duke Talks Celebrity Apprentice on X107.5

The TOKE's Dave Farra hosts a morning radio show in Las Vegason X107.5. Yesterday he had Annie Duke on as a guest, where she gives her take on (what else?) the Celebrity Apprentice.
Watch EXCLUSIVE: Annie Duke Speaks Out About Celebrity Apprentice on 107.5 on
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Celebrity Apprentice: Annie Duke's Bad Beat By Joan Rivers

We kind of felt this one coming.

There was somewhat of a running theme on the Celebrity Apprentice this season that Annie Duke was "just a poker player." Yeah, she may be pwning the competition every week, but look what she does for a living. It's a deceitful way to make a living so of course she's good. Plus she's nowhere near the "celebrity" of some of the other contestants. So would Donald Trump really make his final "hire" a poker player instead of arguably the biggest celebrity name he had on the show?

Nope. In the end, as expected, Trump awarded this season's Celebrity Apprentice (title? hire?) to Joan Rivers instead of Annie Duke.

Before watching the finale (having determined that Rivers was going to win no matter what), we were originally going to make the headline of this post, "Annie Duke Andy Blochs The Celebrity Apprentice, Finishes Second."And believe it or not, the headline wasn't going to be a shot at either them. At the inaugural $50k H.O.R.S.E. event, Bloch outplayed Chip Reese heads-up. Straight-up outplayed Chip and outplayed the field leading up to the heads-up showdown. It was similar to how Annie outplayed everyone on the Celebrity Apprentice. In the end though, it wasn't meant to be for Bloch. Chip consistently got his money in with the worst of it, but kept winning hand after hand. Fate just wasn't going to let Andy win that tournament. We figured the same thing was going to be true here, as "fate" (NBC/Donald Trump) wouldn't let Annie triumph.

However, that wasn't so much the case last night, because Joan won the final challenge by taking 3 of the 5 criteria being judged. She wisely picked Herschel Walker (DAWGS...everybody knows you've got to give Herschel Walker the ball) as the first person to join her team, leaving Melissa Rivers, who there was no way Annie was choosing, on the bench while Annie picked Brande Roderick first, who there was no way Joan was choosing. Ultimately that move left Joan with a better overall team, particularly because two of Herschel's ideas were critical to Joan's overall win. 

It was a tactical error on Annie's part for sure. Bottomline is bottomline, and despite some controversy caused by Joan with the event planning firm, Joan won 3 of the 5 criteria in the final challenge. Surprisingly, little was made in the boardroom though of the fact that Joan's behavior was the cause for the event planning company to quit on both teams. It's fair to assume that, from the sounds of it, Annie's decor would've topped Joan's for the silent auction before the firm quit. Had that happened, Annie would've won 3 of the 5 criteria. And all the evidence was on TV for everyone to see that Joan was the cause of the firm quitting. However, she denied it (despite millions of people having just watched it unfold), and Trump didn't seem to really care. Joan once again acted like a spoiled 10 year-old brat when Annie very calmly tried pointing this all out, but again, Joan was never put in her place by Donald for her behavior. Annie very smartly told Trump that Joan's boardroom remarks throughout the season would have gotten her immediately fired in any other company (shown above(, and again, Trump just kind of brushed it off. The result just seemed predetermined.

Interestingly, with the exception of when she was skillfully pleading her case to win (the above clip again), Annie wore defeat on her face the entire final two boardrooms (the task one and the live one) as if she knew this as well. So it was surprising to see that, for a split second, she actually thought she won as Donald addressed her in the final seconds of the show. But Trump ultimately dropped the ax on her, and gave Joan Rivers (pictured here) the non-existent job.

Not sure how we feel about all of this. If judging on the strength of her play throughout the season, Annie definitely deserved to win. However, Joan did capture the final challenge, even though her bad behavior in causing the event planning group to quit might've swung that last project to her favor.

Amazingly in all of this, Joan somehow still seemed to have the overwhelming support of Internet posters, critics, casual fans, and the live audience. Her general behavior throughout the season was despicable. She was constantly condescending to Annie and to the poker community in general, telling Duke tonight repeatedly that she was "beneath" her. She got away with verbal murder all season, and Trump never had the balls to call her out on it and put a stop to it. Yeah, it was good for ratings. We get that. But to never make a mention of it is pretty pathetic, especially at the end when making his final decision.

It'll be hard for the Celebrity Apprentice to top this season in terms of drama and interest again. Unless, of course, they take Daniel Negreanu up on his offer to join the show. If they do, count us in on watching it again. If not, and we've said this before, but this time we're really done with the show.

UPDATE: The event planner, David Tutera, confirms Annie was telling the truth and that Rivers is "a monster." Read here.

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Celebrity Apprentice: Annie Duke vs. Joan Rivers Finale Sunday Night

Will Annie Duke win the Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday? Or will Donald Trump give it to Joan Rivers because she's the bigger celebrity and she'll bitch like a spoiled brat 5 year-old if she doesn't win?

Many in entertainment are calling this year's Celebrity Apprentice"the best worst reality television in history." And 99% of why it would be dubbed that [compliment] is due to the feud between Annie Duke and Joan Rivers (pictured here).

Sunday night, NBC airs its three-hour finale. Annie and Joan have been making the media rounds this week to promote it. Joan of course has been adding fuel to the fire by taking her shots at Annie and the poker community in general, telling Page Six:

"How can I hate poker players? Did you ever look at the cards? Everyone knows I love queens. Poker playing is a very noble profession. A little-known fact is Florence Nightingale had to choose between nursing and cards."

Joan also is taking her shots through Twitter, calling Annie "Ann-ME," and saying: 

"If you really look closely, Ann-ME did a lot of sobbing when she won but not one tear came out...[Watch] how Annie Duke does EVERYTHING and lets us know every second how brilliant she is...."

Actually, looking at Rivers' Twitter page, her hatred of Annie Duke is bordering on maniacal and unhealthy, similar to the way we feel about Danny Gokey.

Doyle Brunson has jumped into the fray to poker's defense via Twitter as well, tweeting:

"Joan Rivers went to the doctor for a zit on her butt. He told her it was a brain tumor....[ouch]"


"Why is Joan River's brain the size of a pea in the morning?.......It swells at night."

Doyle had about 10 more slams (read here) and said that, "I'll quit tweeting about Joan Rivers when she apologizes to the poker world."

Tune in NBC tomorrow at 8pm to watch how Donald Trump arbitrarily gives the title to Joan even though Annie out-played her the entire season, because let's face it, you know that's what's going to happen.

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Annie Duke Goes Heads Up Against Joan Rivers in Celebrity Apprentice

We broke last November that Annie Duke finished at least in the top two on the Celebrity Apprentice, and sure enough she did, making the finals with Joan Rivers on Sunday night's episode.

As we wrote last week, Annie is kind of like the Richard Hatch of the season. She's easily manipulating and playing the game better than anyone. But she's also raised the most money for charity and she's won the most challenges as project manager. It'll be hard to make a case against her winning the whole thing, but given Donald Trump's sometimes arbitrary way of judging things, and also given that coming into this Annie was nowhere near the level of celebrity as Joan Rivers (pictured here) was, well, it's probably still up in the air.

We've heard everything from two different versions of the final were already taped (one with Annie winning, one with Joan), to the finale hasn't even filmed yet and it's live (which we think is right), but if we do catch advance word on what the deal is, we'll let you know.

Below is Annie's Chicken of the Sea jingle/commercial that defeated Clint Black for the final challenge victory.

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Celebrity Apprentice: Who Acts Likes This?

Glad we didn't stop watching the Celebrity Apprentice because this show is delivering drama we haven't seen since middle school (it would be insulting to high schoolers everywhere by comparing the drama to high school, really, it would).

Yeah, these reality shows are pressure cookers and edited for max effect, but most of the remaining contestants looked criminally bad last night. Clint Black comes across as a douchebag of epic proportions at all times. Melissa Rivers is a 43 year-old spoiled brat with seemingly no redeeming qualities. Joan Rivers (pictured here) we'll get to in a minute. And even the previously great Jesse James now looks like a big baby.

Interestingly, the two people who conducted themselves with the most class, and yet, are getting the most shit from the general public, were Annie Duke and Brande Roderick.

Annie is kind of like the Richard Hatch of season 1 of Survivor. She's manipulating everyone, they all know she's manipulating everyone, but she's so good at it nobody really cares to stop it. It's actually quite impressive.

In last night's episode, Annie, Brande, and Melissa were teamed up together. Annie and Brande clicked, worked well together, and kind of (consciously) boxed Melissa out. It was a well-played strategy on their (or more likely, Annie's) part, and Melissa got fired. Melissa then went on throw a temper tantrum that the 2/3 of the Entities who have children have never seen their kids even come close to equaling, and that's if you combine both kid's worst ever tantrum, multiply it by 10, and then square it.

Joan caught wind of Melissa's firing and began spewing vile towards Annie (white trash, Hitler, etc.) and Brande (dumb blond) that only somebody who truly has no class is capable of doing. What's funny is how she repeatedly slams Annie (who went to two Ivy League schools) for being "white trash," but her tirades are something you'd see on any given episode of Jerry Springer.

What's not funny though is how, even after last night, the majority of people still seem to side with Joan Rivers over Annie (Melissa's tantrum killed her popularity). Read these comments on the EW message board. It's about 90% pro-Joan. Again, Annie is overtly manipulative, but she's never taken a personal, below the belt shot at anyone on the show. Joan looks like the undead and goes out of her way to say the worst possible thing you can say to someone when she gets mad. So how are the viewers siding with Joan? Damn people suck so bad.

Also, apparently Joan thinks that poker player money is "soaked in blood." What? What is this, 1880? However, her line about poker players not having any last names was pretty funny (see: Chops, Snake, Addict).

Anyway, if you watched it, or just watched the below clip, let us know what you think in the comments section.

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We Know Who Annie Duke Was Yelling at on Celebrity Apprentice

In case you missed it, before the whole Hitler and blowjob comments happened, on this past week's Celebrity Apprentice, Annie Duke just laid the fuck into somebody on the phone who was helping Natalie Gulbis get Phil Hellmuth to contribute to her charity. Instead of Annie's.

Lots of speculation on who it was (Hellmuth even addressed it on the Hardcore Poker Show today here). While there has been a lot of speculation as to what poker industry insider it was, we actually know.

It's one of these five below. Vote for who you think it is in our comments section. And by the way, the voice was altered on the phone in the episode, so no real clues there.

We will randomly select one of the correct answers for a Wicked Chops t-shirt.

1. Jamie Horowitz (ESPN)
2. Brian Balsbaugh (Poker Royalty)
3. Jeffrey Pollack(WSOP/Harrah's)
4. Steve Lipscomb(WPT)
5. Ty Stewart(WSOP/Harrah's)

Vote away...

UPDATE: Not announcing the winner yet, as we may have something in the works with this...developing...

UPDATE II: The big reveal and winner announced Tuesday, April 28.

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Celebrity Apprentice: Annie Duke Talks Hitler, Blowjobs

Everyone in the WPT Championshipat the Bellagio is talking about last night's Celebrity Apprentice with Annie Duke and Joan Rivers (pictured here).

Amanda Leatherman nabbed Duke during one of the breaks for her take on Joan Rivers' comments and the never-going-to-live-it-down-blowjob remark, which her ex-husband apparently is willing to confirm. Duke makes a pretty salient (pretty sure that's the first time we've used that word in 4 years...BJ Nemeth can you confirm?) point about people reacting to the blowjob comment more than the Hitler one.

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Celebrity Apprentice: Hitler vs. the Crazy Bitch

So we were flipping through the channels last night and since American Idol, Flight of the Conchords, Big Love, The Office, and South Park weren't on, we decided to give Celebrity Apprentice one more try.

Glad we did. Tuned in a little late, but from what we gathered, Annie finally stepped up as project manager. The task was auctioning off some of Ivanka Trump's jewelry. Whichever team raised the most money won.

Annie was talking about all of the rich friends she has and delivered, including getting Scott Ian from Anthrax to show. Apparently the competing project manager (golfer Natalie Gulbis, sexy time pics here) knew Phil Hellmuth and had called the Poker Brat to contribute as well. Annie caught wind of this and immediately kiboshed that from happening. Annie's team crushed, Natalie got the ax, but before that happened, there was a big board room blow up where Joan Rivers (pictured here) compared Annie to Hitler (clip below). Yes, Adolf Hitler. Whatever you think of Annie, pretty sure she ain't trying to exterminate the Jews. Annie later said she thought Joan was a "crazy bitch," which she probably is, although a different kind of crazy bitch than Tiffany Williamson.

Later in the episode on the second task, Annie was cooking and said something to the effect of her being the "total woman" because she cooks, raises four kids, works hard...and gives a great blowjob. Check out the blowjob clip (not an actual blowjob, but Annie discussing it) here.

UPDATE: From Annie Duke's twitter page: "Joan rivers just tweeted, " I just compared Annie to Hitler. I feel terrible. My apologies to Hitler." Look at her page. WTF?"

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Ok Now We're Done Watching Celebrity Apprentice

So the "blow-up" between Joan Rivers (pictures here) and Annie Duke on Celebrity Apprentice wasn't really that big of a deal. Joan (seen here) is a bit of a drama queen and over-protective of her daughter (as she should be).

Annie caught some shit for not being a project manager yet, but stepped up for this week's episode, even though for all intents and purposes she's PM'd every challenge.

Otherwise Donald Trump, who we used to love and even played his board game, is too annoying of a TV personality to handle the show anymore.

And we're done. To paraphrase Daniel Plainview, "We're finished."


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We're Done Watching Annie Duke on Celebrity Apprentice

A few days late getting to this, practically a week, but better later than never, so after giving the Celebrity Apprentice with Annie Duke (who is clearly pwning the show) a good month of run, we're done with it.

Until next week. Then we're officially done with it. More on that in a minute.

This past week's episode had Donald Trump making two inexplicable eliminations when there were way more deserving people (total douche Clint Black, either of the creepy as fuck Rivers's). While the two people he axed (Khloe Kardashian and T-Boz) we could care less about, his reasoning/rationale was totally arbitrary, and it kind of ruined the show for us.

So we're done.

Until next week.

In the preview, it showed Joan Rivers (pictured here) and Annie getting into some all out argument, which probably is the base cause for Joan (pictured here) to call Annie "a piece of garbage" a few weeks back. So we're gonna at least watch that one.

Then we're done. Unless Herschel Walker makes it to the final, because the fucking DAWGS rule.

Below is Trump's firing of Khloe.

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Celebrity Apprentice: Joan Rivers Calls Annie Duke a "Piece of Garbage" On Today Show

Having watched the first episode of the Celebrity Apprentice, it's no shocker that Joan Rivers and Annie Duke aren't the best of friends. They're both definitely in competition for "Alpha Female" status in the group, with the only problem being that Annie is way smarter than Joan and Joan is creepy as shit to look at. At this stage we're pretty sure if you put a heat lamp on Joan her face would melt into looking something like this.

Anyway, apparently Joan and Annie didn't get along very well in their battle for Alpha Female status. In the above interview on the Today Show (yesterday), Joan straight up calls Annie a "piece of garbage." Go about 3 minutes in.

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Ria Antoniou Brings You Today's Poker News

A gift from God from Greece, Ria Antoniou brings today's poker news. She's also a clue, of sorts, to our new "Official Pick to Win It All." See, now that Huck Seed won a major event, we have to retire him as our official pick, meaning we are naming someone else in the near future. And Ria is a big clue to who that is. See if you can figure it out.

:: The 2009 WSOP is no longer allowing profanity at the tables (#36). Fuck! [link]

:: For some reason this is funny. [link]

:: Erica Schoenberg likes the ecstacy dance scene from Eastbound & Down, which is about the only few minutes from that show that we liked too. [link]

:: Annie Duke and the women are just pwning the Celebrity Apprentice. [link]

:: And lastly, props to the new Up for Poker facelift. [link]

  Ria-Antoniou-03-6731  Ria-Antoniou-04-6732 Ria-Antoniou-08-6736

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NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship Red Carpet Photo Dump

All right, let's wrap this all up with some pictures (below) closing thoughts on the NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship red carpet/draw party last night.

First, job well done to Jon Miller of NBC for growing this event to what it is. This was easily the biggest red carpet crowd with the most excitement around it we've seen in the three years we've been covering it. Plus adding as a sponsor brings yet another big name mainstream advertiser into the fold (which = good for the game).

Now some random notes: Not sure if it was because he saw Phil Hellmuth talking to the crew or not, but Layne Flack couldn't have exited stage left into the party (and by-passed the video crews) any faster than if his ass was literally on fire and the only bucket of water within a three mile radius was in PURE Nightclub itself. / Congratulations again to Vanessa Rousso for landing a spot in that commercial with Danica Patrick. Also congrats on rocking a skin tight outfit that revealed a remarkably clear, um, something that rhymes with "mammal doe." / Speaking of Danica Patrick, while not super-model pretty, in person she's definitely better-looking than you'd think. Kind of "take-home-to-mom" pretty. / Jamie Gold had no problem immediately admitting he screwed up on getting a fake tan. / And while Annie Duke kind of makes sense on why she's not switching to FTP, we're still standing by our steak dinner offer.

Click the thumbs below for larger scale images.

Candace Godaddy model Candace Godaddy model Godaddy Danica Patrick Clonie Gowen Clonie Gowen Jennifer Tilly Vanessa Rousso Vanessa Rousso Layne_Flack_Closeup

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Annie Duke on Celebrity Apprentice and Our Dinner Bet

Maybe we won't win our (still not accepted) dinner bet with Annie Duke afterall.

After dishing on some cutting-room-floor parts of last week's Celebrity Apprentice, Duke spends some time talking about why she won't be switching affiliation from UltimateBet to Full Tilt.

While her argument makes all the sense in the world, we'll see what site she's with by the WSOP. If it's still UB, then yeah, we're probably drawing dead. N9ne it is!

Watch Annie Duke on the Russ Hamilton Ultimate Bet Scandal and The Apprentice on
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Celebrity Apprentice: Annie Duke Is Bossy

So we actually watched the new Celebrity Apprentice last night. The producers did Annie Duke no favors, with the first clip of her cussing someone out on the phone.

Early on, Duke took charge of the females. She came up with the team name (Athena), took over the challenge and led the women to victory in the cup cake sale competition (getting the likes of Erik Seidel and other poker players to shell out big $$$ for the treats).

While Duke clearly was bossing people the fuck around, we don't think Athena would've won without her and about 90% of what she was saying was spot on.

In case we haven't mentioned it before, Duke at least finishes in the top two.

Below is a bonus clip from the show of Annie ripping the men's team. 

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Celebrity Apprentice: Annie Duke the Omarosa?


The Celebrity Apprentice premieres tonight, which means there's about a zero percent chance that we'll actually be watching it since the Oscars are on (whatever, fuck you, like you're not tuning in too).

So we'll get out in front of this one and report that, according to Entertainment Weekly, "Poker queen Annie Duke is the Omarosa..."

Duke, who we know definitely made the final two of Celeb Apprentice and possibly won the whole thing (and who we have a standing steak dinner bet with), can't be too excited about the Omarosa comparison. Omarosa is basically considered one of the biggest c-u-next-tuesdays in the history of television. Fill in the blank with your Annie Duke/Ommarosa joke here: [              ].

UPDATE: We messed up. Looks like the premiere is next Sunday. Hey, look over there!

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Poker News Links Brought to You By Suelyn Medeiros

Figured we needed to bring some sexyness back on the homepage since you've been staring at Russ Hamilton's ugly mug the past few days. Enter Suelyn Medeiros, a Brazilian model who is so hot, that if it came out she was implicated in the UB super-user account scandal too, we'd be like, "Well, so what? What's the big deal? Who wouldn't do the same in her situation? Did you see her ass, btw?" View more below or the full set of pics here.

:: Tom Schneider's entertaining rant on Russ Hamilton sums up most people's thoughts on the guy pretty well. [link]

:: Jamie Gold signs with, whatever that is. [link]

:: Among those who are victims of the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme: Lyle Berman. [link]

:: Man it's a fucking slow day if we're fucking linking to this story. [link]

:: And Annie Duke, a woman, who we broke finished at least in the top 2 (pretty sure she won it) on Celebrity Apprentice and who we still have a standing offer of a steak dinner, is finally showing up in some Celebrity Apprentice clips. [link]

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Not Necessarily Just Poker News Brought to You By Arianny Celeste

Fan IQ recently selected Arianny Celeste as the hottest girl in MMA, and that was before these photos leaked. Talk about adding the proverbial exclamation point. Anyway, below is some poker news to catch up on from over the weekend.

:: Lots of good stuff from the Hard Core Poker show recently, starting with this Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond interview where he basically calls out Gus Hansen's online game... [link]

:: ...And continuing with this Annie Duke one, where she pretty much admits she pwned Celebrity Apprentice. [link]

:: However, Gus Hansen is SLAYING high stakes games on Full Tilt this year. Take that, Aiken! [link]

:: Well if Gus isn't bleeding money anymore, than maybe the high stakes Tilt games will really dry up since Guy Laliberté (already the biggest loser on Tilt last year) could be out another $50 mil. [link]

:: Catch up on the Aussie Millions Million Dollar Cash Game. [link]

:: We've felt out of MTV's "target demo" for about a decade now, but we'll be watching this show. [link]

:: Speaking of hot barely clad MMA chicks, meet Ali Sonoma. [link]

:: Dr. Pauly is chasing the dragon. [link]

:: Our new President and his wife have some fun in the bedroom. Damn. [link] 

:: And sort of speaking of the 2008 election, could one of these girls be the next Sarah Palin? [link]

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Poker News Link Dump Brought to You By Kim Cloutier

We unfairly rip on America's cap. We actually love Canada. Good people up there. One thing Canadians also don't get enough credit for is being a land filled with hot girls. Heck, we've been to Edmonton and even there the ratio of hot to not-hot girls was off-the-charts. So in honor of PCA Caribbean Adventure winner (and Canadian) Poorya Nazari, we bring you Kim Cloutier. Easily one of Canada's finest. View more here.

:: As noted above, Poorya Nazari wins PCA Main Event, banking three million f'in dollars. Obviously he doesn't train with Mats Sundin. But perhaps now he should consider changing his name from "Poorya" now to "Richya." Eh? Eh? Yeah that was horrible. But you fucking laughed and you know it. [link]

:: In other tournament news, Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott wins the Irish Poker Championship, banking €33,000. Good to see Devilfish winning something, since he's voteless in the "Best Poker Song" debate. [link]

:: Tiltware files motion to dismiss Clonie Gowen lawsuit. [link]

:: The Best Damn Poker Show Season 2 (aka The Giant UB Ad Buy) begins today. [link

:: Speaking of UB, Annie Duke writes about getting back in poker after six months off (if you missed her, you'll see plenty of her when the Celebrity Apprentice kicks off March 1). And Annie, the dinner bet is still on. [link]

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Wicked Chops Poker Predictions for 2009

(This column is running in the current Bluff Magazine. Funny thing is if we had waited a month, we would have altered some of these, but whatever.)

As any regular reader of our site knows, the Entities who comprise Wicked Chops Poker have a truly sick ability at making accurate predictions. Our call on Chino Rheem on Day 1 of the 2008 WSOP Main Event solidified our status in that respect for awhile.

We could go on a Nostradamus-esque 500 year run of off-base whack-job vague and ambiguous prognostications now and nobody would care. Our rep is secured. Our track record for accurate predictions in Bluff Magazine ain’t so bad either. Let’s look back at last year’s Bluff column: We predicted that Daniel Negreanu would have a monster year (check), Jerry Yang will fade into oblivion (check), female poker players will continue to prove us wrong and win a few things (check), the UIGEA will not shrink the number of online poker players (check), Shawn Sheikhan won’t be deported (check), then a couple that we got wrong but whose counting? Bottomline is we make the aforementioned Nostradamus look like Neville Chamberlain when it comes to accurate takes on the future.

On with our official Wicked Chops Poker predictions for 2009.

:: The World Poker Tour will stop the bleeding. While we’re not predicting a resurgence and record profits for the WPT in 2009, we actually think they’ll start righting the ship this year. With a partnership in place with Full Tilt Poker, cutting some more events, and staffing itself more efficiently, the WPT may only lost eleventy billion dollars this year instead of four gazillion.

:: The November Nine™ concept will be an unequivocal success. If there’s one thing that Jeffrey Pollack and crew have shown us it’s that they learn from their mistakes and get better and better each and every WSOP. From June to July, this year’s WSOP was the best on the books. But the much trumpeted November Nine™ hostage concept fell flat. There was zero mainstream build-up or appeal. Even hardcore poker fans gave it a big “meh” for the most part. Not this year though. Look for the November Nine™ to be an actual TV spectacle event in 2009. Or at a minimum, look for it to be a few ticks above the Stanley Cup Finals in the public’s general consciousness.

:: Annie Duke will be in the spotlight. We’ll just keep this one simple. We predict a deep run on the Celebrity Apprentice for the super-smart Annie Duke and a switch of online poker site affiliation away from UltimateBet and to something that rhymes with Bull Filt Moker.

:: This will be Doyle’s last WSOP Main Event. We’ve watched Doyle’s enthusiasm for big tournament poker wane over the years. At the few tourneys we saw him at, he showed about the same amount of enthusiasm as Kim Kardashian did in her sex tape with Ray-J (i.e. not much). So it just feels like he’ll throw his cowboy hat in after completing the WSOP Main Event in ’09. Let’s just hope he has a Jack Nicklaus ’86 Masters run left in him.

:: Michael Phelps will no show. The poker world was in ecstasy after Michael Phelps declared his love of online poker in 2008 and showed up at a few tournaments. “Hey, look at us world! We’re legitimate!” Things look even more promising now that he’s rumored to be dating Las Vegas cocktail waitress Caroline “Caz” Pal. “He’ll definitely be in Vegas playing more poker now!” Well, one of two things will happen: 1) Caz will step in and say, “Michael, stop playing so much poker and spend more time with meeeeeeeeeeeee,” which he’ll do because she’s hot and because all women except our current/first wives do that, or 2) his handlers will get a hold of him and say, “Uh yeah Michael, see, palling around with a bunch of degenerate gamblers is kind of like Barack Obama having barbeques with Bill Ayers. We’ve got $100 million in endorsements lined up so can you just stay out of the Rio Amazon Room for six weeks this summer, please?”

:: Either UltimateBet or Absolute Poker will fold. It’s got to happen, right? The fact that anyone still plays on either of these sites, especially UltimateBet, whose co-founder Russ Hamilton is allegedly implicated in cheating players out of hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not more), baffles us. Sure, they’ve come together to form a network called CEREUS, but either mounting public pressure for regulation or hopefully through some form of karmic retribution, one of these sites will go under. If it doesn’t happen, we’re going to go club some baby seals and immediately go buy lottery tickets afterwards.

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Annie Duke, If We Are Wrong, We'll Take You to Dinner

Annie_duke_poker_player Here's the thing, we like Annie Duke, a woman. She's smart. She gets great mainstream exposure, which in turn, raises the profile of the game for all. She's been a good ambassador for poker.

We reported that Annie will be leaving Ultimate Bet and signing on with another site. We had multiple sources on this. Didn't know a timeframe, but heard it was inevitable.

Annie disagrees with us. She has come out and said this to

"Lord...I'll tell you.  It is amazing that if someone just says something on the internet all of a sudden people think it is true.  The other day Wicked Chops posted that I am leaving for another site.  I can tell you that if it is true that was the first I had heard about it!  I would love someone from the site that I am moving to to call me and tell me the deal I am getting to leave UB."

Annie, if you are not with another site by November 6th, 2009, one year from today, we will treat you to a steak dinner at the restaurant of your choice. If you've gone veg, we'll take you somewhere else. Doesn't matter. But the offer is out there. Dinner, wine, all the fixings. We'll take both you and Joe Reitman. 1/3 of the Entities who comprise Wicked Chops Poker has met Joe and likes him too, although he'd probably like to punch us collectively in the face. Regardless, it'll be good times.

Seriously though if you pick N9ne Steakhouse, that's cool. We'll get the s'mores for desert.

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Annie Duke to Leave Ultimate Bet?
Annie Duke Wins Celebrity Apprentice?

So we're hearing that Annie Duke may be leaving Ultimate Bet. If it happens, what the f' took so long? And will Phil Hellmuth follow?

The speculation is Duke will join Team Full Tilt, which wouldn't be a shocker given her brother's affiliation with the site. This would make Duke Team FTP's most prominent female personality, which probably won't sit too well with Jen Harmon.

In related Duke news (and this is more speculative than the above), word is she at a minimum finished in the top two in this season's Celebrity Apprentice and may have in fact won it.

These two stories would make sense when tied together. While 60 Minutes may have put a brief hold on its hatchet job on online poker and Ultimate Bet, it will still run, and Duke's association with the site would surely be brought up. And with an appearance (and possible deep run) on Celebrity Apprentice, Duke's profile would never be higher.


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Online Poker Cheating Scandals Support Case for Government Regulation, Says PPA

Annie Duke has fought the good fight for regulation of online poker while still supporting UltimateBet which faces allegations of insider cheating

UltimateBet's Annie Duke spoke before Congress last November on behalf of the PPA in support of government regulation.

Chairman of the Poker Players Alliance Senator Alfonse D’Amato has just issued a statement on behalf of the PPA addressing the online poker cheating scandals that haven't so much rocked the poker world as they've just provided good forum fodder for a small group of poker players at a website run by creepy old dudes while having absolutely no negative effect on the bottom line for the folks at Absolute Poker and UltimateBet.

In the statement, which will likely have all the efficacy of a Hans Blix letter to Kim Jong-Il, D’Amato calls for officials at AP, UB and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission to "provide a full and transparent accounting of these breaches of the public trust to help lift the black cloud that has been placed over the industry."

D'Amato then argues that the abuses by insiders at both AP and UB show the need for government regulation as it is the government's "basic responsibility" to "provide assurances" to consumers.

Says D'Amato:

"The recent cheating scandals underscore the need for U.S. licensing and regulation of online poker to help protect consumers" . . .

“The federal government cannot continue to abdicate this basic responsibility to millions of its citizens who choose to play poker on the Internet. The attempt to enforce an outright prohibition of online poker is deeply flawed and unworkable, not to mention it invades upon the personal freedoms of law-abiding adults who wish to engage in a game of skill."

For what Ultimate Bet spokesperson Annie Duke said before Congress on behalf of the PPA last November go here.

Related stories:

:: Russ Hamilton Has Some Explaining To Do About UltimateBet Super User Accounts

:: BREAKING: 60 Minutes Interviews Mark Seif, Mike Sexton, Greg Raymer on Online Poker Cheating Scandal

:: Mark Seif on Absolute Poker Scandal: "I Had Nothing To Do With This"

:: Absolute Poker Says 'Geek' Employee Hacked System, Unicorns are Real

Full statement by D'Amato after the jump . . .

Continue reading "Online Poker Cheating Scandals Support Case for Government Regulation, Says PPA" »

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2008 WSOP Update: Event No. 22 - $3K Buy-In H.O.R.S.E. Underway

Poker pro Chad Brown is the guy with headphones

It's a pro heavy field in today's $3k buy-in HORSE event at the 2008 WSOP, and we're not just saying that because David Benyamine and Greg Raymer are playing. Like any tournament that involves anything but just Hold'em, tonight's HORSE event has drawn a who's who of big name pros ... way too lazy many to be named.

We're picking Chad Brown (photo above) as our early favorite, because he's a solid all-around player and our photog snapped the great shot of him above before he busted in the $5k NLHE event. He's the one wearing headphones for those who don't follow poker and may not recognize him.

Early chip leaders in the tournament include Allen Kessler, who, as a side not, really needs to lay off the Facebook crack, Chau Giang, and Perry Friedman.

Annie Duke, a woman, is also off to a decent start while Shannon Elizabeth isn't so much. She's down almost 2k from the start and is bundled up in a jacket trying to stay warm in the Amazon Room. It's a bit nippy in here right now, you may have noticed.

Get current chip counts here.

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Annie Duke was a 'Prize' on Deal or No Deal Last Night

Annie Duke was on Deal or No Deal, case girl Brooke Long plays pokerDancing with the Stars' Shannon Elizabeth, who you may know as one of the contestants on Dancing with the Stars, wasn't the only poker playing chick appearing on a hit show last night.

Annie Duke, a woman, made a surprise appearance on NBC's Deal or No Deal, the game show featuring Howie Mandel and 26 super hot models holding briefcases with varying amounts of money in them.

Apparently the contestant last night was a female poker player, and in the middle of the show, Annie came up on stage to offer a "deal" that included $133,000 in cash and a free trip to Annie's WSOP Academy ladies poker camp, 4 private poker lessons and some other stuff that was valued at a total of $25,000. The contestant's husband encouraged her to walk away with the Annie Duke lessons and the money, but she went against his advice and said, "No Deal."

In the end, the chick wasn't stupidly greedy like every other contestant on the show. She made it down to two cases, one had $25,000 and the other $1 million, and when she was offered $341,000, she took the deal.

So what was in her case? The million bucks.

We missed the actual airing but we were sent a video of Annie's appearance on the show and we have to say she's looking rather fit and trim. We guess all that marathon training is paying off for her. Or maybe it's Adderall. Works for us.

In case you are wondering who the hot blonde is in the photo above and what she has to do with this post, her name is Brooke Long, the Deal or No Deal model who holds case #15 every week on the show. We met her at the WPT Invitational a few weeks ago where she showed us some sick photos of her busted up big toe. It was good times. Below are more clickable photos of Brooke playing poker at the WPTI, and if you missed our Kimberly Lansing shots from the WPTI, do yourself a favor and go here.


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Girls on the Rail at 2008 WSOP


    Our photog at the 2008 WSOP is having a hard time focusing his lens on the pros at the table. We like him for that. Check out girls on the rail here.

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