Reviews + Previews

Have You Met the Big Poppa, Jamie Gold?

The first hand of the first episode of High Stakes Poker on GSN was a gem, with Jamie Gold making a move on "Big Poppa" Doyle Brunson on the turn when he had bottom pair and a straight draw while Brunson held the nuts, and it's now up at, which you can view below. Up For Poker has a transcript of the hand, in part, but watch the video (beginning about 3 minutes in) for Gabe Kaplan's priceless commentary and for Sheiky and the gang's digs at the high stakes newbie.

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Blogger Reviews of Casino Royale, A Poker Movie Starring Eva Green

Bond_eva2_1We've yet to see Casino Royale but full-time, pro blogger and woman-about-world, Jen Leo, who's got new online digs over at, saw the new, poker-imbued, Bond flick over the weekend and said she loved it.

"It was a great movie and the audience clapped at the end," Leo remarked. "Quality Hollywood entertainment with a twist."

And while we love Ms. Leo like a kissable (on the lips) step-sister, it's worth noting that we're disappointed that she accompanied her post with a blatantly sexist photo of Daniel Craig in nothing more than his bathing suit, clearly giving into societal inclinations of objective iconization of the male physique for the mere sake of "eye candy" glorification. Really disappointing.

For a certainly less sexist review, albeit compendiary in its summation, read the review of Casino Royale by this poker blogger, who is apparently some sort of honorary baronet or possibly a knight, like Isaac Newton or Mick Jagger.

Photo above is of Eva Green (properly dressed) in a scene from Casino Royale, and yeh it's a fucking slow news day here.

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Two Years Too Late Movie Review: High Roller

B00070q7veHopefully this movie review catches you, our reader, before you're flipping through channels this week, get to Starz, happen to see, "High Roller: The Stu Ungar" story is on, then think to yourself, "You know, I've never seen this movie before. I like poker. Why not, nothing else on..." and end up wasting anywhere between 90 seconds and 90 minutes of your life watching something so terrible, there really isn't a word to describe how bad it is, so we'll just go with "shit."

Not really sure where to start. Michael Imperioli doesn't even attempt to channel Stu Ungar, unless Stu Ungar walked/talked/acted exactly like Christopher Moltisanti from the Sopranos, which from what we've seen of Ungar, he didn't, at all. We'd go into more in-depth analysis about the cinematography and directing, but having only seen about 10 minutes of the movie before yelling profanities at the TV and throwing hard objects at the wall as a form of tension release, we don't have much more to say. So let's just close by stating that in some ways High Roller is like Ray or Walk the Line, overrated biopics that just scan the high points in a talented person's life without really diving too deep into what made the character tick, except with one glaring difference being that those movies were at least well acted, directed, and produced (and had killer music), while everything about High Roller fucking sucked.

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Buy Double A's Pressure Poker

If you're reading this, then you likely did not qualify for the 2006 WSOP Main Event, which is just hours away from kicking off. Or you're going to play in one of the other "Day 1's." Or you just googled "ninja midget sex" and happened upon our site, had a few laughs, and decided to stick around for awhile.

Regardless, one of the most well-respected and regarded poker bloggers--Scott "Double A's" Gallant--has just dropped a book--Pressure Poker--that is a must addition to your poker library.  The book is loaded with thought-provoking advice and strategy that could very well help you get to the WSOP ME next year--or deeper in it this year. Probably can't help you with the ninja midgets though. You're on your own for that.

Wicked Chops Poker caught up with Scott to learn more about what's inside of Pressure Poker.

Pressure PokerPressurepokerad_1WCP: What's the premise behind Pressure Poker?

SG: The book started out as a general guide to poker and was going to be published by O'Reilly as 100 hacks in their hacks series. Bookstores stopped ordering poker books by the truck loads since there were so many on the market already so O'Reilly cancelled the book and I had to decide whether to move forward without them. I finally decided to finish the book and self-publish it to get the material out there. I added some more advanced strategy to it and some fun chapters like chip tricks, how to build a table, a new game to work on betting techniques and origin of the hammer nickname by the man himself ("Grubby").

It actually worked out well because the book will help poker players from beginner to experienced. Even in the sections that seem straight-forward, there are some gems that I'm very proud of. I'm looking forward to getting reactions from the poker community.

It also tells the online player how to use tools to help them improve their game and get to know more information about their opponents and even customize their user interface.

WCP: How long did it take you to write the book?

SG: It took about a year including a three month gap between the time O'Reilly cancelled the deal and the time I started it back up to self-publish it.

WCP: Do you review hand histories from all of your sessions? What was the first big "ah ha" moment you had from these reviews as far as fixing your game?

Continue reading "Buy Double A's Pressure Poker" »

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Hellmuth Hosts, Alexander Aces Celebrity Poker Showdown

CelebritypokerIn all likelihood, our readers do not watch Celebrity Poker Showdown

In fact, like many other once popular Bravo shows, less and less people have been watching CPS in general.  Bravo has a knack for sending once great shows to premature graves.

But with American Idol idle until January and only being able to find Lost re-runs on the tube, the timing was right to check out the new season of CPS.  Plus, it moved locales from the uber-mctwistian-trendy Palms in Vegas to one of WCP's favorite cities, New Orleans.  Plus plus Phil Hellmuth took over co-hosting reigns from that other tall Phil, Gordon

Some thoughts...

Continue reading "Hellmuth Hosts, Alexander Aces Celebrity Poker Showdown" »

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The Office: American TV's Best Poker Show

Like fast food, fast cars, and fasting during Ramadan, America can't get enough of poker. 

The_office_nbcNew poker-inspired TV shows are popping up more frequently than acne on Barry Bonds' back (allegedly).  From Calvin Ayre's Wild Card Poker to Fox's Speed Poker, TV programmers are continuing to invent new ways to brings America's favorite past-time from the card room to your living room.

Tonight, NBC took it one step further, as it successfully shifted its critically-acclaimed The Office (cast at right watching Rainn Wilson's "Dwight" play Pot Limit Omaha online) from being a sitcom to something totally new and genre-busting: a pokercom.

Which leads to the inevitable question: can pokercoms save the sitcom?

It would be only natural for Steve Carell, star of last year's best poker movie, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, to lead the way with The Office's "corporate re-structuring" as a pokercom.

For those who missed tonight's episode, Steve Carell's character, Michael, throws a casino night where much of the set-up for the show's big finale takes place around a game of no limit Texas hold'em (much like what occurred in The 40 Year-Old Virgin).  After the game, the simmering sexual tension between John Krasinski's "Jim Halpert" and Jenna Fischer's "Pam Beesley" finally comes to a head.   We also learn that monotoned Brian Baumgartner's "Kevin" is a WSOP bracelet winner in deuce-to-seven low-ball. 

The_office_2_nbcMaybe earlier episodes would have been even more entertaining (and garnered better ratings) had they incorporated poker as a key show component from the get-go.  As seen in the scene at left, without poker, it's like the life was just completely sucked out of the show.  Somebody needs to deal these working stiffs some cards!

While the poker action was hard to follow at times, and in some cases, completely, utterly wrong (a hand was won without actually seeing a flop), Wicked Chops Poker must hand it to NBC for finding a new way to present poker to the public--something we didn't think could possibly ever be done again. 

While we won't know for sure until the Nielsen Ratings come out if the pokercom can truly save the sitcom, we definitely like where NBC is not only taking poker, but comedy, as we know it.

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Yo, BoDawg, Rat Pack Bit Started A Little Pitchy


We've been biting our tongues on this one all week, this whole Bodog "Rat Pack" photo shoot, as reported and photographed firsthand by Gambling 911.

So much to comment on, but in simplest terms, as Randy Jackson might say, "BoDawg, you know dude, we just ain't feeling it, yo."

Who knows, perhaps they'll "work it out" by the time this campaign actually runs.

But we're not holding our breaths and biting our tongues at the same time. While we have much love for DW, Evy and Josh, trying to package them as Dean, Sammy and Frank just seems, in Randy Jackson terms, a little "pitchy."  Plus, Josh is happily hitched, David is a good kid, and Evy, well, she's a broad.  We want our Rat Pack boozin', fightin', and pullin' more tail than a two-year-old at a puppy farm.

Be sure to check out all of the behind the scene shots at Gambling 911 and marvel at DW's dapper white shoes and poorly hemmed slacks, appreciate that Josh would rather be at a Falcons game than in a suit on Hollywood Hills (although, to his credit, he's looking more svelte than recently), and understand why we love our women better with their hair down in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt than dressed to the nines.

Also, stay tuned soon for more of our Wicked Chops 'take' on this Rat Pack shoot. You won't want to miss it.

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Review: ESPNRadio's The Poker Edge

Pokeredge134x75 Ok, maybe it's no Mike & Mike yet, but it's got potential.

ESPNRadio debuted The Poker Edge this past Monday.  Hosted by Phil Gordon and Andrew Feldman, the show covered the week that was in poker, as well as some strategy and insight from Gordon and special guest Phil Hellmuth

Informationally, the show hit the big stories of the week, from Victor Ramdin's WPT Foxwood's win, to the push on Capital Hill to keep online poker legal.  Gordon provided some "expert insight" into both topics. 

Gordo2For the WPT Foxwoods event, he mentioned how, "Victor [Ramdin] is one of those guys that's fallen below the radar," and how Ramdin reminds him of "John Juanda, as far as approach to the game." 

On the inside-the-beltway buzz concerning new legislation to outlaw online poker, Phil commented how these types of bills "come up every single year." and that he does believe that, "the bill will be defeated."  Feldman chimed in with some solid info on how there are "23 million online poker players" in the U.S, "yet there's still concerns these bills will go through."  Gordon believes, "99 out of 100 people are playing [online poker] for social reasons, not a living." and that, "the government does not need to protect us from social poker."

While it's great to continue raising awareness on the topic of poker legalization, an opportunity to discuss alternative solutions, like the Government legalizing, regulating, and taxing online poker in the States, was missed. 

From there, it was on to a lengthy discussion on the art of bluffing.  Phil Hellmuth dropped in to throw his two cents in on the topic (Hellmuth is known for his ability to read bluffs).  He also discussed how the taping of Celebrity Poker Showdown is going (there's "really high level poker from some people here," he says) and the new book by Blair Rodman, Kill Phil

While informationally the show covered all of the key, timely topics, there are clearly some format improvements that could be made.  The show does come off more "interviewy" than interactive at times.  To keep the flow and momentum moving along, more topics, and particularly, more guests (or listener feedback) could add new life and dimension to segments.

FeldmanchanHowever, Feldman (seen here with Johnny Chan) and Gordon do interact well.  Gordon is about as trusted of a "brand name" you can have hosting a poker show, and he comes across consistently solid as usual.  Feldman also seems like a natural at this, more than holding his own.  With these two at the helm, the "cheese factor" common with some poker shows is non-existent.  The elements are in place for the show to grow into more of a cool and edgy format...something that truly stands out and is still surprisingly lacking in the poker entertainment arena.

If you haven't already, listen to (or download) The Poker Edge on ESPNRadio.  And hit up today at 1pm for a chat with both Gordon and Feldman

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Review: Poker Pages Launches "The Real Deal"

Therealdeal_1 Poker Pages has launched a monthly TV show (broadcast over the so-called "Internet" on Poker Pages, which makes us question if it's technically a "TV" show, but if it is, than sheeet, it makes us want to declare Wicked Chops Poker now as a full-fledged "magazine," which what the hell why not let's go for it, we're a magazine now, so take THAT poker bloggers everywhere) called The Real Deal.

Hopefully the show proves to be more successful than other "real deals," such as John Kerry's failed 2004 presidential campaign or the CDC's failed campaign to curtail smoking among the youth.  The good news for Poker Pages though is that John Kerry's "The Real Deal" is not even close to being the most failed presidential campaign slogan of all-time, which we'll give to Henry Clay's 1844 classic, "Who is James K. Polk?"  Yeah, that worked.  Can you say a little thing called, "Manifest Destiny," Mr. Clay?  Didn't think so.

In the first episode of this "TV" program, you'll get to see the (interestingly chosen) host Mark Adams...try and sell you a time-share in Florida (seriously, this guy has "infomercial" written all over him)...or you'll see him interview Jason Alexander, WPT Pres & CEO Steve Lipscomb, Alan Geohring, and gambling legend Bob Stupak, among others.  There may or may not be another host of the show (he receives equi-billing in the graphic at right, although is difficult to actually find in this episode) named Landon Moore. 

DunkOf course, if the show blows up, it may lead to an interesting dilemma, and that is: Who will become the "Brian Dunkleman" of The Real Deal and bolt, effectively ruining his career?  Will it be Moore or Adams?  The smart money would probably go on Moore, given his lack of actual face-time in the first show, but maybe someone out there can set a line for us on this one.  The graphic at right even has an American Idol-esque glow to it, doesn't it?  Clearly, Adams is the Seacrest to Moore's Dunkleman.  Clearly.

Anyway, upon watching the first episode, you do get some decent info and recaps of tournaments, personalities, and happenings.  But much like John Kerry, The Real Deal presents itself in more of a straight-up informational format than a compelling, entertaining, unique content alternative...but there's always room to grow. 

Watch the first episode of The Real Deal on Poker Pages.

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Quick Hits On WPT Season 4 Premiere

As discussed yesterday, the fourth season of the WPT aired last night, with Gavin Smith taking the $1+ million prize against 2006 National Heads-Up champ Ted Forrest.  Some quick hits on the show:

Gavinsmith1 :: If Kido Pham's totally pre-conceived, pre-meditated, rehearsed, sunglassed shtick of, "Can you see me now?" becomes a poker table catch-phrase, then shame on you all.  Shame--on--you--all. 

:: Does a clearly pregnant Gavin Smith's winning of a WPT event trump Annie Duke's 8-months-pregnant WSOP ME top 10 finish in the "Greatest Feats Accomplished in Poker While Pregnant" pantheon?

:: While she'd still be hotter than 99% of the girls in any room and did an admirable job, Courtney Friel is no Shana Hiatt.  It's not her fault.  These things never work out.  It's like when that one blond girl on Three's Company replaced that other blond girl.  It's just never the same.

* Gavin Smith photo from Card Player.

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Cover Your Raise with Kimono Condoms


Snake: Chops, u ever see this commercial?

Chops: No.

Snake: Got anything funny to say about it?

Chops: Hmm, I can't think of any implied poker terminology that would be appropriate here.



Big Stack?

None work in this context.

Snake: Yeh I'm stumped too. Hey, don't the actors kind of look like porn stars? I mean the cheesy string bettin dude who goes all in has a ponytail. Isn't there a classic Socratic syllogism that goes:

All actors who have ponytails are porn stars.
This actor has a ponytail.
This actor is a porn star.

Chops: I'm not sure what male porn stars look like from the waist up.

Snake: Hey get this, the president of this condom company says, "Kimono is the choice for sophisticated young-adults; an important part of their wardrobe is the condom they wear."

Chops: You know, I was wondering when wearing a condom as an accessory would catch on. Been doing it for years. Hopefully the same will happen soon for my next favorite dick accessory, the cock-ring.

Snake: Btw, I'm using this email exchange for the post, in lieu of giving any more details about this ad..


Chops: Daddy likey.

I'm "Daddy" in the context of the above sentence, fyi.

Use that, it's gold.

And use the fact that I said, "Use that, it's gold."

It's gold.

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I Re-Raise You Two Huge Wads of Cash

Story provided by: Beans

Hsp_1If anyone has seen High Stakes Poker on the Game Show Network, then you have seen what can only be described as the most fascinating poker ever shown on television. 

Not that it was more dramatic or packed with greater story lines than other poker shows, but it was just more...well, real. It's kind of like watching the Discovery Channel and seeing "creatures" act in their "natural habitat," which in this case, is the cash game (and thankfully comes without any of the mating scenes). 

Instead of the "zoo" that is tournament poker, which normally is full of characters, plots, back-stories, and crazy ass bitches, what you have here are high-stakes players risking hundreds of thousands of real dollars on every turn of the deck.

Not that tournament poker isn't great to watch, but there is just something more visceral about watching these poker heavyweights take on each other dollar-for-dollar.  It's hard to explain the distinction to a layperson (I tried and received glazed over eyes in response), but if you have ever played in a tournament and a cash game then you know the mental subtleties between the two.

The premise behind the show is that players bankroll themselves at a minimum $100k buy-in, and that each chip is worth exactly the corresponding amount that it displays.  So it's just like what you'd get to see in Bobby's Room if the Big Game had cameras to show you the hole cards.  And at these stakes, the GDP of some small countries is in the pot just waiting to be picked up on any given hand. 

JchanThe show features poker royalty such as Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, Johnny Chan, and Jennifer Harman, but also brings the spotlight to some relatively unknown (until recently) cash game specialists such as Shawn Shiekhan, Fred Chamanara, and the ever-entertaining Dr. Jerry Buss.  As you can see, the firepower at this table is not to be underrated or even matched during regular tournament play. Where would you find all of those names at the same table (not counting Fox's terrible Poker Superstars)?

Here are some of the more salient rules of play from the GSN website:

Continue reading "I Re-Raise You Two Huge Wads of Cash" »

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Ivey: "I've decided to take tournaments a lot more seriously."

Ivey2copyAs reported last week, Bluff and All-In magazines named Phil Ivey as their Player of the Year.  And here's the scary thing (for professional poker players at least): Ivey was named Player of the Year although he played in fewer major tournaments (and apparently took them less seriously) than just about any other "star" of the game not named Chip Reese

AND, as he discusses in his interview with Bluff on ESPN's Poker Club, he plans to focus on and play in more tournaments in 2006.

Ivey also covers how he got into poker at 15 years old, his now famous use of the "Jerome" fake ID in AC, and what he thinks makes him good at poker.  Give it a read.

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Dannenman Chats with ESPN--
Wicked Chops to Follow

Dannenmann_1Ok, it's possible we had some fun at Steve Dannenman's expense earlier in the year.

Although it's not like he was the only one to receive the WCP business in 2k5.

And recently, our opinion of him has changed dramastically.  That would be a combination of dramatically and drastically, fyi. 

Dannenmann did the ESPN/Bluff chat of the week yesterday, where he discussed his Lederer-bluff-phone call incident, among other things.  Definitely worth a read.

He's also agreed to a Heads-Up interview with Wicked Chops Poker.  Questions have been sent, and we'll have it up for you as soon as we can.  Should be a fun read.

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Preview - Poker Bustouts

Pokerbustouts Believe it or not, not everyone wins money at poker. 

Yes, it's true.

A new documentary--Poker Bustouts--interviews nearly 20 players about the not so glamourous aspect of poker: the losing.  Exposing this seedy underbelly include 2003 WSOP ME 5th place finisher Tomer Benvenisti (and what an underbelly it is with him), 2004 WSOP PLO winner Ted Lawson, and seasoned pro Yohanes Muruz.

From the Las Vegas Sun's review of Poker Bustouts, it sounds like this doc might be a totally one-sided affair.  And that's fine.  It's documentary.  That's the dark underbelly of documentaries: they have an agenda.  We all know that any form of gambling, even one mostly predicated on skill, will attract some low-lifes.  But part of the allure of poker is this darker side, so why not shine a light on it?  It is what it is.

So Wicked Chops Poker is putting in an order for Poker Bustouts, expecting off the charts unintentional comedy from some of those interviewed.  Will it top our best poker movie of the year?  Probably not.  But we'll let you know if it's worth one of your grinded out Andrew Jacksons.

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High Stakes Poker Could = High Drama

GsnGot a press release from the people at GSN on their latest show, and no it's not another unwatchable Poker Royale episode.

This one has serious potential.

High Stakes Poker will debut on January 16th at 9pm (EST) with top pros going against dudes with deep pockets.  All you need is a minimum of $100,000 to get in on the action.

The docket of pros include Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Barry Greenstein, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harmon, Ted Forrest, Todd Brunson, Freddy Deeb, Antonio Esfandiari, Sean Sheikan, and Sam Farha.  Interestingly M.I.A from the list is Phil Ivey. 

Some of the businessmen donating $100k to a new wing on Greenstein's Palos Verdes estate include LA Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Chicago restaurateur (and noted backgammonist) Fred Chamanara, and Vegas physician Amir Nasiri. 

AJ Benza and Gabe Kaplan call the shots.

Definitely sounds worth checking out.  Read the full press release to learn more.

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Hellmuth, Chaplin, Ulysses S. Grant, The Hulk and Musings on Underground Poker

:: snake

Npr_ongambling_image_300_1When I write a story about poker, I tend to go off on irrelevant rants about Brazilian supermodels or the shag-du-jour of sexy starlet Sienna Miller.

When NPR does a story about poker, they talk about the book "Chance Meetings: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists" by Rachel Cohen.

To each his own I guess.

In a recent podcast over at alt.NPR, Mike Pesca, NPR's gambling go-to guy, somehow linked the aforementioned book and its tales of encounters between Charlie Chaplin and poet Hart Crane and Ulysses S. Grant and photographer Matthew Brady with the much ballyhooed rendezvous of AK-Rod and Phil Hellmuth at a New York underground poker club. Starting off with a bit of an exposition on the Cohen book (and without photos of Alessandra Ambrossio to keep me entertained), I quickly lost interest in this podcast that was recommended to us by one of ours readers. To be honest, I thought I somehow had clicked the wrong file -- perhaps the "Books I'll Never Read" podcast or maybe "Audio Files to Fall Asleep To."

Hulk_thingBut things did get a little bit better when Pesca managed to jump from Chaplin and Çrane to some comic book spiel about what would happen if The Hulk and The Thing got together. Now, I've never been much of a comic book fan, and I don't think I've ever owned one in my life (Archie perhaps?), but 30 or 40 seconds into this podcast, the thought of The Hulk and The Thing "getting together" reeled me back in just in time for the podcast to turn its attention to, believe it or not, poker.

New York underground poker to be exact.

Which is perfect timing considering recent discussions here, elsewhere and pretty much everywhere on the subject.

And despite what I've already said, the podcast is a good listen, or at best, worth a listen, as Pesca talks with several underground players about the scene as well as recent events, the laws at issue and where we go from here.

To check it out, go to the link and subscribe to the NPR Gambling podcast. If you have iTunes, go to the "Podcast" library, click on "Advanced," then "Subscribe to Podcast" and copy and paste the url:

And to keep you entertained while you listen, after the jump are some pics that are a little more NSFW than NPR . . .

Continue reading "Hellmuth, Chaplin, Ulysses S. Grant, The Hulk and Musings on Underground Poker" »

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Calvin Ayre is the Dave Thomas of Poker


Remember Dave Thomas? The Wendy’s founder who, after the super sexy “Where’s the Beef?” commercials (if you’re into older women that is), appeared in every Wendy’s commercial up until he died in 2002. Well, taking a page from Thomas’s marketing playbook (as well as Lee Iacocca, Remington’s Victor Kayem, and the Scottstrade do-gooder dude) Bodog CEO and Founder Calvin Ayre is launching a new television ad campaign in which he is the star.

The campaign consists of four slickly produced spots, each highlighting one of the four poker “predators” that lurk at the poker table, including “The Hustler,” “The Ringer,” “The Wild Card,” and “The Underdog.” Each spot begins the same Cocktailwaitwith Ayre walking alongside two starlets into a "only-in-your-dreams" card room packed with pretty people in every direction, barely dressed women serving the drinks, a DJ laying down some beats, Cirque du Soleil-like performers doing their thing and I swear if you look closely you can see a midget juggling a poodle and a chihuahua in the corner.

While this is happening, a voice over says:

“When searching for a poker game in this urban jungle of ours, it’s important to learn about the predators lurking around the soft felt of the poker table."

The camera then works its way to a Bodog-logoed poker table and focuses in on one of these four cocky poker “predators,” as the voice over tells you about his or her particular preying tactic. The predator’s confident posture quickly disappears though once Bodog CEO Calvin Ayre sits down at the table, you know, because he is Calvin "Fucking" Ayre (I guess). As the camera zooms in on Ayre’s face, the voice over says:

“But that will be a mistake . . . Some people just have to learn the hard way.”

Ayre then says to the camera:

“Learn poker the easy way. Be the king of your jungle.”

The screen then goes black with the Bodog name and below it the tag “Learn Easy. Play Hard.”

End scene.

More screen captures from the spots and our take after the jump . . .

Continue reading "Calvin Ayre is the Dave Thomas of Poker" »

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Party Poker Pimping

:: snake


"What do Lucy Pinder's norks, whale sharks and Party Poker all have in common?" asks soft-core porn/men's mag FHM.

"They're all huge!"

True. True indeed, especially those whale sharks. I mean, look at that photo. They're big, beautiful creatures, aren't they?

Well, mark this under "Affiliate Programs You Can't Compete With." FHM is pimping Party Poker and sex like pimping was meant to be by offering those who use its bonus code, sevensix (oh wait, that's our code), access to stripped down inch-perfect models on both their website and a "sizzling DVD" you get just for signing up at Party Poker with their bonus code, sevensix (oh damn, that's ours, not theirs). Plus by using the FHM bonus code sevensix (sorry, that's ours again) you can also win "superb monthly prizes, including luxury fashion and hardware specials."

How can you compete with that? Well, keep pimping your own code as theirs is one but people won't get access to all the hotties if they use sevensix. All they'll get is the pleasure of knowing they've helped soft-core porn addicted men pay for their subscriptions to magazines like FHM. And that's something we can all be proud of lending a hand to (uh, the lending a hand cliche doesn't quite work well here does it?).

Anyway, we like FHM's approach. In addition to the hotties they even offer some style suggestions for poker players and all you have to do is look at, well I won't name any Magicians, but some of the pro players definitely need some help with their duds. So go check out FHM's Party Poker's hotties and goodies at the FHM Players Lounge and find out more about their affiliate pimping. Some of the ladies we like after the jump.

Continue reading "Party Poker Pimping" »

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Final Table DVD Review – Part II

2rehomepage_02a_2Last week we went heads-up with Rafe Furst to discuss Phil Gordon's Final Table DVD.  This week, we review the DVD. 

First, let's get this out there: Final Table raises the bar for all poker tutorials.

The set-up for the DVD is simple: It's a World Poker Tour-esque final table.  You're inside the head of Phil Gordon, listening to his thoughts on each hand as he plays against a mix of different poker styles and scenarios. 

Rafe Furst detailed the process of creating Final Table last week...and the effort the team at Expert Insight put into this DVD shows.  From an experiential standpoint, you feel like you're watching a movie more than an educational video.  Since you get inside the head of Phil as he maneuvers through the final table, you learn by being part of the action instead of just passively watching the action or trying to force memorization of key points.  This helps make the lessons stick, particularly when a scenario that played out on the DVD actually takes place in your live game.

Continue reading "Final Table DVD Review – Part II" »

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Final Table DVD Review – Part I
Head's-Up with Rafe Furst

Chops here.

On the first day of this year’s WSOP Main Event, Snake and I took a break from covering the action and strolled into the poker merchandizing convention room at the Rio.  Start-up after start-up filled the convention floor, hoping to hock their tacky goods and cash in on the poker craze.

2rehomepage_02aAfter walking past a number of totally uninspired clothing and chip manufacturing booths, we spotted a flat screen TV playing what looked like a World Poker Tour event.  It turned out to be the Expert Insight booth, and amid the “got the nuts!” and “Monster in my pocket” poker shirts, it stood out as an oasis in a desert of lame.

Manning the booth was none other than Phil Gordon.  And featured on that flat screen was not a WPT final table, but Phil’s new instructional DVD, Final Table.  It immediately grabbed our attention.  Compared to other instructional poker videos, there’s a quantum leap in production quality with Final Table.  Think of dating Camryn Manheim and then moving up to Carmen Elektra.  It’s that drastic.

Rafe_wsop22_1So naturally, we got a copy of the DVD for review.  And the DVD delivers.  In the first part of our Final Table DVD review, we spoke with one of the people behind the project, Tiltboy-founder Rafe Furst (pictured right).  On Monday, we’ll follow up this Q&A with our actual review of the DVD.  Here goes…

WCP: First, provide some background on Expert Insight.

Rafe Furst: really started with the Final Table Poker DVD.  Phil saw an opportunity for drastically improving the quality of poker instruction.  So he brought together two very talented film makers, Michael Keller and Jon Gunn, and he asked me to help out with the business side of things…

Continue reading "Final Table DVD Review – Part I
Head's-Up with Rafe Furst" »

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The Year's Best Poker Movie

40yov You heard it here first—The 40 Year Old Virgin is this year's best poker movie.  In fact, it dominates any poker movie since Rounders.

Yeah, yeah, the movie is “supposed” to be focused on a 40 year-old’s quest to finally...hmm…flop the nuts.  But the crux of his quest formulated at the poker table. 

In fact, poker is the catalytic thrust for all events that transpire in this belly-buster laughfest.  If Wicked Chops Poker had pitched The 40 Year Old Virgin to major movie studios, we would've set it up by saying,  “The 40 Year Old Virgin is a pokeromedy about Andy Stitzer, a meek 40-year-old who has never had sex.  Andy is reluctantly invited to play in his co-workers’ poker game.  Over cards and beer, his co-workers discover that Andy is a virgin and decide to help him become not a virgin.  Hilarity ensues.”

While Wicked Chops Poker spent nearly two solid hours laughing at this epic poker flick, it also got us thinking about a few things…

Continue reading "The Year's Best Poker Movie" »

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Book Preview: Tales from the Tiltboys

Visitors to back in the mid-to-late 90's first became aware of a group of gonzo gamblers (and Roshambo masters) known as the Tiltboys (Phil Gordon, Rafe Furst, and Perry Friedman to name a few).  Their legend has grown over the years, and now the "who they ares and what they dids" that are ingrained in the fabric of poker lore have found their way to published pulp. 

Tales from the Tiltboys is an Oceans 11-esque romp that makes you want to grab your best friends and hightale it to Vegas for a week of degenerate gambling.  Wicked Chops Poker has a Heads-Up coming up with some of the Tiltboys, and we'll review the book in full next week.  If you can't wait that long, then buy the book now.  If you're not gambling, then it's the next best way to spend a weekend day.

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From 2 Smoking Barrels to a Revolver

Revolver1Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was brilliant, Snatch was pretty good and Swept Away was, to put it kindly, the disastrous result of a man refusing to say no to both his new bride and a really bad idea. Thankfully, Brit director/Madonna hubby Guy Ritchie is back at what he does best, writing and directing gritty, gambling/gangster films of the kind they now make video games about (see The Getaway). With his latest film Revolver, Ritchie teams up again with Snatch and Lock, Stock star Jason Statham for a caper about a hotshot cardplayer who becomes a marked man after going heads up against a crime boss (played by Ray Liotta). Yes, it certainly sounds a lot like the premise for Lock, Stock but from viewing the just released trailer, Ritchie's typical madcap mix of rough and tough Brits--from hardcore hustlers to halfwit hooligans and murderous mobsters-- seems to hold its own here.

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Dateline NBC Covers Ted Binion Murder


Chops here.

I loved Positively 5th Street.

And unlike WCP co-founder Snake, I read it start to finish.

After completing the book, I could never get over the image of how Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish killed Ted Binion. Granted, Jim McManus declares what he wrote in that first chapter is his interpretation, but it seemed legit and reasonable.

Last night, Dateline NBC recounted it all, and a few things stood out...

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Aces and Kings = Your New Favorite Poker Book

:: snake

Aces and Kings by Brad Reagan and Michael Kaplan

Aces and Kings: Inside Stories and Million-Dollar Strategies from Poker's Greatest Players just arrived to the WCP office, and in between e-mails, phone calls and press releases I was able to give several chapters a quick read.

My 2-minute review from what I’ve read so far: I just may finish an entire book, for once. Aces and Kings is instantly intriguing and delivered with a storyteller’s flair and cadence, tempered only by the discernment of unmistakable rounders. A must read for both the neophytes and masters of the game, Aces and Kings probes and plunges into the lives of poker’s bigger-than-life legends and rising young stars, all along serving as a gut-check for those who think they have what it takes to join their ranks.

The secret to the book’s success: poker stars live lives that are often too unbelievable to be believable, and in Aces and Kings their incredible stories are in the very capable hands of two of the finest profile journalists around, Michael Kaplan and Brad Reagan. Both regular contributors to the magazines and newspapers you love to read—Maxim, Cigar Aficionado, Sports Illustrated, Details, Wall Street Journal, to name a few—the pair have delivered extraordinary, firsthand accounts over the years of some of my favorite poker characters, including Men the Master and Stu Ungar. In Aces and Kings, Kaplan and Reagan further their compelling studies of the players responsible for kicking poker out of the back rooms and into the mainstream while shedding never-before-seen light on their revolutionary strategies. Players profiled include Puggy Pearson, Amarillo Slim, Brunson, Chip Reese, Stuey, Seidel, Hellmuth, Men the Master, The Professor, Devilfish, Jesus Ferguson and Barry Greenstein. There are also chapters profiling the new wave of “Web Kids,” the rise of women stars and the maverick young guns of poker.

While there is certainly no shortage of poker books on the market, with a surge of personalities out there who have advice to toss and publications willing to publish them, the lack of quality poker journalism is all too apparent these days. Thankfully, Reagan and Kaplan have joined the table, upping the ante as both natural-born writers and dedicated players of the game.

Pick up your copy of Aces and Kings today over at The Goods, and stay tune for a WCP interview with authors Michael Kaplan and Brad Reagan.

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NBC Takes Poker "Over The Top"

from The Addict :: for the addicted

Nhpc_logomIt sounds exciting: a non-cable, major broadcast network (NBC) comes up with a program called the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, a $20,000 buy-in tourney featuring one-on-one matches between 64 of the world's best (well 60 of the world's best and a handful of celebs), modeled after the NCAA Basketball tournament with brackets and all. The winner goes on, loser goes home, then 64 down to 32 to the Sweet 16, then Elite Eight, the Final Four and of course the championship Heads Up match.

But it's not exciting. That is, not unless of course your favorite movie is Stallone's arm wrestling, big rig flop, Over The Top.

That's what I felt like I was watching, an arm wrestling tournament with 32 tables of one-on-one match ups, man vs. man with the occasional woman vs. man. (Note to Self: I'd much rather lose to a woman playing poker then in an arm wrestling match).

ImagesThe problem I have with NBC coming up with a heads-up only tournament is that it's not Texas hold'em. There's no showing of the journey, the shifting gears, the stages of play, how one player became short stacked to another's big stack, the battles that take place at a full table and the anticipation of finding out who settles for the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th place money and who's left to play heads-up for the real money. Instead, it starts off where Texas hold'em finishes. There's no beginning or middle, just an end. It's its own game.

On the plus side, it's nice to see a major broadcast network figuring out a way to televise a poker tournament as it's great for the game. Though it seems like the same people who think soccer should be played on a smaller field and have bigger goals may be the ones pushing for this basketball style of tournament. I imagine that future poker players attracted to the game after watching this version of hold'em will have a unique style of play, which could be advantageous to the rest of us. And before you know it - NBC will take poker primetime on "Must See TV" with "Win Phil Hellmuth's Money," a game show where ordinary contestants get a chance to play Phil in a heads-up match. It would be like "Win Ben Stein's Money" meets "Who Wants to be a Millionaire".


Let me know what you think about NBC's National Heads-Up Poker Championship. If you didn't catch the first round of this tournament last week on NBC or its replay on CNBC catch it this Sunday as they narrow it down to the Sweet 16. For details on the event and TV schedule visit National Heads-Up Poker Championship

And if you like spoilers and want to see who wins visit this link

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Book Preview - Aces and Kings: Inside Stories and Million-Dollar Strategies from Poker's Greatest Players

:: snake

I never finished Positively Fifth Street.

And it’s not because I don’t enjoy a good poker story.

What I read I loved. The salacious tale of a Vegas stripper, her murderous affair, the fascinating courtroom theatre woven into a primer on the history of hold’em and a firsthand account of an amateur’s rise to the final table of the biggest poker game on the planet. If it wasn’t non-fiction, you’d pass it off as neo-poker-noir, of the unbelievable kind.

But again, I never finished the book, and that’s because I never finish any book I buy, at least I haven’t since junior high (I believe it was Count of Monte Cristo that last kept me until the final page). I’m more of a movie kind of guy I guess, and yes, you could imagine my pleasure when The Count of Monte Cristo returned to the silver screen a few years ago, Jim Caviezel and all.

Don’t get me wrong though. I’m intrigued by the two-dimensional literary medium, and when I hear about a good bounded one coming to a Borders near me I’m quickly off to that land of aisles and lattes to pick it up, if not for purchase, for a long sit and read. And such is particularly the case when I hear that a good poker book is out, and even more so if it’s one whose subjects are true-life characters, whether living or no longer (sorry Worm, you're still the best of the fictional bunch).

So while browsing around the pokernet today I discovered a new poker book that’s dropping May 5 on a shelf near you, and it looks to be a must buy. It’s called Aces and Kings: Inside Stories and Million-Dollar Strategies from Poker's Greatest Players, written by Michael Kaplan and Brad Reagan.

Continue reading "Book Preview - Aces and Kings: Inside Stories and Million-Dollar Strategies from Poker's Greatest Players" »

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A Good Read on 60 Minutes: Fluff

60 Minutes ran its poker feature last night.Image501810

Nothing groundbreaking here, but if nothing else, it should help legitimize poker further, which could (hopefully) move our sport closer to legalization...

Continue reading "A Good Read on 60 Minutes: Fluff" »

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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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