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November 2005

The TOKE: Poker Players Think Bush is Stooopid, Poker and Politics, and He Did It His Way

Dumbbush:: Bluffin' Bush.  BetCRIS.com conducted the following survey: "Which world leader would you play poker against?" President George Bush topped the poll.  Says Mickey Richardson, CEO of Bet CRIS.com, "Bush . . . looks like someone that's easy to bluff."  Wicked Chops Poker disagrees with this statement, however.  Bush is the kind of stubborn-headed-something-something that would call you down to the river thinking his mid-pair is good when the board is all overs and you've been betting heavily into him...and he'd probably be right.  NY Post

:: Lessons in politics and poker.  Mitchell Szczepanczyk, whose name was never murdered by teachers on the first day of school, waxes philosophic on politics and poker. Szczepanczyk, who needs to buy a vowel, murders the poker metaphor record in two sentences by ending his article with the following gem: "When it comes to struggles against systems of power, they may hold all the chips, but we hold all the cards. And the more we can work to improve our chip count, the sooner we can win -- and on our terms."  Terrible.  ZNET

Luske2toke :: Luske does it his way.  Marcel Luske has an instructional poker DVD coming out called, "Poker My Way."  The bar has been set high for him.  According to the press release, Luske, "...provides strategy and some key touch-points for the player who wants to transition their play from online tournaments or home games to live tournament play."  Actually sounds like it's worth a few guilders.  Yahoo!

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Nativepoker_1 Chops here.

The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), which "oversees all gaming activities on American Indian lands," is considering making poker a Class II game.

Class II games are legal in Alabama.

Thus, poker...lovely, beautiful poker...would be legal in Alabama.

Which is right next to Georgia, were Wicked Chops Poker is.

And this is freaking awesome.

A council member (not sure of what, story isn't clear) named Eddie Tullis, who is a former tribe chairman for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, says the tribe, which just signed on with Harrah's, will build a $120 million gambling facility in Wetumpka, which is just 2 hours and 45 minutes away from Atlanta.

Even better, if these wonderful, giving Indians make poker a Class II game, the tribe WILL MAKE POKER AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY AT ITS ATMORE FACILITY.  IE, there could be poker just a 4 hour drive (which we'd be able to make in 3, easy) from Atlanta as early as next month.

InjunNext month!

If these wonderful savages declare poker as a Class II game, you're looking at one guy (me, Chops) who will be celebrating Thanksgiving all over again.

Kidding about the savages.  Seriously.  I love you guys.  You rock.

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Tell Phil Hellmuth What You Think of Him

Hellmuthmonitor_2 Wicked Chops Poker likes Phil Hellmuth.

But we know that's not the case across the board.

Hellmuth joins ESPN's Poker Club for their weekly chat today at 4:30.  He's done a few of these in the past, and they're always entertaining.  So hit up the site at 4:30 and fire off some q's.

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The TOKE: Let's Catch UP - Part II

:: WPT online site launches, but you are banned.  Interesting piece from the Los Angeles Times on the World Poker Tour's online site.  Like Virgin Poker, US players will not be allowed.  This is unfortunate, as the US makes up about 80% of all online players.  Fortunately the WPT hired our buddy Slim at 4th Street to help their operations and overcome this obstacle.  Los Angeles Times

:: Did Empire know it was going to get screwed?  In the increasingly awesome soap opera that is Empire Poker vs. PartyGamingLaunch Poker reports that Empire knew of a potential Party pull-out, but failed to mention it to investors.  Launch Poker

Board_anurag:: The genesis of PartyGaming's evil empire.  About five months after Snake did his initial story on PartyGaming's sordid background (although we focused mostly on the fantastically named Anurag Dikshit, at right), the Charlotte Observer tells the tale of the woman behind the porn-to-poker success story, Ruth Parasol. Charlotte Observer

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The TOKE: Let's Catch UP - Part I

After a Thanksgiving weekend that saw the Addict and Snake in the Loo slinging cards on riverboat casinos, and Chops collecting crap from his new pup while trying to play online, we have some catching up to do on stories.  Here's what you missed, in brief.

:: Virgin relaunches its poker room.  Virgin Group has relaunched its poker room, Virgin Poker.  The URL is sure to be blocked by your work firewall (http://www.virgingames.com/poker), which won't matter much for 90% of our readers as they aren't allowing access in the states.   Virgin does plan to attract players though by "leveraging" their other companies. For example, players can "accumulate Virgin air miles and loyalty points that can be cashed in for Virgin products." Also of note, players on the site can keep blogs, if you're into that kind of thing. Guardian

Bodogbritney_1:: WPT up for sale?  Lakes Entertainment Inc. needs some operating cash ($10 mil by the end of the year, and another $10 mil by March 1), and to get it, the company might sell its stake in the World Poker Tour.  Lakes owns approximately 62 percent of WPT Enterprises Inc.  Paging Doyle BrunsonBiz Journals

:: Norman Chad's man-crush spotlighted.  Musician/poker player Tom Sartori was spotlighted in the Orlando Sentinel.  Sartori says, "It's easier winning the World Series of Poker than it is making it big in music the way the industry is today." Apparently Sartori hasn't listened to Nickelback or Britney Spears (right) lately. Or ever. Orlando Sentinel

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Phil Ivey Wins Monte Carlo Millions

Phil Ivey has rode his massive final table chip lead to victory, winning the Monte Carlo Millions.  Ivey finished third in last year's event.

With the win, Ivey pads his bank account with another million dollars.  He beat Paul Jackson heads-up. Jackson will take home $600,000. Marc Goodwin finished third, winning $325,000.

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Ivey Final Table Chip Leader at Monte Carlo Millions

Finaltable_2 Phil Ivey has a commanding chip lead going into the final table at the Monte Carlo Millions.  Here are the counts: 1) Phil Ivey - 2,317,000, 2) Richard Herbert - 908,000, 3) Paul Jackson - 809,000, 4) Marc Goodwin - 681,000, 5) Bengt Sonnert - 582,000, 6) Kenna James - 310,000.  Tony G was eliminated in 7th place.

Check back later today for pics from the event.  Play wraps up on the 23rd, so continue checking PokerWire for final table chip count updates.

Pictured right: the final table.

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Monte Carlo Millions - Goodwin, Tony G, Jesus, Ivey All In

Mcm_spl_logoThe $25,000 buy-in Monte Carlo Millions Invitational is into Day 2 of play, and the overnight chip leader, Marc Goodwin, continues his strong run.

Players started the tournament with 50,000 in chips, and Goodwin has run his stack to over 622k, building his overall chip lead.

Phil Ivey was second in chips after Day 1, but has had a roller-coaster Day 2. After getting down to as little as 65k, Ivey has built his stack back up to 270,000. The current second is Tony G with 540,000. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson is fourth with 354,000.  Twenty players currently remain.

The 120 person tournament has over a $3 million prize pool, which is the largest ever for a European poker event.

Check out PokerWire for continued chip stack updates...

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The TOKE: The Continued Fall of an Empire, Creating a World Poker Community, + Hachem Hugs it Out

:: The Empire Strikes Back?  Following up on an earlier story, Empire Poker is finally sort of thinking about putting its foot down. The snakebitten company is considering legal action against PartyGaming after recent buy-out talks fell through. PartyGaming's valuation of the company wasn't very good, through no fault of PartyGaming, of course (<--sarcasm). The Register

:: Spreading global harmony through poker.  WPTE has signed a strategic partnership with Chipleaders Inc., an online social network dedicated to poker.  The partnership will, "enable users to find other poker players, share their experiences, and to interact in a wide variety of ways." Or in other words, do what so many great poker blogs are Ja40already doing.  PR Newswire

:: You've got Gold!  Didn't realize how much we're missing Entourage until seeing this story and thinking of the comedic possibilities of Ari Gold representing a bunch of poker players.  Anyway, Joe Hachem has signed with the William Morris Talent Agency, which further goes to show how far poker has come the past few years.  Now, here's some great Ari Gold quotes.  And here's a Jessica Alba pic, whose house the Entourage entourage lived in during Season 2, to boot (a few more are at the jump).  Poker News

Continue reading "The TOKE: The Continued Fall of an Empire, Creating a World Poker Community, + Hachem Hugs it Out" »

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60 Minutes Internet Gambling Feature: Government Missing Opportunity, Kyl is Clueless

60mins_1“There’ll be more online poker games per day at the end of this year than all of the casinos in the entire world put together. It’s a huge business.” - Nigel Payne (pictured right), Sportingbet

60 Minutes aired a surprisingly informative (for the masses) and mostly balanced feature on Internet gambling last night.  Anchored by Leslie Stahl, it exponentially exceeded the Dan Rather fluff piece on poker players earlier in the year.  Then again, exponentially exceeding anything Dan Rather does isn’t exactly a Herculean task.

Here’s what we learned:

Continue reading "60 Minutes Internet Gambling Feature: Government Missing Opportunity, Kyl is Clueless" »

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World Poker Tour Crowns Youngest Champion:
Nick Schulman

NicksThe WPT's World Poker Finals at Foxwoods crowned it's youngest ever champion on Friday, as 12 year-old Nick Schulman beat Anthony Licastro for the title.

Ok, so he only looks 12 years old.  Chops looks 14 most of the time so who are we to talk.  Schulman is actually "barely poker legal" at 21.  The kid played great, and for the win, he banks $2,167,500.  Even better, he wins a Wampum belt from Foxwoods (for real), which would be great if this were the 1600's, cause he could've bought all of Manhattan island from the Indians with it along with some furs and 60 guilders.

Anthony Licastro takes home $1,035,000 for second.

As reported on CardPlayer, Schulman has already "turned down a Monday night appearance on Late Show with David Letterman because he doesn't want to be famous."  He then said he wouldn't mind going on Conan.  Seems like a good kid, this Schulman. 

The rest of the final table payouts were as follows: 3rd: Bill Gazes - $759,000, 4th: Allen Cunningham -$483,000, 5th: Lyle Berman $345,000, and 6th: Lenny Cortellino - $276,000.   

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The Magician Invasion:
Are Magicians the New Internet Millionaires?

MagintChops here.

Ah…I remember it like it was 5-9 years ago. 

Back in the mid-to-late ‘90’s, the so-called “Internet” was minting new millionaires at an hourly rate that rivaled Phil Ivey’s. 

My first few gigs out of college were with new breed Internet consulting agencies.  “New economy Internet consulting agencies would rival the Big 5 one day,” we’d say. 

Unfortunately, not everyone cashed out at the right time.  Some got greedy and didn’t sell their options in time, convincing themselves that the market would rebound.  Others, like yours truly, didn’t sell because his boss, the founder and CEO, had him write an email to the company pleading all employees not to dump their shares when the first vesting date arrived, as it might flood the market and lower the stock price.  While yours truly did sell some shares anyway, yours truly did not sell enough to never have to work again…only enough to take about five months off the next year. 

Two prodigal Internet gurus did get out at the right time, however, retiring from the working-world grind to grind it out at poker tables...forever retiring words like, “robust,” “maximize,” and “bleeding edge” for words like, “jamming,” “position,” and “lay down.”  These two men, Phil Gordon and Paul Phillips, were two of the earliest and most successful new breed of poker players...the ex-Internet millionaire.

Now, a good five years after the dot-com era bust, there’s a new-New-Economy-Millionaire taking the poker world by storm: the Magician.

Antonio “the Magician” Esfandiari has been “tearing it up” for a couple of years now, winning a WPT event and cashing checks like he was David Copperfield.  Now, with the arrival of Scott Lazar at the WSOP ME final table, we have two bonafide ex-magicians proving they have wicked poker chops

I asked my good buddy Bones at Weathered Living why he thinks magicians are having so much success on the felt recently.  Bones is a magic aficionado who can be seen at bars across the country trying to win over drunk girls with his wizardry.  Bones explained the recent “magician invasion” phenomenon as follows:

    “First off, it’s important to differentiate between a true magician and a mere illusionist.  Illusionists, such as the Cris Angel’s and the David Blaine’s of the world, probably make for skilled poker players simply by their comfort and familiarity with a deck of cards. Having stared at decks for so many years as they perfected their craft, they’ve grown accustomed to every nuance of the shuffle, every sound of a card flip, every minute reaction from the viewers around them. They’re essentially subconscious card counters and amateur psychologists, which I would imagine could help in a poker game.  As for magicians?  Well, that’s easy.  They’re good poker players because they’re fucking magical.”

With this in mind, Wicked Chops Poker has decided to compare and contrast Internet Millionaires with Magicians to see who, in fact, make better poker players.  Our analysis may astound you (picture your monitor now getting blurry, fuzzy, and fading into dreamy sequence)…

Continue reading "The Magician Invasion:
Are Magicians the New Internet Millionaires?" »

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The TOKE: Who Is the Ric Flair of Poker?, The Carolinas Are At It Again, Riding Good Runs, + How Many Poles Does it Take to Play Bad Poker?

Lita:: Which poker player would deliver the elbow of death?  Was there anything better than '80's pro wrestling?  Sure there was.  Lots of things.  But those old personalities like Big John Stud, Koko B. Ware, and the Honkey Tonk Man bring back fond memories.  Maybe not as fond of memories as our friend Bones at Weathered Living had by going to 8th grade formal with future-vixen Lita of WWE fame (true story), but fond nonetheless.  Anyway, Donkey Puncher (via OddJack) discusses which poker player is most like some of your favorite old-time wrestling stars.  Our one suggestion: Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi should be Brutus "the Barber" BeefcakeDonkey Puncher | OddJack

:: Why do they hate poker so much?  The Carolinas, as we have detailed ad nauseam, HATE poker.  Hate it.  Poker to the Carolinas are what Christian infidels are to radical Islamic jihadists.  Anyway, North Carolina has busted yet another video poker ring, confiscating another 120 machines.  No word if Uncle Cliffy was anywhere in the proximity.  Have we used that joke before?  Not really?  Good. News 14 Carolina

:: Milking it. The San Antonio Express News, of all places, has an article about how you should ride your good runs in poker to maximize profits.  Seriously.  San Antonio Express News.  Poker experts.  For real.  San Antonio Express News

:: Donkey Alert: Polish Poker Site.  There's a new online poker site for Russians and Polish playersFill in your favorite Polish punchline hereSt. Petersburg Times

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WSOP Champ Joe Hachem on ESPN/Bluff Chat Thurs @ 5pm

Hachem_1_12005 WSOP ME winner Joe Hachem will be answering questions on an ESPN/Bluff chat today at 5pm

This is Hachem's first big Q&A with a mass audience, so should be a good one. Definitely worth checking out.

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The Final Table at Foxwoods

Worldpokerfinals_3 The final table is set for the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods.

Nick Schulman is the big stack of the remaining six, with 3,502,000.  The only other stack with over a mil in chips is Anthony Licastro with 1,412,000. 

Allen Cunningham checks in with 795,000.  Yesterday’s chip leader Lenny Cortellino is fourth with 773,000.  Bill Gazes is fifth with 693,000.  And Day 1 chip leader Lyle Berman is the final table short-stack with 659,000.

Final table play kicks off at 4pm on Friday.

And while we're talking about final tables, the one in Chattanooga for the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship this Satuday is also set, and no doubt the Phil Ivey of Eating, Takeru Kobayashi, will repeat as champion. Last year he ate 69 Krystal burgers in 8 minutes, and not sure what the Vegas line is right now, but from our insider's viewpoint, we're expecting him to eclipse that mark by 5 or more. Bet on it.

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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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Cortellino Continues Good Run, Chip Leader at World Poker Finals

LennyDay 2 action is done at the World Poker Finals, and Lenny Cortellino continues a strong run of play, finding himself the chip leader with 589,000.

Cortellino (pictured right) won the $5,000 buy-in NLH event prior to start of the championship tournament, banking $377,175.  He's a Foxwoods regular and is clearly on top of his game right now.

There are 31 players left in the tournament.  Play picks up at noon again today, and will continue until six remain.  Other notable chip counts include: 2) Allen Cunningham - 573,000, 3) Lyle Berman - 562,000, 5) Bill Gazes - 501,000, 9) Loi Phan - 347,000, 20) Minh Nguyen -158,000, 26) Erik Seidel - 120,000.

Check out PokerWire for chip counts or live blogging at Tao of Poker for continued updates.

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Poker Cruising, Will It Get easy?

:: snake


I have as much interest in going on a cruise as I do watching some Leonardo DiCaprio documentary on global warming, which is close to nil. I’m not saying I’d never watch such a documentary, it would just have to be done right. You know, like star Leo’s ex Gisele Bunchden and her Brazilian supermodel squad Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Fernanda Tavares and Ana _______ (fill in the blank with your favorite Amazonian named Ana) showing us just how hot it is getting around the world by walking around in their next-to-nothings on melting polar ice caps and stuff.

Angels2_1Likewise, I’d consider a cruise if it was done right, which should be read as: it’s cheap, offered poker 24 hours a day and wasn't packed with blue haired ladies, bratty kids and smelly people; which in the language of Brazilian supermodels should be read as: meus companheiros de quarto eram Alessandra, Adrianna, Fernanda, e um ou dois dos Anas.

I've actually come kind of close to this once before--the whole Brazilian model cabinmates on a poker cruise thing that is--except my cabinmate was my lovely wife, who’s from Milwaukee, and it was an overnight ferry from Copenhagen to some island in the middle of the Baltic Sea, and we played some heads-up poker for Danish candy and some snack I either don’t remember or never knew what it was in the first place. I was actually hoping some of the young, blonde-haired locals on the ship, which should be read as “everyone on the ship who wasn’t us,” would want to join us for a cash game but they were too busy not knowing how to speak English while entranced in an Olympic handball match on tv and chain smoking Marlboros by the carton.

So yes, all in all, it wasn't the ideal poker cruise scenario, but neither is something like the Card Player Cruise, which, despite offering poker, is still every bit of a carnival to me. And not to rock their boat, as I'm sure people have a grand time, but it's just that if you look at my requirements above, well, let's just say it's probably one too many gramps with a "Don't Forget My Senior Discount" shirtEasytub and a few Anas short of what I'm looking for, and costly at that.

I guess what I really want is exactly the opposite of your typical cruise ship experience and that's pretty much what low budget, low frill cruise line easyCruise is going for, and when I heard the other day that easyCruise is considering adding poker to its Atlantic crossing, the odds of me boarding a cruise just got better (still about 3.5:1 though).

Continue reading "Poker Cruising, Will It Get easy?" »

World Poker Finals - Day 1 (Part II)


Day 1b is wrapped at the World Poker Finals.  Loi Phan is the Day 1b chip leader with 112,000.  World Poker Tour Chairman of the Board Lyle Berman remains the overall chip leader with 153,300.

Other Day 1b notables include: Amir Vahedi - 83,000, Hasan Habib - 75,000, Erik Seidel - 56,000, Chip Jett - 55,000, Minh Nguyen - 48,000, Ted Forrest - 40,000, John D'Agostino - 15,000, and "Minneapolis" Jim Meehan - 9,000.  Meehan was down to around 1,000 and doubled up a few times to make it into Day 2.

About 240 players remain. Play picks back up at noon.  Check out chip counts at PokerWire or live blogging at Tao of Poker for updates.

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ESPN Wraps WSOP Coverage Tuesday
Hachem vs. The Weaz Showcases Poker's Growth


You are the lucky ones.

After outlasting 5,618 rounders and avoiding minefield after minefield for seven days, nine players became (pre-tax) millionaires by making the WSOP final table

The very same final table that lasted a grueling 16 hours before Joe Hachem beat Steve "the Weaz" Dannenmann heads-up for the title.  Mike "the Mouth" Matusow was the first elimated, and commented on his way out that the rest of the final table would be "very tight."

It was.  Fortunately for you, you get the pre-packaged highlight reel.  You won't have to endure the pre-flop raising and fold-fest that dominated a good portion of final table play.  You'll see the action hands. 

And this is a good thing.

Showdown all-ins and big bluffs are the "homerun equivalent" for poker.  While it doesn't show the texture and feel you need to play consistent, winning poker, it is what brings the ratings.  And for television, it's all about the ratings.

USA Today reported that last year's WSOP ME final "...drew 2.8% of cable TV households, making it a bigger draw than nearly everything else on ESPN except NFL games, postseason baseball and marquee college football and basketball."  Who would've thunk that just three years after Robert Varkonyi won the WSOP ME and the Travel Channel debuted the World Poker Tour, that our game of choice would be consistently outdrawing sports that have long been part of the American cultural fabric.

Continue reading "ESPN Wraps WSOP Coverage Tuesday
Hachem vs. The Weaz Showcases Poker's Growth" »

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World Poker Finals at Foxwoods - Day 1


Day 1 of the $10,000 buy-in World Poker Finals at Foxwoods is in the books, with World Poker Tour Chairman of the Board Lyle Berman sitting as the chip leader.  Berman is stacked at 153,300.

Berman was at or near the chip lead for most of the day.  Two-time 2005 WSOP bracelet winner Mark Seif is sitting with 107,600 in chips.  The average chip stack at the end of the day was 34,745. 

Other notables include: Andy Black - 77,200, Allen Cunningham - 41,900, Young Pham - 41,800, Temp Hutter - 38,500, Anrold Spee - 29,300, Bernard Lee - 24,300, Kathy Liebert - 22,500, and Farzad Bonyadi - 11,300. 

The official number of entrants for the event has not been released yet, but should exceed 800.  Day 1 of the championship event was split into two days.  Day 2 of Day 1 starts at noon today.

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The TOKE: Cunningham's Weird Knack, Doyle & DiCaprio are BFFs, + Something for Our Female Readers

:: Card Player on Cunningham.  As we detailed during the 2005 WSOP, Allen Cunningham is no Opie.  While you may not have heard of him until this year, the guy can hang with the biggest names, and has for awhile.  The latest issue of Card Player features Cunningham on its cover.  It's a good read for more info on the 2005 WSOP POYCard Player

Doyledicaprio :: From Bundchen to Brunson.  Back when we were single, whenever we broke up with whatever super model we were dating at the time, we'd often immerse ourselves in some latent passion to get our mind off the break-up.  Turns out, Leonardo DiCaprio is just like us.  Now that Leo and Gisele Bundchen have split, the uber-trendy actor can spend more time with his favorite past-times: poker and environmental causes and stuff.  And to help Leo along, new pal Doyle Brunson has donated money to fund global warming documentary that DiCaprio will narrateLeonardoDiCaprio.com

:: Freerolls and pillow fights.  Need further proof of poker's popularity?  There's a magazine out there dedicated STRICTLY for women poker players.  Try and guess the name of it.  Guess.  Come on.  Frigin' guess.  Wow, you got itGood guess.  Anyway, the mag (with a current distribution of 15k) is throwing a $1,000 freeroll on Titan Poker for its readers.  So to our female readers, we encourage you to sign up, show support for the mag, and then possibly get sucked out by a Crazy BitchPR Web

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Thoughts on the NYC Underground Poker Scene...

In our last TOKE (and other related articles), we discussed recent busts on the underground NYC poker scene (and coincidental celebrity sightings before the busts).  NYC blogger Terry Lane has some interesting thoughts on the subject worth reading...to which we have thoughts as well.

Plus a few more pics of Elisha Cuthbert after the jump...

Continue reading "Thoughts on the NYC Underground Poker Scene..." »

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The TOKE: Poker & the Law Edition

Ecuth3:: If poker can...make it there...it can make it (da-dum) anywhere.  A truly amazing coincidence: when celebrities like Phil Hellmuth, AK-Rod, Macaulay Culkin, and Hank Azaria (status debatable, but still...) show up to underground poker clubs in NYC, they get busted.  Hint to underground NYC poker clubs: quit letting celebrities play.  Because they bring attention to your underground club.  And you get busted.  Anyway, the raids are sending chills through the underground NYC poker club scene.  Which, based on the feedback we've heard, is the same affect photos of Elisha Cuthbert has on Wicked Chops Poker readers (more at the jump). Newsday

:: Pari-Mutuel poker.  Florida is putting the kibosh on poker tournaments at pari-mutuel facilities.  Wicked Chops Poker later learned that a pari-mutuel facility is a dog track or similar venue.  Wicked Chops Poker learns something new every day.  AP Wire

:: No cards in Camden Yards...but no charges either.  And to end this TOKE on a positive note, no charges were brought to the 90+ busted in a poker raid in Baltimore last week.  Police apparently "quoted the wrong statute during an arrest..."  Insert "miracle river card" joke here.  Launch Poker

Continue reading "The TOKE: Poker & the Law Edition" »

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PartyGaming: "Greed...is Good."


PartyGaming (PRTY) announced on Friday that it plans to take over two of its four partners (Multipoker and IntertopsPoker), is cutting ties with a third (Coral Eurobet), and is going to kill the value of its fourth partner, Empire Poker, so they can eventually buy it on the cheap (although not exactly phrased that way).

We can see it now: the reclusive Anurag Dikshit and the PartyGaming cabal sitting in a dark, underground mission command, plotting their next diabolical move as construction of the Death Star is almost complete. 

All joking aside, Wicked Chops Poker respects any European-based company that shows a little American-killer-business-spirit. 

Gekko1As it breaks down, PartyGaming has (or shall we say, "had") four partner sites.  Players could compete against each other on these "skins," but now the loss of players from the other "partner" sites leaves one "partner," Empire Poker, particularly vulnerable, reducing the number of players on their site by 40 percent.

Says analyst Robin Chhabra, "PartyGaming is using this to further squeeze down the price it pays for Empire -- that's if it bothers at all."

We believe they eventually will.  Why?  Because, in true business fashion, the owners of PartyGaming adhere to this important credo: greed, for lack of a better word, is good.

Read the full story on Reuters.

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The TOKE: Cracking Down on Poker Ads, Maybe North Dakota Ain’t So Bad, A Poker League of Their Own + Scott Baio is the New Leo DiCaprio

Kn ::  Forcing poker advertising's hand.  Thanks to Beaner at sotherewewere for this one.  Save Bodog and the occasional Full Tilt or PokerStars spot, most print poker ads look like they were conceived by some dude finishing his sophomore year in high school.  So (fortunately?) the Culture Secretary in the UK (who brought you Monty Python, the Beatles, and most recently, Kiera Knightley) plans to, “stop gambling firms from advertising free entry to online tournaments or indicating the value of prizes.”  Maybe this will force some originality out of the ad firms who are cashing checks and cashing out creatively.  BBC News

:: You’re darn tootin’!  Poker leagues in Fargo, ND and Minneapolis, MN are hotter than polka nights at the community center.  CardPlayer

:: Two poker league stories in one day?  The Desert Sun (of Palm Springs fame) reports (via OddJack) on poker leagues springing up across SoCal.  And from the rumor mill, the leader of the Fargo league dropped a track about banging a leader of the SoCal league’s wife, and a whole Biggie-Tupac/no-coast/west-coast fued is gonna erupt, y'all.  OddJack

:: Gank, meet Scott Baio. Scott, Gank.  What do you have when Scott Baio, Cathy Lee Crosby, Dick Van Patten and Brett "Gank" Jungblut are all in the same room? No, not a "Battle of the Network Stars" reunion crashed by our favorite weed tokin' poker player. It's just some of the, ahem, celebs who showed up at HollywoodPoker.com's quasi swanky shindig at LA club Montmartre. I guess having Leonardo DiCaprio at your poker party is so yesterday, or at least last week. From our favorite undergarment obsessed writer Jen Leo, who was there and gave the l.d. over at John Caldwell's blog, Euro Schecky, it doesn't sound like you, me or even Gank (who wasn't totally there) missed much. Euro Schecky

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Poker is the Center of the Universe

Hollywoodsign_1Or at least Planet Hollywood.

And to test this out I emailed Chops and asked him to name an actor, any actor, and I’d try to somehow connect him/her in a six degrees of poker separation kind of way to starlet banger/pro surfer Kelly Slater, who said something recently about, you guessed it, poker.

Chops’ reply:

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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 . . .

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The TOKE: TOC Scuttlebutt, Small Town Poker, More On Bots and Pots, + This Darn Video Poker Thang A'gen

Dn:: WSOP TOC a fair deal?  ESPN Poker Club’s Steve Rosenbloom reports on the rumpus, brouhaha, and general ballyhoo that involved the Brunson, Hellmuth, and Chan invites to the WSOP TOC.  Seems Pepsi had something to do with them getting in.  We understand a player such as Daniel Negreanu’s gripe about this, but Wicked Chops Poker thinks that if a Fortune 100 company (62, to be precise) is ready to dump millions of ad dollars behind the sport, as George Constanza would say, “you can stuff your sorry’s in a sack, mister” and let it slide.  ESPN Poker Club

:: Earn your 15 minutes of sort-of-D-level fame.  The Small Town Poker Tour is looking for amateur players with interesting stories (like you!) to film.  Read all about it and don’t forget about us when you’re almost famous.  PR Web

Pokerbot :: Thank you not at all, Mr. Roboto.  MSNBC has now done a piece on bots.  While the bot info isn’t much more than you’ve already read in Wired, they have some pretty graphs with online poker statistics that we’ll be referencing in the future.  So might as well get familiar with them now.  MSNBC

::  ‘Notha state that Clifford Jennings ain’t welcome no more, son.  The Governor of N.C. thinks the state’s lottery will run the video poker business out of town.  While we still don’t understand why the Carolinas hate our favorite sport so much, at least they’re doing away with the terrible disease that is video pokerNews Record

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WCOP TOC: Matusow Breaks Through, Wins Big One

MatusowjersMike "the Mouth" Matusow closed the deal on a major tournament, winning the WSOP TOC freeroll.

Matusow defeated Hoyt Corkins heads-up for the title.  On the final hand, Corkins limped from the button with Qc-Tc.  Matusow raised 60k with Kd-9d.  Corkins called.  The flop came Ks-Js-4d.  Matusow led out for 60k, Corkins moved all-in, and Matusow called.  The turn and river failed to produce Corkins straight, and Matusow takes it down. For the victory, Matusow banks $1mil.  Corkins takes home $325k.

Phil Hellmuth, chip leader throughout, finished third and earns $250k.

Tony Bloom finished 4th and brings home $150k.  And proving he's no fluke, Steve "the Weaz" Dannenmann finished 5th, taking $100k.  Wicked Chops Poker applauds the Weaz's efforts.  Well done.

The rest of the final table payouts were: 6th - Grant Lang $75,000, 7th - David Levi $50,000, 8th - Keith Sexton $25,000, and 9th - Brandon Adams $25,000.

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Harry Poker and the Wizard of Palms and Other Poker Movies

A source* of ours at NBC studios in Burbank emailed us a bit of Jay Leno's monologue planned for tonight. Thought we'd pass it on...

Leno"What's with poker these days? It's everywhere. And especially in Hollywood. You have Lucky You starring Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana coming out in April 2006. The new Bond film has 007 playing Texas Hold'em instead of Baccarat and get this, just today it was announced that two new movies are coming out, both with the word "Poker" in the title -- Poker Night and The Poker Club.

I mean what's next?

A new JK Rowlings film shot at a hip Las Vegas casino called Harry Poker and the Wizard of Palms.

[if audience not laughing repeat "Harry . . . Palms" two or three times gesturing with your palms. Remind audience there's a casino in Vegas called the Palms. DO NOT SAY "Do you get it?" while gesturing unless absolutely necessary.]

Speaking of the movie Poker Night. One of its stars Hayden Christensen will also star in a new movie with the beautiful Jessica Alba. Jessica plays his wife in the film and get this . . . Hayden's character becomes paralyzed. Hey Kevin, what's the working title for this film again? Oh yeh, that's right . . . Misery 2.

Hey are you hearing about this rioting in France? It's getting crazy over there. And it's only getting worse, because as the French fight among themselves, there's growing confusion as to who exactly they're suppose to surrender to.

[Do not follow up joke with "Fucking Pussies" comment like during rehearsal]

Alright, so we have a great show lined up tonight . . . "

Pics of Jessica Alba on the Tonight Show after the jump . . .

(*no such person exists)

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Don’t Let This Happen to You:
The Damaging Affects of Video Poker

CliffyPoor Clifford Jennings.

He had it all, man.  He’s a twice-elected mayor of the booming metropolitan area of LaFollette, TN.  He owned a building.  Possibly even two.  His reputation was unfettered, without a blemish, as far as we know.

Now…gone.  All gone.  All gone because of video poker

Don’t let this happen to you.

Hopefully, the Marion Barry of Video Poker's plight has taught you a powerful lesson.  And that lesson is this: video poker is lame.

Cliffy2Yes, had Cliffy been running a regular live ring game in his building, he’d be a hero.  We’d ask him for interviews and shower him with praise.

But video poker is stupid.  And so is Cliffy.  As seen in this vid clip (passed along by Wicked Chops reader Hannah), Jennings is caught watching illegal, lame video poker played in one of his buildings.   Now, he has outraged his entire city.  Believe it or not, even the woman Cliffy beat for mayor in the last election is (without a hint of a hidden agenda) calling for his resignation. 

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The Damaging Affects of Video Poker" »

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WSOP TOC: Hellmuth, Matusow, and THE WEAZ.

Elishacuthbert3 Holiday entertainment has always had unique pairings that etch themselves into our collective memory.  Ralphie, Scut Farkus, and Flick having it out in A Christmas Story.  Emmet Otter, Ma Otter, and the Riverbottom Nightmare Band going all American Idol for you in Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas.  Addict fave Elisha Cuthbert (at right), Shannon Elizabeth, and Denise Richards keeping you warm in Love Actually.

And now, we have Hellmuth, Matusow, and the Weaz.

The WSOP TOC will be aired on Christmas Eve.  The final table is set.  Remarkably, Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow remain one-two for the overall chip lead (with 281,500 and 179,000, respectively).  Joining them at the final table are the Weaz (122,000) and Hoyt Corkins (95,000).  The other guys you may or may not care about are: Keith Sexton - 95,500, Brandon Adams - 135,500, Tony Bloom - 130,000, Grant Lang - 61,500, and David Levi - 41,000.  Check out Poker Wire later in the day for final table updates.

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The TOKE: Bodog Best Marketers, Russian Home to Play Poker, + the Worst Poker Article Ever

:: Bodog the best.  In our opinion, Bodog is the only online site that truly gets how to effectively market its brand.  And we're not just talking about the hot girls. Their ads consistently put forth a certain image that builds brand awareness AND matches the aesthetics and appeal of their online site.  This is in contrast to say, Full Tilt, where there's a disconnect between sleek, "play with the pros" ads but a bunch Russianof goofy avatars at the virtual tables.  On Monday, eGaming recognized Bodog for its creative efforts and awarded the company their, "Best Online Marketing Campaign."  Covers

:: Glasnost, sputnik, poker.  Last week we detailed the surge in live poker play in the country formerly known as the U.S.S.R.  This week, the St. Petersburg Times discusses how online poker in Russia is hotter than...women in Russia.  St. Petersburg Times

:: The worst poker article you'll ever read.  Read this gem at the Contra Costa Times.  You'll have to register for the article, but it's (completely, totally not) worth it.  This is one of those, "it's so bad, you have to taste it" things.  Thank us later.  Contra Costa Times

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Back to Binions, Big Busts the Story as WSOP ME Coverage Continues

Raymer_reach_2As ESPN moves into WSOP ME Day 6 coverage tomorrow, and the story isn't so much who survived as who...did...not......survive.

Some big name favorites dropped off earlier than expected during Day 6.  Ivey, Raymer (who is chatting on ESPN literally right now, or is archived there if you read this past 6pm EST), and Tim Phan fought for pots at one aggressive table.  All of them suffered early demises, with Raymer and Phan's particularly brutal.  Raymer played brilliantly but lost most of his chips against Aaron Kanter when a river heart flushed his pocket Kings.  Tim Phan's WSOP run ended after Andrew Black hit a four-outter on the river for a full house (Queens over Aces).  Phan had flopped a set, but Black busted it with the Queen. 

Ivey overplayed two hands early, losing a chunk.  Then he fell to Aaron Kanter as well when his Jacks didn't hold against Kanter's Kings.

MouthsheikMike Matusow had to take a time-out yet again, this time for telling Crazy Bitch’s nemesis, Shawn “the Sheik” Sheikhan, to "shut the fuck up." Sheikhan repeated Matusow's four-letter no-no to the tournament director, so both got hit up with the penalty. When the Sheik returned, he doubled-up through Matusow, then busted Norman Chad’s man-crush, Tom Sartori. And yes, we had to play the role of "spoiler," but Crazy Bitch did get knocked out in 15th place. Not sure if you'll hear the collective sigh of relief from the 14 remaining players through your TV set.

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Hellmuth, Matusow Lead WSOP Tournament of Champions


The 2005 WSOP Tournament of Champions (TOC) completed day 1 play with two of the biggest names (and mouths) leading the field.

Phil Hellmuth ended the day as the overall chip leader stacked at 110,900.  Mike Matusow is right there with him at 107,600.  The next closest guy is Hoyt Corkins with 65,700 (Hoyt is responsible for busting Phil Ivey). 

The format this year is much different than last year’s top-secret one-table shoot-out won by Annie Duke.  The big changes:
:: There’s about 105 more people than last year (114 total). 
:: Top point leaders from the WSOP and WSOP circuit events got the invite, along with the 9 who made the ME final table. 
:: The event is a three-day affair. 
:: The event is not top-secret.  People died last year protecting the identity of the winner.  People died.

The TOC is still a freeroll, but the winner only gets $1 mil (the entire final table gets paid).  So essentially, you have to beat out 105 more people than last year to win less money.  Awesome.  Who is running this event, FEMA?

Other notables include: 6th - Michael "The Grinder" Mitzrachi (46,700), 7th - Johnny Chan (46,500), 10th - Chad Brown (40,800), 12th - Daniel Bergsdorf (38,900), 16th – Steve “the Weaz” Dannenmann  (28,700), 20th - Rene “Celine’s creepy molester hubby” Angelil (26,600), 21st – “Some guy named” Doyle Brunson (25,000), and 26th - Ted Lawson (21,300).  Check Poker Wire throughout the day for chip count updates.

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The Marion Barry of (Video) Poker: Clifford Jennings

MarionbarrythumbCrackheads have Marion Berry

Remember him?  He's the D.C. mayor caught smoking crack on surveillance video back in 1990 with a hooker.  The same mayor who after being caught on tape (smoking crack...crack!) the people of D.C. elected to be their mayor again.  As Chris Rock once so brilliantly pointed out, "How the hell did Marion Barry get his job back?  If you get caught smoking crack at McDonald's, you can't get your job back!  They're not going to trust you around the Happy Meals! All I want to know is, who ran against him and lost? Who was so bad that they lost to a crackhead?"

Since 1990, illegal video poker room operators have been waiting for their Marion Barry*.   After 15 long years, the wait is over.

Meet Clifford Jennings

Clifford Jennings is the mayor of LaFollette, Tennessee (about a 4-hour drive from Sharer/Pokershare, KY, or 40 minutes from Knoxville).  W-A-T-E-TV has reported that Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) agents seized 14 video poker machines (which we've pointed out before ain't exactly the coolest things) and thousands in cash after being tipped off on some nefarious video poker happenings in Jennings' hood.

One of the "alleged" rooms under surveillance showed Mayor Clifford Jennings watching as (lame) "rounders" video-pokered their hard-earned blue-collar dollars away.  Since Jennings also owns the building, chances are slim that he just happened to stumble into the room as the illegal video pokering went on.

Despite pending federal charges, if Jennings has "Barry luck", he'll smoke the competition and be re-elected in a landslide while banging hookers at each and ever campaign stop along the way (namely, the local grocery store, gas station, Walgreen's, and Mickey D's, so 4 hookers). 

*We have no way to verify this statement.

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The TOKE: Poker Pro Endorsement Deals, Tools of the Trade, + Get Your Moneymaker for Nothing and Chips for Free

Eveng :: Some site that sells things sponsors these people and stuff.  This site called Sports-Stuff.com Inc. (http://www.sports-stuff.com), that claims to be “a publisher and distributor of sports and entertainment for wide scale mobile platforms” (whatever that means) has “secured exclusive wireless rights” (whatever that means) with Men the Master, David Williams, and Evelyn Ng (pictured right).   On one hand, it’s great seeing poker players endorsing non-poker products.  On the other, what the hell does this company actually doLooks shady.  And who named this company, Chris ShiltsPR Newswire 

:: Tools to make you less of a tool.  Nice summary in Betting for Value on some various apps and software to improve your game.  Nothing funny, denigrating, or even witty to add on our end.  That’s all we got.  Just check it out.  Betting for Value

Chrismoneymaker_bio :: Moneymaker Has More Fun Not Making Money.  Chris Moneymaker is playing in some amorphously vague promotional game out in West Palm Beach.  He says, "When I play for thousands and thousands of dollars it's not fun. That's work. I'm there to make money. I'm here to have fun."  Don’t know about you, but playing for thousands of dollars is VERY fun for us.  Of course, given he’s made $44,229 since his 2nd place at the WPT Bay 101 event in 2004 (and no tournament cashes in 2005), maybe playing for fun is the way to go.  Palm Beach Post

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Chris Shilts Is a Very Bad Man

Chrisshilts1When we first reported on Chris Shilts, the Salt Lake City owner of a poker supply outlet indicted on federal charges for setting his store on fire (an act that earned him a spot in our Stupid Poker Criminal Hall of Fame), we heard from a few people who knew a little something about this character, like his mom (Hi Cindy), as well as a few people in Pennsylvania and Oregon who claimed to be defrauded by Shilts on e-Bay.

But since none of their allegations of online fraud were being reported in the news at the time, and we had no way of verifying them, well, we really didn't know what to make of their claims.

Until now.

ShiltsnewsLocal news in Salt Lake City is reporting that Shilts has been indicted by a federal grand jury for using e-Bay to sell two vehicles--a Nissan Titan truck and a BMW 325xi--that he was leasing, along with a heavily mortgaged Capri speedboat. In other words, he didn't own the title to these vehicles he sold for a total of about $85k, and indeed, these are the exact same charges posted in the comment section of our site over the past month (some of which were removed at the request of the individuals involved).

Jonathan Boyd, the Assistant US Attorney in Utah said: "He defrauded people from Pennsylvania, Arizona, Oregon, and Texas, and basically defrauded them out of tens of thousands of dollars."

Read the news reports here, here and here and click on the video image to see the TV news report on Shilts. My favorite comment is Shilts predicting, correctly I might add, that: "I will not make a penny off of this."

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The TOKE: POY Update, Was AK-Rod Here too?? + What Would Anurag Dikshit Do?

Bdgirlsbrandi13:: Who is the best poker player in the universe? (according to a convoluted point ranking system)  The CardPlayer-Bodog POY race is winding down, with John Phan still in the lead.  As we reported last month, Bodog and CardPlayer have teamed up to award their POY.  This will obviously yield one helluva awards gala decked and stacked with the finest Bodog babes (this month's featured girl at right).  Also of note, that player list looks much different than the Bluff/ESPN rankings. Hopefully the BCS will get involved and add some clarity to the whole situation.  CardPlayer | Poker News

:: You can't play cards at Camden Yards.  Big poker bust near a refurbished Camden Yards warehouse.  An email advertising a $12,000 first prize package to Foxwoods led police to the illegal room, where 80 were busted and charged.  Just before the bust, AK-Rod was seen sneaking out of the warehouse.  Ok, we made that part up. Baltimore Sun

:: Et tu, PartyGaming? Ah, the fall of an Empire. Looks like PartyGaming is pulling a Brutus and stabbing Empire Poker in the back. They help tank the stock price and then make a move to buy them out. Classic. Gordon Gecko/Blue Star classic. Times Online | OddJack

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Tiffany Williamson: Crazy Bitch

Tiff1Disclaimer: Wicked Chops Poker loves women.  We admire women, as the photos on our site suggest.  And we respect women...in particular women poker players.  Our respect for women is evidenced by two very healthy (and one-soon-to-be healthy) marriages.  So please note that Wicked Chops Poker would never, EVER seriously call a woman a bitch. 

Tiffany Williamson is a crazy bitch.

Seriously, that bitch is crazy.

Last week, we detailed why Steve Dannenmann will forever be known as the Weaz.  This week, a new nickname for a new face of poker must be dolled out.  And that nickname goes to Tiffany Williamson. 

Because after watching her "play", the only logical conclusion to describe her illogical play is this: she's one crazy ass bitch.

Keep in mind, Wicked Chops Poker doesn't actually think Tiffany Williamson is a bitch.  From what we observed of her at the WSOP, she seemed like good people.  Very nice.  So technically, she's not a bitch. 

She just plays like a crazy person.

Michael "I'm a machine" Mitzrachi is nuts.  Layne Flack can be maniacal.  But risking their entire tournament life (deeeeeep into the WSOP ME) on an all-in re-raise with A-7 against Q-Q?  That's fucking crazy.

No kidding, that bitch is nuttier than a Mr. Goodbar.

How crazy is Tiffany Williamson?  Consider the following examples:

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Gisele Bundchen is Hot, Hates Poker

:: snake

GiseleGisele2 We first reported back in August that super hottie Gisele Bundchen was feeling neglected because her beau Leonardo DiCaprio was more interested in hitting backdoor flushes at the poker table than hitting her, uh, backdoor, which is, in my humble judgment, simply some of the finest work the Man Upstairs has ever created.

Seriously, well done Sir. Well done.

Actually, while I’m complementing Your craftmanship let me also say thank You for Brazil, the women there that is. And oh yeh, female Russian tennis players too. I’m sorry You had to make all the men there look like egors, but it is nothing short of a miracle that Russian men and women somehow are spawn from the same gene pool. Truly must be Divine Intervention.

Crap, was that lightning? But there’s not a cloud in the sky.

Ok finally, I’m very sorry that Chops managed to put up the worse photo ever of Anna Kournikova on our recent Toke post, I promise it will not happen again, and I will make up for it with some photos on the following page.

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Doyle Proves You Can Teach an Old Bodog New Tricks

36The incomparable Doyle Brunson has just upped the ante in the high stakes game of movie stars, models and poker, and we're now waiting to see if Bodog's Calvin Ayre (seen below) has what it takes to come in for a raise of his own or will he fold in the presence of the Great One.

Alright, annoying poker metaphors aside, we've long called Bodog's Ayre the "Hef of Online Gaming" but Doyle Brunson may just be moving in on the title and relegating Ayre to Joe Francis status as evidenced by the recent DoylesRoom.com-sponsored party at the new Bellago nightclub Light.

Calvinnation03small1In attendance to honor Brunson were Hollywood A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicky Hilton, poker pros including Gus Hansen, Devilfish Ulliott, TJ Cloutier, Sam Farha and Jennifer and Marco Tranielllo and most importantly a new crop of DoylesRoom.com models, who were no doubt a 4-class upgrade from the unfortunate DoylesRoom.com fuglies we witnessed walking around during the 2005 WSOP and reported on here. Indeed, from the pics we've seen of this latest event, it looks to be much more like an Ayre-style affair than the DoylesRoom.com shindig we attended in July at the Rio.

Photos after the jump...

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Demi Moore is Old, Hates Poker

:: snake

Ashton_oldlady_2There’s a rumor floating around that Ashton Kutcher’s fetish for poker and porn may be bringing the newlywed pair’s proverbial honeymoon to an end. Reported recently in the Ottawa Sun, Ashton’s old lady apparently doesn’t like all the time he spends playing poker with his friends in their mansion (that’s the same place he got all sad about that stuff down in New Orleans and did something about it by paying $14,000 to get private poker lessons from Annie Duke), Warehouseand to top it off, the Striptease star has also laid down the law on Ashton’s porn collection, which our sources (the voices in my head) tell us is kept in the warehouse seen here in this photo.

Seriously though, I’m truly sad about all of this, even if it is happening to some dude who can’t seem to find either his car or a good film script, because no man--or child in Ashton’s case--should suffer at the hands of an older woman just because his love for poker Batman21 will be around longer than his lady’s breasts stay north of her navel; unless of course the suffering involves the prettiest elder of all, Michelle Pfieffer, dressed as a dominatrix Catwoman in a room decorated like a dungeon that’s full of whips and she spanks you every time you say “reraise” (yeh, like you never fantasized about that).

Continue reading "Demi Moore is Old, Hates Poker" »

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AK-Rod Scolded for Loose Play

Arod2story As reported here last month, AK-Rod has been spotted in illegal poker clubs all over NYC.  Now multiple media outlets are reporting that the New York Yankees have apparently warned AK-Rod that “playing poker in illegal clubs could be dangerous and harmful to his image.” 

And to this warning and the subsequent AK-Rod backlash, Wicked Chops Poker would like to start the following Bad News Bears in Breaking Training-esque chant (picture William Devane at the Astrodome):

Letthemplaycopy“Let him play!  Let him play!”

That’s right.  We refuse to pile on AK-Rod because he’s been spotted at illegal poker clubs.  We here at Wicked Chops Poker praise him. 

If there’s one elite player in all of sports with absolutely zero street cred, it’s AK-Rod.  He makes Peyton Manning seem ghetto. 

Continue reading "AK-Rod Scolded for Loose Play" »

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Mouth + Raymer Redemption Spotlight Tonight's WSOP Coverage

Day45Sure, Joe Hachem won the $7.5 mil WSOP ME first prize in a grueling heads-up battle against the Weaz.  But the real focus of this year's WSOP, the topics that everyone wanted to discuss, revolved around two totally different forms of redemption from two totally different players: Mike "the Mouth" Matusow and his 2004 nemesis, Greg Raymer

Tonight, both get their-fair-share-of-face-time with ESPN's continued WSOP coverage.

Matusow spent six month in the clink before coming out and playing the best poker of his life during the WSOP ME.  Expertly working his way through the massive field, Matusow rebuilt his rep as one of the best NLH players in the world.

Maybe because of the glasses, maybe because he was an Internet-qualifier many thought would flame-out like Chris Moneymaker, but Greg Raymer never gained the full respect that some of his 2004 final table opponents, such as Josh Arieh and David Williams, received.  However, Raymer's overall 2005 WSOP performance was even more impressive than last year's world championship bracelet victory.  Raymer cashed in three 2005 WSOP events (including a final table appearance), and if not for a river suck-out, would likely have cruised to another ME final table.  Best of all, when he wasn't busting every player in sight, he was threatening to bust a weirdo spectator's head open.

Continue reading "Mouth + Raymer Redemption Spotlight Tonight's WSOP Coverage" »

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The TOKE: Politburo Poker, Poker is OK in the UK, but Not So Much in the US

Russia1 :: I Chechen Raise You.  As seen in the photo at right from the Moscow Times, poker apparently is huge in Russia with retarded people.  Or just in general.  But what would surely make Lenin (Vlad, not John) turn over in his air-tight tomb, the sport that has swept the US and UK is now hotter in Russia than Anna Kournikova (whose photo we'll include below to erase the image at right out of your memory).  Moscow Times

Annakournikova:: And the Fad Keeps Growing… On the heels of PartyGaming's recent positive financial reports, 888 reported a 56% increase in its third quarter revenue.  Also, the World Poker Tour has just announced that it will be the first poker show to broadcast in primetime in the UK (on the ITV4 network).  Yes, poker this poker fad is quickly fading away.  Reuters UK  | PR Newswire

:: …As the Debate Continues in the States.   While the news is all positive across the Atlantic, red states are seeing red over the issue of poker’s legality.  The Bismark Tribune editorializes today about its state’s (that would be North Dakota) online poker legislative initiative.  And in Illinois, house Democrats took a step back into the 19th century by voting to ban casino gambling.  That sound you hear is Wicked Chops Poker revving the Phil Gordon for President campaign engine.  Of course, we'd like to see John Sabini to join him on the ticket.  Bismark Tribune | Launch Poker

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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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