« November 2005 | Main | January 2006 »

December 2005

Top Stories of 2005 - Part III -
Poker = Mainstream


While the talk of its inevitable demise keeps going, poker’s popularity keeps growing.

The last of our 2005 Top Stories focuses on the mainstreaming of poker.

Cause in case you didn’t notice, poker happens to be, like, huge right now.

Lindcreek_1Consciously noting that something is “bordering on ubiquity” is almost as big of a cliché as saying something is “bordering on ubiquity,” but what the hell, poker is bordering on ubiquity.

Advertising is everywhere. PartyPoker even runs that cheap-looking-hand-dealing-cards-on-felt ad during primetime network TV now.  Guys like Chris “Jesus” Ferguson have commercialsErick Lindgren and Howard Lederer are sponsored by an alcohol company. Trading cards are in the works.

60 Minutes even ran two features on the felt phenomenom this year.

Poker has officially arrived.

And it will stay.

Too much is at stake for it not to...

Continue reading "Top Stories of 2005 - Part III -
Poker = Mainstream" »

Bookmark and Share

Top Stories of 2005 - Part II -
The Real World Series


Witnessing it first hand, there is no greater sporting event on the planet than the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

The expansiveness of the WSOP makes baseball’s World Series or the NBA finals look like state high school championships.  It's not even close.  And it's not like the ratings are that much better either.

In 2005, the WSOP reached levels that were unthinkable just a decade ago, when "Action" Dan Harrington beat a field of 273. 

Which is almost as many people that played in this year's media/charity event. 

This year we saw record field after record fieldOver 23,000 players entered various events this year, over $52 million in prize money was given out in the Main Event, and around $109 million total during all events, all steep increases over the previous year.  And that trend is expected to continue. 

Of course, all of this creates endless storylines, action, and excitement...

Continue reading "Top Stories of 2005 - Part II -
The Real World Series" »

Bookmark and Share

Top Stories of 2005 - Part I -
Life of the Party(Gaming, this is...)

Cuth1As the clock ticks down to the final minutes of 2005, Wicked Chops Poker is waxing nostalgic on some big stories that were in this year's deck of cards--metaphors be damned.

To kick things off, it would be almost impossible (but not quite impossible) to fondly reminesce on the spectacle of poker's greatest soap opera...PartyGaming

Let's face it, the drama, suspense, twists, and turns with PartyGaming's continued saga makes an episode of 24 look like some metaphor that gives us an excuse to use this Elisha Cuthbert picture.

Because as we've established, she's hot.

But back on point, PartyGaming gives you everything you could possibly ask for as a quote-unquote poker journalist...

Continue reading "Top Stories of 2005 - Part I -
Life of the Party(Gaming, this is...)" »

Bookmark and Share

The TOKE: TOC Recap + Poker's Up, Poker's Down

:: Top notch TOC.  If you weren't too busy with that whole "Christmas" thing, or if you're not Christian, then perhaps you caught ESPN's new-and-improved WSOP Tournament of Champions on Christmas Eve with Matusow, Hellmuth, Corkins, and Estellawarren_2DannenmannWicked Chops Poker was going to recap it for you, but Card Player's synopsis was good enough for us.  Card Player

:: Long live poker!  More than $60 billion was gambled on online poker this year--which is equivalent to the amount of goods multinationals purchased from China in 2k5.  Which is a lot. Card Player

:: Poker is dying!  Another doomsday article about the fall of poker has hit.  "It is a pop fad," the article quotes Bill Thompson, author and professor of public administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as saying, and "Fads pass."  As we've discussed before (as well as others)--and as our banner indicates--this couldn't be farther from the truth.  If poker is a fad, that's surely not discouraging a crop of new hopefuls from making a career out of it.  The real burning question though is: are they playing poker naked?  And is Estella Warren one of them?  Reuters

Bookmark and Share

Handicap Poker Player Looking for a Bitch

Chi_1Thanks to AJ (formerly) of OddJack for this gem from Craigslist.

Some handicapped international poker "champion" is looking for someone to be his personal bitch. 

In a truly unique and somewhat disturbing listing, the player (presumably whose last name is Sinclair, which if so, might be Chris or Clive--who have "championed" their way to a staggering $27k and 36k in career earnings, (respectively) needs someone to travel with him, his "9yr old son, and a guard dog chihuahua,"Squirt."" 

We're not making this up.

Read the full listing. And if you think you're the man/woman/couple for the job, please send us an email at [email protected] and let us know how your new, exciting, weird job is going.  Seriously.  You sucker.

Bookmark and Share

Merry Whatever It Is You Celebrate

Santa Christmas, or the more politically correct term, "Holidays," is a time to appreciate those who appreciate you.

It's also about Jesus, but that doesn't fit into this post very well.

But since it's Christmas/Holidays, Wicked Chops Poker would like to thank those who have helped us out over the past year--starting with Complex Slim of WPT and 4th Street fame and Andrew at ESPN's Poker Club, both who have helped drive a bunch of eyeballs our way. 

To the bloggers that read our site, you all know there's no better way to bump your daily traffic than an Iggy or Pauly pimp.  And the steady stream we get from Double A's, Poker Prof, Poker for Peace, Seattle John, CG Pop, and Kick Ass Poker is always appreciated.

And let's not forget Kid Dynamite, Jen Leo, and the old OddJack for the strong writing and laughs.

Whatever it is you're celebrating, hope it's a good one.

Bookmark and Share

Masterful: Men Nguyen is Card Player POY

Menmaster Men "The Master" Nguyen made a late season charge to overtake John Phan for the Card Player/Bodog Player of the Year award.

Phan led almost all of the year, but Men started raking in final table appearances the past few months, including two first place finishes in back-to-back days at the Trump Classic ($300 buy-in NLH) to move into the lead.

For the year, Men cashed an insane 51 times and made 16 final tables, banking over $1.5 mil in tournament earnings.

*Photo courtesy of Wicked Chops Poker.

Bookmark and Share

Kelly Monaco Is Hot, Can Dance, Can't Act, Plays Poker

Kelly_monaco_poker_2Sure we could tell you that soap star Kelly Monaco played the first annual LG All-Star Poker Showdown, hosted by Jenny McCarthy, Chris Moneymaker and Johnny Fucking Chan and that, of those three, the person who least belongs in Vegas hosting a poker event is Chris Moneymaker and that Jenny McCarthy always looks hot when she poses for Playboy or FHM but she farts and burps and makes faces too much to make any year-end Wicked Chops Poker Hot List, if we had one, which we should but we don't, at least yet. And we could mention that Jose Canseco and other future cast members of VH1's Surreal Life were there like Paris Hilton, Bijou Phillips, Kevin Sorbo, Sisqo and BoyzIIMen as well as That 70's Show crew of Laura Prepon and Danny Masterson (or is it Chris who is on that show, but anyway, he was there too). Oh and so was Jaime Pressly, who is turning into a Jenny McCarthy by focusing on being funny now instead of just being hot, and speaking of hot, Kelly Carlson was there who indeed looks much better than her character did on the season ending episode of Nip/Tuck. We could also say that this event had a really bad press release that borrowed lyrics from "The Gambler", like every bad poker release, and that the Addict and Snake just missed it because they had to fly back from Vegas earlier that day, and even if they were still there, well if they aren't going to leave the poker tables at the Bellagio to cover Doyle Brunson and the 5 Diamond they ain't going to give up seats to cover some corporate celeb tournie hawking some new LG phone called The 'V' which looks like the bedazzled mobile we saw some flamer using in the Beverly Center last week in LA and when we say flamer we don't mean gay (not that there is anything wrong with that) because strangely enough he was with his wife but flamer because he had a bedazzled mobile and more pink in his outfit than a raunchy issue of Hustler. We could also tell you that Shannon Elizabeth was there at the LG event but don't we already say enough about Shannon Elizabeth and her poker playing exploits? But can you ever say enough about her poker playing exploits, or those of Estella Warren, Katherine Heigl, and Cameron Diaz?

Well, of course you can.

So we'll stop. And just say the Kelly Monaco is hot, can dance, can't act and plays poker.



Bookmark and Share

Breaking News: Steve Lipscomb Addresses Recent WPT Issues

Thanks to Slim at 4th Street for the breaking word on this one.  Steve Lipscomb, WPT Founder, wrote an open letter to the public (posted here on the 2+2 Forums) regarding recent controversies surrounding player release agreements, financials, and other topics.  Definitely worth the read.

Bookmark and Share

Heads-Up with Steve Dannenmann

Dan1Ok, so our first impression of Steve Dannenmann was way off base. Wicked Chops will man up and admit that.  Not only is he a fun, honest guy, but he’s also got wicked poker chops.

Dannenmann is the subject of our latest Heads-Up. If you liked him while watching the WSOP Main Event, you’ll really enjoy his candor (yes, candor) when answering our questions. He covers it all, from his poker background, to how the WSOP barely cracks his personal top 10 list of things he’s most proud of, to that infamous Lederer-bluff-phone-call.  No holding back.

Here you go…

WCP:  First off, some softball background questions. How long have you been playing poker? Who got you started playing? And what made you decide to enter the WSOP ME this year?

SD: I’ve been playing for almost 2 years. I first saw it on TV and signed up on Party Poker…but I lost my ass and stopped playing online and started reading books and having a live tournament style game with my friends. I entered the WSOP on a whim...figured I would try it once to experience what it was like and bring that experience home to my buddies.

Continue reading "Heads-Up with Steve Dannenmann" »

Bookmark and Share

ESPN/Bluff Launches 2006 Fantasy Poker League

Shannon_elizabeth2For many, a fantasy poker game would include some combo of Clonie, Carmel, Elizabeth, and Ng

But for those whose heads aren't constantly in the gutter (so not us), "fantasy" means spending hours a week tooling away on your roto roster or debating who to plug in at the crucial RB/WR flex spot.

Luckily, ESPN/Bluff's poker fantasy challenge doesn't require that much T&E. 

Carmel_1Earlier today, the newly formed ESPN/Bluff partnership launched a newly revamped fantasy poker league. You just select seven players to fit under a salary cap, and hope those seven cash like crazy in 13 tournaments during a six-month timeframe starting in January.  The main prizes: four trips to either Australia or Austria (winner chooses) for the Howard Lederer/Annie Duke Fantasy Poker Camp.

Chops has registered and will keep you posted on how his "team" (which includes Jesus, Juanda, Judah, and Negreanu) is doing. 

If he's winning. 

Because he likes to brag.

*Carmel photo from 4th Street.

Bookmark and Share

Life Sucks South of Here

MexflagWhat's worse than getting your homegame robbed by a neighbor looking for a few quarters to pad his bankroll?

Living in Mexico.

Oh, and living in Mexico and having everyone in your homegame blown to pieces in a Scarface-style, shoot-up massacre.

That is what happened the other night in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, a town just south of Laredo, Texas (but apparently newer than its American counterpart). While you were watching the Packers get massacred in Baltimore on Monday, five poker players in Nuevo Laredo were merrily playing cards in a mechanic's garage when they were rudely interrupted by men wielding assault rifles, cans of spray paint and tacos. Tossing the spray paint and tacos aside, momentarily, the thugs gunned down the poker players one by one, cashing in three as they sat at the poker table, one as he attempted to check his culo to the exit and the other as he folded to the floor and under a truck (3 points there for the poker metaphors, half point bonus for saying ass in spanish).

Wicked Chops Poker, like the crackpot Mexican authorities who summed things up by saying "They were obviously surprised," have a hunch this was cartel related. Seriously. We're smart like that.

And that means we won't be nominating any of these fellows into our Stupid Poker Criminals Hall of Fame. Why not? Because we believe in the sanctity of life, or put another way, we don't want to die.

Did we really say spray paint and tacos?

All joking aside, life truly must suck south of here. Governments and police are corrupt, poverty runs deep, unemployment is rampant, drug cartels rule the streets and, now, poker players get massacred.

And it's only getting worse (but after the jump it gets better because there are pics of Colombian supermodels).

Continue reading "Life Sucks South of Here " »

Bookmark and Share

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.

Bookmark and Share

Nerd Alert: T-Bone, Chalengr Bringing Bridge to America's Youth

Billgatesyoung_1Bill "Chalengr" Gates and Warren "T-Bone" Buffett have a solution for all of those nerdy high school kids that just aren't getting the shit kicked out of them enough: play bridge!

Gates and Buffett think that contract bridge, the four-player card game popular with kids back in the 50's, and is still a popular with kids who grew up in the 50's...who all now happen to be in their 60's...can be the new poker.  According to USA Today, Gates and Buffett are ballers at bridge and want to popularize the game with today's youth, social acceptance be damned.

BuffettThe two billionaires have hired Buffett's bridge (and sexual*) partner, Sharon Osberg, to cook up a program that will teach contract bridge in junior high/middle schoolers. They're putting up $1 million dollars of their own money, which is about .00000000000000000000001% of their net worth, to get the program up and running. Buffett (at left, telling a nerd to further wreck her social life by playing bridge instead of poker) believes bridge can teach kids "math skills, logical thinking and how to work with others." And that, "Kids who are crazy about poker should love bridge." Because, you know, kids love what ever is hot with their grandparents.  And the average age of an American Contract Bridge League member is 67.

OsbergThe billionaires' bridge program has yet to get a bid.

Osberg, who is a two-time world-champion bridge player, said the first school district she approached in San Francisco wanted nothing to do with the program. The general thinking from school administrators being, "We're not playing cards in class."

While it's tough to imagine this whole bridge thing catching on with people not collecting Social Security checks and pensions, Gates and Buffett have seemed to enjoy success in other ventures throughout their respective lives.  So if they're right on contract bridge, and it does become the new-hot-thing, expect to see a Wicked Bridge Chops site popping up soon, because we're whores like that.

*Fabricated. Completely.

Bookmark and Share

The TOKE: Slow News Day So Let's Stick With Blogs

Das:: Double A's is now Lord of the Butt Dance.  Sir Sniper has renamed Double A's blog, "Lord of the Butt Dance."  Let's just hope Double A's doesn't get a pocket rocket to anything from Michael FlatleyDouble A's

:: Release me, WPT.  Some top pros, including Andy Bloch, are taking issue with the WPT's release policy.  Wil Wheaton at Card Squad reports how the WPT is, in the eyes of some, abusing their player release privileges.  Card Squad

:: Is OddJack back?  Some new content started popping up on OddJack this weekend, including an interesting take on watchdog Web sites.  OddJack

Bookmark and Share

A Very Brunson Christmas


Disclaimer: Wicked Chops Poker loves Doyle Brunson. We respect Doyle Brunson. We realize what Doyle has meant and continues to mean to poker. Even in light of recent potential anti-fraud accusations, Wicked Chops Poker honestly believes Doyle Brunson can do no wrong and deserves a free pass if he knowingly did something wrong. This is Doyle freaking Brunson we're talking about here.  Doyle is to poker what Ghandi was to whatever religion he was (kidding, we know it's Hinduism, the world's THIRD largest religion...whoopdeedo...that's kinda like being RC Cola).  So Wicked Chops Poker would never, EVER poke fun at the godfather of poker. We'd NEVER, EVER seriously poke fun at anything Doyle has attached his name to...

Thanks, DoylesRoom.com, for nothing.

Jd_moronie2DoylesRoom.com, as Roman Moronie would say, are "fargin' lyin' bastages."

In fact, they ruined Christmas.

Back in July, Wicked Chops Poker attended a gala during the WSOP ME in honor of Doyle Brunson. We were stoked. We were told we'd receive a package valued at $100 for attending. We were more stoked.

Five months and multiple emails later, we hadn't received diddly.

Then, last week, just in time for Christmas, it came.  It came.  It finally came!  Here's what we received:

Continue reading "A Very Brunson Christmas" »

Bookmark and Share

Did Doyle Violate SEC Anti-Fraud Laws?

Doyle_1 During the WSOP in July, Wicked Chops Poker reported on a Doyle Brunson-led $700 million cash bid to acquire World Poker Tour Enterprises (Nasdaq: WPTE).  As news of the bid became public, WPTE stock soared nearly 50%.  Days later, when Doyle's bid expired, the stock sank.  Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission is launching an investigation as to whether the publication of Doyle's unsolicited bid violated its anti-fraud laws.

Doyle was asked about the WPTE bid in an ESPN chat, which he replied: "Can't talk about that, not right now." (now we know WHY...)

Doyle has also invoked the Fifth Amendment by declining to testify in the investigation.

It would be hard to believe such a class act as Doyle knowingly engaged in anything illegal in his WPT bid, but Wicked Chops Poker will keep you posted as the story unfolds...

Bookmark and Share

Pedersen Latest WPT Millionaire - Banks $2 Mil By Winning Five Diamond

Rehne Pedersen is the latest WPT millionaire, besting Day 1 chip leader Patrik Antonius for the title.

Pedersen is a relative newcomer to the tournament scene.  He cashed twice at this year's WSOP, including a 233rd in the Main Event.  But he's had no previous result close to this.

Doyle Brunson went out in third.  He had the chip lead three-handed, but lost two big pots in a five minute span.  First, he moved all-in with A-6 against Patrik Antonius's A-9. Antonius's hand held.  Then a few minutes later, he moved all-in with K-J. This time, Rehne Pedersen held K-K. Doyle failed to improve and was eliminated.

J.J. Lui, a woman, entered the final table with the chip lead but left in fourth place.

Final results and payouts are: 1) Rehne Pedersen - $2,078,185, 2) Patrik Antonius - $1,046,470, 3) Doyle Brunson - $563,485, 4) Joanne 'J.J.' Liu $362,140, 5) Darrell Dicken $241,495, 6) Phil "the Unabomber" - Laak $160,995.

For full real-time blogging recaps, check out Dr. Pauly and Poker Wire.

Bookmark and Share

Wicked Chops Poker Apologizes for Technical Difficulties...

Yes, our site has been down more or less all day.  Typepad blows.  We welcome suggestions from other bloggers on better software to use.

Our apologies to you...hopefully everything will be back to normal soon.

Bookmark and Share

WPT Five Diamond Final Table: Lui Still Leads, Brunson & Laak Lurking

JJ Lui, a female, is still the chip leader going into final table play at the WPT Five Diamond Classic at the Bellagio.

Doyle Brunson and Phil Laak are also in contention.  Chip counts going into play are: 1)Joanne 'J.J.' Liu - 3,630,000, 2) Darrell Dicken - 3,510,000, 3) Rehne Pedersen - 3,225,000, 4) Phill "the Unabomber" Laak - 2,505,000, 5) Doyle Brunson - 2,025,000, 6) Patrik Antonius - 1,755,000.

Check out Dr. Pauly for live blogging updates...

Bookmark and Share

J.J. Lui, A Woman, Leads WPT Five Diamond, Brunson, Gracz in the Hunt

Amelia EarhartSaint Frances Xavier CabriniSandra Day O'Connoer. Sally Ride

Jj J.J. Lui?

Joanne "J.J." Liu (pictured right, "courtesy" of Card Player) is looking to join the above list of distinguished women "firsts" by winning a WPT event.  With 26 players remaining, Lui ended Day 3 of the WPT Five Diamond Classic as the big stack, with 1,980,000 in chips. 

Day 2 chip leader, Patrik Antonius, has held strong and is in fifth overall with 1,121,000.  And right behind him is the the legend, Doyle Brunson, with 1,110,000. 

Other notables include Michael Gracz.  Gracz is tenth overall with 577,000 and is the only player left in the field in contention for Card Player's Player of the Year award. Gracz needs a top five finish to take the lead.  Phil Laak is still running strong, sitting with 475,000 (fourteenth overall).

Visit Poker Wire for full chip counts.  Play picks up today again at noon, Vegas time.

Bookmark and Share

The TOKE: Fast-Track This Kid to Washington, Hollywood Gone MADD, Poker Is the New Golf, Poker Promos Hit (Another) New Low, + Someone Who Doesn't Need It Will Win an Electronics Make-Over

Ash_1 :: Yes another crocked politician...  Oh great, here's the poster child Senator Kyl has been looking for.  Lehigh University class president Greg Hogan, 19, was arrested at his fraternity house after robbing a bank of $2,871 to pay off his online poker debt.   Sadly, the sum was only about half of the $5k he owed. At least Snake now knows who has been beefing up his bankroll at the Omaha hi/lo tables...  Mtv News

Mistywoods_1 :: Vince Van Patten has wonderful hair. HollywoodPoker.com, the brainchild of James Woods and Vince Van Patten (among others), is hosting 10 charity events for MADD. Whatever.  What you really want to know is if they have HollywoodPoker Babes like Bodog.  Well here's your answer.  Yes, they do have babes (as seen at right and left). Babes are the new poker web site trend.  But no, said babes don't measure up to Bodog.  Seriously, that one girl on the left looks like she's gotta piss.  Quit snapping pictures and let her use the john!!!  Yahoo! News

:: Poker is a hole in one!!!  Kidding about that mini-headline there.  The Las Vegas Sun has an interesting interview with WPT Chairman of the Board Lyle Berman.  In it, Bermy (as we imagine his friends like to call him) compares the poker boom to the golf explosion back in the day.  Snake actually made the exact same parallel almost two years ago, but unfortunately we didn't have a poker news and views site back then to take the credit.  Las Vegas Sun

:: Seriously, PokerRoom.com, you're better than this.  Ugh.  While Last Call Poker still holds the crown Jm3_1for lamest viral marketing campaign, PokerRoom.com appears to be the Oz pulling strings of a ridiculous bet made on savemyfinger.com.  Yes, someone has wagered his finger on a poker match.  No, we're not making this up.  Ad Rants

:: Why do these promos suck so bad?  There's so much promotional stuff going on in this one that its hard to even keep track.  The gist is this: Jenny McCarthy is resurrecting her career by hosting some poker tutorial by Johnny Chan and Chris Moneymaker (yeah that'll help ya) which is followed by some tournament that will tie in some new product at some new poker room.  But more importantly, let's bring back Singled Out?  And what the hell happened to Chris Hardwick?  That guy ruled!  Yahoo! News

Bookmark and Share

Patrik Antonius Leads WPT Bellagio Five-Diamond, Bruson Not Far Behind

Dolly_1 Cards have just been dealt and play has begun on Day 3 of the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Classic.  With 121 players remaining, Finland's Patrik Antonius sits as the chip leader with 644,700.

There are plenty of big names sitting on big stacks, including: Alan Goehring - 434,600 (third), Doyle Brunson - 418,000 (fourth), and Phil "The Unabomber" Laak - 364,100 (fifth).

The average chip count at the start of play was 137,603.

Check out Poker Wire for live updates and chip counts.

Bookmark and Share

SNL Scores With Celebrity Mugshot Poker

NoltemugWanna know what would happen if Nick Nolte, James Brown, Jennifer Wilbanks, the Carolina Panther Cheerleaders, Glen Campbell and Tom DeLay played a SNG?

The Addict came across a link to one of this week's SNL's best bits: Celebrity Mugshot Poker Showdown.

Wilbanksmug1With Foley and Phil Gordon commentating, the skit juxtaposes the infamous mug shot heads (and cartoon bodies) of the aforementioned as they bluff and barf their way through a hand.

Give it a watch and enjoy

Bookmark and Share

Something to Cheer You Up

It's raining here in Atlanta today, depressingly so, especially on top of the tragic deaths of some of our favorite personalities the past couple weeks including Steve Irwin and Anna Nicole Smith. What? She didn't die? It was her son who died? Oh.

Anyway, so we're sad about Steve Irwin's death and whenever we are down we go to a particular website to put a smile on our faces, a hop in our step and a bulge in our pants.

Continue reading "Something to Cheer You Up" »

Bookmark and Share

Paris, Pamela, and Poker

Paris2_1 A recent article in Poker 777 discusses how "poker" is becoming the most searched term on the (so-called) Internet.

"Poker" has been a steady climber on the Lycos Top 50, and has now reached the exalted status of the fourth most searched term, right behind Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson (who's been on this list longer than Tommy Lee's...), and Britney Spears.

We're not surprised.  As Paris would say, poker is hot.  And so what if Paris Hilton is the top searched term, and poker is behind her?  It's not a shame to be behind Paris Hilton...even if half of Hollywood already has been.

Thank you, thank you.  We'll be here all week.

Pamelaanderson14aWe here at Wicked Chops Poker get thousands of hits a week from people searching for poker terms, phrases, news, and events.  We also get a bunch of "Estella Warren" image searches from Europe, thanks to Snakes' article on choosing between her or General Grievous's robotic penis.  It's easily our most searched term.  Obviously, she's huge in Europe.

But for all the normal poker searches we get, we also get some weird shit.

For example, here's some terms that have hit within the past 24 hours...

Continue reading "Paris, Pamela, and Poker" »

Bookmark and Share

The TOKE: The Richest Prize Ever, Party Poker Stealing Beer Money, + Is Backgammon the New Poker?

:: Like Phil Ivey needs any more money...  Fox Sports Net and Mansionpoker.com have created a show where six players will vie for a $60 million pot in a winner-take-all tournament next summer. Fox and Mansion signed a three year deal, and will grow the pots to $75 million in 2007, and $100 million in 2008. That's just sick. Phil Ivey is the only announced name to have signed on, not that the two Drunkcollege_2 companies will have a hard time finding other interested parties. ESPN Poker Club

:: Pure evil genius.  The two biggest trends in online poker at the end of the 2005 are: 1) horrible advertising, and 2) targeting college kidsParty Poker is pulling a brilliant, Joe Francis-esque marketing ploy to take advantage of dumb college kids.  The site is now running special promo deals to attract fraternities to sign up.  Just what the site needs...more drunk college fish nailing gutshot river suck outs. Yes, those guys at right are the ones taking your money.  You know this to be true.  Open PR

:: Backgammon is Back, Baby!  Kid Dynamite has astutely observed the cunning skill of ex-backgammon experts who are tearing up the poker scene.  So maybe backgammon is making a comeback, with the launch of Free Backgammon Games (dot) com.  And maybe they could've come up with a better URL?  PR Web

Bookmark and Share

Reslock Outlasts Juanda, Schulman to Win WSOPC Title

The WSOP Circuit Main Event at the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City has wrapped, and 52 year-old Chris Reslock took the title, besting John Juanda heads-up. For the win, Reslock banks $335,235, gets a gold-and-diamond ring, and gains entry into the 2006 WSOP Tournament of Champions.

Reslock slapped the field silly, as he was both the Day 1 and Day 2 chip leader. While not a household name, Reslock has been on the circuit for awhile, cashing in numerous Stud and Omaha events over the past five years.

With the second place finish, Juanda takes home $186,240. Nick Schulman, the youngest ever WPT winner, continued his strong run by finishing fourth and earning $74,495. Complete final table payouts are: 1) Chris Reslock - $335,235, 2) John Juanda - $186,240, 3) Chad Moore - $102,430, 4) Nick Schulman - $74,495, 5) John Spadavecchia - $65,185, 6) Dan Tolly - $55,870, 7) Eric Panayiotou - $46,560, 8) Julian Studley - $37,250, 9) Daniel Shak - $27,935.

Bookmark and Share

Year in Review: 2005 World Series of Poker

Shannonclosestanding_1 Throughout the month and until the end of the year, Wicked Chops Poker is going to cop out from creating original content and recap some of our better stories of the year.  This weekend, we present the following:

Some might say Wicked Chops Poker first hit its stride/found its voice during the 2005 WSOP. 

To those, we say screw you.  We were always cutting.

But still, there were great storylines and stories from the 2005 WSOP.  From the celebs to the mass of coverage, poker cemented its rep as "the thing" at this year's World Series.  Here's some of our favorite bits:

Like a Broken Record, Another Record Broken
Speaking of April
Only One 'Meehan' Drunk at $1500 O8B Final Table
Man With Funny Name Wins WSOP Event 10
Bad Actor, Great Rounder
Insert Witty Beach Boys Reference Here
Big Stogies and Old Fogies
I'm Urinating Right Now
Raising Hellmuth Part I | Part II
Minneapolis Meehan and 5,000 Stoned Idiots
Shannon Elizabeth Goes Down in 4-Way Action
Smells Like Poker Player Spirit
Johnny Rockets from Daytona Has Been Eliminated
An Ex-Pat and a Monk Make it to Day 5
Sweden, Sweden, Sweden, Oi, Oi, Oi
No Joe Schmoe

Bookmark and Share

The TOKE: ESPN Edition

ESPN's Poker Club is churning out some solid content.  A few highlights from the past week:

Ivey_attack_2_2:: Ivey Interviewed.  The only thing tougher than stealing a pot from Phil Ivey is getting him to do an interview.  By pinning him down, does this make Steve Rosenbloom the Phil Ivey of poker journalists?  ESPN Poker Club

:: Gordon talks SNG strategy.  The Prez usually delivers sound advice.  His two-parter on SNG strategy may help turnaround and rebound from a downswing.  Part I  |  Part II

:: Lindgren chats about his first mil.  This TOKE could just have easily been called the "Full Tilt Edition."  Another FT'er, Erick Lindgren, was featured as the ESPN/Bluff chat of the week. He discusses how he may have been one of the first Internet players to bank a mil, needling Phil Ivey, and some advice on how to be consistently successful in tournaments.  ESPN Poker Club

Bookmark and Share

Breaking News: Bodog December Babe Revealed!

Luiza4Ok, maybe not "technically" breaking news, but Bodog has released pics of their December babe, Luiza Madejak.  Well done, Mr. Ayre. Well done.

If you're snowed in somewhere across the country (or oversees), may shots of this Polish/Austrian beauty keep you warm in between hands (we're talking about online poker there, by the way). 

More pics at the jump...enjoy.

Continue reading "Breaking News: Bodog December Babe Revealed!" »

Bookmark and Share

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.

Bookmark and Share

The TOKE: Feud Won't Affect Financials, Win Mike Tyson's House, + No More 55 Pound Waifs at WSOP

:: First they beat up on Empire Poker, now they're beating estimates.  Its Pearl Harbor job on Empire Poker aside, things are looking rosy for PartyGaming.  The site has told analysts it expects to exceed earnings estimates "after customers played more poker and started trying new games such as blackjack."  Bloomberg

:: Can you become crazy by osmosis?  If you can, then avoid this new reality show.  Unless of course you're already crazy, or if you're ready to whore yourself for 15 minutes of semi-fame. There's a new reality show in the works (it's about time!) by English businessman Djam1_1Dominic Marrocco. And you'll get to compete for Mike Tyson's former $4 million Las Vegas estate by playing poker!!! Woo-hoo!!! That's awesome!!!  Who cares!!! Poker News

:: Poker + relationships = splitsville.  First, Leo and Giselle.  Then, talk of Ashton and Demi. Now, our favorite 55 pound waif, Nicole Richie, and our favorite poker-playing DJ we never heard of until he started dating Nicole Richie, DJ AM, have called off their engagement.  We can only pray that the Unabomber and JTill's love runs deeper than a few bad beats.  CNN

Bookmark and Share

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.

Bookmark and Share

"What's the matter, Danny, mommy's not here to dress you?" = The Nuts

Karate_kidBill "The Sports Guy" Simmons has found the Nuts of all-time movie putdowns.  As he explains it, the "'What's the matter, Danny, mommy's not here to dress you?' putdown right before the tournament. Always makes me giggle. In another column, I decided that this was the single-greatest putdown in movie history, and only because there was absolutely no comeback possible for Daniel-San. That insult was like the perfect poker hand -- there wasn't a hand out there that could beat it."

We'll go even further with his observation by saying that KKI is the Nuts of '80's sports movies.  It can't be topped.

If you need to kill some workforce producitivity, check out Simmons's review of the Karate Kid trilogy.  It'll stir emotions.  It really will.

The TOKE: College Edition

753:: Shill Card Player, earn beer money.  Card Player is doing its best to spread the joy of poker to the demo with just about the least possible disposable income, college kids. First, its Web site each month now features some campus chick o' the month. You'd think after partnering with Bodog, they'd pick up on how to properly show off their girl talent. Not that the girl at right (this month's "babe") is ugly by any stretch, but she's no Bodog babe, and let's just say the pictorial of her ain't revealing much. ANYWAY, back on point, if you're one of our college readers and the following description fits you: "If you have a great personality, love the game of poker, and enjoy speaking in front of groups and organizations...", then you could be the next campus representative for Card Player! Read more here or at the "Card Player" link once this sentence ends.  Card Player

:: Ok, maybe scratch the "no disponsible income demo" stuff.  Alex Schwartz, a poker pundit at Washington University in the Loo has advice for you: the perfect poker style is your own style.  But what really jumps out of this article is how the writer lost thousands of dollars on a two-week down-swing while his suitemate won $24,000.  Most kids we knew in college didn't have a few grand to blow on poker...or anything.  They were eating Ramen Noodles and drinking the Beast.  So let's retract the whole "Card Player demo comment."  The other interesting thing is that college newspapers are publishing poker advice columns.  WTF?  Student Life

:: Are poker clubs the new fraternities?  At Oakland University, the All-In Poker Club is drawing crowds.  Their top players will rep Oak U (as we like to call it) at the College Poker Bowl in Ohio.  This is not to be confused with the Emerald Nuts BowlOak Post Online

:: ...and our Harrah's-esque awkward and uncomfortable gambling PSA.  Washington University in the Loo (apparently America's new poker hotbed) is conducting a study to assess the risks of gambling.  They've "developed a diagnostic tool for identifying pathological gambling disorder..." Their first subject: Alex Schwartz (ba-da-dum).  Seriously though folks, if you're lonely, drunk, or painfully stupid, now is not a good time to be gamblingWashington University Med News

Continue reading "The TOKE: College Edition" »

Bookmark and Share

Hot Poker

No, this has nothing to do with the Cinci teen that attacked his old man with a glass bottle and a fireplace poker.

Kids these days.

Ll2This post has more to do with Card Player weighing in on the whole, "why is poker so hot/has poker peaked/is it a fad/what's next" argument and our general take on poker this year. 

Yes, we did cover poker's fadiness way back when, but you didn't see it cause we had about 10 readers at that time.  By now, we hope it's been established that poker's been around for awhile, that everyone is just catching on, and these articles won't keep popping up come next year. 

And there's plenty of reasons why the poker "fad" keeps steamrolling Js1along.  First of all, it's still hot with celebs, and since celebrities are better people than us, it will remain hot with John Q Public.  Because we're all sheep.  It's like, can you believe Nick & Jessica split?  And was Lindsay Lohan seriously poisoned??? Did Jessica do it cause Lindsay is trying to get with Nick? You heard it here first on wickedcelebritychopsgossip.com.

But seriously, back on track, the 2006 WSOP ME has added an extra Day 1, so officials are anticipating even more players than this year's record-breaking 5,600+ field.  And now that the WPT is allowing logos, online sites are filling those games with more players, translating into bigger jackpots.

Wicked Chops Poker will be detailing the rise of poker in 2005 later in the month as we highlight some of the top poker stories of the year.  We'll start this weekend with a diddy on the PartyGaming vs. Empire Poker war of the roses.  Keep an eye out, faithful reader...

Bookmark and Share

The TOKE: Who is the POY?, Sweden Gets It Right, + More PartyGaming vs. Empire Hullabaloo

:: A masterful comeback.  Men "the Master" Nguyen is making a late charge for Card Player's POY award.  John Pham once seemed a lock, but the Master has been cashing checks like Frank Abignale of late.  While Card Player's award gala might trump all poker events this year since Bodog signed on to host, our question is this: how does Pham lead their current POY when he doesn't even show up in the top 75 in SwedemodelESPN/Bluff's standings?  Interesting.  VERY...interesting. Card Player

:: Swede government antes up.  The US government is missing out on over $1 billion in taxable revenue by not allowing and regulating online gambling.  Once a land soley of tennis players, neutrality, death metal and gorgeous swimsuit models (like at right), Sweden now can claim to be a country of innovation, as it has decided to open its own state-run online casinoPoker News

:: PartyGaming may have to fork over, like, an hour's worth of profits.  We love covering the PartyGaming vs. Empire Poker fued. Latest news is that experts at Morgan Stanley estimate Party Gaming would lose about a $300 million pot to Empire if its threatened litigation were successful. Online Casino News

Bookmark and Share

Small Town Poker, Big Time Press


The Small Town Poker Tour (badly needs a new logo, and) has been making a PR push as of late in its search to find the (completely subjective and impossible to prove) best non-poker pro player in the world.

The STPT also allows for philanthropic contributions to local charities of towns they visit.

The show's executive producer, Mark Fracalossi, plans to expand to Europe too, saying, "There are so many unique sites in Europe we can't wait to put this on film."

Or put otherwise, there's a lot of places in Europe he hasn't been that his friends say are awesome, and he can't wait to check them out on the company dime.

Not that we wouldn't do the same.

While we think our friends in LA with 4th Street would make an ideal stop for the STPT (with Richie Rich, Slim, Von Saaaaaaaaandman, and Dino likely duking it out for top player honors), perhaps, just perhaps, Wicked Chops Poker will throw our hat into the ring.

And if we do, totally kidding about the crappy logo and company dime stuff.

Bookmark and Share

Battle of the Ex's

Interesting scenario recently came up on Kid Dynamite’s site (which, incidentally, is a site you absolutely should be reading).

The scenario is this: of the ex-something poker players (Internet millionaires, hair-stylists, magicians, or backgammoners), who would win a quad-table-heads-up-shoot-out?

All of the representative groups have serious cred.  The EX-Internet Millionaires (Gordon, Phillips) own one WSOP ME final table, two WPT titles, and over $3 mil in career tournament earnings.  The EX-Magicians (Esfandiari, Lazar) own one WSOP ME final table, one WSOP bracelet, one WPT title, and almost $4 mil in career tournament earnings. The EX-Hair-Stylists (Judah, Traniello) (sounds like a great name for some sort of gay cover band) own two WSOP bracelets, one WPT title, the most cashes in this year's WSOP, and about $2.5 mil in career tournament earnings.  Finally, the EX-Backgammoners (Hansen, Magriel) own three WPT titles (the Bad Boys one Hansen won doesn't count) and about $3 mil in career earnings. 

Bracket_1With that in mind, let’s set-up the fictitious scenario at right.

Who would win?  Do you ride the hot hand of Marco Traniello and his seven WSOP cashes this year?  Esfandiari came in 4th at the National Heads-Up Championship.  His aggressive style suits heads-up play.  Judah and Phillips have cashed like crazy in events.  They're always dangerous, as is the unpredictable Gus Hansen and Paul Magriel. And Phil Gordon is the future prez, for something's sake.

So please, give us your thoughts on this important topic: Who wins this heads-up battle...and why?   

Bookmark and Share

An Obit for OddJack


The blogging community has lost a good one.

Last week, OddJack was given its walking papers.  Today, it's officially sent to the rail.

We were always big fans of OddJack, and not just because AJ frequently linked up our site and sent us a bunch of traffic.

OddJack was funny, inventive stuff.  We had similar styles. It's a shame Gawker pulled the plug.  It's like if NBC had axed Seinfeld after its first season.  Or if it does the same to the Office now.

From its "feuds" with Tomer Benvenisti and Josh Arieh, to its hilarious polls, to its even funnier headlines, OddJack will be missed.


Bookmark and Share

Why Does Fox's I-Team Hate Charity Events for Cancer and Children?


Gotta love cheesy investigative journalism.

Acejail_1_2Here in Atlanta, Fox News's I-Team just aired a feature on charity/fundraiser poker games in Georgia.

We’ve posted numerous times about cops busting up free or charity games in other states.  But damn, it's not like these are charity snuff films.  If people are willing to donate some dollars by playing poker, who really cares?  The charity is happy to get the money.  The players are happy to have gotten some bang out of their charity buck by doing something they enjoy.  We even hosted a charity game, and we were very proud to do it.

But it's the hypocrisy of the whole thing that really gets us...

Continue reading "Why Does Fox's I-Team Hate Charity Events for Cancer and Children?" »

Bookmark and Share

Co-Editor's Correction + Our Holiday Gift to You

Chops here.

During our weekly WCP game last night, it was pointed out to me that a recent article I wrote--I believe it was referred to as "the savages one"-- contained a photo that, according to the phrasing of the article, Injun_2 looked as if I was implying that the photo in it was I.  Or put more coherently, I implied that the picture of the Indian was me.   

Here's the evidence at hand: "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." Wrapped around  this sentence was the photo you see at right.

So for the record, this is not me dressed up like some heavy-metal-native-american-rocker.  In fact, if you Google Image search "happy native american" as I did, you will stumble upon this gem.

As you've noticed over the past week, our content is being posted at a drip-drip clip as opposed to the normal flowing poker-prose fountain that you've come to expect from us (I would say "poker-prose flood," but OddJack has that market corned).  As it turns out, over the past week, 2/3 of the Wicked Chops crew have been very busy with their OTHER business (a PR firm), and I've been sick as a dog on top of just getting a puppy that pisses on my carpet every hour or Chopsso.  So content and concentration have been at a minimum.  This point is further evidenced by the most pathetic online AND live game showings I've had in any 48-hour period the past two days.  Truly embarrassing.  I don't even know who I am anymore.  Who am I?  I don't know (that is me though at left at said weekly WCP game).

Here's what I do know: Wicked Chops Poker will not be lax on the content over the holiday season...work, travel, or puppies be damned.  That is our pledge to you, our ever-increasing reader-base.  Because without you, there would be no us. 

I'm kidding about that.  We'd still exist.  And we'd still be writing about poker.  So fuck you guys.

Kidding again.  We like you.  And we like that you like poker.

Carry on.

Bookmark and Share

WCP on Twitter

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.

Wicked Chops © 2005 - 2008

Protect Your Online Identity

Poker Camp


  • For what's happening in Vegas now, go here.


  • We're kind of digging the snorgtees girls. You should buy their shirts. Check 'em out.

Poker School

Wicked Chops Poker Awards

  • Click here to see which poker players, online sites and hotties we "honored" this year.

The Word on Wicked Chops Poker

  • "Wicked Chops Poker are nobodies, the site is garbage."
    - Anna Benson
  • "A sophisticated and creative blog that pokes rambunctious, irreverent and most of all sexy fun at the game of poker and everyone who is connected with it."
    - PokerMagazine.com
  • "You've made me so angry I wish I could reach into my screen and just pound your scummy worthless head in!!"
    - a Nickelback fan
  • "If you ask me, you should just go straight to Wicked Chops Poker instead. These guys are awesome."
    - Kajagugu Poker
  • "...el blog más irreverente de la blogocosa norteamericana..."
    - Poquer Red
  • "Wicked Chops is wickedly funny. And wickedly irreverent. And posts a lot of photos of wickedly attractive women. If that ain't poker, what is?"
    - TypePad

  • Hear what Jamie Gold has to say about WCP here
  • "If Jamie Gold’s a dickhead; Wicked Chops has to be a medusa head full of dicks."
    - Pokerdog.org

  • Find online poker reviews, news and strategies with bestpoker sites bonuses like party poker bonus code. Also visit for great slots and us poker sites and usa poker reviews.


Busted Tees