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January 2006

PPT Finally Dealt Into Travel Channel's Primetime Line-Up

PptAs the WSOP TOC showed, getting the best poker players together without the "amateur element" can produce some great T.V.

And now we'll finally get to see more poker T.V. like that on a regular basis.

The Travel Channel and World Poker Tour have settled their differences and are finally prepared to air the Professional Poker Tour (PPT) sometime during Q'3 of 2k6.

To read more on the PPT, check out Feldman and Rosenbloom's pieces in ESPN's Poker Club, or Poker News Daily's summary.

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Calgarian Pastor: "And Among Jesus's Many Miracles, He Pulled A One-Outter On the River For the Nuts..."

Chops here.

It's been awhile since I've attended a church function that didn't involve someone's wedding, funeral, or baptism. 

It's not that I'm not religious...OK maybe it is.  Sure, I believe in a God, but after that, I'm not sure what I believe, other than I KNOW God DOESN'T want me to blow myself up in an effort to kill others who have different religious beliefs as me (and Him) on my way to being rewarded with 72 virgins.  I AM about 100% sure in that belief.

But otherwise, instead of choosing sides, I choose to worship in my own uninvolved, distant way.  And if God created me in His image, I hope He understands and is cool with that, because that kind of Pastorcopy_1understanding is why I love Him so.  For real [thumping chest/heart region twice with closed fist].

So yeah, church attendance doesn't totally fit in with my way of worship.


...if I lived in the great province of Calgary in America Jr., I would somehow find my way to the West Hillhurst Community Centre on 19 St. and 6 Ave. N.W. tomorrow at 10:10am.

Because a great man, a Prophet some might say, named John Van Sloten (pictured right) has figured out a way to link two of the most powerful forces affecting human behavior in the history of the world: 1) religion, and 2) poker.


Continue reading "Calgarian Pastor: "And Among Jesus's Many Miracles, He Pulled A One-Outter On the River For the Nuts..."" »

D'Agostino Leads 33 Remaining at the Borg

Dag_1John D'Agostino takes a big chip lead into Day 3 play of the WPT Borgata Winter Open.  Stacked at 988,000, he's sitting with almost 250,000 more units than his nearest competitor, Kenny Schuyler.

Day 1 chip leader, Cliff "Johnny Bax" Josephy, is still strong. Cliff is third overall with 573,000.  Other notables include: 8) Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi - 414,000, 9) Erick Lindgren - 412,000, 17) Denis Ethier - 223,000, 21) Amnon Filippi - 175,000, 30) Erik Seidel - 79,000, and 31) Chris Reslock - 78,000.

Check out Tao of Poker for live blogging of the event.

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Anna Benson is (Trashy) Hot, A (Publicity) Whore, Loves Poker


Chops here.

Anna Benson, who is famous for...being Anna Benson...has just attached her sterling, unblemished name and reputation that is beyond reproach to an online poker site that is aptly called golddigger.com

For those who don't know Anna, she's married to Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kris Benson.  Kris, a former #1 draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates, once led Sprayberry High School (which is just a few miles away from my old stomping ground, Lassiter) to a state championship in baseball. 

Now, Kris is best known for being married to Anna.  And getting knocked out of games after 4 1/2 innings after surrending six runs.

Matsui_1And if hitters aren't knocking Kris around these days, his wife doesn't mind taking some shots.  For example, when Kris was with the New York Mets, Anna once proclaimed that she'd sleep with the entire team, including the bat boys, if Kris had an affair on her.  After that statement, Kazuo Matsui (at left) began sending hookers to Kris's hotel rooms on an almost hourly basis*.

Now don't get me wrong, Wicked Chops Poker loves Anna Benson.  Clearly, she's got a better head on her shoulders than poker-haters like Gisele and Demi.  And she's got a body that rivals fellow poker-lover Kelly Monaco

And when the inevitable divorce between her and Kris happens, she'll be one of the few "baseball wives" that will have some career to fall back on.

As for her wicked poker chops, we don't know yet.  Surely we'll find out more at this year's WSOP.  But she clearly is not intimidated by men, so she's got that going for her.  And "going over the top" obviously isn't an issue either. 

So Anna, keep doing what you're doing.  Baseball, poker, and guys like Kazuo Matsui need people like you. 

And for our readers who need more of Anna, there's some pics of her, taken from her gallery at AnnaBenson.net, at the jump.

*We have absolutely no proof to verify this statement.

Continue reading "Anna Benson is (Trashy) Hot, A (Publicity) Whore, Loves Poker" »

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Josephy, Seidel Lead WPT Borgata Winter Open

Winterlogo3_1Day 2 play has just kicked off at the WPT Borgata Winter Open, and lapping the field as the chips and cards begin to fly is Cliff Josephy.

At the close of Day 1 play, Josephy was stacked at 386,200.  The AVERAGE stack is around 58,000.  Joseph Miceli was a distant second at 179,700.  Erik Seidel is just a few spots behind him at 137,000.

Already busted are some of poker's biggest names, including Phil Ivey, Josh Arieh, Chad Brown, David "The Dragon" Pham, and Allen Cunningham.

Check out Tao of Poker for live blogging of Day 2 play.

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The TOKE: Another New York Poker Bust + The Latest Financials from Our Favorite Fueding Poker Family

:: Another one bites the dust in the Empire State.  The Farmingdale in Long Island is the latest underground poker club in New York to get busted.  The 5-0 confiscated $10,000 when they folded the club.  Said the Police Commish in Suffolk County, "If anyone has any questions about what is and what is not legal in regard to 'Texas Hold 'em' and other games of chance we encourage them to call our public information office at 631-852-6308."  So just for spite's sake (a distant relative of pete), we encourage everyone to call that number and ask hold'em "legality" questions like, "If the first hole card is accidentally exposed, is that a misdeal or is that just the first burn Beyoncecard?" and "If two people are eliminated during the same hand during final table play, how do you determine who receives more prize money?"  Newsday

:: Empire states latest financials, which are OK, despite being kicked out of the Party.  Empire Online, owners of Noble Poker and other entitities, reported Q'4 '05 revenue of $22.5M, or about what its former bedfellow, PartyGaming, rakes in every hour or so.  But considering Party ripped the skins right off Empire's back, $22.5M ain't too bad.  As for PartyGaming, despite the continued efforts of Sen. John Kyl, the online behemoth reported strong Q'4 earnings of $320M, up 65% for the same period last year.  Clearly, they're just reeling and spiraling downward into a financial abyss from this whole Empire debacle, much like Beyonce just can't make it on her own without those other people in Destiny's Child. Yahoo! Finance  |  Bloomberg 

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Negreanu Somehow Finds Time for Poker,
Wins WSOPC Tunica

Negreanufeatured_1Burgeoning poker media mogul Daniel Negreanu has found time in between re-luanching Full Contact Poker, creating an online poker room, and finding a poker protege, to do what he does best--dominate tournaments.

Negreanu bested Bryant King for the WSOP Circuit-Grand Casino Tunica title, taking $755,525 and a gold and diamond championship ring.

Of equal significance in the poker world, ranking right up there with Doyle and Chan's 10th bracelet, the win (coupled with a Chad Brown final table appearance) also propels Chops into first place in his fantasy poker league.

Final table results and payouts: 1) Daniel Negreanu - $755,525, 2) Bryant King - $416,690, 3) Kianoosh Mohajeri - $228,950, 4) Lee Markholt - $183,160, 5) Brian Lamkin - $137,370, 6) Brandon Adams -$114,475, 7) Wendell Barnes - $91,580, 8) Robert Schulz - $66,624, 9) Chad Brown - $45,790.

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White Man Talks Poker With Indian Chief

SittingbullIn a scene reminiscent of the famous meeting between Sitting Bull, James Macleod, Major Walsh, and General Alfred H. Terry, the chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian met this week with North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley to discuss the addition of live poker to its casino, which is operated by Harrahs of course and located no more than 160 miles from where this post is being typed right now.

The Associated Press reports that adding poker could create an estimated 430 jobs with a $15.2 million payroll.

Wicked Chops Poker reports that adding poker could create a good reason for some of us to drive 3 hours into the Appalachians and risk a Deliverance-like encounter.

Chief Michell Hicks, who needs a better Indian name, said that the tribe needs to expand gambling games to compete with the cheap airfare and accomodations offered by other casinos in the Southeast. He failed to say that they also need an airport and hotels nearby to compete with other gambling destinations.

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Katikakis Made More Money Than You Yesterday

Winterlogo3If you’re not following the Borgata Winter Open over at Tao of Poker because you’re too busy catching up on your cross-generational strip poker reading and learning how to improve your chances of landing a job out of college, as well as a Costa Rican lady friend and an STD, the latest news from the A.C. is that the man with the unfortunate Greek last name outlasted 244 runners to win the $1,500 NLHE event. Boston's Konstantius “Charlie” Katikakis defeated Andre Rosskamm from New York City for the first-place bracelet and a $113,460 cash, with Rosskamm collecting $64,050 for second.

2005’s WSOP main event runner-up Steve Dannemman survived to make it to the final table but his luck ran out when he ran in to a set of fives. He collected $10,980 for finishing in eighth place.

Also joining the final table was World Poker Tour final table veteran and 2005 Borgata Poker Open $1,500 buy-in event winner, Robert “Action Bob” Hwang. A crowd favorite, Action Bob finished one ahead of the poker player no longer referred to as the Weaz and collected $18,000 for finishing seventh.

The $10,000 main event starts up this Sunday, January 29, and at stake is a 2006 Cadillac Escalade, $1 million in cash, and a $25,000 seat to the World Poker Tour’s championship event in April. Follow the action with Pauly as he live blogs this event, as well as the $2,500 NL and Lady's events going on today and tomorrow.

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Intern with Poker Site, Marry a Costa Rican, Get Herpes

Stephaniem261850110_1Meet Stephanie. She's 18, 5'0 tall, weighs a buck ten and could be your "wife" if you land one of the three Absolute Poker internships spots they're offering this summer at their headquarters in Costa Rica. Job duties consist of assisting with new marketing campaigns and giving input on game module look, and you'll be compensated with roundtrip airfare, lodging, a stipend for food (and hookers), spending cash (for hookers) and opportunity for full-time employment at the end of the internship.

What do you have to do to secure your position? First download their software, register for a qualifying tournament and make the final table. Then and only then do you get to send your resume in for review. If you win the tourney outright, congrats the internship is automatically yours. No review is necessary. For the remaining 8 finalists, you get a phone interview for a shot at the remaining two spots.

So what do you have to do to secure your Costa Rican "wife"? Even simpler, visit any of the numerous websites that offer such services.

When asked about why the application process is this way, Absolute Poker said:

"We are an online poker company, and knowledge of the product in any business is essential. We hope that by getting the best poker players, we will also get the best feedback about our product."

When asked what Costa Rica is like and how are the women, Absolute Poker answered both questions the same:

"Beautiful, warm, and inexpensive."

When Wicked Chops Poker was asked why these beautiful, warm women were so inexpensive, they referred to the World Heath Organization's report that said, in some parts of Costa Rica, 40% of the women ages 15-19 have genital herpes.

For more on the poker internship, visit www.pokerinternships.com.

For more on genital herpes, visit www.genitalherpes.com.

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WSOP Circuit Championship Final Table Set

WsopcircuitThe WSOP Circuit-Grand Casino Tunica has a final table with some star power.  Daniel Negreanu and Chad Brown have made their way through a field of 241 to make the final 9.

And this is signficant, as Chops will now assume the lead in his Fantasy Poker League.

Yes, with Daniel Negraneu and Chad Brown's final table appearance, Chops will move past ESPN Poker Club's Andrew Feldman, Tiltboys Phil Gordon and Rafe Furst, and two-time 2005 WSOP bracelet winner Mark Seif, among others, in the aforementioned Feldman's "On the Felt" group league. 

Of course, as soon as Chops drops out of first place (likely after the next tournament), you'll never hear him mention this whole fantasy stuff again.

Here's your final table chip counts: 1) Brian Lamkin - 600,000, 2) Daniel Negreanu - 410,000, 3) Robert Schulz - 229,000, 4) Lee Markholt - 177,000, 5) Wendell Barnes - 237,000, 6) Bryant King - 200,000, 7) Brandon Adams - 103,000, 8) Kia Mohajeri - 331,000, 9) Chad Brown - 123,000.

Continue reading "WSOP Circuit Championship Final Table Set" »

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Strip Poker With Old Naked People

NudetennisAfter years of attracting just wrinkly, old naked people with sagging mammalian protruberances and prune-like genitalia who like to play tennis, dance the samba, and chow down on the early bird in nothing but what the good Lord unfortunately gave them, Paradise Lakes Resort, a nudist retreat located in Land 'O Lakes, Florida, is now trying to lure younger people to its resort.

Their marketing ploy: a strip poker tournament they're promoting at the University of South Florida.

Owner Joe Lettelleir claims he's been trying to think of ways to attract younger people and Strip Shuffleboard, Birthday-Suit Bocce Ball and Butts-Out Bingo just weren't doing the trick. Letteleir said he got the idea for the tournament from nude newbie Kristy Lucas, a University of South Florida intern working for the resort. To promote the event, Paradise Lakes has taken out ads in the USF student paper and is passing out fliers around campus. If you come across either the ad or fliers (or pics of Kristy Lucas), please share and we'll post them here.

In other strip poker news:

Strippokercal:: It's still illegal for 40-something-year-old soccer coaches to supply alcohol and play strip poker with a group of 18-year-old girls.

:: For the 40-year-old girls' soccer coaches out there with a penchant for strip poker, you can get your perv on over at Amazon.com, where they're selling loads of strip poker merch, including Carmen Electra's Strip Poker DVD, a Strip Poker Calendar and the Red Shoe Diaries - Strip Poker DVD. Concerning the latter, "cdubb24" thinks you should buy the DVD, as well as hear sex stories about his friends Neil and Iris, which we'll file away in the "Too Much Information" folder. Here's what "cdubb24" had to say:

Continue reading "Strip Poker With Old Naked People " »

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

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

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

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

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New Inductees to The Stupid Poker Criminals Hall of Fame

Just as there’s no shortage of people with the last name Nguyen cashing in poker tournaments, there seems to be no end to the folks deserving of a spot in our Stupid Poker Criminals Hall of Fame.

Indeed, the Chris Shilts and Dayne Bavermans of the world seem to be just as plenty as the Men and Scotty Nguyens, and today we honor four new folks who each let things like greed, anger, sucking at poker and plain stupidity get the best of them.

Today’s inductees include a Montana man who put a beatin' on the guy who was beating him at the poker table, a British woman who stole around $45,000 from her boss in a failed attempt to win back online losses, a 20-year-old who knocked a friend over the head with a rum bottle during a poker game, and lastly, a man who did donuts in the lobby of the Gold Strike Casino after playing poker there.

Inductee # 1 - Steve McCewan
First, we induct Steven J. McEwan, a 25-year-old from Bozeman, Montana who tried to recover his poker losses by pounding the crap out of the guy he lost his money to at the poker table. The two had been trading verbal jabs in a poker club all night, with McEwan telling his nemesis, Adam Chesterfied, at one point, “You better watch your fucking mouth. I’m going to fuck you up if you don’t knock it off.”

Continue reading "New Inductees to The Stupid Poker Criminals Hall of Fame" »

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"Alright, I'm All-In, Baby."
Scotty Nguyen Wins WPT World Poker Open

Wpt1Scotty Nguyen has won his first WPT championship, beating Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi heads-up for the World Poker Open title in Tunica

As reported in Card Player, on the final hand, Scotty and Mizrachi are about even in chips.  Scotty has the button and raises.  Grinder re-raises Scotty, who thinks about it for a minute before announcing, "Alright, I'm all-in, baby!"  Grinder calls.  Scotty has As-Qs, Grinder Ah-Jc.  Nguyen ends up rivering the nut flush and takes the title. 

Scotty, one of 168 Nguyens who have cashed in tournaments (for real, check out the Hendon Mob database) banks $969,421, a gold bracelet, and a seat into the $25,000 WPT World Championship at the Bellagio this April.

Official final table pay-outs were: 1) Scotty Nguyen $969,421, 2) Michael Mizrachi - $566,352, 3) Raul Paez -$298,908, 4) Gavin Smith - $173,052, 5) An Tran - $125,856, 6) Bau Le - $88,099.

The TOKE: New WPT COO, Cancer Patient Receives a Bad Beat, + Giving a "Big Pair" New Meaning

:: WPT hires another acronymn.   In what appears to be a strong move to position poker as a true "sport," Peter Hughes has been hired as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the WPT.  Hughes has previously worked with the National Football League and the SFX Sports Group.  Poker News

:: Talk about kicking someone when he's down...  Agents from Ohio's state Pokerathlete_1liquor control board, get this, went "undercover" by posing as players for a charity hold'em event where proceeds would benefit a cancer patient. So if a bunch of schlubs dressed up like Joe Stillman (at left) stop by your next charity event, get really worried.  Anyway, the agents claimed that the event's organizers did not get the required permits to hold such an event...although a simple phone call would've done the trick, as the organizers apparently tried to comply.  Since we ALWAYS try to get something positive out of a story*, now would be a good time to pimp, if we believed in pimping, Phil Gordon's Bad Beat On Cancer organization, which is worth your visit and donations.  WCPO

Krupa :: I raise you two exquisite breasts.  Sin's Gentleman's Club in Las Vegas is trying to, err, raise interest in the club by holding poker games where ladies will get undressed.  While on the surface the idea sounds great, we here at Wicked Chops Poker believe the combination of hot woman with something totally unrelated like poker will just never, ever work.  Just ask Joanna Krupa...she'd probably tell you the same thing man.  In fact, you can practically see that she's thinking that very thought right now in that sweet, innocent little photo of her at right.  Poker 777

*Not even remotely true.

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Two Drunks and a Machine Lead WPT Final Table

Scotty_nguyenThe WPT couldn't have asked for a (potentially) more entertaining final table.

Former WSOP ME champion and all-time great Scotty Nguyen will sit down as the big stack when final table play kicks off today for the WPT World Poker Open in Tunica.  If Scotty wins the title, we're pretty sure the Michelob AmberBock he gets toasted with for the win won't be the first beer he's had all day...he'll probably already be toasted.  Gotta love Scotty.

Same could go for Gavin Smith.  Although we'll have whatever that crazy canuck is drinking, because with over $2 mil in tournament earnings (and a WPT title) since 2003, he continues to show his wicked poker chops

Grinder_1_1Another WPT winner joins Smith at the final table, and he's actually a machine.  Seriously.  It's on his hat.  It must be true.  Michael Mizrachi, continuing a truly impressive tournament year, will sit down with the second biggest stack.

Joining the group as the fourth largest stack is respected pro An Tran, who has almost $1.5 mil in tournament earnings.  Raul Paez has the third largest stack and has cashed in two other events at this year's World Poker Open.  And while the short-stack at the table, Bau Le, has the smallest career tournament earnings of the group, he has also cashed twice at this year's World Poker Open, including a $124k win in the $1,500 NLH event.

According to Poker Wire, chip counts for the final table are: 1) Scotty Nguyen - 2,144,000, 2) Michael "The Grinder' Mizrachi" - 1,271,000, 3) Raul Paez - 862,000, 4) An Tran - 845,000, 5) Gavin Smith - 774,000, 6) Bau Le - 645,000.

*Scotty Nguyen photo from Poker Royalty.

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17 Remain at WPT World Poker Open

As Day 3 action kicks off, 17 players remain in the WPT's World Poker Open.  Gary Gibbs started the day with the chip lead, stacked at 1,087,000.

Other notables include: 2) Scotty Nguyen - 848,000, 3) Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi - 476,000, 5) Gavin Smith - 408,000, and 10) Josh Arieh - 300,000.

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Smith, Mizrachi Still Grinding Field at
WPT World Poker Open

The rich kept getting richer during Day 2 play at the WPT 2006 World Poker Open in Tunica, as Gavin Smith and Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi continued building their big stacks.

Smith, who was second overall after Day 1, and Mizrachi, who was third, each moved up a spot by the end of Day 2.  Smith leads the 52 remaining with 394,000.  The Grinder is second with 355,500.

Day 1 chip leader Dale Morrow didn't slip much, as he's stacked at 272,000 for fifth overall.

Other notables include:  8) Scotty Nguyen - 218,400, 11) Josh Arieh - 197,600, 13) Chad Brown - 195,000, 37) Allen Kessler - 65,900, and 41) Barry Shulman - 59,100.

Check out Poker Wire throughout the day for updated chip counts.

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The TOKE: Mad Genius Chats, Poker's History Exposed, PokerShares' Hopes Suit is the Nuts

Carotalking_1:: Caro tells all in ESPN chat.  Mike Caro, the "Mad Genius of Poker," hosted a telling chat yesterday on ESPN yesterday.  As we saw at the WSOP, Caro is never one to shy from conversation, and his elaborative style showed.  In fact, Chops' question probably turned the most terse answer:  Chops (Wicked Chops Poker): If you're the "mad genius" of poker, then who would be the "evil genius"?     Mike Caro: Well chops, I feel that I am also the "evil genius" of poker, but its only when I psyche myself into some other worldly character. By nature, I'm actually just as nice as I appear to be. I guess there really are no evil people that I've met in poker. Contrary to the way our game has been depicted at times in movies, I haven't personally encountered a lot of evil players and especially evil geniuses. Sorry to disappoint.  ESPN Poker Club

:: Birth of a religion.  Where did poker come from?  Some say England.  Others say Persia (which would make sense, given the current craze that is Persian Poker).  While it's hard to pinpoint poker's exact origin, one thing EVERYONE can agree on is that the game truly first exploded during the riverboat era of the 1800's when Bret Maverick Jr. hit the scene. Casino City Times

:: PokerShare gets all Empire on UB.  Publicity whore PokerShare.com has filed a lawsuit against UltimateBet . According to the lawsuit, as PokerShare's profit sharing program with UB began to take off, more action was heading over to PokerShare as opposed to a more preferred UB partner. So UB pulled the plug. In other news, PokerShare and Empire Poker have just slept together in a failed effort to spite their former parterns. Poker News

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Big Names Have Big Stacks at WPT Tunica

Worldpoker_1Day 1 of the WPT's Gold Strike World Poker Open in Tunica has wrapped, and some big names lead the 163 players remaining.

Interestingly, as reported by Card Player, the number of participants this year has dropped 36% (from 512 to 327). This likely has more to do with the overall increased number of "major" tournaments a year--including two running right now (another $10k buy-in in Tunica, and one across the pond in Copenhagen)--then some downturn in the poker craze.

Leading the field after Day 1 is relative unknown Dale Morrow.  As listed in Poker Pages's player database, Morrow has five tournament cashes in his career, totaling $140,482.  From there, notables abound.  Check out Poker Wire for the full list, but some notable notables include: 2) Project Dirtbag fav Gavin Smith, - 136,200, 3) Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi - 135,175, 4) Barry Schulman - 113,750, 11) John Bonnetti (who got into an interesting altercation with Joe "Son of Greenstein" Sebok) - 87,575, 19) Sam Farha - 75,275, 26) Joe Sebok - 67,725, 27) Vinny Vinh - 67,475, 28) Hoyt Corkins - 62,525, 60) Eric Siedel - 44,350, 61) John Juanda - 42,525, 71) Scotty Nguyen - 36,800, 78) Todd Brunson - 34,850, 90) Clonie Gowen - 31,050, 102) Andrew Black - 26,075, 103) Chad Brown - 25,925, 119) Barry Greenstein - 21,175, 130) Hasan Habib - 17,625, 131) Dutch Boyd - 17,500, 135) Men the Master - 17,250, and 144) Olga "The inexplicably married to Robert" Varkonyi - 14,225.

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Vegas Trip Report:
The Legend of Sammy "Killer" Reid


Wicked Chops Poker spent four days in the most wondrous and beautiful city in the world last week, where sidewalks are lined with gold, street lights are made of candy canes, rivers flow with pure, freshly-melted glacial water, scantily-clad gorgeous Nordic virgins bathe poolside waiting for deflowerment, and wise men present you with frankincense and myrrh when you arrive at the airport.  Yes, WCP was in Las Vegas last week. 

Part I of Chops’ bachelor party took place from January 12-15.  And along with the WCP crew of Chops, Addict, and Snake came along Friends of Wicked Chops Poker (FOWCP), Sammy “Killer” Reid and BlackSpy

While the WCP crew are grizzled Vegas vets, this was only Sammy’s twelfth trip to Sin City, and he was more excited than a cooped up puppy let out to play.

So excited, in fact, that he managed nary one hour of sleep during the approximately 85 hours the gang was there.

Yes, Sammy loves Vegas like Benvinisti loves HoHos

Before going any further though, some things you should know about Sammy...

Continue reading "Vegas Trip Report:
The Legend of Sammy "Killer" Reid" »

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No, MINE is Bigger

First, it was the whole "which state is bigger" debate of 2nd grade. 

Then it was UT vs. USC

ReaganNow, it's about who has the biggest nuts.

California, the state that has brought you the Goldrush, Hollywood, and the greatest American of the 20th Century, Ronald Reagan, now is attempting a new claim to fame: hold'em poker.

According to Card Player, a company called California Hold'em, Inc., has created the new form of hold'em...called...um...California Hold'em.  They have signed a contract with player rep firm Poker Royalty, LLC to promote it. 

Here's the gist: With California Hold'em, the deck has 60 cards instead of 52. The new cards are 11s and 12s and (naturally) come in between 10s and the Jacks.  The 10s and 11s are non-suited.  So, for example, if you wanted to hit a royal flush, you'd just replace what would normally be a 10 with a 12, and then have a similiarly suited Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. 

From here, the game is played out just like Texas Hold'em, from hole cards to the river.

The creators say that with more cards, the luck factor of [Texas] Hookem1hold'em will be reduced.  That seems counter-intuitive though, as with more cards, you'll have more potential outs.

So really, all this is appears to be is an attempt by California to steal Texas's thunder, probably since USC lost to UT. 

And if you're looking for a more skilled game than [Texas] hold'em, one already exists.  It's called Omaha.

Editor's Note: Thanks to Complex for the tip on this one.

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The TOKE: A Priest, A Prodigy, and Another New Poker Room

:: Forgive me father... A Romanian priest for Negoesti village in Gorj county is facing defrockment after being caught playing poker in a pub.  According to a police spokesperson, "There were nine men at the table playing poker but only three of them had money in front of their seats. I was stoned when I heard one of them was a priest." He was stoned?  Either something is lost in translation here, or Romanian cops are hitting donut shops for totally different reasons than the 5-0 in Ivey_attack_2_3the States.  Ananova

:: Tiger Woods is the Phil Ivey of golf.  Enough.  Ok.  We get it.  He's good.  Every poker player in the world not named Phil Hellmuth readily recognizes that Phil Ivey is the best player in the world.  Now, two mags have done the same...at least for the past 12 months.  Both Bluff and All In have named Phil Ivey their player of the year. Yahoo! | All In

:: Just in case you didn't have enough options already... Another day, another new poker site with a gimmicky sign-up feature has launched.  Touchstone Poker's lure is a 100% Welcome Bonus + Free Tournament Pass (for up to $200) to all first-time depositors. The best part though is the press release drops names like donkey's drop dollars, saying, "Top celebrities like Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Toby McGuire are even found playing the game more often off screen than on screen." And, "players like Phil Helmuth, Annie Duke and Daniel Negreanu, today’s hottest poker celebs, play online regularly to keep up their game and keep in touch with their fans." Of course, these players don't play Touchstone, but their valiant attempt to mislead the reader did not go unnoticed. PR Web

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High Expectations for GSN's High Stakes Poker

HspJust when it looked like poker on TV was running out of hooks, along comes a show with a chance to breath new life into the genre.

GSN's High Stakes Poker debuts tonight at 9pm

Players pony up a minimum of $100,000 to compete and include top pros and business men like Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Laker's owner Jerry Buss, Jennifer Harman, Johnny Chan, Freddy Deeb, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Farha, Ted Forrest, Barry Greenstein, Daniel Negreanu, and fixtures at Caesar's high stakes room this weekend, Sean Sheikhan and Eli Elezra.

While GSN swung and missed with its "Battle of the Sexes" games, this show has serious potential.  If it lives up to the hype, GSN will have a hit on its hands.

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Wicked Chops In Vegas This Weekend

The Wicked Chops Poker crew will be in Vegas from today until Sunday, so if you’re there look for us either at the MGM, Bellagio or Caesars’ new poker room. Even better, shoot an email to our crackberries and give us the heads up, especially any of the 4th Street Angeleans who like to weekend it 300 miles west.

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Persian Poker All the Rage in Iran

A Chops here/:: snake joint.

The Financial Times (among other news sources) has recently reported on a new crazy game that's all the rage in Iran: Persian Poker (also known as "Nuclear Poker").
Pers1Yep, it seems that Iranians are fanatical for this new game.  Fundamentally, from what we can tell, here's how it's played: 1) each guy gets dealt some enriched plutonium/uranium, 2) you aggressively stack chips by building secret facilities to create nuclear reactors/fission, 3) you play a cat-and-mouse game with the international community, constantly running bluffs and coming over the top of "cease" demands by telling ridiculous lies with your perfect poker face, 4) you have a "Matusow blow-up" by testing a weapon underground, 5) you put your opponents on perpetual tilt as they anticipate the next blow-up.
Much like Texas Hold'em in the States, Persian Poker is ALL the rage in Iran.  But instead of young, educated men with sunglasses and dreams of financial independence, it's young, uneducated, stinky men with small penises and ratty Pers2 beards with dreams of killing anyone who believes in democratic independence.  Iranian men are absolutely crazy for it, and they're leaving their women at home for days to play.
Which is a shame, because the Middle East has the most underrated looking woman in the world.  Probably underrated because we never get to see what they look like.  But seriously, if you had a woman like the one above, why would you ever leave the house to go play this crazy new Persian Poker game?

Continue reading "Persian Poker All the Rage in Iran" »

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Steve Paul-Ambrose Wins WPT PokerStars' Caribbean Adventure...and $1.3 Million

The WPT has minted another millionaire.  This time, it's Steve Paul-Ambrose of America Jr.

The heads-up battle lasted all of six hands, as Paul-Ambrose bested Brook Lyter for the title and $1,388,600.  Lyter banks $681,500 for second.  The win is Paul-Ambrose's first live major tournament cashing.

Both Paul-Ambrose and Lyter qualified on PokerStars.com. As reported on the PokerStars blog, combined, they invested about $800 to win a combined $2 million

Here's the rest of the final table breakdown: 3) David Singer - $436,200, 4) Michael Higgins - $327,100, 5) Anders Henriksson $239,900, 6) Aurangzeb Sheikh $177,200.

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Some More On the New Commish

ESPN's Poker Club has more news on the new WSOP Commish, Jeffrey Pollack, and his responsibilities.  Give it a read.

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The TOKE: Britney's Dad's Poker Venture, WSOP Goes Mobile, + Finally, An Excuse to Go to West Virginia...Finally

Britspears_1 :: Brit's dad fathers new poker project, K-Fed fathers another illegitimate child.  Ok, second part was made up, but Brit's dad, Jamie Spears, is launching a poker software program with the Maloofs (of Palms fame).  The program helps people organize professional-caliber poker games in the comfort of their own homes.  Or in other words, it helps retards who haven't figured out something simple that people have been doing for years already.  K-Fed signed up as the first client*. Poker 777

:: While we're talking about rednecks... West Virginia may become the 27th state to allow table gambling, including poker.  West Virginia, which is so bad that Virginia once wanted no association with it, is in its third attempt to get legislation passed allowing casinos to have table games.  Card Player

:: Can you raise me now?  Harrah's has teamed up with Glu Mobile to launch a mobile gaming program.  This is great news for people who've been wanting to play poker while at the john at work.  Poker News

* Fabricated

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Breaking News - Jeffrey Pollack Announced as New WSOP Commish, Player Advisory Council Formed, $50,000 H.O.R.S.E Added

Thanks to ESPN's Poker Club for this one:

Jeffrey Pollack, has been announced as commisioner of the World Series of Poker.

Along with Pollack's appointment, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Scotty Nguyen, Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, and Robert Williamson III will form a player advisory council to work with Harrah’s executives and enhance the overall WSOP experience for players. This is clearly a move to silence some of the player criticism that the WSOP has turned into the World Series of Hold'em.

And on that note, a $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E event has been added to the 2006 WSOP docket. This is the first time an event with a larger buy-in than the $10,000 Main Event will take place at the WSOP.

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18 Year-Old Makes WPT PokerStars Final Table


An 18 year-old has made the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure final table.

While David Singer leads the final table with 2,535,000 chips, it's the short-stack who is grabbing everyone's attention.  Renown Internet specialist Aurangzeb Sheik (currently "Ozzy 87" and formerly "BigSlick789"), who is only 18, has become the youngest WPT final table contestant. 

Vauhn Sandman, who hung in there short-stacked all of Day 2 and just missed the money when Hoyt Corkins busted him (130 paid, he finished 134), has a fantastic write-up on Ozzy at Project Dirtbag.  Definitely worth the read, as well as Sandman's confrontation with Gavin Smith.  Classic stuff.

Here's the final table counts: 1) David Singer - 2,535,000 2) Steve Paul-Ambrose - 1,780,000, 3) Anders Henriksson - 1,033,000, 4) Brook Lyter - 875,000, 5) Michael Higgins - 794,000, 6) Aurangzeb Sheikh - 231,000.

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Day 2 Leaders of PokerStars Caribbean Adventure:
No One You've Ever Heard Of

Niedermeyer...DEAD!  Dean Wormer...DEAD!  All of the "name" Day 1 chip leaders...

Antonius, Schulman, Harman, McManus, Smith, Phan, Lindgren, Greenstein, Mercier, Ivey, Kanter, Seidel, Hachem...all...all of 'em...gone.

Remaining are a bunch of Internet qualifiers, but what do you expect?  This is PokerStars' event. 

Leading them all is Steve Paul-Ambrose, stacked with 275,200.  He's followed by Isidor Subotic (274,800), Allen Goldstein (257,000), David Singer (248,600), and Will Barr (247,800). The average stack is 109,697.

Notable pros remaining include Marco Traniello (192,500), Matt Matros (144,500), and Hoyt Corkins (56,200).  Day 1 chip leader Brian Mogelefsky is still doing well with 184,400.  And noted WSOP-crier Adam Friedman is among the leaders as well, with 167,400. 

KO'd but in the money include another noted crier, Bernard Lee ($10,700), Jim McManus ($10,700), Tom McEvoy ($10,700), and Joe Hachem ($12,000). 

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Poker Stars' Caribbean Poker Adventure Day1a Done
Fletcher Leads, Schulman, Traniello Near Top

Day 1b of the Poker Stars' Caribbean Poker Adventure wrapped, with Michael Fletcher leading the way, stacked at 93,000.

Also stacked in the top 10 are Marco Traniello (57,300) and that Nick Schulman kid, with 49,900.

Other notables include: Tiffany Williamson ($23,500), Jennifer Harman ($17,800), Jim McManus ($17,200), Gavin Smith ($12,800), and Erick Lindgren ($10,100).

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Poker Stars' Caribbean Poker Adventure Day1a Done
Mogelefsky Leads, Antonius Lurks

BadenwinnerThe year's first major tournament, Poker Stars' Caribbean Poker Adventure, finished Day 1a action with Brian Mogelefsky (which sounds like a form of VD) as the chip leader.  He's sitting on a stack of 98,500 .

Not far behind at third overall is Patrik Antonius (at right), who just a few weeks ago was a Day 1 chip leader (and third place finisher) at the WPT's Five Diamond Classic. Patrik is stacked at 76,100.

Other notables include Barry Greenstein (61,000), Matt Matros (30,700), Isabelle Mercier (28,000), Phil Ivey (26,200), Aaron Kanter (8,600), and Erik Seidel (7,400).  The average chip stack is around 22,000.

Also of note, 4SPT'er Vaughn Sandman has made it into Day 2.  While he only sits with 7,000, he still considers it some of the best poker he's ever played.  Read more about his Day1a experience at Project Dirtbag.

Patrik Antonius image from Card Squad.

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One Really Large TOKE

Since Chops and Addict have been strung-out and hung-up the past two days, let's just combine our collective efforts into one big TOKE.

:: Daniel Negreanu touches 4 million of you.  For some reason, a press release was, um, released, touting that Daniel Negreanu's syndicated newspaper column now reaches 4 million readers...which is Carmen2um...roughly .01% of the American population.  So in other words, it's in like two city's newspapers.  But hey, that's two more than us.    Emediawire

:: After hearing this, what's next? Twiggy announcing she's launching a poker site? What do you get when you take the most downloaded woman on the Internet and one of the best female poker players in the world and create a Web site? Sorry, we too were hoping for a new NSFW site, but instead...you end up with another online poker gaming site (which we suppose technically is a NSFW site). So who are the women?  Well, one of the "poker babes" had her pics downloaded off the Internet over 700,000 times in 2005 (350,000 of them were by BlackSpy, so the figure is skewed a bit)--and the other cashed over $700,000 in (tournament) purses last year. So who are we talking about?  Drumroll...Cindy Margolis and Cyndy Violette.  That's right, the odd pairing will join together to bring us Cindymargolispoker.com/.  While Wicked Chops Poker is not a big Cindy Margolis fan (let's just say she's no Carmen Electra), we'll admit that between this, playing homegames, and being an Internet host for WPT's Chipleaders.com, she's starting to climb the latter. POKERNEWS.COM

:: Creative, arty types who wear Moby-esque eyeglasses can now play poker at Full Tilt!  Mac users tired of borrowing your nerdy neighbors PC to play online poker or considering to download the special software for your Mac to run PC compatible programs your prayers have been answered. Full Tilt Poker just announced that they are launching Full Tilt Poker for the Mac in late January/early February, 2006. Full Tilt reps say "Unlike some other sites who offer clunky "Apple-compatible" Java programs, ours is the first native down-loadable software designed specifically for the Mac by some of the world's best poker pros".  FULLTILTPOKER.COM

:: Can't live with 'em, can't bluff 'em.  The Times Online reports that a third of people playing poker now are women.  This is both good and bad news.  While there are a few crazy bitches out there, the vast majority of women are (in some cases surprisingly) solid players...and surprisingly attractive.  So as long as our wives aren't included in that 1/3, this is not something we have a problem with.  Times Online

:: Avoid "Everybody Loves Brad" joke here...avoid it.  Bodog.com has announced that Brad "I'm urinating right now" Garrett will MC Card Player's Player of the Year Awards, February 15, at Hollywood's Music Box Theatre.  Bodog Beat

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PokerStars Going Public

HomeMake room, Anurag Dikshit (yep, still funny).  Another poker behemoth wants to go public.

PokerStars, the world's second largest online poker room, plans to launch an IPO, according to the Times Online.

The company has appointed NM Rothschild to sell or float PokerStars at a price of more than $2 billion. Founded by Isai Scheinberg, a former senior programmer for IBM, whose family now owns a reported 75% of the company (employees own the other 25%), PokerStars reportedly plans a second half of the year floatation.

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34 Poker Tournament Millionaires in 2005

Cash_1 Want more proof that poker parallels a sport like golf more than some ready-to-flame-out-fad? Follow the tournament money.

According to Card Player, 34 players won more than $1 mil in tournaments during 2005.  This is up from 22 in 2k4--and amount of tournament money to be won has climbed every year this century.

The number does not include Internet players such as a Thomas Keller...or roughly half of Scandinavia.

Now look at golf.  Golf had 78 tournament millionaires this yearIn 1996, the year before the latest Tiger-led-boom really kicked in, there were nine.   

Card Player's list of top 2005 poker money winners includes many a name that made the WSOP ME final table.  Others, such as Phil Ivey, climbed the list by making five major event final tables.  The top 10: 1) Joe Hachem - $7,614,022, 2) Steve Dannenmann - $4,350,000, 3) Phil Ivey - $3,333,426, 4) Tuan Lee - $2,856,150, 5) John "Tex" Barch - $2,528,085, 6) Michael Mizrachi - $2,472,439, 7) Michael Gracz -$2,292,271, 8) Nick Schulman - $2,241,995, 9) Rehne Pedersen - $2,112,200, 10) Mike Matusow -$2,009,225.

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WPT Kicks Off 2006 in Caribbean

VonwsopThe first major tournament of 2006 (sorry Shannon) kicks off on Thursday with the Poker Stars' Caribbean Poker Adventure.

Friend of Wicked Chops Poker and 4th Street regular Vooooooonnnn Saaaaaaaaandman qualified and will be playing.  He'll also be blogging some of his experiences on his site, Project Dirtbag

We followed Von into Day 2 at the WSOP, and he won the 4th Street game we played in, so the kid is good.  Best of luck to Von, and watch for our updates later in the week.

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A Week On the Bubble:
When Poker is for the DAWGS

Chops here.

As much as I hate to admit it, I sure do love a good complainin’ every now and then.

ChopshammeredI have no right to complain about much, really.  I know this.  People like me should never complain.  I have it good. 

It’s the people you usually don’t hear complaining who really have something to complain about.  Not me.  Petty little things like college football games or losing a hand you’re a 4-1 favorite to win pre-flop shouldn’t affect me in the grand scheme of things.

So the events that have transpired the past week shouldn’t have me complaining.  They shouldn’t make we want to drink heavily like I was between the ages of 17-28 again.  You know, that uncontrollable vomit-inducing kind of binging.  The kind many of you likely still do.

But for me, the last week was my own personal helluva a week on the bubble.

Continue reading "A Week On the Bubble:
When Poker is for the DAWGS" »

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The TOKE: Shaking Off the Cobwebs

Se1_1 With the New Year's hangover finally gone, time for the first TOKE of 2006.

:: Wow, what an excuse... A legit poker story that gives us an excuse to use butt-shots of Shannon Elizabeth AND a Hilton???  2006 is going to be a great year!  Anyway, SE continues to kind of prove she's no poker fluke by winning Nicky Hilton's Caesars Palace New Years Eve poker tournament.  Poker Prof

:: The party just keeps rolling... PartyGaming's deal with British TV network Five will provide the network with Nicky_hilton_ass72 hours of poker programming, making it the largest deal for event-programming in the U.K. television industry. PartyPoker will become the sole sponsor of Five's three major poker tournaments taking place over the next twelve months. No word yet if PartyGaming plans on going al Brutus on Five too. Online-Casinos

:: Prima whacks the Hendon Mob.  The Prima Network has said fuhgetabboutit to its partnership with the Hendon Mob, deciding not to renew its partnership with the site.  Let's hope Prima has a good war-time Consiglieri. Poker 777

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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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