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December 2008

Auld Lang Syne, Hello 2009


We have no idea what auld lang syne means and apparently wikipedia doesn't either. Since the definition is so up in the air these days, let's just say quick "auld lang syne" to all of our readers who made this the fourth straight year (out of four) of record traffic for Wicked Chops Poker. This despite Google wiping our SEO off the map back in July (since recovered), effectively eliminating 10 million of Keeley Hazell image searches a day.

So auld lang syne again, and we hope you keep coming back in 2009 in between auld lang syne'ing some hot models and getting your auld lang syne auld lang syne'd.

Speaking of hot models, that's Dominique Pestana. She's from one of those coke-exporting countries south of here. After the jump, a video of Dominique.

Continue reading "Auld Lang Syne, Hello 2009" »

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Wicked Chops Poker Predictions for 2009

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

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

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

On with our official Wicked Chops Poker predictions for 2009.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Doyle Brunson Thinks Anurag Dikshit Is a Dikshit

Doyle-brunson Doyle Brunson has come out swinging in his latest blog about Party Pokerco-founder and Wicked Chops fave Anurag Dikshit and his $300 million French-like-capitulation to the U.S. American government.

Says Doyle:

"One thing for sure, Anurag Dikshit is appropriately named!  Dikshit was one of the owners of Party Poker and became a multi-billionaire when Party went public.  It looks like he would feel a sense of obligation to online poker, the industry that made him a rich man.  Instead, he folded up like an accordion and plead guilty to breaking some kind of mystery law and is paying a 300 million dollar fine and a possible 2-year jail term.  It certainly created some ill will from the other online poker sites.  I personally can’t imagine what was going through his mind when he made his decision."

Within the online poker industry, most agree that what Dikshit did was extremely dikshitty, and kind of unnecessary too. Maybe Party is trying to put forth an air of (unnecessary) cooperation so if and when there is a poker carve-out from the UIGEA, they are among the first to benefit. Or maybe Dikshit has a couple of wives in the states so he needs to freely travel back here a bunch so he wanted to make sure he wasn't arrested at the gates of JFK like the also unfortunately-named Peter Dicks. Perhaps Dikshit just thought that he was helping fellow poker player Barack Obama by infusing $300 mil into The Economy.

Or maybe Anurag Dikshit is just one big dikshit. Just like Forrest Gump said in his autobiographical movie, Forrest Gump, "My momma once said that once you are a dik-shit, you are al-ways a dik-shit."





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2008: Poker Year in Review

Good poker news stories in 2008 totally licked 2007...

Nobody liked 2007. In some ways, 2007 was the Daniel LaRusso of poker. You just kind of wanted to beat it up and make it go away.

That's what makes 2008 so remarkable. After the UIGEA hit at the end of 2006, the air was really sucked out of the poker balloon.

Then came 2008.

January started off with Pam Anderson/Rick Solomon baby drama, a Brandi Hawbaker (RIP) huge 2+2 dramabomb, and it never really let up from there.

Here's our huge 2008 poker news link dump.

Pamela Anderson Pregnant, Not to Play Aussie Millions
Rick Salomon Not Going to Be a Dad
Jason Potter Robbed
David Sklansky Did Not Have Sex With Three Goats + Brandi Hawbaker Dramabomb
Phil Ivey Finally Wins a WPT Title
Glum Girl Smiled!!!
The Poker Rap Was Underrated
Shannon Elizabeth Was On Dancing With the Stars?
Monte Carlo Caught on Fire (VIDEO)
Don Cheadle Doesn't Have A Sense of Humor
Eliot Spitzer Sucks
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson Wins National Heads-Up Poker Championship
Daniel Negreanu To Be In Wolverine Movie?
Lacey Jones = Hottest Girl In Poker
The WPT Settles Its Lawsuit, Retracts Middle Finger to Lederer, Ferguson, et. al.
Gus Hansen Does Not Win WPT World Championship
Breaking The Tragedy of Brandi Hawbaker's Death
We Tracked Down Paul Phillips
Best Poker Strategy Video Ever
Breaking Layla Kayleigh Out as WPT Host
Weirdest Video of the Year? Devilfish Sings Chocolate Rain.
Official 2008 WSOP Monster Link Dump
Breaking that FTP Was Dropping Clonie Gowen...Five Months Before It Officially Happened
2008 WSOP Girls On The Rail Official Photo Thread
T.J. Cookier!
Fucking Erick Lindgren
Padraig Harrington > Dan Harrington
Poker Player Michael Phelps Wins 8 Gold Medals
Breaking Why The Sports Guy Really Didn't Write for ESPN.com This Summer
The Hard Rock Opens a Cool New Poker Lounge
Jennifer Tilly...Hottest 50 Year-Old Ever?
Barney Frank Pushes UIGEA Carve-Out Through?
Greatest BLUFF Photo Shoot Ever?
Screw You, Russ Hamilton
A Woman Does Not Win WSOPE This Year
Seriously WTF
The Real Deal Opens
Evy Ng Wins Best Halloween Costume
Annie Duke to Leave UB, Win Celebrity Apprentice?
Tiffany Michelle Strikes Back
Peter Eastgate Wins WSOP Main Event After Four Months in Captivity
Chino Rheem, Not So Happy
Bush Pushes Through Midnight Rules, Enforces UIGEA
Clonie Gowen Sues FTP for $40M
60 Minutes Airs Not So Hatchety Online Poker Expose
Michael Phelps Girlfriend Likes to Pose Semi-Nude
Wtf Happened in Mexico?
Full Tilt Gets MMAy
A. Dikshit Forks Over $300M to Feds
The Real Deal Closes
Chino Rheem Wins Last Major of the Year

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Topless Danish Girls Falling From The Sky Makes For A Good Post

There are two ways to sell a product. You either tallk about what makes your product unique and great, or you get hundreds of smoking hot girls to board a plane, take their tops off, and zoom in on their breasts as they get ready to skydive. All in slow-mo. Watch the below commercial (NSFW) for the Danish company Fleggaard and see if you can figure out which approach they went with.

Link: Fleg Master Tlpizza

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UltimateBet Awards Phil Hellmuth Pot on Losing Hand

UltimateBet's Phil Hellmuth has seen better days.

All right now, how many times do we have to say, "Quit playing on UB and Absolute Poker"? How many times?

Just when you think UB has bottomed out, another scandal. And this one involves their biggest star.

As first reported at pokerati here, Phil Hellmuth was involved in a pot during a $200/400 limit hold'em game where he held the losing hand yet was shipped the virtual cash.

The player on the losing end, DOUBLEBALLER, contacted customer support and eventually got his money back, but not before UB sustained another black eye on yet another software glitch.

While it's widely believed inside the industry that Hellmuth has had absolutely no involvement in any of the UB cheating scandals, this certainly won't help his rep to the masses.

Read more here and watch the hand play out here.

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Top Referrers of 2008

Quick reminder, vote for us here or no more Keeley Hazell and much more of this.

Just wanted to give a quick thanks to our top referrers of 2008, without whom, we would not have been referrered to quite as often.

In alphabetical order, please visit:

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Chino Rheem Wins WPT Copy+Paste Title

Looks like we were slightly off on which major tournament Chino Rheem was going to win.

Chino Rheem is running good.

After a poker career that for years wasn't too bad, wasn't too good, Chino has figured it out in 2008. He final tabled two WSOP tourneys (including the Main Event), and now, after never even having one World Poker Tour cash in his name, he has won the WPT Copy+Paste title.

Chino beat Justin Young heads-up for the win, banking $1,538,730. Young takes home $936,760.

Of note, Chino was NOT wearing a Poker Stars patch. Why? They dropped him. Chino had the biggest and most vocal support group at the final table and plenty of friends in the pro ranks, but behind the scenes he hasn't been worth the hassle for Stars, apparently. Like we always say though, can you really ever be mad at a guy named Chino?

The rest of the final table payouts were: Evan McNiff ($540,440), Steve Sung ($396,206), Amnon Filippi ($288,235), and Hoyt Corkins ($216,175).

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Haruna Yabuki is the Wicked Chops Poker Friday Night Parting Shot Girl

Give us a hot Asian girl like Haruna Yabuki over a hot not-Asian girl any day. Or better yet, give us both. Please.

You can thank the group of smoking hot Asian girls we walked by earlier tonight in L.A. for inspiring our pick for this week's Friday Night Parting Shot Girl. You can also thank our current/first wives. Because if it wasn't for them we'd probably be out closing the deal with the hot Asian girls rather than at home turning Japanese to photos of Haruna Yabuki.

While we don't know much about Yabuki, we do know that she is from Japan and she likes to strip down to her undies and pose for photos. And she looks incredibly hot doing so, which makes her a hero to us. Right up there with firemen, WWII veterans and cheerleaders. For some of her hottest pics, click away at the thumbnails below, and as a bonus, check out these hot videos of Yabuki.

Continue reading "Haruna Yabuki is the Wicked Chops Poker Friday Night Parting Shot Girl" »

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The Venetian Pulls Plug On The Real Deal

Therealdeal It's officially curtains for The Real Deal. After an eight-week run, the folks at The Venetian have finally pulled the plug on its poker-themed stage show which starred big name pros such as Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Scotty Nguyen, Gavin Smith and Antonio Esfandiari.

We could tell you that the piss poor economy, launching the show three years after the height of the poker boom and people's overall lack of interest in poker-themed stage shows were to blame but that would be glossing over the real reason why it bombed: not having co-host Lacey Jones appear in nothing but body paint nightly. That would have been a hit. Huge hit. Todd Brunson plump-ily sitting at a poker table, not so much.

Continue reading "The Venetian Pulls Plug On The Real Deal" »

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A. Dikshit Will Now Have to Answer to Judge Jed Rackoff

Seriously. No seriously. This can't be. Really? Ok then.

Somebody in the U.S. American government has an awesome sense of humor, as Judge Jed Rackoff will now preside over the Anurag Dikshit settlement case. Just the potential of a headline like, "Rackoff Punishes Dikshit Hard" has us utterly giddy.

Even better (or worse, for headline purposes) is according to Gambling 911, Rackoff's name is pronounced RAKE-OFF. So Dikshit made over $600 million dollars by creating a program that makes a rake off the millions of players its registered, and now Judge Rackoff will get the U.S. American government some of that rake back.

There are a few instances when God clearly shows himself: Thomas Jefferson and Jon Adams both dying on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independance; Charles Schultz passing away the night before his last Peanuts strip runs; and now Judge Jed Rackoff presiding over A. Dikshit's settlement.

Read more here. Below, more evidence of a higher power (that's right, keep voting for us here).

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Best Suckout of The Year

There's been lots of bad beats this year, so let's focus on the positive for a minute.

Here's a video we haven't embedded or linked to yet. And since we haven't, let's break it down in simple terms.

Andrew was brought on the Maurey Povich Show for a paternity test. In the back of his mind, he's probably like, "You know, this kid could very easily be mine. It's a cute kid. But man I just slept with that girl cause I wanted to bust one out. She a freak. If I gotta take care of this kid now cause I kicked it with this girl one time, then I can't hang with my boys like I want to, watch game and stuff. Gotta cancel Checkers night at Ray Rays. Man I love playing Checkers at Ray Rays. Aeight. Let's hear it. Let's hear the results. Is it mine? What was that? I'm not the father! Hell yeah! Yeah! Man that's a relief. Whew. I think I'm going to dance now..."

Andrew is running good.

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Second Worst Beat of the Year?

All right, after posting that poor kid who didn't get the X-Box for Christmas, we're getting some emails now on other bad beats this year.

This is probably one of the worst beats we've seen on an inanimate object in awhile. This poor table. It was just sitting there. It wasn't expecting this behemoth of a woman to get on it. "All right, this chick has a pretty voice. I'm enjoying this. Beautiful. Hey. Wait. What are you going. Get...get off. Get. Off. Me. No. Don't step there. Ouch. Owww! Nooooo!"

Skip to around 2:45 in the vid...

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Chino Rheem, Hoyt Corkins, Amnon Filippi Gun for WPT Copy+Paste Title

Wpt-logo The WPT has once of its most pro-packed final tables in awhile at the Copy+Paste.

All six remaining players are full-time pros, and most of those are people you've actually heard of before too.

Leading the way is Steve Sung, stacked at 5,885,000. Sung has $1.4M in career earnings and a second place finish at the WPT Bay 101 event earlier this year.

He's followed by Evan McNiff with 4,805,000. McNiff is the only member of the McNiff/de Knijff combo to make the final table. He has five in-the-monies this year, including three cashes at the 2008 WSOP.

The rest of the final table includes former November NineTM hostage Chino Rheem (4,240,000) (note to Amanda Leatherman...do NOT ask him how he feels about being knocked out if he doesn't win the event...don't do it), Amnon Filippi (2,750,000), Justin Young (2,410,000), and Hoyt Corkins (2,295,000).

Follow the final table action later today here.

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Vote Wicked Chops Poker Best Poker Blog

Don't make us quit posting Keeley Hazell pics...

This is a tough one.

In general, we don't care much about accolades, unless "accolades" is being used as some code word by our current/first wives for "blowjobs" in which case we care about accolades dearly.

But yeah, accolades, who cares. Everyone has their own tastes. The Karate Kid didn't win Best Picture in 1984. That went to Amadeus. Pretty sure we can all agree that The Karate Kid blows Amadeus out of the fucking water. Heck, "You're The Best Around" wasn't even nominated for best original song, and most "experts" or "critics" would argue that that's one of the 2 or 3 best songs from a movie OF ALL-TIME. (The award that year went to Stevie Wonder for "I Just Called to Say I Love You"... sure, give it to the blind guy...they didn't just hand the '07 WSOP Main Event to Hal Lubarsky, did they? Didn't think so.)

Anyway the point to all of this is: whatever you think "the best" is is purely subjective.

Having said that, we're competitive a-holes, so vote Wicked Chops Poker for Bluff Magazine's Reader's Choice Awards as Best Poker Blog here. Tell us, "Hey guys, we think YOU'RE THE BEST...AROUND...nothing gonna eva keep YOU down."

If you don't, then expect to see more Elizabeth Montizanti and less Keeley Hazell. We love us some spite, and we will spite you.

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Benjamin Straaaaaaaaaaaate Leads WPT Copy+Paste with 18 Remaining

Wpt-logo We're not going to sit here and tell you that we haven't heard of Benjamin Straaaaaaaaaate before today, but let's just say that, before today, we've never heard of Benjamin Straaaaaaaate.

Straaate finished Day 3 of the WPT Copy+Paste stacked at 3,197,000. We'd tell you more if we knew more.

Plenty of big names remain. How big? Well have you ever fucking heard of Mike Matusow (1,435,000), Amnon Filippi (1,374,000), Robert Mizrachi (1,266,000), Chino Rheem (1,200,000), Clonie Gowen, a woman (1,049,000), and Nick Schulman (480,000) before?

Also still remaining are Evan McNiff (1,532,000) and Martin de Knijff (298,000), leaving open the potential of a McNiff vs. de Knijff heads-up battle. Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten are literally creaming themselves for that one, "Oh boy, McNiff and de Knijff are playing some great poker. De Knijff has had McNiff on the ropes, but McNiff has had a good read on de Knijff and keeps cutting into his stack..." or maybe not.

Get full chip counts here.

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Hot New Poker Chick Among WPT Copy+Past Chip Leaders?

Meet Elizabeth Montizanti, a woman.

Only 55 remain at the WPT Copy+Paste. Among them is Elizabeth Montizanti, a woman, stacked at 431,000 (slightly above average).

And since any moderately attractive girl remaining in any tournament with 55 left (even if that tournament started with 56) is pretty signficant poker news, well, there you have it.

Montizanti, and everyone else, trails chip leader Evan McNiff, who is stacked at 1,035,000. In second overall is Chino Rheem with 905,000. Some other big named big stacks include Steve Sung (787,000), Nick Schulman (720,000), Hoyt Corkins (681,000), Amnon Filippi (597,000), Robert Mizrachi (584,000), David Benyamine (571,000), and Clonie Gowen, a woman (505,000).

Get full chip counts here.

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Worst Beat of the Year

The Entities were recently thinking, "What was the absolute worst beat of 2008?" We were going to award it to Marc Podell solely for his gut-wrenching reaction in this clip from the WSOP Main Event...that was until reader Johnny Argues sent us a link to the below video.

Guess you gotta learn young that life is very unfair...

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A. Dikshit To Plead Guilty, Pay $300 Million Settlement To US Government

Dikshit Anurag Dikshit, the billionaire Indian born co-founder and 27% owner of PartyGaming, the company behind Party Poker, has buckled under pressure from the US Department of Justice and agreed to plead guilty today in a New York court to online betting under the Wire Act. He'll pay a $300 million settlement to the U.S. government, and because no plea deal was cut, A. Dikshit could still face a jail sentence, although that is unlikely as A. Dikshit has agreed to cooperate with US authorities in their ongoing investigation against owners of Internet gambling sites.

Many see A. Dikshit's settlement as throwing online poker under the bus as he hands the DoJ its first victory against the owner of an online poker site when, in our expert legal analysis of the matter, they'd likely fail if the case went to trial under the Wire Act.

The squeaky clean Dikshit, at least compared to his PartyGaming porn biz partner Ruth Parasol, who is not settling with the US, is seen as caving in to the pressure from the DoJ the past two years because of constant fear of prosecution and to put his US woes behind him. And because he can afford it. The 300 mil is just a drop in the bucket to A. Dikshit, whose net worth is estimated in the $3 billion range.

Following in his footsteps is PartyGaming itself, which is in discussions right now with the DoJ. According to a PartyGaming spokesman today:

"The company's discussions with the Department of Justice have made good progress and it is currently negotiating the final terms of a possible settlement. On the basis of the discussions to-date, PartyGaming expects any settlement with the Department of Justice to involve a payment by the company of an amount that is significantly lower than that reported to be paid by Mr Dikshit. In addition, the company believes that any such settlement is unlikely to include a criminal plea on the part of the company or any director."

Both settlements are seen as good news for shareholders in PartyGaming as the company looks to put the threat of prosecution from its once lucrative US business behind it. Shares in PartyGaming jumped 13.9% in London today in response to the news.

Read more about A. Dikshit's settlement on the so-called Internet here and here.

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Clonie Gowen, A Woman, Among Chip Leaders at WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic


Clonie Gowen is having one helluva year, for a woman.

She's got two six figure wins under her belt in 2008, for a woman.

She's got a $40 mil lawsuit in the works that kicks the crap out of just about any divorce settlement, for a woman.

And she's killing it at the ridiculously long-named (copy+paste) WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic, for a woman.

At the end of Day 2, Gowen is among the big stacks, for a woman, sitting fourth overall with 405,000. She trails Justin Young, who is stacked at 550,000.

Other big named big stacks include but are certainly not limited to the suddenly resurgent Kido Pham (400,000), Antonio Esfandiari (336,000), David Benyamine (335,000), Phil Hellmuth (335,000), Tuan Le (310,000), creepy as fuck Rene Angelil (283,500), and Dutch Boyd (275,000).

Get full chip counts here.

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Poker Royalty Five Year Anniversary Party

Poker Royalty (the firm that reps Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Patrik Antonius, Gavin Smith, Erick Lindgren, etc.) had their five year anniversary party this weekend at Mix in Las Vegas.

Solid turnout and great party, although the below video feels almost like a retirement send-off for poker agent Brian Balsbaugh instead of just a party where lots of people's gfs/wives ended up puking.  

Watch Poker Royalty 5th Year Anniversary Party
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Scarf-Wearing Italian Not Named Dario Minieri Wins EPT Prague Title

Headsup-27404 We generally like Italians. They cook up some of the best food on the planet and Italian girls are pants down among the sexiest in the world and thanks to chauvinism and sexism still being very much celebrated in their culture rather than frowned upon like in the rest of the so-called civilized world, they have endless TV shows that objectify these girls by putting them on display in their next-to-nothings like they were cattle at an auction. Hot, long-legged, perfect asses cattle.

But for some reason, by looks alone, we want to punch Salvatore Bonavena, the Italian who won the European Poker Tour Prague title this past Saturday, in the face. Maybe it's the scarf he was wearing but then again maybe not. We don't want to punch Dario Minieri when we see him in a scarf. We want to hand him a lollipop, pat him on the head and say "Go run along little boy." Oh, and for good measure, sames goes with Massimo Di Cicco (foreground in pic), the runner-up and also an Italian. We want to punch him too. Again, for no real reason. We're just angry like that.

And apparently we aren't the only ones who have a negative opinion of these two Italians. Here's what a source on the ground emailed us about Sal and Massimo when they were heads up:

"The two Italians who are HU (right now) for the Prague Title are both utterly terrible players, I mean totally useless. It doesn't actually matter who wins, both are as bad. With apologies to the couple of good Italian players there are out there (the obvious ones). This event can be summed up as, 'Throw enough shit Italian players at a poker wall and one of them will stick.' Andrew Chen who finished 3rd was basically robbed by some true performances of Eurodonkery at it's finest."

Actually, we always thought if you threw enough shit Italian players at a poker wall, DEGO WOP!! Get it? See what we did there? We used derogatory terms for Italians and made it sound like "They go whop!" All righty, check out Owen Laukkanen's recap of the EPT Prague final table at PokerListings here then click away below at photos of Eleonara Pedron, the hottest Italian girl we've seen in the past cinque minuti.

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Paul Niemela Old, Leads WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic

Wpt-logoWe don't know much about Paul Niemela. He's up there in age. Enjoying the golden years. Probably can't relinquish any pocket pair or crappy suited Ace. Probably can't bluff him because he'll call with said pocket pair or crappy suited Ace on the river. But he has a string of moderate cashes over the past five years and he has a huge chip lead at Day 1B of the ridiculously long named WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

Niemela is stacked at 266,775. He's followed by Carlos Mortensen with 160,000.

Day 1B will carry over 225 players. In all about 375 remain.

Follow Day 2 action here.

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Is It Phil Hellmuth's Time to Capture First WPT Title?

Phil Hellmuth dominated Day 1A play, but unfortunately THO Girl was nowhere to be found.

Guess Phil Hellmuth wasn't one of the many who got too hungover from the Poker Royalty five-year anniversary party, as he dominated Day 1A play at the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic.

With a field of 203 entrants, Hellmuth finished play as chip leader, stacked at 188,150. He's followed by Gary Gibbs with 169,075.

Apparently you don't want to get on Clonie Gowen's bad side. After smacking Full Tilt founders with a $40M lawsuit, Clonie has continued her year-end spite-fest (we love us some spite) by ending Day 1A third overall in chips with 162,550. Our nominee for comeback player of the year, Kido Pham, is fourth at 153,000.

Tons of big names remain. Get full chip counts here.

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Hey, You're Not Too Bad Yourself...

"Yeah Michele, those Entities are some sexy pigs..."

Our favorite poker cougar Michele Lewis debuted her first Girl on Girl column in the latest Bluff Magazine. The interviewee: poker hottie Erica Schoenberg.

The topic of Wicked Chops Poker came up in one of the questions. The copy and pasting of that is seen below:

ML:  You get a lot of coverage, specifically from Wicked Chops Poker... are you flattered by their coverage or do you think they’re just a bunch of sexist pigs? 

ES:  Well, I don’t think you can deny that much of what they write is sexist, but I still think it’s pretty hilarious.  I mostly find it flattering and amusing whenever they mention me!  You know you’ve arrived when Wicked Chops talks about you…

Wait wait wait. "sexist pigs" or "sexy pigs?" Clearly Matt Parvis and Lance Bradley missed that in the editing process. Michele, turn your articles in sooner so they have time to catch such errors, ok? 

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Blogger Doyle Brunson To Layne Flack: "Stick It Where The Sun Doesn’t Shine"


We have a lot of respect for old people. They fought wars for us and made it cool to hate the French. And they taught us that if you accumulate enough wealth when you're young, you can still bang hot chicks a third your age when you're old and crapping in your pants.

Anyway, none of that has anything really to do with Doyle Brunson responding to Layne Flack's allegation that he "bought" some of his 10 bracelets in a recent CardPlayer article except for the fact that Doyle is really, really old. Like older than John McCain old. In case you missed it, Flack said the other day:

"You want to talk about buying a bracelet? Let’s talk about Doyle’s bracelet when there were eight people in the tournament...The critics should look back in history and see where a bracelet has been bought."

Giving Flack a verbal middle finger, Brunson fired back on his blog:

"I never won a tournament that had 8 people in it.  There were only 14 entries in a mixed double tournament that Starla Brodie and I won.  If I could find that bracelet, I would sent it to Layne and tell him to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine."

Doyle then gets all wisdom-y saying:

"The 'bracelet race' has become Harrahs and ESPN’s way of making poker interesting and exciting. It is a form of competition and I love anything that is competitive, but winning bracelets has never been high on my priority list. I still play poker because it energizes me and keeps me thinking young. I like playing real poker for real money and tournament poker for me is a second choice."

Perhaps he's got a point. Unlike Phil Hellmuth, it isn't Doyle who goes around touting his bracelet count. It's ESPN, the WSOP and the so-called media who like to talk about it. For Doyle, he's just playing poker to win, whether it's against one table or a field of thousands. 

Speaking of old people, it looks like Jennifer Tilly is our runaway winner of our "Who Would You Rather?" question from yesterday. For some perspective as to how well Tilly has aged, she's a mere 25 years younger than Doyle. Seriously? Who is she, Benjamin Button? Is she going to regress to infant like status when she's Doyle's age? If that's the case, Tilly will be peaking in about 7-8 years. Amazing.

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PSA: Stripper Pole Move of the Week

Consider this our semi-regular public service announcement:

The last major tournament of the year kicks off tomorrow with the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Classic. If you're playing in it and are bringing your girlfriend/wife and want to find her better off and more educated when you pick her up than when you left her, then just down the Strip in Las Vegas from the Bellagio she can take these stripper pole dancing lessons.

Consider it the one Christmas gift you can give her that will just keep on giving.

Watch Fawnia's Stripper Pole Move of the Week: Episode 3 on RawVegas.tv
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Poker News Brought to You By Krystal Forscutt

We're becoming pretty big fans of Krystal . And we're not sure why more girls just don't go for the bikini-cowgirl-boot look.It looks comfortable. Practical. Could be the new "business casual." More where that came from here.

:: Mike Sexton reveals what he and Greg Raymer told 60 Minutes (which never aired) on Hardcore Poker Show. [link]

:: Some people with really funny sounding names remain at the EPT Prague. link]

:: High Stakes Poker season five is ready to zzzzzzzzzzz. [link]

:: Who's really snogging Dario Minieri...Isabelle Mercier or the guy who wrote this article? [link]

:: Poker is once again the top search term on Lycos this year, making it three in a row. Also on Lycos and Google's list is "Facebook." Who the fuck searches "Facebook?" It's 2008. Don't you just kind of know to go to www.facebook.com at this stage? You really need to search it? Really? [link]

:: The PPA starts their own Straight Talk Express by launching a new ad campaign. [link]

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Who Would You Rather?

Jennifer_TillyMarieosmondgetstalkshow We got roped into an interesting debate with some poker players at the Bellagio Five Diamond this week.

The question was posed: who would you rather...poker player Jennifer Tilly or new Las Vegas resident Marie Osmond.

It was a heated debate, it was. Before going further, let's say this, both have aged better than just about any 50 year old woman we've ever seen (qualifier: Osmond is a few months shy of 50).

Here were the points being made: Tilly wins on the sexy scale. Osmond has that Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island quality. Both have great bodies (Tilly's rack should've won an Academy Award), but Osmond really rounded into shape well after her stint on Dancing with the Stars. While Tilly probably is solid in the sack, Osmond has that post-divorce-ready-to-go-crazy thing working for her. Tilly got a knock for the Laak relationship, but Osmond has popped out like 7 or 8 kids (hotdog in a hallway factor).

Bottomline is nobody could make up their minds, so it has to be resolved in our comments section below.

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Full Tilt Poker Branding All Over UFC Stars' Behinds

Full Tilt Poker is really getting behind MMA fighters...

When we were first introduced to mixed martial arts we didn't quite get it as it just seemed like a bunch of half-naked sweaty dudes pinning each other in positions with their junk in each other's faces.

But once you get past that, it blows boxing away and it satisfies the occasional bloodlust. So while watching fights, we've been interested to see the likes of Randy Couture, Mike Swick, and Josh Koscheck donning Full Tilt Poker logos lately.

We were on-hand to speak with Forrest Griffin the day after he won the UFC Light Heavyweight title and was put in the WSOP Main Event by FTP. So there is some precedent for getting involved with MMA stars.

Since the Entities are all about judging books by their covers, not giving the benefit of the doubt, and drawing conclusions, we can only surmise this trend will continue as Poker Stars markets heavily to people who don't speak U.S. American while Tilt shores up the base by targeting the "like" demographic that MMA represents to poker.

Or maybe FTP management just likes fighting and has some extra bones to throw around. Whatever. Hey look over there! It's Danielle Lloyd only wearing a Santa cap and stockings!

Get more MMA news.

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2009 WSOP To Eliminate Rebuy Events? Flack Cracks Doyle? Other WSOP News

2009 The 2009 World Series of Poker may send rebuy events to the rail, according to Communications Director Seth Palanksy.

In an article on Card Player, Palansky says:

"There is a movement to not have any rebuy events...There is the growing concern that a pro can buy a bracelet in a rebuy event."

Surprisingly even guys like Daniel Negreanu, who once rebought 43 times in an event (which he eventually finished 3rd in), agree with this decision.

One guy who doesn't, however, is Layne Flack. "That's bullshit," Flack told Card Player. Flack won the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Rebuy event at this year's WSOP. He continued his rant with possibly our favorite quote of the year, cracking on poker's all-time legend:

"You want to talk about buying a bracelet? Let’s talk about Doyle’s bracelet when there were eight people in the tournament...The critics should look back in history and see where a bracelet has been bought."

We've always held a similar opinion, but you rarely hear a pro say it.

In other 2009 WSOP news, Palansky said that they are considering adding a winner-take-all event to the roster. While Palansky told Card Player that they will "likely" keep the Main Event final table delay, we've heard speculation that it will be moved earlier than November next year. While a delay will still occur, most WSOP officials we've learned believe that four months is too long. Look for a final table perhaps in September or October next year. So much for all the work we spent trademarking the clever "November NineTM."


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EPT Prague Draws 570 Runners To The Land Of The Hot Ovas


Victoria's Secret model Karolina Kurkova is one of the hot "ovas" from the Czech Republic and is one of the many reasons, and by reasons we mean hot chicks, why Prague tops our list of places to take your penis on holiday.

The final European Poker Tour event of 2008 is underway at the Hilton Hotel Casino in Prague, Czech Republic, one of our penises' favorite countries to visit back in the day because of the endless number of ridiculously hot girls who give it up quicker than David Benyamine filling up his plate at a buffet as well as the super hot "ova" girls Petra Nemcova, Karolina Kurkova, Vernonica Varekova and Tereza Kerndlova.

An impressive total of 570 runners, many whose names give the alphabet a run for its money in the letter count department, entered the €5,000 buy-in event, boosting the total purse to €2,764,500. 

After Day 1a yesterday, Frenchman Ludovic Lacay leads with 94,200 in chips, Dane Dan Pedersen in second with 71,200 and Constantin Cirstea of Romania stacked third with 69,500. Rounding out the top five is the obnoxiously named, even by obnoxiously named European standards, Luka Gideon Schwartz Orbach (69,200) and a man who's first name sounds like some prescription drug chicks would use on their fun-gina Vasilis Chantzaras of Greece (67,700).

Of note, Harrahs, please fly Kate the hot EPT dealer in for the WSOP to handle our decks. 

As usual, Pokerlistings is all over the action like hot Hollywood actresses on stripper roles these days (here and here - NSFW). Check out their live updates here. Owen Laukkanen's Day 1b wrap up here.

Click away at some of our favorite Czech Ova's below.

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2008 Poker Player of the Year Updates

John Phan is clearly the 2008 Player of the Year.

With one major tournament to go before the year closes out (Bellagio Five Diamond Classic), here's a quick look at the two major Player of the Year races, for the 2% of our audience that comes here for legit poker news.

Bluff Magazine Poker Player of the Year - John Phan has a pretty sizable lead in this one. The Razor is sitting with 1,214.08 points. Tourney cashing machine Michael Binger is in second with 1,088.67. We're no math majors and can barely even add or subtract, but that seems like a pretty insurmountable lead. With two WSOP bracelets, a WPT title and a bunch of other final tables, if Phan doesn't win this award, Bluff should rename it the "Who Do I Have to Blow Around Here to Win the Player of the Year John Phan Memorial Award." View full rankings here.

Card Player Player of the Year- Again, John Phan leads this one with 6,704 points. He's followed by Bertrand Grospellier with 5,410. Not so sure if Phan has this one locked up but it's looking good for him. Whatever. The next few guys in line include David "The Dragon" Pham*, Ivan Demidov, Erik Seidel, and Michael Binger. Works for us. The highest ranking female on this list is Shannon Shorr at 16th Kathy Liebertat 29th. View full rankings here.

* Not a real dragon.

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Emily Scott Is A Hot, Wet, Online Poker Player

The headline to this post really should be, "We Actually Read The Stupid Interview that Went Along with Emily Scott's Bikini Photo Spread," because we've never done that before. Truth be told, we get all of our news just by looking at photos. That's how we learned Denzel Washington was elected president.*

Emily Scott, if you don't know, is the Australian version of Keeley Hazell except her breasts are not God-given, and in the RALPH magazine interview that we read we learned that Scott plays online poker

"I've been playing online poker slightly mentally. It's a bit of an addiction," said Scott. "No matter where you are, you've got a casino." 

She goes on to say has a tendency to "go all-in" a lot, gets drunk while playing and other pseudo-sexual innuendo stuff that makes the average male stalker think he has a shot at her and reminds us why we never read the interviews that go along with photo spreads like this.

* We kid, we kid. And it's cool. We can joke about this kind of thing. We voted for the guy so we get immunity for a couple years right? 

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Don't Drink the Water, Play Poker in Mexico

Gaby Ramirez is possibly the hottest model to ever come out of Mexico. Not that there's a ton of options. But regardless, she's one hot taco. Wow that was a bad joke. View more (NSFW) pics here.

As Dr. Pauly first reported here, something foul was going on at the LAPT Nuevo Vallarta in Mexico this weekend and it didn't have anything to do with digestive issues after eating food there, although for players caught up in the mix, it probably left a similar feeling in their collective stomachs.

While the exact reasons have yet to trickle out, the basic gist is late during Day 1 play, Mexican gaming officials made an unexpected decision to revoke the LAPT's gaming license. Play was suspended and eventually canceled.

In related news, just adding "Mexican" before any combination of words makes it sound way shadier, doesn't it? Mexican gaming officials. Mexican pharmaceutical doctors. Mexican birthday cake.

Anyway, below is the LAPT's official statement (blah blah blah). Even better, read Dr. Pauly's recap and explanation of how "the fix was in" here.

The Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) confirms that it is cancelling the poker tournament in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, due to an indefinite suspension served on one of its local partners. The LAPT states it has cooperated fully and in good faith with the requirements outlined by the Mexican government. The LAPT respects and abides by local regulations in each market. LAPT's partner in Mexico obtained a formal ruling from the Mexican Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) allowing the event to take place. As the LAPT compiled with every rule stipulated by the Code of the Mexican Federal Law of Games and Raffles, the reasons for suspension are being reviewed by lawyers of all parties.

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Weekend Poker Link Dump Brought to You Vida Guerra

We've featured Vida Guerra (and a backside) a couple times. Let's just say she's got a backdoor straight we'd like to chase after any day. View more a tribute here.

:: Sorel Mizzi captures his first live tournament title by winning Bellagio Five Diamond Classic event. And no, he did not take over for Chris Vaughn once it got down to three tables. You people are horrible for even thinking that. [link]

:: PokerListings is back with their Run-Good Challenge 2. Hopefully we run better than last time. [link]

:: Some old dude is the final table chip leader at the APPT Syndney. [link]

:: WTF is going on at the LAPT in Mexico? Pauly, get the fuck outta dodge, man. [link]

:: Michael Phelps' girlfriend, Caroline "Caz" Pal, only does "implied" nudity. Reminds us of when Bill Clinton wanted to know what your definition of "is" is. (Caroline "Caz" Pal topless here) [link]

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Please Don't Tell Us What Meat Spinning Is

We caught up with Daniel Negreanu while he was filming some new segments for PokerVT. During the vlog, somebody "meat spun" him, which sounds like either a Meatloaf version of the Rick Roll or something involving anal, which is probably what Meatloaf was actually talking about when he said he'd do anything for love but he won't do that.

Anyway, Daniel waxes on Hereos, his BC Poker win, and more...

Watch Daniel Negreanu is Back on RawVegas.tv
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Hot Asian Sex Educator Jenny Woo Dating WSOP Final Tablist Ylon Schwartz?


Gambling911.com reported the other day that its venerable reporter Jenny Woo was dating one of the freed November Nine hostages or not dating but maybe banging. Or maybe they were just having dinner together in Miami. Anyway, Gambling911.com wouldn't say the name of the player but we can confirm that it was...drumroll please....oh wait, we wrote it in the headline. So yeh, WSOP ME fourth place finisher Ylon Schwartz had dinner and drinks the other night with our favorite Hot Asian Sex educator Jenny Woo. 

Good for him. 

Our waiter/source tells us that Ylon dropped about $600 on the dinner, which is about $600 more than what he needed to spend to get Woo naked. 

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CEREUS Blocks Kentucky IP Addresses

Charlotte McKenna is a model from UK. Because we're arrogant U.S. Americans, we immediately thought that meant she went to the University of Kentucky. But no, apparently there is some "United Kingdom" across the Atlantic Ocean from us. Whatever.

The CEREUS network (comprised of online poker cheating sites Absolute Poker and UltimateBet) won't allow Kentucky IP addresses from accessing their sites. This is in accordance with Franklin County's  Circuit Court’s recent orders (from the domain seizure case).

From a press release:

"In complying with the Court’s orders, Tokwiro has agreed to implement an IP Block across its Absolute Poker and UltimateBet websites (both .net and .com), plus utlimatebet.tv. The Block will prevent players with IP addresses originating inside the Commonwealth of Kentucky from playing using AP and UB software, logging in or registering a new account, making deposits to the cashier, and transferring or receiving funds from other players. The IP Block will allow players with IP addresses originating in Kentucky to make withdrawals of existing account funds, but these players will not be able to make any new deposits or transfers.

Paul Leggett, Tokwiro’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We have taken this action in order to ensure that the vast number of our customers, who do not reside in Kentucky, continue to have access to our sites and to enjoy playing online poker without disruption or inconvenience.”

Love how CEREUS sites have suddenly developed a conscience. Hopefully everyone in the 49 other states will do a self-imposed banning of the CEREUS network now.

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Dan Druff to Address 60 Minutes Fall Out, Mason Malmouth Bashing

The 60 Minutes feature on the Absolute Poker and UltimateBet online poker cheating scandals earned a collective "meh" from the Entities.

Yeah it wasn't great for online poker but it could've been way, way worse. The final piece was far from the outright "hatchet job" we were told it would be.

Not everyone shares this opinion though. Taking a lot of heat right now is Todd "Dan Druff" Witteles for his closing comments:

"The people who did this were very greedy and very blatant. But the scary thing is there may be other accounts out there like this, maybe even on other sites that are not being done with the same sort of recklessness. And maybe this has been going on on more than Absolute Poker and UltimateBet, maybe it's going on in several other places, and maybe it's still going on on these sites."

Pretty legitimate concern (although we don't believe it is happening), especially if you were actually one of the people who was scammed, as Druff was.

But Druff is getting slammed on 2+2 (start reading here). Even Mason Malmouth went on a 2+2 podcast to use Druff's comments as an opp to smack down NWP and call for some weird "regulations" of sites within the poker industry.

The funny thing about this is Druff was one of the guy's who helped unearth the Absolute mess, doing the poker community a big service. Dude is getting no slip-up equity for that. And in the 2+2 podcast, it was also revealed that Druff even clarified his "controversial" statement that he did feel safe on other sites, but 60 Minutes didn't air it.

Anyway, more high school drama is sure to ensue. Listen to Mason's chat here.

Read more on NWP here. Druff to go on NWP Radio as well.

Watch the full 60 Minutes piece below for more perspective in case you did miss it.

Watch CBS Videos Online

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Erick Lindgren Hosting Charity Fundraiser on FTP Wednesday

FOWCP Erick Lindgren is hosting an online fundraiser for the the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society/Southern Nevada in memory of Mindy Trinidad.

Trinidad final tabled the 2007 World Series of Poker Ladies event and won the Reno Hilton's Pot of Gold. The mother of two recently passed due to complications associated with Leukemia. 

To enter the fundraiser, go to the FullTilt Tournament Lobby and click on the PRIVATE tab. The tourney is listed as "Dec 3 19:00 Hold'em NL $5 + $5" with the password "charity."

The winner banks a first place cash prize and a "WORLD" model Curtis & Co. watch valued at $2,200.

And that concludes the nicest post we've done all yea--ever.

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Not Necessarily Just Poker News Brought to You By Giorgia Palmas

Everything about Giorgia Palmas is hot. Her name is hot. She hails from Cagliari, Sardinia which just sounds like a place crawling with hot girls everywhere. If she was as skilled as Jeff Madsen's ex Trischelle in the sack...and was mute...she'd probably be close to the perfect girl as you could get. View more Giorgia Palmas pics here.

:: Poker player Michael Phelps was named Sportsman of the Year by SI even though he only final tabled one tournament. Erick Lindgren, John Pham, and Daniel Negreanu are like, "Seriously wtf?" What? This isn't just a poker award? [link]

:: While British model Danielle Lloyd doesn't look as good in a bikini as reigning WCP Girl of the Year Keeley Hazell does in this chocolate one, we're not ones to really split hairs over two hot ass super-models in bikinis. [link]

:: The PPA issues its statement on the 60 Minutes/Washington Post pieces on the online poker cheating scandals. It's ok, but just feels like there's some meat & potatoes missing from their message. [link]

:: Read Dr. Pauly's reflective and spot-on take about Las Vegas. [link]

:: Good news! Andrew is still not the father! Our new favorite part is around 18 seconds. [link]

:: National Lampoon opens an online casino. Ok. Why not. [link]

:: What started off as potentially one of the worst threads ever turned out to be pretty damn funny. [link]

:: Man this economy is even hitting Monopoly Man hard. [link]

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Caroline “Caz” Pal, Poker Player Michael Phelps' New Girlfriend



It's good to be Michael Phelps these days.

Record-breaking Olympic gold medal haul. Glowing 60 Minutes feature last night. Burgeoning poker game. Hot ass girlfriend with the kind of tattoos that let you know way in advance that she'd be good at certain things.

The above/below photos are of Caroline "Caz" Pal, a Las Vegascocktail waitress and rumored to be Phelps' new girlfriend (she reportedly met the fam over Thanksgiving). Read more about it here. View more pics here.

Caroline_caz_pal_1 Caroline_caz_pal_phelps_04 Caroline_caz_pal_phelps_12

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60 Minutes Online Poker Cheating Expose - What Did You Think?

Absolute Douchebags: Potripper and other online poker cheaters were finally featured on 60 Minutes last night.

60 Minutes aired its online poker cheating story last night. Some initial thoughts:

  • Could've been worse.
  • Especially when Steve Kroft started it off by saying that you can simply access an on site by logging on to the "world wide web..." At least he didn't go with "Information SuperhighwayTM."
  • Come on, Todd. You could've at least told them to refer to you as Todd "Dan Druff" Witteles. Nice NWP representing nonetheless.
  • The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is absolutely useless.
  • The fact that no criminal action has been brought against Russ Hamilton is disgusting.
We're currently working on a major Russ Hamilton story, and like 60 Minutes, tried contacting him about a month ago and had similar results. We know of a few big name pros who Hamilton personally stole money from through a super-user account. The dude is a slimeball.

More to come...but read more on the scandals here, here, and here.

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Girls on the Rail at 2008 WSOP


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

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