The Toke

People Got Drunk at Phil Hellmuth's Holiday Party

This past Tuesday night, Phil Hellmuth threw a big birthday/holiday party in a Palms fantasy suite. If we were retarded, we'd say it looked "off the chain" or "off the hook" or "was the bomb." The dude with that thing on his chin from Anthrax played, and apparently, plenty of booze was available.

Having some fun at the party included party tour guide Gavin Smith, recent Five-Diamond $5k runner-up finisher Sully Erna, Roland de Wolfe, and Jamie Gold (who provides one of the night's best lines about 3:45 in). Watch below or here.

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Don't Tase Me, Bro! Phil Hellmuth at Beauty and the Bet Charity Fundraiser

Some thing are just funny. Like Phil Hellmuth interviewing the CEO of Taser International on his charity poker tournament at the Palms. The event, called Beauty and the Bet, was held to benefit fallen police officers. And if we can editorialize for a moment, it's one of the best kind of charity fund-raisers imaginable, as it incorporated two things which should be required by law to be part of any philanthropic endeavor: poker and hot girls with big boobs.

Watch the video below or here. Watch Phil Hellmuth vlogs here. Read the USA Today article Hellmuth references in the video here.

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Jerry Yang to Actually Appear In a Poker Tournament

The National Poker League (NPL) Vegas Open is in full swing at the Venetian right now. And while the big shocking news would normally be that Kathy Liebert, a woman, won the NPL Event #1 (banking $55,619), even more outrageously shocking is that Jerry Yang, the most anonymous WSOP winner ever, is actually going to play in the $5,000 buy-in event and possibly even in the $15,000 buy-in Championship Event.

Yang, as you may recall, was last seen not showing up to the APPT tourney in Maccau.

The $15,000 NPL Championship Event begins on Monday the 3rd with an expected first place haul of just over $1M.

Get "full" NPL coverage here. Watch the latest webisode of The TOKE, where host Dave Farra (who co-hosts NPL high-def tournament action with Kirk Morrison) interviews NPL Exec Producer Sam Riddle below.

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Wayne Allyn Root Can Talk For 5 Minutes Without Taking a Breath, Wants Your Vote

We wouldn't vote for Wayne Allyn Root. Because we don't vote. Unless they figure out a way to bring Ronald Reagan back from the dead and have the Gipper go for a third term, you won't find us near a "pole" that doesn't have a stripper in front of it.  Unless Hillary of course gets the Democratic nod, in which case we'd feel it was our civic duty to keep the apocalypse from happening. 

Anyway, famed sports handicapper Wayne Allyn Root has officially registered with the Federal Elections Committee and will run for President of the U.S. America as a Libertarian. In the latest TOKE vid, he talks about the UIGEA and what he thinks of Greg Raymer running as his VEEP, something the Fossilman has expressed interest in doing.

Without taking a breath, Root says:

"Maybe we'll see...Greg is a great guy great speaker very intelligent a lot of wisdom and I think when you meet Greg and you meet me you go those aren't gamblers those are professional kind of guys."

Watch the full interview below.

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Wicked Chops Poker and Looking For The Hottest Girls in Poker

Shannon ElizabethJennicide FHMLacey Jones pokerErica Schoenberg

Ok, it's time to take a break from all this AP drama and scamming and get to the really important issue in the poker world.

It's been debated on the best poker forums and blogs for years. It's importance has been paralled to that of "how did the universe begin" and "how many beers can I drink and still be under the legal driving limit?"

Who is the best looking girl in poker?

It's time to make it somewhat official. So Wicked Chops Poker (through our show on, The TOKE), is looking for the answer.

Here are what we feel are some pretty simple criteria:

1) The girl must have a cash in a major event (WSOP bracelet tourney, WPT, NBC National Heads-Up, etc.),
2) The girl must be hot, and
3) The girl must be hot.

So while these criteria eliminate some of our faves like like Kimberly Lansing, Layla Kayleigh, and shit, even Joanna Krupa, you've still got plenty of good options. For a sport filled with as many fug dudes as poker does, we actually do have a bounty of babes who know how to treat a big stack. From classics like Clonie to Hollywood carpetbaggers like Elizabeth and Tilly, to online hotties like Jennicide, crazy/hots like Brandi, strip poker sultrusses like Erica, and FOWCP stunners like Lacey, Michele, and (on sponsor's exemption) Dee. And we haven't even gotten to Evy, Carmel,Liz or Vanessa from Duke yet.

All you need to do is send your submissions (up to 5 choices) to [email protected] or comment on them below. We'll pull the list of winners and present them on The TOKE in a couple of weeks. Maybe even come up with some sort of award. Why not?

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The Pwning Continues

If there's one thing we've learned from this whole Justin Smith Saga, it's never loan Justin Smith money that you can be sued for blasphemy tooken is a new word we should all use never take money from Micon and not pay him back.

MiconActually, unstrike the "never loan Justin Smith money" one. That one still holds.

Micon continues his warpath with his latest recorded phone call, this time urging Smith to tell his tale on

We contacted (it wasn't difficult) to see when the Smith interview would take place. Said our well-placed source: "We called the guy, but [Smith] refused to go on camera to tell his side. Guess we'll save our resources to film more hot girls giving each other lap dances or partying in bikinis on Lake Mead and shit. Oh well."

Is the "Saga" coming to an end? Just like that song from Asia, only time will tell...

Listen to Micon's call here. Watch Micon's TOKE again here.

* Photo from Card Player.

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Bryan Micon Talks About Justin Smith Swindle, Needs a Shower

While the Absolute Poker insider cheating scandal has been the biggest story to ever hit 2+2, with endless threads active day and night and no end in sight, over at it's been the story of Bryan Micon getting rolled for 12 dimes by a guy named Justin Smith that has had the forum degenerates chatting ad nauseam.

For the latest webisode of "The Toke with Wicked Chops Poker", Micon stopped by the studio in Las Vegas to talk on camera about how Smith, a purported resident of Beverly Hills, purported celebrity schmoozer and purported heir to the Chase fortune, rolled him for $12k and others, including oil heir fattie Jason Davis, for much more. For those who have been missing out on the fun over at NWP, the video is the Reader's Digest version on how Micon has turned the "fuck you machine" on to try to get his money back. For those who already know the story, it's a video of Micon. Hilarity ensues, whether you're laughing with him or at him.

Bryan Micon-Justin Smith video.

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Archie Karas Lost A Lot of Money

Among Vegas gambling lore, there's no greater figure than Archie Karas.

Jack Binion once said he never met anyone with more gamble in him than Archie Karas. And he should know. During a span from around 1993-95, Karas reportedly went up as much as $22-45 million at Binion's playing craps and poker. Karas won millions off Chip Reese...and blown millions back rolling dice.

We caught up with Karas recently to talk poker. Watch the latest webisode of The TOKE below. And after the jump, watch a The TOKE recap of the Shawn Sheikhan immigration battle.

Continue reading "Archie Karas Lost A Lot of Money" »

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The Toke: Beers, Steers and Poker, Shannon Elizabeth Handles a Stick Like a Pro, Chad Kroeger Not Among "Rock Legends" at VH1 Poker Event + David Einhorn's Fund Goes Busto

:: Bill Seeks to Legalize Poker in Texas. Is Omaha Next? - Bars in the state that gave us the game of hold'em and some rockin' toast may not be known just for beers, steers and queers anymore thanks to a bill (HB 3186) introduced in the state legislature that would allow certain establishments in Texas to have up to four real money poker tables. The sexy gang over at is all over this news like two lonely cowboys in a rain storm. - and

Shannonelizabethpool:: From Heads Up to 8 Balls and a Stick - After besting some of poker's finest at the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, including world champion bracelet winners Barry Greenstein and Humberto Brenes, Shannon Elizabeth reportedly is bored with the game of poker, saying, "It's so easy, an F-list actress could do it," (and when we say "reportedly" we mean we're making this up). She is now moving onto the game of pool, recently taking on the Prince of Pool himself, Corey Deuel, at the IPT North American Open 8-Ball Championship. -

:: Get Amped for Airing of VH1's Rock and Roll Poker Tournament - VH1 Classic is airing its Rock 'n' Roll for Charity Poker Tournament on Wednesday, March 14, at 10 p.m. ET, and will feature a full table of rock and roll legends, except replace "rock and roll legends" with Godsmack's Sully Erna, Pantera's Vinnie Paul, Kiss' Ace Frehley, ZZ Top's Dusty Hill, and Anthrax's Scott Ian. The event is for charity so we won't say anything mean about Nickelback's Chad Kroeger not getting an invite to play because he's a cheesy wannabe rocker douchebag who can't sing or write one damn lyric worth listening to. -

:: Nice Guy Poker Player Sees Hedge Fund Flop - David Einhorn, the 18th place finisher at the 2007 WSOP main event who made headlines for donating all of his $659,730 winnings to charity, has seen the hedge fund he manages lose about $140 million recently, primarily due to one of its holdings, New Century Financial, being the subject of a Federal criminal probe. Einhorn has since quit the board of New Century. Cue Debbie Downer "wah-wah" now. -

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The Toke (Belated): Pakistani Pays Poker Debt With Daughter, The WSOP/Keeley Hazell Trade Deal + Calling a Bet On Your T-Mobile

:: Reason #451 Why It Sucks to Be a Woman in Pakistan: A poker player from Pakistan, that back-ass-wards country in Asia whose biggest exports are terrorism and nuclear trade secrets, ran up a gambling debt of 10,000 Pakistani rupees ($165) in a game 16 years ago, and unable to pay it off, he agreed to hand over his 1-year-old daughter when she turned 17 in lieu of payment. The girl, now 17, if you do the math, is being sought by the debtee so that he can marry/own her but the Pakistani police have stepped in to "protect her," which we understand is Pakistani for "flogging the crap out of her for not doing as told." -

Melissatheuriau11_1_1:: They Give Us Keeley Hazell, We Give them the World Series of Poker: As part of a multi-year trade deal between the White House and the European Union, the U.S. has agreed to export the World Series of Poker to Europe later this year in exchange for giving us Keeley Hazell, who is set to the star in the upcoming Baywatch movie, as well as a slew of hot models with funny names for future Victoria's Secret catalogs, a move that angered representatives from Brazil. Insiders claim that a last ditch effort by the French, in which they sought to trade men in speedos and street mimes for Jerry Lewis, failed when U.S. representatives demanded Melissa Theuriau (seen at right and the only good thing about France) as part of the deal. The European edition of the WSOP will take place this fall, Sept 6-16, 2007, in foggy London town, which our sources tell us is in England. -

:: A New Way to Call Someone On Your Cell: - T-Mobile is set to launch real money multiplayer poker you can play on your cell phone. Some of the sites you can access include the World Poker Tour, Poker Million and Aces Royal. This of course won't be available to U.S. residents, which if you combine the annoying factor of a great majority of people on their cell phones with people who suck out on the river and act like it was the greatest play ever, then we may actually be happy about this. -

:: Keeley Hazell In Hollywood: Since we mentioned Keeley Hazell earlier, it seems wise to tell you that she just did a new spread in Zoo Weekly, that has her dressed appropriately on a beach in L.A., which is about 100 yards away from where we are right now. -

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The TOKE: A Bunch of Stuff We Really Don't Care About

Asia_map:: The Asian Poker Classic confuses us Entities. Maybe it's just us, but it seems like there should be some general parameters for an event to be considered a "classic." 1) It's been held more than once, and 2) it's been held more than once. The Asian Poker Classic...which by the way is in India...and while we're no anthropologists, Indians and Asians don't exactly look or smell a lot alike...just announced they will be the richest poker tournament in Asia. Given how new the whole tournament poker scene is there, this is kind of like announcing you're the prettiest girl in Maza, ND. PR Newswire

:: WSOP offering live satellites in really shitty cities. Since God hates poker and we're no longer allowed to qualify for the WSOP Main Event online, WSOP officials have stepped up to the plate and are now offering live satellite in rinky-dink casinos in Michigan and Minnesota. You can also qualify in satellites at the WSOP-C event in Council Bluffs, IA next week. Although that means you'll have to spend a day in Council Bluffs, IA. Translated: not worth it. Poker Player

:: More poker criminals in Saipan. Three armed with a with a machete...and one unarmed...walk into a poker arcade in Saipan and steal $12,000 in cash. A patron asks to the unarmed one, "Why are you unarmed?" To which he replies, "I lost them in the Battle of Saipan in 1944." Ok, only the first part of this paragraph was true. The rest is just really bad Saipanese humor. Not our fault. They just don't raise 'em very funny over there. Saipan Tribune

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The Toke: Poker Movies are Original, Long Live the Gutshot, Playboy Poker Not for You, WPT Dishes New Game + Staying Up for Shana

Jayde_nicole_03:: Poker movies are so original. Pierce Brosnan (loved ya in the Matador) will team with casino owner Phil Maloof to star in a film adaptation of the novel "The Big Biazarro," which is about a veteran poker player who mentors a stubborn yet talented protege, which sounds just like the upcoming poker movie Deal, which stars Burt Reynolds as a veteran poker player who mentors a stubborn yet talented protege who he ends up meeting at a WPT final table, which sounds a lot like Lucky You, a film about a veteran poker player and his stubborn yet talented son who he ends up meeting at the final table of the WSOP. And they all sound like The Color of Money. So if you're wondering why your screenplay about a poker player who ___ (fill in with totally unique poker oriented film plot) hasn't piqued the interest of Hollywood producers, it's because it wasnt original like those above. -

:: Long live the Gutshot! Gutshot owner Derek Kelly, who was convicted recently for violating the UK's 1968 Gaming Act, has announced he will appeal the verdict against him and that the Gutshot will remain open. -

:: Playboy launches online gambling site for everyone but kids and Americans. Playboy, whose Playmate of the Month is Jayde Nicole (seen in photo with clothes on, unlike here - NSFW), has just launched a new online poker and casino gaming site that offers players the chance to party with Hef as well as a few bunny pics here and there (pretty weak actually) but doesn't permit people under 18 to play, of course, or any American players, because we're children.

:: WPT dishes new TV poker game that only works when it's sunny outside. The World Poker Tour Interactive TV Edition is now available to anyone with Dish Network's DishGAMES subscription service. The game allows players, when there's not a single cloud in the sky and nothing else is good on tv, the chance to challenge virtual poker pros like David Williams, Antonio Esfandiari, Michael Mizrachi, and Evelyn Ng. -
:: Insomniacs staying up for "Poker After Dark." "Poker After Dark," NBC’s late night poker show hosted by WCP fave Shana Hiatt, reportedly has out-rated Craig Ferguson in the 18 - 34 demo and was only a tenth of a point behind ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel show last week even though "Poker After Dark" airs two hours later than Kimmel and 90 minutes later than Ferguson. If anyone out there actually watches Craig Ferguson, please contact us for a study we're doing on people who watch shows we think nobody watches. The good news is that "Poker After Dark"'s rating success should mean that a Maxim or Stuff spread for Hiatt is in the near future, and if it's not, please hire us. -

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The TOKE: A $50k Getaway, Party Plummeting, Bond vs. Penguins + Keeley's Casino Royale Spread

Been awhile since our last The TOKE. Some quick hits of recent news:

:: How to scoop a $50k pot. And by "scoop" we mean "rob at gunpoint." Newsday reports that "armed bandits" robbed a poker fundraiser in Long Island over the weekend, making off with around $50k. To this we ask, "people still call gun-toting robbers 'armed bandits?'" Did they hop in their Model T and "make off with the loot lickity split, you see"? Newsday

:: PartyPoker's popularity plunges. According to Launch Poker, PartyPoker, a mainstay as one of the top two most poker sites in the entire universe, slipped down to the number three most popular cash game site last week, surpassed by Full Tilt Poker. We'll go out on a limb and say this may have to do with Party not 2063_1_evagreenaccepting U.S. players anymore. Somewhere in India, Anurag Dikshit is crying...over the billions he cashed out before Party pulled out of the U.S. market, that is. Launch Poker

:: New James Bond popular, but not as popular as animated penguins. The new James Bond flick Casino Royale, which from what we understand involves poker and Eva Green (at right), took in a hearty $40M+ in weekend box office, which is great, but not good enough to top Happy Feet, an animated movie about penguins. Fucking penguins. Box Office Mojo

:: Keeley Hazell Does Casino Royale and a Poker Table. Speaking of the new Bond flick, Keeley Hazell, Michelle Marsh and some other girls did a Casino Royale-inspired spread for London's Page 3, and it isn't so NSFW as it is completely NSFW. This photo (yes, NSFW) by the way is our favorite of the series. You can get your Casino Royale on over at the Page 3 Casino or check out a video of the shoot here. See the spread (did we mention it's NSFW?) at Daily Niner

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The TOKE: The Kid Signs, Kid Poker Sign Up for Another Protege + Kids, Stay Away from Brian Jolley

Wicked Chops Poker just remembered we have a semi-regular news dump called the TOKE. Good thing too, because we have some brief Nick Lachey-sized bits of poker news to dump on you, and creating yet another new feature on this site would require entirely more effort than we are willing to give right now.

:: Poker Royalty adds to its court. Jeff Madsen, known on this site as "Mad Dog" and to the rest of the industry as "the Kid," needs a new nickname, cause both of his current ones are lazy and completely uncreative (no fault of his own, of course). Maybe he should just change his name to "Youngest Ever" since he'll probably be called the youngest player to win two WSOP bracelets for the rest of recorded history (much to the chagrin of his arch-nemisis, E-Fro) and since he could very well be the youngest person that will ever sign with Poker Royalty. PR News Wire

:: Daniel Negreanu is a good teacher. In case you missed it, the first protege Daniel Negreanu took under his wing, Brian Fidler, is doing pretty well. So if you like poker and want to do pretty well at it, sign up for season two of Daniel Negreanu's Protege. Yahoo! News

:: Brian Jolley (allegedly) touches underage girls in inappropriate ways. In what will surely be a new entry into of our Stupid Poker Criminals Hall of Fame, 24 year-old Brian Jolley (allegedly) taught two underaged girls how to play strip poker and then touched them in a way that lands 24 year-olds who touch underaged girls inappropriately in jail. Cambridge News

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The TOKE: Absolute Grinder, Pam Does Doyle, + Poker Dame on Poker Dome

With the WSOP underway, let's catch-up on some loose ends, or tie up some loose ends, or report on some stories related to poker, before what will surely be a month's plus worth of tournament coverage. And pics of half-naked women. We'll find a way to work those in too. Don't worry.

:: Absolute Poker adds humanoid to its stable. Joining FsOWCP Mark Seif and Lacey Jones, Absolute Poker has signed arguably the best NLH tournament player in the world right now, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, as an endorser of the site. As you know, The Grinder is a machine. He even said as much in his intro at the USPC. Seriously, he did. Quote: “I am Michael Mizrachi and I am a machine.” We'd continue making fun of him for this, except: 1) we begrudgingly admit he's a better poker player than us and he has somewhat earned the right to say ridiculous things that even a kindergartner would be made fun of for saying, and 2) he's a big guy, and if he punched us in the face, it would probably hurt. Tons. And we like our faces. They’re good-looking faces.   BLUFF

Pamelaanderson:: Pamela Anderson stars in video where she's not naked or getting drilled by a guy with a horse c**k. PETA proponent Pam Anderson, who was bumped by poker as one of the so-called "Internet's" top search terms, decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. She’s now lending her assets to star in a TV commercial promoting We may or may not have more to add on this ad later in the week, but for now, we’ll just move on and avoid making the obvious STACKED or rack joke, which is tempting, because she has a big rack, which is word associated with poker, and we like making those kinds of jokes. Online Gambling Insider

:: Jen Leo to wear Wicked Chops Poker shirt on Poker Dome. FOWCP Jen Leo qualified for Mansion Poker's Poker Dome. Which is awesome. She'll be wearing a Wicked Chops Poker shirt. Which is more awesome. And totally fabricated. But that would be awesome. The show is taped on July 9th and airs on the 23rd. Read about it on her blog. Jen Leo Live!

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The TOKE: Texas Hates Charity Poker, Electra Battles Brain Tumors, + Take the Chips, Leave the Cannoli

:: Texas hold'em for charity not welcome in Texas.  The plug has been pulled on yet another charity texas hold'em tournament in the Lone Star State.  The event, promoted by and featuring six-time bracelet winner T.J. Cloutier, was to benefit the Peace Officers Memorial Foundation.  However, the charity tourney was sent to the rail due to a Texas law prohibiting the hosting of a poker tournament at venues that hold an on-premises alcoholic beverage permit.  Since when did a little thing called "the law" get in the way of Texas getting things done?  Did "the law" stop the execs at Enron from stealing millions to pad their wallets and bankrupt the company?  Did "the law" stop W from Carmen_elektra_2"allegedly" stealing not one, but two elections?  Did "the law" stop...wait, these probably aren't the best examples here.  [publish]  Poker Mag

:: So if you want to hold a charity event, just do the damn thing in Vegas.  Pussycat Doll Carmen Electra hosted a charity poker tournament for the Head to Hollywood foundation.  Despite what you may be thinking, the organization does not describe how Electra got her start in showbiz.  Instead, the group helps survivors of cancerous and non-cancerous brain tumors.  Which Electra might've had...when she married Dennis RodmanCard Player

:: Today's oxymoron: Canadian mafia.  The Calgary Sun reports that three relatives of slain mobster Enio Mora were shot over a disputed poker bet.  The shootings raise a very disturbing question: since when has America Jr. had a mafia? And didn't Michael Moore show us that Canada is the most peaceful wonderful country in the world where people happily leave their doors unlocked and frolic in fields of daisies hand-in-hand with their neighbors?  Did Michael Moore exaggerate something?  There's no way.  None.  Not Michael Moore.  No way. Not buying it. Nah ah. The Calgary Sun

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The TOKE: Those F'in Carolinas Again, Harrington Spills More Secrets, + The Say on Mandaly Bay Day 1 Play

:: Son, you're a big hypocrite.  For some reason, at least when it's typed out, all Carolinians sound like Foghorn Leghorn.  "Boy, I said boy, don't play none of that video poker.  It's eeee-vil."  While technically the banning of video poker really isn't a bad thing, still, the Carolinas are at it again, with North Carolina about to do what South Carolina did a few years ago: kill video poker and kill the competition for its state-sponsored lottery.  The Daily News

Harrington_on_holdem :: Action Dan shows more tricks up his sleeve.  To the delight of donks everywhere, Action Dan Harrington has cranked out another sure-to-be best-seller: Harrington on Hold 'em Vol. III -- The Workbook: Expert Strategy for No-Limit Tournaments.  This one is like a big quiz, which is appropriate, since pros everywhere are questioning why Action Dan keeps spilling all of the tricks to the trade.  It would be like David Blaine doing a special showing people how they could hold their breath for like a really long time.  Poker Mag

:: Big names lead Mandalay Bay's first major tournament.  The WPT comes to the Mandalay Bay for the first time, and some big time names are leading the way after Day 1.  Leading them all is Nenad Medic with 141,700.  Some other chips leaders include: 3) Amnon Filippi - 112,150, 4) Josh Arieh - 100,225, 5) Amir Vahedi - 93,575, 6) Carlos Mortensen - 93,400, 7) Tim Phan - 93,000, 8) Hasan Habib - 92,675, 9) Mike Gracz - 87,400, 11) Gavin Smith - 84,400, 12) Patrik Antonius - 83,650, 13) David Oppenheim - 81,925, 15) Tuan Le - 78,300.   Poker Wire

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The TOKE: SC Men Want Poker, Utah Man Loves Poker, + Johnny Chan Wants His Money Back

:: Poker in the Palmetto State.  As we've noted, the Carolinas hate poker more than any other state(s).  They hate poker almost as much as we hate the ubiquity of Palmetto decals and licence plates in our home state of GA.  Regardless, a group of South Cakalakians recently arrested for loving poker (and playing it for money) would like to to flip the script on the state of SC, stating they want to challenge the state's 200-year poker ban in a court of law.  A court of law! Something tells us this isn't going to end well for said group of players, kind of like that drunken 2am trip to Taco Bell when you order two burritos and Jeff_fullmersome tacos and a just ends up being a waste of time and money and come morning you really wish you hadn't done it. WSOCTV

:: Waaaait a minute, someone in Utah is normal? World, meet Jeff Fullmer.  He's a University of Utah student who doesn't find poker to be addictive or immoral.  While most men in Utah are busy marrying multiple wives (actually, wait, this is bad?), or claiming to be some new creepy prophet, or even worse, are Mormon, Jeff plays poker. He also wears purple blazers with black t-shirts, but we'll let that slide.  The Daily Utah Chronicle

:: Chan bluffed out of $150k, and this time it wasn't at the poker table.  We feel this deserves its own separate post, and perhaps later in the day it will receive such treatment, as we need a new member in the Stupid Poker Criminals Hall of Fame.  So here's the bare bone details.  Johnny Chan, who from what we hear is a good poker player or something, was conned out of $150k by John Robert Wright, a soon-to-be-elected member of the Stupid Poker Criminals Hall of FameThe Californian

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The TOKE: May ESPN Edition

Centerphoto_mainevent2:: Win a WSOP seat for nothing, get your chips for free.  Wicked Chops Poker isn't sure if we really like or despise that lead-in sentence.  Regardless, or as uneducated yahoos might say, "irreregardless," we do know that ESPN's Poker Club is running its WSOP promo now.  You can win a seat to the big dance for the cost of breathing air.  For uneducated yahoos, that means it's free.  Download the app and good luck.  ESPN Poker Club

:: And while we're talking about the WSOP...  The Club's columnists talk about the WSOP.  Phil Gordon, Scott Fischman, Steve Rosenbloom, and Bernard Lee posted a variety of WSOP-themed articles, with Gordon giving some sage advice on his game plan for maneuvering through THIS year's massive fields, and Lee thankfully focusing on how he impressively maneuvered through LAST year's massive field with little mention of that whole crying episode.  ESPN Poker Club

:: It's not the size of your stack it's how you swing it.  FOWCP Andrew Feldman continues his weekly tipping, focusing this week on how to effectively push your short-stack.  And yes, we're talking about poker.  ESPN Poker Club

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The TO: People Hail Caesar's + Lindsay Lohan is Starving for Nachos

The well of poker content (or poker content we'd like to cover, at least) is running dry this week.  Maybe not Ethiopia-1984-dry, but maybe more like July-in-Seattle-dry.  Anyway, we here at Wicked Chops Poker are starving for content.  So much so that we can barely bring you a full TOKE.  With that in mind, we bring you this TO (pronounced "toe").

Lindsay Lohan poker :: Lots of people at WSOPC at Caesar's.  Over 650 quote-unquote rounders entered the first WSOPC event at Caesar's last week, breaking some sort of record.  More than 600 people sweated the more the 600 entrants.  So apparently, people are still jazzed about poker.  Did we mention we'll be at Caesar's in two days?  Just in case we didn't, we'll be at Caesar's in two daysCard Player

:: What a surprise, we nail another prediction.  We have wicked prediction chops.  Just yesterday, we predicted that Paris Hilton's latest dumpee, Starvos Niarchos (aka Starving Nachos) would be hooking up with Lindsay Lohan soon.  Hours after that prediction was made, rumors began floating that Niarchos and Lohan have in fact been rabbit-dancing.  Scary.  WWTDD

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The TOKE: Myspace Isn't Just For Middle-Aged Pervs Scoping For Teenage Girls, Bust Busty Baywatch Babe for Bounty, + She Didn't Lose the Bentley, But She Did Lose Starvos :(

:: Poker + Myspace...whatta pair.  Two-thirds of Wicked Chops Poker love MySpace.  However, Chops hates it, as you can tell by his oft-ignored and shitty MySpace homepage.  However, poker sites like Full Tilt, Empire, Titan, and Pacific Poker (as well as Wicked Chops Poker), are using MySpace as a valuable marketing and advertising vehicle, because Myspace is as viral as Avian influenza (or bird-flu, for the layman)Poker News

Pamela_anderson_pictures:: Pamela Anderson has big breasts, likes poker.  Joining celebrities Nicky Hilton and Kevin Connolly at Doyle's Room is Stacked's stacked star Pamela Anderson.  After being bumped as the so-called "Internet's" top search engine term by poker, the former Baywatch babe and Wicked Chops fave must've decided, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."  Bust Anderson on the site, and collect a bounty.  And speaking of busting Anderson, if you haven't yet watched her Comedy Central Roast, we highly recommend you pick it up, if only to cruelly witness the negative effects that rampant drug use has had on Courtney Love.  That bitch is crazy. Gambling 911

:: Paris keeps Bentley, loses Starvos.  Recently, Wicked Chops Poker's faith in love was restored when (publicity) whore Anna Benson of re-united with husband Kris (Benson).  Today though, our faith in love has been torn down, shattered, obliterated, and destroyed yet again.  Poker princess and hotel heirress Paris Hilton may not have lost her Bently after-all, but she did lose her latest Greek love, Starvos Niarchos.  No word yet on which American beauty Starvos Niarchos (who if he were to star in Jack Black's new movie Nacho Libre as a Mexican wrestler would be called Starving Nacho) will start banging now that he's single.  But since Wicked Chops Poker are master prognosticators, we'll throw this name out there: Lindsey Lohan.  Take it to the bank.  The Superficial

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The TOKE: Blah, Blah, + More Blah

It's been a slow news weekend, but we had to get that pic of Kirstie Alley pushed from the top of the homepage, so we're cobbling together a rather meaningless TOKE to do just that. 

Victoriasilvstedt :: People who are seemingly important in the poker industry to gather in Sweden as an excuse to ogle beautiful blond bombshells.  The date: June 27-28, 2006. The place: the City Conference Center in Stockholm, Sweden. The event: The World Poker Congress. This year's theme: "You played that crap?"*  Someone or some people are organizing the first World Poker Congress in Sweden, home of long-limbed beautiful women with morally casual attitudes (more pics at the jump).  The loftily named World Poker Congress will address both online and brick & mortar business concerns from the worldwide poker industry and, you know, discuss things of relevance for the good of the people, by the people, and for the people.  It will then grow into some unmanageable bureaucratically largessed cluster-fuck controlled by lobbyists and special interest groups--its leaders will be bogged down in prosecuting or being prosecuted in scandal after scandal--only to eventually "sign-off" on an ill-conceived war against IraqPoker 777

::  Waaaaiiit a minute here, Italians are corrupt? If you think our Government is crooked, we ain't got nothin' on the I-talians.  In Exhibit 1,908,768,899 of Italian-shadiness, here's the latest offense, as reported by Poker News: "Italy had banned over 800 online poker and gaming sites from operating in the country. Through blocking of the respective sites by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Italy, they were virtually able to eliminate traffic from Italians towards those sites. Soon after-wards, the Italian government announced that the gaming operation Eurobet was allowed to operate inside the borders, essentially setting up a government sponsored monopoly on online gaming and poker."  This move, called the Italian Finance Act, for some reason hasn't been received well in the online world. In related news, how about that AJ kid trying to whack Uncle Junior in last night's Sopranos?  Seriously, can that kid do anything right? Poker News

:: This guy claims that poker is a sport.  Only read this if you're into self-mutilation or have already read every article ever published on the so-called "Internet."  Poker Player Newspaper

*Not this year's theme.

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The TOKE: Ungar Gets a Foundation, Hu Gets a Wicked Chops Prediction, + That Whole "Is Poker a Sport?" Argument Gets More Ink

:: People get addicted to gambling?  Like global warming and heterosexual AIDS, the myth of gambling addiction remains prevalent in American society.  For people allegedly addicted to gambling, the daughter and the former wife of Stu Ungar have established the appropriately named, "Stu Ungar Foundation."  Ungar, widely-recognized as the world's most talented Gin and hold'em player when he was alive, allegedly had a gambling problem.  Now we don't want to get all Tom Cruise on you, but we say Kelly_hu1_1Ungar "allegedly" had a gambling problem because any issues Ungar may have had with gambling were not rooted in some deep-seeded psychological addiction--it was because he did not perform the necessary auditing to rid himself of the body thetans adversely affecting him. In related new, Wicked Chops Poker has just been sued by the Church of Scientology and will be shutting down our site for good in 10 seconds.  Poker News

:: Ayre's Wild Card to Air Again this Saturday.  Wicked Chops Poker was the first to bring you Bodog's latest statement on the (seemingly baseless) lawsuit filed against Calvin Ayre's Wild Card Poker.  Now, Wicked Chops Poker will be the first to offer our prediction (something we're crazy-good at) on who will NOT win tomorrow night's episode of Calvin Ayre's Wild Card Poker...and our prediction is...CSI: NY's Kelly Hu!!!  Watch tomorrow evening, from 11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. EST on FSN, as Kelly (at right) does not win against the likes of Josh Arieh, Josh Malina, and others.  Bodog Beat

:: If NASCAR is a sport... Like global warming, heterosexual AIDS, and gambling addiction, the myth of poker being a sport remains prevalent in American society.  USA Today tackles this important subject in today's issue of USA Today, today.  USA Today

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The Toke :: PartyPoker Pimps Paris, DiCaprio Dating a Bar + Wall Street Shows its Poker Face

:: Offers Paris her Bentley Back . After claiming to be obsessed with poker and telling Bluff Magazine she always wins, party/poker ho Paris Hilton reportedly lost a $200,000 Bentley in a poker game. Now,, the porn to riches online gaming giant started by a phone sex princess and A. Dikshit, is offering Paris the chance to win a Bentley by going heads-up against Mike Sexton (someone should probably explain to Paris that "heads up" is a poker term). "We're aware that her parents have banned her from gambling at their casino. This online challenge solves all her problems - she can cover her losses without stepping foot in there," said PartyPoker spokesperson Warren Lush. Somehow this all makes sense: PartyPoker was started by a porn biz princess, it has some of the easiest players online, the site looks cheap but is worth millions and the spokesperson's last name is Lush. In more breaking Paris news, Wicked Chops Poker says that Paris has just a tid bit more class than a $10 hooker begging for money at a bus stop so she can get herself some Church's fried chicken to eat, which is just a tad bit classier than the chick who's letting David Williams toss her salad. Digital Spy

Bar_refaeli_25 :: DiCaprio now Bar-hopping. People Magazine reports actor/poker player Leo DiCaprio is dating 20-year-old Israeli swimsuit model Bar Refaeli (photo at right and another after the jump). If Bar is looking for a long voyage with Leo, rather than have the relationship sink like it did with Gisele, she better get on board the poker fad because if she doesn't well that's just the tip of the iceberg of problems for her and it won't be long before her heart won't go on (chicks dig subtle Titanic references, we hear). Anyway, Bar's unbelievably hot and like her name, there should be one on every corner. People

:: Wall Street = Las Vegas Blvd. Morgan Stanely director and avid poker player, Aaron Brown, has written a book called The Poker Face of Wall Street. Wicked Chops Poker hasn't read it yet. One, we don't read so good, and two, we've been too busy breaking news and vomiting in our mouths after watching David Williams do the backdoor swirl (aka "tossing salad") on some trashy porno mom (aka 'Mother I'd Like to Spray with Disinfectant"), among other things. But word on "the Street" is that it joins the rank of Michael Lewis's 1990 best seller Liar's Poker, a favorite of ours. Apparently, Poker Face illustrates the correlation between the finance world and the game of poker, and no doubt this book will help further the bull market on poker metaphors so we'll categorize it as a "strong buy."

* Don't forget, there's another pic of Leo's new girl after the jump, and if you missed our last Friday Night Parting Shot girl Jen Graham, well, we can only guess you have that Celine Dion Titanic song stuck in your head right now, you spend your days folding chinos at The Gap and you pre-ordered the Brokeback Mountain DVD (Strong Buy).

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The TOKE: Poker Zombies, A Bunch of Wild Cards, + Will Pokerdome Save Televised Poker?

:: Poker zombies claim writer's husband.  Wicked Chops Poker are the lucky ones.  Our wives not only never complain about us playing poker, they actually encourage it (probably because they benefit from the fruits of our winnings).  So we feel sorry for the husband of poor LA Daily News columnists Jillian O'Conner.  She's so over the poker fad, she's written an article claiming that poker zombies have snatched her husband.  Let this be a warning to all of you young lads who think your current girlfriend is "the one."  If she ain't into poker, it ain't gonna work.  LA Daily Zombies

Cherylhines:: Cards Gone Wild.  Calvin Ayre's Wild Card Poker debuted last night with an interesting (and mostly entertaining) mix of cards, babes, partying, and over-indulgent self-promotional grandeur (would you expect anything less from Ayre?).  At the table, Cheryl Hines (at right) rode a timely flopped Ac-Kc nut flush against Humberto Brenes (among other hands) to victory, besting Erick Lindgren and then some other people you probably don't care about.  The vibe of the show did much more accurately capture the "Rat Pack" vibe Ayre is aiming for with the Bodog brand than, say, the Arieh-Williams-Ng photoshoot.  And on that note, check back within the next few days for more of our thoughts on the infamous shoot. Gambling 911

:: Pokerdome to save sagging ratings?  Some rag called The New York Times has a fantastic article detailing the peaks and valleys from the past few years in the world of poker.  From the rise and fall of ratings for television shows (like the soon-to-premiere Pokerdome), to the rapid expansion (that will be much less rapid in the next few years) of online poker site profits, the recap is definitely worth a read.  The New York Times

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The TOKE: Stepping Up To Keep Poker Legal, WWGD, + Poker & Taxes

:: Raymer, Lederer, Ferguson tryin' to keep it legal.  As we've detailed many, many times, poker should be kept legal and regulated by the Fed.  Three poker heavyweights (mentioned in the first sentence of this paragraph...see above) and the prez from the well-intentioned but ill-conceived-messaged PPA, Michael Bolcerek, are meeting with lawmakers this week to build support for online gambling. Watch as Bolcerek turns a just cause for all of us into yet another insert foot-in-mouth quote: "This is a truly American tradition. Truman played. Departed Chief Justice William Rehnquist had games in chambers," says Bolcerek, continuing that we should regulate it, tax it, "but don't treat poker players like al Qaeda."  Ugh.  Somebody shut this guy up.  Don't get us wrong, we hate al-Qaeda more than anyone, but you're not gonna build support for this by comparing poker player's plights Marijuanaleafto that of terrorists.  Moron.  U.S. News & World Report

:: What would Gank do?  American Jr. pro poker player John Turmel, who is also a "medicinal" marijuana advocate (aren't we all?), was hit with a minor fine, three years probation, and 100 hours of community service last week for mary jane trafficking.  To answer the first sentence of this paragraph (see above), Gank wouldn't have been caught trafficking it, he would've just smoked that shitPoker 777

:: Yes, it is considering taxable income.  In case you're wondering how to handle all of them poker/gambling winnings when you "report it" on to the Fed on your taxes, Poker Player Newspaper has some answers for you. Poker Player Newspaper

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The TOKE: WPT Sued, Diet Pepsi Shrewd, and Al Ardebili Interviewed

Decept:: Did WPT steal Jonathan Waessil's pot?  So...this whole putting-poker-on-TV thing was actually all Jonathan Waessil's idea?  Well, according to Jonathan Waessil, it was.  Waessil has sued the WPT claiming its CEO, Steve Lipscomb, stole the idea from him after a discussion the pair had about 10 years ago at the Hollywood Park Casino.  Never mind that poker had already been on TV (albeit very late night, with ESPN's scary looking old WSOP telecasts), and that the pocket cam, the poker invention that made poker's re-invention as a mainstream sport that was invented by Transformers inventor Henry Orenstein, had not been invented yet.  But on the very oft-chance these claims are true, would that make Lipscomb a Decepticon?  And with this all in mind, Chops is considering a lawsuit against all college kids who use the phrase "Golden Chair" at parties to save their seat when getting up to get another beer, as Chops steadfastly believes he coined the term at least a full year before anyone else started using it.  Online Poker News

Tvads_3c:: Diet Pepsi Digs Poker.  Diet Pepsi is the latest major brand to throw some advertising dollars towards some pro's coffers.  In a new ad, a skilled can of the diet beverage goes heads-up against Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and Scotty Nguyen.  No word yet if Hellmuth calls the little can a moron or idiot yet, but we're sure it hit some lucky cards on him.  All In Magazine

:: Dr. Pauly interviews Al Ardebili.  WPT Borgata Open winner Al Ardebili was interviewed by Dr. Pauly.  He discusses a major hand where he called a Steve Dannenmann bluff, as well as some common mistakes he sees beginners making.  Tao of Poker

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The TOKE: Earn a WSOP Seat for $2, People Love to Gamble, + Somebody Won Another WSOPC Event

Tiff1_1 :: For the cost of a Big Mac, you can qualify for the WSOP.  Excellent piece in Card Player detailing online WSOP qualifying opportunities.  You can earn a chance to win the poker lottery against 8,000 other players for as little as $1.10 - $2.00.  If you're even a bit discouraged on your chances of getting in the money against such a huge field though, don't be.  Remember, Tiffany Williamson finished 15th last year.  Card Player

:: The people have spoken...and they want Internet gambling.  Some little newspaper called the Wallstreet Journal ran a poll asking its readers if Congress should ban some little thing called Internet gambling. 83% of the resondents said, "No, Congress should not ban Internet gambling. Re-load!" Or they just said, "No." People love to gamble.  It's one of the few redeeming qualities of the human race.  Card Squad

:: If a WSOP Circuit Event falls in the woods and nobody hears it, did it really happen? More a testament to the glut of major tournaments going on right now as opposed to the popularity of poker, (a now relatively paltry) 109 rounders pushed stacks around for the 2006 WSOP Circuit - Harrah's San Diego event. It was won by Darrell Dicken. He banked $372,780. Kathy Liebert finished third. Andy Bloch...he finished eighth. Card Player.

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The TOKE: ESPN Edition

Stacyk14_2:: Heads up misses out.  While the field at the National Heads-Up Championship is definitely stellar (as is the Elite 8 and Final 4), some very deserving talents were left out of the competition when brackets were drawn on Selection Saturday, like Steve Dannenmann, Michael Gracz, and Stacy Keibler's rear-end. ESPN Poker Club

:: The Poker Guy?  In what will surely help further drain many a Corporate American's productivity, Bill "The Sports Guy" Simmons will be playing in and chronicling his WSOP experience this year.  ESPN Poker Club

:: Do Arena League teams throw temper tantrums when they lose games or something?  Phil Hellmuth is doing some promo spots for the Arena Football League with Mike Ditka.  Don't really have anything to add to that...  ESPN Poker Club

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Together, We Could All Buy Our Own Little Country

Ethiopia_1According to a Research and Markets report (according to Poker 777), over $60 billion was wagered on online poker in 2005...or roughly the GDP of Ethiopia

Thems a lot of sit n' go's.

With that in mind, please visit Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker (code: 76off), and if you're really feeling charitable, Noble Poker.

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The TOKE: Craigslist Edition

Apparently, Craiglist is a wonderful resource if you're looking to engage in sexual poker activities.  With that in mind, our first installment of an all Craigslist edition of The TOKE.

Od1_copy :: Poker in the rear?  In what seems like a "too good to be true she must look like Kathy Liebert or perhaps really is Kathy Liebert" scenario for single guys whose love lives have deteriorated because of a mild addiction to online poker...Wicked Chops Poker has found your elixir.  There's a single female in San Jose who says she is, "looking for an intermediate or advanced player to help me improve my game. Ideally you would be a single guy in your 30s; I'd like to start off as friends but would be open to something further should we really hit it off."  Again, there's a fairly decent chance this girl looks nothing like an O'Donohue twin, but regardless, in related news, Sammy "Killer" Reid just informed us that he cashed in an Air Tran ticket won at a charity event for a flight to San Jose.  Craigslist

:: Wait, what exactly is your definition of "poker" here?  In the New York/New Jersey area, there's a mature (50's) upbeat couple looking to play some poker.  They would also like to know, "WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU ENJOY DOING."  Of course, this may be totally innocent, and since Wicked Chops Poker is neither mature or upbeat, we may have misinterpreted that statement.        Nah.  Craigslist

:: Giving new meaning to the term "tight-aggressive"...  If you're into poker, shots, shorts (?), and...dudes, then there is a "Gay/Bi/Straight-Curious" game in Chicago with your name written all over it.  Craigslist

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The TOKE: Golfer Wins Big...At Poker, Hold'em In the Cards in Oregon? (sorry), + A New Platform for PartyPoker

Bobbyneary_1 :: Golfer wins big at poker, loses scholarship.  If Tiger Woods is the Phil Ivey of golf, does that make Bobby Neary the Joe Hachem of poker?  The 21 year-old Neary (at right), a junior at Sonoma State University, and about 20 years too old to be going by Bobby, unless of course he was a NASCAR driver, banked $520k by finishing second in last month's Aussie Millions poker tournament. Unfortunately, the NCAA has declared Neary athletically ineligible, and not for his participation in the tournament, but for violating endorsement rules. See, Neary won entry into the tournament in an online satellite, and wore the company's logo at the Aussie Millions.  The NCAA, not known for EVER profiting off its athletes, did what the Aussie Millions fields (well, except for the winner) couldn't sent Bobby to the rail.  KGET TV

:: Leave it to Beaver.   Legislators in Monroe, Oregon are crafting an ordinance to permit poker, if only on a small scale.  The legislative measure would be similar to what Senator John Sabini wants in New York.  Bars and small stakes home gamers everywhere (in Monroe) are getting ready to rejoice...and smoke weed. Gazette-Times

:: Party adopts new platform.  PartyPoker has launched a new platform with so many features, we don't even feel like describing them all!!!  Read all about it here, or by clicking that link right there--> CardPlayer

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The TOKE: Jenna Jameson Sucks in a Good Way, Nickelback Sucks in a Bad Way, + How This Relates to the Yahoo! Finance Message Board

Wicked Chops Poker is used to random linkings.  But today, in a mere six-hour span, we surpassed even our own wild expectations.  And those disparate links are the focus of this self-promotional TOKE.

Jennajame:: Wicked Chops Loves Jenna.  First, Brianna loved Jenna.  Then, Bella loved Jenna. Next, Jenna loved pain. Now, does Jenna love Wicked Chops?  While we're fairly certain the answer to this is a resounding "no" (or more likely, a resounding, "Who?"), a Jenna blog showed WCP some love today by mentioning our mention of the McCarthy-Jameson liaisonJenna Fatigue.

:: Nickelback has fans?  Yes, it's true.  The worst band in the world, Nickelback, actually has some rabid fans.  And five months after our initial post on how Nickelback reminds us of something terrible and shitty, their fans find our article and discuss it in forum-format.  While the only thing that many of you would think is worse than actually listening to Nickelback is reading what their fans think of Nickelback, the true gem in this forum is Weathered's own Aye-Aye chiming in on his thoughts.  Try and guess which one he is.  Nickelback Fan Forum Editor's Note: The tools at Nickelback have removed Aye-Aye's comment from the message board.  Thanks to those who let us know.

:: Yahoo! We make the message boards!  Stock message boards are a fantastic way to vent and speculate.  Hopefully, we gave the good people on WPTE's board some decent cannon fodder.  Yahoo! Finance Message Board

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The TOKE: WPT Attracting More Attractive Viewers, Q'4 Rev for 888 is Great, + No Indian Poker for You

scandinavian chicks:: WPT to air programming to lots of beautiful people.  In what has been an active week for the WPT, the beloved poker behemoth has announced that it will now air its popular poker programming to some of the world’s most attractive populations, including Brazil, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, and Chops’ personal fave, Iceland.  So if an influx of beautiful foreign women flood the tournament circuit, Wicked Chops Poker Elita1 and the rest of the poker world has this message for you, WPT: “God bless you.  Bless you indeed.”  Poker News

::  It appears as if this online poker thing is still huge across the board and John Anderson will not be discussing his penis size.  888, owner of Pacific Poker and other entitities, announced that Q’4 2k5 revenue was up 22% from Q’3 2k5.  Even more impressive, Q’4 revenue was up 138% from the same period last year.  According to Chief Operating Office, John Anderson, 888 will be looking to buy a sports betting operation this year to go along with its online poker and casino holdings.  Also according to Chief Operating Officer John Anderson, he will not be discussing the size of his penis.  In responding to rival PartyGaming’s claims that they will soon dominate the online casino marketplace, Anderson said, "I don't go around saying mine's the biggest."  How his penis size relates to the online casino marketplace escapes Wicked Chops Poker, but if you were hoping to learn more about Chief Operating Officer John Anderson’s penis size, he will not be discussing how big his penis is.  You will have to go elsewhere to learn about the size of Chief Operating Officer John Anderson’s penis.  Penis.  Reuters

:: Please, just smoke a peace pipe so we can play live poker kind of near us.  In a follow-up to our post last week on live poker being allowed at Harrah's Cherokee Casino, well, it doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen.  Of course, would you expect anything less from the Carolinas?  Carolina officials probably sent a bag filled with small pox to Cherokee representatives as their way of breaking the bad news.  Sometimes you just gotta say, "Enough is enough."  Let the Cherokees have their way with this one.  Come on.  WWAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The TOKE: ESPN Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The TOKE: College Edition

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

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

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

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

Continue reading "The TOKE: College Edition" »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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