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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The end of Erick Lindgren

A few months ago , someone started a thread on the High Stakes PL/NL forum titled “Erick Lindgren owes $100k for 2p2 Fantasy Drafts, Won't Pay, Claims 'Cash Broke.'"

Several posters came forward confirming that Lindgren owed them money, and when a separate thread was made on the popular News, Views, and Gossip forum, all hell broke loose.

 Lindgren’s posted "out of order" sign

Borrowing and loaning money  will never leave poker because there are times when players don’t have enough capital on them, but this is different. This isn’t about staking, this is about degenerate sports gambling and ignoring outstanding debts. In fact, I’m assuming that the reason "$kill Game" posted the original thread is because he owes close to $25,000 to another poster* by the name of "Limpcallcallfold."
It’s all a vicious cycle.

Threads like these — especially when they’re in NVG — become clogged with hate and witty responses, but thankfully Haralabos Voulgaris (who posts under the name ”coltranedog”) saved the day. He posted a very long, testimonial-like response on Monday that was very revealing. Here’s an excerpt:

“We all knew that Edog was pretty much a piece of **** when it came to settling gambling debts. But as long as the Full Tilt money train was chugging along paying distributions, nobody wanted to speak up…Erick, well he isn’t such a nice guy. If some of us (especially me) would have spoken up a long time ago a lot of the little guys who did business with him could have been spared. I am not going to go into all the details, but I have known Erick since around 2004. From 2005-2006 he owed me a really large figure. I gave him a year to get his stuff in order and he was supposed to pay the whole amount off in 2006. He didn’t.”

Voulgaris goes on to explain that Lindgren has paid off about 80 percent of this “really large figure,” but that Voulgaris had to personally vulture final tables that Lindgren’s horses were at to collect.
Obviously, Lindgren deserves the majority of the blame for the way he has allegedly acted — and he will certainly suffer the harshest consequences — but some fantasy football league owners have come forward and said they’re OK with Lindgren always paying late, because he’s such a big fish. Likewise, if Lindgren is a losing sports bettor, I’m certain that there are people who take his bets, knowing full well that they’ll have to wait some time to collect.

This situation likely got worse and worse over time, and then became unsustainable after Black Friday.
”Interpleader”, one of the fantasy football players who was owed $2,800, received the money on Monday evening via eBay from Lindgren’s wife Erica Schoenberg. There’s going to be a lot more where that came from — Lindgren has some damage control to take care of.

It seems that Erick might be the one guy that nobody will borrow money from now on within the poker community . Sad but true, this might the end of a great poker player .

Erick Lindgren and Erica Schoenberg, who got married last summer just before the WSOP, are  proud parents of a  baby boy.

Erick Lindgren has currently earned over $8.5 million from live tournaments during his career, while his better half Erica Schoenberg has around $826.000 in live tournament earnings.

Monday, July 23, 2012

WSOP 2012 Final Table

What started with 6700 players has now trimmed to the 2012 WSOP Main Event final table.

Of the remaining players, eight of them are American while Hungarian Andras Koroknai represents the lone non-US player. Koroknai might be the most interesting player here because he started Day 7 way back in 24th place; however, he managed to end the day in second place with 29.375 million chips.

Andras Koroknai
Koroknai’s chip stack is about a third smaller than the current leader – Jesse Sylvia – who’s got 43.875 million chips. The little known American now has the best chance to take down the $8.5 million top prize when final table play begins in October. Sylvia has yet to experience any major tournament success (before now), but does make a nice living by grinding $10/$20 NL Hold’em cash games in Las Vegas

Other Notable Players

Greg Merson continues to make a name for himself this year since he’s third in chips with 28.725 million. Those who’ve been following the 2012 WSOP may have noticed the online poker grinder winning the Event #57 shorthanded NL Hold’em tournament along with $1,136,197.

Steven Gee is another final tablist with some previous poker success. The Californian mainly sticks to live cash games, but did win a 2010 WSOP bracelet in a $1k NL Hold’em tourney ($472,479). Also keep an eye on the short stack Jeremy Ausmus, who has cashed nine times in the 2012 WSOP.

Ladies fall just Short

Before we move on to the entire 2012 Main Event final table, it’s worth mentioning that a pair of ladies in Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann just missed making the cut. Both women were trying to become just the second female player to make a WSOP Main Event final table, but Baumann was the bubble girl in 10th place while Hille busted right before her in 11th place.

Current 2012 WSOP Main Event Final Table Chip Counts

Jesse Sylvia – 43,875,000
Andras Koroknai – 29,375,000
Greg Merson – 28,725,000
Russell Thomas – 24,800,000
Steven Gee – 16,860,000
Michael Esposito – 16,260,000
Robert Salaburu – 15,155,000
Jacob Balsiger – 13,115,000
Jeremy Ausmus – 9,805,000

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WSOP 2012 skip

Jarrett Nash, a 25-year-old poker player from Texas, entered the fifth day of play at the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event with a stack of more than 500,000. However, he didn’t show up because of the Jewish Sabbath, Card Player was told over the phone by his cousin.

He blinded out in 171st place for a score of $44,655.

“He’s just not there due to his wife’s religion, I guess,” said the cousin, who wished not to be mentioned by name. “He’s in his hotel room with her until 8ish. They are recently married and what not, so this is the first time this has happened. And I believe this is his first big [poker] payout.”

The floor staff at the WSOP also confirmed the story, telling Card Player that Nash told them after day 4 that he wouldn’t show up because of the religious observance.

The cousin said that “to his knowledge” Nash isn’t even Jewish, unless he converted after the marriage.

Nash is staying in his room at the Bellagio. Card Player was connected to Nash’s room at the casino, but the attempt to contact him was unsuccessful.

His family, at first, was wondering where he was and if he was “healthy,” the cousin said.

The 2012 Main Event will award $8.5 million to the winner. Nash entered play with just 282 remaining out of the 6,598-player starting field.

Jack Effel, tournament director for the World Series, said players not showing up for the later days of tournaments for various reasons actually isn’t unheard of.

 Nash hadn’t picked up his prize money yet either.

Monday, January 23, 2012

$100,000 Aussie Challenge

Last year saw 38 play the Aussie Millions $100K event (won by Sam Trickett), but this time just 22 players ponied up the hefty entry fee to participate, among them such poker luminaries as Tom Dwan, Daniel Negreanu, J.C. Tran, Erik Seidel, Jason Mercier, and Phil Ivey.  Ivey was eliminated  in ninth place at the hands of Gus Hansen.

Heads up,  Dan Smith and Mikhail Smirnov went back and forth in hopes of winning the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge. In the end however it was Smith who outlasted the Russian poker pro to claim the title and the $1,012,000 first place prize. Smirnov walked away with $616,000 for his runner-up performance.

On the last hand, Smirnov's chips were pushed in the midlle  with Qh-6h against Smith's 2d-2s. Smith's small pocket pair prevailed, the board coming Kd-5h-Ac-Jc-8c to give the American the title.


  • 1st: Dan Smith -- $1,012,000
  • 2nd: Mikhail Smirnov -- $616,000
  • 3rd: Joe Hachem -- $330,000
  • 4th: Tony G -- $242,000
Smith more than doubled his lifetime live tournaments earnings with the seven-figure score. His only other live win was in 2008 when he won a Heartland Poker Tour event in Turning Stone, N.Y. for a bit over $100 k..

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Durrrr vs Ziigmund video

The Challenge, as you'd expect, generated a considerable amount of buzz even before any poker pros raised their hands to play. However, three of the game's best will face Dwan and receive 3:1 odds on their money: Patrik Antonius, Phil Ivey, and David Benyamine. The latter two are World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet holders; in fact, Ivey owns five of them. In 2005, Antonius won the prestigious European Poker Tour (EPT) Baden event. He also finished third in the 2007 WSOP World Championship of Pot Limit Omaha for $311,000. The trio combines for $5.25 million in career WSOP cashes. Ivey and Antonius are both members of Team Full Tilt. It's interesting to see if Tom Dwan will comeback with another challenge for 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year !

 Happy New Year to all the poker players out there !
We hope to see you all coming back to see more poker videos and read more poker news !

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Safe to play poker online ?

IS the online poker rigged? After the Absolute Poker drama , and the Poker Stars drama and ending with Full Tilt drama, what can we believe?
Many times we noticed awkward things while playing , bad players hitting 2 outers and the question asked is : is online poker random ? There was a theory discussed on a few other sites about the poker rooms trying to keep the bad players in the game. Totally untrue .
The chances of a room fixing cards to help the bad players save money are almost non-existent. Only when you start to think about the side effects of such a system can you appreciate the absurdity of such a theory.

If a room is helping a bad player from losing money, at the same time the room will be taking this money from the good players to compensate. Therefore there would be no such thing as the online pros that make a living from playing online poker, because they will find it too difficult to win money due to a ‘fair’ system.

In addition, the site would have to scrap the use of its RNG and design a system that is able to detect a losing player and be able to deliver ‘good hands’ to those players. Not only would this be incredibly difficult for the sites to create, but it would also be illegal. If a site were found to be utilizing such a system to help make them more money, they would incur a staggering amount of fines and be heavily prosecuted. The events from this year, had a strong impact on the safety part of the software, The poker rooms know this and so it would be dangerously unwise for them to even consider using such a system.

It's true that you will see far more bad beats online than you will during live play, but this is not because it is rigged. There are two reasons why you see such a high frequency of beats online:

The action at an online poker table runs much faster than the action at a live table. More hands = more beats.
You are not sitting face to face with any of your opponents whilst playing online.
To elaborate that, the players are happier to call down large bets and raises on unlikely draws, as they do not have to worry about being berated by other players at the table (except for a few words in a chat box). If a player is playing at a live table, they are more likely to avoid calling with terrible odds for a draw because they would not like to be criticized because of their bad play.
Nowadays, where the technology is dominating, can we agree that online poker is random ? Never say never . 

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Online poker after Black Friday

When the Black Friday indictments hit, the online poker world went into an utter frenzy.  Play funds were frozen on Full Tilt, PokerStars, Absolute Poker, and Ultimatebet.  Some players have their entire bankroll locked up online and others are unable to pay their bills due to their accounts being frozen.  For the most part, sites covering this issue have focused on pros and online grinders that make a living playing the game online.  But what about the little guy?  What about the recreational players who now cannot play at these sites?

Regardless of what many sites will have you believe, it is the little guys that fuel these online poker sites and give the pros and grinders an income stream.  The players that deposit $50 to $100 at a time and regularly donate to the games are the ones that feed our poker economy.  These are really the guys that we should be focusing our attention to.  What happens with these guys now?

Some of these players will try and find a way to play on sites such as Lock Poker or Bodog.  Unfortunately, the events of recent days are going to drive many of these same players away from the game.  They are going to be fearful that the DOJ is going to come down on the sites that currently service US players.  These players will say to themselves “Why risk having more money frozen on another site?”

At the same time, for many of these players, that $50, $100, or $200 locked up online represents their entire poker bankroll.  These players are truly playing for fun and cannot afford to reload, or at least not for a while.  For all intents and purposes, their online poker players days are done until their get their money back.  Good luck in getting many of them to join with another site.

While it is true that sites still servicing the United States have seen dramatic growth in recent weeks, the numbers are still nowhere near the number of players currently locked out of Full Tilt, etc.  Live casinos are assuming that these players will start to filter over to their tables.  In areas that players can reasonably drive to a casino, this may happen.  The problem is that for many players, $50 or $100 is all that they can afford to play with.   Unless you play low stakes limit Hold’em, that equates to about one reasonable buy-in for NL Hold’em.  If they blow through that, they are done.  As such, casual player traffic may pick up, but how much money it will bring to the table will be minimal in many cases.

I realize the outlook I paint here is somewhat grim regarding casual players.  You need to realize that many casual players are going to react based on fear of losing their money or even getting in trouble with the DOJ.  It does not matter how much we sit here and debate politics, the fact remains that online poker is being prosecuted by the US government.  When it comes down to fight or flight for many people, they will choose flight.  That keeps them out of trouble, and unfortunately for poker, out of the game.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Online poker collapse

In online poker circles, they’re calling it Black Friday: On April 15, the federal government shut down several major online poker sites, filing criminal charges against the operators and cutting off the cash flow of those who were playing online poker for a living.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan says the three leading sites among U.S. users tried to trick their way around a ban that prevents U.S. banks from processing payments for offshore virtual gambling halls. Authorities charged 11 executives, including the founders of Ireland’s, Costa Rica’s, and, based on the Isle of Mann, with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling. Prosecutors say that the poker companies fooled some banks and bribed others to keep the money flowing.

The charging documents name two principals from each company, plus others who allegedly worked with them to illegally process payments.

The Internet poker market in the U.S. was $5.1 billion last year, 7.1 percent higher than 2009, and the global market is about $30 billion, according to Bloomberg, which cites data from U.K.-based H2 Gambling Capital.

Now, though, U.S. users who try to access the three shuttered sites will find themselves looking at two Department of Justice seals, explaining that the domain names have been seized. H2 Gambling, the data company that has been tracking the fallout since Friday, noted on Sunday that PokerStars' player traffic was down 26 percent, FullTilt’s fell 50 percent, and Absolute Poker's dropped 40 percent.

Meanwhile, other gambling sites that continue to service the U.S. market appear to be beneficiaries of the shutdown, confirming the claims of disappointed poker players who said their games would simply shift to new locations.

According to H2 Gambling data, Merge Poker, Bodog, and the Cake Poker Network are seeing increases in traffic of between 10 and 30 percent since their rivals closed shop.

Meanwhile, those in the U.S. who have actually quit their jobs to play poker online now have thousands of dollars tied up in accounts that they can no longer access.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

WSOP 2010 - final table

Jonathan Duhamel (65.9 million in chips): The chip leader offered one of the most dominating big-stack performances we've seen on a final table bubble. He bullied the rest of the table for nearly six hours to build the top stack going into the final table. The 22-year-old from Montreal was thrilled to make the final table and soak up all the experiences that come with it.
Jonathan Duhamel is the 2010 main event final table chip leader.
"I've been playing online for a living for the last one and a half years," he said. "In December I finished 10th in EPT Prague. That's my biggest live finish. I mostly play cash, so I don't have a lot of notable finishes. [This is] the biggest final table of the biggest tournament of the year and being there [is] nice, but at the same time, I'm about winning. I won't be happy just to be there."

John Dolan (46.2 million in chips): When we think of impressive poker performances under tons of pressure, Dolan's name will come to the mind of poker fans from here on out. The 24-year-old Bonita Springs, Fla., native will bring the second-largest stack into the final table, but starting Day 8, he had only 2 million in chips which put him 24th out of 27 players.
After chipping up throughout the day, most of his chips came between the third and sixth hours on the 10-player final table bubble. He changed gears at the perfect time and turned an average stack into one that will most definitely have an impact in November.
"I was fortunate to pick up some hands at the beginning at the final table," he said. "I was able to do some things and as we progressed a little bit and my stack was a little deeper. It's amazing [to be part of this experience]. Obviously you hope for this, but you never expect any of this. It's just awesome."

Joseph Cheong (23.5 million in chips): Is it possible that the most experienced player at the final table is just 24 years old? Cheong thinks so. "I'm a full-time player," said Cheong, who's been living the life for more than two years. "I think I have an advantage. I've played over 10,000 tournaments and I think that experience plays to my advantage. There are a lot of solid guys here, but I think I'm going to win this tournament."
Poker is Cheong's life. "I'm living hotel to hotel, living at tournaments," he said. "I rented an apartment at Panorama this summer. I'm exhausted, but I'm relieved that I'm finally at the final table of the main event. I'm playing to win the whole tournament. I haven't slowed down on any of the bubbles, though the equity of the November Nine made me think about it. I'm ready to win this tournament."

John Racener (19.0 million in chips): Don't look now, but Racener is about to become a star. Traveling the poker circuit for the past few years, Racener has had notable success including a WSOP Circuit title for more than half a million in earnings as well as 11 WSOP cashes (which includes his main event result). Mizrachi was thrilled to see Racener as part of the final table, and letting it all set in, Racener knows that this may be his moment to break away from the pack.

Matt Jarvis (17.6 million in chips): Jarvis, a 25-year-old Canadian, found himself in the WSOP main event after making the decision to refocus on his poker. "I was a student, took some time off to play poker and I'm continuing on with that right now," said Jarvis upon making the November Nine. "I'm basically a full-time player." The decision is looking pretty good right about now.
Jarvis, who's been making his living online, has only one five-figure cash in live play to his credit, but that hasn't hurt his confidence here. Asked about his chances in November, he confessed that he didn't like seeing the Grinder's stack building, but liked his chances. "I'm confident going forward," he said with a smile. "I think I've played pretty well and I'm feeling good. It's amazing. It's every poker player's dream to make the November Nine. I'm stoked! Everything's good right now."

Filippo Candio (16.4 million in chips): The last European standing, the pro from Sardinia, Italy, travels around his country as a well-respected pro who plays in a multitude of events. He won the Italian Poker Tour Campionato Italiano stop in 2009, which really put him on the map overseas, and now he'll be a face that every poker fan will recognize by the end of the year.
"I am very happy," Candio said. "I'm [ready] to be a November Niner with all my heart, with all of my techniques and with all of my skill. For me, I'm part of the history of poker, I'm the first Italian, the last European and the first Sardinian."
One of Candio's supporters is bracelet winner Max Pescatori, who had nothing but praise for the 26-year-old's game.

Michael Mizrachi (14.4 million in chips): In 2009 the poker community rallied around Phil Ivey, and in 2010, Mizrachi will be the man. The $50,000 Players' Championship victory started out his WSOP on an extremely high note, and despite spending two days among the bottom of the chip counts, Mizrachi simply did not want to head home. The Miami native is one of the most well-known players in the world, with more than $8.8 million in live tournament earnings and success in every venue, both live and online. He doesn't quite have the stack he was hoping for, but he made it and is ready for a run at the title this November.
"I'm kind of washed up right now, but at least I'll have four months to recover," joked Mizrachi after the final table was set. "I took down all the pros in the Players' Championship, they were players that I haven't played with before. I pretty much know how everyone plays here, but with the blinds so high, it's not the same game. I look forward to representing the pros in November."

Soi Nguyen (9.6 million in chips): In a field full of online pros, Soi Nguyen is the exception to the rule. The 37-year-old Santa Ana, Calif., native is playing in just his fourth live tournament with the support and backing of former November Niner Chino Rheem, Nam Le and dozens of others.
"This is the best time of my life," said Nguyen upon making the final table. "I didn't think I had any shot. I just came for the experience. Last night, Nam told me, 'Dude, this is every poker player's dream. This place, this tournament.' It's just been an awesome ride."
"Being the amateur doesn't bother me at all," said Nguyen, admitting he was happy to blanket himself in his naïveté. "Last night, I played against a name player I didn't know at all. It let me just play poker against him instead of fearing him. I think that works to my advantage."

Jason Senti (7.6 million in chips): Senti's been playing poker professionally for three years. While he's obviously excited about his spot in the November Nine, he's keeping a level eye on the effect it could have on his life. "This is certainly a boost to my poker career," said the Minneapolis native. "I've been a professional for a few years now and it'll give me increased exposure that might help me work out a deal with a poker site. Most of all, I won't have to worry about money. I won't go looking to buy new cars or the like, but it'll be easy to put more away, into retirement and invest in businesses, stuff like that."
While Senti recognizes the stature making the November Nine represents, he's keeping it in perspective. "Making the November Nine is the pinnacle in the public eye, but I don't think it's near the accomplishment of making the transition from an engineering job to making a very good living online, but this is public," said the 28-year-old professional. "It's a wonderful opportunity. It's the biggest thing I've done. If nothing else, it's validation to relatives who don't necessarily approve of what I do. Obviously I like what I do, so that should help."

The lead up to the final table will be all about the Grinder, but on Nov. 6 it will be all about Duhamel. For the next four months we'll analyze, discuss, predict and argue about which of these players will emerge victorious, and no matter who pulls through, fans of the game will be happy. At this point, all we know is that there are now nine new poker superstars with nine separate stories to complete. Each of them will share their lives with us throughout the hiatus and now that we've seen what they can offer at the felt, we're going to be all ears. This is only the beginning of their time in the spotlight and after pulling through a 17-hour Day 8, each of them deserves it. Congratulations to the 2010 November Nine.