Archive for August, 2011

Full Tilt Poker Statement & News Update

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

We finally have some news to report on Full Tilt Poker and would you believe an official statement? The statement offers some insight into money that Full Tilt lost before Black Friday on top of what we already knew about the payment processors. The statement offers very little in the way of an apology to players or even an acceptance of any blame, which is bound to raise the ire of many.

The statement comes on the back of two major news stories regarding Full Tilt earlier in the week. Subject Poker continued their excellent track record of reporting and uncovering the truth when they revealed that Full Tilt’s reported $60m shortfall was actually much larger than that. The big catalyst for the official statement from Full Tilt Poker though was Jeff Ifrah, a Full Tilt lawyer, announcing himself on 2+2 and fielding questions. He had a few insights to offer about the investor process, one of his major announcements though was that Full Tilt will be releasing regular statements and keeping players more informed. It’s only taken three and a half months, but will players finally be in the loop?

Official Statement from Full Tilt Poker 30th of August, 2011
As is obvious from the events that have transpired since April 15th, Full Tilt Poker was not prepared for the far-reaching, US government enforcement effort of Black Friday.

The events of Black Friday came on the heels of prior government enforcement activities and significant theft. Over the two years preceding Black Friday, the US government seized approximately $115M of player funds located in U.S. banks. While we believed that offering peer-to-peer online poker did not violate any federal laws—a belief supported by many solid and well-reasoned legal opinions — the DOJ took a different view. In addition, as was widely reported, a key payment processor stole approximately $42M from Full Tilt Poker. Until April 15th, Full Tilt Poker had always covered these losses so that no player was ever affected. Finally, during late 2010 and early 2011, Full Tilt Poker experienced unprecedented issues with some of its third-party processors that greatly contributed to its financial problems. While the company was on its way to addressing the problems caused by these processors, Full Tilt Poker never anticipated that the DOJ would proceed as it did by seizing our global domain name and shutting down the site worldwide.

Over the last four months, Full Tilt Poker has been actively exploring opportunities with outside investors in order to stabilize the company and pay back our players. At least six of those groups, including hedge funds, operators of other internet businesses and individual investors, have visited Dublin to inspect the operation. We have recently engaged an additional financial advisor through an investment banking group to assist us in our search for an infusion of cash as well as a new management team to restore the site and repay players. While any deal of this nature is necessarily complex given the current regulatory environment, our players should know that Full Tilt Poker is fully committed to paying them back in full and restoring confidence in our operations.

What They Tweeted
Andrew Wiggins
What do ya know? Another statement from FTP that tells us nothing new nor does it tell us when or if we will be paid.

Greg Brooks

Further Reading
Full Tilt Poker Makes Its Case For Why It Has Been Unable to Pay Back PlayersForbes

FTP’s “$60M Shortfall” Actually Much Larger - Subject Poker

September Goals

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

August Re-Cap & Goals Review
- 95,000 VPPs on Stars for month as long as I’m fresh – Failed
Most certainly wasn’t fresh at all this month, never had any real grinding rythym or felt good about my game. I also started playing on party and other networks again so that took a lot away from my Stars game.

- Get HM2 running & configured – Achieved
I managed to do this, but not play using it for any meaningful amount of time. When I experimented, it was just a little too buggy and tilting. It’s the beta phase though, it’ll be great once they iron out all the kinks.

- $1/$2 only unless I reach my bankroll target – Achieved

- Play shorter sessions – Failed
Something I used to be really good at was anticipating pre-session how long I was going to play for (be it hours or # of hands) and then sticking to it. Built into that would be standard breaks that I would take. Since Black Friday my routine has kind of fallen apart. Some of it is laziness and a lot can be attributed to the change in landscape as well. Having to play at non-peak times and make judgement calls as to whether I can be bothered putting in a session at those times and working hard to start tables etc. is something I really need to work at.

- Hand review with other LifeFish at least twice a week – Failed
I did a good number of hand review with RaiderDuck, but none with anyone else really. I thought towards the end the hand review format got a bit stale and we could have used either outside input or other means of study to make a more meaningful use of your time.

- Review a video of a RaiderDuck session - Sort Of
We reviewed a video of my play, but not of his because he didn’t make me one =p

- Knuckle down and eliminate auto-pilot and poor decisions – Failed
From memory I was happy with how I was playing and thinking at the start of the month, but that faded towards to end of the month to a point where I’m not playing near my best for long enough periods. It seems to be a trend the last year or so that my results (which obviously might not be an accurate reflection of how I’m playing) are really bad towards the end of each month. I think part of that has to do with the whole psychology of thinking in months, like every new month I feel like is a fresh start and I have no mental baggage. At some point as things go awry and it gets later in the month I start to panic or get frustrated at results. Fatigue plays a part too, so keeping fresher is definitely high on my list of priorities.

- Re-watch favourite training videos and take notes on things I’m not considering – Failed
I did two videos at the start of the month and then totally lost focus with this one. Read the rest of this entry »

Party Poker Increases Rake

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Party Poker has announced that as of the 24th of August, 2011 they will be changing the way that they assign rake to each player at the table and will additionally be increasing their rake. Rake calculation will go from a ‘dealt’ method of calculating to a ‘weighted contribution’ method of attributing rake to a player. Previously, the maximum rake of $3 applied upto $10/$20 blind levels, this has changed to $2/$4 and now anything $3/$6 and above can be raked upto $5. Additionally, heads-up play at $3/$6 and above will have a max rake of $2, double that of most of Party’s competition.

These changes will disadvantage most regular players (who in general play tight), causing them to earn less rakeback and PartyPoints (and therefore bonuses). The timing of the decision seems odd. When FullTiltPoker went offline Party experience a huge spike in average traffic. Since then though, player numbers have steadily been declining. Changing the method of rake contribution is one thing, but the move to jack up the cost of poker hardly seems like it is going to help that trend.

PartyPoker regulars held a ‘Sit Out’ protest at midnight tonight as the new system came into action. Players got together at $3/$6 tables and collectively sat out of the game to show their displeasure with the move.

PartyRep posted on 2+2 Forums

As posted above, later this week, PartyPoker will move from a dealt to a weighted contributed method of rake collection.

Currently every player dealt into a hand is attributed an equal portion of rake and earns points regardless of the amount, if any, they contribute to the pot. With the new method only players who contribute to the pot will be assigned rake and the amount will be in proportion to the amount they contribute.

We are taking this move as it is a more fair way of attributing rake and will mean that players who put money into the pot will earn more points accordingly.

Interesting Live Tournament Poker Ethics Scenario

Friday, August 19th, 2011

This hand came up at the recent APPT Melbourne Main Event. It was the first hand of Day 3 and we were 10 spots away from the money. It was folded to guy on the button who made it 2.2x, SB 3-bet 3x and is 40bb deep and the BTN has him covered. The big blind folds and the BTN shoves, the small blind looks ill and announces to the table that he is going to be thinking for a while. He thinks for about 5 minutes, then reveals that they are both really good friends and  announces that he has AK as he continues to think/stare down his friend. This is my first point of concern on the hand. I’m not sure of the tournament rule specifics at Crown, but being able to announce what you have before calling a anyone’s all-in, let alone a known friend, seems to open the door to the easiest collusion ever. Chances are it was totally innocent and the player wasn’t thinking about how that might look, but for a brief moment it seemed very suss to me and I was very close to making a big deal about it. Would I have been out of line? Everyone else at the table seemed oblivious to it.

At the time it was probably good for me to have hands take as long as possible. I was short and that gave other short players a chance to be knocked out, at the same time though I kind of wanted things to hurry up so I could take advantage of what seemed to be a comparatively soft table. The small blind was making a decisions for his tournament life after playing for two days previous and putting up $5k to enter, he has every right to take his time and double checking his thinking. After 13-15 minutes though, the facts of what to me seemed a pretty trivial decision, aren’t going to change much. It was the closest I have ever come to calling the clock on someone. Would I have been out of line? How long is too long? Everyone else at the table was respectful at first and then started to get a bit agitated about 7 minutes or so.

For what it is worth, the small blind ended up calling and his friend had AQ. AK held and then the small blind busted me two hands later with aces :)

Scams, scandals and FTP

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Recently the online poker world has been rocked pretty damn hard, since Black Friday there have been multiple scams that have been brought to light and likely many more that have not been so public. This is obviously not good news for us as a community, with many governments through out the world looking for ways to ban online poker or regulate and tax it heavily, these scandals are doing a disservice not only to those involved but to the wider community as a whole.

It is inevitable that greed, stupidity and a lack of ethics rear their ugly head from time to time in the poker world, just as they do in the rest of society. Take the recent riots in the U.K. for instance many normally law abiding people who if you asked would consider themselves on the whole to be good people, turned to violence, anarchy and theft for no good reason. If you asked many of them why they did it they would look to the ground and mutter ‘I don’t know, I guess cos everyone else was’. Where ever there is opportunity for financial gain these traits will inevitably erupt from time to time, and as a result we tend to see more than our fair share in the poker world.

One of the most spectacular scandals in recent memory is the Girah Scandal, I won’t bore you with a full recount of the events as we currently know them to have occurred. Suffice to say two very well known and previously respected members of our community have had their reputations tarnished perhaps irreversibly so. Jungleman in particular has no doubt lost a ton of career EV, even though you could argue that his role in the scandal was relatively minor, he will no doubt learn that once your reputation is tarnished it is almost impossible to ever fully recover. Poker players in general are a forgiving bunch, if you are open and honest and repentant more often than not the community will forgive but they never forget. As Justin Bonomo is so frequently reminded of.

As a community the ‘Poker World’ is an amazing place, one where people will loan 6 figure sums with just a verbal agreement. Contracts are replaced by virtual handshakes. The community demands trust and a code of ethics to survive, despite repeated scams and frequent scandals, the community survives and it does so because we share a collective goal and a generally agreed upon moral code. We are a self-policing community and although this has its flaws and rarely does the actual penalty fit the true measure of the crime, we continue to survive because at its core we are a group of like minded individuals with a common goal and I for one am proud to be a part of it. I’m proud to call many of my competitors, friends. I hope that the minority of con-men and scammers or not allowed to develop into a majority. I trust that the majority will continue to live by the moral code that is required to maintain this community.

It is this foundation that gives me more hope than most in FTP paying out its players. FTP was founded by a group of poker players, people who live by the same code that we do. If you are foolish enough to read the many FTP threads on 2+2 you will see post after post of people accusing Ivey, Lederer etc of being a bunch of thieving fuckwits. I do not believe this is the case, I genuinely believe that they are doing everything in their power to salvage FTP and at the very least ensure that the players will be paid out. The facts are that the potential buyer of FTP is real; due diligence is being performed as we speak; this process takes a lot of time more often months rather than weeks; FTP is still a valuable company (if they can prove that cash-outs are functioning in a timely manner players will flock back to the site, I for one will be back there in an instant).  I have been one of the few buyers of FTP funds since the site went down and to be honest I think I got a bargain, I’m even considering buying some more funds at the moment.


I’m gonna quit writing before this becomes tl;dr,  I might continue with the same theme next time.

Random life updates

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Ok first off I managed to make sure my dogs got all the exercise they need and deserve this past week, so aside from anything else I feel better about that. Me and Kym took them to a fenced in dog beach at the beginning of the week it was absolutely freezing down there due to a gale force wind, but the dogs loved it. We hadn’t been there before but will def be heading back asap even though it is a good 40 min drive each way!

Hopefully there are a couple of photos below, but I really don’t know if I have uploaded them right so I apologise if they suck.

I haven’t had a single smoke since I posted I was quitting which I’m pretty happy about. Still wearing the weakest patch that they do but am now forgetting to change it daily which is def a good sign. Will quit the patches some time this week and see how I go after that, pretty sure it should be fine, I’ve always had a lot of will power when I set my mind on doing something.

Kym started a new job today, which means I now have to make my own lunch, which is kind of annoying but I really don’t mind the cooking – it’s just the cleaning up afterwards I really can’t be doing with. Hooked myself up with a Spinach, Goats cheese and Gran Padano omlette today which was amazing, although not as filling as I thought it was gonna be, so probably have to make something else before Kym gets home.

Have had a pretty meh week at poker, smashed through the 60 buy-ins under EV lifetime at Stars this week in spectacular style and have made nut flush vs straight flush twice as well. . . .so easy to forget how much variance there is in this game sometimes. Hoping to really increase my volume now Kym is back working a 9-5 so easy to slack off when you have a beautiful girl wandering round the house.

I think for my next blog I’m gonna write about the Girah scandal and give you my thoughts on that and what I think about FTP’s current situation.

Life Fish Rakeback & VIP Deals

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

You may have noticed many changes to our site recently and we hope that you are enjoying them. We are pumping out a lot more content including the addition of poker news item summaries and guest bloggers. We have integrated Twitter into our site, adding a whole new level of interactivity and we have some more exciting plans for the future.

We are now pleased to announce that we have partnered up with RakebackPartners in order to deliver our own high quality rakeback and VIP program offers. With the advent of Black Friday and the subsequent demise of Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet, the time is ripe for new sign-ups to poker sites. We are hoping that if you are in the market for a new account and a great rakeback or VIP program offer, that you will go through our site.

Jose Macedo Dropped By LockPoker After Scandal

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

For those of you that haven’t caught up with the news in the last few days, the self-proclaimed ‘Portuguese Poker Prodigy’ José “Girah” Macedo has admitted to cheating his ‘friends’ out of $30,000. Macedo built up friendship and trust as part of a Skype strategy chat group. He impressed fellow members with his detailed analysis of hands and solid advice. Enough so that they were willing to let him sweat their high stakes tables as they played , sharing their hole cards with him. It turns out though, that Macedo was scamming them and it was actually him playing against them. He obviously used this to his advantage, took them for $30,000 at the tables.

Players grew suspicious though and eventually evidence was presented and he was caught. He’s admitted to it all now and agreed to pay the money back to the players, but that hasn’t stopped the uproar. His name will be forever tarnished now, no matter how good he becomes or is at poker.

The poker site that has sponsored him has now pulled the pin on their deal with him. The CEO of issued a statement saying “All of us at Lock are horrified and incredibly disappointed by Jose’s actions. Within 10 minutes of finding out about the fraudulent behavior his LockPRO contract was terminated and his account was banned permanently.” … “Jose’s has defrauded the players, the art of poker and the basic human relationship.”

What They Tweeted
Terrence Chan
my blog: José “Girah” Macedo and the trust of the high-stakes community…

Barry_Carter Barry Carter
Good cliffs (albeit still very long cliffs) on the Girah cheating scandal over at 2+2

Ashton Griffin
For the record, Jose Macedo blantantly stole from his friends and students. The number may be more than what he claims. To my knowledge…..

Brian Hastings
Read the Macedo stuff, have a bunch to add later. Will address in full later on 2p2/blog. So disgusting tho, wakeup call as to trusting pp

Long time no blog

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Whats up everyone. I haven’t blogged since earlier this year I think. I’ve been playing a lot of poker these days on Carbon poker. Screen name on there is asdfghjkl123456789. Earlier in my poker career I’ve struggled with playing my A-game all the time and didn’t take losing sessions very well, and at times played too passively to avoid losing. I’m not sure this is a problem for everyone, but I think everyone who is a poker player must accept the fact that you will lose, and not be like afraid to make some big plays that you think might be good just because it’s high variance or because you can wait for a better spot to make monies. This is kind of what I did for awhile, which definitely hurt my game. I was a good enough player to play tight, deceptive, tricky and to get away with playing a more passive, lower variance game, which I do think is good, but I would have a tendency to get run over by some really aggressive good players, and not be able to put them in as tough of spots as they would put me in. I’ve been playing really well lately, and have kind of gotten over this hump, because I handle my losses a lot better now I think and therefore am not afraid to play more aggressively. It sounds corny, but to be really good you have to play with your intuition and be fearless, and when I’m playing my best that is definitely the case.

Yesterday really late I also did something for the first time ever. I played 10-20 heads up vs some 25-50 heads up regs, 3 of them. I beat all 3 and they all quit me. Definitely feel like my game is improving. I also realized how damn important in heads up it is to be able to c/r top pair for value and bet, bet turn and river. Really opens up your game for a lot of stuff. Also got coaching from FWF recently. He’s a poker genius and def recommend him. Read the rest of this entry »

Barry Greenstein’s Car Stolen Then Returned

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

On Saturday afternoon Barry Greenstein checked his olive green Aston Martin DB9 into the valet parking of the Mission Hills Marriott in San Diego. When he went to pick it up, he was informed that someone had already taken it. Most people would never have seen their car again, but Barry took to twitter and then produced an epic suckout to have his car returned! Here is how it played out…

Barry Tweeted
“I don’t think twitter can help with this but you never know: my Aston Martin DB9 was stolen from valet parking!”…”Olive green. License plate BG3. Stolen from mission hills (san diego) mariott.”

“Guy came up to valet and said his name was Greenstein. Didn’t have a valet ticket. Flashed a california ID.”

“I came here for the mixed game at the palomar card club. I was the big loser last night, and bigger with this.”

@Gamecock_Al The mariott manager said that valet parking is outsourced to a third party. I’m hope they’re still liable.”

“Unbelievable, but the guy dropped the car back at the mariott. He’s now claiming I asked him to detail it.”

“I think he took off before the police could detain him. Joyride or no where to fence it?”

“New info: he tried to self-park at the hotel. Hotel security called police. They took him into custody.” Read the rest of this entry »