Summary of the latest events in the Jamie Gold / Crispin Leyser case

I’m not a lawyer, but I’m married to one and surrounded by a number of them, so I’ve picked up some of thier ways.  I’ve taken the time to download the case documents in their case and look them over and have prepared a little summary of the status of the case thus far.

1.  Leyser filed suit in state court in Nevada to claim his share of the proceeds from Gold’s win.

2.  Leyser moved for and received a temporary order restraining Gold from cashing out the  $6 million from  the casino.

3.  Gold applied for the federal court to take over the case on diversity jurisdictional grounds (Leyser is not a US citizen, apparently).  He succeeded in this effort.

4.  Leyser filed for the court to immediately enforce the TRO keeping the $6 million away from Gold.  In pleadings, he suggested that Gold was trying to do an end run around the state court to get at the money.  The federal court did extend the TRO and kept the state court’s order in effect.
5.  Gold objected to the TRO and asked that the court free up the money.
6.  Gold filed an answer to the complaint

7.  The parties agreed on a schedule for discovery.  The cutoff for discovery actions will be March 14, 2007 and the deadline for associated motions will be April 16, 2007.

So, now what?  This will be a period of relatively low public activity.  Both sides will investigate to determine what facts that they can prove about the deal.  They will probably depose Bodog people to figure out what, if anything they knew about the deal and any people who knew the facts of the deal.  None of this is likely to be part of the public record unless they have an ugly fight about the discovery which has to be decided by the judge.  In a case like this, that probably won’t happen.

After the discovery period ends, one or both sides will probably move for summary judgment.  This essentially asks the judge to rule that the other side could not possibly win a trial and asks the judge to decide the case in their favor immediately.  These filing will provide a lot of information about the case, since they will reference whatever proof of their case they have in those pleadings.  So we will probably see a lot of good information in the April, 2007 timeframe.

The issue of the order holding the $6 million at Harrahs will be addressed before that.  I’m not sure what the timeframes are for that and the scheduling orders don’t seem to address it.  If I was an expert on civil procedure, I’m sure that there is some established window for the judge to schedule a hearing and decide.  Gold would have to convince the judge that there is a very little chance Leyser will win in order to get the money freed up, but his filings in support of that motion might provide some insight into Gold’s theory of the case.  If Gold wins that hearing, Leyser is probably cooked, because the standard of what he need to prove to keep the money held is much easier to meet than winning the actual case.  On the other hand, if he secures a permanent order holding the cash, the press is likely to mis-report that as demonstrating that he is very likely to win on the merits, which it doesn’t really mean.

The most interesting bits of the complaint have been published elsewhere, but I can summarize.  Paragraph 10 says that Gold and Leyser met in course of trying to produce a TV show.  Paragraph 12 claims that the deal Gold has with Bodog was that he provide celebs to play wearing Bodog gear in exchange for a seat.  Paragraph 13 says that they entered into a deal where Leyser would get the celebrities and they would split the proceeds from the seat.  He also claims that Gold said Leyser would likely play because Gold couldn’t take that much time away from work.  Paragraph 14 spells out that Leyser recruited Matthew Lillard and Dax Shepard to play for Bodog.  Paragraph 15 claims that Gold said Bodog insisted that he play and that he reaffirmed the 50% deal.  Finally, paragraph 22 transcribes the infamous phone message, the most damning public evidence presented thus far.  It says that Gold stated:

Hey, it’s Jamie, thank you for your message.  I slept pretty well so we should be fine.  I have a real good plan on what to do for today.  Thank you for all your help.  I wanted to let you know about the money.  You’re obviously very well protected, everything will be fine but nothing’s going to happen today, that’s for sure.  I have the best tax attorneys and the best minds in the business working for me from New York and LA and what we’re probably going to do is set up a Nevada Corporation and it’s going to … I have to pay you out of the corporation.  I can’t just pay personally because I could get nailed.  So it might take a few days, so please be patient.  I promise you — you can keep this recording on my word — there’s no possible way you’re not going to your hal … after taxes.  So please just be with me.  I can’t imagine you’re going to have a problem with it.  I just don’t want any stress about any money or any of that shit going on today, or even after the end of the day.  I’m sure you’re going to be fine; you’re going to be very well taken care of, absolutely fairly.  We’re just trying to handle this properly and after now I don’t even want to talk about it or think about it.  But please just trust me.  You’ve trusted me the whole way, you can trust me a little bit more.  I promise you that there’s no way anybody will go anywhere with your money.  It’s your money.  Alright, I send you love, than you for your support …

It seems to be that it is going to be difficult for Gold to deny that they had a deal in the face of that tape.  In his answer, he essentially denies the truth of all of the paragraphs above.  This is a pretty standard lawyer tactic, so you can’t be sure.  If one small aspect of the sentence is out of whack, they will say that they deny it.  Even as to the tape message, they say “Defendant lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth or falsity of the factual allegations contained in pargraph 22.”  Gold also denies that he “now refuses to provide Plaintiff with his $6,000,000” so he may cling to the claim that he was going to pay, eventually.  His affirmative defenses are also interesting, in that he claims that the harm suffered by Leyser was caused in whole or part by a third party (presumably Bodog).  He also seems to be denying that Leyser got the celebs and that Leyser did anything to create a contract.  This seems like something that can be easily confirmed by Lillard or Shepard.  There is also a claim that the contract is governed by California law, which does not permit enforcement of gambling contracts.

I’ll keep an eye on the court pleadings and let you know if the injunction hearing produces anything interesting.  Failing that, we probably will have to wait until next spring to see what happened in discovery.  The period between the end of discovery and the start of trial is also when the case is most likely to settle out of court.

poker Strategy

An essay on being an effective big-stack bully

I got a nice message from one of my poker buds asking me to elaborate on how I “bully” the table as a big stack. He mentioned that he often loses a lot of money using this approach, which suggests that he does it wrong. I thought it might have enough general interest to post here instead of replying by email.

First of all, consider if you want to bully at all. At some stages, a big chip leader has no business getting involved in a lot of pots. If you are a big chip leader, but the tourney is still in the middle stages and the blinds are still relatively small, you should play tighter, not looser! If you have enough chips to be a mid-stack at the final table when 50 players are left, you don’t need to do very much. Wait for big hands and just cherry-pick the very best stealing situations. A big stack donking off his chips in the middle going in a pot he didn’t even need to be involved with is sad. Don’t be that guy! Also, consider the table conditions. Is the table hyper-aggressive and your reputation not that good? Then don’t bully. Wait for your spot and pounce!

If you are still with me, you believe that you are in a position to be the bully. You have a lot of chips and you want to get more so that you can win this thing. Maybe you are the chip leader at your fairly timid table, but you are not in great overall position. Maybe you aren’t going to go hog-wild, but you want to do a better job in the spots where you do apply pressure. Here are the three main tools of the bully:

1. Blind Steals

Everyone knows about blind stealing for fun and profit. It is an essential part of tourney strategy late in the game. As a big stack, the dynamic changes a bit for you. You are something to be feared (you could bust every one of them) and something to be coveted (you can give that ever-elusive double). There are a couple of keys to effective bullying. First, you lower your raising requirements. Middle pairs and hands like ATs that you would have thrown away earlier are now clear raising hands. When you have a good hand, you can raise it up no matter what the rest of this section says because you don’t mind if you get called when you raised 99 or AQ. You want them to think you could be getting great cards all the time. You should also always raise big hands like KK or AA because this might be the moment that they decide to get a spine. Also when you get cute and limp and then show down KK, what does that tell everyone about your other raises? I should also say a word about bet sizing. Once the blinds and antes start to get serious, I tend to lower my standard pre-flop raise from 3x BB to 2.5x BB. It seems to still win the blinds about as often and saves me some money when I fold to a resteal.
Raising with slightly looser requirements is one thing, but most everyone understands that. The next big step is raising with absolute crap. The art of raising with crap is knowing when to do it. You need to look around your table and pick your targets. First of all, you want to identify the tightest players. Many tourneys feature nits who have made it deep by playing 7% of their hands and still inexplicably getting action when they play AA. These guys are dead meat for you. If one of them is on the blind and you are the first-in, jump on them. They like to fold, you like chips, everyone is happy. The next thing to look at is chip stacks. Really big stacks will look at your 2.5 BB raise and the antes and the big ole pot odds and implied odds and toss in a few more chips every time. This means you’ll have to risk another 3 or 4 BBs on the flop to take their money and run the risk of getting hurt. You don’t like that. Avoid the big stacks without a hand unless they are tight or unimaginative. By unimaginative, I mean someone who has shown a tendency to call pre-flop and check-fold the flop a lot. You are happy to play with those guys. Finally, avoid raising the small stacks. They might feel too short to fold or they might make a “what the hell” push with modest holdings. You would rather not have to call them with 83s and show the table just what you have been up to. In a certain range, their push would require you to call with any two. You don’t want to raise someone with crap if you would obligated to call when they push no matter what. Avoid the shorties, unless you have the other factors working in favor of a steal.

In addition to chip stacks, you should look for certain situations. The most obvious one is the payout bubble. As the bubble nears, everyone gets very very defensive. You want to maximize your stealing in this situation. Whereas you usually want to appear that you might be raising legitimate hands, you don’t really care if they know you are raising with crap on the bubble, because they still won’t call you even when they know you are robbing them blind. This also repeats on the final table bubble, because the big payouts start to come into play. Sometimes at the final table, a short stack will clearly decide that they can fold into 5th and they’d rather do that than try to win. If you see someone in that mode, take their chips.
Finally, we should briefly discuss how you will handle being reraised. If you were raising slightly looser than usual, but have a semi-reasonable hand, you would usually call — especially if the guy who came over the top of you isn’t already committed to the pot. If he is already pretty much stuck to the pot, evaluate it the same you would evaluate calling an all-in (outside the scope of this little talk, although I think I’ve posted about that math elsewhere). If you were raising with trash then it is trickier. If you have a reasonable chance to use technique 2 below, generally call him. Especially in position. If you are out of position, he has been reasonably tight and/or you don’t think he has enough chips to fold post-flop you should walk away to fight another day. When you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar raising crap and have to lay it down to a resteal, don’t insta-fold. You might as well hold up a sign reading “I’m full of shit.” I also don’t like to showboat and take forever to decide. Take a little while, but don’t showboat. Some players can effectively ask the other guy what he has or say “I’m not sure I can fold this pair” or some BS. When you take a while to decide and/or chat it up, some players cannot resist showing their AA or their bluff. This is a very desirable side effect and you should encourage that as much as possible.

2. Take some flops and force them to make tough decisions post-flop

This is really the key tool in the bully arsenal. Stack sizes are everything here. You can call raises a bit looser with your big stack. You are looking for situations where you will win the pots where neither of you hit the flop good. Obviously, he is going to win with AA or when he flops two pair or some other good fit and you will win when you flop good. However, the majority of hands will result in a flop that doesn’t hit either one of you. As the big stack, you have a much better chance to win these pots. Taking a stab at the pot doesn’t risk as much for you as it does for them. Take advantage of this by seeing some flops, especially in position. You should also defend your BB more actively — you’ll take it away from them and they’ll stop trying to steal and you’ll get a free ride a lot more.

The most critical aspect of doing this effectively is bet sizing. As you undoubtedly know, in the later stages of a tourney a shorter stack should no longer raise pre-flop — he should just push. The reason is so that no one will consider calling or re-raising with a plan to put a move on him later. By doing so, the short stack maxmizes his fold equity and ensures that his opponents will have no fold equity to use against him. You can’t bluff an all-in player. You will want to use that same principle. If you are looking at a pot of 10k and your opponent has 10k left, a bet of 10k will ensure that he doesn’t think he can raise you off the pot. He has to decide between calling you and showing the best hand or folding. He will hesitate to call with even a modest hand because he doesn’t want to go home, especially on a modest holding. But let’s think a bit deeper. Did you really have to bet his entire stack to achieve this same effect? What if you had bet 5k? You have now cut your risk of loss in half (you are only risking 5k) but he has essentially the same decision to make. He doesn’t want to raise you with air, because you would have to call 5k to win 25k. You aren’t going to fold there, so a bluff makes no sense for him at all. You have threatened him with losing his entire remaining 10k without risking 10k of your own. This is the critical tool of the big stack bully. You need to size your bets so that the other player believes that calling is essentially deciding to risk his tourney life on this hand, but you want to do this with the smallest bet that will achieve this goal. This is part math and part psychology, but the magic point is usually around half the other player’s remaining stack. If betting half his stack would be a stupid overbet, obviously don’t do that. If you both have comfortable playing stacks, then just play poker. I’d still use my big stack to take more stabs at pots than usual, but now you make more typical bets of half to three quarters of the pot (maybe even the whole pot, depending on the situation).

When you call from the BB, you have to think about stack sizes there too. If the other player is going to commit himself to the pot with a bet, don’t try to check-raise bluff him. He will feel like he is marching off a cliff, but he’ll have to call. If the pot size and his stack dictate that a continuation bet will stick him to pot, then you have to make the first stab. Make a lead bet on the flop that requires him to make a decision. If you check and he checks behind, it is probably more worth a stab at the pot on the turn.

In general, your big stack allows you take more shots at pots that look like they might go unclaimed. You should dial up your willingness to take a shot at them. This includes those silly small bets into family pots that you would usually never make. A small bet from a big stack into a family pot is much scarier than the idiots who min-bet in level 2. I promise you.

Finally, consider the classic raise a buncha limpers ploy. The open-limper probably has crap and the callers probably have crap. You can often take it down with a nice raise there. This one is a bit more risk, but again — you have chips so you can take more chances than the next guy.

3. Resteal

Most big stacks do this too often and #2 not enough. Resteal logic is much like steal logic. Look for the right players to do it from (either they should be raising too often or they should be in a real obvious steal situation where they are likely to be doing it with air). Look for the right cards to do it with (a good playable hand that you don’t hate showing down). If you get both, of course you should resteal. If you only have one, look to the stack sizes. Don’t resteal from the people who can’t afford to fold. A shorter stack is going to go ahead and go all-in with 66 where he might have folded the flop if you smooth called and pushed. His AQ is going to look a lot less pretty on the K99 flop. Unlike steals, you can tend to resteal more from bigger stacks. They are more likely to be stealing with air and more unhappy about tangling with you of all people. Of course, pay attention. If a guy hasn’t raised since Carter was in office, just lay your 88 down.
A less obvious factor is that you like to resteal from the people to your immediate right. You want them scared to make moves in front of you, so that you have more opportunities to steal yourself. A few well-timed resteals will keep them in line.

I hope some of these help you to be a better bully. Don’t try it on my table, though. That would be rude.


Brag post

My wife has been playing more tourneys and I’ve been railbirding her and giving bad advice.  She sat down at $20 180 person SnG last night, so I decided to play it with her.  4 hours later I won the whole thing for $1,000.  It was fun.

I knew it was likely to go well when I called an all-in on the second hand of the tourney with AJ and won.  The guy had just donked off half his stack on a foolish multi-street bluff, so I assumed his push didn’t mean a good hand.  He had JT and I was off to the races.  I played nothing past the flop for a couple of levels, but stayed around 2,000 chips until I found JTs in the SB.  MP3 raised and the button called, so I tagged along.  The board was 874 rainbow, giving me a gutshot and two overcards.  After a continuation bet and a call, I was getting 4:1 with nice implied odds to chase, so I did.  The turn was a beautiful 9, giving me the nut straight.  I checked, planning to check-raise, but it checked around.  The river was a King, changing nothing.  The pot was 1,500 and I had 1,600, so I just pushed.  My theory was that it would look like a bluff.  It worked because the initial raiser called me with 86s (third pair!)  This put me at 5k and I scored another 1k with some power poker on the next hand.  I tried to bluff someone off a pot in the next level with A9 on a 963-K board when the scary King came on the turn.  He was short, so I put him in after he bet the turn.  I was sick when he called until he showed AT.  OK….

That put me at 8k and among the leaders (I think the actual chip leader at that point).  I did nothing for some time (called a short-stack’s push with AT which was no good) and fell back to around 5k.  I won a big pot where a slow-played two pair with J8 let me catch up with KJ and I was up to 12k.  I turn bully-mode on, find that QQ>AJ and cruise to 20k.  I lost a coin flip with a shorty and then had the luckbox hand of the tourney with my stack at 15k.  I’ve got AQs in the SB and the LAG UTG raises to 2k with 10k behind.  A good player flat calls him and I push (covering both).  I figure the LAG has to lay down to the squeeze play and the flat caller can’t have much or he’d isolate the LAG.  The LAG insta-calls and I curse the poker gods.  He has AKo. The flop is rags, but the turn is a beautiful Queen.  So, instead of 4k, I’m at 31k and chip leader again.  w00tah!

I’m a PITA with chips, so I start rolling.  Catch a guy trying to move me off top pair, top kicker and stack him and now I’m at 50k.  I win a nice coin flip near the bubble when TT holds up and I’m up to 80k and chip leader at the final table.  I pick off the first shorty with A9 > KJ.  I win some and lose some, but stay around 80 until I get in the hand that sealed the deal.  The most active guy at the final table has now chipped up to 82k and covers me by a few chips.  I’ve got AA on the button.  He makes a standard raise from MP3 and I flat call, being happy to play this hand in position against an aggressive player.  The flop is all rags and he bets half the pot.  I raise the whole pot.  He flat calls.  The turn is another rag and he pushes.  I figure this has to be KK or QQ, so I call.  It was QQ and now I’ve got 190k and the rest of the table combined has like 65k.

I double one of the the shorties twice when KJ < A3 and  AJ < QT, but once I made him the second stack with those hands, I busted him when AK > JJ.  It was then 207k against 25k and 37k, which seems like even a donkey couldn’t lose.  I tried to lose anyhow, but failed.  I chipped one guy up to 80k against my 160k (in my defense, one of these hands included an all-in pre-flop where his 82s beat my KJs).  When he knocked out the shortstack, I actually entered heads-up only up 160 to 90.  I immediately went into bully mode once I figured he wasn’t quite as aggro heads-up as I was.  I took all the small pots and he won a few big ones, but I don’t think I ever fell below about 180k.  I did him in when he tried to slowplay 53o.  You can’t beat me with 53o, I own that hand.  He slowplayed a flopped two pair and I went runner-runner better two pair with AQ.  I called small bets all the way to the river when I pushed top two.  He called his last 50k off on the river and went home in second.


Fuck PartyPoker

It looks like I’ve lost Crypto and Party, but Stars is hanging tough. – Our business continues as before

Dear PokerStars Player

As you are probably aware, the United States Congress recently enacted the Safe Port Act which contains provisions relating to Internet gambling.

PokerStars has received extensive expert advice from within and outside the U.S. which concluded that these provisions do not alter the U.S. legal situation with respect to online poker. Furthermore it is important to emphasize that the Act does not in any way prohibit you from playing online poker.

Therefore, our business continues as before – open to players worldwide including the US. You may play on our site as you did prior to the Act.

PokerStars believes that poker is a game of skill enjoyed by millions of players and we remain committed to providing you a safe and fun environment in which to play. We value your loyalty to PokerStars, and look forward to continuing to serve you with the best online poker experience, as we have for the past five years, six billion hands, and 40 million tournaments.

PokerStars Management

Combine that with Neteller giving the feds the bird and today was a very good day for online poker.   I’ve made more money at Party, but I love Stars best anyhow.  If we could beef up the higher limit tables with some of the Party LAGtards, I’m going to be all happy.  I made more money at Party, but their rake sucks and I’ve always hated their software.  If they don’t “re-enter” the US market, I think they are going to be in serious trouble very, very soon.


Contemplating the effect of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act

I have been relatively uninspired by poker of late, so I haven’t joined in the chorus of swirling resentment at this new effort to “protect” me from the twin evils of gambling and the internet.  Although, to be honest, I think a more important factor for me is that I have been disgusted by the direction my government has been headed in for so long that this just was one more indignity.  Although I’m obviously aghast that the most pressing issue facing the fine folks in Washington was internet poker, I’m really more disturbed by our continued bungling of the war in Iraq, our failure to take effective measures to protect ourselves from terrorism (which would probably start with not fueling the sense that we aim to rule the world), our abhorent stance on torture and any of dozens of other issues.

I had solved my poker malaise somewhat by playing a lot more HORSE.  Now that I’ve mostly digested the Zee High-Low book, I think my O8 and 7Stud Hi-Low games are much, much better.  I really enjoy the fact that I run into complicated poker decisions where I don’t have any pre-conceived idea how I should handle it.  Oddly, I enjoy when a hand ends and I realize I really made a bad mistake.  I haven’t been learning that much at limit hold’em because I’m pretty good at it now.  Case in point, I made an Ace high flush on 6th street in Stud and the guy who had been very aggressive stopped cold when I check-raised him.  He was showing a possible flush draw with a King exposed and I only had a Queen high flush draw showing (I actually had the Ace high flush).  On the river I bet and he raised.  I three bet him, thinking there was a good chance that I had him beat with an Ace high flush over a King high flush.  When he capped, I realized that I had made a terrible mistake.  Either he had an AK flush or a boat and his raise should have told me that.  If he had shown a pair up, I would have never made that mistake.  As it turns out he was rolled up and paired on seventh.  I lost two bets that I never should have lost.  But I was perversely happy as I realized that I still had lots to learn.

The only frustrating thing in terms of my poker education is that some of the players are very poor at some of the disciplines (especially stud 8 hi-low) and some are pretty good.  I haven’t figured out how to figure out who is who effectively enough yet.

I also cashed in the Stars million Sunday after being asked to accept a stake from the ITHers in a group pool kind of thing.  I won my seat in a FFP freeroll, so I was in good shape going in.  We had about 18 players, so we needed to get a lot of people in the money to really have a good day.  Unfortunately, we lost a lot of people relatively quickly.  As the bubble approached, I think we only had four players left alive.  We wound up with just Primitive (the ITH People’s Champion that we sent to the Main Event) and me cashing.  Prim was very short and just sneaked into the money and busted right after we got into the cash.  I was around average stack, but got caught stealing with KJs and had to fold to a push pre-flop and then had to call a shorty with a small pair in a similar situation and was in the red zone in two hands.  I forget my final hand, but it wasn’t pretty.

I was pleased to be the last ITHer in the thing, but I should have busted pre-bubble.  I was short-ish and found JJ.  I raised pre-flop and got two or three callers.  I got check-raised all-in on a raggy flop like 982 two suited.  I figured him for a flush draw or a pair and a draw and I called instantly.  He turned over QQ and I should have been dead.  Unfortunately for him, I went runner-runner straight and was suddenly among the leaders.  These tourneys have a brutal structure because I went from yellow zone to among the leaders in one hand.

I have taken a very conservative approach to the new law.  I’ve taken down my two or three banners which were only earning a pittance anyhow and I’ve cashed out of all sportsbooks and most poker rooms.  I’m having to move the money back in stages to avoid having too much money in any one place, but everyone has been processing the cashouts in a timely fashion, even the sportsbook that I was most worried about.  I was up to a very big balance in one sportsbook that wasn’t one of the highest-rated and they’ve cashed out most of it smoothly.  I’ll move the last 5k out next week and I’ll just have a small balance in Stars and WPEX to keep playing with and a few thousand in Neteller as a cushion.

With my online roll down to less than 10k after cashing out back to my bank, I’ll have to consider if I want to step down in limits or if I’m willing to risk having to redeposit.  If I play WPEX, they didn’t have a good game at 30/60 most of the time anyhow.  Although I have no idea what they will look like once Party closes shop.

PartyPoker, the 5,000 lb gorilla of the poker world, has announced that they will shut out US-based players as soon as the new law is signed.  Many other rooms have followed suit, some of which have ejected US-based players already.  Cryptologic sites and iPoker skins look to be dead for sure.  Stars has been coy about their intentions and a few sites have openly declared that they aren’t impressed by the new laws (WPEX and True Poker spring to mind).  Other sites have made carefully worded statements that suggest that they are in it for the long haul without actually saying that (FullTilt, UB and PokerRoom skins).  Given that on-line poker has always skirted the edges of what is legal I am somewhat shocked that Party rolled over so easily.  I would have figured that this law was likely to be somewhat toothless.  There is a good chance that it won’t prevent Neteller transactions and if it doesn’t block Neteller, it doesn’t do anything at all to stop the average player.  From the site’s point of view, it does provide Uncle Sam with a number of new tools to try to harass the companies and their executives.  One supposes that this is why Party has seemingly given up the ghost so quickly.  The internet is rife with rumors that they have some secret plan to re-engage in the market, but I’m not sure what I think.
My instinct is that this will change the landscape a great deal and we will probably look back on this as the high point of the intenet poker craze.  It won’t die next month, but this could change everything.  If the sites cut back on their US-based advertising, we’ll see less poker on TV.  The combination of less TV poker, less advertising and more challenging funding methods will start to dry up the new money.  As the games get tougher, more and more of the marginal players who were just keeping their heads above water will start to lose and move on to new hobbies.  Fewer online players will mean fewer entrants to the WSOP and in turn less exposure for ESPN and less incentive for MillerLite and similar firms to pony up the ad dollars.  It won’t die altogether because it is convenient to play online and millions of people demand to do it.  There are a number of countries in the world with much more realistic laws and poker can and probably will find ways to grow in Europe and Asia.  Dedicated gamblers from the US will find ways around the laws and sites will figure out where the loopholes might be.  They are very good at that, witness the barrage of .net advertising immediately after the “ban” on poker ads on TV.  I’m not bailing out yet, I love poker and I like a hobby that pays.  I might try to get to AC more often.



I wrote a long post ranting about the recent action in the US Congress to try to stop online gambling.  It included lots of links to the full text of the bill, press releases from various poker sites that are bailing out of the US market and commentary from my internet friends.  In what was perhaps symbolic, my PC locked up and refused to submit the post.  I’m too digusted to post it again.

My primary hunting ground was Party, which is going to boot me off.  The Republicans have proven themselves to be the craven hypocrits I knew they were by continuing their policy of less government except when it comes to moralizing bullshit.

Poker will continue to exist, but it is going to be much, much worse than it is today.  TV poker will start to dry up with the end of advertising revenues from the poker sites.

My buddy Chevin said it best, “Land of the free, my sweaty arse.