Archive for the ‘What’s New’ Category

Doug Polk Shreds Poker’s Athene in the Crypto World

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

athene-pokerBachir Boumaaza, who’s best known by his pseudo name, Athene, gained poker notoriety for his former sponsorship with PokerStars. This deal ended because the Belgian violated the sponsorship terms by abusing a rakeback loophole.

Before this, Boumaaza was a top-ranked World of Warcraft player. And he’s since made a transition into the cryptocurrency world.

Athene does YouTube videos on cryptocurrencies, where he gives his advice and thoughts on various coins. One of his latest videos involved a prank where he was trying to raise $1 billion for an initial coin offering (ICO).

Unfortunately, the humor was so deadpan that many people didn’t get the joke. Furthermore, he made bizarre comments about “not giving a shit about dying kids in Africa,” instead of only wanting to help them because it’s the right thing to do.

Doug Polk Crypto Jumps on Athene

As I discussed recently, former high stakes poker pro Doug Polk has also gotten heavily involved in the cryptocurrency world. In fact, he’s already become a top crypto YouTuber, despite making his first video in December 2017.

Polk captured the popular sentiment surrounding Athene’s strange video. But Polk took things a step further by stating that many people could be misled by Athene jokingly trying to raise $1 billion dollars.

“Using your troll persona to address the audience that isn’t normally there is basically a scam, because now they don’t know what’s going on. And they might fall victim to thinking that this could actually be worth something,” said Polk.

“I’m not exactly sure what the technical definition of scamming is. But if you tell people, ‘This could 50x if you get some of these, you can only get some of these if you send me money,’ then you are actually telling them to buy it because they’ll get a return.”

This falls in line with some of Doug Polk’s other videos, where he calls out other crypto YouTubers for scammy and/or strange behavior.

Jao Poker Closes – Player Funds Likely Gone

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

jao-pokerJao Poker, an offshore US-facing online poker site, has announced that they’re closing. And the worst part is that it doesn’t look like players will receive their funds back.

Concerns have been raised about Jao Poker for months, many of which are listed in this TwoPlusTwo thread. One of the initial complaints is that the affiliate program essentially amounted to scammy multi-level marketing. The affiliates, who frequently spammed poker-related Facebook groups, had to pay $250 to join. They then turned around and recruited others to become affiliates.

Some players also dealt with a site promoter named Tam Nguyen, who was extremely unprofessional. In a story where a tournament player complained about losing $27 after being disconnected, Nguyen him a “low life bitch” after refunding the money.

More recently, a TwoPlusTwo posted named “zxjaexz” posted concerns over not receiving their withdrawal:

“I requested a $1550 withdrawal via bitcoin on 2/3 and received an e-mail back saying it will be processed in 3 business days. Several e-mails later and 2-3 weeks have gone by with no bitcoin received nor any replys back.”

jao-poker-customer-serviceOnce the site announced their closure, Nguyen was very dismissive of the matter, noting that he “didn’t own the site” and didn’t “have anyone’s money.” He added that the promoters aren’t “the poker site’s bank, we just promote and get paid.”

While this may have been true, Jao Poker has all the signs of a classic Ponzi scheme. And it’s illegal to profit off a Ponzi scheme in many countries.

Unfortunately, Jao Poker operates in the world of offshore online poker sites. Therefore, those affected by this matter have little-to-no recourse to get their money back.

Jao Poker joins the likes of Lock Poker, Absolute Poker, and UB Poker and shutting down without refunding players’ money.

Doug Polk Crypto Passes Doug Polk Poker in Subscribers

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Doug Polk earned his fame through the high stakes poker world. But he’s quickly transitioning into the world of cryptocurrencies. And this has culminated in his cryptocurrency YouTube channel surpassing his poker YouTube channel in terms of subscribers.

The event happened today, February 20. And Polk tweeted the following regarding his excitement.

Highly Successful in Both Crypto and Poker YouTube

Doug Polk started his poker YouTube channel in June 2016 and has amassed 174,699 subscribers since then. He’s posted 353 videos during this time, with all of these garnering a combined 39,745,000 views.

Polk is the only poker player to earn the YouTube Silver Play Button, which is given to any YouTuber who has over 100,000 subscribers.

Few would transition into something else when they’ve been so successful in one YouTube sector. But Polk took the plunge in December 2017, launching his first cryptocurrency videos.

The result has been a huge success, given that he’s gained 174,925 followers. His 40 videos have generated over 6.4 million views, which is far more than his poker channel.

Polk Jumping into Crypto at the Right Time

Polk admittedly made the move to cryptocurrencies because he sees greater potential here.

Of course, the 29-year-old didn’t jump into crypto blindly. He’s actually been investing in Bitcoin and other coins for several years.

He once showed his diversified portfolio, which includes Bitcoin, Bitclave, DASH, Etherium, Monero, NEO, among others.

But Polk doesn’t get the most attention for his portfolio advice. Instead, he’s shown a willingness to attack any potential scammer in the crypto world.

This includes one famous incident involving another popular cryptocurrency YouTuber named Suppoman. The video, which can be seen below, features Polk ripping Suppoman for shilling ICOs (initial coin offerings) that he’s likely invested in – yet fails to disclose this information beforehand.

Given Polk’s rapid success and the growing crypto world, don’t expect to see him in the poker world as much any more.

Poker Pro Warwick Mirzikinian Charged in Cyclist’s Death

Monday, February 19th, 2018

poker-pro-cyclist-deathAustralian poker pro Warwick Mirzikinian has been charged in the death of a French cyclist named Julien Trameaux. Mirzikinian was driving his car on New South Head Road in Sydney, when he accidentally struck and killed the 24-year-old cyclist and food courier.

The 49-year-old poker pro and businessman wasn’t initially found to be at fault. But it was later determined that he was driving negligently and dangerously.

According to the Daily Mail, Mirzikinian is married to a Sydney socialite named Kristy. She made national news in the country when expressing her reaction to a sinkhole.

Mirzikinian’s Poker Career

poker-pro-wifeWarwick Mirzikinian has earned $756,878 in his poker career. He’s especially been playing well lately, having won $303,082 in 2017.

The Aussie took down three tournament titles from August to October, including the $20k Sydney Championships High Roller A$247,000 ($197,385). This victory took place just three months prior to Trameaux’s death.

It’s unclear if he’ll continue playing poker for the time being, while he deals with serious charges stemming from the cyclist’s death.

More on the Deceased Cyclist

Julien Trameaux was working in Sydney as a part-time food courier for UBEREats. He often worked the nighttime shift while hoping to earn enough money to open his own patisserie one day.

Trameaux lived in an apartment with friends, who all ran in the Sydney Marathon together last year. Close friend Leo Villaume described his late buddy as “optimistic and positive.”

Villaume added, “He was more than a friend, we were all a family and he was a brother. He was someone so determined.”

Trameaux was one of five people who died via accidents on New South Head Road in 2017.

Poker Players Alliance on Brink of Extinction

Friday, February 16th, 2018

ppa-donationsThe Poker Players Alliance (PPA) was formed in 2005 to help legalize online poker across the United States. And the PPA has received funding from over 1 million members, along with online poker sites like PokerStars over the years. Unfortunately, it now seems that the PPA is struggling to make ends meet.

We covered how former PPA Executive Director John Pappas stepped down from the organization earlier this month. And vice president Rich Muny has now taken his place.

Through TwoPlusTwo, Muny revealed that the PPA needs funding badly or they’re in danger of shutting down. Here’s a comment he made when responding to criticism over the PPA fighting for sports betting:

“Thanks. TBH, though, I don’t see future corporate donations from poker-only entities and, without that, I don’t know that we have a path to continued viability. Even with me back to being an unpaid volunteer as of the beginning of this year, it’s a narrowing opportunity in terms of funding we need to continue operations.”

Specifically, the PPA needs $25,000 in funding by April to stay afloat. Muny is already an unpaid volunteer, so the $25k would simply go to the group’s lobbying efforts and expenses.

Is there a Need for the PPA Right Now?

One of the biggest issues raised in the TwoPlusTwo forum is whether the PPA should continue if it’s becoming an all-around gambling advocacy group. In other words, some poker players would rather see the group stop operating, rather than lose its identity.

The PPA has played a large role in helping get poker legalized in four states. But this process is much slower than people had hoped for. This is why poker sites have largely stopped funding the organization.

With just over a month left to gather enough donations, we’ll soon see if the PPA can continue as either a poker-focused organization or an all-around gambling lobbying group.

Patrik Antonius Wins Partypoker MILLIONS Germany €25,000 High Roller

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

patrik-antonius-partypoker-millionsPatrik Antonius has won the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Germany €25,000 Super High Roller, held at King’s Casino (Rozvadov, Czech Republic).

The Finnish poker player topped a field of 37 players (51 including rebuys) to win the tournament along with €425,000.

Partypoker Ambassador Joao Simao took second place along with a payout worth €251,250.

Antonius Wins His First Live Tournament of 2018

What’s impressive about Antonius’ victory is that this is only his first live tourney of the year. In fact, he rarely plays live events anymore because they bore him.

But Antonius might consider taking up some more land-based tournaments after his latest win. The €425k payout is the sixth-largest of his career.

How the Partypoker MILLIONS Final Table Played Out

Manig Loeser was the unlucky bubble boy and was eliminated when his A-K combo couldn’t crack pocket queens. German poker pro Dominik Nitsche was next, losing with A-J against Renato Nowak’s pocket nines.

Deitrich Fast was the next player to be eliminated, losing with K-2 against Nowak’s pocket aces. Steve O’Dwyer busted out in fifth place when his A-J fell to Stefan Schillhabel’s pocket kings.

The German couldn’t celebrate for too long, though, because he lost with pocket 7s against Simao’s A-T hand. Antonius made the next elimination, knocking Nowak out in third place.

Simao began heads-up play with the lead. But he eventually lost the lead and busted out while holding pocket kings. Antonius rivered a straight with queen-jack to defeat Simao and win the tournament.

Partypoker MILLIONS Germany €25k High Roller Final Table

1. Patrik Antonius (Finland) – €425,000
2. Joao Simao (Brazil) – €251,250
3. Renato Nowak (Germany) – €175,000
4. Stefan Schillhabel (Germany) – €125,000
5. Steve O’Dwyer (Ireland) – €100,000
6. Dietrich Fast (Germany) – €75,000
7. Dominik Nitsche (Germany) – €60,000

Doug Polk Rips Daniel Negreanu – Calls Him “Embarrassment” to Poker

Friday, February 9th, 2018

doug-polk-cryptocurrencyPoker pro Doug Polk recently did a podcast with friend and fellow grinder Joey Ingram.

The conversation was about the problems currently plaguing the poker world.

And Polk had some choice words when it came to discussing Daniel Negreanu.

Polk Thinks Negreanu is a Shill and Hyprocrite

Negreanu came up around the halfway point of Polk and Ingram’s conversation. It’s at this point that Polk expressed his view that Kid Poker is “shilling” for PokerStars, especially when it comes to saying higher rake is better for online players.

“He’s a massive hypocrite and, frankly, he’s an embarrassment to players and the game of poker,” said Polk.

negreanu-how-to-become-poker-proThe response could very well be to a February 7 tweet, where Negreanu took aim at poker pros who move on to other pursuits. Polk may especially be a target, given that he’s now heavily involved the cryptocurrency community.

“Many people come and go in the poker industry, moving on to other things, but I am a lifer. I love this game and plan to play a big role in the poker community for the rest of my life. I have lots of passions, but poker will always be #1,” tweeted Negreanu.

The discussion on Negreanu begins around the 46:15 mark if you want to listen to the whole thing.

Ingram doesn’t Fully Agree about Negreanu

Polk was fired up on the subject of Negreanu. And he continued his rant with the following:

“Dude, honestly, shut the fuck up, honestly. It’s so absurd. He’s getting paid millions of dollars to be a hypocrite and tell you why taking your money is good and why he should take more of your money, and then also trying to be the good guy. You don’t get to be both.”

Ingram didn’t jump on Polk’s side and instead gave Negreanu a compliment.

“I wouldn’t go this far,” said Ingram. “You know I’ve got a lot of respect for Negreanu. He brings in a lot of people (to poker).”

He does have a point here, given that Kid Poker has over 450,000 Twitter followers and plenty of clout in the game.

On the same token, Polk also has the right to pursue endeavors outside of poker. And it’s not Negreanu’s place to bash others for pursuing these opportunities.

John Pappas Steps Down as PPA Executive Director

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

john-pappas-ppaJohn Pappas has been very influential in lobbying for poker players’ rights over the last decade.

However, Pappas will now step down as Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA).

Pappas will officially vacate the role at the end of February, allowing PPA Vice President Rich Muny to take over.

Pappas Proud of His Work

Pappas is very happy with the work that he and the PPA as a whole have done to further America’s online poker scene. He also appreciates how the US is moving forward towards legal online poker, casino, and sports betting in various states.

“I am proud of the work I have done with the PPA board of directors and the amazing PPA staff to bring us to this point,” said Pappas.

“I will miss working for the poker community on a day-to-day basis, but I am confident that the PPA will continue its great work with Rich Muny at the helm.”

Pappas will still Work with PPA

While Pappas may no longer be the Executive Director of the PPA, he’ll stay on the D.C. lobbying group’s Board of Directors. This is a big help, because he can offer advice and recommendations using his wealth of experience.

Poker Hall of Fame member Linda Johnson is very appreciative of the work that Pappas has done for the poker advocacy.

“For almost a decade, he has been the political voice and face of the poker community and regulated internet gaming advocates,” said Johnson. “He leaves the organization in a strong position to continue to ensure that consumer voices drive the internet gaming debate.”

As for Muny, he’s very active on poker forums and continues to devote a full-time effort to legalizing online poker in more states. That said, he should make a fine choice as the new PPA Executive Director.

Sam Greenwood Claims German Poker Pros are Vultures

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

2015 World Series of PokerPoker pro Sam Greenwood, who recently won the Aussie Millions $50,000 Challenge, has taken exception to German high roller poker pros. The Canadian recently launched a Twitter attack against them, claiming that they’re “vultures waiting for worse recs to join the tourney.”

Greenwood explained himself by tweeting that many German pros wait on the sidelines to see who’ll enter an event before they play. If they find the tournament to be juicy, they’ll enter to take advantage of lesser competition. This is essentially the definition of poker vulturing, hence why Greenwood used this term.

He was especially angry since the $50k event that he won only featured 4 players. Greenwood felt that the Germans intentionally stayed out because they felt that they’d face resistance.

Greenwood Feels that these Pros should be Ashamed

Another poignant insult that Greenwood leveled is that the German high rollers “should be forced to wait in a Pen of Shame.”

Germans are, by and large, considered to be the top high-roller players by nationality. But Greenwood questions whether this is truly the case, given that they allegedly dodged competition in the $50k Challenge. He also brought up an example on how German pros behaved at a Prague event.

“Look at the Prague 50k,” he tweeted. “Two good recs were regged from the start and most of Team Germany hung around in the tourney room like vultures waiting for worse recs to join the tourney. It’s predatory and cowardly.”

Not the Only One to Question These Players

fedor-holz-2016-wsop-one-dropGreenwood isn’t alone in questioning the behavior of German high-roller pros. Scotland’s all-time money leader, Niall Farrell, and 2015 WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehen supported Greenwood’s accusations.

Meanwhile, famed German pros Koray Aldemir and Steffen Sontheimer defended themselves and called Greenwood’s tweets “laughable on so many levels.”

Sontheimer accused Greenwood of still being angry after he lost heads-up to Germany’s Fedor Holz in the 2016 EPT Barcelona Super High Roller.

Did a Meteor Signal a $1m Poker Bad Beat Jackpot?

Friday, January 26th, 2018

meteor-pokerUnlocking a $1 million bad beat jackpot is already a rare occurrence. But how about the combination of seeing a meteor and winning a massive poker jackpot?

This is exactly what happened to poker player Kenny Tallent of Battle Creek, Michigan. Tallent was on his way to the MotorCity Casino in Detroit, when he saw a meteor falling from the sky.

“It was like a big, green flash I saw out of the corner of my eye,” Tallent told “My first thought was it was a nuclear bomb or something.”

The meteor that Tallent saw broke apart around 20 miles above Earth, with rock fragments landing near Detroit. Parts of Canada, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin saw the rare event.

“Maybe seeing the meteor was a precursor to my luck that night,” Tallent said.

How did the Poker Bad Beat Jackpot Happen?

kenny-tallent-poker-bad-beatTallent, who’s been playing poker for 13 years, never expected to actually win the $1 million bad beat jackpot. But then again, he also didn’t anticipate seeing a meteor.

The Battle Creek native got four-of-a-kind queens. And another player flipped over four 3s, for a lower four of a kind. The losing hand qualified for the bad beat jackpot, which kicked off a celebration.

“I looked at him and said ‘do you got it?’ He looked at me and said, ‘do you got it?’ And, we both rolled our hands over and we went crazy. We started jumping up and down and dancing,” recalled Tallent. “The whole room gravitated to our table.”

After winning the hand, Tallent scooped 20% of the prize, or $213,713. The other player collected 40%, or $427,424.

“I’m gonna up my 401k contributions, so get closer to retirement,” Tallent said with regard to his winnings.

“I do want to take the money to go play in the World Series of Poker this year. And I’m hoping after this summer you’ll be interviewing me again after I win the World Series of Poker.”