Posts Tagged ‘Guy Laliberte’

Are you included in Sofia Lövgren’s Dream Home Game?

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

sofia-lovgren-888-pokerUnless your name is Barack Obama, Daniel Negreanu or Guy Laliberté, the answer is unfortunately no. These three lucky SOB’s were among nine whom Sofia Lövgren recently included in her dream home game lineup.

Through her 888 blog, the Swedish beauty not only explained why she invited nine specific individuals to her €5/€10 NLHE game, but also how she would exploit each one. For example, she thinks that Negreanu is “always incredibly entertaining,” but believes she could use her image and Negreanu’s tendency to play lots of pots to beat him. Likewise, she’d love to have a chat with Barack Obama, “the most powerful man in the world,” while taking advantage of this calling station by value-betting him all day.

Some nepotism comes into play here because Lövgren would also have her brother, Fredrik, and her boyfriend, solid poker pro Luca Moschitta, sit down to this elite table.

Unfortunately, according to the 888poker pro, Alex Dreyfus (GPI founder) and Thierry Derks (won lady’s event at EPT Deauville) are too busy to make her fictional home game. Check out the reasons why on Lövgren’s blog.

xuan-liu-pokerXuan Liu says Bye Bye to 888poker

In other news involving 888 and a hot poker babe, Xuan Liu announced via Twitter that she “will no longer be an 888poker ambassador.” Liu signed her deal with the poker site around the same time as Lövgren last year, but will be departing much sooner.

Liu first made her mark on the poker world at the 2011 EPT San Remo Main Event, finishing third and collecting $524,705. She quickly struck again at the 2012 PCA Main Event, taking fourth and earning $600,000. By early 2014, she’d signed a deal to represent 888 at live tournaments around the world.

No reason has been given for why Liu’s deal ended, but it can only be guessed that her contract expired and both sides decided not to renew. Furthermore, the growing trend in online poker is to move away from the sponsored player model and spend more money/marketing efforts on attracting recreational players.

Debate over whether Full Tilt Players cheated Guy Laliberte

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Earlier this week, Cirque du Soleil owner and high stakes poker player Guy Laliberte told Le Journal De Montreal that he was essentially cheated at Full Tilt Poker.

Although the French-to-English translation is a little choppy, Laliberte alleges that famous pros were borrowing an endless supply of money from Full Tilt. Combining this unlimited bankroll with their skill edge, the unnamed online poker players (reportedly Patrik Antonius, Tom Dwan, Gus Hansen, David Benyamine and others) were able to beat Laliberte out of an estimated $26 million. Here’s a translated look at what Guy told the Journal:

“I should have remembered that I am a dinosaur compared to this [internet].”

“The story of Full Tilt is clear: I got scammed, squarely, by people I knew personally who used unfillted bank, paying no money.

“By dint of” All in “all the time, when it’s not your own money, and they printed money to play against me, and they put two, three …; I was stupid. “

A TwoPlusTwo thread quickly opened up on the matter and it already contains a sizable number of posts. First off, nobody knows exactly what to make of Laliberte’s statements because A) they are a little vague, and B) most 2p2 users speak English and are only getting the google-translated version. But the general debate here revolves around whether or not playing with an unlimited bankroll is considered cheating, at least when the whale in question doesn’t know about it.

Another point of contention is whether certain FTP players were equity chopping behind Laliberte’s back. Assuming he didn’t truly know about this, then one could definitely make a case that secret equity chops would be cheating. Here’s a good point from “iosys” on page 2 of the TwoPlusTwo thread:

If we are not talking heads up matches but fill ring tables where multiple people shove in a hand (all in) with him being in that pot and everyone sharing equity. He got ripped off and that is morally wrong to be doing that to someone. He is definitely not a sucker for having that happen to him and I can see why he would be mad, even if the money doesn’t matter to him.

Reverting back to the unlimited bankroll topic, many TwoPlusTwo posters have gone back and forth about this one. Some believe that Laliberte would’ve lost anyways since he was competing against the best. So if they were merely borrowing fake money from FTP, it doesn’t matter because they still won. Some have even likened it to the Andy Beal situation, where he took on “The Corporation,” a group of elite pros who pooled their bankroll to play at stakes as high as $50k/$100k.

But the difference here was that Beal knew full well what he was up against. Laliberte, on the other hand, likely had no knowledge that he was competing against players with a near-infinite bankroll. That said, he probably thought that his massive reserves of money was one of his advantages, just like Beal did several years earlier.

It’s hard to say for sure where the moral line lies in Laliberte’s games against some of poker’s best. Moreover, we should also consider that maybe not everything Laliberte assumes is the truth, and he could’ve simply been beaten by better players.

Gus Hansen discusses Major Online Poker Struggles

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

The poker world is well aware of how badly Gus Hansen has struggled in online poker. The man who first made his mark by winning three WPT titles in less than a year has yet to see the same success in online cash games. His swingy play has left him down over $10 million in online poker, which only trails Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, who’s reportedly lost $17 million.

Hansen recently sat down for an interview with PokerListings to discuss his downswings and how it’s affected him personally. When asked about how he sleeps after winning millions, then losing millions, Hansen said, “I sleep better after a big win than after a big loss, I think that’s no secret. But yes, I’ve been doing a lot of losing lately and I’ve been frustrated.

“I feel like I am missing something. Maybe I’m outdated. I used to be the biggest winner on Omaha Hi/Lo while in the last six months I’m the biggest loser on Omaha Hi/Lo. So, I wonder, what happened in the mean time? I know I haven’t been running good but, at the same time, I don’t think I have been running that bad.”

Hansen continued by saying that his losses sometimes keep him up at night. It’s his belief that even though his online poker results look bad, he’s still doing fairly well overall.

“I’m doing pretty well even though my online results are indicating that I am not doing too well. I have other venues I play,” he said. “Like Ben Sulsky, I play all the games. If you get me a high-stakes backgammon player, I will play. If you give me an Open Face Chinese player – I will play. If you give me a high-stakes poker game, chances are that I am going to play. I have different avenues to walk down. Sometimes I lose on the carousels but then I win on another round.”

The Great Dane concluded the interview by saying that he’s played well in the live Macau cash games. So despite what his online poker graphs may suggest, he’s still finding ways to experience poker success through other outlets.

What happened to Tom Dwan in Online Poker?

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

When it comes to online poker, Tom “durrrr” Dwan will always be known as one of the most famous players. After all, he was widely considered a top internet grinder from 2008-2010. However, the past few years have seen Dwan’s profits and online reputation take a major hit. To illustrate this point, let’s follow Dwan’s profits during the most significant rises and drops in his career:

– October, 2007, -$330k (rough start)
– December, 2008, $5.73 million (the legend was born)
– February, 2009, $2 million (a sharp drop)
– June, 2009, $7.23 million (Dwan’s peak)
– November, 2009, -$1 million (playing Viktor Blom takes its toll)
– April, 2010, $6.72 million (thank you Guy Laliberte)
– April, 2011, $2.4 million (a steady drop before Black Friday)
– January, 2013, $883k (the fall continues)

As you can see, Dwan has never been a stranger to wild bankroll swings. However, it looks like these swings have been going down far more often than up since April of 2010. Because of this big bankroll drop, some people question whether or not Dwan could even compete with the top online players of today.

There’s no simple answer to this thought because, as his results indicate, durrrr has not been a successful player over the past two and a half years. However, it’s worth mentioning that Dwan doesn’t dedicate the bulk of his time towards beating high stakes games at Full Tilt Poker anymore. Instead, he’s still grinding in the live Macau cash games and making a healthy profit off the Asian businessmen and whales there.

Assuming the Macau games were ever to dry up, it’s likely that Tom Dwan would fully rededicate himself to beating online poker – if there were no other juicy cash games elsewhere. And while it’s debatable on whether he’d definitely beat Blom, Ben Sulsky, Phil Ivey and other high stakes grinders, he could definitely become a profitable player.

After all, Dwan did revolutionize the way many poker players thought about the game during the late 2000’s. So as smart as he is about poker, it’s merely a matter of wanting to be one of the best again.

Is Guy Laliberté really a Poker Pro?

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

A few days ago, Yahoo.com ran a very interesting article called “20 Inspiring Rags-to-Riches Stories.” As you can guess from the title, this piece dealt with a number of high-powered business people and CEO’s from around the world. Interestingly enough, Canadian billionaire and high stakes poker player Guy Laliberté found himself on the list too. Here’s a quick look at what was written about Laliberté in the Yahoo article:

The Canadian-born Laliberté began his circus career busking on the streets: playing accordion, walking on stilts and eating fire. He gambled by bringing a successful troupe from Quebec to the Los Angeles Arts Festival in 1987, with no return fare. The bet paid off, and the circus group was eventually brought to Las Vegas, where they became the world famous Cirque du Soleil we know today.

Today, Laliberté is the CEO of Cirque, a professional poker player and space tourist, with a total net-worth of $2.5 billion.

As you can see at the end, the writer describes Laliberté as a “professional poker player.” To those who follow poker results closely, this is a debatable matter because Guy hasn’t always been the world’s most successful grinder.

He was rumored to be behind the old Full Tilt Poker name “Esvedra,” which shows a loss of $2.7 million on HighStakesDb. And it’s often been said that many of the world’s top pros would bum-hunt Laliberté while hoping for big profits. So if you’re looking at a “poker pro” as somebody who purely makes a living off the game, this isn’t Guy.

However, you also have to consider what he’s done for the game, which includes starting the Big One for One Drop tournament this past July – to which we might add that Laliberté finished fifth in his own tourney and scooped $1,834,666. In all, he’s collected $2,607,986 in live tournaments, which is a very poker-pro-like figure!

So all things considered, it’s tough to say whether Guy is truly a poker pro or not. But regardless, he’s definitely good for poker and brings a lot more attention to it through his mainstream fame.

WSOP $1 Million Buy-in to break Records

Friday, April 13th, 2012

What began as a vision several months ago has become reality since the WSOP $1 million buy-in tournament is definitely going to happen from July1st-3rd. Dubbed “The Big One for One Drop,” this tourney already has 30 players confirmed with some of the biggest names in poker having made a commitment.

But before we get into the confirmed players, it’s worth mentioning that this tournament is already guaranteed to set two records. First off, the WSOP $1 million buy-in tournament will feature the biggest buy-in ever; the previously largest tourney was the $250k Aussie Millions High Roller.

As for the second record, the 30 confirmed players and interesting prize pool distribution will see the winner walk away with almost $12.3 million of the prize pool. Assuming this happens as planned, it would easily beat the $12 million that Jamie Gold received for winning the 2006 WSOP Main Event.

With such a massive prize involved, it’s no wonder why the top names in poker will be entering this event. Some of those confirmed include Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius, Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan, Tom Dwan, Tony G, Dan Shak, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Jonathan Duhamel.

In addition to this stellar lineup of players, there will also be some prominent businessmen joining the tourney. These guys include Guy Laliberté, Bobby Baldwin (former player too), Phil Ruffin, Andy Beal, Sean O’Donnell, Richard Yong, Paul Phua and Arnaud Mimran.

The Big One for One Drop will see 10% of the buy-ins go towards Laliberté’s One Drop foundation, while a little under $27 million is available for the actual tourney. We still have plenty of time before July 1st, so both the number of participants and prize money could grow before the tournament starts. But even if it stays the same, we’re still in for quite a special event come WSOP time!

Macau Poker Pot Reportedly hits $13.8 Million

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

In case you haven’t heard yet, there are some enormous cash games going on in Macau right now. And the word enormous might even be an understatement after reports are coming out that one of the cash game pots was worth a reported $14 million!

APT owner Tom Hall has been the biggest source of rumors about the $14 million pot, which was won by an unknown player who was reportedly down over $12.6 million; Hall wrote the following about the big play:

Biggest hand I ever saw and arguably the craziest was a guy betting HK$28m (US$3.6) on the river into a HK$51m (US$6.55) pot with a gutshot straight draw against what turned out to be top set. He was down over HK$100m (US$12.8) at the time and hit it.

When you add up all of the money that Hall described, this equals around $13.75 million (or $13.8m just to round off). You can read about all of Tom Hall’s reports on the Macau high stakes poker games in this thread.

The action has been pretty intense all throughout the big games at Macau with Johnny Chan reportedly winning $1.41 million. In addition to this, Tom Dwan lost $2.6 million in one day, but came back to win $1.7m overall, and Andrew Robl was up $2 million – only to drop back down to even.

Apparently the games are pretty exclusive because Patrik Antonius was denied a seat at the big table. 2010 WSOPE Main Event champion James Bord tried to get him into the game, but Canadian billionaire Guy Laliberte refused because he thinks that Antonius is too nitty. Hall wrote about this by typing:

Confirmed that Patrik Antonius was not allowed into the game, James Bord (who was playing) tried to get him in but Guy Laliberte insisted no WAY. Antonius played ~US$640/US$1280 PLO instead with Andrew “good2cu” Robl and a few others.

Apparently, the rich businessmen who play in this game want lots of action, and people who bring their own money – as opposed to being staked.

US Online Poker Pros in Canada

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Ever since Black Friday (April 15th), major US online poker pros have been pondering a move to Canada since they can no longer play at some of the biggest poker sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt (although nobody can play at FT anymore). And some pros are starting to act on these thoughts, including Cole South and Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond.

South was the first of the US online poker pros to make the jump to Canada in late May. He was involved in a session with the mysterious “Esvedra” who’s been rumored to be Canadian billionaire Guy Laliberte. During the session, Cole South won over $200k, which is pretty good for somebody who’s struggled over the past couple of years after dropping $6 million.

Moving past South, Phil Galfond is the latest person to make the jump to Canada since he’s been seen on PokerStars. Interestingly enough, Galfond didn’t play as high of stakes as he normally does; instead, he was found on the $25/$50 NLHE and PLO tables. Unfortunately, the return to online poker hasn’t been totally successful for Galfond since he’s lost $20k, but he didn’t seem too shaken up after tweeting, “After 3 months off of online poker, I’d forgotten about downswings. Oh well. Still happy to be playing. I love the game.”

One last person worth discussing in regards to the US online poker pros moving north includes Dan “Jungleman12” Cates. However, there’s a twist in Cates’ story since he was prevented from actually getting into Canada. The reason why is because he didn’t have a VISA, which is a must for self-employed foreigners in Canada. At this point, Cates is still waiting in Seattle until he can get into Canada.