PokerListings Blog

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Build 'Em: Bryan Berg, Card Whisperer

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25 November 2014
Posted in: The Guest Blog, Not Poker Related

If you play poker at all, either recreationally or for a living, you inevitably will develop a love/hate relationship with the cards themselves.

Sometimes, they're so good to you; others, they break your heart.

As we all know, though, it's not the cards at fault. They're just inanimate objects that sometimes, even, can be turned into spectacular pieces of art.

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The highly-awaited kickboxing match between Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Lex "RaSZi" Veldhuis finally went down in Marbella, Spain, earlier today.

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Yesterday we posted a story about Tatjana Pasalic getting signed to Bodog and of course the first comment was asking why we didn't post better pictures of her.

Damn you shallow internet audience!

But we kid of course. Obviously we've got more pictures for you. After all, where would the internet be without pictures of beautiful women?

Keep reading for said pictures.

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According to Lex Veldhuis's twitter account he's going to fight Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier in a Muay Thai-style battle in Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker!

We love fights, just ask our little sister. We were like 100 and 0 in that series.

Read on for the Tale of the Tape!

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Matt Stout has been in London playing live majors for the last few weeks and he had a chance to get out and do some sightseeing. Now what do you suppose Stout would be interested in seeing?

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Liv Boeree Maxim

Now listen, we've run a lot of Liv Boeree photos on this site but almost all of them are of Liv playing poker. There's a big difference between that and professional studio shots for Maxim's website.

Alan Barry gets the credits for the shots and Stephen Daultry the words. The article can be found right here but we have all the photos below. Click through to find out the answers to such questions as what Liv's favorite guitar riff is and whether she actually grew up on a farm.

We hung out with Liv and her boyfriend Allie Prescott just a few days ago down in the Bahamas at the PCA and she really seems like someone destined for bigger and better things.

In related Liv Boeree content check out the extended video profile we did with her last year at the WSOP.

Make sure you're on the post page to see all the pics.

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The Atlantis Marina

When we arrived at Atlantis on Paradise Island the first thing we noticed was the marina.

I mean, we've seen yachts before, but never as many or as baller as what they've got right outside the PCA tournament room.

There are probably fifteen ships moored here, ranging in size, price and opulence. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say there's half a billion dollars worth of baller floating around out there.

The sickest one by a pretty wide margin is the Casino Royale. It's the one in the first picture below (make sure you're on the post page to see everything) and it's owned by yacht super-aficionado John Staluppi.

This thing is 163 feet long, has a giant master stateroom, VIP suite, two suites with king bunks and two additional twin cabins. All told there's more than 6,000 square feet of living space.

We approached one of the crewmen on the off-chance they might let us take a look. Obviously that wasn't going to happen. Over the next week though we're going to keep trying and see if one of these yacht owners will let us on board to snap some pictures and get a little backgorund on what it takes to own one of these floating palaces.

In the meantime enjoy the photos.

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Jessa Lynn Hinton

In one of the most non poker-related turns of events ever Playboy Cybergirl of the month Jessa Lynn Hinton has signed with

Ksino produces clothing geared towards poker players, apparently cashing in on the casino-goers proclivity for loud Ed Hardy-esque print designs.

Lacey Jones and Spanish bombshell Leo Margets are repping this company too so we don't really have any complaints about Stay the course, you're doing fine.

We've got photos of Hinton right here, which was really the only point of this post in the first place. Make sure you're on the post page to see them.

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Jason Mercier

As I sat at my parents' house next to my only sister, I asked her what I should write in my blog, as I wanted to post something about Thanksgiving.

She suggested (being the intelligent person that she is <3) that I should make a list of things that I am thankful for. So here it goes.

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Matt Stout

Well first of all, I'd like to thank my New York Yankees for taking a little bit of the sweat out of the equation for me. I have $4,500 riding on the Yankees to win the World Series, and here's why:

1) The Yankees were nearly a 2:1 favorite to win the Series according to Vegas bookies (who seem to know how things will play out with scary/suspicious accuracy)

2) I have a ton of friends from South NJ and PA area who, for whatever reason, have decided to put themselves through the torture of being Phillies fans

3) I <3 $$$

The combination of these facts led to me doing the first significant sports betting of my life. Normally I bet sports very rarely, and when I do it's $20-$100 between friends just for shits and giggles.

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Massage Girls of the WSOPE

There's one thing that's stood out for us at the WSOPE and it's got nothing to do with poker. It's the massage girls. They call themselves the Ibiza Angels and there's a mob of them on rotation at the Casino at the Empire.

We've seen massage girls before, and there's been some hot ones, but the ones here are on average much better than what we're used to.

Even more amazingly, they work on the honor system. That's right. You get a massage for as long as you want and you pay them what you feel it was worth. We're not sure how it works out for the girls but if they massage as good as they look guys are probably forking over some cash.

Like I said, there's a steady stream of them so we'll be bringing you as many editions of this series as we can shoot. If you're on the main blog page right now click through to the post page for two more of today's pics.

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Matt Stout

So after a long and unproductive FTOPS series, my roommate and I decided to go jet skiing on Lake Mead to relieve some stress and get away from the soft glow of our monitors.

Had I known what was to come, I'd have stayed home for some R&R instead ...

The day started out well, even though my roommate and I got split up from the start. I was still signing my contract for the rental as we were leaving the dock, and he left a few minutes ahead of me.

I couldn't find him once I got away from the docks, but I figured he'd headed over to the Hoover Dam to check out the view since that's what we were planning on doing.

Apparently I overshot the Dam...guess it wasn't big enough for me to see. But I was having so much fun jet skiing through canyons and finding new coves that I just kept going. I took a break for a little while and headed back in the direction I came from ...

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No Girls Allowed

They sell a lot of poker-themed gear in the gift shop at the World Series of Poker.

But you'd have to travel to Japan to pick up this beauty, which we found on

It reads in its entirety:

"Man Friend's Rule No, 1

NO GIRLS in the playing POKER GAME

When the playing poker game is done, the thing to call girl is a prohibition. It is because the game becomes not interesting." [sic times infinite]

With all due respect to the makers of the shirt, we beg to differ. The PokerListings home game would be far more interesting if we replaced Sevillano and Stirzaker with Liz Lieu and Liv Boeree.

But maybe that's just us.

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Doyle and Todd Brunson

A few weeks ago, we told you about Doyle Brunson's retail therapy following his premature bustification in the $10,000 Mixed Event.

Dude bought a new Cadillac Escalade and Tweeted about it.

"New Escalade is beautiful, but maybe i'll get used to all the stuff on it," he wrote after taking delivery of the truck.

Then, a few days ago, a little of what we call foreshadowing:

"By the way, I loved my old Escalade but no comparison to my new one. It has 160 mph on the speedometer and it might really go that fast."

And then a few days later at the end of play on Day 2 of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, Brunson was caught apparently testing the limits of that speedometer.

"Still in with average chips. Todd is in 3rd place. got a freaking ticket coming home last night..Escalade runs too damn fast."

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The Bobbie

Let's take a moment to discuss one of the best if not THE best food on offer at the Rio.

The official sandwich purveyor of the World Series of Poker is a small sandwich chain called Capprioti's. Their sandwiches are some of the best that can be had in all of Las Vegas, let alone the Rio.

But there is one sandwich that stands out a cut above the rest. It is known as the "Bobbie". It is a sinister mix of freshly roasted turkey, moist stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mayonnaise all on a soft roll. It's not your run-of-the-mill sandwich.

If you're thinking it sounds strange you might be right, but if you're thinking that it sounds disgusting - well then, you couldn't be more wrong.

A virtual Thanksgiving dinner on a roll, the "Bobbie" is a sandwich that will leave you feeling full and reminiscent of family dinners from years past all at the same time.

If you ever find yourself at the Rio or at a Capriotti's elsewhere in the U.S., don't even bother looking at the menu.

Pick up one of these hefty sandwiches and prepare for the wild ride that only turkey, mayonnaise, stuffing, and cranberry sauce can bring you.

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Mike Swick

Mike Swick may have a 14-2 record in MMA fights and a smokin' hot wife but he does not have a real Breitling watch.

We noticed Swick sporting his $30 Chinatown special during the $1,500 PLO H/L event. We were tempted to go up and needle him about said contraband but we realized we would like our faces to remain un-shattered.

There are many occasions out in the Amazon Room where we notice people wearing counterfeit watches, including some people who have plenty of money. has no problems with people wearing such poor quality imitation merchandise, but we always reserve the right to call them out on it.

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Phil Ivey

The Poker Kitchen used to have a sign on it that advertised its hours. Open 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. it said. That would have been all well and good had it been true.

Several times during the past week the Kitchen has shut down early, leaving poker players to fend for themselves. Thankfully no riots broke out over the premature closures but many players were left scratching their heads and hungry.

One player took the locked doors especially hard. Perhaps he had just busted out of a tournament and desperately needed to fill the empty void in his stomach and soul with some greasy Chinese food or an overcooked burger.

He went outside and found the kitchen closed. He did the only thing he could do, and tagged both signs with a familiar (to many) acronym "FML". If you don't know what it means, google it.

The Rio sprung into damage-control mode and took down the graffitied signs and had them replaced with signs that simply say "Open at 11 a.m."

For now the actual closing time of the Rio Poker Kitchen will remain a mystery to all.

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Glorious Mullet!

We don't know much about hair here at PokerListings. But we do know mullets.

And we know this guy keeps coming back to the WSOP and taking Best Mullet honors year after year after year.

He was here in 2006. He was back in 2008 and has returned again, playing in the $1.5k NLHE Shootout and defending his mullet title in all of its mullet glory.

We've seen a lot of changes at the WSOP since 2006, but it's comforting to know that some things are forever.

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Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson had high hopes for the $10,000 Mixed Event.

Coming into Day 3, Texas Dolly found himself with 335,000 in chips while son Todd had 374,500, putting both Brunsons in great shape for a deep father-and-son finish.

It was not to be. With fifteen players left, Brunson pater got all-in with queens against Scott Dorin's A-Q. But Dorin would bink an ace to send Doyle packing. Todd would bust in eighth after running into David Chiu's rolled-up kings.

So how does Doyle Brunson deal with a bad beat? A little retail therapy, according to his Twitter feed:

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Shorn and reborn!

Andy Black took a lot of ribbing for the massive beard he lugged with him to the 2009 WSOP. The man was bristly.

For whatever reason, the Irishman has ditched the caveman look just a week into the Series, showing up in the $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em/Omaha mixer with (most of) that facial hair shorn.

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