With the poker world awash in "Secret Sources" feeding sites insider info about the inner workings of companies like PokerStars, we counted ourselves lucky when presented with these leaked ads for the New Full Tilt Poker.*
Sure, we first met our source at a taco truck downtown and he prefaced his revelation with a request for spare change. He also handed us the sensitive files on a road-weary 5-inch floppy disc. But we had a good feeling about him.
Something about the way he handled his bindle-on-a-stick just screamed credibility.
So without further ado, we present the latest drafts of Full Tilt Poker's new ad campaign, courtesy of a source who shall remain nameless.
The complaint makes reference to "other approximately 19 owners of Tiltware LLC" and even goes into detail on one individual (Player 1) who received roughly the same payout as Lederer and Bitar, as well as a number of "loans" that were partially repaid.
So who are these other owners? And why weren't they named in the civil complaint?
The generally accepted idea is that the original members of Team Full Tilt were in fact the primary investors in the online poker room. That theory was bolstered when Clonie Gowen sued Full Tilt and named Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, Andy Bloch, Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Phil Gordon, Erick Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Jennifer Harman, Mike Matusow, Allen Cunningham, Gus Hansen and Patrik Antonius.
While it was mentioned in a motion that not all of these names were in fact owners, it was never clarified who should have been omitted from that list.
Join us for a dig through our photo database to see for yourself who might be on that list of FTP owners.
The Aussie Millions Million Dollar Cash Game took over the TV studio upstairs at Crown for the second day in in row Tuesday, only this time it did so without the Malaysian businessmen poker's biggest sharks came to feed on 24-hours earlier.
But while the action on the felt appeared tame compared to Monday, there was still tons of it off the table.
The first group to buy in for the minimum $100k included Patrik Antonius, Tom Dwan, Mike Matusow, David Benyamine, David Oppenheim, Andrew Feldman, Justin Smith and Erik Cajelais.
And while the pots stayed relatively small in the $400/$800/$100 game, this group proved they would talk about just about anything and bet on even more.
Antonius spent the early part of the session attempting to convince Dwan to play props for some pretty lofty stakes.
Although Dwan made it pretty clear that he felt Antonius was about the luckiest prop player on the planet and wanted no part of it, the Finn kept trying.
It's true. Mats Sundin is Isildur1 and we've got the video evidence to prove it.
Another blog somehow scooped us on this completely made-up absolutely true story and in the world of internet reporting two sources reporting the same thing is about as close to corroboration as you're going to get.
But the good news is we can finally put this whole Isildur1 thing to rest. It's Mats Sundin, get over it.
We're not the types to publish stuff about other people's private matters. We're above that sort of thing.
So it looks like Erick Lindgren and Erica Schoenberg are dating. The evidence is pretty strong. They were spotted together having an intimate dinner in Las Vegas last week and Lindgren was railing Erica as she played deep in the LAPC main event.
When Schoenberg busted out his was the shoulder she (figuratively) cried on. And they were kissing in front of the media table so it's a pretty good bet.
As we know Erica used to date Frenchman David Benyamine. Without going too far we will say Erick and Erica look like a better match.
So that's pretty much it. Like we said, we don't publish stuff about people's personal business.
A few days ago reports arose in French publications about a vast scam involving one Cyril Mouly, one of the biggest whales to play in the big game at Bellagio.
The details are hazy but it seems like this is a legitimate story. Mouly, and others, are wanted in connection to some sort of advertising telemarketing scam.
In addition to lining the pockets of the players in Bobby's Room, Mouly also appeared on Full Tilt's Million Dollar Cash game filmed in London at the end of last year.
First of all we have to give some pretty serious props to Cyril if all this is true. Instead of taking his millions of euros and fleeing to a non-extradition country he decided to become a high-profile, high-stakes poker players.
Well played sir. It sure looked like you were playing with someone else's money. Now we know why.
Cyril also gained international fame in a long series of threads on the Two Plus Two forums. Funnily enough if you google him you're going to get a lot of photoshopped stuff from the threads.
We'll just have to wait and see what becomes of this whole thing, whether it's for real, whether he's innocent or what.
One thing is for sure, the players in the big game can't be happy about it.
For the French speakers out there here are the links to the news stories.
He didn't think anyone was looking but, as always, we were hidden with the sniper-zoom camera ready to catch it. This was taken during Event 1 at the 2009 World Series of Poker presented by Betfair where Chris "Jesus" Ferguson has made it to the final 27.
It appears that Jesus has remote access to the Full Tilt Poker boomswitch* and, even more surprisingly, that boomswitch somehow works in a live Betfair Poker tournament.
We always knew he was a nit and now we know how he got his superb live tournament track record.
* There is not and never was a boomswitch. If you believed us when we said it please make an appointment with some sort of brain doctor.
It's time for the next prediction. Let's go straight to the tape. His name is Steven Begleiter and he goes into the final table 3rd in chips with a healthy stack just under 30 million.
He's humorous and humble. He has no qualms about discussing his many poker failures. That's my kind of player. I can root for that.
Poker is something he does for fun with his "many" friends when he's not coaching soccer or dancing between raindrops in a minefield.
Raindrops? Dancing? Minefield? What? I hope for his sake that he can put aside this odd hobby for at least the next few months. Then, after, when he's making it rain with his millions of dollars he can dance between the drops to his heart's content.
Not sure about the minefield thing though but to each his own. Check out the video we shot with him as things were wrapping up a few weeks ago.
My crystal ball appears confused and sends ambiguous messages. 'Victory' repeats and echoes relentlessly. With confidence it tells me that Steven Begleiter will soon become a Champion.
However, since I took it in to get fixed, this crystal ball has difficulty distinguishing between sporting events. Steven Begleiter will soon be a champion; state regional junior ladies soccer coaching champion. Commendable indeed but lacking the $8.5M payday.
On the felt he's already won, he said so himself. The rest is gravy. He will have fun but will be nervous.
The final table will be a humungous freeroll for Begleiter. It seems he'll be more concerned with performing well for his friends who have a piece of his action rather than for himself - a team player in an individualistic game.
He will play well throughout the session but the lights, the cameras, the glitz, the glam, it will prove too much. One big mistake will cost him but he will go far.
Prediction: He enters 3rd and that is where I predict he finishes.
Steven Begleiter Main Event WSOP 3rd place finisher!
We'll put this one in the unsubstantiated rumor folder but if there's anything we've learned it's that poker and reality TV go together like Phil Ivey and gambling.
Earlier this week a poster on RealityFanForum.com published a photograph of what appears to be poker players Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle at LAX during an Amazing Race event.
Ho was the last woman to be eliminated in the 2007 WSOP Main Event while Michelle managed the same feat in 2008. Both players are close friends and both have television experience, which might be seen as a bonus by Amazing Race casting directors.
The rumor seems viable considering both players were absent from this year's Main Event and 15th Season of The Amazing Race was scheduled to be filmed over the summer.
Michelle's own Twitter mentioned that she would be gone for at least a month, "filming a big project." The only thing that doesn't seem to add up is that in her most recent Tweet Michelle mentioned that she was enjoying being on a set again. The Amazing Race, it has to be assumed, would not have a set.
We contacted poker agency Suited Connections, of which Michelle is affiliated, but they were unable to comment on the situation.
When contestants compete in The Amazing Race they are sequestered, meaning they have no contact with the outside world until filming is complete.
Every day at around 2 p.m., play stops at the 2009 World Series of Poker for a special bracelet presentation to honor those who've won events the night before.
The winner is brought up on stage, the bracelet is handed over and his or her national anthem is played.
Typically, the anthem is a staid instrumental arrangement played with very little personality.
For John Kabbaj's ceremony, however, it was the Sex Pistols'"God Save the Queen."
At first, reaction was mostly positive to this refreshing change of pace. Kabbaj and WSOP Commish Jeffrey Pollack were both seen to be rocking out on stage, fist-pumping and head-banging and generally enjoying the moment.
But then the grumbling started. People started muttering about the ceremony being disrespectful. Kabbaj thought it over and decided he was infuriated.
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