Daily 3-Bet: Birdguts Punked, Dial-a-Benza, FTP Relaunch?

Gavin Smith
Birdguts.

The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is a husky-voiced, three-minute phone call to the late afternoon poker news hotline.

Any suggestions for a future 3-Bet, feel free to drop a note in the comments.

Today in the 3-Bet we find the WSOP media team giving Gavin Smith the gears, AJ Benza getting back on the poker fan radar and Wicked Chops suggesting signs of a Full Tilt Poker relaunch are springing up.

1) Gavin “Birdguts” Smith: Barrel-Waisted Bad Boy

Someone in the WSOP media room either severely miscalculated April Fool's Day or has a wicked sense of humor.

Nolan Dalla
Ladies and Gentlemen, Nolan Dalla.

With Nolan Dalla at the helm, you can never be too sure.

The latest press release from the WSOP pushing the upcoming WSOP-C Rincon event in San Diego took an interesting tack - busting the chops of Gavin Smith - to get a few more eyeballs on it.

Using Smith's confirmed appearance at the event as the butt, the writer (craftily named "Nolan Dallavalle") took some potshots at Smith to get the message out about the tourney:

"Gavin Smith, the bombastic barrel-waisted bad boy and former World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner, announced to the world today that he is attending the latest WSOP Circuit championship which is slated to begin on Saturday, March 24th.

"The $1,600 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament will last three days, concluding on Monday, March 26th. Smith’s announcement was met with confusion and indifference by just about everyone currently in attendance at Harrah’s Rincon, host of the “12 Rings in 12 Days” poker series.

"… No matter what happens in the Main Event, Smith is certain to make a major impact at Harrah’s Rincon. Two extra bartenders and three additional cocktail waitresses have been hired for the occasion. The credit manager has also been put on alert."

If only every PR was that funny. Both the tournament series (if you live near San Diego) and the PR are worth a look.

2) AJ Benza Now Available for a Chat at $10 per Minute

benza
Gone but not forgotten.

Former High Stakes Poker host AJ Benza has momentarily resurfaced in the poker public eye thanks to a savvy 2+2 poster finding his name up on the Dial-a-Star.com menu.

For just $10 per minute you can now call up Benza and discuss whatever it is you like. Based on his latest blog entries, it seems good topics could be either Whitney Houston or his abrupt dismissal from High Stakes Poker.

His Whitney Houston post, titled "Saving All My Blow for You," is actually a poignant and sharp look at their shared New Jersey backgrounds and how she went off the rails.

His older post on his less-than-amicable end with HSP, titled "A Flop, A Turn and A River of Shit," is an all-time classic. In case you've forgotten it includes gems like this:

"I was co-host with the very professional Gabe Kaplan on a show that posted No. 1 ratings for five straight seasons on GSN - the station that usually feeds you repeats of Lingo, antique Jeopardy episodes and the new, omni-sexual "Newlywed Game."

"Last week, I had a conference call with a couple suits at GSN about the possibility of dropping me for a chick to work with Gabe Kaplan. (Sound sexy to you yet?)

"I flat out told the guys who will remain nameless - oh screw it, it was Bary Nugent and David Shiff - that if you have the best pizza in town for 5 seasons, why try and add licorice as a new topping?

No bones about it - HSP just wasn't the same after Benza was let go.

Catch up with him (and poker pro Chad Brown for $14/min) at Dial-a-Star.com .

3) Wicked Chops Insider says FTP Relaunch "Ramping Up"

Ray Bitar
Relaunch ready?

With the Full Tilt/Bernard Tapie Group deal deadline now passed with no official word to be found, poker players are getting antsy for an end to the saga one way or another.

BTG lawyer Behn Dayanim flat out told us "Sorry, no news," but the Wicked Chops Insider has a well-placed source that says no news is actually good news.

From WCP:

"Our sources have been all over the board on the acquisition as well. One source with knowledge of the negotiations said that GBT simply didn’t have the money to complete the deal (somewhere in the $220-230M range).

"Other sources claimed that–despite no key hires being made to staff the company back up or having their gaming license reinstated–Full Tilt was relaunched in March come hell or high water. And now that appears to be the case.

"According to multiple sources, Full Tilt is in “full ramp-up mode” to relaunching."

What that means specifically is hard to say, but the insider claims the aim is still to relaunch the site this month and developers are currently working to prepare for the reopening.

BTG is still looking to secure a license from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, reportedly, but that's also expected to be resolved shortly.

More info (with subscription) available here.

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