Daily 3-Bet: Doubting Ivey, Extraordinary Oral, Saving Zugwat

Chris Moneymaker
Just a face in the crowd in 2003.

The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is the dark horse with the oversize jockey that surges up the rail down the stretch to edge the afternoon poker news favorite by a nose.

Any ideas or recommendations for a future 3-Bet, drop a note in the comments and we’ll include it in an upcoming post.

Today in the 3-Bet we find a closer look at the curious case of Phil Ivey’s Punto Banco score, an amazing oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker and we revisit a great piece about current high-roller dominator Steven “Zugwat” Silverman.

1) Ivey Suspected of "Edge Sorting" in Punto Banco Dispute

Phil Ivey
Always has an edge.

So by now we're sure you've heard of Phil Ivey's ongoing $12m dispute with Crockfords Casino in London.

Long story short Ivey played some super high-stakes Punto Banco over the course of a couple nights with an unidentified "Chinese woman," lost big at first then asked to up the stakes and proceeded to win close to £7.8 million.

After looking into it the casino decided Ivey had engaged into some shady play, returned his original £1m bankroll and refused to pay out. Ivey sued, and that's pretty much where it sits today.

The good folks at Grantland.com, however, have looked into it a little closer and turned up a few more interesting details.

According to writer David Hill, Ivey and his companion made several suspicious requests to keep the same deck of cards in play overnight, rotate decks 180 degrees and bring in a Cantonese dealer to work with - all in the name of "superstition."

It all adds up, the casino says, to a case of "edge sorting" - a technique that exploits visual cues from cutting flaws on the back of the deck. Check it out here.

2) Extraordinary Oral History of the 2003 WSOP

Russ
Burned by the bunny tell.

Ok, remember when we said if you were only going to read one retrospective piece about the 2003 WSOP it should be Nolan Dalla's?

Forget that. Read two.

The aforementioned Grantland has done us another huge favor with a truly fascinating oral history of the 2003 WSOP Main Event and the Moneymaker win that changed the course of poker history.

There are so many amazing storylines and impossible-seeming twists of fate to recount them all, but suffice to say it may change your mind about fate and destiny. A sample from an interview with Dutch Boyd:

"Boyd: I was playing with Moneymaker on Day 4. I got a pretty good tell on him. He was the kind of player who, if you checked to him, he was going to bet. All the time.

And he had something, it was almost like out of a Hollywood movie, where he would flare his nostrils when he was weak. It was like a bunny, man.

So I was like, This is going to be so easy. All I gotta do is check to him and let him bet, and I'll just look at his nostrils, and if they start flaring, I'll come over the top of him. And that's what I did in our big famous hand."

Read the full piece here.

3) Saving Teen Poker Prodigy Steven "Zugwat" Silverman

Steven Silverman
From GA and GPAs to B.O.S.S.

Seeing legendary online grinder Steven "Zugwat" Silverman at the top of the chip counts in the WPT $100k Super High Roller today -- coming off a win at the EPT Grand Final High Roller last week no less -- jogged our memories of an in-depth piece on Silverman in the Washington Post a few years back.

Profiling Silverman as a semi-retired 22-year-old "former teen poker prodigy" who "won and lost millions," it seems almost like a piece from/for a time capsule.

Including Silverman being inspired at 15 by Moneymaker to start playing online to dropping out of college to being cut off from his parents and sent to Gamblers Anonymous, it reads like a lot of pieces about Internet poker from that era - with a bit of jaw-dropping awe.

It ends with Silverman in "retirement" from poker, basically focusing on school and only marginally dipping into poker from time to time.

Looks like that hasn't exactly held.

It's a great piece all in all, though, and even includes a guest appearance by former roommate Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger. It's worth a revisit if you have the time. Read it here.

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