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Daily 3-Bet: Fjord Tough, Chops for Phil, Lacy Jones
The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is a quick spin through three lower-profile poker stories that might have slipped under the radar but are worth a look.
Any tips or suggestions for a future 3-Bet, feel free to post in the comments.
Today we hit up a too little, too late move from the Norwegian government, a surprising nod to Phil Hellmuth and some handsome photos of Lacey Jones in lingerie.
1) Norway Slaps Huge, Empty Tax Bill on AP
In what appears to be a textbook case of too little, too late, the Norwegian government has slapped a 180 million kronor ($30 million USD) tax bill on Madeira Fjord, a Norwegian shell company Absolute Poker used as a holding company.
The bill is based on estimated revenue of 430 million kronor ($72 million USD) from US players that Absolute supposedly shuttled through Madeira via its Blanca Games parent company.
Norwegian tax authorities say the company intentionally laundered money and hid the true nature of the money to avoid paying taxes.
Madeira Fjord already filed for bankruptcy back in April and while Blanca Games tries to sell off its assets to pay players a rumored 20 cents on the dollar, the Norwegian government will just have to stand in line with everybody else to get its cut.
Story in Norwegian here.
2) Hellmuth Named Wicked Chops Player of the Year
There's no true formula for the "Player of the Year" in poker.
Various media outlets have their own ranking systems, some live, some online, and while the winners are usually very worthy of an award, it's not exactly a consensus on who had the best year.
Wicked Chops Poker doesn't even bother with a true formula per se - they just wing it based on a combination of results, impact on the game, sponsorship appeal and "more."
Their choice for 2011 Player of the Year?
Surprisingly, Phil Hellmuth, given that he didn't win the most money or have the most cashes. Or even win a tournament at all.
What he did do:
“Simply put, Hellmuth had the best mix of tournament results and “relevance” of any one player this year.”
“… After Black Friday, Hellmuth earned over $1.6M on the circuit. He finished second in the WSOP POY race.
“Most importantly, for his reputation at least, he finished second in three non-hold’em events, including the prized WSOP $50,000 Players’ Championship.
“A player can’t fluke his way into those types of finishes. On the biggest stage, when it matters the most, Hellmuth performed the best, even if he didn’t close out the events.
“Equally important, two things happened during that WSOP run: 1) Hellmuth generated the type of buzz and excitement that you rarely see on the tournament circuit, and 2) poker fans actually started to root for him."
See the rest of their justification here.
3) Lacey Jones Pics of the Week
If you haven’t been paying attention to the tweets of well traveled model and poker hostess Lacey Jones, you might have missed the fact she’s been in Asia doing some modeling gigs.
You might also then have missed the "Pics of the Week" she's been posting on her blog from said modeling gigs.
As you might expect, they’re quite viewable as you can see from the example on the right.
She's also been posting her thoughts in her blog and wrapped up 2011 with a Christmas Day post that included a reflection on her leap into full-time poker several years ago:
“Looking back now that decision was meant to be. I’ve met my soul mate, made some amazing friends, traveled and hosted TV shows all around the world and lived my life according to my terms.
“Regardless what happened earlier this year with the US ban on online poker, it has been a great ride…that I’m not finished with. “
She's modeling full-time for the near future, but it sounds like we can expect to see Jones back in front of the mic or on the felt at a poker event again soon.