Daily 3-Bet: Russian Block, EPT + GPI, Runner Thriller

Justin Timberlake
JT: He's a thriller, not a poker player.

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Today in the 3-Bet we find a major Russian ISP putting the lockdown on PokerStars.com (sort of), the European Poker Tour Player of the Year race gets synched with the Global Poker Index and the Runner Runner screenwriters make a case for it being a thriller, not a poker movie.

1) Russian Internet Provider Blocks PokerStars.com

We're far from legal experts - especially when it relates to far-off countries - but the online poker world might be in for a bit of a shock with the banning of PokerStars.com by a major Russian ISP.

Kiev, Ukraine
This is Kiev, but you get the idea.

According to Jocelyn Wood of Pokerfuse, Russian ISP "Beeline" has blocked access to the .com domain due to a Nov. 2012 Supreme Court decision to block gambling sites.

It's not exactly clear how many Russians use the ISP - and it sounds like a workaround is pretty easy - but it's another bad example of the ongoing hypocrises of governments and policy makers when it comes to online poker.

Ever been to Russia? Bit of a shit show we've heard when it comes to, you know, mob corruption and homemade drugs and black market arms trading and stuff.

Not to perpetuate a stereotype or anything. But it seems like online poker should be among the least of anyone's concerns (not that America is doing it any better, of course).

If this Supreme Court decision gains traction, though, it could be goodbye to glorious Sundays watching the maratiks of the poker world live out our dreams. And that would be truly tragic.

2) EPT Player of the Year Race Synched with GPI

David Benefield
Raptor the man to beat.

Similar to our legal "expertise" we're not exactly geniuses when it comes to complex numbers and ranking systems.

We do know the Global Poker Index - which involves a complex weighted algorithm that factors in field sizes, buy-ins, something called "finishing percentages" and likely some element of Doc Brown's space-time continuum research - is a pretty good one though.

Thanks to a new agreement the European Poker Tour's Player of the Year award will now be administered by the GPI.

Which means lots of decimal places, plenty of rising and falling from the Top 10 and, in the end, a pretty fair winner we imagine.

On the brink of the next EPT10 stop (EPT London) and with one in the books so far (EPT Barcelona), November Niner David Benefield holds down the top spot right now.

He's closely followed by German prodigy Ole Schemion and Portugal's João Barbosa.

Check the full EPT 10 POY rankings here; tune in tomorrow for the EPT London live stream right here on PokerListings.com.

3) Runner Runner Screenwriters: It's Not a Poker Movie

Ben Affleck
Oh Ben. We'd you go and do us like this?

Btw if you say that headline above in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice it's more enjoyable

So Bleacher Report managed to get a quick Q&A with Runner Runner screenwriters David Levien and Brian Koppelman and ahead of its release tomorrow the Rounders writers hope to make clear it's not exactly a "poker movie."

"We don’t really consider Runner Runner a poker movie. It’s a thriller set against online gambling.

"The movie starts out centered around poker because a character is cheated by an online poker site, but it’s more about the business of online poker, the same way a movie like The Firm is set around a law firm and the Mafia."

Which sounds like a good way to frame it, sure. But given the general public's understanding of online poker as a skill game and respectable hobby it'll still probably have a negative impact on public perception.

Sigh. Guess we'll see how it shakes down soon enough with the US release tomorrow. Personally we're hoping it falls somewhere between Gigli and Surviving Christmas.

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