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Poker’s In and Out List: Epic Hits, Qureshi Splits
Another week, another batch of snap judgments on who's in and who's out in poker.
Poker’s In List: August 8-14, 2011
Epic Poker League Format: In
Whatever you may think about the long term viability of the Epic Poker League’s business model, one thing is for sure: a lot of pros will play in their tournaments.
For years we were plagued by no-names like Chris Moneymaker winning big tournaments when all the poker world really wanted to see was Phil Hellmuth and Gus Hansen.
The Epic Poker League has found the answer.
By only allowing the top few hundred best poker players in the world to play in their events they’ve all but guaranteed a star-studded cast come TV time.
Case in point: Event #1 which wrapped on Friday at the Palms, with Erik Seidel, Huck Seed, Jason Mercier, Hasan Habib, Chino Rheem and Gavin Smith all at the final table.
Erik Seidel: In
Having a favorite poker player is something we gave up when we made the move from poker fan to serious poker media because after all, impartiality is paramount.
But, hypothetically, if there was someone we’d cheer for, someone we’d cross our fingers for to win that key flip, it would be Erik Seidel.
Eight WSOP bracelets and over $16 million in live tournament earnings make Seidel a god in poker, but that’s not the only reason we like him.
Think about it, this guy knows what the new hip generation is into.
He’s all over Twitter for one, and he even orchestrated a cameo on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Buying Into Pro Sports Teams, Not Poker Tournaments: In
We’ve seen plenty of poker players use their tournament winnings to buy into more poker tournaments, but it’s unusual to see people investing that money in a professional sports team.
Former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya cashed twice at the 2011 WSOP and even though the $85,000 he pocketed probably didn’t make up much of his investment in the Golden State Warriors, it never hurts to make almost six-figures sitting at a poker table for a few days.
Palihapitiya is actually more of a poker player than most people give him credit for.
He’s played high-stakes cash at the Borgata and he showed us this summer that he’s got tournament game to go with it.
Check out more background info on Palihapitiya right here.
Poker’s Out List: August 8-14, 2011
José “Girah” Macedo: Out
If not “rocked”, the poker world was at least subtly impacted by the news of José “Girah” Macedo’s cheating scandal earlier this week.
Macedo, the so-called “Portuguese Poker Prodigy” admitted to running a scam on high-stakes poker players by persuading them to play against an account operated by Macedo himself.
Haseeb “DogIsHead” Qureshi: Out
Whether Haseeb Qureshi is guilty or not of any wrongdoing, and to what extent, is somewhat irrelevant to this list.
The one thing we know for sure is that’s he’s physically "out," thanks to his announcement that he will be leaving poker to travel Europe.
Seemingly playing a central role in the José Macedo scandal along with Dan "Jungleman12" Cates, Qureshi’s self-removal casts even more doubt on his claims of innocence.
At the very least Qureshi has admitted to chip dumping and multi-accounting. He’s being accused of much worse.
Money sometimes seems cheap in the poker world.
We hear stories of six-figure loans and bets being made on the finger, and almost as many stories about those bets and loans never being repaid.
Vouching plays a big part in who gets loans, stakes and action, and as we’ve seen in the last few weeks, it’s far from a fool-proof system.
The Nancy Drew of poker, NoahSD, wrote this article on vouching that should be very illuminating to the layman.