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The 20 Worst Moments in Poker 2015: #10-6
It’s become tradition that PokerListings wraps up every year by taking a look back at some of the best and worst moments.
Of course a list like this will always be somewhat subjective and you’re more than welcome to disagree with our rankings (this is the Internet!).
Feel free to give us your thoughts in the comments.
Regardless, there’s always a truckload of poker news released every year and there’s more than enough material to look back on over the last 12 months.
Of course not all the news was good and in this series we'll look at the 20 Worst Moments in Poker in 2016.
If you’re looking for something a little more uplifting, we suggest our 20 Best Moments in Poker in 2016.
10. PokerStars Drops Nadal, Questionable ROI
Rafael Nadal finished his run as a PokerStars ambassador in 2015 and he’ll leave behind a somewhat polarizing legacy.
It was a huge coup when PokerStars announced that Nadal was going to rep the brand in 2012. Nadal was at the pinnacle of tennis and was the first true sports superstar to sign with an online poker site.
The rumor is that PokerStars paid huge bucks to get Nadal on their side. So what did that huge expense end up getting them?
- Several TV commercials featuring Nadal.
- Nadal won his own charity tournament at EPT Prague.
That’s pretty much it. Was it enough? Time will tell but it’s certainly nice to see PokerStars putting their energy into Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr. who has a renowned passion for poker.
9. Phil Ivey Sinks to Nearly -$9m Since Black Friday
There was a time when Phil Ivey’s online chops were beyond question. These days it’s not so clear.
Ivey is widely believed to be Polarizing on Full Tilt 2.0 and RaiseOnce on PokerStars.
He hasn’t been particularly successful on either account and this year hit -$8.8m, according to highstakesdb.com.
This is a guy who amassed nearly $20 million in online poker winnings prior to Black Friday.
8. Erick Lindgren Files for Bankruptcy Again
The Erick Lindgren comeback story hit a rough patch in 2015 when the former Team Full Tilt member filed for bankruptcy yet again.
It’s the second time in three years that Lindgren has filed for bankruptcy. Keep in mind that Lindgren’s 2012 bankruptcy closed without clearing his debts, which included a $3.8m debt.
On the bright side Lindgren has a lot of people rooting for him these days. His friends, family, players he owes, former employers and the IRS. With that many people in his corner a massive 2016 is pretty much guaranteed, right?
7. Online Poker Traffic in New Jersey Declines
Fully legal online poker in the USA has been a mixed bag to say the least.
It’s amazing that US citizens can actually play online poker in Nevada and NJ but the numbers, especially in NJ haven’t been particularly great.
Online poker revenue in NJ peaked in January 2015 with $3.4 million. This September it struggled to generate even half that number.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however.
PokerStars is allegedly coming to NJ in the spring of 2016 and some experts believe it will serve as a catalyst for the industry in the state. It may even have a positive effect on competitors such as 888poker and PartyPoker.
6. Chad Batista Passes Away
If you got into poker in the last few years there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Chad “LilHoldem” Batista.
That’s a shame because Batista was a pioneering and dominant online poker pro who was larger than life.
The definition of a “feel” player, Batista never read a poker book and claimed he didn’t even know basic poker concepts like pot odds but somehow won millions online.
Originally from Coral Springs, FL, Batista was one of the numerous online poker pros forced to leave the USA after Black Friday in 2011.
Batista had his vices and was a polarizing figure in the poker world but he was certainly a personality.
Batista passed away in August this year. He was only 34.
Other articles in this series: