Every year PokerListings counts down the best and worst moments in poker over the last 12 months.
This year there were almost too many moments to choose from.
In the following article we’ll take a look at a certain never-ending heads-up match, some uncalled for Tony G antics and even some cult accusations.
15. Tony G Rags on… Toby Lewis?
Tony G is known to berate his opponents (just ask Ralph Perry!) but he certainly picked an odd target in 2013.
The always-controversial Tony G took aim at popular British player Toby Lewis and called the London-native a “disgrace” at the Party Poker Big Game VII in Barcelona.
It’s not clear what had Tony G so riled up but he ripped into Toby Lewis for not agreeing to play with a straddle on when everyone else at the table had.
“What are you doing? What’s going on? There are no scammers here. You’re a disgrace. You should get your chips, get up and leave,” said Tony G during the show.
Tony G turned to the organizers and asked where they found the nits to play in the game.
He continued to shred Lewis, eventually for wearing an IveyPoker patch.
“What is IveyPoker? Is it another scam? Ivey is a gambler; you can’t put that logo on. You are representing a brand that’s all about gambling and giving people a chance.”
The whole time Lewis was quiet and looked embarrassed by the situation. It was bizarre.
Check it out for yourself:
14. Viktor Blom Skips 2013 WSOP
Viktor Blom is one of the single most exciting players in poker. His willingness to gamble and love for poker is refreshing to even the most jaded grinder.
That’s why it was a huge blow this summer when Blom decided to skip the entire WSOP.
It’s hard to blame Blom when Swedish players get some of the stiffest tax penalties in the world for playing the WSOP and his game is optimized for high-stakes online poker rather than donkaments in the desert.
Still, Blom made the money of the $50,000 Players Championship in 2012 and it was clear that he was thrilled to be part of such a prestigious competition.
Then again Blom Tweeted mid-way through the 2013 series that he won $1.4 million in a few days of online poker. His win was our loss.
13. Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari Are in a CULT!?!
This one got a bit out of control.
Daniel Negreanu did a leadership course with the Choice Center this year and was quickly tagged as a member of a full-fledged cult by members of the poker world.
People had concerns and that’s understandable. Large group awareness training programs like the ones Choice Center have been heavily criticized in the past and are big business in the U.S. They thrive on repeat customers so members are usually encouraged to spread the word.
Negreanu took time to assure people, however, that he did pay for the course up front but was never asked to spend more.
“Many of the things I read on the Internet are wildly inaccurate,” he wrote. “If there was anything "fishy" going on, I would be the first to bring attention to it as I have in the poker community for the last 10+ years. I'd say that my record speaks for itself.”
Negreanu finished by saying the program is not for everyone but he had a powerful experience.
Regardless of your beliefs when it comes to courses available at Choice Center it has to be said their members have had incredible results over the last couple years as Antonio Esfandiari, another graduate, made back-to-back Big One final tables for over $20 million.
At any rate it doesn’t look very good for the poker world to have people getting their pitchforks out when it comes to two of the game’s biggest stars.
12. WSOP Fails to Get Online Poker Running by Main Event
File this one under “opportunity missed.”
Regulated online poker launched in the U.S. this year and poker players were positively frothing at the mouth for action to begin.
Ultimate Poker was the first one up and people loved it. The big story, however, was the World Series of Poker getting their own online site in the U.S. for the first time.
Caesars were optimistic the site would launch in time to run satellites for the WSOP Main Event.
It didn’t work out.
Instead the live WSOP came and went, and WSOP online didn’t launch until the fall.
Now WSOP Poker is online and players seem to be enjoying it. Traffic on both WSOP and Ultimate Poker is relatively small compared to the rest of the world. It doesn’t help that Nevada’s population isn't gigantic.
Of course Caesars will get a chance to rectify their mistake in 2014 and we’re thrilled to see what they accomplish with that kind of synergy.
11. Delays Continue in Never-Ending durrrr Challenge
When the durrrr Challenge began it was heralded as one of the most exciting and innovative concepts ever conceived by a poker player.
Fast forward to 2013 where the durrrr Challenge 2 is one of the most ridiculed, frustrating spectacles in poker.
Tom Dwan vs. Dan “jungleman12” Cates has now been running for well over three years and played on through the rise, fall and rebirth of Full Tilt Poker.
Ironically the durrrr Challenge 2 got off to a fast start as Cates plowed his way through 20,000 hands and demolished Dwan to the tune of $500,000.
Poker fans were enthusiastic the challenge would be complete faster than the original Dwan vs. Patrik Antonius contest. They were dead wrong.
It’s absurd how long the challenge has run and it seems that Dwan has to consider buying out at this point. Or at least sitting down and recording five thousand hands in a day.
On the bright side in the future these types of challenges will likely come with a time limit, if anything has been learned over the last few years.