Saturday, May 31, 2008
Hello There 2008 WSOP
So how does Event #1 compare to last year? Not very well since it was a different format and buy-in. Last year Event #1 was the $5,000 World Championship Mixed Hold'em. There were 451 entrants with a prize pool of $2,119,700. This year we're looking at 352 entrants with a prize pool of $3,308,800. So far so good! We'll get another benchmark with the first $1500 NL event starting today. Historically this event has been the second largest event of the series.
I will be getting my main World Series of Poker coverage through several key places and I suggest you do the same.
PokerNews.com once again has the exclusive on WSOP live updates. These guys and gals are the best in the business and their coverage of Event #1 was top notch as expected. Every computer in our house has a browser up and pointing to PokerNews.
One of my favorite writer's Dr. Pauly has moved away from the live updates scene to focus more on feature articles. Thankfully he's still providing tons of valuable updates and insight on the Tao of Poker. Forget the candy coated crap and see the real WSOP. This is the good stuff.
I'm looking forward to having the good doctor interview me following my WSOP victory. :)
And finally The Poker Prof's blog features excellent Vegas resident insight combined with some of the best photos in the industry courtesy of Flipchip. Do yourself a favor and check them out.
Last night the Mrs. and I met some friends at a local casino for dinner and gambling. I had my ass handed to me at the BJ table. Luckily Mrs. Royal bet small and leveraged down our total losses. Wow do our local casinos suck compared to Vegas. Only 18 days to wait though!
Friday, May 30, 2008
Ultimate Bet Cheating Scandal Statement Released
MONTREAL, CANADA (MAY 29, 2008) --- Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG ("Tokwiro"), proprietors of UltimateBet.com ("UltimateBet"), one of the world's largest online card rooms, today announced the results of its lengthy investigation into allegations of unfair play, which was triggered by concerns about an account named 'NioNio'. Tokwiro has worked diligently in cooperation with its regulatory body, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission ("KGC"), and with independent third-party experts to conduct a thorough investigation that included a comprehensive review of hand histories and game data, thorough analyses of software and network security, and audits of its security practices and procedures.
The investigation has concluded that certain player accounts did in fact have an unfair advantage, and that these accounts targeted the highest limit games on the site. The individuals responsible were found to have worked for the previous ownership of UltimateBet prior to the sale of the business to Tokwiro in October 2006. Tokwiro is taking full responsibility for this situation and will immediately begin refunding UltimateBet customers for any losses that were incurred as a result of unfair play.
The fraudulent activity was enabled by unauthorized software code that allowed the perpetrators to obtain hole card information during live play. The existence of this vulnerability was unknown to Tokwiro until February 2008 and existed prior to UltimateBet's acquisition by Tokwiro in October 2006. Our investigation has confirmed that the code was part of a legacy auditing system that was manipulated by the perpetrators. Gaming Associates, independent auditors hired by the KGC, have confirmed that the software code that provided the unfair advantage has been permanently removed.Throughout the investigation of this incident, Tokwiro's consistent priorities have been:
- To permanently remove the ability to engage in unfair play;
- To complete its investigation and come to a full understanding of what occurred;
- To refund the affected customers; and
- To implement measures that prevents future incidents.
Investigation TimelineThese are the key events in the course of the incident.
- January 2008: UltimateBet is alerted to suspicions of unfair play on the part of the account "NioNio". Within 24 hours, UltimateBet contacts the KGC to provide formal notice that UltimateBet has initiated an investigation of the incident. UltimateBet subsequently forwarded a copy of all related data to the KGC.
- January 2008: The "NioNio" account and related accounts are suspended pending further investigation.
- February 2008: Preliminary findings indicate abnormally high winning statistics for the suspect accounts. After discussions with the KGC, UltimateBet engages third-party gaming experts to assist with the analysis.
- February 2008: Investigators confirm that the suspect accounts are associated with individuals who had worked for UltimateBet under the previous ownership.
- February 2008: UltimateBet discovers the unauthorized code that allowed the perpetrators to obtain hole card information during live play. The code was part of a legacy auditing system that was manipulated by the perpetrators of the fraud.
- February 2008: UltimateBet immediately removes the unauthorized code and works with the KGC and with third-party auditors to verify that the security hole has been eliminated.
- March 2008: Six player accounts are confirmed to have participated in this scheme. No accounts were deleted at any point, although some account names were changed multiple times. The following account names are known to have been used in the fraudulent activity: NioNio, Sleepless, NoPaddles, nvtease, flatbroke33, ilike2win, UtakeIt2, FlipFlop2, erick456, WhackMe44, RockStarLA, stoned2nite, monizzle, FireNTexas, HeadKase01, LetsPatttty, NYMobser, and WhoWhereWhen.
- May 2008: The investigation confirms that the fraudulent activity took place from March 7, 2006 to December 3, 2007.
- May 2008: Gaming Associates certifies that the software code that enabled unfair play was removed from UltimateBet servers in February of 2008.
- May 2008: Customers affected by this incident are identified, and plans for corrective action are reviewed with the KGC.
Corrective Actions TakenThe following actions have been taken or are currently underway as a direct result of this investigation.
- The security hole identified in UltimateBet's investigation has been permanently eliminated.
- UltimateBet is establishing a state-of-the-art software Security Center that consolidates and greatly enhances existing security capabilities. The first release of the new Security Center focuses solely on the immediate detection of abnormal winnings. Gaming mathematicians, poker professionals, and security software developers have all contributed to the specifications for the new Security Center.
- UltimateBet customers are no longer permitted to change account names unless they have suffered abuse in chat rooms. Requests for changes must be supported by proof of abuse and must be approved by the Chief Compliance Officer.
- In addition to its existing security department, UltimateBet has established a new specialized Poker Security team of professionals dedicated to fraud prevention.
- The refund process will begin immediately. The accounts associated with fraudulent activity did not use an unfair advantage in all play sessions. Regardless, UltimateBet is refunding all losses to these accounts.
- Accounts related to the fraudulent activity have been disabled, and the individuals associated with those accounts permanently banned from the site.
- UltimateBet has worked closely and transparently with its governing body, the KGC and its designated expert auditors, to determine exactly what happened, how it happened, and who was involved, and has taken action to prevent any possibility of this situation recurring.
- Tokwiro is pursuing its legal options in regard to this incident.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
WCGRider Still In Decent Shape
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
UltimateBet Cheating Scandal
Superusers and Silence: How UltimateBet let players get cheated for millions
It has been one hundred fifty days since allegations about suspicious activity in the high stakes no limit games on UltimateBet were first made public in this thread in the High Stakes No Limit forum (referred to as ‘HSNL’ from this point) on twoplustwo.com.
Several million dollars were stolen and the evidence in the HSNL thread indicates very strongly that:
- UltimateBet has known about the cheating for at least nine months.
- UltimateBet knew about but did not make any attempt to acknowledge the cheating before it was exposed on 2+2.
- People who worked for UltimateBet facilitated the cheating.
- UltimateBet actively took steps to cover up these crimes and thwart the investigation of this scandal.
Monday, May 26, 2008
WCGRider's $10,000 Prop Bet at NL25
WCGrider has taken a bunch of action on whether he can profit $10,000 in a 31 day span simply playing on NL25 tables. Is this a difficult challenge? Let's check the math!
- 9-Max tables on PokerStars average ~80 hands / hr
- Destroying this game is about 10 BB / 100 hands
- The best calls for 24 tables max
- 24 tables * 80 hands / hr - table * 10 BB / 100 hands * $0.25 = $48 / hr
- $10,000 / $48 = 208 hrs
- Just under 7 hours a day if he can sustain 10 BB / 100 hands while 24 tabling.
- If you drop the win rate down to 8 BB / 100 hands the time moves up to 8.5 hrs per day.
So far he's on track up $1160 after 3-days.
Good luck WCGRider!
Friday, May 23, 2008
Poker Player's Alliance Offers Free WSOP Main Event Seat
WSOP 2008 Main Event Promotion
The page lists one way to enter via establishing a premium account. Check the T&C and you'll see free entry by mail is also acceptable.
The Las Vegas Sun has started an excellent Las Vegas History Web Page. Complete with pictures, videos and great stories. If you enjoy Vegas this page is a must visit!
A Gamble in the Sand
Last night in softball we tried to make it 3-0 against a heavily favored opponent. We had our chances, but ultimately could not play defense. At least the fans got a show with a 18-20 final score.
I'm playing in a small buy-in home game tonight which is always a good time. Time to ship a donkfest!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Crack of Doom
Part 1 of 2
Part 2 of 2
Monday, May 19, 2008
Holy Halfrek Batman!
Friday, May 16, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Some Old Friends Return
Decker was the first poker blog I read. Heck, he might have been the first poker blogger! His site is one of two or three that has been in the Royal Poker blogroll since it's inception. It's good to see you posting again bro. Your tales of the Florida scene are always a treat.
LordGeznikor is a legend of the poker blogger scene. Mostly due to the car crash like story lines. I enjoyed reading his material since we had a physical proximity connection. LG, I'm glad to see you're not dead, still have a job and generally seem to enjoy life (at least more than before).
If you've deleted these guys from your blogrolls add them back. If you've never checked them out be sure to do so.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Happy Mother's Day!
Just because we keep things low key doesn't mean the idea behind the holiday should be discarded though. Mrs. Royal is a great wife and wonderful mother. God knows Grandma Royal is a saint just to have not ended my life on the many occasions it was likely deserved. I sure lucksacked my way in the parents / wife department!
Last week was the first softball game of the season and after a slow start we rolled to a 17-5 victory. They kicked us up a league this year so it's hard to say how we'll end up overall. I think a little over .500 is a reasonable goal.
The Mrs. and I have been watching the latest installment of the British (UK) Apprentice. It's a better show than the U.S. version with fewer voice overs and much less advertisement add-ins. Almost every episode in the U.S. version involves some big company that the candidates have to work for. In the UK version it rarely occurs. The UK version also typically includes one episode where the candidates are forced to shop for a list of items negotiating the best price. Last week the self proclaimed (via resume) "Good Jew Boy" was berated for not knowing what Kosher was. The shopping episode is one of the best every season and it is a real shame that U.S. version fails to include it.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Isaac Baron Continues Torrid Run
Congratulations again to the best online poker player in the world! Need an apprentice?
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
PocketFives Hosts WSOP Added Tournament This Saturday
Payout Structure: Standard, with WSOP package added for first
Time/Date: 5/10/2008, 2:30 p.m. ET
Click here for the password and discussion thread. This is some pretty excellent value if you can avoid the superusers! :)
Friday, May 02, 2008
2008 WSOP Main Event Final Table to be Live?
Here's the summary. The 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event will play down to the final table of 9 players. Instead of completing the tournament on July 16th as planned the event will now be completed early morning November 11th. ESPN will then rapidly edit it into a 2 hour episode to be televised that evening. So why make the change? Starting on July 22nd ESPN will begin to broadcast new 2008 WSOP coverage. The pre-final table main event coverage will wrap up in early November and by then everyone will have seen the 9 finalists. The outcome will be (basically) unknown and should make for more exciting coverage.
As a viewer of the WSOP I really like the change. It should generate some incredible buzz. As a details person I have some concerns. What happens if someone becomes very ill or dies? Sure that could happen now on July 15th, but you're increasing that chance by inserting several months of time. When that happens, and it will at some point if this format continues, there will be plenty of questions.
The 9 remaining players will also have a chance to improve their skills. Some have argued this isn't fair. I disagree. To me its simply a change. All 9 players have the same amount of time to alter there game. Sure an amateur might have more room to improve than a pro, but the pro should be able to make better use of their skills to study their opponents on film. Even if the pros give up an edge if it results in increased poker interest they still win. Remember many of the pros hated the hole cameras at first too.
The best thing for the players is they now have a chance to negotiate some awesome sponsorship deals. Hire a coach and an agent and go for it!
Final Nine Players Will Square-Off This November on ESPN
LAS VEGAS – May 1, 2008 – The World Series of Poker® (WSOP) Presented by Milwaukee’s Best Light today announced a groundbreaking change that will more closely align the televised presentation of the world’s largest, richest and most prestigious poker tournament with other premier sports broadcasts.
The last nine players of the $10,000 World Championship of No-Limit Texas Hold’em, known as the Main Event, will compete on November 9-10 instead of the originally scheduled date of July 16.
“Our intent is to provide an even bigger stage for our players,” said Jeffrey Pollack, Commissioner of the World Series of Poker. “Now fans and viewers will ask ‘who will win’ our coveted championship bracelet instead of ‘who won.’ The excitement and interest surrounding our final nine players will be unprecedented.”
This change in how the Main Event final table is staged will bring the excitement and drama of high-stakes WSOP tournament play closer to millions of fans around the globe.
All other 2008 WSOP tournament structures and schedules remain unchanged. This announcement affects only the final nine players of Event #54, the Main Event World Championship.Continuing the trailblazing efforts that have made the WSOP the industry standard, this move is being made in close collaboration with ESPN, the television rightsholder of the WSOP, and the WSOP Players Advisory Council (PAC), the commissioner-appointed committee of professional and amateur poker players who provide guidance and perspective to the WSOP leadership team.
"It's an exciting time for the World Series of Poker and ESPN," said Jamie Horowitz, senior producer, ESPN Content Development. "This adjustment will add a new element to a very successful and popular event. We look forward to documenting all of the exciting stories that make the WSOP Main Event the seminal competition in all of poker."
“This is a huge step forward for poker and more specifically poker on television because it will help create more buzz around the final table and that is good for all of us,” said Daniel Negreanu, a WSOP PAC member, three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and one of today’s most successful and popular poker professionals. “Not only will this innovative step create more buzz for the final table, the added time prior to the final table will help get poker mainstream media attention. I’m very excited about this decision and can’t wait to see it all unfold, hopefully from a seat at the final table!”
The 39th annual World Series of Poker will take place from May 30th to July 14th at the Rio® All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The Main Event will begin on July 3rd, with the Final Table being determined on July 14th. The nine players who advance to the Final Table will return to the Rio on November 9th to play down to just two players. The final two, will go head-to-head late in the evening on November 10th to determine the champion and winner of poker’s ultimate prize.
The winner of the Main Event is expected to be crowned in the early hours of November 11. ESPN will edit the two-day Final Table action and televise it in a two-hour program from 9:00-11:00 PM ET on Tuesday, November 11 just hours after the winner is crowned. This is akin to television coverage of the Olympic Games, where because of time zone differences, the telecaster schedules programs “same day” in primetime to provide the largest possible audience a convenient viewing time.
ESPN will begin its coverage of the 2008 World Series of Poker on Tuesday, July 22. Viewers will see two hours of original poker programming every Tuesday through November 11 (except November 4 when a special preview of the Final Table will be aired at 10 p.m.). Telecasts will be aired at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. July 22 through September 30 and at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. from October 7 through November 11.
Each of the players who make it to the WSOP Main Event Final Table will receive ninth place prize money on July 14, when the finalists are determined. Harrah’s will then provide each of those players with an all expense paid trip for two for their return to Las Vegas in November to play the final portion of the tournament.
From July 14 to November 9, a span of 117 days, players will have an opportunity to line up sponsorships, coaches, review the play of all their competitors, participate in other tournaments, and take advantage of the new publicity and promotional opportunities that will be available.
ABOUT THE WSOP
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2007, the event attracted more than 54,000 entrants from 87 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and awarded just under $160 million in prize money as players competed for game’s most coveted trophy, a WSOP bracelet. Harrah’s License Company, LLC., an affiliate of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. has owned and operated the WSOP since 2004 and over the last four years, fostered an increase in player participation by nearly 300-percent. In addition, the WSOP has experienced groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit our website at www.worldseriesofpoker.com.
ABOUT HARRAH’S ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 70 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now owns or manages casinos on four continents. The Company's properties operate primarily under the Harrah's®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names; Harrah's also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos and the World Series of Poker®. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. For more information, please visit www.harrahs.com.
ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of six domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU), ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (34 networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN360.com (Broadband), ESPN Mobile Properties, ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN
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