Saturday, July 26, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
We Gotta Stay Positive
The new Hold Steady album, Stay Positive, has been in heavy rotation on every musical playing device I own. I was hooked from the first song, "Constructive Summer", which has many similarities to the incredible Husker Du song "Celebrated Summer." This is certainly no accident as Finn's previous band, Lifter Puller, was based out of Minneapolis. The line in Constructive Summer about drinking double whiskey coke no ice is an obvious reference to another Minneapolis band, Dillinger Four. I spent the summer of 1998 living in the twin cities and couldn't get enough of their song doublewhiskeycokenoice. The album is filled with solid stories, great hooks and references to other bands. Good good stuff!
I've played in a few more tournaments lately. For the most part taking advantage of the 2X promotion on Stars. Unfortunately the large cashes have been scarce. Now do I go back to ring games or keep plugging at the MTTs?
I found this history of Vegas World and Bob Stupak rather interesting.
Bob Stupak and Me
Friday, July 18, 2008
So far so good
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
UB Scandal: brsavage Weighs In
Here is what he had to say on 2+2:
I am not a regular poster on 2+2, mostly because when I first entered into the online poker world I became good friends with the people the own and operate pocket fives.
That said, I have learned to have a healthy respect for many who do post here, especially after the AP scandal, and the incredible work of a few who took the time and initiative to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
For the most part the people I respect the most at this forum are typically objective and rational people who take information in it's totality before making any quick decisions.
For the record, as most know, I got my start at UB and it was my "home" site. I cut my teeth there and some of my best poker friends are people I met in Aruba and at the tables online. I am through and through a tourney donk, and the times I venture into the cash games I am one of the fish there - I enjoy cash games only when I have little time to commit to playing, and also because I think playing cash games hones a poker players skills much the same as playing sng's or listening to training videos.
Before I get labeled a "schill" for UB, understand that I was one of the most critical and outspoken about UB. I made many, many posts that were hyper critical of UB, to the point where I was actually labeled as being anti-UB.
I went from playing full time at UB to playing rarely, and I still to this day play predominantly at Stars.
My criticism of UB was something that was brought about over a very long period of time, back to the days when they completely mismanaged the site, screwed up tournament schedules, and found a way to wrongly handle any and all customer complaints or issues.
When the whole AP debacle went down I started receiving numerous phone calls from Russ Hamilton. I had several long conversations with Russ, including one that really pisses me off because I actually had to step out of the LSU game to hear him and get a clear signal.
I understand the intricacies of running a business and I also understand many of the complex problems that the UIEGA raises for those who own and operate a poker site.
Unfortunately I was swayed by the desperation in Russ's voice and I believed him when he conveyed his concerns over the AP post on 2+2 that had the pictures of the owners and operators of AP.
It is painfully obvious at this point that Russ was simply in panic mode - obviously super user issues at AP could lead to investigations of super users at UB.
Anyhow, to make a long story short, I referred Russ to Nat (N82) as he was much more informed and involved with the people at 2+2. I have the same opinion as many in online poker, and that is that I trust Nat to extract the right information and make good decisions.
Fast forward and then the UB superuser issues appear. In the last several months I have had dozens of emails and phone conversations with Annie. As someone who had a significant emotional investment with UB and many of it's employees I could relate to her significant investment emotionally and professionally with the UB brand.
When Annie and I had our conversations about moving UB forward I didn't take her word at face value. In doing my due dilligence I spoke with many people who have done business with UB for a long period of time, including reps, vendors, affiliates etc., and all were of the same opinion that the management at UB was indeed new, and attempting to do the right thing.
I don't always agree with Annie, in fact, we have had some "spirited" disagreements. In the sum end, I can still at the end of the day agree to disagree with some of her opinions but it doesn't change my overwhelming opinion that she genuinely is not only truthful, but she has as much distaste for the events that have trasnspired as any of us do... if not moreso.
For those that seek to have overt disdain towards UB, the new management, Annie, Phil or any of the other UB reps, remember, they are also victims in much of this entire Russ Hamilton cheating debacle.
I'll remind you of a couple of Nat's quotes:
"Also, I feel confident in some of the people at the top of current UB/AP who I've met. I know some people will probably hate me for that, but it's true."
"I am convinced they have the right plan in mind and I've been saying that for awhile. I know there are people out there who disagree, but that's life. I don't think Paul L and others are the enemy here. I'm 99.9% sure the rumor that Russ Hamilton actually owns UB/AP right now is false. I have, I think, a pretty good idea of who is in charge and they want to do the right thing."
"I don't believe that new = old. I also don't think Russ has any control over UB anymore."
I couldn't agree more.
Now to clarify something. I don't agree with how "new" UB management handled the Russ information - BUT I do understand how they handled it. If anything, my advice to Annie was simple, you can't unexplode a bomb. If the online community is to have trust restored and move forward then full disclosure is necessary.
The reality of the situation is simple. "New" UB management thought they were inheriting a brand that was absent of superuser issues. After taking over, they find that not only does UB also have a cheating scandal, but it dates back BEFORE the AP scandal, and moreover, the thief is someone who was one of the principal owners of UB before the sale to Excapsa.
This is not only heart wrenching for the new management, but extremely complicated. When you are trying to recoup what is potentially tens of millions of dollars that has been stolen it is incredibily sensitive. There is no doubt in my mind that Excapsa exerted a ton of pressure on current UB management and owners to keep the Russ Hamilton name out of the spotlight. I could be wrong about this - it's just my opinion, but it makes infinite sense that Excapsa, a major software firm in the online world, comes across looking grossly incompetent that this cheating was allowed to happen right under there nose. Moreover, in my humble opinion, Excapsa could not have followed basic safeguards and did not have appropriate mechanisms and processes in place to protect UB and it's customers.
Now, again, for the record, I am not happy with some of the paths that the current UB management has taken in disclosure, and I personally would have taken a different approach. That being said, I temper my opinion with the fact that I don't have all the facts, and I also understand that other outside forces such as the former owner exerting pressure(Excapsa) and seeking reimburesment of huge sums of money... I can't say for sure I would have made a different decision with all of this on the table.
For those that continuously knock Annie and the other UB reps, I think some of your hostility is misguided. Hate Russ, wish him behind bars etc., but Annie was the only person brave enough to show her face and make public statements, and she did so at a time when she was in a pure no win situation.
I personally feel that the old CEO of UB, Jim Ryan and Excapsa are more to blame than anyone. Again, in my opinion, their lack of due dilligence and incompetence in installing safeguards was the primary reason the cheating was able to happen as long as it did.
I still support my friends at UB, and in a perfect world I think that online poker is better off with a viable third site as I remember what it was like when there was no competition, and moreover no value offered to the players through rewards programs etc.
Many of you will still choose not to play at UB, and I don't blame you, nor do I seek to change your mind. I personally had basically stopped playing at UB for a very long time, save for a two week window where I joined some of my friends in a mtt competition, but again, I have stopped playing there and I am not sure if I will play there in the future.
The only thing I proffer up to the community is that the current reps and sponsored players are people I hold in high regard, and in my opinion, they are in a situation that they can't win, they can only try to survive and try to move forward.
They have my full support.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Nat Arem Threatened in UB Scandal Investigation
I've officially been threatened, so I suppose I'm done with this. Not worth getting hurt over.
I've forwarded on my info to a few trusted sources and they can take it from there.
Good luck everyone.
Get your money off UB. This shit is going to get messy.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Well Done Iggy and UB Scandal Blows Up Again
On to the continuing UB Scandal...
It looks like former WSOP Champ and UB founder Russ Hamilton was intemently involved in the scandal. Addresses for the cheating accounts have been leaked by UB personnel and by cross referencing county records one was found to be Russ Hamilton's. Several other addresses appears to have connections to Russ.
The address is
138-19-810-002 HAMILTON RUSSELL & CAROLYN *20060523:03704 05/23/2006 JOINT TENANCY 200 SUBDIVIDED LOT
Okay people, the address on three of the accounts is owned by Russ and Carolyn Hamilton.
FWIW, this was the info given out by a UB whistleblower (not brainwash, as far as I know):
Customer ID: Token ID: Username: Status: Creation Date: Update Date:UNITED STATES Customer Phone: 702326xxxx Customer Birthdate: 1967-xx-xx Email Information: Address: email@example.com
I got rid of some information like the birthdate and phone number to protect whoever Lauren Makar is.
The 25th annual World Series of Poker world champion Russ Hamilton was roasted at/for lunch. The audience was treated to a great luncheon in one of the Orleans's ballrooms and Card Player Cruises own Mark Tenner emceed the festivities. Shown here are the roasters and others. From left are Woody Moore, Dennis Novinskey, Mark Tenner, Russ Hamilton (man of the hour), Tom Jacobs, Blair Rodman, Bonnie Damiano (who coordinated the entire weekend of events), and Mansour Matloubi. You could tell from all of the good-natured ribbing how popular a guy Russ is. It was an honor to be part of the festivities.
60 Minutes is going to have a blast with this one.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Iggy > Royal
100 players until they're ITM.
Update: He's on to Day 4! Guaranteed $27K and looking for more with ~160K in chips.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Iggy - glglglglglglgl
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Iggy on to Day 2
According to chip counts he's around starting stack size and will therefore need to make some moves early in Day 2B. The blinds will be 250/500/50a when he next plays on Wednesday.
One time dealer! For all the midgets!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Here Comes the Main Event!
Good luck to my friend Iggy. Remember, no one ever hits the flop. :)
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
PokerStars Goes 2X
PokerStars is the world’s best poker site, so it’s only right that we give you the best rewards and promotions! This month you can get twice as much as before with PokerStars 2X - this is what happens when the biggest poker site in the world gets even bigger! And because we’re rolling the promotion out across many different events, everyone can get in on the deal.
All you need to do is keep playing in our regular tournaments and cash games to be in with a chance of winning big. We’ll only be announcing each event just before it starts, but you can expect everything from double VPPs, double the chances to win and even double the size of the pot in our cash games!
We’ll be keeping you up to date with the latest 2X events through the PokerStars game lobby. Alternatively, bookmark this page and keep checking back for the latest news. You don’t want to miss out on what’s happening in the biggest online poker promotion of all time!
Latest PokerStars 2X Special Offers:
To kick off PokerStars 2X in style, we are giving you double VPPs in all our cash games and Sit & Go tournaments (excluding Heads-Up tourneys), from 00:00 ET July 1 through 23:59 ET July 6. This is a great way for you to boost your VIP Club status, and all you have to do is keep playing the same games that you always have. It’s that simple.
2X First Depositor Freerolls
Make your first ever deposit* between 00:00 ET July 1 and 23:59 ET July 30 with the code FIRST2X and gain entry to our special 2X First Depositor Freerolls. There are two $2,222 freerolls running every day, from July 8-30, at 13:00 ET & 20:00 ET. If you cash in any of the freerolls, you’ll gain entry to the $22,222 grand final July 31!
In addition to the 2X First Depositor Freerolls entry, you’ll also receive our 100% First Deposit Bonus up to $50! For more information on our 100% First Deposit Bonus, see our bonus information page.
You can find the 2X First Deposit Freerolls under the “Tourney – All” tab in your PokerStars lobby. The tournaments will be marked as [PokerStars 2X -- $2,222 First Depositor Freeroll].
* This offer is only open to PokerStars players who have not yet made their first real money deposit. The offer only applies to the tournaments which take place after a qualifying first deposit is made.
2X Chance Tournaments
We are also running daily 2X multi-table tournaments, giving you the chance to make one re-buy if you are eliminated. Buy-ins start at $2.22 and go up from there. Each tournament begins at :22 minutes past the hour.
To register for a 2X Chance tournament, open the PokerStars lobby, click ‘Tourney’ and ‘All’. The tournaments will be marked as ‘[2X Chance]’.
Please contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about PokerStars 2X.
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]