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Hidden Video shows how Feds posing as Cable Guys busted Paul Phua

High stakes poker player and “businessman” Paul Phua dealt with major legal trouble over the summer when he was busted at Caesars Palace for masterminding a World Cup betting ring. While Tim Howard was busy becoming an international star and Ronaldo was hobbling around on his bum knee, Phua was behind the scenes making millions off it all. But now the alleged member of the Chinese 14K Triad is facing a number of charges after an FBI sting caught him red-handed.

Ever seen those cheesy movie scenes where the feds dress up like blue collar workers to take down a huge illegal operation? Well the movies came to real life in this case as FBI agents disguised themselves as cable guys to gain access to Phua’s Caesars Palace villa.

No, Jim Carey wasn’t with them – he’s too busy making fun of Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln commercials. However, you can check out some of the real-life FBI guys who went undercover in the hidden footage that was recently released. The agents got an assist from Caesars Palace employees, who shut off the internet access to Phua’s room. But as you’ll see in the video below, it’s questionable whether the FBI legally obtained the evidence against Phua since having internet access shut off to gain access was murky at best:

Posted in General, General Posts, Industry News, Las Vegas News, Poker News, Pro Players

How Pocket Jacks helped Pat McAfee crack the NFL

Now in his sixth season, Pat McAfee has firmly established himself as a top punter and kick-off man in the NFL. The Indianapolis Colts player averages almost 46 yards a punt and even recovered one of his own onside kicks this season. But while football fans may know McAfee now, they were within $100 of never hearing his name.

In a sweet story by the Indianapolis Star, McAfee’s long journey to the NFL began with $100 in an underground poker game in Pittsburgh. In what the news outlet called a “smoky, seedy restaurant basement,” McAfee would walk out with $1,400 – largely thinks to a big hand involving pocket jacks.

The high schooler and former soccer player used his poker winnings to fly to Miami, where he kicked in front of a number of major college football coaches. After nailing field goals from a variety of distances – including even 65 yards out – a West Virginia recruiter offered him a scholarship. From here, McAfee would kick and punt his way into the Mountaineers’ record books before being drafted by the Colts in the seventh round.

McAfee is currently in the middle of a five-year, $14 million contract with Indianapolis, which is enormous money for a guy kicking the ball. As for poker, it’s unclear whether McAfee still plays on a regular basis. But it wouldn’t be a surprise if he did, given that the game played a big part in helping him get to where he’s at today.

Be sure to check out the story in the Indy Star, which provides more details on McAfee, including the time when he was arrested for drunken swimming in downtown Indianapolis.

Posted in General Posts

Maria Ho talks Poker with FOX St. Louis

There aren’t too many poker players who you’d pick to represent the game over Maria Ho – a good-looking woman who knows the game and has the results to back it up. So it was definitely nice to see a clip of Ho on FOX St. Louis, explaining poker to a wide mainstream audience.

The 31-year-old was in St. Louis to provide commentary for a Heartland Poker Tour event there – one of her many gigs. And during this stop, she got a chance to chat with the FOX affiliate there about commentating for the HPT, her poker background, and how women have an advantage in the game. There’s even a little discussion on general poker strategy, including reading other players.

The clip is definitely worth checking out if you’ve got two and a half minutes to spare. But we must emphasize again that this clip is directed at mainstream audiences, so don’t cringe when you hear a reference to Lady Gaga’s Poker Face for the millionth time. Instead, just enjoy Ho interesting a new crowd of potential recreational players in the game.

Posted in General, General Posts, Poker News, Pro Players

Carbon Poker’s “Bonus Mania” is Here

Tired of jumping through hoops to earn free cash at online poker sites? Then Carbon Poker’s “Bonus Mania” is perfect for you because it rewards players with bonus money for doing nothing other than playing the games they love.

How do I participate?

Your bonus may already be in your Player Admin area waiting to be “Activated.” Just visit your Player Admin and activate the offer by October 31st, 11:59pm server time. After claiming the bonus, simply play real money poker games to unlock the bonus cash.

What if I don’t have a Bonus in my Account?

If you don’t have a bonus in your account, then make a deposit and use the “MANIAPK” code to collect a special 50% up to $250 reload bonus. Remember that there’s only an eight-day window from November 1st to November 8th, 23:59 server time to make a deposit and claim your bonus!

What if I’m in Line for Multiple Bonuses?

Assuming you have more than one bonus opportunity going on at once, don’t worry because Carbon has you covered. Players can only release one bonus at a time, so to go after another reward, one must visit their Player Admin area and activate the bonus.

To do this, visit Promotions > Activate > Bonuses. Then use the arrows to choose the bonus that you want to place the first priority on. This is great because you don’t have to worry about your free cash going by the wayside or getting confused while trying to play for multiple bonuses at once.

Posted in CarbonPoker News, General, General Posts, Industry News, Poker News

Carbon holding $2k in 2014 Breeders’ Cup Freerolls from Oct. 26th-31st

The 2014 Breeders’ Cup is set to begin this week at California’s Santa Anita Park. And if you’re looking to get a jump-start on the festivities, then you should definitely check out what Carbon Poker has going on right now.

On every day of the Breeders’ Cup races between October 26th and 30th, Carbon will run a $250 daily poker freeroll. Aside from the prize pool, players can also win entry into the $1,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic Poker Tournament on October 31st.

How do I get into the Freerolls?

To enter the daily Breeders’ Cup freerolls, visit the Carbon Poker client and enter yourself. The top 25 finishers in each daily tournament win a seat into the aforementioned $1k Breeders’ Cup Classic Poker Tournament along with a $10 sports bet.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Poker Tournament Prize Pool
(All prizes paid in sports bets)
1st: $300
2nd: $200
3rd: $125
4th: $100
5th: $80
6th: $60
7th: $50
8th: $40
9th: $30
10th: $25

Daily Freeroll Recap
Tournament Name: Breeders’ Cup Daily Freeroll
Date & Time: Daily at 20:00 Server Time
Entry: Free
Tab Location: Tournaments > Regular / Special

$1k Breeders’ Cup Tournament Recap
Tournament Name: Breeders’ Cup Classic
Date & Time: October 31st at 20:00 Server Time
Entry: Finish Top 25 in the Breeders’ Cup Daily Freerolls
Tab Location: Tournaments > Regular / Special

Posted in General Posts

Jean-Robert Bellande needs to lose 9lbs in 9 Days for $70k

A while back, Jean-Robert Bellande entered into a fairly reasonable weight loss bet where he needed to lose 50 pounds in five months to win $70,000. Well the deadline for this bet is fast approaching as he’s sitting at 254 pounds and needs to hit 245 pounds by November 1st. Here’s a tweet from JRB himself on the matter:

70k weight loss bet: must weigh 245lbs by Nov 1st. 9 days to go and I’m frozen at 254lbs (started at 287lbs). Brutal! #brokescale

He’s lost 43 pounds in over four and a half months, which is pretty damn good! But it’s not quite good enough to win $70k yet, which is his ultimate goal. So can JRB show enough discipline to drop the last few pounds and scoop a big payout?

When you party as hard as JRB, nothing is a given when it comes to weight loss. And Halloween is the day before he weighs in one final time to conclude the bet, so there’s this to think about too. But he’s definitely working on the goal, as he tweeted the following about his current activity (see photo):

I think the last time I swam laps was 30yrs ago…but 70k is some good motivation. I need to weigh 245lbs by Halloween (was 287lbs).

Whether JRB wins or loses the wager, let’s hope that it doesn’t turn out like the Mike Matusow/Ted Forrest weight lost bet. Four years after the matter, these two are still bickering about if Matusow still owes $1.7 million to Forrest.

Posted in General, General Posts, Poker News

Nolan Dalla Rants on Dan Colman in WWE Style Video

Few people feel as strongly about poker as Nolan Dalla, the WSOP’s senior writer and Poker Night in America’s creative director. So when somebody like Dan Colman disses the game and calls it “dark,” Dalla takes offense.

Nolan recently put out a short video where he rants on the 2014 WSOP Big One for One Drop champion for previous comments. At the heart of his complaint is that Colman bashes a game that’s given him over $22 million in live tournament winnings this year.

And you’ll definitely want to see Dalla’s delivery, which is akin to the old WWE interviews from years ago, with wrestlers ferociously shaking and stomping around while threatening their opponent. Maybe Dalla doesn’t threaten Colman in this particular video, but the 23-year-old certainly wouldn’t want to get in the ring with Dalla considering the fiery passion that he puts into this rant.

Posted in General, General Posts

Doug “WCGRider” Polk still offended over Daniel Negreanu’s High Stakes Comments

Back in the summer, Daniel Negreanu made the bold claim that he could re-learn to beat Six-Max $25/$50 NL Hold’em online cash games in just two weeks. This of course, drew some skepticism from the high stakes online community who dedicates most of their time to beating these games.

Doug “WCGRider” Polk was one of those who quickly jumped on the skepticism wagon, even offering to take Negreanu up on a $1 million prop bet. Kid Poker declined the wager, even though he’d boasted that he would “bet a million” on his ability to beat $25/$50 NLHE. And shortly thereafter, it seemed like the matter was over with.

But you don’t just claim that you can beat these kind of stakes in two weeks and expect to ride off into the sunset. Polk is still annoyed at what Negreanu said and brought the subject up once again in an interview with CardPlayer.

During the interview, it became apparent that Negreanu meant he needed two weeks to study, then a full year to beat $25/$50 NL games. However Polk was still “insulted” by what Kid Poker said, as you can see from this excerpt of the interview:

It was extremely insulting for him to insinuate that he could just hop into these games and beat them. I think Negreanu is a fantastic live tournament player. He has great results and is a great ambassador for the game of poker, but he is not a good high-stakes online cash game player. He’s just not. There are guys who spent a lot of time and energy making their way to that level and winning and he’s basically dismissing their effort by saying he could just jump in and beat them. Most of the older, more recognizable live pros just don’t have the skill set to win online.

The whole live vs. online pros debate is one that goes back centuries…at least comparative to online poker’s short history. And with internet poker getting tougher with each passing year, online grinders feel like it’s even more unbeatable. So while Negreanu may be great at live poker, he’s unlikely to convince anybody that he can beat high stakes online games until he actually does it again.

Posted in General, General Posts, High Stakes Poker, Poker News, Pro Players

Scott Davies realizes Dream – Wins 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event and $850k

Like many poker players, Scott Davies can trace his poker origins back to the day when Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 WSOP Main Event. And ever since seeing Moneymaker achieve poker fame, Davies made it his mission to eventually win a gold bracelet. Last night, Davies achieved his decade-old dream by taking down the 2014 WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event along with a A$850,136 top prize.

“Oh my god, this is amazing!” Davies said after his win. “This is the Super Bowl to me. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. When I decided I was going to play poker for a living I just remember Chris Moneymaker winning the Main Event and thought one day I might get a chance to do that.”

Davies had to top a 329-player field in this event to claim his first gold bracelet. And this wasn’t an easy task, considering the level of competition involved. Greg Merson, Jeff Lisandro, Joe Hachem and Phil Hellmuth were just some of the outstanding players in this $10k buy-in event. But none of them proved to be much of a threat as they busted out early on.

Some of the notables who did fare well in the APAC Main Event include Sam Higgs (32nd), Xuan Liu (31st), Aaron Lim (24th), cricket legend Shane Warne (22nd), Tobias Reinkemeier (20th) and Brandon Shack-Harris (17th). As for Shack-Harris, he was chasing a top-two finish, which would have given him the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year award. However, busting out in 17th place secured the POY for George Danzer.

Moving on to the final table, this was a nice mix of noted pros and amateurs. Ang Italiano belonged in the latter category as she satellited into the APAC Main Event through a $130 feeder. And the “Last Woman Standing” couldn’t have been disappointed with her sixth-place effort and A$118,769 prize. Henry Wang was another intriguing amateur, as he battled towards a third-place finish and A$343,805 payout.

His elimination set up a heads-up match between Davies and Britain’s Jack Salter for the title. The latter came into this tourney with plenty of accomplishments and over $1.5 million in live winnings. But Davies was no slouch either, with over $400k in live earnings. He also had a slight chip advantage, which proved to be a mute point as both players battled back and forth for two hours.

In the end, Davies got the better end of the deck and prevailed. “If there was ever a day to run good, this was the day to run good,” he said. “I picked up aces twice and then flopped a full house when Jack flops trips to win the event. This is probably the best I’ve ever run in a single day.”

2014 WSOP APAC Final Table Results (All AUD)
1. Scott Davies (USA) – $850,136
2. Jack Salter (UK) – $516,960
3. Henry Wang (Taiwan) – $343,805
4. Kyle Montgomery (USA) – $231,287
5. Frank Kassela (USA) – $164,089
6. Ang Italiano (Australia) – $118,769

Posted in General, General Posts, Industry News, Live Tournaments, Poker News, World Series of Poker

George Danzer wraps up 2014 WSOP Player of the Year Award

In one of the most dramatic WSOP Player of the Year races in history, George Danzer finally emerged victorious. He and Brandon Shack-Harris exchanged the lead three times, and it came down to the final event.

Shack-Harris actually made a push to secure the POY award in the Event #9 Main Event. But his run ended in 17th place when his pocket jacks were cracked by Frank Kassela’s A-9 combo. Shack-Harris took one last shot in the Event #10 $25k High Roller, where he needed to get fourth place or better. However, he didn’t make it very far in this 68-player event, which finalized Danzer as the POY. Here’s a look at how both players fared in the Vegas-based and Australia-based WSOPs:

George Danzer – 923 .5 points, 3 bracelets, 5 final tables, 10 cashes, $867,649 earned
Brandon Shack-Harris – 829.2 points, 1 bracelet, 5 final tables, 9 cashes, $1,448,716 earned

Danzer came into the 2014 WSOP as a guy who’d made six WSOP final tables, only to never walk away with a bracelet. Well variance certainly favored him this time around as he won a $10k Seven Card Razz event, $10k Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo tournament and a $5k Eight-Game Mixed tourney. He also increased his live tournament winnings substantially, breaching the $2 million mark with his latest victory.

Now the reigning WSOP Player of the Year, Danzer will receive a free $10k seat in the 2015 WSOP Main Event. Perhaps more importantly, his picture will be displayed in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino for years to come. The bar is set high for Danzer in 2015, so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs at next year’s WSOP.

Posted in General, General Posts, Industry News, Live Tournaments, Poker News, Pro Players, World Series of Poker