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Phil Galfond engaged to Actress Farah Fath

It turns out that the online poker world isn’t the only place where Phil Galfond has skills. The 29-year-old high stakes player recently tweeted that he popped the question to actress Farah Fath, and she said yes:

Sorry guys…I have some awful news: PG is off the market. Engaged to the smart, funny, talented, incredible & (secretly) sweet @FarahFromKY

As described by Soap Opera Digest, which I obviously read all the time, Galfond wrote Fath a 12-page love letter before making a marriage proposal. When she said yes, Galfond whipped out a giant 3-carat ring.

Fath is quite a catch, given that she’s hot and starred in both Days of our Lives and One Life to Live. Of course, the man she’s marrying isn’t too bad himself, having won a WSOP bracelet and earned $8.5 million through online poker (according to HighStakesDB).

These days, Galfond is a little less active in the high stakes online poker scene. However, he still serves as the CEO of RunItOnce, which offers poker training videos to players. Galfond was also instrumental in the rise of BlueFirePoker, where he quickly became known as a top-notch instructor. Perhaps now he can offer a training video on how one rises to the top of the high stakes scene, becomes uber rich, then goes on to marry a beautiful actress.

If you’re wondering when he and Fath will tie the knot, Soap Opera Digest reports that the two will be married next year in the Las Vegas home they designed together.

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

All In covers Mark “Ninth Place” Newhouse Before and After Main Event

What’s more crushing than spending four months preparing for the WSOP Main Event final table, only to be the first one to bust out? How about doing this two years in a row, which is what Mark Newhouse is dealing with.

Despite being disappointed with his two ninth-place efforts, Newhouse did pull off the amazing feat of making back-to-back final tables in the November Nine era, something that’s never been done before. It’s even more incredible when you consider that he battled through fields of 6,352 and 6,683 players.

Adding up his 2013 and 2014 WSOP Main Event scores, that’s $1.5 million for the man from North Carolina. However, Newhouse certainly wanted more than $733,724 this year. But he got caught on a big bluff with pocket 10′s after being called by William Tonking and his pocket queens.

All In Magazine covered Newhouse’s second-straight final table appearance, from the pregame to his devastating exit. The aftermath was interesting since it features words from Newhouse’s buddy, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, multiple shots of Newhouse smoking a cigarette and, most importantly, some post-tournament comments.

Back in his hotel room, a dejected Newhouse describes the “boring finish,” stating that he pretty much put Tonking on two queens. Given that there was a double-paired board (2′s and jacks), he thought that he’d put Tonking in a difficult spot with over 20 million chips at stake. Check out the whole segment from All In below:

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

“Navy Tim” Making Fake Poker Chips and smoking Others’ Cigarette Butts

About half a year ago, Navy Rear Admiral Timothy Giardina rocked the US Navy when it was discovered that he used counterfeit poker chips at Iowa’s Horseshoe Casino. Well that’s kind of old news now, but there are more-recent and strange details on the story.

Thanks to documents obtained by the Associated Press, it was revealed that Giardina didn’t merely find three counterfeit $500 chips in a Horseshoe bathroom, but it’s likely that he altered the chips himself. Here are two excerpts on the matter from a story in The Guardian:

He had claimed to have found the chips, but investigators said they found his DNA on the underside of an adhesive sticker used to alter genuine $1 poker chips to make them look like $500 chips.

(cont’d later) The military lab that tested the fake chips concluded that the centre section of a genuine $500 chip had been photocopied or scanned and then printed on to adhesive stickers. The stickers were then applied to the front and back of genuine $1 chips to make them appear to be real $500 chips. One of the problems, however, was that the adhesive stickers covered up a security feature embedded in the chips and visible only with ultraviolet light.

Beyond discussing this Oceans 11-type plot, the report also claims that Giardina played so much poker at Horseshoe Casino that the staff got to know him very well. “Navy Tim,” as the casino staff called him, would frequently make the 15-minute drive from his Omaha, Nebraska nuclear weapons base to Council Bluffs, Iowa. All told, he played about 15 hours’ worth of poker every week.

Perhaps the strangest behavior that Giardina displayed – beyond taking extreme measures to cheat poker games when he already made over $170,000 a year – included taking other people’s cigarette butts out of ashtrays and smoking them.

Since the poker scandal broke earlier this year, Giardina was demoted from a 3-star Rear Admiral to a 2-star desk job in Washington D.C. And given the recent public details of his bizarre behavior, it doesn’t look like he’ll be regaining his old command position any time soon.

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2014 WSOP Main Event gets Solid TV Ratings Increase

There’s a growing paranoia throughout the poker world that the game’s popularity is slowly declining year after year. Moreover, naysayers believe that bumhunting and major legal events have started the downturn that will eventually relegate poker to Bridge status. Well if this is the case, all of the people who tuned in to watch the 2014 WSOP Main Event final table must not have gotten the message.

Thanks to Wicked Chops Poker, we have confirmation that last Monday’s ratings for the November Nine telecast were up 10-13% from last year. Tuesday night’s coverage of the final three was down 6%, but there’s still a silver lining here. Check out what Wicked Chops had to say regarding ratings on ESPN’s coverage:

Ratings for the Monday night marathon were up 10-13% year-over-year, pulling .33 US HHs (459,000 viewers) that peaked with a .5. Given the competition against a key demographic (the show ran against Monday Night Football), this would be considered a strong win.

The Tuesday WSOP night broadcast averaged .81 US HHs (1.16M viewers), down 6% from 2013. It peaked with a 1.01 and held steady at a .81 when Martin Jacobson won the title.

While these are not the same 1.6’s we saw in the heyday of televised poker, the numbers still outclass your typical regular season MLB, CBB and NBA game (and crushes MLS, even though MLS pulls a growing 18-34 male demo). And unlike MLB, CBB and NBA games, ESPN can re-air the shows to steady .3-.4 ratings throughout the year.

Another thing that Wicked Chops notes is that while the .81 US HH may be off the 1.6 rating from poker’s heyday, these aren’t “a 2 hour broadcast in primetime.” Instead, it’s broadcast for a total of 17 hours over two days, which, given the lengthy time frame, is again encouraging.

A final aspect worth noting is how Tuesday’s broadcast featured an all-European final three. This should have been a death knell for US viewership of the final table, however, the .81 rating surpassed expectations. So all in all, it’s very good to see that people are still turning in to watch the WSOP November Nine, despite longer hours and less American players being involved.

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

Poker Community has Allen Kessler’s Back against Playground Club

Allen “The Chainsaw” Kessler doesn’t exactly have the cool demeanor of Phil Ivey or the suaveness of Patrik Antonius. In fact, he’s become a long-running joke on TwoPlusTwo and consistently gets flamed when he posts there. But the poker world still has Kessler’s back, which was evident in a recent spat between he and the Playground Poker Club. The battle began when Kessler tweeted this:

Anyone considering playing @PlaygroundPoker @wpt main; The std fee is $3200+300. Playground is charging $3395+455 and pockets the extra $155

Rather than giving Kessler the typical glossed-over customer service response, whoever is/was running Playground Poker’s Twitter account came back with this zinger:

@AllenKessler @WPT Our fees are 10% from $100 up to $4K, plus the std 3% for tips. If you don’t like that, please don’t play here.

If the Canadian poker room thought the matter would end here, they were sorely wrong. Lots of players jumped on Kessler’s side and began questioning what kind of poker room, especially one as popular as Playground Club, which is hosting an upcoming WPT event, would respond to a customer this way. Here are just a few of the tweets:

Dan O’Brien – Who is in charge of @PlaygroundPoker’s twitter feed? Better question, who will be in charge tomorrow? #showers @AllenKessler

Jerry Young – @AllenKessler @PlaygroundPoker @WPT What a piss poor reply from @playgroundpoker When will places learn that customers concerns r priority

Cord Garcia – @PlaygroundPoker love how you make it personal when @AllenKessler is spitting #factsONLY you guys should grow up & try listening more.

Patrick Ray – @PlaygroundPoker @AllenKessler @WPT Wow, this is how you handle a customer inquiry/statement of concern? Your joking right?

To add some context here, Playground tweeted that Kessler (a habitual complainer) has been bitching about various things for a long time. But like a bullying big brother sticking up for their little sibling, the poker world doesn’t care! There was enough outrage at Playground’s handling of the matter that they issued this apology on behalf of their no B.S. Twitter handler:

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90-Year-Old Woman busted for Poker Game, Man kills Brother over Poker

We should all tip our hats to police in Albany, Georgia, who made the world a better place by busting a 90-year-old woman for running an illegal poker game. Okay, to be fair, Mary Morgan was not only holding a raked poker game in her house, but also illegally selling alcohol and tobacco.

Police also confiscated recreational drugs and $4,100 in cash from the game. Morgan set the record for becoming the oldest person ever booked in the Dougherty County Jail.

“This operation was a result of a two month investigation into illegal activity at this residence which included illegal gambling, illegal alcohol sales, illegal tobacco sales, possession of cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana and spice,” Deputy Chief Mark Scott told WBTV.

Man kills Brother for cheating in Poker Game

While the previous story offers some humor – a 90-year-old woman hosting a poker game with coke and weed on the side – the next story is no laughing matter. As Michigan Live reports, Andre Moore was sentenced to 7 years in prison after pleading no contest to involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of his brother.

As the story goes, Andre caught Jeffrey Moore cheating during their poker game in Flint, Michigan. The two then began fighting, which led to Andre shooting his brother. But as you can see from the following statement, the facts were hard to sort out because the 45-year-old claimed self-defense:

“The incident involved two brothers – one the defendant, the other the victim – who were involved in a dispute over a card game at the defendant’s house,” Leyton said. “There were allegations of cheating and theft and it was very difficult to sort out the facts.”

But the fact that Moore also illegally had a firearm – something that earned him additional time in prison – may have played a part in the sentencing too.

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Jose Canseco to sell Missing Finger on eBay

What’s the logical thing to do when you lose your finger while playing a poker tournament? Sell it on eBay of course, which is what former MLB slugger Jose Canseco claims to be doing with his missing finger.

A few days ago, the former Oakland A’s outfielder/celebrity boxer/steroid whistleblower tweeted that his surgically repaired finger fell off during a poker tourney (possibly a great way to throw opponents off their game). He continued tweeting that the finger, which he blew off while cleaning his gun, wasn’t attached by bone anyways.

Now it appears that the 50-year-old has no plans to re-attach the finger following the latest incident. Here’s what he tweeted:

I will soon put the finger that fell off in the poker tournament on eBay for sale

The eBay ad will read slightly used middle finger with 462 home runs could be used as a stirring straw for drinks

Unfortunately for Jose Canseco-obsessed groupies who want the digit, he’s likely joking about selling the finger because it’s a clear violation of eBay terms. However, USA Today reports that he’s pretty serious about selling the gun that did the damage. More tweets from Canseco for interested buyers:

The 45 caliber Remington has a chrome mirror finish with custom grips with crystals and gold plating in the grips

maybe I will make it a package the chrome 45 caliber Remington with the finger both for sale a package deal

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Check out Trailer for Mark Wahlberg’s “The Gambler”

Exactly four decades ago, James Caan starred in “The Gambler,” a drama about a college professor/degen who gets in deep with some loan sharks. The film is a classic for sure, and one that Mark Wahlberg will be bringing back to life on December 19th, 2014.

Okay so that’s one long month of waiting to see the Lone Survivor and Pain & Gain star reprise Caan’s legendary role. But here’s something to tide you over until the actual movie hits big screens in mid-December.

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Posted in General, General Posts, Industry News, Poker News, Poker Pop Culture, Poker Videos

Dan Colman admits Multi-Accounting Several Years Ago

The biggest drama right now in the poker world surrounds scathing comments that Dan Colman made about Phil Hellmuth last week. You can read the whole thing here, but basically Colman used viscous words like “spineless,” “charlatan” and “cancer” to describe the 13-time WSOP champ.

He later returned to the same TwoPlusTwo forum thread where the original post was made (under “mrGR33N13″), and put some meaning behind the attack. Posting a second and third time, Colman explained that his words were “a bit too harsh..” However, he stood by his initial statements that Hellmuth shamelessly self-promotes himself. The 2014 Big One for One Drop winner also questioned Hellmuth’s refusal to answer any questions about the UB Poker superuser scandal.

Most 2p2 posters could agree that the Poker Brat’s representation of UB wasn’t exactly a shining moment in his career – although nobody thinks he had anything to do with the superuser cover-up. But one poster had an issue with what skeletons Colman could be hiding in his closet. And here’s where the 24-year-old dropped the bombshell that he used to be a multi-accounter:

I multiaccounted tournaments online when I was 17-18 with a me against the world mentality. I have made plenty of mistakes, but I know I am far from that person I once was.

Kudos to him for admitting the multi-accounting before anybody was able to bring it up. However, Colman’s own admission hardly makes him the moral compass to judge everybody in poker. People can make their own judgments on this, however, it’s worth mentioning that Colman had more to say on the Hellmuth matter, as you can see from the following excerpt:

Once again, I admit to being too harsh in my initial post. Phil didn’t deserve that hateful of a message. I was a bit heated in the moment and it showed in my writings. I underestimate how much the poker world amplifies anything I have to say now that I have godmoded a few live tournaments, I will exercise more caution in the future before clicking the post button.

That being said, I still stand by the main gist of my post. Phil’s behavior in poker is atrocious, and I don’t think it belongs in this game. My love for poker came through discovery and learning, playing someone better than me and trying to figure out a way to beat their strategy. At poker’s best, in my opinion, its a game where you can be fully immersed in every decision in a battle to outwit your opponent with the money being wagered adding to the intensity of the competition. It didn’t come through watching some guy being a dickhead to people over and over again to amateur players on ESPN. There are efforts being made right now to ‘sportify’ poker with the goal of garnering more mainstream appeal, to do this, you are going to want the professionals acting w/ class and showing sportsmanship.

Some of the resentment focused towards me I am sure comes with me choosing not to be an ambassador to poker, I am sorry but I am not going to be that guy. Luckily for you guys there’s an abundance of players out there who I am sure can bring good attention to poker and cast it in a good light. Look at just about any of the pros playing SHRs, all great players and more importantly great people that are always treating others with respect. Look to the new main event champ, Martin Jacobson, unlike the last champ, he doesn’t have to go around saying he’s the best in the world after winning. He plays phenomenal poker and carries himself exceptionally well, so his peers are happy to do the talking for him. I think I can speak for any legitimate pro when I say that I want someone like Martin representing the game of poker to the casual fan over an obnoxious brat like Phil Hellmuth who I think makes a complete mockery out of the game with his antics. If you want poker to be taken seriously and seen as a sport, I think we should all be condemning PH for his conduct.

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WSOP Europe finds New Home in Berlin for 2015

The World Series of Poker Europe continues its journey across the continent, this time moving from suburban Paris to Berlin. The WSOP’s Twitter feed read, “Seems like a good time to tell you: 2015 WSOP Europe will be in Berlin, Germany! hier kommen wir Oct, 2015.”

Third Move since 2007

Unlike the World Series of Poker, which has officially been held in Las Vegas ever sine 1970, the European version just can’t seem to find a permanent home. Previous locations include Casino at the Empire in London, the Majestic Barrière in Cannes and the Casino Barrière in Enghien-les-Bains (outside Paris).

There have been some great moments at all of these locations, including when 18-year-old Annette Obrestad won in London, Phil Hellmuth triumphed in Cannes, and Spanish teenager Adrián Mateos won in Paris. But despite these memories, the WSOP Europe has failed to achieve the same level of success as its Vegas-based counterpart. And this is one big reason why the organization announced that they’d run the European and Asia-Pacific versions during alternate years.

What to expect in Berlin

As of now, there’s been no word on the exact location of the 2015 WSOP Europe. But wherever it’s held, the event stands a good chance of success in Berlin. First off, poker is very popular throughout Germany, with more and more pros coming out of Deutschland.

Another favorable factor here is that Germany’s capital is very centrally located to the rest of Europe. Although London and Paris feature huge metropolitan populations, their farther-east location was a problem to many Europeans who didn’t want to travel that far. Sure Americans will be the ones flying father now, but more European pros will be encouraged to make the trip.

In any case, it will certainly be interesting to see how the WSOP Europe fares next year in its new location.

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