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Daniel - Poker Journal

Random Poker News

22 Feb 2011

February 19th Vanessa Rousso broke some terrible news about her husband Chad Brown via twitter:

"I hate to break this news, but my husband Chad @downtownchad was recently diagnosed w a rare form of cancer. A large tumor was removed yest."

"Trying to remain upbeat n positive as we wait 4 final pathol. reprt-due next week. We r currently focused on recovery from his major surgery"

"The cancer looks like sarcoma. 10 lb tumor was removed from retroperitoneal area in his abdomen. Nothing sure till we get pathology report."

Chad is a great all around guy and I hope he can beat this. He's a tough cookie and I have a strong feeling he will. Sending my prayers out to Chad and Vanessa.

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David Williams is a daddy! via his twitter:

"Liliana Acea Williams. Born Feb 19, 2011 at 8:01pm. 7lbs11oz."

I'm excited for David and his girlfriend. There life is about to change in a big way and I wish them all the best.

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The new WSOP schedule has been released, and it's being kicked off with a $25,000 buy in heads up no limit tournament. Also new, a $3000 10 game event with the full 8 game mix as well as Badugi and 2-7 NL single draw. You can find the full schedule of events here: WSOP Schedule.

One rule change for 2011 will make this the most enduring grind in WSOP history for those with bracelet bets or just looking to play a full schedule. The new rule allows for 4 levels of late registration, which means you could play a noon tournament, and if you bust, you can get into the 5pm event as late as 10:45pm with a fresh stack. A full day of play in a noon event ends at around midnight, so you could essentially play a full day one of a noon event and then play 3 hours of the 5pm event from midnight to 3am. A solid 15 hours of play.
In the past, the heavy hitters skipped a lot of noon events in favor of whats generally going to be a higher buy in, non-hold'em event at 5pm. Now you can expect to see more of those players (a la Phil Ivey) playing the smaller buy in noon events. By 11:00pm on day 1 of a noon event, if you are still in, you are likely going to be very deep in the tournament. If you bust at 10:00pm, you still have plenty of play if you jump into the 5:00pm event. I did my guesstimated schedule for this year and it's jammed.

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WSOPE announced a move to Cannes for this year. Apparently the venue is better and you can expect a higher percentage of local players entering which means bigger prize pools. Probably the best part of this move was the date change. In the past, WSOPE conflicted with the most popular online tournament series in the world, the WCOOP on PokerStars. Now that my September is free to play WCOOP's, I'm looking forward to getting my first WCOOP bracelet. WSOPE will run a series of events from Oct 7-21.

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The European Poker Tour (EPT) has announced their dates for the popular San Remo event, as well as the dates, and a venue change for the EPT Grand Final. After a few years in Monte Carlo, the EPT Grand Final will now be held in Madrid. I've never been to Madrid, but Barcelona is one of my favorite cities so I'm excited to see what Madrid has to offer.
EPT San Remo takes place April 27-May 3, and then just four days later you can hop a flip to Madrid for the Grand Final on May 7-12. I'll certainly be in Madrid, but I haven't decided on San Remo yet. At the moment it's looking like I won't be able to be in San Remo.

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Bluff magazine announced some changes to their player of the year formula and I think it's the best model poker has ever seen. Ideally a POY formula would include number of events played, but since that can't really be tracked, one of the ways in which you can limit the inherit advantage the most active players have, is to limit the number of scores that count. So, your Bluff score will comprise your top ten scores for the year.
This accomplishes a few things, most importantly, as guys like Jason Mercier and Sorel Mizzi know from the past couple years, chasing all the small, side tournaments can be such an epic grind and hampers your quality of life. I did it for a few years in the late 90's chasing CardPlayer of the Year honors, and after a few years it takes a major toll on your enjoyment of the game.
With this system in place, a player who has 24 cashes will only get to use his top ten finishes which gives all the top players a legitimate chance at the award.
Other changes included a minimum number of players. CardPlayer has always had that right, and now Bluff has followed suit with minimum field sizes based on the size of the buy in. A buy in of $25,000 or more must have 27 or more players to qualify, while a $10,000 event needs at least 48 runners to count. I'd call it the Fernando Brito rule :-)

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Finally, UB made news again this week for all the wrong reasons. Aside from an absolutely hilarious parody on the song "Black and Yellow" starring Prahlad Friedman Black and Yellow
Travis Makar a UB insider recently did an interview spilling plenty of beans, claiming the cheating that was uncovered by the sleuths at 2+2 was only the "tip of the iceberg" and also claimed that the same owners at the helm during the Russ Hamilton scandal are still profiting off of customers rake.
He alleged that aside from the superuser scandal, disgruntled UB employees were actually hacking into player accounts and that plenty of players had money directly stolen from them.
Also in a recent thread on 2+2, a player details his interactions with UB support about some vanishing money from his account: Money Disappears
The interview with Travis Maker is quite long and there are plenty of doozies. You can find the full transcript here: Travis Makar Interview.

He talks a bit about Phil Hellmuth, and how he's a good guy, and then makes a few claims about Annie Duke. He claims that she borrowed money from Russ prior to the scandal to pay for her house in LA, but after the scandal broke, decided to not pay the loan back.
He then goes on to explain that UB was funneling money to Duke during her appearance on Celebrity Apprentice. Now, on the regular Apprentice this season a player was fired for having a friend drop him off money for a fund raising task. The Celebrity version is different, however, so while UB providing her funds while on the show isn't against the rules, it certainly skews the idea that she was "raising funds." Money from the marketing budget was allocated to Duke for the purpose of keeping her on the show longer. As Makar says, "So it wasn’t her talent, and it wasn’t her personality that kept her on that show."

None of the Makar interview surprised me very much and I expect more dirt to be revealed in the coming months. Needless to say, UB is a corrupt company and your money is not safe with them. With so many places to play online poker, the UB/AP network is one you should scratch off your list unless you want to be the next victim.
I wish more players would speak out against this company that is a black mark on our industry, but as a wise man once said, "Stand up for what's right, even if that means you are standing alone." The public deserves to know and we should not sweep this stuff under the rug and pretend everything is on the up and up over there.

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I had to take a hiatus from playing online recently. We shot an awesome live video for PokerVT.com with myself, Jon Turner, Aaron Barone, Brian Rast, my buddy Zvi, and another decent player Mike. It was a 6max deep stacked video that should be up on VT soon enough. I also had a few other things I needed to do to prepare for The PokerStars.net Big Game shoot. We filmed six fresh weeks of shows that will begin airing in June, and I'll be appearing on the first two shows.

In a couple days I'll be headed to LA to play in the WPT Commerce event. If I bust, I'm also likely to play the $25k high roller, before heading back to Vegas for the NBC Heads Up event. Then it's right back to LA for NAPT Bike, and from there I'm off to WPT Bay 101. I'm definitely playing no limit hold'em better today than at any period in my life, so I expect some results. I also plan on continuing to grind online and continue to improve both my 6 handed game as well as 4 tabling heads up. I spoke with Andrew Robl the other day and may do a practice session with him this week. I'll be sure to tweet that to let you know when.

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