The Entities from Wicked Chops managed to cram four guests into the less-than-hour-and-a-half long program. I'd say three of those four guests shared thoughts and/or opinions which might’ve caused some viewers to utter the catch-phrase of Mel Allen, longtime Yankees broadcaster and host of “This Week in Baseball.”
Don’t tell me you don’t remember...! What did Allen always say at the end of the weekly “TWIB notes” segment?
“How about that!”
Dan Fleyshman, CEO of Victory Poker and seventh-place finisher at last month’s WSOPE Main Event, was in the studio. Fleyshman shared a lot of interesting views about the state of online poker at present, particularly in the United States where we remained mired in ambiguity, legally speaking. He expressed cautious optimism about the eventual regulation of online poker in the U.S., though noted that we’re still at least a couple of years away from such occurring.
He also had some things to say about the upcoming WSOP November Nine and sponsorships. If I heard him correctly, Fleyshman mentioned that last year’s chip leader (Darvin Moon) had been offered $300,000 by both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to wear their patches, but had turned down the offers.
Last fall some of the rumors suggested Moon had been offered as much as $1 million to get himself patched up, although most had guessed something less than that. Last year Paul Leggett, COO of Tokwiro Enterprises (then owner of UltimateBet), was interviewed about the topic over on Poker News Daily, and while he didn’t confirm exact figures, an editor’s note suggested $350,000 to have been the offered sum. (Tip of the fedora to Kevmath for help recalling that item.)
Another guest on the show, November Niner John Racener, was also asked about the wearing of logos at the final table, specifically who among the November Niners being sponsored by Full Tilt Poker will be the ones to sport FTP patches.
Over on Full Tilt’s site, they are currently listing seven of the nine as part of their stable -- Filippo Candio, Joseph Cheong, John Dolan, Matthew Jarvis, Michael Mizrachi, Soi Nguyen, and Racener. (The other two -- Jonathan Duhamel and Jason Senti -- have PokerStars’ backing.)
Racener was asked the question because of the restriction listed in the WSOP rules that limits the number of players who can wear a single site’s logos at a televised table. According to the rule (Rule 50, section B), “During all events taped for television coverage, and at the start of each television taping day, no more than three (3) players at the Final Table -- and all other tables featured for television coverage -- will be allowed to wear apparel with logos, patches or promotional language from the same entity.”
Racener initially seemed under the impression that all seven of the FTP players would be wearing garb representing the site. However, further discussion seemed to reveal that he was assuming as much because he hadn’t been told otherwise.
Kind of interesting to see how FTP has kept even their players in the dark regarding this decision, a strategy which Fleyshman -- who remains interested in possibly having a November Niner don a Victory patch -- commended as strategically sound insofar as all seven necessarily remain identified with FTP throughout this long build-up to the final table.
Another “how about that” moment from Racener’s interview came up when he was asked whether or not he and his friend Michael Mizrachi had pieces of one another or had swung any sort of deal leading into the final table. Racener said no, adding that the WSOP explicitly forbid the players from making deals at the final table, an admonition expressed to them in a meeting with the final nine before they left Vegas in July.
Speaking of Full Tilt, one of their “red pros” Phil Gordon also appeared on the show. And speaking again of the battles between online sites, one of the more interesting items Gordon brought up was his frustration over the fact that the FTP pros and members of Team PokerStars couldn’t compete against one another on televised shows like “The PokerStars.net Big Game” or the “Full Tilt Doubles Poker Championship.”
In fact, when Gordon was asked which player he’d like most to team up with in a doubles tourney among those not already on the Full Tilt show, Gordon somewhat surprisingly answered Joe Cada, the 2009 WSOP ME champ and PokerStars pro. The issue was discussed further, and Gordon acknowledged that the marketplace was so competitive that his desire to see the sites no longer segregate themselves this way was perhaps not something that was likely to happen.
Can’t honestly report the fourth guest on yesterday’s show -- Victory Poker model Victoria Moore -- offered anything as intriguing as did the other guests. Besides being easy on the eyes, that is. Or the news of her being named this year’s “Official Wicked Chops Poker Girl.”
Like I say, another interesting and engaging episode of “This Week in Poker.” An archived version should appear over on the “This Week In” site soon. I’ll add a link here when it does.
(Here you go.)