Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The 24-Hour Poker News Cyclone

A ton happening over the last 24 hours in the poker world. Glad I’m not our buddy PKRGSSP trying to follow it all!

I mean, I wrote two posts yesterday -- one in which I fretted over my poker skills becoming atrophied the longer my break from cash game play extends (“My Mind Is Going... I Can Feel It...”), the other summarizing poker-related highlights from yesterday’s House hearing (“House Judiciary Committee Discusses Online Poker with U.S. Attorney General Holder”). And I could probably write at least three more today.

Federated Sports and GamingOne would concern Federated Sports and Gaming announcing both its criteria for membership in its professional poker league and the first 218 players to qualify to participate in its inaugural season’s worth of tourneys, set to begin in August. FS+G Chairman Jeffrey Pollack and Executive Vice President and League Commissioner Annie Duke talked at length about the current status of the professional poker league with PokerNews yesterday.

With Black Friday having caused the cancellation of a number of poker shows as well as the nixing of Full Tilt Poker’s Onyx Cup, the FS+G’s poker league’s prospects for success may well have improved significantly over the past couple of weeks, particularly if those rumors about the FS+G having partnered with a major TV network (CBS?) to cover its events prove true.

AP & UBAnother post could discuss how more signs have surfaced that the Cereus network’s days are numbered -- and that players’ funds on Absolute Poker and UltimateBet could possibly be worth approximately the same as my enormous play money roll on PokerStars (sick brag).

See Bill Rini’s post from yesterday for further details about recent announcements, that internal memo from AP’s Executive Management Team that was leaked yesterday, and a letter to AP’s shareholders. Rini concludes that all of the evidence points to a strong likelihood that “UB players are going to get screwed” when it comes to cashing out.

Haley Hintze did some more “conjecturin’” yesterday, too, noting how that internal memo’s reference to the formation of a “much smaller company that is focused on continuing our non-US operations” could be part of a “ruse to buy time” for the execs to gather up what’s left of AP and hightail it outta Costa Rica.

Incidentally, let me share two bits of hilarity with regard to the AP/UB mess. One is Matt Kaufman’s inspired post from last week over on his blog, Poker Smell, titled “UB Cashout Options Revealed.” Some big grins there. The other I can’t share with you directly, unfortunately, but can only describe.

The panel on QuadJacks spent some time yesterday trying to get through to UB’s customer service. Upon being connected, an automated voice informed them the “estimated wait time” before speaking to a representative would be two minutes. The next notice was the wait would be three minutes (?). Then, two again. Then one. Then three! Then four, then five... on up to seven.

The whole sequence was laugh-out-loud funny to hear, not to mention an utterly perfect emblem of what UB has come to represent, I thought.

AffiliatesFinally, a third post might have focused on recent reports regarding the status of U.S.-based affiliates for both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

I’m not as deep into the affiliate game as some of my colleagues -- I was a little late (and too lethargic) to position myself to grab a slice of that pie -- so I’m not as in touch with the ins and outs of the online poker affiliate story.

It appears, though, as fun (and lucrative, for some) as that story has been, the final chapter is not going to be a pleasant one for the American affiliates, as evidenced by Pauly’s post (regarding PokerStars) and this note over on Rake360 (regarding Full Tilt).

Like I say, any of these topics might have been worth exploring in individual posts. But to be honest, I want to write about other things, including one last Lima story I’ve been trying to get to for a couple of weeks now. So I think I’ll put all of this other stuff aside for now and focus on telling that one, which barring any other late breaking stuff I’ll try to do tomorrow.

Meanwhile, follow them links above if yr curious to learn more about any of these stories from the last day in poker.

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