Sunday, September 23, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

Mentioned last post how I’m enduring a particularly busy stretch over on the non-poker side at the moment. Am managing to play a little now and then, but am only just barely keeping up with the news and other goings-on. Did want to respond in passing to some of the stories from the last couple of weeks, though.

Absolute Nuts

Just because you're paranoid . . . it doesn't mean they aren't out to get youAbout a week ago the “Absolute Rigged” brouhaha flared up for a few days, though now appears to have died down to a few flickers. All began with the posting of a fairly incredible-looking hand history over on 2+2. In the hand, a player called a T$200,000-plus turn bet with nothing more than ten-high and no draw whatsoever. The board read 4hKdKh7s and the player held Tc9c. But his opponent -- the one who made the huge all-in bet on the turn -- was making a huge semibluff with 9h2h. Meaning that the fellow who made the crazy call with ten-high was actually nearly 3-to-1 to win.

How could he make such a call? He must have seen the opponent’s hole cards. So say the detectives, anyhow.

More posts ensued, suggesting a couple of other players were in on the fun as well. Then someone posted a screen grab from Poker Tracker showing some hands he had played with one of the suspects. Here’s that player’s stats:

Jawdropping, eh? And fairly remarkable, if true. I haven’t been able to read through all of the posts on 2+2 (here’s the super-sized thread, and here’s an abridged one), nor the one over on Pocket Fives. My understanding is that at least three different theories have been floated (here ranked in order of decreasing sanity/likelihood): (1) someone hacked into the Absolute site from the outside (possible, though not probable); (2) it is an “inside job,” perhaps perpetrated by an unhappy employee (improbable, though not insane); (3) Absolute Poker created the accounts themselves in a scheme to make extra cabbage off their clients (insane).

Dunno what to make of any of it, really. Wouldn’t mind, though, to get some sort of word from Absolute letting me know everything is hunky dory.

Obrestad Outstanding

World Series of Poker EuropeIt was also about a week ago that we learned 19-year-old Norwegian online phenom Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad had won the £10,000 Main Event at the World Series of Poker Europe, besting 361 opponents and taking home the £1,000,000 first prize.

Obrestad’s win is doubly noteworthy. At just 19, she’s the youngest ever to win a WSOP event -- by almost two years. Also, her win represented the largest prize ever won by a woman in a WSOP-sponsored tourney. Indeed, I think Obrestad’s win might represent the largest poker prize ever won by a woman period, since one million pounds is (at the moment) roughly equivalent to just over $2 million, which was what Annie Duke earned for winning the 2004 Tournament of Champions.

There’s been some speculation about whether Obrestad’s victory will produce a kind of “Moneymaker effect” over in Europe, or perhaps among female players. I can’t really speak to what may or may not happen abroad, but in America, I doubt her victory will have much of an impact without any television coverage of the WSOPE. Her win is certainly significant in terms of the history of women’s poker, but I actually think that in practical terms her status as a high-achiever online is more important here. Those are the guys (and gals) who are going to be winning them high-dollar tourneys more and more, I think.

Jose Can You See? The Sign Says Ladies Only

Men Should Act Like MenAlso read the story about former baseball star and steroid abuser Jose Canseco -- and five other men -- managing to gain entry into the California Ladies State Championship last week. I liked Tina Bergstrom’s line in her PokerNews article reporting this one. She said she was waiting for one of those huge cans of Milwaukee’s Best Light to come crashing through the roof and squash those dudes while someone intoned “men should act like men.”

Read the rest of Bergstrom’s article for some smart commentary on the affair. My instinctive response is to look upon this particular act of civil disobedience as hopelessly misplaced. Sometimes there are good reasons for transgressing unfair or discriminatory laws, reasons that transcend those very laws and effect genuine change for the better. I’m not seeing anything close to that happening here.



Blogger WillWonka said...

Something smells fishy on that Poker Tracer screenshot as we know he was obscenely loose and aggressive.. especially preflop.. but his won$SD seems a little low.

Either way, I'm with you and wish they would have some kind of communication to the players.

As I have blogged, I am keeping my money on there for now.

11/01/2007 4:19 PM  

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