Haley's Poker Blog

No bad beats, but still a poker blog... hence the anguish.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A UIGEA-related Death?

I've been tracking a number of story lines with idle curiosity the past few months, including the tragic assassination in Sweden of PokerListings founder Andreas Oscarsson. Oscarsson was assassinated in front of his two-year-old son, after returning to live in Trollhattan, Sweden, nearly two years after relinquishing his stake in PokerListings, according to other reports.

This latest take first appeared in a Swedish newspaper tracking the case, then was translated into English in a 2+2 thread here. I re-translated the original to verify, which produced this:

Testimony probably cause for murder

Next week will start a trial in Stockholm in connection with the murder of the 36-year-old poker millionaire in Trollhättan, Sweden last summer. Police suspect that the man was murdered because he would testify in the trial.

(photo inset) "The police suspect he was murdered because he would testify '

The murdered man, who ran a successful poker site on the net, would have testified in the trial which starts now.

The trial deals with serious blackmail and it is a 44-year-old man who was charged.

A Swedish company that, among other things, is owned by Stefan Bengtsson, a major shareholder in H & M, bought in to the now murdered husband's business for six years ago, reported Aftonbladet.

But when Bengtssons company wanted to sell its stake in the poker market, the company had collapsed because of new laws in the U.S. that made it forbidden to advertise on poker. Thus the depreciation of the company.

In connection with the sale came the now indicted 44-year-old up and tried to recover the 14 million kronor, which he claimed was between portrays primarily. Among other things, he took the help of Thomas Moller, Hells Angels past president of Sweden.

Stefan Bengtsson has himself renounced all claims against the poker company and is not suspected of any crime and it remains to examine at whose mandate 44-year-old engaged in extortion.

The man who was murdered in Trollhättan, Sweden last summer, would thus have testified in the trial. And police suspect it was to prevent this that he was murdered.


The original story on Aftonbladet offers a few additional details. Swedish-to-English online translators tend to be a bit rough, but you can get the gist of it:

He could not testify - was murdered
Police in the U.S. stays out of the case
Billionaire hearing in extortion harness

Next week would Andreas Oscarsson, 36, have testified in a racketeering trial linked to serious organized crime.

But he was shot dead before he could testify.

Aftonbladet can today reveal that H & M billionaire Stefan Bengtsson, 37, had affairs with Andreas Oscarsson and therefore consulted in the investigation.

Andreas Oscarsson was a millionaire. He left Sweden for ten years ago and built in the U.S. a fortune by starting a successful online poker site.

He often came home to Sweden, and met with his siblings and their parents in Trollhättan.

On 3 August he was at home with his dad, along with his two-year son.

Sometime during the night broke the killers into one storey villa.
The son did not wake up

They pushed the sleeping Andreas Oscarsson with several shots as he lay in his bed in his old pojkrum.

Beside him in bed sleeping son. He did not wake up the shots. Nor woke father who slept in a room next door.

Police suspect, according to police sources, the killers sövt father and two with no gas, before being shot Andreas.

No one is arrested for murder.

Next week begins a trial in Stockholm on the attempted aggravated extortion.

Andreas Oscarsson would have testified against the accused, a 44-year-old man.

The background is this:

A Swedish company invested in 2003 nearly two million in Andreas Oscar's poker business. The Swedish company owned by, inter alia, by Stefan Bengtsson, a major shareholder in Hennes & Mauritz, the nephew of H & M's main owner Stefan Persson, and one of Sweden's wealthiest people.
New U.S. Law kind hard

A few years later wanted Stefan Bengtsson and his associates to sell its stake in the poker company - which was now worth 50 million kronor. But before the deal went without a hitch was the law of the United States so that it was forbidden to advertise on poker. The market plummeted.

Therefore, instead paid 36 million for Stefan Bengtson company's share.

Shortly after that the money paid was contacted, according to police sources, Andreas Oscar's financial and legal advisers in Sweden of the now indicted 44-year-old. He demanded to SEK 14 million, the difference in the store.

He argued, according to Aftonbladet experience, many threats, both by SMS and phone call to the adviser.

At one point, 44-year-old turned up unannounced at home in the adviser's house and on another occasion had a 44-year-old with the Hells Angels before presidential Thomas Moller for a meeting with a representative from Andreas Oscar's company.

During the same period as the suspect ran blackmail shot Andreas Oscar's advisors in the leg when he retrieved the newspaper outside his house. Two men were arrested and later sentenced for the shooting.
The money would be divided

If there was any connection with the blackmail was never determined.

The accused man claims, reportedly told Aftonbladet that he was acting on behalf of a Part-owners of Stefan Bengtsson's business and that he drove the money would be divided between him and the shareholders.

But H & M billionaire Stefan Bengtsson and his companions, who were interrogated on the matter, denying reportedly completely that they have nothing to do with blackmail.

- I do not comment on the investigation, but of course we had nothing to do with blackmail, "says Stefan Bengtsson told Aftonbladet.

According to Aftonbladet, Stefan Bengtson company in a letter also renounced all claims against the poker company, in addition to the money already paid.

None of the company is suspected of any crime.

So on whose behalf drove 44-year-old extortion? If he acted on his own volition - how he knew that there was a difference of 14 million in the deal between the company's Oscar Andrew and Stefan Bengtson company?
One possible motive

The trial on extortion will revolve around the issues.

Neither Thomas Moller suspected of having committed any crime. The indictment is only 44-year-old.

Do you think he acted on his own volition, or on behalf of someone else?

- It's just him, I am indicted, "said prosecutor Gunnar Merkel.

Police suspect now that Andreas Oscar[sson]'s testimony may have been a motive for his murder. But no one has yet been arrested.

- We are working on but has nothing new to report at this time, "said Thord Haraldsson, director of the county police in Trollhättan.

Next week begins extortion trial of security courtroom in the Stockholm District Court.


It seems as though the devaluation in PokerListings' net worth, almost a third of its overall value, is being held up as a possible cause for the assassination. Bengsston's share went down from 50 to 36 million kronor, though Bengsston himself, as noted above, publicly renounced any claim to the 14 million difference. 14 million kronor is a bit over USD $2,000,000 at today's exchange rates, in case you were curious.

So, would that make Oscarsson the first UIGEA-related death? Or perhaps the second? After all, another "Andreas Oscarsson" was gunned down in the same Swedish city months earlier, in what police believed was a case of mistaken identity.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Best Ad Inquiry Exchange Yet

On rare occasions I get inquiries about advertising on this here modest blog. I'm reticent about ads in general, because this is my personal space, and I almost never accept contextual ads because I'm a believer in "church and state" regarding editorial content. I detest crap that's poorly camouflaged advertorial. Of course, shady advertisers try to disguise their ads as often as possible.

I got this missive late last night:


From: Mike Murphy
Subject: Advertising Inquiry
To: (me)
Date: Friday, November 20, 2009, 12:02 AM

Hi there! I run a reputable poker portal that reviews online deposit and payment methods - I would be interested in purchasing a contextual link on your
website depending on the rates and terms available. Could you provide me this info?

Regards,

Mike


Contextual link request from someone I don't know and who hasn't identified themselves... no thanks. So I send back the following, which I think was direct and to the point but not overly rude:

Hi,

I only do contextual links for long-standing clients and friends
that I have personal knowledge of. I'm afraid I wouldn't be interested in this.

Haley


A few minutes ago I get this:

From: Mike Murphy
Subject: Re: Advertising Inquiry
To: (me)
Date: Friday, November 20, 2009, 10:19 AM
Oh, well maybe you could save
everyone the time and remove your
advertising page!!

Sent from my iPhone


Really? You dare to tell me the form of stuff I choose to present on my personal page? Fuck you, dude, I don't care if you represent God. Here's what I sent back:

I accept ads from selected clients and run them over on the left at the top of the "links" area. But since you seem to think that my content should be yours to do with as you will, fuck off. You don't dictate your preferences onto my private blog, asswipe.

Clear enough?

Haley


I hope I meet this guy in person someday and he has the balls to identify himself to me. I also hope I'm wearing pointed shoes at the time, so I can kick said balls somewhere up to the back of his throat.

UPDATE: He sent me this in reply:

I replied following the exact directions of your ad, and matter of fact - now I'll just turn your first email over that has proof of you selling contextual ads to "friends" to Google on their paid link form. How's that for fuck off? Say goodbye to your traffic and PR cunt.

Silly boy doesn't realize that I already looked up his domains, and if he wants war, I'm happy to bring it. He also thinks I actively do things to promote my page rank, and I specifically don't. Anyhow, I recommend everyone do a search on "mjmurphy53711@gmail.com", which shows some of the domains this guy is affiliated with. Naturally, I recommend blackballing all of them, and I guess I have a project on my hands. I've already ID'd the guy and in addition to messing around with a handful of crap online sites, he also runs an unrelated business in Madison, WI. Can anyone say "fraudulent interference"?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just Conjecturin', Part 5: If a Forrest is Silent, Does That Mean There Aren't Any Trees?

Yeah, it's been a while since I ventured into the land of UltimateBet UB.com, as it's not a joyful thing to have to sit down and write. Nonetheless, even as the general cowardice and cravenness of the poker world never ceases to amaze me, I note that someone has to do this stuff. So, before I'm off to wash my hands yet again...

When last I brought up the topic of UltimateBet and its original Excapsa ownership bloc, I referenced the 56% of the original 200-plus million shares whose owners (by formal entity) had been made public. That list read as follows:

Erik E. Pierson -- 10,128
Leonard L. Pierson -- 5,000
Melva S. Pierson – 5,000
Fred (J.) David -- 1,680,000
Daniel P. Cunningham and Melissa M. Cunningham - 2,085,872

RBC Trustees (CI) Ltd. (trustee of The Westwood Trust) -- 3,279,792
Charles Schaupp -- 3,843,504
Omaha Beech Investments LLC -- 4,000,000
The Desert Palm Irrevocable Trust -- 4,304,730
Molly O'Hearn Living Trust -- 4,304,728

The Tip Top Irrevocable Trust -- 9,385,822
The Rising Son Irrevocable Trust -- 13,220,816
Dale Lovett – 10,256
Leonard J. Morgan -- 5,000
Charles F. Fletcher II -- 5,128

Tamara Jean Smith -- 5,128
Tamara J. Smith -- 5,000
Julia Bodine -- 5,128
Richard S. Yugler – 5,128
Stephanie Harlen – 8,000

Rick Vail – 5,128
Joel N. Cunningham -- 12,300
James B. Cunningham – 75,944
Corwin Swick -- 20,000
Whitney Arnold -- 70,000

Scott Kirkowski -- 84,000
Jason Karl -- 255,984
Daniel Friedberg and Raywa Friedberg, (JT TEN) -- 331,069
Gerald Fujii -- 443,997
Melissa L. S. Gaddis -- 737,952

Uri Kozai -- 1,200,000
Daniel Friedberg -- 1,360,000
The Clearwater Irrevocable Trust -- 2,085,872
Chomvilai Hanchena -- 2,935,512
Roger K. Gaumnitz Family Partnership -- 3,074,800

The Jack McClelland and Elizabeth McClelland Trust -- 1,229,920
Manchurian Living Trust -- 1,574,800
Duane J “Dewey” and Judith K. Weum, JT TEN -- 1,974,800
Fluffhead LLC - 2,975,839
Monsour Matloubi -- 3,846,256

Russell W. Hamilton, Jr. -- 4,304,720
Brett David Calapp – 5,128
Carolyn Heick -- 587,952
Derek C. Morgan – 2,500
IGL Group IM – 46,153

Kirstin Thomas – 80,000
Daniel P. Cunningham, Dorothy B. Cunningham (joint tenants) – 130,740
Nicholas M. and Aimee K. Leonard, TEN COMM – 275,000
The Mountain Ridge Irrevocable Trust – 410,792
James P. Hendrie – 537,952

(Ida) Susan Albrecht – 922,480 [widow of James Albrecht]
The KMJ BelleFountain – 2,128,000
John G. Lowe – 2,774,800
The Tranquility Irrevocable Trust (Close Trustees Cayman Limited TR) – 3,279,784
The Rough Diamond Irrevocable Trust (South Dakota Trust Company, LLC) – 3,384,800

MS Irrevocable Trust – 4,804,720
The Vision Irrevocable Trust – 7,489,323
The Grandview Irrevocable Trust (trustee, Meridian Trust Company Ltd.) – 13,220,816

In addition, a number of other entities were mentioned as owners in documentation accompanying an Excapsa legal matter, including one of what is believed to be several entities tied directly to Phil Hellmuth. But what I hadn't gotten around to was a look at some of the names behind the trusts; many of these remain well hidden, while others were outed due to good work at 2+2 and other poker forums. I'll add still more to that.

While Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, Russ Hamilton and Mansour Matloubi were already known to be associated with UltimateBet, the big name who was outed as a UB owner was none other than Professor Backwards himself, Ted Forrest. More formally known as William Ted Forrest, the venerable "Big Game" participant was tied either by proxy signature, facsimile cover-sheet phone number (LOL), or physical street address to three major ownership entities from the above list:

Omaha Beech Investments -- 4,000,000 shares
The Desert Palm Irrevocable Trust -- 4,304,730 shares
The Clearwater Irrevocable Trust -- 2,085,872 shares

That's a minimum of 10,390,602 shares of Excapsa stock which belong to Ted Forrest, which makes him among the most significant player/owners involved with the company. Hellmuth's total shares remain unknown, while Duke has a known bloc of 2,975,839 shares under her Fluffhead LLC entity, Russ Hamilton had 4,304,720 shares (since forfeited), and Matloubi's one known bloc -- there may be others, which also holds true for the other pros cited here -- checked in at 3,846,256 shares.

Here's some imagery to firm up Forrest's and Duke's ownership connection to UB. First, the top of a fax sheet sending back the signed proxy for one of Forrest's ownership blocs above:



I've redacted a portion of the phone numbers for Forrest and Oregon-based Iovation, which was running ownership matters for Excapsa (UB) at this time, and cropped out some of the white space so the photo fits better here. While it seems that Iovation principals have always had a major say in UB operations, it's a bit sloppy to leave a paper trail such as the above that connects a US firm to a company directly involved in online blackjack. The poker, no problem, but UB had/has an online blackjack division as well. So we'll just call that one a big LOOOOOOOOOL.

As for Annie, let's compare the signature on the "Fluffhead" proxy to that appearing on a signed Annie Duke corrugated-aluminum poker chip case which appeared on eBay a few weeks back. Most public figures have two forms of their signature, a fancier "presentation" sig for special uses, and an "everyday" sig fo stuff like this. While one can find fancier Annie sigs, these two examples are of the "everyday" variety:





That seems to be a match, and verifies Duke's UB ownership in the absence of any contradicting evidence. (And LOOOL again at being asked to sign a corrugated aluminum poker chip case. That sucks.)

Other poker notables found in the above ownership list are Dewey Weum and two veteran insiders of the poker industry, Jack McClelland and the late Jim Albrecht. It also brings up an idle point of thought for those whose minds, like mine, are apt to wander: Given that both McClelland and Albrecht were closely tied to the Jack Binion poker/casino machine, what are the chances that the great Binion himself has a secret hidden slice of UB? It's not a big chance at all, given the damage that exposure of such a stake could cause to Binion's other casino interests. But still, there's a tiny chance, perhaps one or two percent. Put it this way: It's highly unlikely that Jack Binion owns a piece of any online room, but if he does, it's quite possibly UltimateBet.

I'm still searching into the identities behind some of the more "secret" trusts on the list above, although it's nothing I'm wasting major blocs of time on uncovering. Most of the hidden entities are theorized to tie to Iovation and Excapsa bigwigs Greg Pierson and Jon Karl, and though there's a belief that some of the entities in the above list are Hellmuth's, I'm inclined to disagree. There's another 44% of Excapsa stock whose specific ownership is unknown, and the one small ownership entity that can be tied to Hellmuth, The Michelle Hellmuth Trust, is not on the list of the 56% who voted in favor of the liquidation-related action causing the publication of these shares. It seems unlikely that any of the major players would be splitting up their votes, especially since the issue at hand seemed to be whether to cash out $40 million in liquid assets or reinvest it in the company, in the face of the blossoming UB insider scandal. (Note: If any major UB owner wants to send me a note and clarify whether this was indeed the battling point, I'll be happy to adjust this theory.) Therefore, according to my theory, Hellmuth's shares are among the 44% not specifically voting "yes" on this matter. There are probably two or three other notable "poker" names among that 44%, but those identities may never see the light of day.

However, it's easier to note for fact's sake the true identities of some of the other names on the list. A lot of the tiny 5,000 and 8,000 shares seem to be either low-level Iovation employees or relatives and friends of major owners who received small stakes as gifts. They pretty much don't count in voting matters. Buried in the UB court documents is a reference to one of these minor shareholders, an Art Stoop, who unsuccessfully tried to cash out his tiny holdings around the time the UB scandal broke but was apparently told no. Poor Art probably got himself a $250 dividend a few months back, but the matter of ongoing Excapsa dividends is, again, a topic for a future post.

Some of the ownership stakes here, though, are bigger. The "Roger K. Gaumnitz Family Partnership" traces to Wisconsinite Roger Gaumnitz, who seems to be a wealthy business friend/associate of Milwaukeean Dewey Weum. There is a spurious tie to Hellmuth's dad, Phil Hellmuth Sr., through a U. of Wisconsin donor list, but the Weum tie is solid, since they witnessed each other's proxy signatures.

Another friend/relative relationship explains the 2.935 million shares of Thailand's Chomvilai Hanchena, who is closely connected to Mansour Matloubi. Hancheni's stake isn't that far shy of Matloubi's own 3.8 million share stake.

Then there's folks such as Washington state physician Gerald Fujii, whose 443,997-share stake probably originated with his friendship with one of the big Iovation bosses, perhaps Pierson himself. He even faxed back his proxy from his doctor's office, hard-working dude that he is.

Next time out: a look at the known Russ Hamilton ownership stake, and the amount of shares provably forfeited in the UB scandal. Do they match? Of course not.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ac-cen-tu-ate the Positive

Warning: Little or no poker content.

As in the classic Bing Crosby hit, which I've heard a whole bunch lately, since it's been in the regular rotation on the "Swing Kings" channel on DishTV that I often turn on as background music, particularly late at night. Big-band music is something that I enjoy now and then, and listening to this channel is part of my neverending quest to expand my personal horizons.

Which reminds me of something only somewhat related: I was channel surfing Wednesday evening and stumbled into the Mark Twain Award show on PBS honoring Bill Cosby. I only hung around for about 15 minutes because Chris Rock was annoying, but in that time an aged-but-still-doing-well Rita Moreno gave an absolute stunning rendition of "Brazil" (the Spanish version) in tribute to Cosby. Very good stuff; I've always loved that song, and this was one of the best takes I've ever heard.

Also good stuff on that "Swing Kings" channel, even if one has to listen to a lot of random samplings from various Greatest Hits CDs of the era. For every "The Peanut Vendor" (an awesome Stan Kenton tune), there's something mediocre, like Benny Goodman's take on "Amapola". As I type this, Buddy Rich's pretty good version of "Dateless Brown" is playing, and the best of the last half dozen or songs have been Bunny Berigan's "Blues" and the classic "Oasis" by the Joe Loss Orchestra. Loss's lively version of "Amapola" is the best one, too.

Unrelated question: Did every band of the era record "Frenesi"?

Right now it's Pearl Bailey's "It Takes Two to Tango", which is on every few hours, and it's a meh song for me. Too bad they don't have more Anna Mae Morse, whose "Cow Cow Boogie" is one of my personal cult faves from that era. The channel plays tons of Cab Calloway and a bit of Louis Jordan, too, but not, it seems, Jordan's classic "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby", which just about anyone recognizes from the old Tom & Jerry cartoon. For that song, they instead play the wretched Bing Crosby version (backed by the Andrews Sisters). While I otherwise enjoy most Andrews Sisters stuff, this song is one that they and Bing should never have touched. This was a terrible match of song and singer; think of something like the Offspring's "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" done as a serious song, and you've got an idea of how bad and dated Crosby's "Is You Is" plays today.

But everyone had their clunkers among the gold. "The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe" and "Ac-cen-tu-ate the Positive" are much more listenable Bing classics for me.

Latest three bands: Chet Baker, Woody Herman, Red Nichols and His Five Pennies. Nichols, Fats Waller and others, with heydays in the '20s, seem to represent the oldest end of the music spectrum on this channel. Very old stuff, but very new to me, most of the time. It's interesting, too, as I'm learning a bit about some songs I've heard all my life, even if I never realized I was hearing them. Know what I mean?

"9.20 Special" by Count Basie starts up. That's a good one, one very familiar but one I never had tagged in my head until recently, as is the next one, Louis Armstrong's "The Mooche". And they're great examples of why I'm listening.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Underconnectivity

It's bad enough to feel isolated, as I do of late, but when a weird weekend conspires with itself to laminate the word onto one's forehead, it's just time to shake the ol' noggin and pray that the plastic somehow peels free.

I have a high-speed connection in my apartment... normally. Late Friday morning it went out, and none of the usual reboot tricks to modem, router, or computer would restore the connection. This is not unheard of for Comcast residential service, particularly on Friday or the weekends, when it seems as if they're doing a lot of installs and taking the network up and down, perhaps fixing oddball things as well. I usually wait a few hours and then place a service call. Did that this time as well, around 5:00 pm or so.

I hate calling service centers. Comcast, as with most major American corporations, has a service center call-in tree designed to get rid of a given caller without having to actually devote any real customer-service person to the call. So after being forced to listen to three commercials, including pitches by Shaquille O'Neal and Ben Stein, I finally get through to a live operator for repairs... and I can hear her perfectly but she (seemingly) can't hear me at all, and she disconnects me.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. How ya doing, Shaq and Ben?

The second time, I get through to someone who can hear me, and I explain the problem. I go through the monkey dance one more time for him, meaning doing the reboot cycle again so he can decide for himself that I do indeed have a reason to call. And he checks other nearby customers, and says they're not in service either, meaning there's some kind of local-area thing going on. And he duly issues me a ticket number for my complaint and leaves me with the expectation that in a couple of hours a service tech will have found the problem and corrected it.

Except that didn't happen. No service Friday night, and when I woke up Saturday, still nothing. So I called back into Comcast again, and again had to do the whole navigation thing twice after a connection with too much static made the operator unable to hear me. So that made quad Shaqs, with Ben chasers every time.

When I finally get through to an operator, she puts me through the grill, even though I have my ticket number, name, phone number, etc. She demands I give her my account number, so I grumble a bit and grab for the most recent one. I read it to her, and tells me that it's wrong. Whassat? So we end up arguing over my account number for a few moments. My guess is when I relocated to here a few years back they issued me a new one, then tied my original Comcast account to it in some way. This, though, is their business, and they ought to be able to get it right. Finally, though, she accepts that I am indeed me and opens up my ticket from the previous day.

"So," I start, "what happened to the service call that the guy I talked to yesterday told me about? He said there was a small area outage."

She doesn't give me much of an answer, but assures me that my service should be working. And she tries to reboot my modem from her end, and of course, it doesn't work.

Next step, scheduling the service call, and I get the choice visitation range of 4:00-6:00 PM on Sunday. I now see that this gets to fuck up my entire weekend, but wait... it gets better. The service tech arrived and by the time he came to my apartment my service was already restored, as he'd stopped downstairs at the service box first. The outage on Friday? It was caused by that day's visiting service tech, who installed a new customer in my building, and then turned off every other customer in the building. He then seems to have responded to my call-in later that day (and perhaps others) by just claiming that everything was in order, without bothering to go back and check.

Needless to say, I was a bit peeved. The part I learned about on Saturday, added in to the hassles of dealing with Comcast's customer service, made me forget that I had an online tourney waiting, for which I went to a nearby friend's house and arrived 20 minutes late, where less than 100 of us were chasing an APPT seat and a total prize purse of over $15K. (See? Poker content!) But I'm in run-bad mode in all aspects in recent weeks. I'm card-dead here, but stay surprisingly patient given my service-tree tilt, and still have a playable stack an hour and a half later. I have almost 2,700 and blinds are 75/100, and find a pair of red jacks in the big blind, the first big pair I've seen all day. It's folded around to the button, who I've already noted as a donkey, and he makes an inordinately long pause before jamming for almost 30 big blinds, having me just covered.

I snap-call, figuring I'm way ahead, and he's got an even shittier hand than I expected -- the 7-4 of diamonds. Very nice donkpush, sir! And: Flop 4-5-Q. Turn 6. River 7. Bye, me. Heh. That type of day.

Ah, well. On the plus side, the Comcast tech was so embarrassed when he discovered that my and other relays had been manually turned off (despite having tags on them stating not to do so) that not only did I get six months of reduced billing charges (back to the special introductory rate), he also tossed in an extra $20 credit for this month's bill.

It's not an APPT seat, but it's something.

Monday, November 02, 2009

PokerPhars Announces Phar Phlung Pan-Pacific Poker Friends Tour

PokerPhars Announces Phar Phlung Pan-Pacific Poker Friends Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In a move to establish market share among a heretofore untapped geographical audience, fledgling site PokerPhars.net announces its brand new Phar Phlung Pan-Pacific Poker Friends Tour (PPPPPFT). The PPPPPFT promises high-stakes poker action, incredible South Pacific vistas, plenty of Sense-Sarong* waitress service, and of course, special high (stone) rollers events. A special “Sue Sells Sea Shells” tongue-twister charity tourney is also planned for the first stop, at Ta’aoa, Hiva Oa, in early 2010.

While dates and exact venues for the 2010 PPPPPFT have yet to be confirmed, the following stops already have been added to the preliminary schedule:

Ta’aoa, Hiva Oa, Marqeusas Islands

Adamstown, Pitcairn Island

Millersville, Jarvis Island

Vaiaku, Tuvalu

Hanga Roa, Easter Island

Omoka, Penrhyn Atoll, Cook Islands

Since many of these locales are serviced only by a once-yearly mail and medical-care ferry, the PPPPPFT has arranged one-way air transportation (including a PokerPhars/PPPPPFT-branded parachute) to each of these venues for lucky online qualifiers, which are already running. Return transportation is each player’s personal responsibility. Note that some of the aforementioned atolls and volcanic outcroppings have been deforested by Polynesian explorers in earlier millennia, rendering the building of rafts a non-viable transportation option.


PPPPPFT players arriving on Jarvis Island will receive a warm welcome, as memorialized in this guano-stained, WW2-reminiscent greeting!

Of special note, Millersville on Jarvis Island is only sporadically inhabited, guaranteeing tourney participants a minimum of railbird disruptions, not counting the avian variety, as the atoll was once a 19th-century hotspot for the mining of bat guano. Also, the PPPPPFT already has contracted with the government of Tuvalu to include that tourney's final-table participants on a set of postage stamps, complete with fake cancellations and never-licked gum on the back, for worldwide distribution.

Best of luck to all participants in the new PPPPPFT. See you there!


*It's all satire. What sarong with that?