Haley's Poker Blog

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just Conjecturin', Volume 32: Cereusly Funny Missing Videos

Nothing too shattering this time out, friends and neighbors, just a quick note. The eight-video series put out by AP that features Paul Leggett being interviewed by Susan Reisler, with a couple of Annie Duke cameos, had been available for almost three years on YouTube.

Guess what's been yanked down in the past few days?

Not to worry, I had asked someone to archive those a while back and I'll put them up on my own YouTube site shortly. It wouldn't do for those to disappear, and so they won't. I'll let everyone know the new account name for accessing these when I have them in place.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just Conjecturin', Volume 31: Intermezzo

Once again, major news developments have forced a change of schedule in my "Just Comjecturin'" publishing plans. I'd hoped to have my original Volume 31 up a week or ten days ago, but behind-the-scenes events required me to hold back for a short while.

Then, of course, Black Friday happened, and things everywhere are in an uproar. I asked one of my contacts what the latest was regarding the core folks at Cereus, and he replied back: "The rats are running for cover. Not taking any calls."

It's affected some (not all) of my good sources as well, but for those who are on the right side of this, I'm pretty sure they'll realize that nothing really has changed. As I've written elsewhere, this day was always going to happen, and the charges brought in those indictments center solely on alleged illicit banking practices, no matter what other noise the DoJ proclaims. I firmly believe that events were set in motion when PartyGaming paid its blood money to the US a couple of years bac. When financial boy-toy Daniel Tzvetkoff later paid back those who turned him in by turning states' evidence, it was a fait accompli that what happened Friday... would.

Of course I noticed that Scott Tom and Brent Beckley, stepbrothers and two of the original "frat boy" founders of Absolute Poker, were among those indicted. Absolute Poker SA, as shown in the indictments, is the parent company of the Cereus Network, which in turn houses the AP and UB sites. I don't know if this scuttles the rumored plans of Victory Poker to join that network, though that's a bit of a digression.

Regarding good ol' Scott Tom, of course he's been with the company the whole time, and yes, I'm still holding that evidence in abeyance, too. There will come a time when it is made public, and it will bring into question the actions of at least one more big name. There is also one other major poker player, plus one additional WSOP bracelet winner (though not a household name), whose involvement will be examined as well.

The Just Conjecturin' series marches on. You haven't seen it here, but I've never been busier, working on it virtually full-time of late. I am in the way of knowing about a couple of significant things about to occur, perhapsjustmaybe a news story or two, and out of professional courtesy I choose to let at least the first one of those things come out before I move forward once again. So I wait, a bit longer, but I'm still working on these affairs. If those expected stories take too long to appear or seem to fizzle out, I'll go ahead at some point anyway.

I am fairly confident that Stars players will eventually receive their money. I'm a hair less confident regarding Full Tilt, though it's probably only a few percent less likely than Stars. Quite a ways down the probability chart is where I place the Cereus sites, AP and UB, and this only because of the extenuating circumstances surrounding the company. My personal opinion is that Cereus players have a less than 50% or recovering their bankrolls, but I hope I'm pleasantly surprised, despite my feeling that these players were collectively stupid and greedy for continuing to play on the network in the first place.

So it's a holding pattern here, but I'm pretty sure that May will be momentous.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Catching Up with the News

Nope, nit asleep at the switch, just handling paid priorities first while traveling much of the weekend, as I've been doing most weekends of late.

The news of the online-poker indictments had me working at a rush on Friday, as I did a last second please-hold-while-I-rewite-things in my News Briefs piece for Lou over at PPN. That's normally the most fun thing that I get to write, every other week, but I have a hunch Lou had a really nasty weekend trying to pull all this stuff together in time for his latest deadline. I figured the least I could do was making sure my small part was fit to print.

Then it was traveling to Milwaukee, from whence I have just returned, though I did spend a couple of hours up there soaking up all the news stories, including a few of those crazed threads on some of the largest discussion sites. Next weekend, northern Wisconsin; the weekend after, Michigan. Maybe some time home the weekend after that?

Who knows. It's all a blur at the moment.

I did take the time after arriving back at the apartment today to try to capture my indictment thoughts in a post over at the KAP blog. In a nutshell, this has all been destined to happen some time, as my friend the fallen lawyer F Train duly notes over at his blog. And as always, Pauly has a collection of salient links on the matter.

Times of true crisis in any bubble of influence are marked by those times when every sits around to see what happens next. That's where we are right now, and things will need to shake out some before we all have an idea as to poker's new shape. Some entities will find themselves crippled in the interim; some others will become stronger.

Me, I don't know. I can see myself losing at least one of my small remaining gigs, but that is to be expected. Some of my friends will probably taste some job-loss bitterness in the near future; been there, done that, but that won't bring those peeps and comfort or money. I can tell them that time marches on and life has a way of filling the same voids it creates, but most of them are smart enough to know that already. I've got other things to do, and if that stuff runs dry, I'll try to find something else. Or I won't.

Whatevah.

* * * * * * * * *

A bit of flotsam to end this one. Yes, there is more "Just Conjecturin'" coming. One little funny I've been meaning to toss in is that the commentary I receive is largely, but not universally positive.

There are always those few beings out there that don't seem to like either me or what I write. One such comment, which I won't publish but include here for its gallows humor on a weekend when we can all use a bit of even the darkest type of smile:

lol Haley, can anybody possibly be as cool as you? You are so fucking awesome. My hero. {3

Nope, no sarcasm there... much. But I do what I do because I choose to do so, and trying to be "cool" is something I gave up on decades ago. I take as the true indicator of this and other like commentors' collective worth the fact that it was signed, as always, "Anonymous". And it's of course more entertaining than the "HI I like the adult site Supper hot girls" spam. Supper indeed.

Better to have guts and be disliked by some than to be an anonymous, gutless coward, but I guess that's the internet age in a nutshell. These days society trains people to faceless cowards and hide in the shadows, and I do not accept that fate.

C'mon, life, bring it on. Deal your next hand and let's go on from there.

Friday, April 01, 2011

OMG!!!! (Not a Just Conjecturing' Post)

I was working on some news briefs this morning and visited xe.com to use their currency converter tool. I had to blink about six times to make sure I wasn't suffering hallucinations.

Look who's advertising there!