60 Minutes Bad Timing For Poker?

60 Minutes Bad Timing For Poker?

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Everyone knows how costly bad timing is in the game of poker. You’ve analysed someone’s game perfectly; you know their lines inside and out and when he shoves the river you know he’s representing the nuts or nothing – since you have the blockers to the straight you make the call with fourth pair and oh, wait, he has a set. Damn.

I think right now we’re seeing a very costly case of bad timing and it’s not just someone getting coolered. We all know by now that as some sort of last-ditch attempt to look like a competent government the Bush administration has enforced the UIGEA, the laws coming into effect the day before the inauguration of Barack ‘Messiah’ Obama. This is bad news on its own but it comes at a very bad time.

60 Minutes is a well-known televised news magazine run by US news channel CBS. It’s been going since 1968 and is as much a national institution there as… oh, I don’t know, Countdown is here. I think less OAPs get stirrings in their loins for 60 Minutes though. Geriatric digression aside, 60 Minutes recently covered the Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker scandal. Despite the fact you all know what happened; my journalistic integrity coupled with my need to reach a word count compels me to fill you in:

High-stakes players on Absolute Poker saw something funny about the account POTRIPPER, complained and ‘accidentally’ (wink-wink-nudge-nudge who knows?) received a complete history of a high-stakes SnG in which the offending player had played just a little too perfectly. Gaming expert Michael Shackleford said that “hand after hand, POTRIPPER’s play is consistent with that of a player who had knowledge of every player’s hole cards. The majority of hands show POTRIPPER bluffing at just the right times when his opponents were weak. Yet, when he was hopelessly outmatched, even with good cards, he laid them down.” Then it happened at Ultimate Bet and no one likes Russ Hamilton anymore.

CEREUS now figures to be one of the best places for a mid-stakes player to play given that a lot of solid regulars are avoiding it ‘on principle’ (way to punish the new owners for the old guys’ mistakes, lads) most of the player pool are big fat juicy fish, with the metaphorical poker equivalent of tartare sauce on the side. However, the 60 Minutes report absolutely sucks timing-wise because now your average American thinks that online poker is illegal and full of multi-million-dollar cheating scandals. Then again they also think that the UK is the capital of London, Australia and that Scrubs is comedy so what can we expect? But no, seriously – Scrubs sucks and the image of online poker is very tarnished now. Hopefully Peter Eastgate will be a good ‘ambassador’ and people such as durrrr, Phil Galfond et al will play more live tournaments/get sponsorships/do more interviews purely to give the game some much-needed good publicity. I said GOOD publicity, Mr Hellmuth…

Tags: Matt Perry, Columnist