Tuesday, 29 November 2011

How To Tell A Player’s Nationality Without Hovering Your Mouse Over Their Name

You know, dear Melted Felt readers, life can be a struggle sometimes… and I know too well that your wrists bear the brunt of the strain. Not only do you need to decide exactly how much ‘thin value’ to go for on the turn, you need to move that cursor over your opponent’s name to see where he comes from in order to justify that all-in call.

That extra movement adds up to more than 1 million cases of carpal tunnel each year – according to stats released by some people who desperately want more funding for carpal tunnel research.

You were not worrying were you? Well I hope not, because in addition to being the world’s only poker satire blog which is OFFICIALLY no longer funny – Melted Felt is also a public service.

Yes, today I can save you a mouse-over-hover or 3 by showing you that your opponent’s nationalities can quickly be assessed merely by looking at their Pokerstars avatar picture:

Avatar / Nationality Quick Reference Guide:

- Beautiful Woman / Supermodel Close Up Face Shot: This is 100% reserved for Germans, in fact these women are so beautiful that they sometimes convince the players themselves that that is really them… obviously nobody else though.
- Own Face Shot: This is divided into two camps. If the face shot is of a darker complexion smiling guy looking cool – maybe with a finger along the chin… that’s almost certainly a Brazilian. The pale psycho with mousy hair, that’s a Russian.
- Baby / Dog: Brit, sometimes Canadian, but mostly Brits.
- British Premiership Football Team Badge: Swedish.
- Swedish Football Team Badge: Erm, nobody, might be a fun one for some Brits though – if you can bear to pull down that picture of Rover.
- Cartoon / The Joker From Batman: Dutch, and no, check raising all in with air and calling / min-raising with aces is not actually ‘tricky play’.
- Skull / Monster: Could be either a Finn, Estonian or a German who has yet to figure how cool It would be to pretend to be a fantastically beautiful woman.

Well, I’m bound to think of several more the moment this is published…


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Live Poker Events Winners List

Yesterday's announcement that Ivey would be re-entering poker poker world got me thinking [Never bodes well – Ed]. There are a ton of poker events these days, and almost all of them end up with write ups in the poker news, flurries of activity on Twitter as the final tables form and the usual regurgitated news on 1000's of other blogs and websites.

Poker fans worldwide as assumed to take an interest in this 'news'. If you are one of the rare breed of readers who make it back here a 2nd time then you'll already know my theories that much of this is caused by the assumption that everyone else is interested, so you should be... One day, dear Melted Felt readers, everyone will admit to each other that they don't actually give a fvck, and we can all sigh a collective sigh of relief and stop reading about it together.

Anyway, I digressed.

Even more than usual...

To prove my point that your memory is like a slab of butter left out on a warm day I'm going to do a quiz. Please do not send me your answers in any format – especially on a postcard. You can look it up on Google if you like, I really do not care.

You Love Poker – Who Won What Quiz:

2011 WSOP $50k HORSE Event:

2011 WSOPE Main Event:

2011 PCA Main Event:

2011 Aussie Millions:

2010 LA Poker Classic:

2011 Irish Winter Festival Main Event:

2011 EPT London:

Enough already!

Guess you remember the 2011 WSOP Main Event winner though.

Do not even attempt to get me started on the publicity about the winners of those online events, or the high stakes pros who shuffle $100,000 pots too and fro each week...

I know you know that I know that the only thing that really matters to you is how your peers perceive your poker bankroll. We'll keep that between you and me, eh.


Monday, 21 November 2011

EPT Greece Subject To EU Bailout Terms?

The European Poker Tour, or EPT, is growing and growing – in fact there are now so many stops that places as far away from Europe as the Bahamas are included in the list. Those readers who just can not decide whether or not they like olives will be pleased to hear that the inaugural EPT Greece will kick off this fall, some 75 miles south of Athens in the seaside resort of Loutraki.

You might think it is as simple as booking your flight, handing over the buy-in and getting bad beat on level 1 – dear Melted Felt readers. The reality is that things are just a little more complex than this... what with the current economic climate and extra charges for replacing all those smashed plates.

So, here is how to enter:

1 – First you need to send proof that your income is good enough to enter. If you are currently a little short, the Greeks have a * ahem * special arrangement with Goldman Sachs that they will sign-off your accounts by transferring the liabilities on your balance sheet to a friendly neighborhood goat.

2 – Next you need to borrow the entry fee itself from German and French banks. This is possible at extremely low credit charges, after all, Greece is a member of the EU, so what can possibly go wrong with a loan like this?.

3 – Once the tournament itself starts you can take 5 chips from each of the shortest stacks at your table in the name of 'austerity' each blind level. Half of these should be given to the chip leader, and the other half to the tournament director.

4 – After level 5 it will be announced that there is a new tranche of chips to be distributed to the players. Unfortunately the only way to get them will be to get the banks who agreed to pay your entry fee to take a 50% haircut on their loan. You can get them to do this by threatening to ask the drunk guys on the rail whether you should go all-in blind before the flop for the next 5 hands in a row.

5 - At level 7, all Irish, Portuguese and Italian players at the table will be required to hand 10% of their chip stacks to a special pile of chips which will then be handed to those from Germany, France and the Netherlands.

6 – Level 9 sees a rescue, all Greek players who were busted in earlier levels through crazy play will be given a new chip stack by the IMF.

7 – The 'Austerity' chip take now goes up to 1000 chips per round, anyone refusing this will be replaced by a technocrat with previous European Central Bank experience who will play the remainder of the game by waiting for aces and then mini-raising.

8 – As we get to the final 2-tables, things start to get complicated. First up, Spanish Players will have to stop using the cardboard chips colored with crayons – which were allowed earlier as they were backed up by worthless Spanish real estate. The tournament director also gets replaced, by Germans who will decide on the blind levels, bet amounts and remove any good cards from the deck or countries who previously over-valued their hands.

9 – Unfortunately any Brits still in the tournament as we reach the final table will have their chip stack devalued against holders of chips in Euros. Any Brit found offering advice on money management to the other players will be ridiculed by the German and French poker press.

10 – As we get down to the heads-up part of the match it will be announced that the Euro has imploded based on its inherent weakness of only existing to make German exports cheaper globally. The prize will be converted into newly created Drachma, since this is worth sweet fvck-all the winner will be given the option to take home the very same goat which Goldman Sachs transferred your liabilities to when you entered.

All I can say is: Good luck at the tables!


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Ivey's Divorce From Barry Greenstein Gets Messy

It is with great sadness, dear Melted Felt readers, that we cover the breakdown of one of poker's closest and most loving relationships in our usual completely made-up fashion... The divorce proceedings between Phil Ivey and long time spouse Barry Greenstein first made the headlines over the summer – and as the year has worn on things have become ever more acrimonious between the separated parties... leading to speculation in some quarters that Ivey might have cast his last dice in the gambling world.

Most shocking of all is the revelation that Ivey might have stopped paying any alimony at all for the care and upkeep of Barry Greenstein's beard. The beard, whose delicate composition and balance requires 24 hour support is now in danger of becoming a little scruffy round the edges – which is bound to see more lawsuits based on the psychological damage caused.

It was not always this way.

Back in the day, when their relationship was fresh and new, Ivey could do no wrong in the eyes of Barry. Storming to WSOP final tables, getting ferried from craps game to craps game in helicopters and generally appearing plastered all over utterly corrupt online poker sites were just part of the joy.

Now those nosebleed stakes cash games in front of the fire seem like a distant memory.

A harsh new reality has come around.

So harsh that Greenstein is now suggesting that their divorce judge, one Bill Gonzalez, may be biased in Ivey's favor when it comes to the fair settlement and distribution of the silverware.

While looking through an old staking database, it emerged that Ivey may have staked Gonzalez for the $15 180 SNGs at Pokerstars to the tune of some $5k, with a 60 / 40 spit and makeup included. This head the Greenstein camp to immediately file for disqualification based on allegations that helping out with those tricky mid-game situations could influence the judges fairness in deciding the split of worldy possessions.

Ivey and Greenstein's marriage started in May of 2002, when after a night of not drinking they decided on an Elvis impersonator drive-through service. Despite several happy years, the cracks in their relationship started showing towards the end of the 2000's – with both parties apparently mutual in their desire to be freed to pursue new beard-care partners.

The biggest speculation coming from this rather sad episode is whether the stopping of payments for beard alimony means that Ivey is bankrupt. After all, the payments were stopped at the same time Full Tilt went offline – and that Ivey has not been seen in the poker world since then... Could it be that the most feared man in poker will soon be in some downtown cardrooms battling the tourists on the $1 / $2 tables? Or will he just borrow a wad from the trunk of Lederer's BMW??


Friday, 11 November 2011

Quick Fire Friday, WSOP, Stars And More

What with the fact that there are traditionally no Fridays in October, there has not been a quick fire Friday here at Melted Felt for a while. For those readers new to the worlds only poker satire blog that officially used to be funny, QFF is where we summarize the week's poker news in chunks which are small enough for those who live futile lives waiting for the weekends to digest.

This week has been dominated by the World Series Of Poker and the November 9. Both TV ratings and the amount of people claiming the concept does not work were higher than ever – with record numbers of forum posters completely failing to see any contradiction with this.

As we got to the final 3 contestants it was kind of assumed that Lamb would win, meaning that the epic heads-up battle between Heniz and Staszko lead to what can only be described as the twitter equivalent of finding a piece of fluff on your sleeve.

In the end it was a win for Germany, with a whipper-snapping 22 year old taking the spoils. Puis Heniz declared after the win that, while he was generally unsure of what he would do with all that money, at least he would be able to pay someone else to wake up at 6am and put his towel on the sun loungers from now on...

Moving swiftly on before any temptation to mention a nation getting rich by artificially depressing the value of its currency by including lazy nations in your zone, then blaming them when it goes tits-up comes around.... doh!

Pokerstars 10 Year Anniversary

Also in the news this week, Pokerstars climbed onto the stage, took of their shoes and socks... then slowly stepped on the assorted bugs which are known as 'other poker sites'. Party, Titan and more were immediately prescribed a mixture of sedatives and sleeping pills which should see them only semi-awake until the promo ends as we start 2012.

For anyone who missed it we are talking a $10 Million Sunday Million, $1 game with $250k guaranteed (world record attempt), and 100 completely free $15k packages to the Caribbean Adventure... or you could play at *ahem another poker site and earn $6.26c in bonus cash for only 17 hours of play!

WPT Amneville

Congrats to Adrian Allain, who won the tournament least likely to be given a fvck about this week.

That about wraps it up for this week, there are some legal maneuvers on both sides of the pond at the moment... we will have to save that for another post!


Monday, 7 November 2011

Millions Pretending To Like WSOP Final Table Get Day Off To Recover

It has been a real strain this week for poker fans around the world, dear Melted Felt readers. First having to remember the names of the blandest November 9 since the month of November was invented last month – and then having to pretend that televised final table poker is somehow interesting.

Fortunately, with 2 of the three left in this years main event are from Europe, leading to the powers that be taking a day off to discuss whether the prize money should not be sequestered into a bailout fund for Greece instead.

It may be a nail biting delay for Lamb, Heinz and Staszko – for the rest of the poker world it is a welcome respite from the yearly ritual of pretending we give a fvck about the World Series for a couple of days.

The poker press are now furiously copying each others bland summaries of bust out hands without any blind sizes, only for the copies to be copied by 3rd tier 'poker news' websites, rewritten by outsourced teams and posted 4th tier poker news websites before being scraped, spun and end up on 5th tier sites which nobody ever reads and only actually exist to sell links to the crappy 4th tier sites, or something.

Bloggers will be busy summarizing the days events too, they really just wanted to tell you about binking that 45 man SNG last night... only, you know, it feels like they should be blogging about the main event... since everyone else thinks its so important, don't they?

Cool players with high post counts on popular forums will be critizing hands based on summaries of copied poker news sites, disagreeing to ensure that people remember they are a strong character, with an opinion and everything.

Tweeters retweeting the latest bustouts to bloggers who retweet those tweets to the poker news site owners as they feel this is what bloggers should do, while the odd 3rd teir poker news site owner feels very pleased that the thin article he wrote based on pokernews' reporting got tweeted at all - writers and bloggers who are wondering why they feel they should be interested. seeing the mass of interest and assuming everyone else cares.

Do not worry.

Nobody really cares.

Its only going to take one component of this house of proverbial cards to fall before everyone looks at each other in momentary embarrassment, shrugs, and then carries right on with whatever they were doing anyway.

In 2 days time it will all be over again for another year. A new champ will be crowned, a short debate will be held online which will conclude that he just ran good and that anyone could have won with that kind of luck... then we can all go back to our own ev graphs and stop this rather strenuous activity of pretending to care about anyone except ourselves


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Another Fresh Fruity And Fabulous Full Tilt Update

Naysayers have already moved on to brand new areas to say nay about this morning, dear Melted Felt readers, as the deal that could never happen appears to have been done. Yes, players with funds locked up on dodgy poker site Full Tilt Poker are celebrating this evening – even as their entire historical player records are to be handed over to the IRS.

In a deal with tax accountants and tax evasion lawyers nationwide, the DOJ will spearhead the *ahem* repayment of Full Tilt Players as part of a deal with French onion-selling giant Group Bernard Manning. With every American player due to get their cash back through the official federal channels there are one or two who might just have, erm, forgotten that every dollar earned is taxable now wondering whether they can retroactively amend their tax forms...

Players worldwide will be payed off my Bernard Tapie himself from the back of Howard Lederers BMW, with the proceeds of the 3-2 victory of Barcelona over Bayern Munich in next years Champions League final. While affiliates and rakeback providers will be offered bretton striped t-shirts with pictures of both the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty with the words “I worked my butt off for FTP and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” as their means of compensation.

Not only will those forgetful tax payers be in for an interesting spring, at campuses around the US are set to see a bunch of 'massive winners' slowly and surely back down on their claims of having, 'ya know, half a mill, something like that' locked up on the site... Now the money could actually be repaid, their claims of being high-stakes pros who were ruined by the 'un-American' efforts of their own justice department are looking like they might need to be validated in front of their peers... A long way down from several hundo-thousand to $3.36c won in that freeroll, eh?

Some moms and pops might be a little surprised when they receive compensation on their credit cards for binking that MTT last March too.

Anyway, here at Melted Felt we welcome the news and honestly look forward to seeing some competition for Pokerstars on the horizon... we wonder if things will be too late for those out of work Full Tilt Poker Avatars.


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