Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Melted Felt Poker Year In Review - Part 1

December is a month of reflection, and one of hope, dear Melted Felt readers. We can look back at the year that was, swear blind never to do *that* again, and look forward to next year – where miraculously, with no effort or study at all, we will start winning tons of money at the poker tables… proving once and for all that we were naturally talented all along – just a little unlucky.

This will be the first of 3 ‘Poker News Year In Review’ posts. I’ll do one per quarter, and post them each week during December. This particular post looks fondly back at the first quarter, pre Black-Friday, when the poker world was a dreamy place with plenty of profit for everyone… well, except for the 90% who lost at it.

Poker News Year In Review – 1st Quarter Highlights

Jan 2011:

January saw Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth leave UB.com. While at the time I speculated that this was due to unsatisfactory xmas presents… hindsight can be a wonderful thing. They must have had insider knowledge of the Feds April moves and simply acted rationally to protect their assets. No, wait a moment, erm, I’ll get back to you on that one.

Pokerstars also launched their homegames, which might be still going, though as I pointed out at the time were hardly a realistic representation – well not compared to the home-games I have been too anyway.

Feb 2011:

That cold, miserable month when you did not get a single valentines card (again) was thin new-wise. WSOPE announced they would move to Cannes, and Stars Dropped their Double or Nothing SNGs in favour of the new-fangled 50Fifty format.

This was the month where Sunday schedules, grinding the mid stakes cash games and FTOPS (or was it Mini-FTOPS?) just drifted by for US players. The approach of a dark cloud on the horizon went un-noticed. 100’s more dropped out of college to pursue the ‘freedom’ of clicking a mouse for a living for a couple of years before going broke and becoming a cab driver, and, hell, anyone who raised an eyebrow to question the long-term sustainability of this lifestyle was simply called a hater!

I came up with a rewrite of ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’, damn it, now that song is stuck in my head once again…

March 2011

Unparalleled optimism, huge numbers online… and record profits – at least based on what 1000’s on online players later claimed they lost when AP / UB / FTP disappeared… Spring was in the air and poker legislation efforts were underway in DC and in many individual states. Barney Frank had a new bill and life was good – it was just a matter of time before the glory days of online poker would return. Turkeys reflecting on just how great life is a week before xmas springs to mind.

One particular Turkey, called Full Tilt Poker, launched the Onyx cup – tournaments with millions in prizes for the high rollers. In addition to reminding the average player how pathetically small and insignificant both their poker bankroll and whole existence was, this could be great for TV… In fact it feels like announcing the biggest tournament payouts ever has become pretty popular as the year went on.

Yes, life was great in Q1, and was set to get better and better… Come back next week for part 2, when I look at how much fun we all had in April.


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