Lee Davy brings you updates from the World Series of Poker Main Event as nine players battle it out for the title of poker’s Champion of the World and $8m in prize money.
Yesterday, Gordon Vayo was the only player to temporarily take the chip lead from Qui Nguyen when he doubled through Vojtech Ruzicka, and he has done it again at a vital moment in this competition; this time with Cliff Josephy nursing a sore head.
Josephy opened to 2,500,000 on the button; Vayo called in the small blind before Nguyen squeezed to 7,700,000 from the big blind – both players called.
Flop: [Kd] [3c] [2s]
The action checked to Nguyen in the big blind who c-bet to 9,900,000. Josephy took his time before calling; Vayo also called.
Over 53 million chips are lying in the middle of the table.
Vayo checked, Nguyen checked, Josephy bet 21,000,000, Vayo moved all-in for 75,100,000, Nguyen folded, and Josephy made the call.
Vayo: [3d] [3s]
Josephy: [2d] [2c]
Once again Vayo had flopped a set – as he did in his hand against Ruzicka – and this time he didn’t need his opponent to fire three bluffs at him because Josephy was holding a lower set. What a cooler, Josephy was down to one out, and the [6d] on the river wasn’t the card he was seeking.
Vayo is now the chip leader with 203,600,000 chips.
Josephy is down to just eight big blinds and has a lot of doubling up to do if he is going to get back into this contest.
Lee Davy brings you a few pieces of bite size goodness from the world of poker including a new tournament schedule on the Microgaming Poker Network, the chance to win a Brian May signed electric guitar at the Devilfish Open, and much more.
The Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) has rolled out a new tournament structure for its 27+ poker clients and here are the main highlights:
There are three brand new daily tournaments with the same structure but differing buy-in and guarantee. There is a €5.50 Kilobyte event with a €500 Guarantee, a €33 buy-in Megabyte tournament with a €2,500 guarantee, and a €110 buy-in Gigabyte tournament with a €7,500 guarantee.
Moving up in stakes, and there will be a €215 buy-in €10,000 Guarantee Mega Moolah every Monday, and a €215 buy-in €10,000 Guarantee Thunderstruck event every Thursday.
There will also be a series of brand new formats including Burst Tournaments that have 15 two-minute levels followed by six-minute levels during the bubble.
Flash tournaments and Satellite events with 300 chips, two-minute levels and the winners gain entry into the sites major events.
There will be an Hour Long Tournament where the game ends on the hour, and everyone cashing takes what they have earned with 10% of the field exiting every six minutes.
The MPN is also ready to roll out its brand new Mac Client across the board after a successful trial at Guts.com.
GPL Avatars Available at PokerStars
It was great news to hear that the Global Poker League (GPL) had picked up PokerStars as their primary sponsor. With the GPL entering the PlayOffs and Finals phases you aren’t going to see too many interactions between the two companies, but there has been a small change, that may interest you. Avatars from all 12 GPL franchises can now be acquired in the PokerStars lobby so you can show your allegiance when playing online poker at the world’s largest site.
Cool integration of the new @GPL Tab in the Avatars section in @Pokerstars.com pic.twitter.com/jjAzuSNaKg
— Alexandre Dreyfus (@alex_dreyfus) October 24, 2016
Brian May Honours The Devilfish
Players reliably informed me, while doing research on the history of Late Night Poker, that one of the things they always looked forward to was playing cash games at the hotel with the Devilfish as he played his guitar and sang out his moves.
So he will be looking down from the heavens with a big old smile on his face after the World Poker Tour (WPT), and Dusk Till Dawn (DTD) announced that the winner of the £5,300 buy-in £1m Guaranteed Devilfish Cup will also walk away with a one-of-a-kind guitar signed by the Queen legend Brian May.
The Devilfish Cup forms part of the WPT UK Festival, an event that also contains the £2,200 WPT UK Main Event and WPT500. Both events also have a £1m guaranteed prize pool.
Dylan Linde and Ravi Raghavan Pick Up WSOPC Wins
One of the nicest guys in poker has just picked up his first major live tournament victory of his career.
Dylan ‘ImaLucSac’ Linde has won $5.5m playing online poker, is a well sought-after coach on the online training site RunItOnce, and after today he is a World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring winner.
Linde defeated 1,308 entrants to take the first prize of $348,269 in the WSOPC Horseshoe Hammond Main Event. It’s his largest career score both online or live, and he also bags a seat in the season-ending Global Casino Championships where he could add a gold bracelet to his collection.
Linde has now earned over $1.2m playing live tournaments.
Final Table Results
1. Dylan Linde – $348,269
2. Arif Rahim – $215,820
3. Zachary Riselman – $158,392
4. Ronald Sewell – $119,682
5. Bradford Abrinck – $91,331
6. Nicola Ditrapani – $70,298
7. Benjamin Keeline – $54,740
8. David Hengen – $43,125
9. Michael Campbell – $34,374
Joining Linde in the Global Casino Championships will be the WPT Champions Club member, Ravi Raghavan, who ended the series as the Casino Champion. Raghavan won the $5,300 High Roller for $132,798 after beating Keven Stammen in heads-up action, as well as finishing 16th in the Main Event.
The World Poker Index has elevated its footprint in China right after partnering with China’s largest on the web poker place, Tencent Poker, in a transfer that will see players who contend in the Tencent Poker Tour have their factors recognised by the GPI.
Is the upcoming poker growth likely to be in China?
If it is, the World Poker Index (GPI) and World Poker League (GPL) will be all set and ready right after founder Alex Dreyfus entered into an agreement with China’s largest on the web poker system Tencent Poker.
The new arrangement will see the GPI include the Tencent Poker Tour (TPT) into their rating method. Gamers taking part in TPT events will see the GPI factors awarded as they now do for the Environment Collection of Poker (WSOP), Environment Poker Tour (WPT), PokerStars Championships and countless numbers of other tournaments operating globally. The GPI ranks 460,000 players competing in 97 nations around the world, now such as the region with the largest populace in the planet.
Pretty happy to have @GPI in Tencent Poker run by the largest Chinese online organization. pic.twitter.com/Se5590jwyJ
— Alexandre Dreyfus (@alex_dreyfus) Oct 17, 2016
It is good information for the GPI/GPL’s publicity in mainland China as Tencent will use their monumental internet marketing muscle mass to encourage each brands. Previously this calendar year, the previous WSOP Major Event winner, and GPL Montreal Nationals star, Martin Jacobson, frequented China to do some marketing do the job with Tencent Poker and was greeted by admirers at the airport like he was the fifth Beatle proving what a attract qualified poker is in China.
In the coming months, the GPI will make dedicated Chinese rankings on the web-site. The workforce are also functioning in direction of the start of a GPI Awards Ceremony in China related to the European Poker Awards (EPA) and American Poker Awards (APA) someday in 2017.
The press launch also said that they would start a GPL China in 2017.
In April, the GPI partnered with a person of China’s major electronic sporting activities media firms, Sina Sporting activities, to showcase the really finest GPL motion through mainland China.
Online poker giant PokerStars has signed on as lead sponsor of the fledgling Global Poker League (GPL).
On Friday, online poker’s 800 lb. gorilla announced that it had struck a deal with Malta-based Mediarex Sports & Entertainment to become the GPL’s lead sponsor. The deal also cock blocks other poker operators, as Stars’ contract specifies that it is the exclusive online poker sponsor of the GPL. (Take that, Ongame!)
PokerStars’ publicity pointman Eric Hollreiser said the GPL “brings an innovative team-based twist to poker and we are happy to support Mediarex in their quest to bring poker to new audiences.”
Alex Dreyfus, CEO of and brainchild behind the GPL, called the Stars partnership “a crucial step forward on the road to fully establishing the GPL as a real blueprint for poker entertainment in the future.” Dreyfus said Stars would assist the GPL in its strategy of “connecting poker to the mainstream entertainment sector on a large scale.”
As part of the deal, PokerStars’ red spade logo will now adorn The Cube, the GPL’s signature arena in which 12 teams from around the globe do battle. The GPL action recommences on Oct. 4 and PokerStars TV will carry live stream action each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Stars will also work with Mediarex on various promotional initiatives to boost awareness of the GPL. A number of Team PokerStars Pros participate in the GPL, including Liv Boeree, Vanessa Selbst, Jason Mercier and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier.
PokerStars and Mediarex already have a working relationship, as Stars sponsored this year’s American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards shindigs, both of which were produced by Mediarex.
Doug ‘WCG|Rider” Polk and Philip ‘Grindation’ McAllister the two split records for the most dollars at any time gained though taking part in and streaming on Twitch after coming just one-two in the $ten,three hundred invest in-in No-Restrict Hold’em 8-Max Substantial Roller in the Globe Championships of On the net Poker.
For the second time through the 2016 Globe Championships of On the net Poker (WCOOP), the gentleman who finished putting on the bridesmaid dress finds on their own in entrance of the flickering digicam.
It occurred to Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz when he finished runner-up to bcnb789 in the $102,000 invest in-in Tremendous Substantial Roller, and it’s happening to Doug ‘WCG|Rider” Polk after ending runner-up to Philip ‘Grindation’ McAllister in Celebration #53: $ten,three hundred No-Restrict Hold’em 8-Max Substantial Roller.
The explanation for the switch in emphasis is Twitch. Polk has turn into just one of the most fascinating, absorbing, and controversial streamers in current instances, and the digicam was rolling when the really serious revenue was remaining doled out, developing a new history for the most revenue gained on a Twitch stream.
356 entrants (278 entrants, seventy eight re-entries) created a prize pool of $three,560,000, and McAllister, Polk, and current WCOOP winner €Urop€an stopped the action when 3-handed, to protected a deal.
It was an appealing just one with Polk telling the two McAllister and €Urop€an that he experienced ‘never finished a chop just before,’ preferred one-2% far more than icm,’ since he did not want his ‘talents to go unrewarded.’
Around translated that implies:
“I am superior than you. I will beat your asses into the floor. Be smart. Give me my revenue.”
Listed here were the ICM numbers:
McAllister – $514,400.27
€Urop€an – $460,714.seventy five
Polk – $452,629.92
Polk determined that wasn’t adequate. He preferred $455k. The other two gamers seemingly pleased with their rather large chunks of dollars agreed to split the distinction.
The split created two new records with McAllister by now successful the most revenue at any time recorded on a poker Twitch channel, and Polk successful the most at any time though hosting the action on Twitch.
After the deal, €Urop€an, who gained Celebration #35: $one,575 No-Restrict Hold’em Tremendous Tuesday Unique Version for $297,450.000 previous 7 days exited in 3rd, and McAllister beat Polk in heads-up to take the $seventy one,200 that remained up for grabs.
It was McAllister’s to start with WCOOP title and caps off an incredible 12 months. He gained his to start with Globe Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in the summer season in a $3k Shootout event for $267,720 and took 3rd in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Principal Celebration for $356,020.
Polk gained his second WSOP bracelet in the summer season when he and his Upswing Poker company companion Ryan Charge took down the Tag Crew contest. It is the second time that Polk has held the history for the most revenue gained when streaming on Twitch. His prior ideal was $162,000, which he gained by topping a subject in a PokerStars Mountain Series event. His most recent history, now established at $455,000, implies SolidPenis’s history $250,000 Spin & Go get appears to be rather limp in contrast.
In this week’s poker information roundup we go over Fedor Holz winning a different million pounds at the Earth Championships of On the web Poker, the shortlist for the Poker Hall of Fame and Alex Dreyfus talking about the foreseeable future of staking at the World-wide Poker League.
Fedor Holz has accomplished it once more.
The young German instructed me he was organizing to semi-retire in the summer time. It seems like a wise method. The lad wins every time he sits down. Holz has smashed the reside match felt with more than $20m in earnings these previous number of a long time, but it was the virtual felt that he centered his interest on this week.
Holz entered the $102,000 buy-in Tremendous Large Roller at the PokerStars Earth Championships of On the web Poker (WCOOP) as a 20-one shot according to BetStars. It was a terrific worth bet for the former 2014 WCOOP Key Function winner, but although he chopped the prize money when heads-up, banking a million pounds, he didn’t get the ultimate hand.
The wizard may have hogged the headlines, but it was the previous Spring Championships of On the web Poker (SCOOP) winner, Bencb789, who defeated Holz to capture the $one.2m first prize.
The way I see it, Holz need to get it although he can. At 22-a long time of age, feelings of dirty nappies, and the great importance of wiping from entrance to again don’t dominate his intellect, compared with Shaun Deeb.
Deeb’s wife was expecting their 2nd child this week, and so the COOP animal did what all caring and loving companions need to do at these kinds of a time – he jumped on a jet airplane and flew to Mexico so he could enjoy on the net poker. It was truly worth it, nevertheless. He may have missed the beginning of is 2nd child, but at the very least he gained a poker match and $22,185.sixty.
PokerStars Learning Lessons
Do you keep in mind when PokerStars took all the money absent from the Supernova Elite (SNE) players and were criticised roundly for absence of warning?
Well, it seems the largest on the net poker place in the earth has learned its lesson.
Earlier this week, Stars chief comms man, Eric Hollreiser, wrote a weblog post warning players that the VIP Club reward system would endure a different makeover in 2017. Information are sketchy at this early point in time, but it seems the rationale is to expose leisure players to all a few verticals of poker, casino and athletics betting by linking the a few habits underneath one plan.
Poker Has a Charitable 7 days
There was a charitable topic operating by the core of the poker information this week.
Vanessa Selbst is busy finalising previous minute strategies to host her 2nd Justice is Blinds charity poker match in support of the City Justice Centre in New York. Daniel Negreanu will be by her aspect as a assistance and the likes of Brian Koppelman, Hank Azaria, and Erik Seidel is associated in that one.
Roman ‘RomeOpro’ Romanovskiy vowed to donate fifty% of his winnings involving August 23 – December 29 to charity and promptly went and finished runner-up in a WCOOP celebration for $214,929.95. It’s really uncertain that the Ukrainian will get rid of all of it by the finish of the year, and need to that continue being the circumstance then charities supported by Increasing for Effective Offering (REG), and the aged and war-affected in Ukraine will benefit.
Partypoker will join forces with the DT38 Charity as portion of their Mazagan 10 Poker Festival at the finish of the thirty day period. The DT38 Charity delivers money for research into testicular cancer and is named in honour of former West Ham star Dylan Tombides who tragically died of the illness. Previous Wimbledon tennis star, Boris Becker, Sam Trickett, and Roberto Romanello will element in the competition.
The Just one Fall in Monte Carlo will also host a €1m buy-in dollars sport and eight aspect functions ranging from €10k – €103k. Excellent information for the expert poker players employed to coach the whales. They now have a little something to do with their wages.
The winner of the inaugural Just one Fall was Antonio Esfandiari. He will not be in Monte Carlo competing with the big boys. In its place, he has agreed to boost the first 888Live Festival in London, held at the very same time.
The Very best of the Relaxation
The shortlist for the Poker Hall of Fame is out in the open up, and there are a lot of People in america that consider the voting is possibly rigged or silly. Just one of the dissenting voices was Mike Matusow who employed all his reserves of charm and class to say that Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot only made the lower mainly because he was useless.
Listed here are the 10 nominations
Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot
3 players were honoured this week, thanks to the PokerListings Spirit of Poker Awards. Felipe ‘Mojave’ Ramos gained the Most Inspirational Player award Silje Nielsen gained the Mounting Star award, and Konstantin Puchkov was decreed a residing legend.
Ramos is big buddies with Andre Akkari, and the PokerStars Group Pro broke new ground this week when he announced a deal with Puma to act as his secondary sponsor. Akkari also got to have the Olympic torch during the Rio Online games.
Akkari and Ramos are members of the World-wide Poker League (GPL) franchise, Sao Paulo Mets, and this week Alex Dreyfus talked to CalvinAyre about the foreseeable future of the league.
The Frenchman spoke candidly about the great importance of the narrative of the first season and how it will be employed to develop upon the improvement of his key players. The communicate also associated the transfer into staking, a Day by day Fantasy Sporting activities merchandise, and how he has so significantly invested $4m into the task and counting.
The Earth Poker Tour has declared two exciting new partnerships with Education Expense LTD and Barrière Team that will see the WPT Countrywide Sequence characteristic in Cambodia and Deauville.
Hendon Mob flag collectors may be intrigued to note that the Earth Poker Tour (WPT) has a short while ago partnered with Education Expense LTD in a deal that will see two WPT Countrywide Sequence functions held in Cambodia.
Father Christmas will have to fill his sack with poker chip sets as the 1st of the two functions, WPT Countrywide Thailand, will consider put Dec 22-29, 2016 at the Vacation Palace Casino & Resort in Poipet, Cambodia.
There will be a THB 37,four hundred ($one,a hundred) acquire-in Principal Function consisting of 3 setting up flights, Dec 22, 23 & 26. December 24 & twenty five will be a day off for Principal Function players, for evident good reasons, but the action will proceed on those dates with facet functions and a particular guest get together.
The 2nd occasion, WPT Countrywide Cambodia, can take put at the Queenco Resort & Casino in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Jan 2-thirteen, 2017. The $one,485 acquire-in Principal Function has 3 setting up flights on Jan three, 4 & 6.
Players competing in both of those functions will be in a position to re-enter two times for each flight up to a utmost of 6 re-entries.
WPT CEO & Prez, Adam Pliska, explained the festivals ended up one more indication of “Asia’s increasing desire for significant poker functions throughout a burgeoning region,”
WPT Partners With Barrière Team
The WPT has also partnered with the French on line casino outfit Barrière Team in a deal that will see the introduction of a PMU.fr WPT Countrywide Deauville for the future two several years.
The 1st occasion can take put at the Casino Barrière Deauville Dec 6, 2016, with a €1,two hundred acquire-in Principal Function setting up Dec eight. There will also be a €2,000 High Roller thrown into the blend. The 2nd occasion will consider put someday in 2017.
It’s fantastic information for French poker players. The Casino Barrière Deauville was a well-known end on the European Poker Tour (EPT) for numerous several years until they dropped it from the Season twelve program. The WPT frequented France in their 1st at any time season with the WPT Euro Finals of Poker held at the iconic Aviation Club de France (ACF), but they pulled out of Paris a 12 months before the club shut down for excellent in 2015.
The WPT Countrywide Sequence is at the moment in Killarney Dublin, and the future Principal Function will be the WPT Borgata Poker Open up Sep 18 – 23.
Australian cricket legend, Shane Warne, and former Celebrity Huge Brother winner, Shilpa Shetty, are a several famous people who have signed up to endorse and participate in on a new on the internet poker website in India.
The on the internet poker marketplace in India will improve by just one on fifteen September when celebritygames.in can make its debut. The serious revenue on the internet poker website is heralded as the initial serious revenue poker presenting in India completely endorsed by famous people, and in which famous people will sit down and participate in.
Celebritygames.in falls under the umbrella of firms operated by Satyug Gold Pvt Ltd., an organization created by the British-born entrepreneur Raj Kundra.
So who are these famous people?
The most well known in that portion of the entire world is Shilpa Shetty, who occurs to be Kundra’s wife. The Bollywood star is perfectly-regarded in the British isles just after she gained Celebrity Huge Brother five in a controversial contest in 2007 just after Danielle Lloyd, Jo O’Meara, and the late Jade Goody ended up accused of bullying Shetty. The storm kicked off this sort of a fuss in India, sponsors Carphone Warehouse severed ties with the demonstrate.
An additional celebrity who is involved in the new poker website is Shane Warne. The Australian cricket legend and former 888Poker Ambassador is perfectly regarded to the Kundra’s by their association with the Indian Leading League (IPL). In 2009, Kundra and Shetty acquired a stake in the IPL facet Rajasthan Royals, and a several many years later on a panel appointed by the Supreme Court docket in India banned the team from the IPL for two many years above alleged match repairing. Kundra was also banned from all cricket similar activities for lifetime.
Other famous people joined to the website are actors Harman Baweja & Shahid Kapoor former cricketer Rohan Gavaskar, and the actress Minissha Lamba. The new website presents a array of films that includes the stated famous people providing poker suggestions to new sign ups.
The news of Kundra’s foray into the serious revenue on the internet poker marketplace will come a mere times just after he stopped presenting serious revenue alternatives on his other gambling website Stockrace.in. In accordance to a piece that appeared in glaws.in the website removed serious revenue alternatives just after the Securities and Trade Board of India (SEBI) starting asking questions of the legality of operating a serious revenue inventory choosing services and advertising it as a game of talent.
In this article is Kundra’s look at of that short article.
Please stand corrected we withdrew paid variation of the game to avoid harassment! our lawful opinions are in area!! https://t.co/vsFZTV9w92
Phil Galfond, the founder of RunItOnce, and one of the most highly regarded poker players in the globe has announced on his site’s blog site that he intends to open up an on-line poker home sometime in Q1, 2017.
Phil Galfond is likely to launch an on-line poker internet site.
Where do I commence?
I have experienced a male crush on Galfond because I made a decision to attempt and turn out to be a specialist poker player 6 years in the past. Back then, he was the lead pro on Bluefire Poker, and he was, devoid of a question, the best coach amongst an achieved team.
Immediately after Galfond and Bluefire experienced parted strategies, he developed the on-line education internet site RunItOnce. I have hardly ever been a member because it does not give a player like me with worth for revenue – a level I will return to later on – but it is really obviously the most sought immediately after on-line education home with the specialist poker playing neighborhood.
I have often wondered why an on-line poker home has hardly ever invested some serious time and exertion into the generation of an on-line education centre to operate along with their poker home. I guess we are about to see the reverse occur, and I believe Galfond will facial area a Sisyphean endeavor the likes of which he has hardly ever confronted before.
A couple of weeks in the past, Galfond appeared on the Joey Ingram Poker Life Podcast where he talked about his client foundation at RunItOnce remaining the specialist poker player who was willing to fork out $ninety nine for every month for coaching. There was minimal, if any, indicator to me that Galfond was fascinated in serving a unique sector.
Peter Drucker the moment said that the purpose of business is to ‘create and keep a customer’. This ideology is the elephant in the home because there are two really unique sorts of consumers in poker. There are the folks who want to make a living, and there individuals who want some harmless exciting.
What form of client is Galfond and his group likely to ‘create?’
Can he build both the pro and the recreational player?
I do not believe so.
Innovative products build that means for individuals that use them. I did not follow Galfond to RunItOnce because as a recreational player I did not want to fork out the $ninety nine cost. And I would not want to enjoy on an on-line poker internet site teaming with players who have been taught to take in fish like me alive.
I can not imagine for one minute that Galfond will want to build any form of client. He already has a substantial e-mail list, and I presume he will leverage that to get liquidity up and running and it could switch out to be the most difficult internet site to switch a earnings in the economy.
On the other hand, the timing couldn’t be much better. With PokerStars plainly losing the plot because earnings grew to become king and client service grew to become the chamber pot-boy, the economy is crying out for an on-line poker home that listens to its consumers and adapts accordingly.
A couple of days in the past, I wrote an op-ed for PokerListings stating that Phil Galfond will hardly ever be the ambassador for poker that we all so desperately want to be because he does not have a platform like PokerStars to force his stunning looking mug previously mentioned the parapet. Things could be really unique if he can pull this one off.
As Malcolm Gladwell’s first season of Revisionist History ends, Lee Davy remembers a lung-bursting run through the streets of LA listening to the great man and what he learned about poker.
I walk outside; the sun hits me, and I feel like a battery on charge. I pick some of the spuds from my ears, plug in the earphones and start running. I don’t get far. The Korean woman is running towards me with her sunglasses on, pink towel wedged under a Lakers baseball cap and a bottle of water in her hand.
I pull my phone out of my fanny pack (as my American brethren call it), and press pause.
“What’s your poison?” She asks.
“Malcolm Gladwell,” I reply.
“A famous author, have you read the book, Blink?”
“The Tipping Point?”
She shakes her head.
“Well, he has a new podcast.”
“What’s it about?”
“You like history do ya?”
When Malcolm Gladwell announced he was starting a podcast called Revisionist History, it quickly became one of the top-ranked podcasts on iTunes before he had released a single episode.
He is a popular man.
“See ya later?” I say before plugging my earpiece back into my lughole and heading into the baking sun.
The Lady Vanishes
The intelligent voice of Malcolm Gladwell flies into my brain as I pass a piece of dog poo encircled by chalk, stating, “Please Clean Your Dog Poop.”
The episode I am listening to is called The Lady Vanishes, and as I pound the pavement in the 30-degree heat I learn about an 1874 painting called Roll Call, an Australian Prime Minister called Julia Gillard, and a phenomenon called Moral Licensing.
The Roll Call once toured the UK until Queen Victoria bought it and gave it pride and place in the Royal Academy. The artist was a young woman called Elizabeth Thompson, and not long after a group of men nailed the painting into the wall she failed to become the first woman enshrined into the Academy failing by a few votes.
Gladwell argues that because Thompson got so close infiltrating a man’s world, the men patted themselves on the back for nearly allowing it to happen, and then closed the door in the face of Thompson and all other female artists who dared follow. It wasn’t until 1936, 62-years after The Roll Call, that a woman was allowed into the Royal Academy.
I dodge another piece of poo, turn the corner and nearly run into a car trying to avoid standing on a lizard.
Meanwhile, Gladwell has now turned his attention to the first female Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard. Once again, Gladwell talks about moral licensing, and how the males of Australia strengthened their positive self-image after she was voted in, before once again slamming the door on any females who wanted to follow in Gillard’s footsteps.
She was called a witch, the media focused on the size of her cleavage, and one restaurant sold Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail: Small Breasts, Huge Thighs and a Big Red Box.
It reminded me of poker, and how men will always struggle to understand how women like Cate Hall, Jamie Kerstetter, and Liv Boeree feel about being part of the poker industry’s minority.
I can hear you?
“They love it.”
“It’s easier to get sponsorship deals.”
“They can sleep with the best players.”
The poker community suffers from moral licensing in a big way. We allow a few women into our male dominated clique, and then we close the door on anyone else who dares to walk through by creating an intimidating environment and surrounding it with verbal and physical acts of lust, lunacy and lies.
Cate Hall speaks out about the importance of recognising the skills that female poker players possess, and encouraging more women to play the game, and quietly all the men are watching her social media accounts like hawks waiting for the moment she slips up so we can obliterate her with her own hypocrisy.
I run past the empty school. California has no water, but there is plenty chugging out of the ground feeding the grass where the kids play baseball. Some of it hits me. It feels lush, although I now look like I have pissed myself.
The Big Man Can’t Shoot
Next, I listen to Gladwell talking about an NBA great called Wilt Chamberlain. He is the only player to score 100 points in an NBA game. It was in 1962 when the Philadelphia Warriors beat the New York Knicks by 169 points to 147. Chamberlain also set another record in that game when he scored 28 of his 32 free throws, all underarm.
What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you think of someone making a free throw underarm?
I figured it was stupid.
They call it a Granny Shot.
Who wants to make a play with that name on the tin?
Not Wilt Chamberlain.
“It made me look like a sissy,” he would later tell reporters.
At the end of the season, Chamberlain had a 61% free throw percentage throwing underarm. The next year he changed to the standard free throw technique and over the years it dropped as low as 38%.
Chamberlain knew that the decision was affecting his game, but he wouldn’t adjust because he cared more about what people thought about him.
I pass the Korean lady and keep on running. She doesn’t care what people think about her. She is walking this time. She does that. She runs downhill and walks back uphill. I salute her as I run past; she salutes right back. A stream of sweat flies from her fingers and lands in my mouth.
As I gag, I start thinking about how many Wilt Chamberlain’s we have in poker. The first thing I think about is limping and how back in the day people were too scared to limp into a pot because they were worried that people might believe that they were rubbish.
In poker, it makes sense for your opponents to think you are rubbish, as it gives you an edge. And yet there are so many poker players who would rather give up that edge than let you think they were stupid. If Wilt Chamberlain played poker, he would never have limped into a pot.
Gladwell believes that people like Chamberlain and those in poker who do not limp have what he calls a high threshold personality – they are more likely to allow the crowd to affect their decision. I believe innovative players like Vanessa Selbst have a low threshold personality because they ignore the social cost because of a win at all costs mentality.
It’s not just limping where I see this phenomenon. I also see it with the length of time it takes people to make a decision in poker. Taking a long time is the ‘in thing’ to do. It’s become uncool to make your decisions quickly.
My armpits smell of weed. I keep sniffing them as I run, secretly, in case someone sees me. I guess I have a high threshold when it comes to armpit sniffing and running. The mountains look magnificent in the background. I don’t notice them generally, but I am more aware of my surroundings today. Gladwell has perked me up.
I am listening to a tale about a 98-year old Mennonite pastor, and it piques my interest because my wife’s family are all deeply religious, and it’s something I have been trying to understand since my time in LA. I have a closed mind on religion and a cynical view. I am trying to open it and am enjoying the process.
The pastor, Chester Wenger, had given his life to the church. Then, one day, his son told him he was gay.
“Maybe you can outgrow this?” Said Wenger.
Many years later, Wenger’s son fell in love with another man and prepared to wed. His father asked if he could officiate at the wedding. His son agreed. The pastor took on the role most of us can only dream of, and his church stripped him of all his credentials.
Wenger wrote an op-ed about the experience called “An Open Letter to my Beloved Church.”
261,379 people have read it.
It reminded me of the lunacy of the world. I think about the poker community and start counting the number of openly gay poker players and I only needed one hand. That can’t be, right? Why aren’t there more? And then I remember that our live poker circuits visit countries where being gay could lead to incarceration. I guess I would keep my mouth shut if I lived in a world like that.
My daughter will be born in September.
I wonder how I would feel if my daughter told me that she was gay?
I know it would be easier to accept than learning that my son was gay.
Is it because I am a man? Is it because of my upbringing? Is it because of stories like this? Is it because of my father? Is it a biological thing?
As I pass the school once more, I look at the empty playground and picture the other children picking on my gay daughter. For a moment I have hope that the path of least resistance finds her, and then I remember how much I hate that route. It’s a road of ignorance and a GPS system programmed by the blind.
I feel angry.
My pace quickens.
Sweat pours out of my body, stinging my eyes. My hair hangs over my face like a dirty mop.
Gladwell turns his attention to Princeton University and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. My heart is beating. My head is hurting. And I can’t help wondering why Americans name everything after the most preposterous long-winded names like the Captain James Tiberius Kirk XII Interplanetary Highway?
Woodrow Wilson was racist.
I never knew that.
Gladwell talks about a time when Princeton students staged a 32-hour sit-in protesting over the fact that a known racist’s name was on the title of their school. The protests led to a Town Hall meeting on campus where a lot of white people decided that the name of the school would remain as it was.
What was Gladwell’s point?
These angry demonstrators chose to go to this school. The school doesn’t hide its history. There are placards of rich white people all over the place. The name of a known racist is in the title. People still chose to attend and once they were accepted said they felt uncomfortable and wanted change.
It’s not that easy.
You don’t stage a sit-in if you want an institution like Princeton to take you seriously.
“Instead of talking about what they were owed,” said Gladwell, “they should have shown them what they were willing to give up.”
That’s right; there is real power in the ‘best and the brightest’ showing the world that they were ready to give up their place in one of the greatest universities in the world ‘to save it from itself.’ They should never have returned to school and urged everyone else to do the same.
“It would have been a costly strategy,” said Gladwell. “It would have taken real sacrifice. And that’s why Generous Orthodoxy is really hard.”
And as I sprint the last 100m of my run I think about PokerStars and the unrest amongst the grinders. The sit-outs, the protests, the verbal abuse from forums. The excuses that there is nowhere else to play, and that they are slaves to the monopoly that PokerStars has built.
I collapse on the floor.
I can’t breathe.
I feel like there is a bullet in my head.
I look up and see the Korean woman blotting out the sun and handing me her water bottle.
“How’s your history?” she asks.
I take a gulp of her water and tip the rest over my head.
“It wasn’t about history,” I reply. “It was about poker.”