There have been a couple of big stories this week in poker, plus a new one just brewing. Tim James has taken on Sheldon Adelson in a video promo for his new show, Dan “Jungleman” Cates has apparently dug himself into a $5 million hole and, just today, a controversy regarding a tournament penalty which some feel was too lenient. But despite the interest these stories hold for the world of poker at large, when it comes to the interests of forums denizens, this week’s top story regards a change to the forums themselves.
Zachary Elwood has been making a name for himself over the past few years in the poker world as an expert on live poker tells. He launched a blog on the subject in 2009, called Reading Poker Tells, followed by a book with the same title in 2012. He followed up with a book on Verbal Poker Tells in 2012 as well as producing articles and training videos for several websites.
Two Plus Two recently announced that they’d struck a deal with him to host and moderate a new sub-forum on the subject. It’s now five days old and has produced a half dozen threads of mostly pretty high quality. Poker tells may be of secondary importance to betting strategy when it comes to winning at poker, but they’re a fascinating topic for discussion, so I expect this forum to produce plenty of good content in future, particularly with Zach at the reins.
Sheldon Adelson a less-than-wonderful person?
Thread: Tim James exposes Sheldon Adelson as a hypocrite
A poker player by the name of Tim James has decided to launch a new web-based video series, imaginatively titled “The Tim James Show” and soon to be available at www.thetimjamesshow.com. In the meantime, he’s put out a trailer for the first episode, which will be a takedown of casino magnate and Emperor Palpatine look-alike Sheldon Adelson.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Adelson is a major opponent of online gambling, including poker, despite having made his billions through the live scene in Las Vegas. Calling him a hypocrite for this stance is somewhat redundant, but James makes the accusation a bit more specific in his trailer, juxtaposing interview footage in which Adelson argues that it’s difficult to prevent underage gambling online, with “undercover” footage James shot of two underage people entering the Adelson-owned Venetian and gambling freely there.
Of course, no one on the poker forums has any love for Adelson, so there’s little debate to be found on that front among the 150 or so replies to the video. Rather, debate has focused on the video’s usefulness, as well as it’s legality, with James and his fans insisting that the truth needs to be made public, while others feel that no one inclined to be reasonable gives Adelson’s arguments any credit in the first place.
Jungleman stuck for a cool 5 mill?
Thread: Jungleman loses $5million in Manila!
Sooo manila didn't go well, only lost about 38m hkd(5m usd)… Gonna play some 5/10 online and take another shot
— Daniel Cates (@junglemandan) August 13, 2015
Manila may be the destination of choice for the very highest of high-rolling cash game players, but for the most part, it’s a black box, with only rumors emerging about who might be up or down. It’s a little surprising, then, that Daniel “Jungleman” Cates went public with the above tweet to let the world know that he’d gone on a downswing to the tune of 38 million HKD, equivalent to around $5 million USD.
The thread the announcement has produced is unfortunately, but predictably pretty low-content. There’s little to be said about such news other than to wonder how much of that money was actually his, as opposed to investment capital from backers. Still, if you want to bask in the schadenfreude, there’s nine pages of that.
Travell Thomas flips his lid and his opponent’s cards
Thread: Crazy situation at the hard rock $5m tournament
As reported on Twitter by Matt Savage and Travell Thomas himself, Thomas was given a one-orbit penalty towards the end of Day 2 at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. Since the night ended before the orbit was up, that penalty was extended into the beginning of Day 3, and yet many feel that the penalty was actually too light.
Just ended the night with a penalty because a guy raised me every hand and I was over it so I looked at his cards I'm a idiot.
— travell thomas (@travell3232) August 17, 2015
What happened was that Thomas had opened several pots in a row, only to find himself being 3-bet by the same opponent each time. After the fourth time, Thomas lost his cool and, after folding, grabbed his opponent’s cards in frustration and turned them over. The table was understandably outraged and the floor was called over and issued the aforementioned one-round penalty.
One round is the standard for most first offences (assuming the action was serious enough to warrant a penalty at all, rather than a warning), and Thomas had already been left short-stacked by being forced to fold so many times, so each round missed would be equivalent to losing about a quarter of his remaining chips. Even so, the majority of posters both in the forums thread and on Twitter feel that his actions were so far over the line that at least two rounds would have been more appropriate; some even think he should have been disqualified. What’s your opinion?
Alex Weldon (@benefactumgames) is a freelance writer, game designer and semipro poker player from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.