Hit and Run: Crime and Poker, Fixing the WSOP Hall of Fame, New Chris Moorman Book Incoming

Alex Weldon : September 16th, 2016
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Poker-related crimes, both current and historical. Opinions on how to fix the problems with the WSOP Hall of Fame. Chris Moorman’s second book to be published next summer. And more.

A Walk on the Dark Side

There’s no question that the poker world has a dark side to it, quite a large one in fact. What we usually hear about are the broken promises, lost friendships, bankruptcies, depression, substance abuse, and the occasional suicide. It’s rarer that the law gets involved; usually when police are mentioned, it’s in connection with the raiding of an underground game. And yet, although the Wild West is centuries behind us now, the game still does occasionally result in blood and gunsmoke.

PokerNews published a piece yesterday discussing two separate news stories involving poker and murder. The latter of the two is the sort of scenario one would usually imagine resulting in a poker-related death: that is, the attempted robbery of an underground game. One of the three would-be robbers was killed in the attempt, a second elected to testify against his acquaintances to reduce his own sentence, and the remaining two have now accepted plea deals.

The first story is the more bizarre, however. A 77 year-old man in a retirement home in Wyoming apparently killed one fellow resident and wounded two others before turning the gun on himself. The reason he went down that grim road? Moral outrage over the other residents’ poker playing. There are, of course, many people who consider gambling a sin, but one hopes not too many who consider it a worse one than murder.

Meanwhile, James Guill wrote a piece over at Poker Update on “High Profile Poker Players Who’ve Been Sent to Jail.” The timing of his piece is likely due to the recent arrest of Ted Forrest, but it includes stories going back as far as 1995, and ranging from the comical to the extremely dark.

Addressing the Elephant in the Hall

Virtually no one, including current inductees, think that the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame in its current form is doing a good job of choosing its inductees in a manner which is fair, representative and complete. The trouble is that no one can agree on what exactly is wrong or how to fix it.

PartTimePoker’s Steve Ruddock came through with the article he promised in yesterday’s Hit and Run, in which he delineates a three-step plan to fix the Hall of Fame, which includes creating separate categories for people famed for their playing skill, and people famed for other types of contributions.

Meanwhile, in another piece over at Poker Update, James Guill expresses his own thoughts on the matter. He, too, has three points, two of which are similar to Steve’s, but then raises the question of what role stakes play in the consideration, and how to compare high-stakes cash play to high-roller tournaments.

Quick Hitters

- In Turkey, gambling is illegal. In Georgia, it is not, and the country’s biggest gambling destinations are, not coincidentally, right along the Turkish border. Turkish president Recep Erdogan Tayyp has asked Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to close the casinos, which are very popular with Turks now that crossing the border has become easier, but the latter has refused.

- Chris Moorman’s publisher has announced that a follow-up to his well-received Moorman’s Book of Poker will be coming out in July 2017. The title, this time around, will simply be Moorman. No word yet on when to expect Book and Poker, as one imagines the third and fourth will be titled.

- PartTimePoker’s rankings update for the month of September is out, and we’ll give you one guess who’s on top of all the lists. If you need a hint, his name rhymes with “feather bolts.”

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