Hit and Run: RIP Ellix Powers, Esfandiari’s AMA, Staples Pulls in 13k Twitch Viewers

Alex Weldon : November 26th, 2015
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Ellix Powers has passed away at age 62. Antonio Esfandiari holds an Ask-Me-Anything on Reddit. Jamie Staples sets a new personal record for Twitch viewership. Unibet offers up some data on the demographics of winning players, while its Main Event in Antwerp is underway despite Belgium’s terrorist troubles.

Ellix Powers (1952-2015)

Sad news today in the poker world as PokerNews reports the death of Ellix Powers at age 62. Powers was both a tragic figure and one of the more colorful characters of the boom years. His life was full of ups and – mostly – downs, and he spent much of it homeless and drug-addicted, but was by all accounts an excellent player of limit poker games “when he had his head on straight,” according to friend and fellow poker player Mike Millar.

Powers’ 60 minutes of fame in the poker world came during the 2004 World Series of Poker, when he managed to satellite into a $5000 Limit Hold’em event and make the final table, which was televised by ESPN. His antics at that table were polarizing, with some finding him entertaining and others being offended by his treatment of the other players, particularly the fan favorite, TJ Cloutier. The most shocking thing is that, according to Millar, Powers was so drunk and stoned that he couldn’t read his cards properly, and was attempting to bluff his way to victory. He ended up finishing 7th.

For more on his television appearance and other details of his life and death, see Chad Holloway’s excellent memorial article over at PokerNews.

The demographics of winning

Unibet has published an interesting blog post outlining the demographics of its player base and its correlations with winnings.

One interesting fact is that women tend to win less than men overall and improve at a slower rate. This might seem like a blow for the ongoing feminist movement in the poker world, but it turns out to be a case of correlation not implying causation: The reality is that a greater proportion of women players belong to an older age group, and older players in general are more likely to be playing for entertainment rather than attempting to play for a living.

Other miscellaneous facts: 25 is the most common age for online poker players, but 30-somethings win the most. The United Kingdom has the most experienced players, but Danes and Swedes are the biggest winners. Two-thirds of users have under 300 hands of experience, and only 7% have over 3000.

Quick Hitters

- Despite the recent terrorist manhunt in Belgium following the Paris attacks and associated security alert, the Unibet Open Antwerp is underway. Good news for anyone playing in it: Unibet’s aforementioned demographic stats show that Belgians are the site’s biggest losers.

- The people have spoken: “Inflatable Tube Man” will be the newest avatar available to Full Tilt players, defeating “Rocker” by a vote of 4,638 to 3,314.

- Finnish man (or woman) of mystery “ismo<3seppo" is likely to make history by becoming the first three-time PokerStars Yearly Tournament Leaderboard winner, provided that he (or she) can hold on for one more month.

- Jamie Staples is also setting records. His final table run in last weekend’s Sunday Warm-Up was both the biggest cash of his online career and a personal record for Twitch viewership with over 13,000 people on his virtual rail.

- Antonio Esfandiari did an Ask Me Anything on Reddit, but dodged a few too many questions for the liking of Lee Davy over at CalvinAyre.

Get your daily dose of poker news with the PTP Hit and Run.

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