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The gossip mills never stop churning and so we are back with yet another edition of our PokerGuru Gossip Column!
A fun fact to note is, gossip can be found almost anywhere and apparently so can poker. Like in our first story, an American movie about crazy and rich Asians, also titled ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, discusses the relationship between game theory and poker.
Speaking of movies, when was the last time you saw ‘The Karate Kid’? More importantly, do think Gus Hansen will make a good ‘Daniel LaRusso’? While you mull over that question, you can also read up on how Hansen’s ‘great summer’ seems to be a never-ending adventure of fun and frolic.
But, no matter how much fun you are having, you should be careful about what you say, or you may just end up creating a controversy, like Patrick Leonard did when he made a comment about the Super High Rollers in an interview with HighStakesDB.
Nevertheless, while some people should be careful about what they say, others should stop talking altogether. Former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln falls in the latter category and going by her op-ed piece for the Financial Times where she compared poker to terrorism, we’re pretty sure that a lot of the poker pros out there would want her to stop spreading her fear-mongering views.
Well, let move on to the stories, shall we?
The American romantic comedy-drama film ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is doing the rounds at the theatres since August 15. Directed by Jon M. Chu and starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding, the story is of an economics professor at New York University (NYU), played by Wu, who agrees to meet her boyfriend’s, played by Golding, ‘crazy rich’ family during a wedding.
In the opening scene of the movie, Rachel Chu (Wu) is shown playing a poker game as part of a lecture demonstrating game theory and the concept of playing to win. Rachel faces a player with two pair, but her all-in move forces another player to fold. Rachel then advises, “The key is playing to win, instead of trying not to lose”. Game theory also plays a big role in the film’s climactic mahjong game, which is a centuries-old Chinese game and is extremely popular throughout Asia.
Reaction to this statement by poker players has been mixed. Game theory is mathematical doctrine that is based on strategic interaction between rational decision-makers. It is implemented in several scientific domains and many poker players, including Liv Boeree, Chris Ferguson, Dan Harrington and Erik Seidel, have used it to better their games in live and online tournaments.
Though the description of poker and game theory in the film may be debatable, the movie has received an approval rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and is certainly worth a watch.
You can watch the trailer of the moview here:
Is Gus Hansen The Next Karate Kid?
Prop bets are the trend of the season and another one seems to be in the offing and this time the man involved is one who has been having a ‘great summer’ – Gus Hansen. In an Instagram post, Hansen shared a photo of him looking very similar to the British singer Freddie Mercury, in a karate pose.
Prop bets and verbal jousting has been a prominent part of this poker season including Doug Polk unsuccessfully calling out Fernando ‘JNandez’ Habegger and HighStakes.com pro Luke ‘_FullFlush1_’ Schwartz set to fight Daniel ‘Danmerrrrrrr’ Merrilees.
— luke schwartz (@__fullflush1__) August 16, 2018
Hansen, himself, has previously been involved in a battle of fists. Back in 2009 he had engaged in a friendly boxing bout with Theo Jorgensen, and the latter walked off with $35,000. Given that the Danish pro is refreshing his fighting skills, maybe another prop challenge is on the cards.
And if Hansen is looking for opponents, he may not have to look too far. Daniel Negreanu may be willing to take him on. After all, based on his tweets, it seems that the WSOP bracelet winner, may know a thing or two about the fight game.
Respect the speed kid. Throwing those combos like legit weapons.
This fight going to happen? Poker needs more boxing matches!
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) August 16, 2018
In an interview with HighStakesDB, Patrick ‘pads1161’ Leonard stirred up quite a controversy when he made comments regarding Super High Rollers.
While talking was about becoming partypoker’s newest ambassador, Leonard was asked who according to him were the ‘Worst online tournament players?’
Leonard responded, “Worst? Haha, I can’t get into that. Let’s just say I think that a lot of people I stake for $50 MTTs are not far off the skill levels of players playing super high rollers. Relative to the buy in, the SHR’s are probably the softest buy in level. It’s a little bit like the old cash games, I think they always said the second biggest cash game in the room is always the toughest, the biggest is always full of pro’s who can somehow find a backer and then people who get the game to run.”
Did an interview with @highstakesdb https://t.co/6g00n7YW5n
“Let’s just say I think that a lot of people I stake for $50 MTTs are not far off the skill levels of players playing super high rollers. Relative to the buy in, the SHR’s are probably the softest buy in level around.”
— Patrick Leonard (@plenopads) August 17, 2018
This comment drew a lot of flak from his peers including Joey Ingram and Bryn Kenney.
I expect to see Pads playing a full schedule of SHR soon. You’re saying the HR’s are the toughest game in town?? https://t.co/6NsAbuiRk1
— DJ Joey Ingram (@Joeingram1) August 18, 2018
So ppl like Chidwick, Schindler, Bonomo aren’t some of the best in the world?
— Christopher Columbus (@CryptoCoIumbus) August 17, 2018
Easy to give reasons why people aren’t competing at the highest level but truth be told if they thought they could they would try instead of grinding out 100-200k a year in online mtts which to me seems like a job
— Bryn Kenney (@BrynKenney) August 18, 2018
Leonard however, defended himself.
Also don’t mean anybody is bad just that the level of play isn’t relatively that much better than $109 online tournaments considering the stakes are 1000 times higher
— Patrick Leonard (@plenopads) August 18, 2018
2- fear of colluding
4- don’t enjoy live
5- make more ev online
6- their friends don’t play them and don’t want to travel alone
— Patrick Leonard (@plenopads) August 18, 2018
However, he did find some support as well.
Agree with pads in everything he said;)
— Steffen Sontheimer (@RunGo0seRun) August 18, 2018
Definitely have played $500 online mtts with harder fields than some 25ks I’ve played but also think there are additional factors at work in playing SHRs and HRs (pressure over $ amounts, live tells, live anxiety etc) that don’t exist for people who play only hsmtts online
— Dylan Linde (@DylanLinde) August 18, 2018
In the end, while the comments did give rise to an interesting debate, neither side won since it is hard to prove one way or the other just how skilful the next level down is in poker.
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt or FUD is a term that has become quite popular of late and is often related to topics such as cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystems. However, for some people almost anything and everything can fall within the gambit of FUD.
A former U.S. senator from Arkansas, also known as the Queen of FUD, Blanche Lincoln, in an op-ed piece for the Financial Times, likened online poker to terrorism.
Lincoln wrote, “The FBI’s 2017 Internet Crime Report revealed that the victim count and financial losses suffered as a result of online gambling surpassed that of terrorism-related cybercrimes last year. It is this clear pattern of targeting the helpless that stands out to me.”
She used the 2017 FBI Internet Crime Report to substantiate her claim. The report provides data on “victim counts” for activities conducted through the Internet. Online gambling ranked 31st out of 33 activities listed by the number of victims in 2017. According to the report, 203 victims were related to crimes associated to internet gambling, but the amount associated with charities was over twice that amount.
Lincoln is at present working with a group that is trying to stall the growth and development of the casino industry by preventing online gambling. She was also one of the 100 individuals that backed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which eventually almost eradicated online poker in the U.S.
That’s all for this edition of PokerGuru Gossip Column. We’ll be back with more sensational stories and juicy gossips soon, so stay tuned!