Negreanu's rant, legislation and revelations in online poker community

In today's post we will talk about Daniel Negreanu (who went on a rant), the legislation that is not happening right now, and a few other newsworthy items.


Daniel Negreanu has been a longstanding poker player and pro for and as such he is a very well respected member of the poker community. Over the last decade or so he has been on the frontline defending poker and making poker accessible to the public. After poker’s Black Friday he was very quiet about the situation at FullTilt Poker and the “missing millions” of their alleged Ponzi scheme.  Last week Negreanu made a new video blog in which he ended his silence. This ended up being a very bad thing for Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson, or as Daniel called them, “weasels” and “scumbags.” Although those are the words thousands of poker players around the world have

said silently and on poker forums, the fact that a well-respected and well spoken poker pro like Negreanu came out with them is sure to cause a few ripples in the poker community. Negreanu defended the “mafia” way of doing things by saying “it would be good if someone gave you a nice beating with a baseball bat”. Despite the fact that I myself have money locked up on FullTilt Poker, I personally find it hard to stand by that particular comment, but the fact is that Lederer and Ferguson should have expected some anger after nearly a year without a single reply or press statement to the accusations of fraud.

Now, onto legislation.  It seems the good news is not happening soon. There was hope that the poker bill legalizing poker play at the federal level could or would be attached to a tax bill that Obama will sign any day now, but that is not happening. It seems that there is only a small chance it will happen before 2013, but there are still 3 or 4 bills that could carry the poker legislation forward. There is even talk that it may happen right after the November election, as that is typically a quiet period for Congress. Let’s just hope it gets done soon and the Americans will be able to compete in a legal setting against other players.


If you are looking for a laugh, go to YouTube and look for “online poker is a scam”. This video brings the lolz for this week as the poster rants on about how rigged online poker is. He has logged 1.2 million hands in his poker database (a decent but not astonishing amount) and he manages to tell us that, for example, playing 33 vs. AA is a coin toss. Really, sir??  He also reads in his database that 68% of hands result in flushes and more of similar nonsense. Finally, he goes on and tells us that he has played just as many live hands as he has played online, so he can verify the difference. Well, sir, if you played 1.2 million hands live you must have played poker for a long time… Playing 35 hands per hour is pretty standard in a live game, so playing 8 hours per day would lead to around 300 hands per day, which leads to 2000 per week and that equates to 100,000 per year. If the video’s creator played poker live for 8 hours per day, seven day per week ALL year long it would take him 12 years to log around 1.2 million hands.  My guess is that the friendly video poster has neither a clue on how to calculate hands nor how to read his database.

On to Jason Somerville now, and how this poker pro caused a few waves recently. Not because he won or lost a big game, but because he came out of the closet. That’s right - Jason Somerville told the online poker community that he is gay. For some reason I find it hard to fathom why this could/would/should be news, but of course given the world we live in it’s a big step. There is not a single known male, mainstream, well-known poker player that is openly gay (Vanessa Selbst has been out for a long time, and of course there are many people who play poker and are gay and are simply less famous than Jason), so it makes sense that the “first” gay male poker player needs to be celebrated. Jason definitely deserves to be able to talk openly about his sexual identity and it’s a good thing he finally can do so. Who knows, it might open the floodgates and other poker players will lay their cards on the table and come out. Good luck to all at the felt, be you straight, gay, bi or with any other (legal) sexual preference.

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