Table Talk: Six Degrees of Full Tilt Poker

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I’m sitting amidst a pile of boxes, packing supplies, and a very confused dog. My pup and I are in the process of moving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and things are a bit of a mess around here as I prepare for the November relocation. You’re welcome to join me for a cocktail, though, as I have not yet packed my liquor.Cognac? Rum and cola?

The crux of the news over the past week focused on Full Tilt Poker or some aspect of the site’s relaunch. When PokerStars picked up the company’s assets earlier this year and moved everything to the Isle of Man, they decided to reestablish the site with its old name and perks but under new management. Full Tilt was to launch on November 6 for players outside of the United States, and it seems on track to do that. Even the website has a countdown with specific days to launch, along with a statement, news, and FAQs.

Those players dubbed “ROW” or “rest of world” – those outside of the U.S.- will be able to access their Full Tilt accounts with their previous balances intact. No wonder players are counting down. Some players had more than a few Euros in there. Italians may have to wait a bit longer, though, as regulators in that country have yet to agree to terms with PokerStars/Full Tilt about setting up there. Mama mia!

As I mentioned last week, the big announcement of late from FTP was the signing of Gus Hansen as the site’s official ambassador. Well, he has company. Tom Dwan and Viktor Blom also became Full Tilt Poker ambassadors, and together they would all be known as “The Professionals.” (That name is conspicuously the same as a crime novel written by former poker reporter Owen Laukkanen that is hitting the best seller lists in Canada. Coincidence? I wonder…)

Back to “durrrr” and “Isildur1”, Dwan and Blom respectively, the two look forward to playing at the high stakes tables of the new FTP. Dwan was a member of Team Full Tilt before “the incident,” and Blom was a member of Team PokerStars until his contract expired in August and was not renewed. It’s good to know they both have jobs again and can fund their high stakes poker games properly. Whew! I was worried about those two young gents.

Speaking of Team PokerStars Pros, Daniel Negreanu had a few things to get off his chest this week. In the exact opposite of a shocker, he released a long video in which he expressed a few opinions about Howard Lederer. It is complete with editing to incorporate interviews and quotes from others in the industry. Let’s just say that it needs no further explanation.

And speaking of former Team Full Tilters, Phil Ivey was robbed! CNN and the Daily Mail ran with the story in the mainstream media that Ivey was not paid by a London casino for his punto blanco winnings. He reportedly won £7.3 million over the course of two nights at Crockfords in August, and the private club declined to pay him. Instead, they launched an investigation into Ivey’s play, and though there has been no formal accusation of wrongdoing, lawyers for both parties are fighting over the money. Perhaps the casino is withholding money until all Full Tilt players get their missing money, similar to Ivey’s 2011 FTP lawsuit? Probably not, but the jokes are there for the taking.

Even the news that Richard Ashby and Shaun Deeb will be prepping for a $50K boxing match relates to FTP, as Ashby was one of the many former Full Tilt Red Pros. Much like the six degrees of separation – or the six degrees of Kevin Bacon for film fans – everything in poker seems to be six degrees or less from Full Tilt Poker.

In my world, though, there is nothing but boxes and moving tasks. I think I’ll have another cognac before getting back to it, though. If I survive the moving preparations and don’t find myself crushed under a box of books, I’ll see you next week.

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