Monday, October 22, 2007

Absolute Lies, Half-Truths, and Everything Else In Between

The whole Absolute debacle continues to be pretty amusing, but leaves me with all sorts of mixed emotions. Pauly (as always) says it much more elegantly and comprehensively than I can, but honestly, what a fucked up world poker is these days.

As far as official statements from Absolute, here's a quick synopsis: horseshit. They're saying anything and everything they can think of to keep their operations from spinning down the drain. The reality is that it's entirely possible for crooked-ass, immoral people to be in charge of major poker sites. Not just possible, but inevitable. I mean, for the love of Jebus, you're talking about an unregulated industry that spins off millions in free cash, each and every day of the week. Because of the inability of the US government to get its shit together and tax and regulate online poker, operators have been driven even further afield, and given even more leeway for shenanigans such as this to occur.

My favorite part of the whole Absolute situation is that one of their defenses when confronted with the fact that they were being less than forthright was to put forth the following defense: "What, you really want us to be honest and to admit that our highest ranking executives are treating the site like their personal piggy bank? Don't you realize that admitting that would doom us personally and give the entire industry a huge black eye in a particularly vulnerable time? No one wins in that scenario. How could you want that?"

Which makes me giggle quite a bit, as far as falling back on the argument that we should all think about the good of poker and not condemn Absolute. Umm, okay. You've done about the absolute worst thing a site can, short of absconding with all the money players have deposited with you, yet your primary defense is to beg for leniency? Why? So you can do it again?

The interesting part will be to see if they really suffer much, traffic-wise. I have to think much of the traffic on Absolute is there for rakeback, prop deals, etc., as there's pretty much zero reason to play there, when offered alternatives such as Full Tilt, Party, and PokerStars. So they may not even get hit that hard, as far as losing traffic, and that's not even factoring in the people who simply don't care about any allegations and scandals and just want their poker fix.

Haven't seen too much upheaval in traffic numbers at pokersitescout yet, but it's still early. It's interesting to see the gains that the iPoker Network has been making, as they've passed Ongame and are closing in on Full Tilt. Never thought that would have been the case back in the days when I played on Noble Poker and it was virtually a ghost town for much of the day.

I've barely played poker of late, as all my free time is getting sucked up by the most recent house project. I played in another Aussie Millions freeroll a few weeks back, and ended up finishing 9th (top 2 got trips). I was actually 2nd or 3rd for most of the tournament, pretty much on cruise control, but then lost a big pot with KK versus AQ, got no love on three or four coin-flips versus shortish stacks, then got bounced when I got overly frisky with a flush draw.

Played the blogger freeroll at PokerStars, exiting at 200th or so. Too much donkery to overcome in this one, as I had a nice stack but ran into the perfect storm of opponents who call off all their chips with just a gutshot, who think K10o is a monster pre-flop hand, and who can't wait to get all their chips in the middle with A4 s facing a raise, a re-raise, and an all-in from the three players in front of them. Well played, sirs, well played...

Heading off to Niagara Falls on Wednesday to cover the WPT North American Poker Championship for PokerRoom. I'm definitely looking forward to this trip, as I've never been to that part of the country, it's a nice ten day break from the day job, and my wife is flying up for the last half of the trip, as our anniversary is October 30th. Hard to believe that it's somehow been three years since we got married, but there you go.

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