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Found 4 results

  1. With a simple phone call, it seemed that World Series of Poker Media Director Nolan Dalla was able to get to the bottom of the controversial Dewey Tomko (pictured) anti-online poker editorial that recently appeared in the Press of Atlantic City. Tomko told Dalla that although he was friends with the article's supposed co-author Bill Byers and associateJames Thackston, he had absolutely nothing to do with it. Furthermore, he said, he had never played online poker in his life and would never say anything to hurt the game. But now, Thackston is speaking out, saying the poker legend did, in fact, have a say in the op-ed, and that Thackston himself was the original author of the article. In a series of Tweets, the anti-online poker activist laid out his own version of events. "I sat down with Dewey at his office to discuss the op-ed," he said. "He pointed out the changes that should be made and, with the conditions that edits were made, he agreed to offer the piece." Thackston continued, "He didn't want to be the one to pitch it to newspapers. I asked him if he was willing to share the byline with Bill Byers and have Bill submit it. He agreed." Following Dalla's original blog post about his conversation with Tomko, Thackston called Dalla to reinforce his claim that the WSOP bracelet winner had granted permission for the use of his name. In that conversation, Thackston made clear that it was he, not Byers or Tomko, that was the original author behind the piece. He again said he had "sat down" with Dewey and went through the piece, but conceded that Tomko never approved the final draft. Thackston later released a statement through Dalla saying simply, "I think Dewey may have simply forgotten details about the specifics of the op-ed. I was with Dewey when he went over the edits." For his part, Tomko doesn't seem to want anything to do with what he now calls a "real mess." While Dalla insisted that Tomko call the editors of the Press of Atlantic City directly, he preferred to route all communication through his lawyer, Richard Straughn. In an e-mail sent to the publication, Straughn demanded that the website remove the editorial "immediately" and that "any mention of Mr. Tomko with this editorial be discontinued." On May 7, the Press of Atlantic City removed the op-ed from its website, telling Pokerfuse, "Tomko says he didn't write it. We have no way of proving that point either way, so we just took it down." Thackston is a somewhat enigmatic figure in the world of anti-online poker activism. While now a strong supporter of Sheldon Adelson's (pictured) Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, Thackston, a software developer, originally hoped to cash in on the industry by selling his own online security software to poker sites. In a series of e-mails recently released by Poker Players Alliance Vice President of Player Relations Rich Muny, Thackston can be seen peddling his wares aggressively to Michael Waxman of the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. "Your e mail employs some of the language that the industry has previously come across in what would generally be described as attempts to extort money," Waxman replied. After many unsuccessful attempts at breaking into the industry, Thackston had a change of heart. In an e-mail to Jan Jones of Harrah's (now Caesars), he wrote, "Because I failed to raise the necessary investment, I have shut down the eSafe project as well as the company that supported it… Due to severe financial stress and with great anguish, I have been forced to take actions detrimental to the internet poker cause." Thackston went on to create several anti-online gambling websites including PoliticsOfPoker.com, which aggregated links attacking the industry, and UndetectableLaundering.com, a site dedicated to showing how online poker sites could be used by criminal elements. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. In March, PocketFives, along with many other news outlets, reported about a commentary piece that ran in the Press of Atlantic City. The article was supposedly written by Poker Hall of Famer Dewey Tomko (pictured) and "poker pro" Bill Byers and espoused fears that online poker is particularly vulnerable to money laundering and teams of cheaters that prey on novice players undetected. Referencing Sheldon Adelson's Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and a letter from the FBI to Congress, the op-ed piece said, "Criminals can use technology that poker websites cannot detect to hide both the identity and location of a poker player, enabling the corruption of virtual poker tables. Background information related to the FBI concerns suggests that the technology enables multi-player collusion." It added, "If three or more players at the same poker table can use hacker technology to effectively share card values in ways hidden from the poker website, a terribly damaging scandal becomes a very real possibility." On Monday, longtime World Series of Poker Media Director and poker chronicler Nolan Dalla wrote on his blog that the Tomko/Byers piece was a hoax. Why he knows this is simple: he is friends with Tomko and asked him about it. On Sunday, he gave his friend a call and told him about the piece. Tomko's response: "I have no idea what you're talking about. You know me. I don't write columns to newspapers. I've got other things that keep me plenty busy." "I have no association whatsoever to anything to do with that," Tomko said when Dalla asked him about his associations with anyone or anything online poker-related. "I don't play online poker.I've never played online poker before. Not even once. I don't know anything about it. Why would I say something on something I know nothing about? I don't do that." Tomko endorsed Doyle's Room way back when, but that was as a favor to his good friend Doyle Brunson and he never actually played on the site. He also said that while he does know Bill Byers, he hasn't talked to him in a decade. He never gave anyone permission to tack his name onto the Press of Atlantic City article and, in fact, knew nothing about the piece until Dalla brought it to his attention. This is all according to Dalla. "I'm totally in favor of online poker," he told Dalla. "I haven't played it. But I know it's good for poker. I can't really comment at all about security because I'm not qualified in that area. How could I be? How can they say that about me? I would never write such a thing about online poker. I would never do anything to hurt the game. You know that." So who is behind the piece? Several names have been floated, but we'll keep you posted as more news develops. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. Dewey Tomko(pictured), a three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and 2008 Poker Hall of Fame inductee, recently published an editorial in the Press of Atlantic City voicing his concerns about how cheating could have the potential to cause major damage to the newly legalized online poker industry in the US. EDITOR'S NOTE: In May 2014, Tomko said the following about the Press of Atlantic City story: "I have no association whatsoever to anything to do with that. I don't play online poker. I've never played online poker before. Not even once. I don't know anything about it. Why would I say something on something I know nothing about? I don't do that." The veteran poker player's chief concern was the threat of collusion and bots at the tables. "What worries us is well-organized teams of cheaters using hidden technology to steal from novice players now that Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have gone live with legalized internet poker," he said. While Tomko admitted that collusion by only two players would be easy to find, adding more players to the mix would make detection quite difficult. "Add a fourth colluding cheater and the team can gain a significant edge and, at the same time, make finding them reliably and consistently very difficult," he wrote. Tomko sites Sheldon Adelson's Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, which recently touted a letter from the FBI to Congress outlining its fears regarding the industry. "Online casinos are vulnerable to a wide array of criminal schemes," it said. "For example, criminals may participate in games with exclusively criminal players to launder criminal proceeds or criminals might intentionally lose a game to a public official in order to effect a bribe payment." In an ad by the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, the organization even hyperbolically claimed that online poker could be used to finance a 9/11-style attack. Stepping back from the hysteria, though, studies by economist Friedrich Georg Schneider have shown that the online poker industry is "by no means relevant for money laundering." The poker economy is far too small and the fees too high, he said. Opponents of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling like the Poker Players Alliance have chimed in with the same sentiment. "The notion that licensed and regulated internet poker would be an attractive conduit for terrorism financing is, on its face, laughable," said John Pappas (pictured), director of the organization. "There isn't a shred of evidence to support this, except for far-fetched claims manufactured by this coalition." Tomko's apprehension is not meant to say that he is against the regulation of online poker in the US. "While we fully support the legalization of internet poker, we urge regulators and poker website operators to take every possible measure to ensure the integrity of the game is never compromised, nor in question," he said. "Anything less risks bringing dishonor to the game that has been so much a part of our lives." For their part, regulators have implemented strict rules and penalties that casinos must follow regarding cheating and collusion. "The casino licensee shall have an internet gaming manager responsible for the operation and integrity of internet gaming and reviewing all reports of suspicious behavior," states the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement on its website. "The internet manager shall immediately notify the division upon detecting any person… engaging in or who is reasonably suspected of cheating, theft, embezzlement, collusion, money-laundering, or any other illegal activities," it continues. For those caught in the act, the penalties can be harsh and mirror brick-and-mortar property policies in Nevada and New Jersey. The threat of jail time will likely make potential cheaters think twice, unlike at an unregulated poker site where the only punishment could be to ban the player's account. The Hall of Famer urges regulators to perform "stress tests" in order to ensure the newly operational poker sites are safe for new players. "Online poker relies on large player pools with many newcomers," he said. "The loss of trust of novice players will be damaging to the entire industry."
  4. 2019 marks the 50th annual World Series of Poker. The most prestigious poker festival in history has played a pivotal role in creating many of the legends and superstars of the game. To commemorate the occasion, PocketFives editorial staff each ranked the top 50 players in WSOP history in an effort to define and rank the most important, influential, and greatest WSOP players of all time. #50 - Eli Elezra BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 59 $1,882,898 20 When Eli Elezra picked up his first WSOP cash in 1999, nobody knew that it would lead to a career that included 58 more cashes and three gold bracelets. Elezra's first bracelet win came in 2007 when he beat Scotty Nguyen heads up to win the $3,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo title. He defeated another Poker Hall of Famer to win his second bracelet, outlasting Daniel Negreanu in the $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw event in 2013. He won his third bracelet in 2015, taking down the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event. Of his 59 cashes, 14 are in $10,000 Championship events, including three WSOP Main Event cashes. #49 - Mickey Appleman BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 48 $1,188,108 25 Mickey Appleman's four WSOP bracelets span 23 years. After playing his first WSOP in 1975, Appleman won the first bracelet in 1980 in a $1,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event. His other wins came in 1992 ($5,000 No Limit 2-7), 1995 ($5,000 Limit Hold'em), and 2003 ($2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em). In 1987 and 2000, Appleman made the final table of the WSOP Main Event, finishing eighth and ninth, respectively. He has three other Main Event cashes (1989, 1990, 2011). #48 - Amarillo Slim Preston BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 12 $437,265 4 'Amarillo Slim' took poker to the mainstream after winning the 1972 WSOP Main Event. As much as he seemed to revel in the spotlight provided by The Tonight Show and 60 Minutes, Preston continued to prove his mettle at the table as well. Along with the 1972 win, he earned bracelets in 1974 ($1,000 No Limit Hold'em), 1985 ($5,000 Pot Limit Omaha w/rebuys), and 1990 ($5,000 Pot Limit Omaha). #47 - Max Pescatori BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 73 $2,527,086 18 In the 15 years that Italy's Max Pescatori has been coming to the WSOP, he's amassed 73 cashes and his four bracelet wins have come in four different games. He won a $2,500 No Limit Hold'em event in 2006, a $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha/Hold'em event in 2008 and then won the $1,500 Razz and $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship events in 2015. #46 - Vanessa Selbst BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 29 $2,201,877 11 It took Vanessa Selbst just nine years to go from respected online poker grinder to three-time WSOP bracelet winner. In 2008, she won a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event for her first bracelet. She followed that up by winning a $2,500 10-Game Mixed bracelet two years later. Her third bracelet came in a $25,000 Mixed Max No Limit Hold'em event in 2014. "Vanessa Selbst is one of the most important players in the modern WSOP era, and it's a shame we may not get to realize the extent of what her dominance could have been as she's moved on from playing poker full time. Her résumé speaks for itself, and if she were to ever return to playing a full WSOP schedule, she'd easily be one of the top contenders to win WSOP Player of the Year." - PocketFives Managing Editor, Donnie Peters. #45 - John Racener BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 1 71 $7,948,710 19 John Racener might be most famous for his runner-up finish in the 2010 WSOP Main Event, but he's also picked up 70 other cashes covering nearly every game offered by the WSOP. Proving his mixed game abilities, Racener's sole WSOP bracelet came in the $10,000 Dealer's Choice event in 2017. He's finished seventh and 11th in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship and has eight cashes in $10,000 Championship events. “Some may just remember John Racener from his final table appearance at the November Nine, with his front row seat to one of the wildest hands that ever took place during the WSOP between Jonathan Duhamel and Joseph Cheong. However, he’s been a cashing beast year-in and year-out during the series since 2007. He won a bracelet in the difficult field of the 2017 $10K Dealer’s Choice and he’s racked up a total of 68 cashes during the summer series and another six in Europe.” - PocketFives Senior Writer, Jeff Walsh. #44 - John Monnette BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 67 $2,341,395 21 More than two-thirds of John Monnette's WSOP cashes have come in games other than No Limit Hold'em. As a further testament to his diversity, Monnette's three gold bracelets came in $2,500 Eight Game Mix (2008), $5,000 Seven Card Stud (2012), and $10,000 No Limit 2-7 (2017). His 21 top 10 finishes include three runner-up finishes and four third-place finishes. "The only thing keeping John Monnette from more WSP success is the high-stakes cash game scene during the summer in Vegas, because he is as good as they come when it comes to mixed events. Although we always focus on bracelets, Monnette is a great example of how we should look a little deeper. He has three finishes in second place and four in third place. It takes an incredible amount of skill to consistently reach the top three in gold bracelet events, and Monnette is there what seems like every single year." - Donnie Peters. #43 - Paul Volpe BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 47 $3,567,941 14 Paul Volpe, a former #1-ranked player on PocketFives, has won three WSOP bracelets while also picking up 20 cashes in $10,000 Championship events. On top of that, he's finished sixth and 11th in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. Volpe has also put together three deep runs in the Main Event, finishing 20th (2012), 29th (2016), and 142nd (2018). "The early days of the WSOP were all about the best going against the best. Paul Volpe's success comes in a very different era, but it's all come in events where he's up against the elite poker players in multiple variants. He's a throwback in many ways. The fact he's able to crush the $10K Championship events with consistency is a testament to just how talented Volpe is to his craft." PocketFives Editor in Chief, Lance Bradley. #42 - Robert Mizrachi BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 63 $3,096,947 19 Robert Mizrachi won his first bracelet in 2007, beating 312 other players in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship event before picking up a bracelet each year between 2014 and 2016. His four wins came in four different variations: Pot Limit Omaha, Dealer's Choice, Seven Card Stud, and Omaha Hi-Lo. He's cashed three times in both the $50,000 Players Championship and the Main Event. #41 - Dewey Tomko BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 45 $2,674,848 29 Dewey Tomko won three bracelets, including two in 1984, but might most famously be remembered for being one of four players in WSOP history to finish runner-up in the Main Event twice. In 1982, Tomko came second to Jack Strauss, and then 19 years later, ended up one spot behind Carlos Mortensen. Tomko's three bracelets are in a $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event (1979), $10,000 No Limit 2-7 (1984), and $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha w/rebuys (1984). For more discussion on PocketFives' Top 50 Greatest Players in WSOP History, check out the latest episode of The Fives podcast. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher Stay tuned to PocketFives as we continue to count down the 50 greatest players in WSOP history leading up to the start of the 2019 festival.
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