Category Archives: Poker Pros

Is Brian Townsend's Multiaccounting Excuse Legit?

Brian Townsend is a player whose name is quite well known in the big cash game circles.  He plays a lot at the “Big Game” in Bobby’s Room and has made a pretty good living taking money off of those who have sat at his tables over the years.  He’s also a frequent online player too.  In fact, he plays so much he thought that he needed a second account at Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars.

Recently, Brian admitted to the practice of multiaccounting at both Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars.  This is a big no-no at both rooms as multiaccounting often leads to collusion since a player could use both accounts in the same room or tournament.  In fact it’s happened many times in the past which has led many rooms to ban the practice. 

Townsend made his reason for engaging in multiaccounting rather innocent as he said the reason he did it was because he likes to remain anonymous sometimes when playing.  He also went on to say that he never tried to collude with his extra two accounts.  This apology came after Full Tilt and PokerStars received complaints that Townsend was multiaccounting.

This all makes me wonder whether Townsend, or anyone else for that matter, could truly avoid the temptation to engage in collusion when they are multiaccounting.  After all, the temptation to cheat would be pretty great if one has gotten away with the practice before.  And why would one want to risk public embarrassment at such a major room just so they could play under the radar?

Obviously I don’t have video evidence of Townsend secretly colluding with his two accounts at either room but it’s hard for me to believe this same reasoning that’s been used by others caught multiaccounting.  Especially when such a huge advantage could be gained when multiaccounting.

The World of Poker Frowns on Scotty Nguyen

For years now Scotty Nguyen has been one of the highlights of professional poker.  Known as a guy who could not only impress a crowd with his incredible play but also with his humorous and talkative nature, Nguyen was one of the guys who people could consistently root for in poker… or so it seemed.

The truth may be that Nguyen’s likeable demeanor has an uglier side to it – especially when he’s got some beer in him!  ESPN’s re-showing of 2008 WSOP events showed Nguyen’s vulgar (but really entertaining) behavior during the $50K H.O.R.S.E. event in which he was consistently getting under other players’ skin through his drunken tirade and cuss words he kept spitting out. 

One point of the ESPN coverage showed Nguyen revealing his hole cards to the audience behind him while taunting fellow player Michael DeMichele.  Later on, he yelled, “Where the F*** is my cocktail” because the waiter was late getting it to him.

He definitely succeeded in making DeMichele angry and he also infuriated Erick Lindgren even more so as Lindgren admonished him when Soctty eliminated him in 3rd place.  The announcers also admonished Nguyen for dishonoring the memory of Chip Reese who the 2008 WSOP $50K H.O.R.S.E. tournament was supposed to celebrate.

Scotty did deliver an apology though some wonder how heart felt it really could be and it is as follows:

I would like to apologize to all my fans for the disappointment I have caused in the H.O.R.S.E. Event.  For that I would like to express my sincerest apology. 

I would like to ask for understanding of what really took place.  Keep in mind this was a five day event, with an almost fourteen hour final table that was reduced to two hours of air time including all the commercial breaks.  With that being said, as you can imagine, more took place than what made the final cut for t.v. 

Last year’s Main Event I made the mistake of letting someone get under my skin, of which overtook my mental focus of the game, and cost me my tournament along with a lot of disappointment amongst my fans and peers. (…) This year, I needed redemption of my own 2007 Main Event demons to prove to myself that no one would get to me again. 

This tournament was too important for me, the trophy, the fifth bracelet, and history, my head was zoned in for this event, and for that time, I forgot the fans were watching me.  I said things I shouldn’t have said that have disappointed you, and I apologize for my actions. 

This tournament I played the players game.  They wanted to play a drinking game, and they couldn’t win, they say they can’t even beat a drunk, how can you beat a drunk if I’m not drunk. (…) I gave it right back to them and got underneath their skin, and they couldn’t win.  When it came down to playing a poker game, the best will win. 

And all I have to say, I hope all you fans understand what I’m trying to say.  And watch the tape again.  I was not the one to start anything, not even drinking or talking, they wanted to start it with me, and they got beat by me fair and square on all levels they wanted to play. 

All I would ever be sorry, is how the fans feel about me, I would never be sorry to beat those players.  If they can’t accept defeat, then stay home, crawl under their loved ones arms, don’t bad mouth because you got beat by the best poker player. 

Another thing, I always bring joy and excitement to the poker game every time I’m on tv, and all of you know, when Scotty Nguyen is on tv, your eyes are glued on the screen.  Why?  Because I make it fun so you guys don’t switch the channel. 

Bottom line, I only ask for you to please understand and remember that I, Scotty Nguyen, the Prince of Poker is still a human being, just like all of you.  I too have good times, bad times, sad times and angry times, just like everyone else in this world, and I hope you can understand that.  I do promise to all the fans that no matter what, from now, I would never disappoint you again any which way.  I forgot about the fans, and only focused on me.  I am sorry.

Yes, the ESPN clips may have shown a lot more of Nguyen than the other players in these altercations but neither Lindgren nor DeMichele seemed drunk so where did the drinking game take place?  With a bunch of Nguyen’s buddies who where already out of the tourney?  Plus, his apology doesn’t really to be much of an apology either. 

Weird and Ugly Happenings in the Poker World

As a lot of people may realize, there hasn’t exactly been a rush of solid news in the poker world as of late.  Most of the happenings recently have been on the weirder side of things.  In fact, a lot of the events I’ve been hearing about lately have been very weird.

To start with, I’ve recently seen that David Williams has put up 10K for some guy to prove his claims that he saw Williams get pimp slapped outside of a Los Angeles nightclub.  Williams, who has received quite a bit of notoriety ever since his foot fetish video hit the market, supposedly likes to act tough out in public and berate people right in front of everyone.  In the end, I guess that the guy who said he saw Williams get slapped didn’t want to join in the 10K wager.

Moving on, and getting even more weird, it has been revealed that there may be some major controversy in a Playboy Poker Charity event that was held earlier this year.  In this story, a man by the name of Dr. Kevin Brown (who is in jail for sexually assaulting eight of his patients) was the catalysts behind the Playboy Poker Charity and apparently wasn’t too charitable with the proceeds as he is facing further scrutiny with a pending IRS investigation.

The last thing I saw that peaked my interest was a story about how Congress recently overturned a bill passed in March that declared it illegal to play poker while naked.  Poker pro Dutch Boyd, along with The Naturalist Society, championed the cause to get this bill overturned and were successful in getting it to where people can now play online naked (whatever that accomplishes).

Basically, I’m just glad that these types of stories don’t hit the mainstream as poker has enough trouble as it is.  And although this stuff is entertaining, the game doesn’t need anymore negative attention right now.


A Look at Gus Hansen's New Book "Every Hand Revealed"

There’s no question that Gus Hansen is seen as one of the biggest stars in the poker world today.  The Dane is adored by the media, seen as a sex symbol by many women, and has the credentials and playing ability to back up his fame.  However, maybe even more intriguing than all of this is Hansen’s actual style of play.

Gus Hansen is a man who makes a lot of plays that other players would stay clear of.  For example, he’s the kind of guy who will raise like crazy, or even go all-in, when he holding Q-4.  Yet you know he’s always got a plan and calculates everything because of the way he constantly utilizes that recording devise he uses at the table.

That’s why I had to get a hold of his book “Every Hand Revealed” when it came out.  Part of it was that I’m always looking for a way to better my own game while the other part was that I was just interested in what he had to say about his playing style.

Well I definitely wasn’t disappointed after making it through the book as Hansen’s insights into the game are very entertaining and helpful to players looking to gain an edge.  For instance, Gus tells readers exactly how he varies his play from the beginning of a tournament to the end which should help those who aren’t exactly sure how to maneuver through the various stages.

He also takes readers on a journey through his assessment of the odds at the table and what he does in different situations he faced with.  His analytical style of play and ability to read opponents is something else that is revealed to readers which will only be an added bonus to players.  In all, Hansen’s book is definitely worth reading and I think it has already improved my play personally.

Tiffany Michelle and UltimateBet Officially United

Going back to the WSOP for a moment, one of the darker sides of the whole event was how Tiffany Michelle and Tony G got into it about how the former PokerNews employee in Michelle was supposed to be representing the company throughout the Main Event.  Now this story has been beat to death by some people so I don’t want to go into it anymore. 

The only thing I want to say is that her wearing UltimateBet gear to the Main Event caused the rift because PokerNews paid her buy-in and she argued that other PokerNews employees were allowed to sponsor other companies and so should she. 

Well today, the weird saga came to fruition when Michelle was signed by the scandal-ridden UltimateBet today.  Apparently they, like many other people in the poker world were very impressed with her 17th place finish at the Main Event which drew major attention since she was the last female standing.  I’m sure they were also impressed by the fact that she’s one of the more attractive women in poker today (I’d give her about an 8 personally).

And all this got me wondering if this is one move that UltimateBet is banking on to help them restore their already broken image.  If Michelle turns out to be a big star in the form of their already popular UB team member in Annie Duke, it would certainly help out a lot.  However, what’s to stop Michelle from jumping ship as soon as soon as her playing ability is solidified enough to match her looks?

I don’t know who’s right or wrong in the PokerNews dispute but the reputation has already been created in some people’s minds that she would leave for greener pastures if given the chance.  All of this created for an interesting story to watch develop in the future.

Is Phil Hellmuth the Same Player this Year?

There are many people who can lay claim to being the best poker player in the world.  After all, it’s hard to really determine anything as the best measuring stick when comparing players.  Some people prefer to point towards the ones that play in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio as some of the best players in the world since they consistently play for the biggest stakes.  And if you’re going to use this as the measuring stick then most would say Phil Ivey is the best.

However, others like to point towards live tournaments as the favored way to tell how talented a player is.  And if this is the case, then Phil Hellmuth and his 11 WSOP bracelets by be considered the way to go.  After all, a gold WSOP bracelet is pretty much the top prize one could hope to win in any tournament (besides the money of course). 

But this year, it almost seems like Phil Hellmuth has played a little off from previous campaigns.  And that’s a hard thing to say since Hellmuth just recently took third in the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. tournament.  But as much as people have come to expect from him, it doesn’t seem like he’s been as dominant a tournament player in 2008. 

In his previous years of playing poker, Hellmuth was a constant threat to cash in every event he entered.  And he often did at least cash, if not make the final table and/or win the tournament he was playing in.  But this year I’ve seen him sent to the rail plenty of times during the early going of a tournament.  Many times he hasn’t even made it past the 1st day. 

Now he may make me eat my words and go out and win bracelet #13 in these last few events but I don’t see it happening this year.  I’m sure we’ll see a revival of the Poker Brat since he’s got plenty of years ahead of him but don’t expect it to take place anytime soon.