have been in Las Vegas for awhile now. I came in to take a crack at the WPT World Championship at Bellagio, made it through day 2 and then out on day 3. And I’m here to work, it’s the life of The G, work out with my trainer, play a little poker, go back to work. I love it!
I recently did an interview on ESPN’s podcast, the Poker Edge, with Gary Wise and Andrew Feldman about Black Friday. If you haven’t listened to it, you should because I serve the online poker community and I’m concerned about the silence that is running through Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker for the players that are waiting for a scrap of news.
The whole poker universe is a bit on the downside since the indictments were served on the Big Three. It was just over a month ago and not much has been resolved in player payouts with Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker/UB. PokerStars has taken care of their players, that speaks volumes in helping settle the issues with the DOJ and internet poker in general. I am involved in trying to work through it with some of the top level people at Full Tilt. And I am involved because it affects my business at PokerNews and my lifestyle in poker. We need to move forward with a positive sign to clear the rubble from the past and start building online poker into a safe, regulated system for everyone that wants to play.
I have been very outspoken about player payouts and I believe it’s coming down to a big decision that must be made soon. But there is good news, I can’t elaborate too much but I have information that leads me to understand the FTP teams’ personal assets are on the line and they will liquidate to pay the players if need be. Since more talk or pressure won’t make things happen any faster, I am asking everyone to give Full Tilt Poker two weeks of grace to sort this out. Follow my poker tweets <http://www.pokernews.com/twitter/TonyGuoga/> for the unedited version of what’s going on in the mind of The G and updates with Full Tilt and the online poker world. Follow me on Twitter for more updates: @TonyGuoga
Along with work and working out, I’ve been searching for worthy opponents to play heads-up poker with while I’m in the desert. I’m not looking for a nit, I’m looking for action and someone that wants to rumble on the felt with The G. Find me at The Wynn, just look around for Steve Wynn’s German Shepherds and the guy that’s trying to outrun them on the golf course, that’s me.
While I’m in Vegas I won’t make it to the Sunday Bike Ride at Party Poker, but I will return soon, with a bunch of bikes for those of you that want to try to bust me out of the action.
It’s been a great day in Las Vegas, the sun is out, the weather is comfortable and perfect for a bike ride – now if I could just find someone to send down the road it would be even better! My mood and attitude about the gloom surrounding Black Friday is starting to climb out of the hole it was buried in for the last two weeks. We can get around all of this. Online poker isn’t going away. Maybe this whole attack by the DOJ will finally make people realize they have to fight back if they want freedom in their own home.
The cash out status for Full Tilt Poker is improving and it seems things are getting much better. I feel really confident about players in the USA getting their money back soon. I’ve heard some really good chatter today and I know the whole team is working hard to get the player’s money into the USA. The players in Australia have been able to cash out with no problem and so have many other countries so there is no doubt that today there is real stability. I feel good about all of it, just from hearing the news.
PokerStars has paid most U.S. players by now and they are running poker around the clock as usual. That’s a very good sign for online poker.
On the player’s money being safe and coming back to them, I believe Absolute Poker is dead. PokerStars is 100% safe. Full Tilt Poker is 90% safe. That’s my opinion only and you shouldn’t take book on it. I hope that all online poker sites honor the player’s trust and investments of time and money by returning all funds as soon as possible.
I’ve heard some rumors running around the world of poker chatter and there is some huge news coming about Full Tilt but right now it is chatter and I can’t talk about it. I really like to know things I can’t talk about; it’s a game of its own, and I love games.
But on the lighter side, I am at the Wynn enjoying Steve Wynn’s hospitality and staying one step ahead of his German shepherds this time. I played a freeroll Baccarat tourney yesterday and was first out. I’m playing again tonight in the second chance, there’s $1M up for grabs and Johnny Chan is fighting to win too. After the tourney I’m off to the gym with my personal trainer Paul.
I caught a flight from Orlando to Vegas and touched down in Vegas late last night. Sin City is the usual for me, I’m here and ready to work. I like to play, but work is what keeps me moving across the globe and I’m on it today too. Black Friday has put the damper on posting and trying to remain upbeat about online poker when the US players aren’t able to play. Everyone is waiting to see what happens next. I don’t think it’s going to turn into a quick, happy ending because no one has ever won against the DOJ.
Next week is crunch week for Full Tilt Poker. They have to get some of the money out to people that has been frozen in accounts since the 15th of April. If players start to see their funds coming home, I think all will be fine and stable. I really feel for everyone involved. I think the key person at Full Tilt Poker is Nelson Burtnick since it appears he had the keys to the vault and the pin codes so he is the guy that could tell everyone where all the cookies are.
When you compare the two online poker sites, Full Tilt and PokerStars, there should be no difference with how the money is held. All the players’ money should be in a separate account. PokerStars has been able to come back to the players with a payment resolution already and Full Tilt should be able to do the same thing – that is unless Nelson had a crack with the cash. That is pure speculation on my part, I have no evidence, but Nelson should speak up and initiate a release and everyone will relax a little bit. It’s now become a situation where the time to make a statement is now and loyal supporters need to see action, waiting doesn’t help anything.
No matter how they do it, they have got to get the player’s accounts paid back to the player’s bank accounts. Luckily the owners have lots of personal assets and Durrrr and his mate are kind by offering $1Million. If all of the Full Tilt Poker Team could chip in with $1M each to start with, that would really help ease the tension. I feel that team FTP needs to step up right now and guarantee player funds with their own personal wealth.
I’m sure the DOJ is willing to help get the money back to players so if the money is there, it should be coming your way soon if you have an account at Full Tilt Poker.
I’ve reached out to the top owners at Full Tilt and while I don’t have the solution to any of it, I am here to help in any way I can. I’m waiting and hoping like everyone else, hoping the next move is a positive step for online poker everywhere.
Laura has Alec Torelli, Mike Matusow, The G, and Roland de Wolfe on deck for Tony’s video blog at the PokerNews Interactive live stream of the Party Poker Big Game V. Laura is holding a Phil Ivey doll and says, “Phil Ivey’s in the house!” before she asks Tony if he’s coming back to the game.
Tony says it’s up to the organizers and a big discussion starts about who is ahead at this point, Jennifer Tilly is according to Matusow and de Wolfe but Tony disagrees, he says they are tallying it up right now. Tony believes Jennifer isn’t coming back to play and Matusow says they will all give her 500 to come back so Tony won’t win.
Tony says he will wait for the organizers to give him the green light so he can jet off to London. de Wolfe says they are fixing it up so Tony will have the badge to say winner and that Jennifer is actually ahead.
Laura asks Matusow what he thinks of his doll; the doll takes a beating as Mike ’shows’ what he thinks of the doll by throwing it onto the floor, stepping on it, drop kicking it as he talks, and ends with, “I’m playing better now!”
Laura asks Mike who he’s going to get at the table and Mike stammers through, “I don’t know…” when Torelli pipes in, “It’s hard for Mike to find the target when he is the target…”
Laura tells them all to shake hands and they do! Tony rousts them with a team huddle cheer, “WE CAN DO IT!”
As they go back to the table, Laura spins the yarn that they all love each other…really!
Tony comes riding into the dimly lit Dusk Till Dawn Casino in Nottingham UK, for the Party Poker Big Game V that is being live streamed on PokerNews Interactive. He’s got a basket on his bike – for the poker dolls to ride in.
Tony takes a ride around the table and sizes up the players, letting them know that the bike is waiting for their exit. He lets one of the dolls get a look at the players as it stands on the rail, and then does a double back flip before Tony puts the doll back in the basket. Tony stands by the table and talks to the players, sitting down for just a moment to show the doll the game.
Laura Cornelius is waiting for Tony once he parks the bike.
Tony says he was asleep and plugging away in bed in a dream. He says he will slip into the game and do his best. Laura asks if he’s been watching any of the live stream of the game and he says yes, it has been a bit of motivation. Laura says they’re about to lose someone in the game and asks if Tony knows whose seat he will take. Tony says he thinks it’s Neil Channing. He’s going to get biked, he’s the most sort of popular hated player in the UK. Tony says he’s the most hated. Tony says that’s not a bad title, he’s won something, and Channing’s been working hard to win.
Tony introduces his friends, the dolls that he brought in the basket on his bike, the first one is Devilfish – Tony brings up the doll that Bruno got when he got evicted because he’s also one of the most hated players – the next doll Tony shows is Phil Hellmuth and Tony turns the doll upside down and cracks jokes about Hellmuth’s private jet; the third doll is Daniel, Laura likes the beard.
Tony says there’s a bulldog in the house but they’re not allowing German Shepherds because they don’t want a dog fight. He says there’s a lot of controversy in America and he’s staying away from that. He says the dog is going to eat Hellmuth and Devilfish.
And Tony’s off…to take the dolls to the table.
I’m in LT right now feeding my dogs and working hard but I’ll be in Nottingham UK in the Dusk Till Dawn Poker Club working my way through some of the starting line-up of the Party Poker Big Game V – these are the ones: Viffer, Annette Obrestad, Jennifer Tilly, Sam Trickett, Bruno Fitoussi, Devilfish, Neil Channing, and a Party Poker qualifier – starting April 15th.
I’ll be playing for sure, I think I’m coming in first man down, coaxing my fellow players to drink, barking (since my dogs can’t come), and trying to build my cash stack up. It’s a 48 hour poker marathon where anything can happen and probably will because something new has been added.
You can interact as you watch the live stream at PokerNews, the whole 48 hours. You get to see the hole cards, hear all the noisy chatter with players, listen and watch for trivia and password hints and clues in the live stream, and find the restricted password for two Freerolls at PartyPoker that have cash added and a seat to the Party Poker Spring Million, and the best part is, you can vote on evicting a player that you don’t want at the table. Of course you want me there, I’m not a nit, I’m fun, I’m crazy, and I get things going. I promise to be the entertainment manager when I’m in the game.
You get to decide on Bike Time, big time. Tune in and stay tuned for all the fun and action and become part of it this weekend at PokerNews.
I am playing the PokerStars Big Game. Thursday was a completely fun day when I got to punish and repunish Phil Hellmuth. It was my typical Tony G takes no prisoners kind of day and Phil was part of the aftermath I left laying behind me. He will probably give up poker altogether soon. Especially when he knows he has to face me. He must start shaking as soon as he knows he’s going to play against me now since he never wins. Obviously I can’t tell you any of the results because it would give away the show and that’s a BIG no-no but destroying Hellmuth is one of the things I enjoy most. Just watch the show.
I’ve been relaxing in my Villa at the Wynn when I’m not busy eating up poker players. It’s such a beautiful place, the golf course is right outside my balcony, I’m on the second floor and the view spreads out into rolling green, sand traps, ducks on the grass, the pool in the villa below, and right next to me is Steve Wynn’s villa. It’s completely fenced and his dogs are kept inside and not trying to take a piece of me off for lunch like before when I went to take a peek at Wynn’s villa.
The tranquil area outside my window keeps a wall between me and the lunacy of the Las Vegas Strip. The city that never sleeps is always calling. I have the best of everything. I can feed my crazy attitude and appetite anywhere I want, any time I want, and then return to quiet and peace and work on the inner spirit of The G. This inner spirit is in need of taking on Russian poker players and that’s what I get in my next trip to South Point Casino for The Big Game where I’m playing against a table full of them. It’s one of the things I love most, the next best thing to playing a table full of French players is a table full of Russians.
Before I went off to play the Russians, I had work to do,
then I needed a massage which I received in the massage room in my villa by a beautiful masseuse with great hands,
and donned my Party Poker wear for the day.
Isn’t it great that my sponsor, Party Poker, lets me play against and with Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars players? And on the subject of playing wherever I want, I was snubbed again in the picks for the 2011 NBC Heads-up. I am irritated about it and have sounded off on the 2+2 Forums.
Then I was off to play the Russians, driven in style,
I came to Moscow to check out the games. A few years ago the games were so good I thought Russia was opening up and poker would be bigger there than anywhere else in the world. Now it’s like the world turned upside down in Russia and gambling is just not going to happen, not now anyway. All the clubs are shut down, it’s so sad, just imagine all the casinos shutting down on the Las Vegas Strip one day. All the super degens would go into withdrawal. Since there is no poker for me in Moscow, I’m on my way to Paris in a few hours.
I’m very popular in Russia, my face is on a billboard ad everywhere I turn. The media is making comments about me too. Can you believe it? I’m not playing poker or taking Zasko or TJ around a poker table to take a bite out of any poker players or threatening anyone with a bike ride, I’m just minding my own business and out of nowhere, I’m a poster ad. Here’s a picture of the billboard.
Tony G Billboard Ad
For my friends that can’t read Russian, the poster says to pay your council bills for heating. I pay so much in Lithuania I can’t afford to pay my bill in Russia. LMAO
You can find the story here. And do read the WHOLE page. Then you will know how I became so famous.
Lynn Gilmarten greets Tony at the Aussie Millions 2011 and asks how he feels about the $25K Invitational. Tony says he feels great and he’s very happy to be invited, it’s a great field. He says the tables are all stacked and he’s going to have a bit of fun and then go to the tennis.
Asked about his table today, Tony says he’s got the weakest table and he’s very lucky to have them but they are very lucky to have him since he’s the weakest player in the weakest field. With all of that taken into consideration, Tony says that being the weakest player in the weakest field gives him a very good chance to get through to the next round. The Invitational is a three heat tournament.
Tony’s going to see Berankis against Nalbandian in the tennis. Richard Berankis is a Lithuanian connection and new on the scene so Tony will be out there with a cheer squad leading them on for a major victory.
Tony’s dog comes up next in the conversation. Zasko cannot make it due to issues with documentation but TJ is in and will make an appearance on Saturday. Tony says he is very well trained and qualified; he will do some tricks, some barks, and perhaps an attack or two.
Watch the video for a a super charged sense of Tony’s humor and the fun he has with poker and life.
I hope 2011 starts on a positive note for everyone and the future is filled with great health and happiness throughout the world. I’m looking forward to new projects and enjoying everything I have with family and friends. And I’m looking forward to many, many more poker competitions. I have one coming up.
It’s January 1st, 2011, and I woke up around 9.30am which is late for me. I am in New Zealand and the plan for the day is to do a 25km (a little over 15 miles) walk and I am sore as I have had a huge bet for a 14km run from 3 days ago. I have some Russian friends staying with me and we are all having fun but the side bets are painful on the body although I am a big winner here, it’s not about that.
I am here to get healthy and Dr. Lee Nelson who runs the fat farm here does the job. He takes care of me and I am getting into shape and feeling strong. On the last day we played an 8 game sit and go and I chopped it with the DR. which was a nice way to end the year. I think that result summed up the year for me. It was very, very good in terms of win/loss.
So the big news is me and Isildur1. The show down is coming. Since it was announced, a lot of people close to Isildur1 have protested that it may not be me playing. The correct way to do this thing is for me and him to sit next to each other at the PCA – where I would rush to – and everyone can ensure it’s me playing. I have had enough of people telling me I can’t play four screens at once. For one, I have doubts about isilidur1. Is it really him playing all 4 tables or is anyone helping him? Let’s sit next to each other and make it a clean game and leave no doubt about it. He can wear a mask to shield himself – that is not a problem – but the only fair way to make this happen now is that way, we sit together and fight this out hard at the PCA and he can cope with some well deserved verbal as well.
Isilidur1 did you pass that driver’s test by the way? Bring your permit with you! LOL