Closing out 2009

I am in NZ and have taken some great walks in the Abel Tasman National Park (Nelson) NZ.  This is an amazing experience, it’s all so fresh.  I am staying at the Split Apple Retreat with Lee Nelson who is also providing me with a very healthy diet. The pictures show everything here is like pure magic.

Despite the financial shocks and crisis in many countries, the world is still here and nothing has changed.  Sure, we may have less money now but there is no reason to be less happy.  In fact, many have even more time now to spend with the people and families that they want to be happy.  It’s also a great time to get healthy and eat well; at least this is what I am doing.

It’s been a solid year again for the top two online poker giants, Full Tilt and PokerStars.  They are pulling away from the rest of the pack.  But I feel that in 2010 there will be some serious consolidation and there will be a clear alternative – at least for European players.  You really have to admire how much money goes back to poker players via Full Tilt and PokerStars and I hope that once the USA opens up, the European competition will also follow suit.  As I said before I estimate that Full Tilt and PokerStars have paid out about 60M USD in total this year to their pros and this is by far a record.  I think the whole industry might only pay about 70M total so those two pay the most.

As for my personal deal, all the final steps have been taken – so stand by for an announcement in regards to and a little personal deal for me which will be fun.  The deal will not be associated with PokerNews and will not stop me or PokerNews from being totally independent in terms of content and articles that we produce as we go forward.


I have had a few conversations over the phone with him and I really love the kid.  He is like me 15 years ago. I just wish I had as much talent as he does.  He can play the world’s best on eight tables and he only learned PLO about eight months ago.  Anyway, it is likely I will stake him in some big cash games in the future, this is what I do after all. I like to give people a chance in life to do well.  That is why I got involved with ChipMeUp and I love to stake lots of people there.  I am proud that I could stake 20 people this year at the WSOP main event and I hope I can stake even more of them in 2010.  One thing I will be doing more of in 2010 is playing more WPT and EPT events for sure.

I want to close the chapter with Isildur1, I know who he is, no doubt.  I also have to say that earlier I was guessing and I will never reveal who he is from here on out.  I think it’s more exciting for everyone, leaving the mystery as a mystery.

I can see how people attacked Full Tilt Poker on 2+2 – calling for lawsuits, etc., but this is not what Isildur1 really wants.  He wants to enjoy his life and move on.  This is what he needs to do.  He is a brilliant player and with a little bit of hard work, he will build back up to a multimillion roll.  It’s clear he is a favorite of the railbirds and guys, please do support him as he is the biggest thing that has happened in poker for a long, long time.  The matter of the 4Million dollar loss to Hastings is now behind us, sure it was controversial but many things are.  They don’t get reversed like the winning goal Thiery Henry scored against Ireland, it might be luck that the ref did not see it happen but the result stands.  We all shout but it’s important to move on and enjoy the future.

Good luck, Ilsi in 2010 and the most important part is enjoying life.

I wish everyone a massive 2010, with great holidays, and hope you all enjoy life.

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