My opinion of what’s going on and Isildur1

I don’t want to talk too much about Isildur1 but I can reveal to all it is Viktor and he crushed them on the iPoker network for some time.  I actually played a few hands with him today and quite many on iPoker where my site TonyG Poker runs.  I honestly respect this guy 100%.  He has proved that he is the best player in the game right now; this is based on many, many hands on iPoker and Full Tilt Poker.

I have one tip for him – you are still young, the key to make it is zero tilt.  You can never get upset about losing hands.  Having the ability to play as you and Tom do, or anyone else, you have to have great self control and money management.

Anyway, LOL, I just wish I was half as good as Tom or Viktor but I am not in the same class.  Plus I guess I am too old now to risk a few mill with no solid edge.  I jumped in the 300/600 on Full Tilt and lost about 30k or so and did not feel good about playing so I am out of those games but I wanted to try it to see how it feels and have played a few hands over the last five days but it is of no value for me right now; maybe another time.

I want to explore where Full Tilt is going now with these very huge games.  I think the money is not correct right now and that these players are not showing a good example as pros…I am talking about Gus and Durrrr here, for those two world top pros to be losing 15 Million on Full Tilt in six months is not the right example to the up and coming players.  I think Full Tilt needs to kill the big games, with the biggest being 100-200. In the long run, I believe the limits being played right now will hurt the game.  Sure, it’s nice to have so many fans watching but if you look at the chat, they are brutal to Durr.  Most of the players like to see him lose his money because they can never play like him.

The great players understand how massive Durrrr is to be able to play such huge stakes and be back every day, but I just feel that the pressure can get to anyone when you swing millions and go broke, it’s a hard road back when you lose 7.5 Million, it’s not going to be easy.

The games look too big to me right now.  They need to be realigned.  Poker is meant to be a fun hobby and it’s fine to play against Andy Beal who can play the corporation as they are all matured gamblers but these are young kids on the internet.

Let’s explore Full Tilt further.  I think what they are doing for poker is amazing and I estimate Full Tilt pays their pros close to 50 Million per year; this is money going back to the poker community.  With some of their money, it’s in rake back, etc., for the Red Pro deal; but it’s still a huge deal to get the lowest deal with Full Tilt if you have some talent and self control, you are set for life.  Kudos to Full Tilt for giving so much money out to the players, it feeds the live poker industry like the WSOP in a mega way.

If we look at PokerStars who give players a better deal in principal, once you sign with Stars, you are also set – they take care of you like family; I hear this all the time.  PokerStars loves poker and also gives a huge amount of money back to the poker community.  I estimate that PokerStars pays their players at least 2 Million per month, this is a big help to everyone.  The other thing with PokerStars is that they are so responsible with their players that their support of everyone that might have a problem is really strong and they really care about supporting and stopping players who have issues.  Also, PokerStars is much more about tournaments and having fun with poker.

I think for poker, PokerStars and Full Tilt are a great example of the good that can be done by poker for the positives.

Let’s look at Party Poker.  The whole industry boom was due to the money that Party invested and the innovative ideas of Lipscomb and his WPT. These two companies are responsible for the boom in the early years when poker was fun and the Party founders made billions. Others that came after them also made out OK.  Party Poker is waiting on the USA right now but I feel the company has turned around from the horrid management and the direction the company was going in before.  The new team is a poker team.  You can see they will be a strong force with them buying the WPT.  It’s kind of good for poker as there can be some balance now for players.  It’s important that there are several very strong companies and solid competition in the market place.  It’s fair to say I always loved Party Poker.  The fact that I did so well out of the founders being so clever is an important factor here.  But when you look at Party Poker, how did they make it so big? Maybe it was Mike Sexton, a poker player that the key players in the USA could associate with – and that brought the poker players to Party Poker.

I think that the management later forgot about Mike and forgot about using money to sign good poker people like Mike and others like him who could add credibility, passion, and commitment to their brand.  I talk to Mike all the time and I know how loyal he always has been to Party and I think we have to keep in mind that at the end of the day, if they did not have Mike and his connection with the WPT and TV, Party may have never made it so big.  So maybe at the end, we all improve the value of having poker pros behind sites and that way if we can pay, say 250 Million per year to poker players around the world, the live circuit can get 3x bigger going forward.

Now things will be very interesting with the WSOP.  They are launching in the UK, and are imminently powered by 888, which I think is one of the weakest platforms out there.  And they are entering the UK, the most competitive and least profitable market in the world.  I’m not sure it’s such a smart move.  It’s a huge gamble if the true poker sites who love poker, and the players in the game, don’t back the WSOP going forward; they may see the WSOP as a competitor and it will not be easy, but if players can go to qualify to the WSOP, then it could be even better.  The guy powering the WSOP online is the ex-Party guy and everyone has a position on what he did there.  But the guy has talent and is a good family man and I am sure he is determined to really do well with the WSOP.  It’s all going to be exciting and I wish that the WSOP would give some of the money they rake from their events to the poker community so it can get healthier.

If anyone has any questions, please do post here.  I will answer, but anything silly will be deleted.

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