A lot of interesting topics have been discussed, including the WSOP 'No Talking' rule, the Epic Poker League, Full Tilt's current situation and Subject:Poker's article.
The 'No Talking' rule
A lot of players have expressed their concerns at this year's WSOP about the No Talking rule, which was introduced seven years ago. The rule basically prohibits players to provide information about their hole cards and the hands that were played. It doesn't matter whether or not they participated in a hand, they are prohibited to show their folded cards, make comments on the strength of their hand or give information about past hands where there was no showdown. Matt Savage, a member of the staff creating the WSOP rules explained, that No Talking is there to exclude the possibility of cheating, as he thinks that conspiring would be hard to filter without this rule. He admitted, however, that tournament directors often treat this rule quite neglectively. Savage noted, that Jamie Gold would surely not have been champion had he been the tournament director, as the player was constantly talking about his hole cards during the table.
Daniel Negreanu thinks, that the rule simply makes no sense, as cheating cannot be avoided with the help of it, but it does lead to unfair punishments sometimes. As he put it, it is ok with a lot of tournament directors for a player to say 'I can only beat the bluff', but you are not allowed to say 'I have Nines'. Negreanu says the rule should be made more clear in order to avoid debate.
Freitez and angle shooting
Matusow was asked about the No Talking rule as well, and he instantly started talking about Ivan Freitez and Eugene 'oogee' Yanay's hand at this year's EPT Grand Final. Freitez utilised some angle shooting here, which highly enervated Mike. As he said, if it had happened to him, he would have just stood up and punched him in the face. Matusow found it unbelievable that Yanay called, although he had been told by the tournament director that Freitez had been doing the same with nuts hands throughout the tournament. At the same time, he also found it unbelievable that Freitez would pull this off in front of TV cameras.
From this, the guys continued on with talking about broadcasted poker. Negreanu thinks that cameras do not really disturb professionals, but they can be a huge disadvantage for amateurs. He argues for this with his own example: at this year's WSOP, he had two people working for him: one of them was texting him all the hands that went down at broadcasted tables, and the other was walking around observing physical reactions and tells of his opponents. Epic Poker League
Matusow and Negreanu had a small debate about the upcoming $20,000 rake-free Epic Poker League, which features $400,000 added to the prize pool. This is what they said:
Mike Matusow: 'I'm shocked that Daniel is against Epic. I wanna play it, as long as I get staked. I've been playing for so many years, and now I can't, because I don't have money. I think it's great for poker'.
A staker actually applied quite soon, telling Mike that he will buy him in if he wears a cow costume.
Daniel Negreanu: 'If I play in this thing, I'm supporting it, but I don't think it will get to season two. How are they going to create something that makes enough money to keep this sustainable? This thing, I don't know.... There is no idea how they will keep this running. My question is: where is this money coming from? I don't believe in it, I don't believe in the concept..'
Full Tilt Poker
Soon enough, discussion got down to the Full Tilt Poker situation, firstly they talked about the article published on Subject:Poker. Matusow (who is a Full Tilt pro) did not hesitate to share his views. He said he is a 100% sure that the information was leaked by an insider, probably an angry ex-colleague, who is not interested in either the players or Phil Ivey and David Benyamine's fate. Because of the FTP issue, people lost their faith in the leaders of the site.
At the same time, Negreanu thinks that FTP as a companycan truly be blamed for the current situation, as in the case of PokerStars, fo example, the players' money was kept on a separate banking account, while Full Tilt did not take these steps to isolate money deposited by the players. Strangely, this came as a surprise for Matusow, but does not consider it a mistake anyway. He says that 90% of companies use their clients' money for marketing aims, for example.
After this, Matusow talked about another interesting issue: if the FTP leaders wouldn't have been hungry for money, they could have found people interested in buying shares of the company. Soon after Black Friday a buyer contacted FTP, but they sent him away, telling him they had already received a better deal. This was not true, they solely wanted to up the price. He also criticized the awful PR that followed Black Friday. 'I know who the original investor was. But they were greedy, they had big egos, they thought FT was worth 4 billion dollars. After Black FRiday they thought 1 billion, but other people think it is worth much less ($150 million).'
He also heavily criticized Ray Bitar, who, in his opinion, didn't give a sh*t about anything. Howard Lederer, on the other hand, is a very humble and honest person according to 'The Mouth'. 'Howard was very upset. He spent millions of dollars on charity. They live to give charity, and now everybody hates him because of making the mistake of putting the wrong people into power.' He also called Chris Ferguson, the other owner 'the nicest person alive'.
Despite the current happenings, Matusow thinks that if Full Tilt will have new leaders, the brand itself can be restored. He also said that he thinks we will not have to wait six weeks for something to happen, and that the site might open again in the next ten days or so, although Mike complains that he does not know anything about the company now, as nobody will return his calls.
They also talked about the recent issue with Clonie Gowen, who claims that she has a one percent share of the company. Here is Mike's opinion on Clonie: 'I have an opinion, but i dont wanna give it now. I beleive in my heart htat Clonie belevied she had a point at FT. Before they were open I asked her and she was already on Team FT. and she was on it before I was on it. And she told me she owned one point of Full Tilt (worth 10-20million). She insisted, before they even opened, and nobody even knew whether they are gonna be worth a dollar. Swearing on her life when FT only had one live game going. I would never back her or anything, because when I was having problems with the structure of my deal she was telling all kinds of things I told her about Full Tilt to everyone behind my back and I didn't understand how they knew something I had only told to her. So I belevie she had a point, and I don't beleive the stuff they say that she's on drugs and everything.'
Daniel told that he also had been contacted by Full Tilt Poker to invest in the company, but turned the deal down for good. At the time, he was considering a deal with UB, turned down PokerStatrs , started Full Contact Poker, got a substantial offer (over a hundred million) from a company, but because of the UIGEA the deal was off, Daniel became a free agent, considered PS again amd made a package deal by moving Full Contact over to PS.
Mike and Daniel started complaining about not having enough money after this, and they both agreed that they could have been very rich. 'We could have gotten home run money two times, I could've bought a hockey team'
When Tony G joined teh conversation, he also was asked about when the players could get their Full Tilt money back. Tony said that the assets need to be frozen and it would take years to get the money back. He also thinks that Full Tilt should start paying back players from Lederer and the others' own money, by paying out the non-pro players first. 'They should start with the players and not the FT pros, 125 million out of the 150 million is the rich players' money'.
Matusow then said that Phil Ivey and everyone is working 24/7 to get things fixed, and they will soon come to a solution. Tony G's reply to this was that he knows why they pulled the plug. 'The reason why they pulled the plug is that FT could not cover the European deposits. Alderney knew that they didn't have the European liquidity either. They were asked if they had enough money to cover European players and they didn't. Everything with FT is over.' Mike Matusow, the losing online player
Mike says he already quit playnig online poker before it was banned. 'I never win online'
- he said. 'The players that I lose against online, I can beat them live anytime. He lost around $183K in Omaha Stud ring games in 24 hours and that was the last day he played high stakes on Full Tilt. This happened six months ago. Mike also complained about the fact that all the players use HUD software. Negreanu argued with this, as Mike mostly plays Limit games or Stud, and HUD software is not of much help there in his opinion. 'I play all the stakes and all the games, and they are very valuable in NLHE and Omaha, but not in mixed games or limit games. In limit games you don't face such huge bets that you need them or can utilize them; it's much more fundamental'.
He also says that he never really uses the HUD to make decisions, rather to analyze his gameplay and patternsin his opponents afterwards.
Matusow replied the following:'HUDs are stone cold f*cking cheating, i didn't even know about them until three months ago'.
On the other hand, Mike did pretty well live recently: he won $270,000 in cash games in Australia, $280,000 in LA in three weeks, and took place 3 at the Bay 101 for $369,000. He had 3 cashes at the WSOP out of 17 events. He was also staking players with $200,000, of which he did not win much.