Archive for March 2014

Vinny the GrinderBy: The Grinder

At some point, movie lovers who also play poker have dreamt of going back in time with a sports almanac and sports-betting their way to becoming billionaires, like Biff Tannen does in the movie “Back To The Future.”

To some of us, it seems like that would be the only way to mint that kind of dough. To others, like Mike McDonald and Erik Boneta, time travel seems unnecessary to roll in the benjies. Their poker aliases also suggest that time is, and has always been, on their side. Mike Mcdonald amassed over half-a-million dollars grinding online with the nickname ‘Timex”, while Erik “Rolex” Boneta clicked heels with legendary players on GSN’s High Stakes Poker.

With his online bankroll, Timex has done everything right. In 2008, at the age of eighteen, he won $1.3 Million in an EPT event, and hasn’t looked back since, making $10 million playing live, with several big tournament cashes and wins.

While Rolex, on the other hand, has an infamous reference to his alias, as he was charged by the police for smuggling over 200 gray-market Rolex watches. You wouldn’t say Rolex’s poker game is worthy of praise, after watching him go nuts against Johnny Chan’s Aces here, but he sure must have done something right to be able to play those stakes. When it comes to watches, not a single soul would prefer a Timex to a Rolex.

However, if you had to bet all your poker chips, or as my friend Kenny would say, if you had to ‘bet all your cows and buffaloes‘ on one of these players, it would have to be Timex!

Erik 'Rolex' Boneta

Erik ‘Rolex’ Boneta

Mike "Timex" McDonald

Mike “Timex” McDonald


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Pocket Bullets ParisBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

Poker games and poker tournaments can be found almost anywhere in the world, and even if you go to some remote island on vacation, the hotel is likely to have an internet connection and you can log in to your favorite online casino and play to your heart’s content.  Or at the very least, you can play for as long as you can afford to.

When your family or friends see you doing this, their immediate thoughts are that you are a poker fanatic. These are the top ten signs that they are right:

  1. If you witness something bad happening your first thought is “That’s a bad beat.”
  2. You claim that you know exactly what cards every player has, even when you’re not in the game.
  3. When you count, you always follow “8, 9, 10” with “Jack, Queen, King, Ace.”
  4. Every person that beats you, pisses you off, or just irritates you, are just “donkeys” to you.
  5. If you could, you would celebrate your wedding anniversary by watching a poker tournament on TV.
  6. When booking any hotel room you make sure they have a computer connected to the Internet. That way you can still play online while everyone else goes to the beach.
  7. You can’t help yourself; when you pay for anything you stack up your cash in neat little piles before pushing them to the teller.
  8. You always think you’re the best poker player at any poker table.
  9. When you lose you can’t accept it graciously and always go on “Tilt”
  10. Whenever you lose a hand, you’ll make statements like “I’m just setting traps,” “I knew exactly what he had.”

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Vinny the GrinderBy The Grinder

On the one hand we have the 80-year-old Texan, “Dolly” Doyle Brunson, still going strong playing poker full time, putting young internet whiz kids in their place every now and then. On the other hand, we have an 80-year-old casino business mogul, Sheldon Adelson, trying to exterminate internet poker in an effort to keep the live casino business alive.

While they are similar in that both possess a world of class and experience, the main difference is, Doyle, though not a big fan of internet poker players, isn’t really against internet gambling, while Adelson strongly is. Who is Sheldon Adelson? He is the big boss of casino gambling. He reminds me of Ace Rothstein from the movie “Casino.” He is the Chairman/CEO of the Venetian. The Venetian was built on the  hallowed ground where the Sands once stood and where the Rat Pack partied hard in Vegas in the good ol’ days.

Adelson boasts more than six decades of running a successful casino business, and he swears that internet gambling will ruin everything with so much conviction that you might believe he has a point. He believes that with this infinite surge in social utility-based games, and integration of online technology, internet gambling, if legalized today, will make live gambling way different than what it was years ago, and it will witness a quick plummet in participation.

As Black Friday approaches its third anniversary on April 15th, today’s legalization heads-up battle is between the coalition to kill internet gambling funded by Adelson’s Venetian & Sands; and the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection funded by MGM and Caesars. So as you can see the Vegas hairpiece is parted midway, and the vendetta is between muscle and logic, as it has always been. The truth is Adelson is  like the Vegas Oldies Don Rickles, Sinatra, and Dean Martin. Sheldon Adelson is a national treasure, but as much as I salute him for his conviction and belief in the live gambling business, I would still want to support Internet Gambling, for the simple reason – if the rest of the world’s doing it, why not the USA? Why should we pay the price for the goof-ups of a few Ponzi scammers?Online Computer Gambling Poker Table

If talentless kids from the rest of the world stand a chance to pile up a fortune clicking mice all day on twenty virtual poker tables, then so should we. It’s plain and simple. I will update you about the Vegas heads-up vendetta in future blogs.


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Vinny the GrinderBy The Grinder

Extremely stressed out or extremely Nordic, bald poker players have always been in the spotlight. The stigma leads one to picture a reckless sleepless consummate poker pro who breathes, eats and sleeps online poker. Not entirely true, but like lefties, Nordic Baldies do stand out—mostly due to their menacing, and at times crazed aggression.

Bald Poker PlayerMore than a decade ago, I remember Gus Hansen frustrating the likes of T.J.Coultier and Doyle Brunson on TV. He even busted Negreanu for half-a-mil in one of the biggest pots at the time. He might not have been responsible for the Nordic craze that followed in the next decade, but he definitely set the standard and inspired many. Finnish Antonius and Sahamies and The Great Dane Danish Gus Hansen have a style that many have tried to emulate. While Antonius has been the saner among this lot, Illari Ziigmund Sahamies recently went almost broke, and Gus, despite winning big this past week online, is consistently featured on The Railbird Report as a massive loser.

Timely aggression is good, but crazed aggression has a prize to pay at the poker tables. Other than that, Scandinavians have done quite well. As you read this blog, there are thousands of laggy Nordic teens crowbarring pots of money from their online opponents, half of them bald I’m sure. Could this be Samson’s curse? Samson was Delilah’s lover, and the Philistines tried every tactic in their book, but couldn’t kill him. Achilles had his heel, Samson, his hair. His life was locked up in his seven locks of hair, and nobody knew about it. Finally, the Philistines bribed Delilah with eleven hundred silver pieces, and she got Samson to give away his secret. Just a crazy thought, but maybe Samson sent out his army to get back at the human race, in the form of Bald Nordics!


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