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Not cheating for sure, and Ivey should be allowed to keep the money. That said, not sure I want to play IveyPoker if it ever goes to real money, nor would I ever want to be in business with someone who pulled this kind of stuff. @Don Peters, what Ivey did here is not like what a casino does. A casino tells you the odds up front, and doesn't manipulate card defects or other gimmicks to tilt the odds further against the player. Not saying I love casino operators, but players at casinos are told straight up that the odds are against them. Anyone who chooses to play is accepting that loss of edge. Just a thought, doesn't a casino have massive overhead in order to run games/restaurants/entertainment etc.? So do you expect them to run games for free? Of course they're going to charge for these services, and they do it by taking an edge in the games. Would you feel differently if the casinos charged an hourly rate to play games, but offered to spread games with no edge? In that case do you think Ivey would be doing something unethical?

After reading Savage's op-ed, I was more or less convinced that FCOTD was probably a reasonable change. I still don't think it's the end of the world, but O'Brien made some solid points here and it did change my mind. @Sandfarnia, I didn't at all see how O'Brien was insulting poker dealers. Seemed to me like he was pointing out how FCOTD would make your life harder. Do you really want to fight a player to get dead hole cards? Good luck with that. I'm not convinced that FCOTD really protects the integrity of the game any more than the old rule. Protect your cards and be smart. @jbage007, this wouldn't really prevent people from leaving their seats. It'll just make them angry when their hand gets mucked after they sit down to play. @Sgarfinkle, this isn't the NFL, and poker players aren't fans.

"Retardo No Foldo".... Very ironic that the italian rail was calling him this, considering one of the biggest fish to ever make the final table was Filippo Candio....who got super lucky against Cheong when he called off his entire stack drawing almost dead.

"...a friend of his had mentioned he was one of the top five heads-up French players."

Uh...thanks? That seems a bit like saying, "she's the most beautiful girl in the whole room for sure."

Maria Ho is right. People could just as easily text each other across the table in between hands. Mike, learn Russian or shut up and play.

How is the bit about Wall Street "communist propaganda"? How does disliking corporatism (read: fascism) in our financial sector make someone a communist? Seriously though, I would encourage you to read up on the Federal Reserve. If you hate communism, I've got news for you: Our financial sector is run by politicians and banksters. I'm a Libertarian (about as far as you can get from communist, once you get to anarchy it tends to look a lot like communism in a lot of ways) and I deplore Wall Street banks.

As far as Ray Bitar, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

I'm having a hard time getting into this whole Ivey Poke deal. I mean, Phil Ivey is a boss, but the teaching site thing doesn't really seem to fit Ivey. I get the feeling this is all about $$. That doesn't mean the training won't be good, but I have a hard time believing that Ivey cares about "teaching the world to play poker better".

I'm sorry, when did Harry Reid or Jon Kyl begin caring about the constitution?

@ cheehc - They EACH put up 130k.

@donpeters Surely you've heard of this it was published by poker news. While nothing was proven, the details are pretty shady. Also, I don't think BluBayou was saying it "always happens", but that it's something that DOES happen. I agree that not many big name pros are going to risk their rep for a chip dump. But the fact is, backing is almost never disclosed to dealers, TD's, or players. It doesn't have to be blatant dumping either. In fact I think any player attempting to collude would try and hide it as much as possible, right? That said, just because you haven't seen it happen from covering poker tournaments, certainly doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Lastly, I would argue that a backer/backee relationship is much more conducive to dumping that two friends playing at the same table. Obviously softplay can occur, but that's fundamentally different from dumping.

@flintsword Mostly agree with you on Helmuth, but I think that Heinz, Duhamel, and Eastgate are better candidates candidates for winning WSOPE than Hachem.

Nice work on the interview. I definitely believe you pursued the correct strategy in questioning Lederer. I suppose some expected you to waterboard Howard to get the answers that the mob wants. That type of interview would've lasted about 90 seconds. I, for one, was interested to hear Howard's thoughts, positions, and beliefs on the FTP debacle. Sure, some of the stuff HL says is dubious, but asking him to refute himself is just silly, as I think he actually believes most of what he says. Anyways, nice job again PN and Matt.

Phil Laak might be from another planet. Sounds like he was mostly playing pretty good in the game.

@"There is nothing like pointing out that Canada looks to be freer than the U.S. to get independently minded politicians asking the hard questions." - Our relative freedom to Canada has very little to do with any policies the U.S. follows (condsider the Patriot Act or NDAA). Most politicians (except for one probably:Ron Paul) are only concerned with being re-elected, money, and power. Therefore, an online poker bill will only be passed when:

A. The number of online poker players becomes significant to changing the outcome of an election (not likely).
B. Politicians can position themselves in way to increase their own power by backing a bill. (More likely)
C. Online poker is proven at a state level to produce bundles of money (most likely).

Markmax is right. Ron Paul has quietly been collecting delegates (a fact that the mainstream media is trying desperately to ignore) and is probably the only candidate that would win in a general election (he pulls in independent and democrat voters). It's so ridiculous to hear Santorum and Romney try and propagate the Nanny State that tries so desperately to protect us from ourselves. Give us our liberty, in all respects. Ron Paul 2012.

As much as I think Billy Walters is right to say that sports betting is a "skill game", I think any sports betting addition would be really BAD news for any online poker legislation. It will be hard enough to get online poker through on a federal level without including sports betting.

I'm not a republican, I'm a libertarian. What a pointless comment, regardless.

Completely agree with rainmaker. The Final Table should be played out in under a month (maybe 2 weeks ideally). The break creates hype, which is good for the players and the game, but beyond a month or so it becomes sort of silly. I think it made a bit more sense when online poker was alive and well, but even then it was too stretched out.

Here's the beautiful thing about Ron Paul: The guy has likely never gambled a penny, and yet he DOESN'T limit the freedoms of others. I so wish Ron Paul would win the nomination (probably like <5% chance now). Romney and Newt are just freerolling this election on all the money from corporate interests and banks. Sickening.

Say what you like about Tom Dwan, he's got tons of class.