The PokerNews Mailbag: Pollack Leaving, Who is Isildur, and More
Well, we've been collecting your questions sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for about a month now and decided instead of just sitting on our mountain of wisdom here at PokerNews, we had better share it. Ok, it's probably not a whole mountain, but hey, we do our best.
What does the loss of Jeffrey Pollack as commissioner mean to the future of the World Series of Poker?
-- Marcus, Brownsburg, Ind.
In the modern era of poker, which we'll call 2003 to the present, you would be hard-pressed to find one person who has done more for the game of poker than Jeffrey Pollack. He came from a NASCAR and NBA background and used his experience to establish poker as a legitimate sport and to bring mainstream advertisers like Milwaukee's Best Light, Planters, Hershey's and others into the game. One of the highlights of Pollack's tenure was creation of the Players Advisory Council, which has been instrumental in shaping what the WSOP has become.
While I, for one, am sad to see him gone, I still have high hopes for the WSOP and its future. The people such as Ty Stewart, Seth Palansky and many others behind the scenes at the WSOP have seen how instrumental Pollack has been in the its growth. These men and women will work as hard as ever not only to preserve the integrity of the WSOP but also to continue to push for mainstream acceptance. I expect to see a 2010 WSOP that is better and more exciting than ever with continued improvement and innovation for both players and fans. Sure, it will be rather odd not seeing Mr. Pollack twittering away on his Blackberry, but the WSOP will continue to be the biggest show in town.
Who is "Isildur1"?
-- Everyone, Everywhere
If I told you, I'd have to kill you. In all seriousness, though, many people have been saying they know who Isildur1 is, but I, for one, am not one of them. There have been various reports of who this mystery million-dollar man is, some saying he's a young swede named Viktor Blom, others claiming its some sort of Swedish conglomerate, a few people think it's August's mystery man "martonas," and a few people even claim it's Todd Brunson.
I can neither confirm nor deny any one of these claims, but I will say his appearance on the poker scene has been energizing. When have we ever seen the type of action we're seeing with Isildur1? One week he's up $6 million, the next he's losing a record-breaking million-dollar pot to Patrik Antonius, and then he wins about $1 million back from Phil Ivey. Seriously, when will it end? This is the type of action I think a lot of poker fans have been craving. Whoever you are, Isildur1, try not to go completely busto because all this commotion is just too much fun to watch. Once you're gone, the poker world will have to go back to watching the "durrrr challenge" for entertainment, and we all know what a sleeper that has become.
Is Joe Cada bad for poker since he got so lucky at the WSOP final table?
-- William, Boston, Mass.
I think that Joe Cada will be an extremely positive force in poker. No one can deny how incredibly lucky he got at the WSOP Main Event final table; however, this is a young guy who has made a living off poker for some time, making upward of $500k while doing it. ESPN only shows a select number of hands, but if they were to show a wider range of the hands Cada played, I'm sure we would find that he has a firm understanding of the game.
I also think he'll be good for poker because he has already shown willingness to step into the spotlight. He is the first champ in a few years to realize the significance of winning the Main Event, and he seems to be embracing all the media attention instead of hiding in the shadows like some others have done. Joe Cada gives poker a fresh new face. It's not close to the effect Chris Moneymaker had on poker, but I think he could be the second most influential champ in the 2003–2009 period.
What will happen to online poker in the U.S. after Dec 1?
--James, Austin, Tex.
This is one of those questions that I wish I had all the answers to. Obviously, the online gaming industry is working as hard as it can to adapt and continue to serve its loyal customers. The UIGEA compliance, which goes into effect on Dec. 1, is primarily aimed at the banks and payment processors, so a lot depends on how worried those institutions are about getting penalized by the federal government. There is still a glimmer of hope that compliance can be pushed back one year, giving the industry a little more time to work on getting the game regulated.
One thing that is important to remember is that playing online poker is not illegal. Be careful about your gaming transactions, however, and be aware that by continuing to play, your money could get caught in limbo in some circumstances. Rest assured, though, any well-respected online poker room is going to do its best to make this transition as smooth as possible.
There is a great post on TwoPlusTwo.com with a lot of answers if you want to delve deeper.