Poker After Dark; 46 Pounds of Coke; Billions in Stolen Chips

Poker After Dark $150,000 Cash Game Premieres Monday

By Dan Cypra
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A brand new week of NBC’s “Poker After Dark” premieres on Monday. In fact, the new cycle, a $150,000 Cash Game, is so big that it will span two weeks. The blinds will be $300/$600 with an ante of $100 and the game features a rock solid lineup of pros.

Two players will make their “Poker After Dark” debuts during the $150,000 Cash Game. Former hockey pro and dual bracelet Greg Mueller, dubbed “FBT” in poker circles, will take to the “Poker After Dark” suite for the first time. Mueller won the World Championship of Limit Hold’em during the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) for $460,000. Seventeen events later, he captured another piece of hardware in a $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout for another $195,000.

Also making his “Poker After Dark” debut is Olivier Busquet, who won the 2009 World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Poker Open. During the tournament, he overcame a sizable 20:1 chip deficit heads-up to take home nearly a million dollars. The East Coast event, which sported a rather affordable $3,500 buy-in, attracted over a thousand players.

What can you expect to see when the cards hit the air on Monday night at 2:05am ET? A preview sent out by NBC on Sunday explains, “This game has plenty of action, along with its share of bad beats and suckouts which result in several rebuys. Viewers will see a variation of the seven/deuce prop bet and for a period of time the players agree to show one card if they win an uncontested pot.”

Also competing in the $150,000 Cash Game are David “Viffer” Peat and Eli Elezra. Both are regulars on televised ring games like GSN’s “High Stakes Poker” and NBC claims that this week marks the sixth time each “has appeared in this format.” Peat has been a professional poker player for over a decade and enjoys playing as high as $400/$800. Elezra has a WSOP bracelet and a WPT title to his credit along with lifetime tournament earnings of $2 million.

Joining Mueller, Busquet, Peat, and Elezra on his week’s all-new “Poker After Dark” are Howard Lederer and Phil Laak. Lederer has two WSOP bracelets and two WPT titles. He also ranks 36th on poker’s all-time money list with $6.4 million according to the Hendon Mob.

Laak broke poker’s endurance record last year at the Bellagio by playing for 115 straight hours, or nearly five days. He banked $6,700 in earnings when all was said and done and donated half of his profits to Camp Sunshine. He’s also the front man for the Cake Poker Network site Unabomber Poker.

The $150,000 Cash Game marks the only new “Poker After Dark” installment until the week of April 4th, when a $50,000 Sit and Go will air that features Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger, Eric “basebaldy” Baldwin, Melanie Weisner, Doyle Brunson, Annette Obrestad, and Tom “durrrr” Dwan.

Starting on April 11th, Pot Limit Omaha will make its debut on the NBC poker franchise in a two-week special that includes Brandon Adams, Patrik Antonius, Phil Ivey, Dwan, Brian Hastings, and Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond.

“Poker After Dark” airs on Monday to Friday nights at 2:05am ET on NBC. On Saturday nights, look for “Director’s Cut” episodes beginning at 1:00am ET following “Saturday Night Live.”

Leeann Tweeden serves as the hostess of “Poker After Dark” and conducts interviews from the floor, while Ali Nejad provides commentary from the booth. Full Tilt Poker sponsors the show.

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Poker Pro David Saab Arrested for Importing Cocaine
By Dan Katz – Follow Dan Katz at

Two poker players were among three Melbourne, Australia men who appeared in court on Tuesday facing drug charges. David “zanderfish” Saab, Robert “remo_04″ Reemeus, and Darren Hughes remain in custody and have not applied for bail.

According to authorities, Saab and Reemeus attempted to smuggle 21 kilograms, or just over 46 pounds, of cocaine into Australia on January 17th. Customs and Border Protection Officers intercepted a sea cargo shipment when it arrived in Sydney from Vancouver, Canada and found the narcotics hidden in machine parts. One week later, Hughes allegedly received the drugs from Saab and Reemeus.

The three men have been charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of cocaine. If convicted, they could face up to 25 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. They will return to the same court in May. The street value of the cocaine has been estimated at more than AUD $4 million.

Saab has had some success on the live tournament circuit, although nothing approaching the top players in the world. With $550,720 in lifetime winnings, he ranks 1,368th on the all-time money list. The vast majority of his winnings came in 2008 from two tournaments. The first was in May, when he won the Manila stop on the Asian Poker Tour, a $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event, and took home $280,000. He followed that up in July with a deep run in the World Series of Poker Main Event, finishing 46th for $135,100. Of his other 11 live cashes, 10 of them have come in tournaments in his home country of Australia.

Online, Saab hasn’t fared too well. According to, Saab, playing under the screen name “zanderfish,” has lost over $75,000 in cash games on PokerStars since September 2008.

Reemeus is also a poker player, focusing his game on the virtual felts. Known as “remo_04,” Reemeus is currently ranked 7,779th worldwide on the Tournament Leaderboard. According to, Reemeus has won a combined $44,338 from tournaments on Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Cake Poker. Most of it came in February of last year, when he took down Full Tilt’s $75,000 Guaranteed for $39,015.

Both Saab and Reemeus are members of a team of poker players called “The SAAB Squad.” According to the team’s Facebook page, “The SAAB Squad is a team of exceptional poker players from Australia that will be traveling the globe in search of success on the felt.”

The page also says, “The Squad focuses on learning the game, living the dream, and loving every minute… Well except for those times when we can all hate the game!”

Other members of The SAAB Squad include Aaron Nicastri, Tristan Bain, Rhys Gould, Jesse MacGuire, Kel Beattie, and James Broom. It should be noted that only Saab and Reemeus have any connection to the drug bust.

The last time Saab was seen playing poker was earlier this week on Day 1A of the Aussie Millions Main Event in Melbourne. Saab failed to advance to Day 2, although even if he had, he would not have finished the tournament considering the recent developments. He played in preliminary events at his home casino, but was unable make the money in any of them.

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Hacker Steals Billions of Zynga Poker Chips

Courtesy of
February 4 – A British IT specialist has been charged with hacking into the computer system at Zynga Poker and stealing poker chips worth $12 million.

29 year old Ashley Mitchell of Devon, UK admitted to stealing 400 billion virtual gaming chips with a $12 m retail value.

He then proceeded to sell them on the black market, selling them for a fraction of what they are worth, but earning himself £53,000 in all events.

According to the prosecutor in the case, Gareth Evans: “The defendant sold around one third of the 400 billion poker chips and, looking at the auction history where one can purchase such items, he was selling them for around £430 per billion.”

“By my reckoning,” said the prosecutor, “the total value if sold on the black market of the 400 billion was in the region of £184,000.”

Judge Philip Wassal found Mitchell guilty on four counts of converting criminal property, as well as one count of unauthorized entry into a computer system, with the intention of committing a crime.

The judge said that it was “inevitable” that Mitchell would get jail time, especially since he is already serving a 40 week suspended sentence for similar offenses.

Zynga boasts to be the number one poker game in the world. The company’s Facebook app is enjoyed by millions of online poker room fans around the world who enjoy quality, social Texas Hold ’em games.

Zynga is also the creator of the famous Farmville game, as well as Cafe World, Fishville and Mafia Wars.

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