random ramblings fred riecke, gamblersdata



bad beat

…It’s probably not the “worst bad beat ever” like mainstream sports journalism has for some reason labeled it, but the Katz vs. Drinan hand that took place at the 2014 World Series of Poker $1 million buy-in “Big One for One Drop” about a month ago was pretty sick. The hand recently made its way to TV after a weeks-long post-production process. With 18 players left in the event, both players got all the chips into the middle and both were holding aces. Fortunately for Katz, he flopped two hearts (he held the A). The turn brought a third heart, making the sweat feel like acid for Drinan. A fourth heart landed on the river, and Drinan was out of the tournament. Katz vaulted to second on the chip counts. Katz used the ammo to finish eighth for $1.3 million. The event was eventually won by Dan Colman, who put a bad beat on the media by declining interviews and later writing online that poker is “a very dark game.” To be fair, it’s a pretty dark game when you get aces versus aces for a bunch of money and lose.

…Saturday was a bit awkward for the Oakland Athletics. This is because the A’s are planning to give away Yoenis Cespedes t-shirts to the first 10,000 fans through the turnstiles. This coming just after the club traded the Cuban native to the Boston Red Sox in the hours leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline. Every fan loves free stuff. But Saturday’s giveaway will be extra coveted given its newfound collector’s valu

…According to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, poker pro Phil Ivey put up $1 million in bail for Paul Phua and his son Darren Phua after the two were accused of organizing an illegal betting operation on a Las Vegas casino property. The elder Phua, who is a frequent player in high-stakes poker games in Las Vegas and Macau, was arrested along with a handful of others for allegedly taking bets on the World Cup. Authorities said that they seized electronic equipment used in the operation. Ivey’s $1 million, along with Andrew Robl’s $1.5 million, were unsuccessful in immediately freeing the men in custody. According to the report, they were still behind bars on Sunday because federal immigration authorities detained them for possible deportation. Ivey has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the case.

…We can always count on the Oregon Ducks football program to be on the cutting edge of innovation. In the past, the Ducks have turned heads with their uniforms. Now it seems the football program is garnering attention once more with the introduction of scratch-and-sniff tickets. On Sept. 6, Oregon will play host to Michigan State at Autzen Stadium, with fans for that game receiving scented tickets meant to smell like Carl’s Jr. burgers. College football and burger-scented tickets: How American is that? Aside from the scratch-and-sniff, Oregon is also rolling out three other ticket designs: a foiled for Fresno State, a textured for UCLA and a hologram for Washington.

…Not every casino robbery can be as clever and calculated as the heists depicted in the movies. Early Monday morning, two suspects entered Caesars Casino in Atlantic City, pulled out a couple of guns and then took two boxes containing over $181,000 in cash. While it’s certainly not as artistic as the capers pulled off by George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon in the Ocean’s Eleven franchise, it beats the attempt made by Anthony Carleo in 2010. Carleo, known as the motorcycle bandit, strolled into the Bellagio in Las Vegas wearing a motorcycle helmet and flashed a gun at a nearby craps table. He made off with roughly $1.5 million in casino chips, but was caught after he tried to sell the chips to an under cover detective.
The $180,000 taken from Caesars represents about 0.6 percent of the casino’s total gambling revenue each month. The property brought in $28,864,859 in June alone. The two suspects got away in a car. New Jersey State Police Gaming Bureau is investigating the robbery and a manhunt is underway.

…Add Caesars Robbery – Authorities say a former security officer and four other people stole more than $180,000 from security workers during an armed robbery at an Atlantic City casino earlier this month. Authorities tell The Press of Atlantic City that four men and a woman were arrested over the past week. They’re accused of holding up two security workers who were moving boxes of money from the Caesars Atlantic City casino shortly after 6 a.m. on July 21. The suspects include Izyiah Plummer, 19, who was fired as a Caesars guard earlier in July. The suspects all live in the Atlantic City area and range in age from 19 to 23. Two others worked in other Atlantic City casinos.

…It seems no expense is being spared in the wedding of Keyshawn Johnson. The former NFL wide receiver and television personality recently sent out wedding invitations and it’s safe to say they are pretty much the best wedding invitations of all-time. This is because the invitations came in the form of iPad 4s with each device pre-programmed with the schedule of Johnson’s special day. According to TMZ Sports, the iPads were sent to guests a few weeks ago, and a program informs the guests about the wedding guests as soon as an iPad is powered on. The list of goodies on the iPads include a photo gallery, guestbook, wedding registry, and a countdown clock to the big day, among others. Johnson is slated to marry longtime girlfriend Jennifer Conrad who is also the mother of two of his children.

…To pass the time on Friday while a man apparently contemplated jumping off a California freeway overpass, some motorists busted out a folding table and set it up on the freeway. They played a little bit of poker, as someone had cards and apparently even some chips. While they could have probably just played some free-play poker on their phones or tablets (real-money online poker isn’t yet legal in California and that itself is moving like a traffic jam), the drivers instead opted for some old fashioned card playing, and picked one of the most unlikely spots for a home game—a freeway in Los Angeles. It’s unclear what the buy-in was, but the event definitely did not qualify for Player of the Year points. “These people set up a poker table and suggested that people play Texas hold’em with them,” Sarah Jung, who posted a photo on Instagram, told the L.A. Times. The traffic jam lasted well over three hours. The man on the overpass was taken to a hospital after authorities apparently talked him out of jumping into stopped traffic. Some people on the Internet were originally confused, thinking that the poker table was a taco stand, but Jung reiterated to the L.A. Times that it was for poker, not for food. “Everyone seems to think it was a taco stand,” Jung said. “I would love to clear up the fact that it was a Texas hold’em table and not a taco stand.” Playing poker on the road during a traffic jam is pretty creative, but it’s safe, unlike the cop in the Chicago area who was caught on video playing poker while driving.

…- Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice apologized to his wife and all women affected by domestic violence on Thursday, when he took questions for the first time since his alleged altercation with his then-fiancee in February. While Rice declined twice to give details about what happened in the Atlantic City, New Jersey, elevator, he said it was a “one-time incident” and expressed his intentions to become an “ambassador” against domestic violence. “I made the biggest mistake of my life,” Rice said. “My actions that night were totally inexcusable,” he said. “That night I replay over and over in my head. That’s not me. My actions were inexcusable. That’s something I have to live with the rest of my life. The pain I’m talking about living with is waking up every day, and my daughter is 2 years old now, and I have a little girl, who’s very smart, very intelligent, and one day she’s going to know the power of Google, and me having to explain that to her, what happened that night.” Rice was suspended two games by the NFL.

…Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker was reportedly arrested in May for a DUI with an astoundingly high .22 blood-alcohol content, Paul Coro of azcentral.com reported Monday night. Police charged Tucker, 29, with a violation for running a stop sign as well as four separate counts of varying DUI charges. If prosecuted and found guilty, Tucker could face a standard penalty of up to 45 days in jail or some form of house arrest. Curiously, the Suns signed Tucker to a new three-year, $16.5 million contract just last week. The DUI arrest occurred in May. It is unclear if the Suns knew of the arrest before offering him the contract. Tucker averaged 9.4 points per game for the Suns during the 2013-14 season and emerged as a starter.
The police report stemming from the arrest, which was reported for the first time today by azcentral.com, describes Tucker’s alcohol level as “super extreme,” an apparent legal classification of any blood alcohol content level above .20. The belated news of the alcohol-related arrest and DUI charge came just minutes after it was revealed Arizona Cardinals all-pro linebacker John Abraham was charged with a DUI in June.

…Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl outside linebacker John Abraham was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Georgia in June, according to the Arizona Republic. Per the report, Abraham was arrested on June 29. The team is aware of the arrest. Abraham didn’t show up for training camp Friday and coach Bruce Arians said the veteran lineman was excused for personal reasons. “I’m not concerned at all,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said. “He’ll be back at some point here.” Abraham recorded 11 1/2 sacks last season. He has 133 1/2 career sacks and is the active NFL sacks leader. He’s recorded 48 forced fumbles. Abraham pled guilty to driving while impaired in 2003 while playing for the New York Jets after crashing his car into a fire hydrant and light pole in New York. Two years ago, Abraham was arrested for misdemeanor obstruction in Atlanta.

…On Thursday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law a measure that permits residents to ban themselves from playing at any of the state’s casinos or licensed online gambling websites. On the surface, such a self-inclusion may seem to make little sense. But gamblers often lack the control to make wise decisions, especially when the urge is so great. Such a self-ban system is akin to getting a vasectomy, only it is reversible. Self-inclusions can be anywhere from one year to life depending on an individual’s choosing. “Admitting on a document that you are a problem gambler is a step many New Jerseyans may not be ready to make, even if they are confronting their problem,” said Assemblyman Ralph R. Caputo (D-Essex). “Many may feel the document is a stigma that can be used against them, but with this option, they can now get some help without having to make that potentially embarrassing admission.” The self-ban serves another purpose. No more junk mail. Once a person is on the list, the casino must stop marketing to them.

,,,More than 649,000 customers of the UK’s third largest bookmaker, Paddy Power, have had their personal information stolen, it was revealed on Thursday. Of those, approximately 120,000 are based in Ireland. No customers who signed up after 2010 are impacted by the breach. CEO Patrick Kennedy only confirmed the breach at that time. The company said that neither financial information – such as credit or debit card details – nor account passwords were accessed in the incident. Information that was breached includes customers’ names, usernames, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth, as well as security questions and answers.
…How much is an on-deck circle worth that was used just prior to a player joining theexclusive 3,000 hit club? Apparently, the cost for such a historic item is valued at $16,730, which is the price the winning bidder paid at auction for it on Thursday. For the record, Derek Jeter recorded his 3,000th hit on July 9, 2011, when he blasted a home run off Tampa Bay ace David Price. Jeter finished the game with five hits in five at-bats, thus, making him only the second player to notch five hits on the day he eclipsed the 3,000 mark (the first was Craig Biggio). Furthermore, Jeter is the only member of the 3,000 hit club to record all of his hits as a member of the New York Yankees. All told, only 28 players in major league history have reached the 3,000 career hits mark.

…Huh? Dustin Johnson was suspended for six months by the PGA Tour after he tested positive for cocaine, according to a report on Golf.com. Citing a source, Golf.com reported that Johnson has failed three drug tests — two for cocaine (in 2014 and ’12) and one for marijuana (2009). The PGA Tour’s lack of transparency forces all of those involved in the disciplinary process to perpetuate lies throughout the system of adjudication, writes ESPN.com’s Bob Harig. Johnson, 30, was suspended for the 2012 failed test, Golf.com reported, but that suspension was never made public. Under its guidelines, the PGA Tour is not required to announce any disciplinary actions against players who test positive for recreational drugs. Johnson announced Thursday that he was taking a leave of absence from competition, effective immediately, for “personal challenges.” The PGA Tour released a statement Thursday wishing Johnson well. On Friday, PGA Tour executive vice president Ty Votaw refuted the report, reiterating that the leave is voluntary and saying Johnson has not been suspended. “With regard to media reports that Dustin Johnson has been suspended by the PGA Tour, this is to clarify that Mr. Johnson has taken a voluntary leave of absence and is not under a suspension from the PGA Tour,” Votaw said in a statement. Huh?

…Add Dustin Johnson – While there have always been rumors linking Johnson’s name to drugs and partying, very few details were ever known. That changed on Friday, as Golf.com also reports that Johnson is known to have had a “sexual indiscretion” with another PGA Tour player’s wife. Simply put, Dustin doesn’t sound like a stand-up guy. Johnson’s conduct has long been a topic of conversation among close observers of the Tour. He is often seen in bars near his home in Jupiter, Fla., and is also known to have had a sexual indiscretion with at least one wife of a PGA Tour player. That could mean a number of things, but the implication is obviously that Johnson had sex with a co-worker’s wife. If that is true, the details aren’t all that important. It is unclear when the alleged sexual encounter would have taken place. Johnson is engaged to Paulina Gretzky and has been dating her for quite some time, so the timing of the incident may or may not add another disturbing element to the story. Recent photos of Johnson and Gretzky seem to indicate that they are quite happy together. Johnson was also reportedly suspended from the PGA Tour in 2012 for a positive cocaine test, though he has always maintained that he was out for several weeks with a back injury. There is obviously a lot we don’t know about him.

…Former Auburn standout and current Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley was sentenced Thursday, July 31, on a DUI charge and reckless driving. It stemmed from a 2012 incident. Fairley was ordered to be present in court Thursday but did not show up. Fairley’s attorney, Sid Herrell, said he did not tell his client about the court date set for Thursday. Talk around the courtroom was that Fairley was at Detroit’s training camp. “It is an opinion case. I’m using my practice not to comment in any sort of opinion,” said Herrell after the sentencing. He did not comment any further. “The judge’s order was explicit that the defendant was supposed to be in court today. He was not here. The judge, I believe, followed the rule as he believed it. Rule nine allowed for a waiver of the defendants presents. The judge followed the rule. We think that the defendant should’ve been here today as the state,” said assistant district attorney Spiro Cheriogotis. Fairley was sentenced to six months – suspended – with one year probation. He also has to pay $750 in court fees and fines and take two statutory classes: one for the DUI charge and the other for the reckless driving charge. In other words, Fairly was treated the exact same way you or I would have been treated in court – provided we were also a heralded NFL football player.

…Australian billionaire James Packer might be looking to build a casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Bloomberg reported Friday. According to the site: Packer, chairman of Australia’s Crown Resorts Ltd. (CWN), is in talks to develop a Las Vegas Strip resort on land once occupied by the New Frontier Hotel & Casino after buying a piece of a loan backed by the property, according to people with knowledge of the matter. He is negotiating a potential deal with other creditors including Oaktree Capital Group LLC (OAK), said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The site is located across from Wynn Las Vegas. According to Bloomberg, “Packer has been considering a return to the U.S. casino market after saying in 2012 that his investments there were his worst to date.”

…Brian Banks once appeared headed for the NFL, until a wrongful rape conviction put an end to his football dreams. Finally exonerated, he tried out for the league, but, in the end, he had lost too much time. However, now Banks is in the NFL. On Friday, Banks tweeted out that he has a job with the league. Banks will be working in the NFL office. It’s a result that no one could have predicted back in 2002. Accused of rape by a high school classmate, Banks could have fought the charges — DNA evidence was on his side — but his attorney persuaded him to plead no contest and take a deal, rather than risk a long prison sentence. Banks, a top linebacker prospect in California, lost his chance to play at USC, where Pete Carroll was giving him a scholarship. Instead, Banks spent five years in prison, then came out as a registered sex offender with all of the restrictions that go with it, plus wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. However, in 2012, his accuser contacted him and recanted. Banks was exonerated of the conviction. A year later, at age 27, 10 years removed from playing football, he went to training camp with the Atlanta Falcons and played in the preseason, but was among the late cuts last August. Still, Banks remained positive, tweeting his thanks for the opportunity with his hashtag “#unbroken.” And now he’s got a place in the NFL.

…Sitting in a race car for up to four hours, sweating, taking in fluids … racing in NASCAR is certainly no easy feat. However, the age-old question to drivers has always been, “What happens when you have to use the bathroom?” Friday at Pocono Raceway, fan-favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. set the record straight. “Well, you do go to the bathroom,” he said. “Yeah, so if you can hold it, you hold it. If you can’t hold it, you go.” Despite the revelation, Earnhardt Jr. said it is rare when drivers actually go to the bathroom in the car due to all the physical demands. “It’s not too often that this happens because the car is real hot and you sweat a lot and you basically lose all your water weight through sweating,” he said. “So your bladder never fills up. If it’s a hot day and you get real nervous before the race and you drank too much water because you think you are going to dehydrate, you typically end up having to go to the bathroom before you even get the green flag. “You just have to be careful not to drink too much water. All the water you are going to lose and all the water that is in your body is something you put in there throughout the week. If you drink a lot of water right before an activity, it’s typically not going to help you. It’s just going to go in your guy and go in your bladder. But sometimes you make that mistake and you just got to go. Just go — it’s not a big deal.”

…There’s horse sense, horsing around and horse play. Then there is what happened to David Cassidy, one-time pop star, this week. The former Partridge Family star was to receive a plea deal in a New York court stemming from a 2013 DUI charge. However, it got caught up in a tweet. Yes, a tweet. Cassidy’s lawyer claimed the ’70s heartthrob couldn’t make it to the court because he was being treated for alcoholism in Florida. And then The New York Racing Association tweeted a photo showing Cassidy at Saratoga Race Course, having a grand old time on Wednesday about 40 miles away. That put the brakes on the plea deal. “It came to our attention yesterday through various media outlets,” Carmelo Laquidara, first assistant DA in Rensselaer County, reportedly said. “If he’s in Saratoga enjoying the races that belies the fact that he’s currently in treatment out of state, thereby he should be able to appear in Schodack town court when directed to do so.”



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