Saturday, October 20, 2007

Yes, Absolute's Been in the News

Haley, here, checking in. I've stopped in myself tonight to chat about the Absolute Poker situation so that Cal and the KAP bosses won't have to do so. Yes, I've been fully involved in the story, and no, this isn't yet the right time or spot to talk about an issue that's still widely in flux. I need to refrain from personal commentary on this for the time being. There will be time for that, later.

Instead, I'm just going to point you all to a handful of important and/or interesting links connected to the unfolding story to date. Not all the information will agree, so it's up to you, the reader, to determine what information is out there and sift through it all for yourself.

The story has in large part ridden on the energies of posters at 2+2 and Pocket Fives, though it's been talked about everywhere. I'd link up to specific threads but there are way, way too many, and many of them have a lot of wasteful, often inaccurate information within. PocketFives has an inpenetrable format in terms of sorting, and after a while it just kicks you back to the top of the site anyway, but at 2+2 the threads have been driven into the "Brags, Beats and Variance" forum. Wasteful or not, though, I gotta admit to laughing out loud at Admo's faux movie posters; that guy has some graphics sk1llz. Another forum that contained a lot of early information was that at, although that one seems to be not quite as involved in the latest developments. (Or maybe it's me --- frankly, I've been too busy to check.)

Nat Arem, the founder of, which was then sold to Bluff, giving Nat a minority stake in that company (correct me if I'm wrong, Nat), has played a continuing, key role in all of this, as have Serge "Adanthar" Ravitch, Michael Josem and numerous others. Arem has been putting up more or less daily updates on his while Josem created the subjectively named site.

Among the blogger sites I track on a frequent basis, the Royal Poker Blog has perhaps been the most energetic in following the tale, with Viscant over at Vanity and Poker also sounding off. I've also seen Shamus and Pauly sound off on this recently, with Shamus perhaps too effusively mentioning me in this. Yes, I had a role in uncovering something important, but overall it was in my mind a smallish contribution. Folks such as Josem did a lot more.

I'd guess there are dozens of blogs that have talked about the whole saga (to date) by now, but I'm just too exhausted to think my way through to hook 'em all up. Sorry, guys.

I suspected at least a week ago that this story was going to take off, but there's a world of difference between thinking about how things might develop and trying to write about them in a responsible manner. So here are the links to the two pieces of mine to date at

Tough Times for Absolute Poker
Absolute Poker: 'We Had a Security Breach'

Let's see. One other link that played an important visual role in helping people understand the circumstances was the hand-by-hand recreation done by the people at Other people have swiped the recreation and put up videos on YouTube, but PXF did the work so I'm giving them the link-love. You can register for free and view the video; you don't actually have to subscribe to any paid service.

I wasn't at all surprised to see the story go mainstream, and the first "mainstream" outlet I saw with a piece on it was Steven Levitt's piece on his New York Times Freakonomics blog. Levitt had, I guess, blogged about it once earlier, and he's doing some study that is supposed to examine the skill-vs.-chance aspect of poker. That's irrelevant, I guess, but how the elephant got in Levitt's pajamas I'll never know.

After that it (the Absolute story, not the elephant) showed up in two pretty big outlets, MSNBC and ABC Online, which is also the ESPN piece everyone keeps wondering about. (One and the same, folks.) The hyperlinks go right to the stories.

There have been some real crap stories, too, both mainstream and within the poker industry. I'm not gonna link to those. Other good stories, too, and I apologize for not linking to those. More of both to come, I'm sure.

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