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Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Annie Duke File (Part Four)



The video above is from June 27, 2008. If you did not watch it, here are the cliff notes:

John Caldwell, Editor-in-Chief at PokerNews.com conducts this interview with Annie post Ultimate Bet scandal. The two discuss when Annie first heard of the scandals (January), and she states she was officially notified by UB in March. She goes on to claim, when ownership switched to Tokwiro, "I very much just became...very much just like a silent endorser, in terms of any input into the business workings...I was very unhappy about what was going on." Duke goes on to say she was actively looking to leave the UB brand when the "new owners" of Ultimate Bet came to her and gave her "a lot of transparency to what was going on." Annie then proclaims it was then and only then she decided to put her name back on the Ultimate Bet brand -- admitting it was a "big 180" for her and going on to stress, "This is a completely new management change". Annie also says new UB Chief  Paul Leggett is of  "incredible integrity".

It is important to note Eric Lynch and Cliff Josephy were quick to dump Ultimate Bet.

EDIT/ADD 02/02/13: The video above has been disabled and now unavailable online (anywhere).

Best Damn Poker Show 2008: Assholes Clark, Hellmuth and Duke collide.
From the beginning, I wanted to be on Season Two of this show. I played UB steady, inquired, auditioned and the auditions ended with a face to face on camera interview with Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke. This was first time I met either. We were asked in questionnaires whose team would we prefer to be on. No-brainer, Hellmuth. And Annie called me on it on camera -- in what was the first time I made note of her nature.

"How dare you lady, he is Phil Fucking Hellmuth", I thought. Eventually I was one of twenty-four contestants on this show, filmed at San Manuel Casino near Los Angeles. The contestant pool was filled with UB shills: Shawn Rice's girlfriend, Montana Frat Boy Jon Nau, Diva Poker Poser Christine Lindley, etc. Somehow I managed to be drafted on Team Hellmuth and played my way to the final table. Down to four players, Team Duke player Shawn Van Asdale went allin on me and asked me, "Do you have a Jack, or are you just one jackoff?" To which I replied, "I think we both know neither one of us have a Jack here, you Fucker". Despite much colorful language by all contestants during the taping, despite the fact Annie was bleeped out every third sentence during the show, a penalty was called on me -- for no other reason than to create some drama for the show. I bluffed off-camera "If you call this one-round penalty of me, I will walk off this show." Fox Sports.net's Bob Skolnik replied "And you are going to look bad on the television", in a tone that was threatening. I walked off...

The UB scandal was just barely being exposed at these times. I had waded through a pool of shills, worked my ass off on the show and played my way to the final table -- And this is what I get UB? Matt Savage made the call, despite there was never a discussion about rules at the show. Savage  immediately took the defensive, and stated FOX officials did not make the call, it was his. Listen. All Matt did is stand around and look pretty for four days, babbling with Absolute Poker's part-owner Garin Gustafson about some sea cruise they were going on. And the Poker World should question Savage's closeness to the folks at AP and UB, as a testament to his nature. And Annie? Well, we never got along. I even told her "Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hang on to" in front of a large group early on. She returned the favor by drilling me on national television repeatedly throughout the show and especially after I walked off. Once again, Phil remain silent, blogging about me in his blog and expressing concerns for my well-being. Funny. If Phil Hellmuth really knew me, he'd know I am more of a candidate to commit a homicide than suicide. (joke)


"You're ruthless."
Annie Duke's last Pocket Fives post: I would go on to post a thread at Pocket Fives about my experiences on the show (the 2+2 version went viral). During the long post, I told what seemed to be an inconsequential story from the show. Phil complained to his team members, Annie was "the boss" of Team Hellmuth's assistant coach Mark "Poker Ho" Kroon at Ultimate Bet, putting him and Mark in a tough spot on the show. Annie immediately responded in the thread, and in her last Pocket Fives post ever "Just FYI...I am not H0 or Shawn's Boss." In hindsight, I would say Phil had a Freudian Slip, I did not notice it, included it in my post, and it all struck a nerve with Annie...

CELEBRITY APPRENTICE 2010 "Your money has blood on it" is the one thing Joan Rivers said on Celebrity Apprentice that year which sticks in my mind. It is funny how crazy old Jewish broads always seem to hit the nail on the head. The lesson Annie and her minions dished up for me on the BDPS, was returned to Annie on Celebrity Apprentice fifty fold. Annie raised the most money on the show, and Donald Trump called her a ruthless player in the end, "as ruthless as it gets". It has been reported Howard donated at least $100,000 and there were many Annie/FTP minions who donated also. Wouldn't you like to see that list of donors?

But The Donald would have none of it, and Annie wasn't playing in the minor leagues anymore. Trump is a gazillionaire and this was NBC, not ESPN. Celebrity Apprentice took the dirty asshole's money in the name of charity, and refused to give a ruthless person like Annie the victory. Trump deemed Rivers the winner and I must admit, Annie Duke was robbed. The only thing that made it sweeter, was when Trump 'slowrolled" her when he fired her. There were uproars in the the Poker World when Annie announced she was going to be on CA, as many were tiring of her representing the game. Others supported her and said it was good for poker. In the end, a case could be made: Annie Duke tried to buy the competition and legitimacy with the American viewing public. Finally, The Lederer Sisters could not buy their way through...

Thank you Donald Trump for being smarter than the rulers of the Poker World.

READ The Annie Duke File: The Finale

I will try to tie a lot of loose ends together. We will talk the Epic Poker League, Daniel Negreanu, Excapsa stock holdings, and the Montana connection...

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