Anyone who watched Jamie Gold’s disgusting behavior during the 2006 Situs Judi Slot knows that on at least two occasions, he violated sacred tournament poker rules.

On one occasion, Gold told an opponent whom he was friends with that he had “top-top” while the action was still open. You can watch that video here. On another occasion, while at the final table, Gold flipped one of his hole cards while the action was still open. Both are rules violations that should have resulted in at least a 10-minute penalty had anyone complained. Unfortunately, no one did.

Today, the World Series of Poker released a statement which says, in part, “The WSOP officials determined from the video review and the discussions with Gold that he did not deliberately attempt to violate the rules and that no penalties would be invoked retroactively for the incidents.”

Gold’s action was embarrassing, but there’s not a whole lot they can do about that now. WSOP commissioner Jeffrey Pollack said, “Not only were we impressed with Jamie’s candor and contrition, but we also recognized that tournament officials didn’t witness the incidents or take appropriate action at the time of the rules infractions. We share culpability in this case and are satisfied that the actions in question were inadvertent mistakes. We look forward to Jamie’s participation in the 2007 WSOP.”

He’s right. Someone with the tournament should have stepped in immediately. To this day, I’m not sure why that didn’t happen. The infractions were obvious, and the rules do not require an opponent to lodge a complaint.

Pollack also said, “I do want to stress, however, that we do not condone any violations of the rules and will make every effort to enforce them in every WSOP event.”

We can only hope. The poker world doesn’t need another Jamie Gold. One is more than enough.

Photo by FlipChip at the fabulous… is there a better poker photog out there?

Might As Well Face It

My list of addictions is long and varied. For the last four years, one of my most enjoyable and time-consuming addictions was online poker. While many addictions can destroy a life, this one was not only profitable but it also introduced me to a world of crazy, poker-blogging friends that I would never have known otherwise.

In the words of Sammy Sosa, onlie poker has been berry, berry good to me.

With such a deep and meaningful history, you’d think it’d be hard to say goodbye. It hasn’t.

I played my last hand of online poker more than a month ago. In fact, I had cashed out shortly before my trip to Tunica. It ended up being a great time to get out because none of my money was stuck in NeTELLER.

Left with balances of mostly zero and a law that scared almost all online banks out of the market, there wasn’t an easy way to get back in. But that’s not why I’m not playing.

It wasn’t so long ago that I had taken a rather extended break from online poker. You see, I had become a Jedi. I was using the force to kill rancors. I had built my first lightsaber. Bounty Hunters were trying to take me out. Yes, I was lost in the world of Star Wars Galaxies Online. It’s this kind of information that scares Lady Luck.

That addiction didn’t last. It fell to the wayside like past obsessions like baseball cards and ESPN fantasy sports. It’s not that I don’t still own those baseball cards or still play some fantasy sports, it’s that they are no longer obsessions.

I only have one obsession now. She happens to be the most beautiful women I’ve ever known. Each week is just spent waiting for the weekend when I’ll be able to spend time with her. This is the healthiest addiction of all.

I haven’t said goodbye to poker… just online poker. I miss the days of taking all of wil’s chips in the WWdN or of sucking out on Waffles in the Mookie. I miss trading 5% with Speaker and Change100 in the FTP guarantees or the $5 last longers with Jo. I miss all that. But the beauty of our community is that I’m not leaving all that behind.

The draw of the real felt is something you’ll never drag me away from. In fact, Lady Luck encourages my play. And, hopefully, in a couple months, I’ll be sitting across from you. You may not be seeing the Luckbox online, but that won’t keep me from sucking out on you in Vegas!