The Weekly Round-up – 24 May 2021
The Tip Top Fox brings you the top poker and gambling industry stories of the week; Elon Musk Earns Poker Community’s Ire; Suspected Gangster Arrested for $1M Theft From Poker Pro; Mark Your Calendars For PokerGO
Elon Musk Earns Poker Community’s Ire
While Elon Musk and his SpaceX company’s eventual goal is to send people into space, the only thing the entrepreneur has successfully sent into orbit so far is the pulse rates of the poker community.
Posting on 13 May, eccentric billionaire Elon Musk earned the ire of a large section of the poker community – many of whom are heavily invested in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin – by making some throwaway tweets that have brought Bitcoin’s prices come crashing back down towards Earth.
Musk has previously been a big proponent of digital cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. Musk’s company Tesla has invested heavily in Bitcoin.
Back in February, in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla announced the purchase of $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin for “more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash.”
The company also announced it would start accepting bitcoin as a payment method for its products. This announcement and subsequent tweets about Musk’s support of Bitcoin and Dogecoin saw prices surge to a record high.
Fuel for the Fire
However, in what appears to be a sharp U-turn, Musk’s latest tweets expressed concerns about the environmental impact created by the consumption of fossil fuels used to power the energy needed for Bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin prices fell sharply following Musk’s tweet. According to Reuters, Bitcoin prices dropped as much as 17% after Musk tweeted Tesla had stopped accepting Bitcoin for purchases.
The market fell further to a three-month low following a single-word Musk reply to a tweet on 17 May.
This caused even more speculation in a market so volatile that SpaceX could use it for rocket fuel. As a result, Musk clarified Tesla’s position on Bitcoin on 17 May.
Poker Community Backlash
While Musk might be the second wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $151 billion – according to Forbes – and have over 55.8M Twitter followers, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO is not making any friends in the high stakes poker community.
Following Musk’s clarification tweet, several notable high-stakes poker players responded less than enthusiastically to his latest views on cryptocurrency.
Poker YouTuber Joey Ingram respond by asking Musk to “Please leave Bitcoin and go away to your own planet with Hellmuth and the other home game buddies.”
Heads-up specialist and long-time Ingram collaborator Doug Polk also gave his opinion.
Professional sports bettor Haralabos Voulgaris was another to respond less than kindly to Musk’s latest views on cryptocurrency.
Canadian online poker professional Mike “Timex” McDonald also weighed in, giving his views on Musk and cryptocurrency on Twitter.
partypoker ambassador Patrick Leonard put into perspective just how heavily many of the poker community are invested in cryptocurrency.
Despite all the pushback from the poker community, it is unlikely it will alter Musk’s Twitter habits. The only thing that is certain is the fact a throwaway tweet from the world’s second-wealthiest individual can wipe ~$75 billion off the value of Bitcoin almost overnight.
Gangster Arrested for $1M Theft From Poker Pro
Henderson police have arrested and charged suspected gang member Brock Brewer, 32, over the theft of $1M in cash and high-denomination poker chips.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, police arrested Las Vegas resident Brewer for multiple felonies including “theft of $100,000 or greater, conspiracy and home invasion.”
The robbery dates back to February when Las Vegas-based poker professional Chad Power reported the theft of a safe containing $1M in cash and poker chips from his residence in Henderson, Nevada.
Power reported the safe contained “approximately $750,000 in cash in $100 bill denominations, mostly organized into $50,000 bricks,” according to the police report. This was in addition to another “$250,000 in high-value poker chips.”
Caught on Camera
According to the police report, it is suspected Brewer followed Power home from the casino “due to him playing high-stakes poker games and carrying large amounts of poker chips”.
Power was playing poker on the Las Vegas Strip and received a notification from his home security system. Two men were subsequently seen in surveillance camera footage leaving the property with Power’s safe over their shoulder.
“Both suspects had lowered/removed their facemasks at this point and their faces were visible,” police said according to the LVRJ, adding Power did not know the burglars.
After reviewing the security footage, police investigators were able to identify Brewer as one of the suspects due to his involvement in a similar case in 2006. This saw a poker player robbed of $15,000 in cash and chips. Mobile phone records also put Brewer at the scene.
According to the police report in the case, Brewer, 32, is a known member of the “New Born Crips” gang. After tracking Brewer down to his residence, police saw him driving a brand new 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat.
Cash For Cars
Officers traced the vehicle to a dealership in Claremont, California where they discovered it registered to Brewer’s mother. It had apparently “been purchased on 2/15/21 with a $30,000 cash down payment”.
After serving a search warrant, police also found a 2018 Maserati Levante SUV and a third vehicle, both purchased and paid for in cash around the same time.
“Due to the high dollar amounts of money stolen… and these vehicles being purchased with large cash payments/down payments recently after the theft, it is believed these vehicles were purchased with the stolen money from this case,” police said in the LVRJ article.
Brewer is currently at the Clark County Detention Center awaiting a 1 June court hearing with bail set at $200,000. It remains to be seen whether Power will recover everything. The second suspect in the case remains at large.
Mark Your Calendars For PokerGO
There are several reasons to mark some notable PokerGO dates in your calendar. All the good recently televised poker content is pretty much exclusively streamed on PokerGO; notably the latest season of High Stakes Poker and High Stakes Duel.
The most exciting of these is the much-anticipated third round of the High Stakes Duel between Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu.
The popular poker streaming company announced the date for Negreanu and Hellmuth’s third (and probably) final outing. This will be air on the PokerGO network on 23 June at 8pm Eastern Time – 1am BST on 24 June.
It’s not just the televised poker shows you should save the dates for, however. As reported last month, PokerGO unveiled the dates for their hotly anticipated high stakes 2021 PokerGO Tour.
The tour kicks off with the 2021 US Poker Open. Taking place at the PokerGO Studio on the Las Vegas Strip, the 12 tournament series will run June 3-14. Buy-ins start at $10,000 and range up to $50,000.
The last time the tour took place was back in February 2019 with US pro David Peters taking down the $100,000 Main Event. Peters won $1.32M, becoming the second player ever to win a US Poker Open – the first being 2018 champion Stephen Chidwick.
All tournaments are two-day events, and each final table will be streamed exclusively on PokerGO.com from 4 June, with a 4pm ET (1am BST) start time. Add it to your calendar as you won’t want to miss it.