April is the month when spring should come into full force. Brighter but rainier weather should follow. Unfortunately, some places experienced prolonged snowfall, strong winds and other strange situations. This deviation from the norm is not just related to the weather either. The poker world also had its fair share of strange events in the month of April. So why not Are you enjoying some of the weirdest and most interesting gambling news from the first half of April 2023?
The #1 chess grandmaster in the world loses in a high-stakes poker game
If you know anything about chess, you’ll know that Magnus Carlsen is a grandmaster and world number one in the game. The Norwegian gamer marked 10 years in this position in 2021. One of his last chess victories came in February 2023 when he won the Airthings Masters from defeating American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura. Yet the world’s best chess player switched the chessboard to a high-stakes game of poker in mid-April.
Carlsen has played poker games before, having a notable run in the Norwegian Championship Main Event last year. He finished in 25th position out of a field of 1,050 other poker players. Not bad for someone whose main focus is on chess. However, it seems he didn’t bring his luck with him for a recent session.
On Wednesday, April 12, Carlsen went up against content creators and renowned poker player Mariano Grandoli at Hustler Casino Live in Gardena, California as part of the Hustler Casino Live Stream. He seemed to have forgotten what poker was all about when he played a rather odd hand. This hand consisted of sevens of threes and two diamonds, which is worth noting as one of the worst opening hands and in any normal poker game would have folded immediately. Carlsen didn’t do that.
Perhaps he was convinced to play it by the potential bonus prize from the game. Any player who wins after being handicapped by a 7-2 different suit will receive a $100 prize from all other players at the table.
With that in mind, Carlsen raised to $125 preflop and was called in several places. He then bet another $500 after a flop of ten of hearts, ace of spades and five of diamonds. Three other players at the table called, but Carlsen moved on. The turn saw the seven of hearts come into play, giving him a pair. Unfortunately, fellow chess enthusiast Alexandra Botez made two pair with her hand.
Carlsen continued with his heavy hand, betting another $1,700 and the pot grew to $7,725 before the river card was dealt. It was the seven of clubs. Normally, that would have given Carlsen a pretty decent three. As it happens, Botez had an ace in his hand, plus the only other seven in the deck. It made her hand much better than hiscompleting a full house.
Carlsen bet $4,100 and Botez raised all-in. The chess master then folded, albeit reluctantly, letting the $17,095 pot go to his opponent. With gameplay like that, maybe he should just stick to chess!
Charges and fines dismissed for Texas Poker Raid players
It’s never fun to report a poker club that has been attacked. That’s what happened to the Watauga Social Lounge Poker Club in Watauga, Texas last October. The local authorities stormed the place, fining the players inside at the time, arresting staff members and confiscating over $200,000 from the premises. The poker room didn’t open until January 2022 and even had a blue ribbon cutting event to mark the occasion.
The warrant that local authorities held allowed them to confiscate “currency, gambling proceeds, financial instruments and/or other items of value“. According to him, it involves “receiving, transferring, concealing or spending large sums of money made from engaging in certain illegal activities.”
total, 49 players were fined $360 each during the raid. Three of those players took a plea deal in December 2022. However, the rest have been waiting for their day in court since the raid took place.
Fortunately, in a twist of fate, good news arrived at their door instead. Instead, their charges and fines were dismissed. That came as good news for the remaining 46 players. Still, it wasn’t good overall considering the authorities “robbed” them of their $205,000 in the October game.
One player, Daryl Gresham, said the case is not over until everyone’s money is returned. “I’m still disgusted by the authorities that this was ok in your offices!!!!! Remember to serve and protect, not rob people at gunpoint!” he said in an online post.
Another, Steve Nichols, posted his own take on the situation via his Facebook page. In it, he said he wanted the trial to take place so he could have his say. However, he noted that it was “justifying” to see “The district attorney’s office cowers before people ready to oppose them“.
We would definitely say that solidarity won out. It’s always fun to see the law backed into a corner when they know they’re up the creek.
Rammstein frontman Lindemann in new poker ad
German industrial metal band Rammstein is no stranger to controversy with often violent lyrics and adult-themed music videos. Yet Rammstein songwriter and lead vocalist Till Lindemann recently took part in a project of a more light-hearted nature.
On April 3, the official YouTube channel of the online poker site GGPoker was launched commercial featuring Lindemann. The nearly four-minute video shows Till portraying five different characters participating in a private poker game.
Like a Rammstein video, the ad features strange imagery, such as a stormy sea and a flying angel, that seem to have little to do with the main action of the poker game. Accompanied by Lindemann uttering laconic phrases such as “I can laugh again” and “I guess I’m doing well”, the effect is somewhat unnerving, despite the fact that we were relying on auto-generated English subtitles as we were unable to understand the original German audio , perhaps contributed to our anxiety.