Everyone at DragTheBar.com is excited to announce our newest SNG coach, Arpi Toth. Arpi has been dominating the mid-stakes SNGs for the last 2 years, and was the worldwide Sharkscope Leaderboard Winner in the $16-$45 9-man category, playing under the names "Newb Guy" at PokerStars and "RTT314" at Full Tilt. In addition to crushing at the tables, Arpi has extensive experience teaching poker and is now bringing his teaching abilities to a broader audience with his DTB poker training videos.
Central to Arpi's teaching philosophy is the idea that its critical to teach students how to think about the game, to build a winning thought process instead of merely looking to plug leaks one at a time. Building a winning thought process is not only fundamental to long-term success in poker, but it also lays the foundation for success in more than one form of poker. His videos will exemplify this thinking, and his enthusiasm toward teaching poker and winning at poker make them a lot of fun to watch.
See more on Arpi on his bio page: http://www.dragthebar.com/poker-training/coaches/RP.php, and feel free to PM him in the forum for private lessons.
One of the top SNG players online, Al "md261" McClenahan, is the newest addition to DragTheBar's Sit & Go Team. Al has one of the highest SNG ROI's on PokerStars and has thousands of hours of poker coaching under his belt. In 2011, he was in the top 15 on six different PokerStars SNG leaderboards. His specialties are 6-max turbos and HU SNGs and he'll be a fantastic addition to our Sit & Go team.
A little background on Al, he studied Classics (Latin and Ancient Greek studies) at Cambridge University and originally was planning to be an accountant. However once he started playing poker, his plans changed and the challenge of the game combined with the freedom and flexibility of the poker lifestyle fit him perfectly. Al has used his poker income to start an investment real estate portfolio, as well as starting two different poker coaching businesses.
Its rare to find such an accomplished player that also has so much passion and experience teaching poker, and DTB members will be sure to benefit.
For an interview with Al (conducted by DTB's Christy Keenan) please check DragTheBar's facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/DragTheBarcom/128177437206224
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces $731 Million Settlement Of Money Laundering And Forfeiture Complaint With Pokerstars And Full Tilt Poker
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETuesday July 31, 2012
Settlement Requires PokerStars to Forfeit $547 Million and Full Tilt to Forfeit Virtually All of Its Assets
Funds to Be Made Available for Compensation to U.S. and Foreign Victims
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that the United States has entered into settlement agreements with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker - two of three online poker companies sued by the U.S. in a money laundering and forfeiture complaint that was originally filed in April 2011 - that were approved today by U.S. District Judge Leonard B. Sand. Under the terms of the settlement with Full Tilt Poker (“Full Tilt”), the company agreed to forfeit virtually all of its assets (the “Forfeited Full Tilt Assets”) to the U.S. to fully resolve the charges in the complaint. Under the terms of the settlement with PokerStars, the company agreed to forfeit $547 Million to the U.S. and to reimburse the approximately $184 million owed by Full Tilt to foreign players, in order to fully resolve the allegations in the complaint. The settlement further provides that PokerStars will acquire the Forfeited Full Tilt Assets from the Government. Full Tilt’s U.S. fraud victims will be able to seek compensation for their losses from the Department of Justice from the $547 million forfeited by PokerStars.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “We are pleased to announce these settlements by Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, which allow us to quickly get significant compensation into the victim players’ hands. Today’s settlements demonstrate that if you engage in conduct that violates the laws of the United States, as we alleged in this case, then even if you are doing so from across the ocean, you will have to answer for that conduct and turn over your ill-gotten gains.”
Under the terms of the settlement with Full Tilt, U.S. victims of the company’s alleged fraud will be able to seek compensation from the Department of Justice (“DOJ”). The funds that will be used to compensate qualifying victims will come from the $547 million that will be forfeited by PokerStars as part of its settlement with the Government.
In addition to forfeiting $547 million to the U.S., under the terms of the settlement with PokerStars, the company must make available to foreign players all balances that were held in the Full Tilt accounts within 90 days; the amount of those balances is approximately $184 million. Pokerstars will also acquire the Forfeited Full Tilt Assets from the Government.
PokerStars’ acquisition of the Forfeited Full Tilt Assets will be complete upon the Government’s receipt of a $225 million payment from PokerStars, which must take place within six days of the entrance of today’s settlement.
Additional terms of the PokerStars settlement include:
Within 45 days of the acquisition of the Forfeited Full Tilt Assets, Isai Scheinberg, who is presently under indictment in a related criminal case, shall not serve in any management or director role at PokerStars. This provision is subject to re-evaluation by the parties upon the resolution of the criminal case.
PokerStars is also prohibited from employing, or otherwise hiring, Full Tilt Poker insiders Raymond Bitar, Howard Lederer, Rafael Furst, Chris Ferguson, and Nelson Burtnick. Bitar and Burtnick are also named as defendants in a related criminal Indictment. Bitar, Lederer, Furst, and Ferguson are named as civil money-laundering defendants in this complaint.
PokerStars is prohibited from offering online poker in the U.S. for real money unless and until it is legal to do so under U.S. law.
The Government will maintain a portion of the $547 million forfeited by PokerStars as a substitute for the forfeited Full Tilt assets to cover the litigation of claims by other parties asserting interests in the Forfeited Full Tilt Assets.
The settlements entered today with regard to Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, and the proposed settlement with regard to Absolute Poker, do not constitute admissions of any wrongdoing, culpability, liability, or guilt by any parties. Under the terms of a “domain name use” agreement entered into between PokerStars and the Government on April 20, 2011, the company previously settled its accounts with U.S. players.
In a related matter, the U.S. Attorney’s office also filed a motion requesting that the Court enter a settlement agreement reached with Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet that requires the company to forfeit all of its assets (the “Absolute Assets”) in order to fully resolve this action. The motion also requests that the Government be permitted to liquidate the Absolute Assets, with the net proceeds of that sale to be held pending the resolution of claims filed by other parties who have asserted an ownership interest in the Absolute Assets.
The following allegations are based on the Amended Civil Forfeiture Complaint filed in September and the Indictments returned in the related criminal action:
On October 13, 2006, the United States enacted the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (“UIGEA”), making it a federal crime for gambling businesses to “knowingly accept” most forms of payment “in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful Internet gambling.” Despite the passage of the UIGEA, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet (“the Poker Companies”), each located offshore, continued operating in the United States. Because U.S. banks and credit card issuers were largely unwilling to process their payments, the Poker Companies allegedly used fraudulent methods to circumvent federal law and deceive these financial institutions into processing payments on their behalf. For example, the Poker Companies arranged for the money received from U.S. gamblers to be disguised as payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants purporting to sell merchandise such as jewelry and golf balls. Of the billions of dollars in payment transactions that the Poker Companies deceived U.S. banks into processing, approximately one-third or more of the funds went directly to the Poker Companies as revenue through the “rake” charged to players on almost every poker hand played online.
To accomplish their fraud, the Poker Companies worked with an array of highly compensated “payment processors” who obtained accounts at U. S. banks for the Poker Companies. The payment processors lied to banks about the nature of the financial transactions they were processing, and covered up those lies, by, among other things, creating phony corporations and websites to disguise payments to the Poker Companies. For example, a PokerStars document from May 2009 acknowledged that they received money from U.S. gamblers through company names that “strongly imply the transaction has nothing to do with PokerStars,” and that PokerStars used whatever company names “the processor can get approved by the bank.”
Full Tilt Poker further defrauded players by misrepresenting that player funds on deposit in online gambling accounts were safe, secure, and available for withdrawal at any time. In reality, the company did not maintain funds sufficient to repay all players, and instead, utilized players’ funds to distribute more than $400 million to Full Tilt’s owners. By March 31, 2011, two weeks before the initial complaint in this action was unsealed, Full Tilt Poker owed approximately $390 million to players around the world, including approximately $160 million to players in the United States. At that time, Full Tilt Poker had only approximately $60 million on deposit in its bank accounts. Full Tilt Poker’s scheme continued even after the civil forfeiture action commenced and the related criminal Indictment was unsealed in April 2011. Full Tilt Poker continued accepting foreign player funds despite the fact that it had liabilities to players around the world for over $300 million, yet held only a small fraction of that amount in its bank accounts.
Eleven defendants were charged criminally in connection with the original Internet poker Indictment, seven of whom have been arrested. The defendants who have been arrested are: Raymond Bitar; Bradley Franzen; Ryan Lang; Ira Rubin; Brent Beckley; Chad Elie; and John Campos. All of the seven defendants except Bitar have each pled guilty and await sentencing with the exception of Campos, who was sentenced in June 2012 to three months in prison. Charges are still pending against the remaining four defendants – Nelson Burtnick, Isai Scheinberg, Paul Tate, and Scott Tom who remain at large. The charges and accusations against them are allegations and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara praised the FBI for its outstanding leadership in the investigation, which he noted is ongoing.
This matter is being handled by the Office’s Asset Forfeiture and Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant U. S. Attorneys Sharon Cohen Levin, Michael Lockard, Jason Cowley, and Andrew Goldstein are in charge of the civil money laundering and forfeiture action. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Arlo Devlin-Brown, Nicole Friedlander and Niketh Velamoor are in charge of the criminal case.
Paul Ratchford, aka "Vulcans," took 14th place in World Series of Poker Event #53, $1,500 buy-in NL Hold'em, for $33,381. Paul battled for 3 days through a field of over 3,300 people, only to be stopped just short of the final table when his AQ lost to J8.
Chip updates are here:
Fight for US Poker Regulation:
GiantBuddha's excellent video on how easy it is to write your representatives and fight for US Poker. Check it out!
I'm very excited to announce our new mid-stakes NL Hold'em coach, Natalie Ratchford. Natalie has an impressive background to say the least. She graduated from Columbia in 2007 with neuroscience degree where she was also the 3-year captain of the Volleyball team. After being introduced to poker by her now-husband and fellow DTB NL coach Paul, she quickly took to the game and her high level of competitiveness drove her to improve rapidly, staring with a $50 deposit and never looking back. She says her style utilizes an analytical approach to the game and is centered around a very high level of preflop and postflop aggression.
Natalie is an outstanding poker player with an exceptional winrate. She played mostly on Full Tilt as "FishyFish12" until last march when she switched to the European sites, but this is her Full Tilt PTR page. That's a 3.9 PTBB/100 average winrate for 277,000 hands at $2/4 and $1/$2 6-max, a huge achievement that speaks for itself and puts her in a very elite group of players.
I've been very impressed speaking with Natalie and getting to know her, she has a deep understanding of No-Limit Hold'em and is very creative when it comes to exploiting different types of players. She is also very adept at managing risk, knowing when she's off of her game, and she rarely tilts. Those qualities are critical to successful poker. Most of all, she's very driven and wants to win no matter how much work it takes.
Natalie will be making mid-stakes NLH videos at $1/$2 NLH and above. Her application video was really strong and I think she will be an excellent teacher and a great addition to DTB. She has years of tutoring and coaching in other disciplines under her belt so teaching poker will come very easily and fluidly for her. She explains her thought process clearly and concisely, and I think she brings a unique teaching style and perspective to DragTheBar.
Please take a few minutes to read Natalie's background told in her words on our coaches, and join me in welcoming her to DTB. Feel free to ask her any questions here.
Have a tilt problem? Is tilt a big issue in your game? Want free coaching with Poker's Top Mental Game Coach, Jared Tendler? We're looking for The Biggest Tilter and the reward is a minimum of 4 hours of free private coaching and a signed copy of The Mental Game of Poker (at least a $1,200 value).
The Biggest Tilter is a contest to find and cure the DTB member with the biggest tilt problem. Show us that you’re a committed poker player and that tilt is the biggest obstacle holding your game back, and we’ll reward you with the high-end instruction needed to break through and start crushing. No matter which of the 7 types of tilt you suffer from, this contest is your chance to make tilt a thing of the past.
7 Types of Tilt
-Running Bad Tilt
From now until August 31, you can submit your video entry on the DTB Member Videos page (for more information, click here).
The competition is open to everyone, both free and premium DTB members. Your video will be judged on several criteria, including:
-Demonstration of Tilt Problem / Degree of desperation
-Creativity / Entertainment / Humor
-Seriousness about improving your poker game
-Presentation / Production Value
For everyone not selected, the sessions with the winner will be turned into instructional videos for the DragTheBar community, you'll be able to follow and learn along with The Biggest Tilter as Jared molds them into an unstoppable machine.
Requirements for Entry:
1. Submit your video application to the DTB member video page (uploading is free to all, you just need a free DTB account).
2. Videos must be between 2 and 5 minutes long.
3. Two videos allowed per member during the contest period.
4. You must reference at least one type of tilt you suffer from (see above).
5. Must include at least one cliche’d and played-out phrase, such as: “God I run so bad.”
6. No animals or other living organisms can be harmed in the filming of your video.
7. Videos must be uploaded by August 31, 2011 to qualify for entry.
Winner: A minimum of 4 one-hour coaching sessions with Jared Tendler and a signed copy of his highly acclaimed book, “The Mental Game of Poker.”
3 Runner-ups: Signed copies of the book.
DragTheBar.com Recruits Four New Coaches
The Poker Training Site Continues to Aggressively Improve its Product
CHARLOTTE, NC — March 7, 2011 — Poker training site DragTheBar (www.dragthebar.com) announced today the addition of four new coaches, improving its Limit Hold'em, NL Hold'em, and tournament departments. DTB now has almost thirty coaches on its roster as it continues to expand.
Limit Hold'em will see the biggest upgrade at DTB with two very accomplished players joining the lineup. Gareth "Sledghammer" Allen is a well-respected mid-stakes player and twoplustwo poster, and few people in todays LHE games can match his 6-max win rate of nearly 2 BB/100. Beginning back in 2004 on Party Poker, Gareth began at Limit Hold'em before moving to tournament poker. He returned to 6-max Limit Hold'em in early 2008, where he has maintained some of the best win rates in the game ever since.
The second new Limit coach is Nick "Hood" Jones, a versatile LHE player who in 2010 moved from heads-up to 6-max with great results. Nick has a very mathematical approach to poker and has authored some powerful software tools to help players analyze their game. "We're very excited to be expanding our Limit Hold'em department," said DTB co-CEO Hunter Bick, "With 5 very high quality limit coaches, I think DTB offers excellent value for limit players."
DragTheBar is also strengthening its No-Limit roster with the addition of Paul Ratchford, a mid/high stakes player from Vancouver. Ratchford plays almost exclusively on the European sites where he game selects from $2/$4 to $25/$50. The opposite of a mass-multitabling player, he usually plays between 4 and 6 at a time in order to maximize the expectation of each decision. This approach has rewarded with him with very impressive win rates and an extremely dynamic and creative thought process that is free of auto-piloting. This is a rare mindset in today's games and should make Ratchford's videos a tremendous asset to DTB members.
Not stopping there, DTB is also adding to its tournament roster. Katie Dozier, aka "hotjenny314" has been an online force in both SNGs and MTTs over the last few years. Having played poker throughout college and culinary school, she ultimately decided on professional poker instead of professional cooking. After dominating the super-turbo SNGs for quite some time, she switched to MTTs which she has focused on for the last year. She is on several Sharkscope leader boards, is a feared tournament player, and recently moved to Las Vegas with her husband Collin Moshman. "Katie is not only a great player but also an experienced teacher who will be making both MTT and SNG videos," added Bick, "She will an excellent addition to our tournament staff."
DragTheBar.com boasts free membership and rakeback options at a variety of poker rooms, including Party Poker and BlackChip Poker. It also offers steep discounts for long-term membership purchases. The site’s training videos are not digital-rights managed (no DRM) and are compatible with Apple products. Alongside poker, the site also offers backgammon, coached by world champion Bill Robertie.
There is no activation fee for joining DragTheBar.com, which has one membership level for all stakes and multiple payment options. The site is presently offering a 7-day free trial to all prospective members and discounts on long-term memberships.
Announcing "DTB4FREE," Free DragTheBar Poker Training Available to All Players on Party Poker
We're very excited to announce our newest and most exciting promotion yet. DragTheBar is partnering with Party Poker to offer a completely free training program to all current and future Party Poker players. All you have to do is opt into the program by clicking here, provide your DTB & Party Poker information, and then earn 1,000 Party points in a month (and you keep the points!). Party Poker will then pay for your DragTheBar poker training membership. At no point will this program ever cost you anything, it does not come out of bonuses and you keep the points you earn.
DragTheBar and Party Poker have worked hard to ensure that this is a very simple and easy program for players. Once you opt-in, there's never a need to do anything else. Just play poker and your free DTB membership will be credited to your account.
Click here to go to DTB4FREE and start earning your DragTheBar membership for free at one of the world's largest online poker sites.
If you are new to Party Poker, click here to set up a new account.
If you have any questions not answered below in the FAQ, feel free to ask us in the DTB4FREE forum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I do this every month?
A:Yes. For each month you earn 1,000 Party points, you'll get a free month of poker training at DragTheBar.com.
Q: I don't have a Party Poker account, can I still get DTB4FREE?
A:Yes. Sign up for a new account at Party Poker (click here), submit your Party user info to DTB4FREE and generate 1,000 Party points. You will then get 1 free month at DragTheBar.
Q: I have a Party Poker account but haven't used it in a long time, can I get DTB4FREE?
A:Yes. Just create a free DragTheBar.com account and submit your Party Poker user information. Then generate 1,000 Party points in a calendar month and you'll get a free month at DragTheBar.
Q: I followed all the instructions and haven't received my free month even after generating 1,000 Party points.
A: All DTB4FREE accounts will be automatically credited on the 5th of the month. If you complete your 1,000 points and want your membership sooner, just send an email to email@example.com. Include your DTB username and we will credit your month ASAP. Otherwise it will be added to your account on the 5th of the next month.
Q: Do I have to spend my Party points and will this affect my bonuses?
A: No. DTB4FREE is completely free because Party Poker pays your DragTheBar membership for you. It will never cost you anything and never come out of your points or bonuses.
Q: I can only get to 500 Party points as I am a part-time small stakes player. Can I get a week or two?
A: Not at this time. However, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The more requests we receive, the sooner we may add an option like this.
Q: I went through all the steps and haven't heard anything, what should I do?
A: It may take up to 72 hours to link your DTB and Party accounts. So just start earning those 1,000 Party points and check your e-mail for confirmation from DragTheBar (check your spam filter as well). If you have any concerns please send an e-mail to email@example.com
Q: I am currently paying for DragTheBar and have time left on my membership, can I get DTB4FREE?
A: Yes. Any months you earn by generating 1,000 Party points will be credited to the end of your membership. For example, you recently paid for a 3 month membership and have 2 months left. You can sign-up for DTB4FREE and the months you earn will be added to your account.
Q: I am A high volume player. Can I get multiple free DragTheBar months in one calendar month with DTB4FREE?
A: No. You can only earn one DTB month in a calendar month by generating 1,000 Party points. You cannot get 2 months by earning 2,000 Party points.
I'm excited to announce that goretexg will be joining DragTheBar as a guest coach. You probably know him well from the forum, where he has been one of the most active and helpful members of the community since joining the site in March of 2010.
Greg has had a lot of success in just a year of playing poker. In the fall of 2009, he started playing poker at $.01/$.02 full ring, and now just a year later he's a regular in the $2/$4 games, a very rapid rise especially in today's games. He's got a tremendous work ethic, is a student of DTB's Owen Gaines, and is great example of what can be done through hard work in poker.
This spring he will be heading to Oxford University to study international relations, a very prestigious program. So as a guest coach, Greg will not be making videos every month, but he expects to be around the forum and will be making videos when he can. Greg's first video is about improving efficiency when making decisions at the tables, and its a really good and unique video that I can't wait to release. I think you will agree with me when you see it, that its hard to believe its his first video.
Please join me in welcoming Greg to the DTB coaching staff.
-Hunter Bick, DragTheBar CEO