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Thread: Degenerate Stories: The Party Poker Cruise 2006

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Degenerate Stories: The Party Poker Cruise 2006

    I was just thinking back tonight to how crazy some of the times in the mid-2000s poker scene actually were.

    The embodiment of this -- at least in what I was exposed to -- was the 2006 Party Poker Cruise.

    This was a one-week Caribbean cruise, departing from Ft. Lauderdale, with a $10,000 buyin Limit Holdem (yes, you read that right) tournament onboard. Why was it limit? Because this cruise had been taking place for several years, and NL wasn't as popular when the cruise first started. By 2006, it was ridiculous to have a limit tournament instead of NL, and indeed this was the last year it was this way.

    Here are some stories from that cruise. Some of you already know some of these, but I'm going to repeat them anyway...


    Jean-Robert Bellande

    My introduction to Jean-Robert took place in the airport, on the morning of the day we were boarding. All of the LA-area players seemed to take the same flight (not intentionally, but there was an obvious red-eye flight that was most convenient). We couldn't board until 11:30am, so we had like 4 hours to kill in the Ft. Lauderdale airport.

    Jean-Robert spent his bottom dollar on the flight. He did not have a ticket to the cruise. He did not have any additional money on him. So why was he there?

    He figured he could work his magic to fill in the gaps.

    First, he needed to get onboard. He was aware of the fact that each person who won or bought a stateroom had the option of bringing on a second person for free. Knowing this, Jean-Robert seeked out single people and asked to be their roommate. However, knowing that many people would not be happy about letting a freeloader simply join them in their room, Jean-Robert had a plan. He had already gotten friends Dustin Woolf and Devon Miller to agree to let him crash on the couch in their suite. He just couldn't "officially" be in their room, as they already had 2 people. So he approached several players he saw were single, and asked if he could simply be their "paper" roommate. That is, he promised he would never set foot in their room, and simply needed them to put his name down as their "+1" so he could get aboard. After being refused by a few people, he finally found a willing "roommate" in Fabrice Soulier. I could tell that Soulier wasn't thrilled about it, but he didn't feel like arguing, and reluctantly let Jean-Robert be his roommate in name only.

    Once on the ship, Jean-Robert approached every player he knew and looked for a stake to the tournament. Not only did he get a stake to the $10,000 tournament, but he also got staked thousands for the cash games running onboard.

    Jean-Robert also played "High Stakes Pac-Man" (seriously) in the arcade against Devon Miller. Devon destroyed him for $80,000, but it's unclear if Devon ever got paid anything.




    And if that wasn't enough, Jean-Robert scored literally the only single woman onboard. Every girl on this cruise was with a boyfriend or husband, with one exception. One middle-aged poker player had an 18-year-old daughter he brought along. It turned out that he brought her to get away from the frustration she was experiencing in life. She was an up-and-coming female bodybuilder, and was very well regarded in the bodybuidling community. However, a car accident ruined all of that, and she was unable to continue working out at a high level. Depressed about this development, her father took her on the cruise. Jean-Robert met her, and talked her into basically being his cruise girlfriend. I don't believe he ever called her again after the cruise was over. By the time she was on the cruise, she was no longer bulging with muscles, as they had retreated in the months since the accident.



    Mike Schneider and Variance Control

    Mike "Schneids" Schneider was a young limit holdem pro. He had built a decent (probably 400k) bankroll online, but was uncomfortable with the variance of a $10k limit tournament. He sold 2/3 of himself. This seemed to be a good decision, as he barely made it past Day 1, and came into Day 2 as the very shortest stack. Amazingly, he came back and ended up winning the event for $1,000,000. Unfortunately for Schneids, he only took home $333k, and had to give the other $667k away to his onboard backers, who couldn't believe their good fortune. The worst thing for Schneids was that he could have easily afforded to have played this entirely for himself.

    Despite success in cash games, Schneids never won another tournament in his life for anywhere near this amount of money.


    Engagement Cruise

    Dustin "neverwin" Woolf was engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Marie. However, he was unhappy about the fact that Marie worked as a prostitute (this wasn't well known at the time), and was starting to lose enthusiasm for the relationship. Chantel McNulty, then unknown in the poker scene, was on the cruise with her then-fiancee Dustin Sitar. Chantel and Sitar had rushed into their engagement after barely knowing each other, but Chantel was already feeling "done" with the whole situation, though she didn't tell Sitar that! In fact, she blew $5,000 of Sitar's money in cash games on the cruise, and the two of them fought throughout. Marie was not on the cruise with neverwin, as he took Devon Miller instead.

    neverwin and Chantel met each other on this cruise, and despite only interacting for a short time (and not messing around at all), they felt strong chemistry between one another, and decided that they were both done with their engagements.

    Upon returning home, neverwin dumped Marie within a few months, and Chantel dumped Dustin Sitar. (She actually dumped him quickly, then got back together, then dumped him again.) Dustin Sitar's description of the situation can be found here: http://archives1.twoplustwo.com/show...Number=8508495 (scroll down a few posts).

    Chantel and neverwin started dating that summer and got serious immediately, but they were afraid to announce it to the poker public and face the ensuing scandal. They then approached me and asked me to post their story on the neverwinpoker forums, feeling that I had the capability to frame their tale as sweet rather than scandalous. Being neverwin's friend, I agreed to do this, but under the condition that I would only write the truth. They agreed, and I made the post. This story (including my being requested to write the post) made it into the "Ship It Holla Ballas" book many years later. Here is the story I wrote for them, though the pictures I used for it are missing: http://www.donkdown.com/forums/topic...s-new-protege/





    Under Da Sea

    Devon Miller was only 21 at the time and fairly immature. He got super drunk every night onboard, and one of the nights he threw chairs overboard. Nobody saw this, so he never got caught. Devon did make the final table of the tournament despite his incessant drinking, and took home $175,000.





    Beat the Russki

    Brett "get crunk" Richey and his Russian friend Eugene invented a new card game onboard called "Beat the Russki". I forget the details, other than the fact that one player acts as "The Russki" and the other players in the game attempt to beat him. It was actually a pretty fun game, and it was designed well enough to where it wasn't clear if it was better to be "The Russki" or the regular player.

    Amazingly, the casino onboard was convinced to spread this game in their cash game room, making it the first and only time a card game invented on the fly was spread in a legal poker room.

    Andy Goetsch, leader of the Cryptologic Poker Network at the time, was on the cruise. He expressed interest in bringing Beat the Russki to the Cryptologic Network, but it never happened.




    Big in Japan

    A rich Japanese guy was on this cruise, but not for the poker tournament! In fact, he didn't know there was a poker tournament at all. Instead, he was there for a fairly low stakes blackjack tournament (like $250 buyin), which made very little sense, given his crazy gambling otherwise.

    He had unlimited signing power for chips onboard. He was in a 400-800 limit holdem game there, and was one of the worst players I had ever seen at that level. He would keep blowing rack ($10k) after rack, and just kept signing for more.

    The one problem with playing against him was that he was hyperaggressive and had an unlimited bankroll, while the rest of us onboard weren't really rolled for the game (that is, we had our limited cash onboard and couldn't sign for anything significant to reload). I brought $23k onboard, which sounds like a lot, but goes very quickly in a 400-800 game like that.

    This guy played about 95% of hands, and seemed to play literally any two cards, so it was impossible to put him on anything preflop. I don't even understand why he folded 5% of the time.

    To illustrate how bad he was, I got into a situation with him where I made the nut flush on the river, and it was the absolute nut hand. We went 8 bets on the river because he had the king high flush! If you know limit holdem, that's insane. Going more than 4 bets here is incredibly idiotic. So I won $6400 on that river street alone! The rest of the players were all shaking their heads, but fortunately everyone kept quiet while this was going on. Despite getting off to a bad start and being in danger of busting my cruise roll, I ended up winning like $22,000 on that cruise, even after the $10k I lost in the tournament.
    '
    That Japanese guy has never been seen again playing poker, either live or online, to my knowledge. Once I realized what he was like, I was obsessively checking the cash games to see if I could find him. I was sad when the cruise was over.





    Never Too Early To Start

    David Gee was a middle-aged high limit cash player at the time, and was on the cruise. He brought his 12-year-old son along with him. At some point during the 400-800 game (I don't think the Japanese guy was there for this one), Ali Eslami and one other player suggested that David Gee put his son in the game. Amazingly, David said okay, provided that others agreed to stake him for half the buyin (while David paid the other half). The kid was staked $4,000 total.

    This was not a 12-year-old who looked old for his age. He definitely looked 12.

    He also was no poker prodigy. He only barely understood the rules of the game, and defaulted to a loose-passive style. He did actually make one good bluff against a pro at the table on the river, and then showed it, to everyone's delight! He also made an amazing laydown with AK when an A hit the turn and his opponent bet out (and it ended up being a correct laydown!)

    The first dealer was a little shaken by the whole thing, but reluctantly went along with it.

    However, a sassy black woman came next, and she wasn't having this. She said that she wasn't going to deal to that kid, and that the game was going to stop unless the kid left the table. She called the floor over, and I was sure the jig was up at that point. However, the players at the table pretended it was all a joke, and that he wasn't really playing. The dealer kept insisting that he really was, but the table talked the floorman into ignoring her and leaving. She was switched out a short time later.

    I'm still not sure why the onboard casino allowed this. Even in international waters, gamblers are supposed to be at least 18. On US-based cruise lines (which this was), they needed to be 21.

    The 12-year-old only lost about $700 after an hour of play. I'm sure he will hold the record forever as the youngest player to ever play high limit live cash poker.

    So, yes, a 12-year-old played $400/$800 limit holdem in a real casino.

    To show you how obscene this is, the kid just turned 21 this year, even though this story took place in 2006.



    The Rise of St1ckman

    Online limit holdem legend St1ckman, still a mystery to most people, was on this cruise and cashed in the tournament.

     
    Comments
      
      Brittney Griner's Clit: Green rep anytime you bring anything close to this to the forum.
      
      YUUP: Great stuff
      
      ToasterOven: trip report
      
      Hockey Guy: Awesome TR
      
      Jayjami: Premium content
      
      The Shrink: enjoy these old school stories
      
      gimmick:
      
      sonatine: fucking amazing.
      
      WillieMcFML: good stuff
      
      MumblesBadly: Looking forward to hearing these tales shared in upcoming radio shows!
      
      jacosta24: nice
      
      big dick: .
      
      Shizzmoney: Chantel rep - what a gold digger
      
      Kuntmissioner: More dustin stories please
      
      hotshott74: Good report, enjoy these!

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Bonus story: Barry Greenstein's Taxicab Confessions

    They had a shipboard “Newlywed Game” hosted by Linda Johnson. Barry was allowed to play, despite not being married (he had a long-term, young Asian girlfriend — NOT Mimi Tran). When asked the question “Where was the craziest place you ever had sex?”, Greenstein first declined to answer, but finally said it was in a taxicab. When his girlfriend was brought out to give her answer, she said the same, thus confirming it. A priceless moment.

     
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      Brittney Griner's Clit: Double green rep for op. Gook bitch had literally fucked in 10 weirder places... including the ass.

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    Plutonium Brittney Griner's Clit's Avatar
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    Amazing stories TBH.
    Take me down to the Parvati City where the reps are green and the girls are pretty. Take me home.

    STILL the most posts deleted. STILL the FBI is harassing me. STILL double the reputation of any poster. STILL quadruple the rep/post ratio of any poster. STILL BGC.

  4. #4
    So Dustin dated a prostitue and then dated a girl who later became a prostitute?

    Dustin drives women to sleep with men for money!

    I don't know where that falls in the line of fucked up things I have heard but it is fairly high.

    Just think that doesn't even include a girl who locked herself in an apartment naked and refusing to leave.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by abrown83 View Post
    So Dustin dated a prostitue and then dated a girl who later became a prostitute?

    Dustin drives women to sleep with men for money!

    I don't know where that falls in the line of fucked up things I have heard but it is fairly high.

    Just think that doesn't even include a girl who locked herself in an apartment naked and refusing to leave.
    The fringes of the poker scene lead to a lot of desperation. I bet a lot of poker players have dated prostitutes, sometimes not even knowing it. And probably not even realizing they are sometimes a trick.

  6. #6
    Risking 2.5% of BR on that MTT was almost surely not optimal for Schneids. Especially when he can bet against himself at a healthy premium.

    The Russian wasn't Eugene Katchalov was it?

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    Platinum thesparten's Avatar
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    Wtf happened to poker??? It has to be more then bf that fucked it up.

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    More!!!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by thesparten View Post
    Wtf happened to poker??? It has to be more then bf that fucked it up.
    Poker was dead long before Black Friday. UIGEA+Neteller were critical blows to an already fundamentally broken ecosystem. Aside from that you just have the natural life cycle of a cultural fad.
    Last edited by IAmProfessionalTalk; 11-08-2015 at 07:51 AM. Reason: ....and 2008 economic crisis.

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    Diamond Hockey Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Bonus story: Barry Greenstein's Taxicab Confessions

    They had a shipboard “Newlywed Game” hosted by Linda Johnson. Barry was allowed to play, despite not being married (he had a long-term, young Asian girlfriend — NOT Mimi Tran). When asked the question “Where was the craziest place you ever had sex?”, Greenstein first declined to answer, but finally said it was in a taxicab. When his girlfriend was brought out to give her answer, she said the same, thus confirming it. A priceless moment.

     
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      The Shrink: amazing
      
      Flipper_Fair: up the butt rep
    (•_•) ..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy
    I'd say good luck in the freeroll but I'm pretty sure you'll go on a bender to self-sabotage yourself & miss it completely or use it as the excuse of why you didn't cash.

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmProfessionalTalk View Post
    Risking 2.5% of BR on that MTT was almost surely not optimal for Schneids. Especially when he can bet against himself at a healthy premium.

    The Russian wasn't Eugene Katchalov was it?
    The Russian wasn't anybody famous -- then or now.

    He did play some high stakes online poker at the time, but I haven't seen or heard about him in awhile.

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    Silver MrTickle's Avatar
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    more more more

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToasterOven View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by abrown83 View Post
    So Dustin dated a prostitue and then dated a girl who later became a prostitute?

    Dustin drives women to sleep with men for money!

    I don't know where that falls in the line of fucked up things I have heard but it is fairly high.

    Just think that doesn't even include a girl who locked herself in an apartment naked and refusing to leave.
    The fringes of the poker scene lead to a lot of desperation. I bet a lot of poker players have dated prostitutes, sometimes not even knowing it. And probably not even realizing they are sometimes a trick.
    The funny thing was that Dustin wasn't desperate for female companionship. Many other guys in poker were, but Dustin had no problem getting girls throughout his life.

    I'm not sure how the relationship with Marie began. When I met her, she identified herself as a "Pilates instructor", which I actually believed. In fact, I think she was trying to build her own Pilates business, so it wasn't a lie. However, the Pilates thing wasn't taking off for her, so she had "another" profession on the side. I didn't learn she was a hooker until after Dustin had broken up with her, and a mutual friend showed me her website. The funniest part of the website was a flat yearly rate where you could buy her and have her live with you for $100,000 or something like that. Keep in mind that this was after she was no longer with Dustin. It is not clear to me if she was a working hooker while she was with Dustin, but I know that she was before and after, and I know that Dustin was aware of her past, and that it bothered him.

    Dustin and Chantel seemed legitimately into one another, but it didn't last very long.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmProfessionalTalk View Post
    Risking 2.5% of BR on that MTT was almost surely not optimal for Schneids. Especially when he can bet against himself at a healthy premium.

    The Russian wasn't Eugene Katchalov was it?
    The Russian wasn't anybody famous -- then or now.

    He did play some high stakes online poker at the time, but I haven't seen or heard about him in awhile.
    i've also heard a story or two about crunk being in with some russian mob guys

    one of them went like this - they are at a club getting wasted and this russian mob guy has really taken a liking to crunk and says "for you my friend, you get a free one". crunk is like, thanks but i already have a drink. the russian mob guy wasn't talking about a drink, but putting a hit on someone if crunk ever needed it.

    this was second hand info given to me by a good friend of crunk's, and someone druff knows. whether it's true or not...

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    Plutonium Brittney Griner's Clit's Avatar
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    That avatard bet must be over. At this point you are a gay Chef.

    Just so you know.
    Take me down to the Parvati City where the reps are green and the girls are pretty. Take me home.

    STILL the most posts deleted. STILL the FBI is harassing me. STILL double the reputation of any poster. STILL quadruple the rep/post ratio of any poster. STILL BGC.

  16. #16
    I was on this cruise and met micon playing 20/40. This obv lead to countless hours spent on nwp.

    Obv remember chantel. She stuck out big time in this crowd. I wish LHE mtts wouldve been more popular. They were way more fun imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by varys View Post
    I was on this cruise and met micon playing 20/40. This obv lead to countless hours spent on nwp.

    Obv remember chantel. She stuck out big time in this crowd. I wish LHE mtts wouldve been more popular. They were way more fun imo.
    You were that Nigga tapping your old ass doc Martin's rapidly first night.

     
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      Kuntmissioner: poetry
    Take me down to the Parvati City where the reps are green and the girls are pretty. Take me home.

    STILL the most posts deleted. STILL the FBI is harassing me. STILL double the reputation of any poster. STILL quadruple the rep/post ratio of any poster. STILL BGC.

  18. #18
    Druff,

    Are you currently on good terms with Dustin? Despite his flaws, or because of them, he always gave good radio. Any chance you can get him to sit in for a segment?

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmProfessionalTalk View Post
    Druff,

    Are you currently on good terms with Dustin? Despite his flaws, or because of them, he always gave good radio. Any chance you can get him to sit in for a segment?
    Yes, I am on good terms with him. He did not take sides in the Micon situation.

    So yes, getting him on radio is a good possibility.

  20. #20
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varys View Post
    I was on this cruise and met micon playing 20/40. This obv lead to countless hours spent on nwp.

    Obv remember chantel. She stuck out big time in this crowd. I wish LHE mtts wouldve been more popular. They were way more fun imo.
    Did you play in the tournament, too?

    Yeah, Micon was on this cruise. I think I neglected to mention that. Not much interesting stuff happened involving him, though.

    He took some college buddy along with him. He was still married to Erin at this point, and I imagine he was happy to get away from her for a week, since obviously the marriage wasn't very happy (was fairly close to divorce).

    The only semi-interesting story I remember involved some 35-year-old druggie chick who was on the cruise, and met Micon and his buddy onboard. They hit it off due to their mutual interest in drugs, and she brought various shit back to Micon's room, which they all did together. However, they eventually felt very uncomfortable around her, as they described her as "weird" and "creepy", and told me that they just wanted to get away from her.

    She ended up playing poker with me on the final night of the cruise (I think it was a 100-200 game, no Japanese guy), and I totally understood what they meant. She was like a total space cadet, rambled on about all kinds of weird shit without making any sense, and basically seemed like she was perpetually high even when she wasn't.

    I think she was on the cruise with a guy, but she wasn't always with him. Or something like that. I remember a guy at the table being associated with her, but I know he wasn't present when she did drugs with Micon.

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