This Week in Online Poker History December 30th – January 5th

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The yearend edition of This Week in Online Poker History has a bit of everything from early poker blogs to the poker boom’s first rush of millionaires.

We’ll also take a look at a special milestone in the career of Tony G, talk a little “small ball” strategy with a circa 2007 Daniel Negreanu, and a whole lot more.

December 31, 2003 & January 4, 2005: A look at early poker blogs

The notion that people would be willing to read somebody’s musings on poker was a pretty laughable idea before the poker boom, but once the frenzy hit, poker blogs started springing up across the Internet – some as a writing outlet and some as a moneymaking project.

A couple of the earliest (widely read) poker blogs were Paul McGuire’s which sprang into being in 2003, and Daniel Negreanu’s which launched in 2004 amidst his rise to prominence in the poker hierarchy.

Tao of Poker remained a prominent poker blog until Paul “Dr Pauly” McGuire stopped updating it on the regular in 2011.

Since then McGuire has written a book, Lost Vegas, and has worked for several outlets, including Bluff Magazine.

Take a look at the December archives from

Whereas Tao of Poker covered just about anything to do with the poker world and even delved into pop culture, Daniel Negreanu’s website was more about Daniel’s exploits and things that he found worth writing about from the poker world.

It was certainly a branding effort meant to capitalize on his fame, but it’s one that Daniel has poured his heart and soul into over the years.

Browsing through the FCP archives you can see how Negreanu’s and McGuire’s blog business plans differed.

And considering how successful both sites were/are, it becomes pretty clear that the key to running a thriving poker blog is just like everything else poker related – the correct approach is often variable.

January 4, 2006: 34 poker players become millionaires in 2005 posted an interesting list on January 4, 2006, listing the 34 players who won at least a million dollars in 2005.

In 2013 with $100k buy-in tournaments, a million dollar year doesn’t even necessarily mean you are in the black, so this may not seem like a big deal.

But consider that back in 2005 a million dollar year was quite an achievement and just a couple years earlier in 2003 there were all of eight players with over $1 million in tournament earnings.

At the turn of the millennium there was ONE, the 1999 WSOP Main Event winner Noel Furlong.

Also from the archives…

January 4, 2007: Daniel talks small ball; gives 3 different responses in same post

Something stuck out at me when I read this thread from 2007 on the forums in which a user asks Daniel Negreanu about “small ball” poker, which elicited this response:

“The beauty of small ball is that it is the optimum approach, which means that a counter strategy that would defeat it simply doesn’t exist […] Of all the strategies out there, playing small ball has the fewest options as far as a counter strategy that really works. I will provide counter strategies in my book.”

Take careful note of the bolded parts where Daniel goes from “a counter strategy simply doesn’t exist,” to “has the fewest options as far as a counter strategy,” to “I will provide counter strategies in my book.”

I’m not sure what is going on in this post but Daniel may owe us an explanation, even if it is five years on.

*My commentary is obviously a joke as I’m parsing his words and purposefully taking them a bit too literally.*

January 1, 2008: Tony G gets the wiki treatment

According to Google, Tony G’s Wikipedia page came into being on New Year’s Day 2008.

Even if this isn’t accurate it’s always a good time to talk about Tony G, so I’m going to go with it.

So what does the G’s Wikipedia page say?

“… Lithuanian-Australian businessman, professional poker player and philanthropist. As a child, he was the Rubik’s Cube champion of Lithuania before moving to Melbourne, Australia at the age of 11. He has played poker since the age of 18, and is known for his outlandish table talk and frequent intimidation of his opponents.”

Yeah, I’d say that about sums it up. Especially the Rubik’s Cube part.

Photo by Hellbus / CC BY

- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.
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