Tag Archives: Commerce Casino

Sammy Farha, UIGEA, Commerce Casino


Hey High Rollers, couple of new pages on the site www.highrollerradio.net – including The Gamblers Fallacy, Howard Schwartz and Golden Nuggets (page 5).  You’ll find great quotes, notes and anecdotes from the world of poker/gambling.  This week a player profile of the legendary Sammy Farha, we’ll ask the question is poker a sport? & and we’ll outline the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, introduced in 2006.

NOTE:  Old Spice Giveaway….simply visit our website and tell us a poker/gambling story.  Draw is November 15th!  Good luck.

Wanna Bet with us?  Click the banner below and you’ll be wagering on your favourite team in minutes at Bet Online.


Sammy Farha

Ihsan “Sam” Farha, born in Beirut, Lebanon, is a high-stakes professional poker player best known for his heads-clash with Chris Moneymaker at the 2003 World Series of Poker. Farha lost a major pot on Day 2, leaving him with only 10% of his starting stack, and considered leaving but was talked into staying by Barry Greenstein.  The rest is history!

PokerStars organized a rematch of their main event showdown a few months later and Farha won. They then played a special ‘grudge’ match at the 2011 WSOP and Moneymaker proved victorius in the best-of-three format.

After winning the $5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo (8 or better) event in 2006, Farha skipped the event the next three years. He then played it again in 2010 when it was increased to a $10,000 buy-in – and won!  So, while not winning the event consecutively, Farha did claim the bracelet both times he played in the event.

Sammy co-authored a book, Farha on Omaha, which is a detailed guide on Omaha poker strategy. He intersperses basic strategies with his own personal style of play.


1996: $2500 Pot Limit Omaha ($145,000)
2006: $5000 Omaha Hi/Low $398,560
2010: $10,000 Omaha Hi/Low, $488,241


The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is a piece of United States legislation, introduced in 2006 to regulate online gambling.  It was added as Title VIII to the SAFE Port Act, which otherwise regulated port security.  It “prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.”

When the act was passed, all online gambling sites listed on the London Stock Exchange (or similar markets) stopped taking U.S. players. PartyGaming, which runs PartyPoker.com, had its publicly traded stock drop by almost 60% in 24 hours as a result of the bill’s passage. The company was moved from the FTSE 100 Index to the FTSE 250 Index on October 11, 2006.

The founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, the three largest online poker sites in the world, were among those indicted in April 2011 for violations of the UIGEA.  According to the U.S State Attorney in New York, the companies allegedly tried to circumvent UIGEA rules with the help of others who acted as “payment processors”, which allowed the companies to disguise gambling revenue as payments for non-existent goods like jewellry or golf balls.

The Commerce Casino
The legendary home of the LAPC is a poker player’s dream; you might say a card playing heaven. High Roller Radio spoke to actor Eric Bruskotter, star of the movies Major League 2 & 3, about the electric atmosphere at the Commerce:
Full Interview

Best Poker Commercials 
From Old Spice to Phil Ivey, High Roller Radio has compiled our list of top gambling commercials. Can you say Poker Face?

Good luck & good gambling!

Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow

Mike “the Mouth” Matusow

"The Mouth"

“The Mouth” is one of the greatest poker players ever!

Mike Matusow has got the chip lead with three players left in Event #13, 7 Card Stud Hi/Low Split.  ‘The Mouth’ is gunning for bracelet #4.  I met Mike in Calgary in 2009 at the Canadian Open Heads-Up Championship, actually interviewed him after his first round match for Canadian Poker Player magazine.  I was working for the Canadian Poker Tour at the time and I was fortunate enough to meet a number of big name players, who up until that point I had only watched on television; Huckleberry Seed, Antonio Esfandiari, Gavin Smith, Brad Booth, Scott Montgomery and Greg Mueller, among others.

During the short Q&A, Matusow told me he was making it his ‘life mission’ to put disgraced 1994 world champ Russ Hamilton behind bars.  Hamilton, of course, is the man behind the Ultimate Bet ‘God Code’ cheating scandal and a guy who Matusow says ripped him off for $2.5 million.

“I couldn’t understand how he was beating me so badly,” he reflected, on a series of heads-up matches with Hamilton.  “It was a bad time for me.  He’s a thief and should be locked up.”

Matusow used our chat to promote his new book Check Raising the Devil, which he described as an ‘intense ride’ and one of the best biographical poker books around.  As we discussed his life, his new girlfriend, who he met online interestingly enough, the book and poker, Matusow seemed quite jittery and was continuously looking over my shoulder at the television above the bar, seemed like he was preoccupied with the basketball game.

The Q&A only lasted 10 minutes but I knew it was 10 minutes wasted for Matusow.  He didn’t want to be there, not just the interview with me, which he took as a duty to the owner of the Canadian Poker Tour, who rumor has it paid Matusow’s entry in order to attract him to Calgary.  Worth noting, Matusow lost his opening round salvo, a best two-out-of-three match with lots of chips and lots of play, in record time.  He was out of the tournament, two-nothing, almost before it began, the match only lasting 25 minutes.  Again, he glanced at the TV and grimaced. So, I eventually made the inquiry, “You got money on the game?”

“You know, I didn’t even want to be here,” he launched into a mini bi-polar tirade.  “I’ve been running so good betting basketball the last month and it wasn’t even worth my time playing this 5k buy-in.  I’ve got 40-grand on tonight’s game.  I only came here as a favour to Gavin,( referring to the Clown Prince of Poker, Gavin Smith, another elite pro and friend of the CPT owner).  That’s the worst poker I have ever played!”

Just like that, the interview was over and a few hours later Mike Matusow was on a plane back to Vegas, like the trip to Calgary didn’t even happen. Oh, and he gave me a book.  I contemplated asking him to sign it but simply said, “Thank-you Mike, it was my pleasure.”

www.highrollerradio.net  Good luck Mike!