FanDuel - WFBC

August 03, 2011

You gotta know when to fold 'em, ARod: Major League Baseball is taking "very seriously" the allegations that Alex Rodriguez took part in some illegal, underground poker games, one of which reportedly turned violent, and he could face suspension if his participation in the games is confirmed.

posted by wfrazerjr to baseball at 03:05 PM - 26 comments

That article reads like a cross between a tabloid piece and an X-Files episode.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:23 PM on August 03

If I had that much money, I'd be playing it up at underground poker games too.

posted by jmd82 at 03:24 PM on August 03

ARod "tried to distance himself from the game" when violence broke out.

Is that the same as running like a little girl?

On an only tangentially related topic, has anyone seen the DirectTV commercial with ARod (probably for MLB game package), where he looks like a preening AHole? Every time I see it, instead of making me want to subscribe, it makes me want to puke.

posted by graymatters at 03:40 PM on August 03

Is that the same as running like a little girl?

If your mind can only encompass a world made up of real men (who stay and fight) and little girls (who run, because if you don't stay and fight, that must be what you're doing), then I guess that's the only choice.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:44 PM on August 03

"He just shook his head, not knowing what the hell happened," the whistle-blower revealed. "He didn't want to deal with it at all. He was like, 'OK, whatever. It's your game.' I would estimate A-Rod lost, like, a few thousand dollars that night. After everything that happened, he paid up and left."

I can't think of any imaginable thought process that reads that as "running like a little girl". It sounds like "avoided stupidly getting involved in something of which he has no part". It's what adults do.

posted by grum@work at 05:48 PM on August 03

Yeah, I'm not getting the fire for the smoke here; why is participating in poker games so problematic (other than the "Well, Pete Rose hung out with gamblers too" logical fallacy)? They even mentioned Tobey McGuire and I vaguely recall something on MeFi about him being in an underground poker game that got raided or the like.

Sounds like really rich people with time on their hands will hang out with their friends just like the rest of us; only the dollar figure is different.

posted by hincandenza at 08:12 PM on August 03

When I hear the term "underground poker games," I think of seedy back arooms in strip clubs. The article suggests that at least one of the poker games was in a mansion with some other rich types. That leads me to think that anytime any of us play poker with our buddies and bet some money, we'd be labeled as "underground poker players" if we were busted.

I get that gambling is illegal in most places and my penny stakes games are in violation of the law. There's got to be a less sensationalistic thing to call it than "underground poker games." How about "illegal poker games."

posted by Joey Michaels at 09:12 PM on August 03

Well they are underground in the sense that not just anyone can get into them. In high stakes poker these guys plat at, we're talking guards and pots of easily hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not "chip" dollars, but the real deal.

posted by jmd82 at 12:08 AM on August 04

And for these guys, they can afford it (their scale of dollars is not our scale of dollars) so why is this a big deal? If that's how they want to spend their money, more power to 'em (would I do it that way? not relevant).

posted by kokaku at 08:06 AM on August 04

Well, I understand MLB's fear of ARod being caught in illegal gambling. If we were to assume that he gets himself in debt, he might be indebted to the wrong kind of people.

The "association with gamblers" is what created the atmosphere for the Black Sox scandal, and what also led Pete Rose astray.

Or, that's what MLB likes to remind everyone.

And I take it that "underground poker games" aren't just friendly little card games set up at millionaire homes. I think they are organized rooms where the rich and private can get together to play poker. It might be set in a mansion, but it might be run as tightly as a casino poker room.

BTW, if you haven't had a chance to watch "Rounders", I highly recommend it. Almost all of the poker boom (for the last 10 years) can be attributed to that movie (in one way or another).

posted by grum@work at 08:22 AM on August 04

And for these guys, they can afford it (their scale of dollars is not our scale of dollars) so why is this a big deal?

Because it's a moral sickness that warps the spine and will keep the country from winning the war. Why can't they engage in nice Christian activities, like speculating in the stock market?

posted by yerfatma at 08:36 AM on August 04

If we were to assume that he gets himself in debt, he might be indebted to the wrong kind of people.

Like Tobey Maguire is going to threaten to break A-Rod's kneecaps or make him throw games.

The amounts of money here are paltry by the standards of A-Rod's income.

Total non-issue in my opinion, and I really hope this doesn't turn into a suspension that would affect the outcome of this season or the next. That would be a way bigger crime than A-Rod playing poker with movie stars.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:08 AM on August 04

@yerfatma - thanks for the laugh

@venicemenace - don't screw w Tobey - Spiderman always collects

posted by kokaku at 10:26 AM on August 04

And for these guys, they can afford it (their scale of dollars is not our scale of dollars) so why is this a big deal?

Even if somebody lost $500,000 at one of these games, as reported, that's around 1/58th of A Rod's yearly salary. Would anyone freak out if somebody earning $50,000 a year lost $900 playing poker?

posted by rcade at 10:58 AM on August 04

The games are "underground" because they are "illegal." One might argue whether such gambling should be illegal, but at this point it is illegal. Some here seem to take the view that wealth is an excuse to violate the law or a defense to illegal activity?

posted by graymatters at 11:55 AM on August 04

I don't think anyone is arguing that wealth is the excuse to violate the law but rather that no one cares that poker is illegal. It has been mentioned here that a $20 game in my kitchen is just as illegal, albeit far less likely to draw media attention.

posted by bender at 12:19 PM on August 04

Some here seem to take the view that wealth is an excuse to violate the law or a defense to illegal activity?

Of course not, but Major League Baseball is not an arm of the legal/judicial system and until such time as A-Rod has been apprehended for his participation in "underground" poker games, this really isn't any of their concern.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:59 PM on August 04

The games are "underground" because they are "illegal." One might argue whether such gambling should be illegal, but at this point it is illegal.

So is every fantasy football league where money changes hands. Stroll over to Yahoo Sports and I'll introduce you to a few thousand of them.

Some here seem to take the view that wealth is an excuse to violate the law or a defense to illegal activity?

Nobody said anything that could be construed as that; quite the opposite, in fact.

(but maybe "little girls" are held to a higher standard)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:05 PM on August 04

Why should MLB ignore its history? Players + gambling don't work. That combo has been responsible for MLB's major scandals. So, it's against the rules. Rodriguez knew that.

posted by bperk at 01:09 PM on August 04

Fine, let's suspend every MLB player who ever engages in any form of illegal gambling. I hope you like watching bat boys take their cuts, because that's what will be left.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:12 PM on August 04

Just read this and my jaw dropped.

"This is classic Alex Rodriguez," one high-ranking baseball official said Wednesday night, after the commissioner's office announced it will interview A-Rod as part of its investigation into his alleged involvement in illegal high-stakes poker games. "In a lot of ways Alex is no different than Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. He's a thrill seeker, and he does everything he can to be overt. He's a classic example of where we are in society, the age of celebrity, where everyone loves triumphs and tragedies."

That's one of the dumbest things I have ever heard in my life. The guy played some poker games with his friends, with stakes commensurate with the disposable income afforded by their vast earnings. Some guy that was there did drugs. How that makes him a starlet with substance abuse problems is beyond me. This official should be ashamed of himself for being so petty with regard to one of baseball's biggest stars.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:49 PM on August 04

Fine, let's suspend every MLB player who ever engages in any form of illegal gambling.

How about we suspend every player that has been warned against illegal gambling and still does it?

posted by bperk at 02:18 PM on August 04

Yes, let's suspend one of the best players on one of the two or three best teams in the league in the heat of the pennant race because he isn't following our orders in matters almost completely irrelevant to the game itself.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:54 PM on August 04

Why can't they engage in nice Christian activities, like speculating in the stock market?

Win.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:46 PM on August 04

@venicemenace - that's a hell of a quote coming from an official of a league that relies on the celebrity of their players to make their entertainment dollars

posted by kokaku at 05:18 PM on August 04

How about we suspend every player that has been warned against illegal gambling and still does it?

Would you even have any idea who that is, or how many? I didn't think so. Be very careful what you ask for -- you just might get it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:21 PM on August 05

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