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Everyone wants to win at poker. Nobody heads into a poker game expecting to lose but the reality is that some of us are going to lose more often than others. Sometimes it is due to bad play and sometimes it is due to dreaded variance.

However, sometimes we lose in other ways. Some of us make choices that damage our reputation as players. Some companies stick with the status quo for so long that it compromises the quality of the product they’re offering.

With 2015 quickly winding down, players and organizations are taking stock of their wins and loses over the past year. Today we look at the five biggest poker losers in 2015. As you will notice, we have expanded beyond looking at player stats but also companies and figures that took a black eye during the year.

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Phil Ivey

One seldom expects to see Phil Ivey on a list of the biggest losers but Ivey has performed horribly online during 2015. Through November 24, he is down $3.75 million combined between PokerStars and Full Tilt. The next closest player is down just $952,000 on the years. (Isildur1 is down $1.36 million on Full Tilt but up $3.53 million on PokerStars.)

Some of you will point out that Ivey won his third $250k Challenge in four years at Aussie Millions in February. Even if you adjust for that and his other cash in the Aussie Millions Main Event, he is still down $2 million on the year according to his trackable wins and losses.

November Nine

Sadly, the November Nine became one of 2015’s biggest losers before the final table was even reached. Daniel Negreanu was deep in the Main event and the poker world was using its collective “ONE TIME” hoping that he would make the final table.

As we all know, Negreanu fell, literally and figuratively, in 11th place and the wind was taken out of the November Nine sail. While there were still plenty of amazing stories at the final table, many of the casual fans abandoned ship with Negreanu’s elimination.

Then came the November Nine and the slow play antics of the first day. The slow play styles of Zvi Stern and Pierre Neuville drove more casual fans away. Then Joe McKeehen took 3/4 of the chips in play into the final day. With little doubt left in who would win, fans that had abandoned the broadcast on Day 1 didn’t come back and this resulted in the second lowest rating ever for the November Nine.

Poker Hall of Fame

Anyone that reads my work already knows that I fully supported the choices for the 2015 class of the Poker Hall of Fame. I am in the minority. There have been opponents to the current setup of the Poker Hall of Fame but this year’s vote sent negative sentiment towards the hall to another level.

While many are outraged that David “DevilFish” Ulliott did not get into the hall in 2015, his snub highlight what many see as a problem with the PHOF. The hall is almost entirely an America affair and lacks diversity. Poker is no longer primarily an American game and most believe that the Hall of Fame should reflect this fact.

I agree with that point. While I supported the choices for 2015, there are plenty of deserving international players and contributors that should be added to the list. I’d even argue that there are some that deserve to go in before the DevilFish.

The Poker Hall of Fame needs a general overhaul to reflect the current state of online poker in the world. I’ve made suggestions in the past on improving the Poker Hall of Fame and others have made solid recommendations to further the future of the hall and the game of poker. Until some changes are made, then it will be difficult to argue that the Poker Hall of Fame reflects the true history of poker.

Anyone Supporting RAWA – Especially Adam Laxalt             

The Restoration of America’s Wire Act was introduced in Congress for the second straight year and support for this act has been steadily waning over the last few months. The measure tramples on state rights and resistance to the bill has been growing with each passing month.

A recent press conference on the matter was viewed as a big joke and the only reason that it is getting a hearing next month is because the bill’s sponsor head’s the committee conducting the hearing.

That’s why it stuns me that NV AG Adam Laxalt would have the audacity to attach his name to a letter that supports RAWA. Nevada was the first state to launch regulated online poker in the United States and blazed a trail for NJ, DE and any state that regulates the game in the future.

Laxalt is basically telling Congress that the state he is supposed to be serving is not capable of regulating online poker and that big brother needs to step in. The odds of RAWA even coming to a vote are miniscule and the only thing his position does is alienate himself from state lawmakers.

“Pro C” from Justin Bonomo’s Sexism and Misogyny in Poker Blog

Justin Bonomo recently published a blog entitled Sexism and Misogyny in Poker where he spoke on three known poker pros that reportedly mistreat women. The third of those pros, referred to as Pro C in his blog, has reportedly raped multiple women and is still roaming around free.

According to the blog, Pro C lost his sponsorship deal after the second woman accused him of rape. How this was not reported to authorities is beyond me. Rape is not a crime where a company should “quietly” release someone from their contract and wash their hands of the person.

This player should be arrested for his crimes and the matter investigated thoroughly. Furthermore, the company that decided to keep their mouth shut about the matter should also be punished in a meaningful way. Keeping quiet about rape is the same as supporting it, and a company that passively supports rape should not be supported by the poker community.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.

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