Stardust Memories, Party On, and Laborless Day

Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it’s something we can’t buy
There must be another way

We are spirits in the material world
— The Police

We all know people who suffer from disposaphobia. When my Auntie Alice died, there were hundreds of National Geographics stacked in the attic — and that was just for starters.

I try not to be an accumulator, although I’m not as good as my buddy Wildbill. If it weren’t for books, I think the wild one could fit most of his belongings in a paper bag. And now that the Shrink (formerly the Poker Shrink) is a vagabond, homelessly traveling the country, he is also down to the bare bones. In his pre-trip disposal mode, he asked me if I wanted a poker chip he kept from the last poker game held at the Stardust. “Absolutely,” I said. Some things are worth the space.

In online gaming news: After the WPT received a buyout offer from the mysterious Gamynia Ltd, news broke of a second bidder. But days passed with no disclosure. I got an email from Change100, asking if I’d heard the rumor that PartyGaming was the comapny on the grassy knoll. (Btw, congrats on the new gig gf) I had assumed it was an online gaming company. But Party?

PartyGaming has had a tougher time financially than many online gaming companies. In fact Party’s net revenues were down -21% in the first half of the year. It’s obvious the company’s been penny pinching on the cost side as they were able to maintain a flat EBITDA. Although after paying the DOJ’s ransom money, the company has lost $66.9 million so far this year. But I guess coughing up $12 million for the WPT is relatively small potatoes. Party on.

A few weeks ago Lou Krieger asked me why PokerStars and Full Tilt would back the PPA to legalize and regulate online gaming in the US? After all, they have been the largest beneficiaries of the UIGEA. When publicly traded companies had to vacate the US, these private companies inherited the lion’s share of the terrain. And yes there will be more US players should the UIGEA get overturned — but there will also be a lot more competitors. The mystery can be solved with just three letters: IPO. Both PS and Full Tilt were getting ready to go public just before the UIGEA passed. This would have meant literally hundreds of millions of dollars to the owners. If the UIGEA gets overturned, watch how fast it takes for PS and Full Tilt to cash out.

And this Labor Day represents less labor than in years past. Unemployment ticked up to 9.7% — the highest level in 26 years. Wall Street continued to look for the silver lining, and thought they found one when it was reported that the US economy only lost 216,000 jobs last month. But never take government numbers on face value. In reality we lost 637,000 wage and salary jobs last month — the most since March. The offset was due to more people reporting that they were trying to go the self-employment route. So I guess Wall Street is hanging its hat on the increasing number of Feng Shui consultants and Life Coaches.

But some entrepenuers seem to be making a go of it. I don’t know how much money Dr. Snus has actually made — but he’s been raking in the free samples of snus. Check out my guest blog over at the good doctor’s.

Picture notes: PartyPoker booth at the 2007 WSOP, 700 people line up for 31 jobs at the IZOD Center in NJ in April, captured in this brilliant picture by Mel Evans AP