Wednesday, June 29, 2005

You thought I'd have nothing to say about the biggest London float in 5 years?!
Postmodern uberpost, a few good segues, and me just missing being able to spout off for hours at a time...

I hate radio userland. Which is sad, since I really really want to like it (story of my life, fill in the blanks all of the things ak reallyreally should like but doesnt and its ugly cousin corollary: all of the things ak reallyreally*really* likes but cant ever have and there you go...) This isn't supposed to be some celibate pity party though.

I hate ru cos I type here in the little box, which I do love and is the reason I pound all of these out not in word (i learned from phil gordon's podcast that r quiet lion brodie was the word guy the other day, neat)-- but if your asshat computer decides to refresh a screen or move away from it, you lose EVERYTHING. Yes yes I know about the 3-button post-publish-post and publish thing, and also ctl+s, but the thing is, cmon now. I rewrote this post ... this is my 4th attempt. The first time ru reloaded into the screen from the server, second time I misclicked onto one of the sidebar links and though the thing jumps faster than shinkansen to the new page, doesnt load quickly for sh!t and just in enough time to completely wipe an hours worth of drivel, and the 3rd time I was using ascii to type the pounds sterling symbol (requisite for the wlo float post I'm hoping will be below by tonite), the entire farking thing reloaded and was lost.


Thing is, I *hate* these kinds of posts about losing work, cos I always truly believe people who write things like this are idiots. I mean, it's your fault you lost it and I don't want to hear you try and make me empathize about how great something *once was* (suresure, says the shifty eyed pessimist lurking in my liver), just get on with the show.

But I wasn't going to write about it, but I have for a little selfdeprecation and to give some reason to post this... I did try and start #4 in word-- opening the file adjacent to it accidentally made "spence" pop up from mydocs...

Figured it was meant to be since I spoke of him yesterday; my old & last college roommate (5/5 during the college years) Spence. Coolest guy I was never attracted to (nor he me, it was like family feeling with a guy that ive never felt before-- i never sized up the sex possibility like i do with all male friends cos when we met, it was like, omg youre like my upperclass brother who went ahead of me in highschool and made all the teachers swoon for being so deliciously intelligent and made me be sized up to those big boots and feel amplified by his association with me... *thats* the kind of friend spence was to me.)

Anyway, word doc "spence" was the culmination of a nite he spent in the k-hole, me as a sitter and archivist. (insert: i do not condone the use of drugs nor do i use ketamine. drugs on a whole scare the bejesus out of me for more personal reasons than im able to admit to myself via the written word, but this was his journey and decision made several years ago.) Just wanted an excuse to cut and paste a few things, then on to the party show.


Our lives are finite. Ive met god.
Was it your 1st time meeting god?
I was just wondering, was he a person, a space, a line?
Im back. If reality is precisely what im saying, Theres a disco ball hanging from the ceiling. I feel like david lynch. Asia types really loud… Oh my god. Hey guys?
I see it
You see what?
The hole.
But you were in the hole.
Are my eyes open?
Yeah, you’re blinking a lot.

Man is god.
In its own level. We are creators, after all.
Right now, my body feels like Styrofoam stacked on top of each other. My hands I can feel that they’re plastic. They're grey. I'm a skeleton surrounded by flesh. I'm crosseyed! (laughter) I love you so much.

There is a war in heaven, that does not matter
Why not
B/c eventually, everything I call reality … is compressed.
Compressed as in what
Heavens here (pointing up) its hard to say, but were moving.
Hey spence
But were moving. (hand falls) im not moving right now.

We're all black holes. We're like peas. That suck everything in, memory, realization, sight, senses, all that. It all comes into these peas and that’s the soul the soul is a pea. A black hold pea. Comes together. (clasps hands over head) Occasionally, doing k is dried beef gravy.

a- like tha chipped beef you make

With peas. Cos the peas stick together. And the peas are experience. It's weird, its like a pipe, like a sewage pipe, and occasionally there are holds and im looking up out of them, and im always in the living room, and im always moving


Anyways :) Just wanted to throw that out there, since I was already thinking about him. Haven't seen him for so long; last heard he bought a bike and was training/stockpiling to go out and live for 6 months all across the us, picking up oddjobs and whatever and just doing it cos he wanted to. Wildchild.

And here I am whining about the things I want that I can't have ...

Like wlo's prospectus. :) [when i die, please someone write on my tombstone "segue-queen" next to "legend in her own mind," thanks]... and if anyone has a copy of it, love to get my grubby fingers on it, still-- thanks ;)

Anywho, so the biggest news in a month is wlo's london float and everybody and their papis wrote "exposé" articles on the shady-dealings of online poker rooms... a few of my favorite blurbs re: wlo's float [info that brought its original $10 billion USD begging-pleading valuation down to $8 billion USD by scaring off a lot of investors out of the gate...]

* The four founders will retain a 73% holding, which gives them the right to veto or approve any takeover offer for the company and to appoint their own nonexecutive directors.

Or as the prospectus spells out: 'They will also have the ability to exert significant influence over PartyGaming's business and may take actions that do not reflect the will or best interests of other shareholders.' In other words, these guys still hold all the aces.

Can we be sure that the highly rewarded non-executives will be independent enough to safeguard those interests? Brian Larcombe, former boss of venture capital group 3i, will receive a signing-on fee of £1m . PartyGaming, led by chief executive Richard Segal, insists that he is its senior 'independent' director.

Not to mention the blood-money hazard-pay already squeezed out of everyones least-favorite poker room by its new non-exec ceo, Michael Jackson & his £3 million, 3 year contract the he required wlo to acquiesce to before singing his life away, and violated the FTSE100 corporate governance guidelines in the process (the scope of his contract was longer and broader than allowed for)...

Further, what's striking is that neither of them [Jackson nor Larcombe] is putting all of their respective special payments into [farty]Gaming's stock - which isn't the greatest vote of confidence.

And don't forget about the fee bonanza being reaped by DKW and its non-American cohorts-- almost £50 million to banks, brokers and lawyers helping steamroll the float on thru.

So lots and lots of money is being made (nothing against money, of course!), but principesa parasol et all still hold all of the power, cashing in between £800 million and £1.5 billion in the process for each of The Four, everyone's getting their money out first and investors get no say in wlo's dictatorship for all of their $2/share purchases. So much for the calls by poker players, "I'm a loyal skinswhore, sell me some stock! Let me freeroll my way into the ftse too!" -- I'm sure they wouldn't be so happy with wlo still holding the reins and cleaning the whore-rolls a la roman/state (whose own float on the AIM isn't doing so well... they wanted to jump the gun before wlo, but the bad press that brought down wlo's pricepoints also reverberated against tinier-in-comparison r/s whose stock fell as wlo's veneer chipped away, but whose ceo has the nicest name-- noam. cant you imagine waking up and whispering, "noam, can you get me some coffee please?" eek, maybe not... ive been dreaming of other specific morning-coffee non-exotic names myself, since "asia" is exotic enough for any coupling...)

::sigh:: okayokay, enough of ak's pity party, back to the prospectus...

* [farty]gaming's call centre in Hyderabad was raided by police six months ago on suspicion that the company was breaking Indian laws on gambling.

Officials from Hyderabad Police's Cyber Crime Division and from the Government's Income Tax Department investigated the poker group's Indian customer service center... [probably didn't find anything but random word generators spitting out strangely wrong customer service responses...]

* The big four concerns/issues/screaming mimis that brought the giant down a notch were the tenuous illegality of online gambling within a country that supplies close to 90% of the customer base to wlo, collusion fears, bot fears, and the threat of money laundering. It's a big freaking deal to lose over £1 billion in estimated street value over, esp. after claiming the initial $10 billion USD price was a "steal" to begin with... To which I must one-hand-clap to wlo-- they instituted captcha technology the day before the LA Times/poker bots are everywhere! article was released (hm, nice to see they wait til the day before bad publicity may hit to protect their playerbase against bots), they instituted a 25% raked hands playthru for interaccount transfers (and you know moneylaunderers cant play poker for a damn), and they have aimed their porny radar away from the good ol usa to greener, fishier shores (australia and europe, to be exact) to try and diversify their player base. All to stop the further slip of their initial price point... and now to which The Four have cashed in on, they have no impetus to quell any more fears (such as the farking elephant in the corner-- The Dept of Justice "actively pursuing more aggressive techniques to counter the booming [online poker/gambling] industry" and the "ongoing investigations" being conducted in secret by everyone's (second) least favorite attorney general...)

But as we all know by now, wlo's float is there and now, and is open for public trading *today* (Thursday), after its stock was 3x oversubscribed (which meant that even though american investors weren't invited to the roadshow and they carry a particular risk in buying institutional shares, 3x oversubscribed to the NYT means that some savvy Am investors have hit the "buy it now" button and are waiting it out like the rest of the 23% for the rain of dividends and the poker explosion-- 22% estimated growth per year for the next five years-- to take off...)

Aren't we all :)

But with all the money and the talk of making it, the vacuum noise remains: Why the hell did wlo put itself up for share? As I said earlier, and other, wiser donks have also said, it makes little to no sense for a money-printing machine to go public like it has on the strength of a money-raiser. This *can't* be because they're attempting to raise capital, since well-- the tanks are already doing that for them. This also arguably isn't because of the "favorable" change in UK Gambling laws-- (which, by the way have done nothing to draw bookmakers or pokerrooms into the UK, and has ostensibly served to release exsisting uk bookmakers into Med waters with cheaper taxes and better pina coladas than can be found in uk bloodpudding and beef...)

1) They're cashing out at the peak, a la ... well I'd say Seinfeld but that last episode was bad
2) Sharks can always sense blood in the water, and getting out while the getting's good is easy with raucous investors throwing money in the next big thing while wlo's numbers haven't been skyrocketing, despite the publicity of the float and the uk advertising drench of online poker across the atlantic
3) They're buying public sentiment/power by selling a piece; there is a big thing coming down the pipeline [doj] and investor's money will not only help fight it but bind investors/large, powerful investment corps to the online poker cause (what a bastard i am, this isnt the freaking boston tea party or anything...)
4) Stock market = legitimate (as oppsed to ak being a bastard herself ;)...)
5) ... love to hear other opinions besides mine, sometime :)

Maybe there is light at the end of the wlo tunnel-money vision. If Kyl's EIGHTH try to make internet gambling fails (cmon now, get some viagra and choose a new hollyhobbyhorse!), perhaps the gov't may issue some studies to discover (gasp!) we're not that bad. Or so postulates the financial times. And they must know more than me, since well, they have times in their title and all i have is stinky numbers. :)

Also, more and more rooms [at least 4 major players, all found in the pokerpulse top ranks] are poised to jump in the water if wlo's float goes well, which can mean not only legitimization of the industry, but a buoyancy of the London FTSE that fund managers would hate to see upset by a DOJ wake.

My cynicism of money talks, scatattack walks means that the more is invested the more of a chance that the industry can stave off doj highhanded-misguided-"moralistic" whines... but who knows. A lot of investors may lose shirttails (that's what they wear in the uk, right? im not wearing pants myself), and if Kyl actually succeeds in stopping banks from processing payments into online poker rooms from the US (stranger things have happened), then maybe my anti-faith in the corporate world's dominance over nations/governmental power may be shaken.

I hope not, at least not this way. I mean, it's already been shook by the personal property seizures by corporations ruling earlier this month :(


So, yeah longwinded today but I missed blowing steam out of my... (shh, the asia carerra porn/bondage fairies seekers are hoping for something dirty in these pages, so ill stop there.)

Tomorrow/soon I'm going to re-start my rant series; if you're interested the previous posts are here:

Part One, Preamble
Part Two, Cognative Dissonance: Online Poker & the DoJ; Misplaced political power, ignoring constitutuents for "morality's" sake
Part Three, Economic Impact of the DoJ's anti-online gambling echo; Media and speech specifically
Part 3(b), Economic Impact of the DoJ's anti-online gambling echo; Banking, financial institutions and stock markets specifically

I missed yall :)


9:43:43 PM  
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