Ghosts In the Cash Machine

It’s been a busy few weeks since my last post. I’ve made two trips to Las Vegas, played in a number of events at the Venetian Deepstacks (where my big blind AxAx fell into a trap set by a player raising with 9x2x preflop), made a stupid mistake in the Turbo event at the WSOP that put me out before the first break, and where I had my first (small) cash outside of Oregon, at Caesars Palace. Between that and work, you’d think it would be enough, but actually, I’ve had another project that ties into a number of my other posts.

Some of my statistical work was based on the databases at (an unofficial database of WSOP entries from 2011 and 2012) and the QuadJacks WSOP Database, which correlated entries and wins, this showing which players had a profitable series (and which did not). For various reasons, the QuadJacks database is gone, replaced by their somewhat less-informative Tracker this year, but more importantly, the WSOP is no longer releasing entry lists for events, which makes any type of ongoing ROI or profitability analysis impossible.

I talked to the folks at QuadJacks last year in an attempt to get access to the raw database for my own analysis purposes, and had a nice conversation with Marco Valerio just before the WSOP began this year, but so far nothing’s come of it. My backup plan, however, was to build my own database, and in-between everything else going on, I’ve completed the first phase of it, integrating the entries and awards from the 2011 season. I have the data processed from 2012, but there’s some more work to be done there.

I’m going to be writing up some in-depth articles in the near future, but as a teaser, here’s a follow-up to something I noticed when I was working on my piece about Oregon players at the 2012 WSOP and differences in hometowns stated on entry forms and award forms.

There were at least five players in the 2011 season who either registered under a completely different name from which they claimed their win or who were missed from the entry forms. With just five players out of more than 5,500 unique award-winners, you might think it was the latter, but one of those names is Collin Moshman, who cashed three times (under that name, anyway) during the 2011 series but who appears on exactly 0 entry lists for the year. There were about 30 players with the first name of Colin or Collin or a last name beginning with Mosh- who played in 2011, but only one of them had more than 3 entries, so my money is on a pseudonymous entry.

Then there’s Phillip Gruissem. Gruissem placed 28th in the 2011 Main Event for a cash of nearly $250K, but he’s not on any of the entry lists. German player Alexander Gruibem, on the other hand, cashed once in 2010, entered 10 events in 2011, then dropped off the face of the earth in 2012, although an Alexander Gruissem is on the entry list for last year’s $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop. Coincidentally, the German double-s (ß) looks a lot like a B.

The group is rounded out by Millard Hale, Albert Hoffman, and George Secara, who all cashed under names that aren’t on the registration list. Not that it matters to my analysis of aggregate data; I just like my databases to be clean.