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Choke Hold'em

3/7/2008
Poker players often cite formidable opponents like Tony Guoga, Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan, but what happens when you have ear-gnawing, heavyweight freight train Mike Tyson pummelling your tells? It might be the stuff of nightmarish fiction but Iron Mike has worked out a deal with Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.

The rumblings of controversy are already being felt as a News Limited paper has reported he’ll attend Crown Casino’s poker championships in Melbourne early next year, but Crown says it is not aware of it. And that’s not the limit of the prospect as victims of crime groups are protesting that Tyson shouldn’t be allowed into the country. “He’s an undesirable type of person,” says Noel McNamara, president of Crime Victims Support Association, and he says he plans to write to Immigration Minister Chris Evans to influence barring Tyson.

Patience and keeping a cool head have traditionally never been Tyson’s strong suits, but he’s currently playing cards in Los Angeles and said he’s reputedly finalised a deal with Melbourne’s Crown Casino, home of the Aussie Millions, to compete in the 2009 event in January. But it’s all news to Crown Casino’s Gary O’Neil. “I don’t know on what basis he is saying that he has some deal with Crown because there is no deal as far as Crown is concerned,” he said. “We have not invited Mike Tyson and we have no intention of inviting Mike Tyson.” Them’s fightin’ words.
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