|“||Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'—Martin Luther King Jr.||”|
|“||Have nunchucks. Will travel. - Antonio "Tony The Tiger" Vernon||”|
|“||Freedom of expression does not truly exist if the right can be exercised only in an area that a benevolent government has provided as a safe haven for crackpots. - Abe Fortas 393 U.S. 503 (1969)||”|
|Antonio "Tony The Tiger" Vernón|
@ the Kukkiwon Stone
Antonio Miguel Rafael Vernón, a.k.a. Tony The Tiger or El Tigre (born June 24, 1965 in New Orleans, LA) is a prominent Chicago martial artist and was a standout collegiate powerlifter. He is a Kukkiwon certified Tae Kwon Do Black Belt. He is known for his proficiency with several non-projectile implements, that are commonly classified as weapons. As a result of his proficency with these implements and proclivity for public practice he has become a low-stakes freedom fighter who fights for the freedom of expression when and where the audience exists. Low-stakes in this case refers to the fact that he has never felt his life was in danger in his confrontations about his freedoms. With all the work Tony has done on wikipedia, you might classify him as a citizen journalist.
Tony played online poker. He has no notable championships and has never earned a prize of $1000 or more, but is best known both for having won the first live casino tournament he ever entered and for having opened three online poker accounts and played all of them profitably without ever making a second deposit. He is also known for a playing style that he describes as the Princeton offense of Poker. He bestows numerous poker nicknames upon himself and uses his Master of Arts in statistics knowledge to calculate exotic analyses of his own play. Some of the nicknames are as follow: Terrell Owens of (microstakes) Pokerstars, Michael Jordan of Microstakes Full Tilt Poker and The Greatest Poker Tournament Player on The Fool.
Antonio Vernon was raised in suburban Buffalo, NY. He attended the public schools in Amherst, NY, including Amherst Central High School (mascot Tigers), after brief residences in Norman, OK, Fredonia, NY, and Orchard Park, NY.
Tony Vernon was a scholar as a youth. He excelled in the sciences and mathematics. As a junior and a senior he earned scholarships from the NAACP ACTSO Olympics in both Physics and Mathematics. He was one of the outstanding mathletes in the nation and after representing his league's All-star team at the New York State Mathematics League competition. When New York state entered multiple teams at the American Regions Mathematics League Competition held at Penn State University, he served as captain of the Upstate New York team composed of three players from each of five regions outside of Westchester, New York City and Long Island (At the time the region covered approximately 13 congressional districts, making it more than double the 2012-2022 median number of congressional districts (6), larger than the average number of districts (8.7) the same size as whole states that have 15 electoral college points). Admittedly, this is a notch below International Mathematical Olympiad competition. He received admissions offers from MIT (early action), Harvard, Yale, Brown, University of Texas-Austin, and SUNY-Buffalo as well as Princeton University (mascot Tigers). Oddly, Tony matriculated to Princeton because of personal relationships with students there. He had no close friends at any of the other out of town schools. At Princeton, Tony became a standout powerlifter in the 75kg. (middleweight) and 67.5kg weight classes. He recorded personal bests of 600lbs deadlift, 310lbs. bench press, and 470lbs. squat. He was the first collegiate middleweight to deadlift 600lbs without using steroids. At the time the national collegiate record was 585lbs, but national collegiate records must be set at the national collegiate championship meet.
After spending most of his undergraduate career at Princeton, Tony graduated from SUNY-Buffalo with a B.A. in Economics. He went on to receive an M.B.A., with distinction, from the Ross School of Business (then named the Michigan Business School), and a M.A. in Statistics from Washington University. He was attempting to become the first Afro-American to obtain a Finance Ph.D. from one of the top 5 Finance Ph.D. Programs (MIT Sloan School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania).
Tony's father Carlos Vernón, a former world class sprinter from the City of Colón, Panama, in the Colón Province, was 1957 Athlete of the Year of the Republic of Panama. Tony's mother was born and raised in uptown New Orleans, LA. Both of his parent have Ph. D.'s (father in Mathematics and mother in Microbiology).
Tony's sister, Carla (b. 1970) worked for General Mills for 20 years, achieving the rank of President of Natural and Organic Foods. His mother is a retired teacher, after having taught many years in the Buffalo Public Schools as well as in Lackawanna, New York and Memphis, Tennessee.
Tony's weapons proficiency includes nunchucks, sais, bo staff, escrima, butterfly knife, short and long chains, manriki/Surujin, cane, poi balls, jo staff, sword, and knives. He has also studied Uechi Ryu Karate. He has trained with West Side Tae Kwon Do and New York City Uechi Ryu in New York City, World Martial Arts Academy in St. Louis, MO and U.S Tae Kwon Do College in Washington, DC. Tony has instructed at East Sea Martial Arts in Chicago. Tony has been seen performing formally at the Taste of Chicago and the Wilmette Parks District Independence Day celebration. You can often see Tony performing informally in the summer along the beaches of the Milwaukee-Chicago-Gary corridor on the weekend. Most summer days Tony practices or performs in the Chicago Park District. In addition to being known for his non-projectile weapons exhibitions, Tony is known for his catchphrase "Have nunchucks. Will travel," which is a take off on the old gunslinger motto "Have gun. Will travel." Additionally, Tony is known for performing using the nickname "Tony The Tiger". Tony's Junior and Senior High School Mascots were the Tigers. Princeton University's mascot was the Tigers. The Tiger is an important animal representing stealth, grace, cunning and power to martial arts and eastern cultures. Additionally, Tony's Business school alma mater, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, is just down the road from the home of the most prominent Tony The Tiger, the cartoon mascot for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes in Battle Creek, MI.
Tony is also involved in ongoing litigation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources regarding the use and display of martial arts devices in public places. The case has been remanded for a third trial. You can follow along with the case at his press release page.
The Summer 2006 highlight video CD is available in deluxe (pictured left) and standard CD format has a production length of about 12.5 minutes. The CD includes approximately 75 clips from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, and Ontario beaches and parks, including his solo debut performance on July 3, 2006.
|ELLTIGRE007||$2776.05||$3100.76||873||31,254||11.70%||Full Tilt Poker|
- *Totals do not include $600.42 in cash bonuses and merchandise that includes
- a 160 GB iPod Classic.
Prior to Black Friday 2011, Tony enjoyed online poker at Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker. He has exclusively played Texas hold 'em, playing only in poker tournaments rather than ring games, while gaining experience because of the limited downside and the number of hands one can see for a fixed price. He initially joined Pokerstars as TonyTheTigrr on 6/3/2005 at 12:25:17 PM EST. On 2005/11/09 at 20:19:27, he debuted in this account in real money games. He started with $50 and played the account up to $271.83 on December 1, 2005 before playing it down to $150.67 later that month and retiring from play. After a long hiatus, he rejoined Pokerstars in April 2009 and Full Tilt in June 2010. Tony is on hiatus again and will likely resume after the Full Tilt settlement has been resolved. Pokerstars has paid out all of Tony's earnings except for a small amount of frequent player points. Tony has no notable championships, but is best known both for having won the first live casino tournament he ever entered and for having opened three online poker accounts and played all of them profitably without ever making a second deposit. He refers to himself as the Terrell Owens of (microstakes) Pokerstars due to a pattern of being seated at tables with two and three times the number of final tablists (pokers version of double teaming). Soon after joining Full Tilt Poker, Tony found himself with an 11-event winning streak at short stack turbo headsup play, a 4-event winning streak at regular headsup play, a 3-event ITM streak at 10-table SNGs and 4 first place finishes in his 12 (actually he won 4 of his first 8) 5-table SNGs leading to self-reference as the Michael Jordan of Microstakes Full Tilt Poker (MJoMFTP). Tony plays with a playing style that he describes as the Princeton offense of Poker.
|'||Hands||A-J & PP||Percentile|
|$20 & up||78961||10246||11.28|
|Notable runs of bad cards|
|May 2010-Feb 2011||76265||9774||0.61%|
N.B. when Tony has pocket pairs or paint (A-J) combinations he
wins the pot over 50% of the time (50.96%). Else, he wins the
pot less than 10% of the time (9.49%).
When Tony returned to Pokerstars, he started with $50. He played his account up to over $4300 and spent much of March 17, 2010 - May 2, 2010 over $4000. On March 24, 2010, his prize money profit peaked at $4489.70 and closed at $4369.70. After a slump starting in May 2010, on October 5 he closed above $4000 for the last time with $4046.23 in profit. Tony's highest percentile finish in a tournament was 50th place in the $11 35921-entrant February 28, 2010 Daily Eighty Grand Sunday Special as ElT007 the largest field in which he has placed first was the 104-person February 28, 2011 $2.70 Superturbo On Demand event Event 222395243 as ELLTIGRE007. His highest prize and net prize came in a 7th place finish in the 1295-person March 17, 2010 $27.50 Multi-table Sit & Go Event 302010933 as ElT007 when the prize was $938.87. In September 2010 he cashed on the Pokerstars Battle of the Planets leaderboard in the $10-19 buyin range.
One of Tony's primary claims as an online poker player is to never have had to make a second deposit to any account while playing profitably in all of his accounts. Tony plays with a strict daily budget (poker players call this bankroll management) for his tournaments and only cashes out his bonuses and initial investment. He generally plays between 1/15th and 1/30th of his opening account balance on any day. Tony uses a playing style adapted from the Harrington on Hold 'em series and a few other sources. He describes his style as the Princeton offense of poker that should bring even highly skilled players down to his level, while confusing the less skilled. Like the basketball version, it seems to be quite effective against those who have never faced it before. Tony's playing style relies on what economists refer to as intertemporal optimization and what poker players refer to as Independent Chip Model, which are far less relevant for cash game play and to an extent rebuy/addon tournaments. Tony avoids those other forms of poker.
For those of you who hoped to see El Tigre at the 2010 World Series of Poker he was beaten down by Pokerstars the moment he went public about his pursuit of a sponsor. During May 2010, the month Tony decided to seek sponsors, he endured his worst month as a poker player. When May began he had built up an account of over $4000 from his $50 deposit. By the end of the month, his account was below $1800. During the month, Tony saw 8295 hands and received about the worst hands imaginable. He received well below average number (a 0.70%ile event) of pocket pairs or A-J combinations preflop. In addition his pocket pairs had an average rank of 7.78, which is in the bottom 10.16%, while 8 is average. Once the flop came Tony hit the board with air an astoundingly high percentage of the time. Adding the times he hit the board with a pair, two pair, trips, a full house or quads, Tony's 310 times was in the lowest 6.86%ile. Furthermore, Tony endured a quantifiably disproportionate number bad beats (graphical depiction of his EV performance left) especially in situations where he had played well enough or been lucky enough to have built up a chip advantage over his opponents. Since Tony's slump in cards extended for 9 months, you will not see Tony at the 2011 World Series of Poker.
August 31, 2010 was Tony's best day in some respects with his first 5 out of 6 ITM performance and first 3 first place performance (all at 2-table turbo). The following day, although Tony moved up in budget amount to $27 game range, he opted to finish out his battle of the planets block which already included 4-1sts, 1-2nd, 3-3rds and 1-4th in the first 18 games of the block. On September 1, Tony pushed the block into the money positions with a 1st place finish in contest #19 giving him 457 points, which was a point total that ranked 19th of the approximately 10,000 people who played 20 or more $10-19 small sit and go tournaments on Pokerstars. From about noon eastern time on September 5 to about noon eastern time on September 12 his name appeared on the battle of the planets leaderboard]. Between May 1, 2010 and February 28, 2011 Tony saw 76,265 hands and only saw 9774 premium cards, which is the lowest 0.61 percentile.
|7 events, +$103.24 (740.07%), 9.47e-7 event|
On November 26, 2010, Tony became a member of the fraternity of poker players who finished in first place in his first live casino tournament. He did so while playing for a higher tournament buyin than he ever had before in over 3200 online events. His other poker claim is to have never made a second deposit to any of his online poker accounts and played each account for a net profit. Many poker players who are superior to me can not make either of these claims. His best poker claim that anyone can shoot regardless of their poker history is that he once ITMed 7 events in a row that were difficult enough that for an average player to match the feat against average fields it would have been a statistical one in a million event (see event tab on his poker page).
Tony documents that his cards have been noticeably below average in his poker page with particular attention to the PokerTracker EV calculations and the proportion of times that he is dealt either a pocket pair or two unpaired cards each with at least the rank of Jack. See his poker page for details. During his PokerStars career, Tony has been a positive EV player with 1000+ Big Blind deficit by the PokerTracker EV calculator. Although he has been treated fairly by the dealer at a few levels, at $15+1; $20+, $22+ and $25+2; $30+, $33+ and $35+3; as well as $50+ and $55+5 buyin levels he has positive EV play accompanied by huge EV deficits making it difficult for his skill to show through with profitability.