Roberto Luongo, Play Now Poker troll everyone by ‘talking hockey’, sort of [VIDEO]

Poker questions only, Play Now Poker insisted when they solicited asks for Roberto Luongo last Friday. Yeah, good luck with that. It quickly became apparent that the questions most had for Luongo were only tangentially related to poker.

That in mind, Play Now has decided to give the people what they so clearly want. On Tuesday, they released a video in which the questions put to Luongo are finally hockey-related. You’re welcome, masses! Of course, they’re not the hockey questions you’re thinking of. Instead, we get questions that are now only tangentially related to hockey — pablum like Who do you think is the best hockey player of all-time? and Who on the Canucks would be the best candidate for The Bachelor? (The answer: Higgins, because abs.)

Sure, it’s a step in the right direction, but this is pretty clearly Play Now and Luongo firing back at those of us that inundated their Twitter Q&A with snark. And in case it wasn’t clear that they’re trolling everyone, the first question is about Draft Day.

And to further cement this video’s place in the Luongo-trolls-Vancouver Hall of Fames, consider this exchange:

“What teammate from the past would you like to see on the Canucks again?”

“Cory Schneider.”

Granted, Luongo is laughing as he says it. Is this evidence that he’s starting to come to terms with the situation?

Maybe. Or maybe he’s just in a jovial mood because survived to Day 2 of the WSOP, as you can see in this mini-documentary from Poker Listings:

Those pink shorts are the shorts of a confident man.

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17 comments

  1. PB
    July 10, 2013

    Fantastic. I’ve never felt particularly sorry for Luongo — he gets paid massive coin and he does seem to have a bit of an ego, but he’s also clearly pretty funny and post-captaincy seemed to be much more professional about things. It’s so hard in a town like this where everything’s such extremes — either the greatest goalie of all time or (now apparently) the worst who’s ever laced on a pair of skates. I think you were right with your original thought — he’s an emotional guy, the situation probably wasn’t totally unexpected but must have been frustrating nevertheless, and while we’re all reading blogs and his twitter account and refreshing the page to see who just got signed/drafted/traded, he might just need a little time to come to terms with things.

    It could be a lot worse going into the fall. We could have Bill Laforge as a coach. Or Mike Keenan as a GM. Or Frank Caprice as our goalie. Or Moe Lemay as our top winger…

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  2. Colby
    July 10, 2013

    I like.. Hopefully he can just joke his way out of this awkward situation. I think we see a sarcastic Luongo with a fire under his ass this year. One guy that isn’t feeling the “country-club” vibe is Roberto.

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  3. akidd
    July 10, 2013

    I get the sense that lou REALLY doesn’t want to come back and play goal for the canucks. now, whether he can say goodbye to all that money is the question. that’s a lot of cushion for an amateur poker player.

    lou really seems to love the poker. i wonder how much his success at the wsop will influence his decision. he just seems like a guy who might not mind hanging up the skates and hitting the poker felt full-time.

    lou’s expression when he answers “cory schneider” pretty much says it all. it’s going to be really interesting how it all plays out. the canucks had to know this was lou’s headspace before making the trade. if a guy really doesn’t want to do a job it makes no sense to force him into it. what kind of success can you expect from a guy who’d much rather be elsewhere. and it’s not like lou just has to play well for the canucks for a year and then get traded. Lou will never get traded. he has to show up and play the rest of his career for the canucks. that’s quite the prison sentence.

    maybe lou just walks away. it starting to seem like the right call.

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  4. PB
    July 10, 2013

    akidd, I don’t know, I really didn’t get that kind of sense at all from Luongo. I am sure it’s an adjustment period but I didn’t get any of that vibe that he is that upset to be back. I can imagine it’s not his first choice, especially if he’d made the decision to move on — but I’m not sure I’d agree that it’s a “prison sentence” — he is after all going to be paid millions of dollars to play hockey professionally. He is going to have a very good team in front of him — whether it’s one that can dominate as it has in previous years is questionable, but it’ll still be good and probably pretty competitive. While the Canucks have had a rough go of it this off-season, I think the salary cap is going to rise again next summer and I think we’ll be in a very different place then, especially as we’ll have to make decisions on the Sedins based on what their performance is this year.

    On another note, the Edmonton-St. Louis trade today makes me think that the offer from the Oilers for Schneider must have been their 1st, 2nd and Paajarvi. I don’t think I’d make that trade to have to face him in our division on a regular basis…

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    • akiddd
      July 10, 2013

      hey pb, well, when i say ‘prison sentence’ i’m talking about a hot, hot spotlight in a pretty pissed off market where the only redemption would be a cup. no matter what lou does if he loses his final game it will be considered a failure. a pretty steep hill for a team that has a lot of other question marks besides goaltending.

      so much scrutiny and they may as well replace ‘luongo’ with ‘whipping boy’ on the back of that #1 jersey. all the time people will be lamenting the loss of schneider. everything lou does will be compared to schneider. night after night there it will be on tv, in the newspapers, radio, blogs. endless and for years and years.

      the only way for lou to win would be to win the cup. that’s a huge load to carry. and with one foot already in the poker world you have to wonder where he’d find the drive to even give it the ol’ college try. so ya, it’s kind of a prison sentence. seven years of public humiliation.

      you just get one go-around in this world(imho.) lou’s already set for life money-wise. does he really want to spend the rest of his youth getting sh*t-kicked in a practically ‘no-win’ situation?

      walking might not be a bad life decision here for lou. one that i’d probably counsel. there’d be a few grumbles for a while. but people would understand and once the dust settled lou could just go about a relatively normal life, work on a poker career. a pretty decent resolution, actually. a little fresh air. walking away from millions to follow your heart would be a pretty heroic act when you think about it. quite a bit of redemption there. it would make a pretty big splash.

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      • Brian
        July 10, 2013

        I don’t see why Luongo would hang up the skates just because he is set money-wise. To play in the NHL and be very successful like Luongo it takes more than the desire to make money. He wants to be a #1 guy, a Vezina trophy Winner, and a Stanley Cup Champion. The season will start and we will all realize how lucky we are to still have Luongo, although I am sure some people will complain about Schneider/Luongo stats. Vancouver will be better than New Jersey next year and Schneider will be back up once again, he’s the guy I feel bad for.

        Luongo will play this season and almost certainly for Vancouver. There is no way he just hangs them up and gives up on the things he has worked towards for 20 years.

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  5. PB
    July 10, 2013

    It’s an interesting idea akidd and there are certainly others who’ve walked away from money on the table, often not inconsiderable cash. I was somewhat surprised at Tim Thomas in that he’s been a fringe NHLer until late in his career but he’s pretty crazy and living and playing in liberal MA can’t be his cup of tea. I think Naslund walked away from the last year of his contract with the Rangers too, didn’t he? But he was ready to go back and finish with Modo and take over as GM. Luongo is a driven guy and he wants to be #1 and win. I can’t see how retiring at a relatively young age — especially given how much longevity goalies like him might have — would be of benefit to him. I think he has probably 4-5 years of elite skills left in him.

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  6. akidd
    July 11, 2013

    yes, pb, he does have some good years left. and no doubt he wants to play. i just can’t see him being able to stand being here. it’s one thing to try to forgive ‘bachelor gillis’ for giving that final rose to the dashing young redhead. but to be in that media hotseat too, where every move is scrutinized and most likely criticized. even lou has a threshold.

    sure lou wants to play but for the canucks? for the media, fans, management, coaching and ownership that left him for a younger goalie? for the rest of his career? tough call. options? i wonder what his agent had to say.

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    • PB
      July 11, 2013

      OK I clearly have no idea what motivates NHL players — seeing that Kovalchuk just walked away from $77 million to “retire” (i.e. play in the KHL) means that I’ve clearly misunderstood the lure of money!

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      • akidd
        July 11, 2013

        yikes, just saw that. money just gets in the way sometimes i guess. although, now lou realizes he might not be ready for the final table just yet he may want to keep practising with canuck money. who knows.

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        • Daniel Wagner
          July 11, 2013

          As far as I know, Luongo wasn’t even paying his own way to the World Series of Poker. He’s sponsored by PlayNow.com, hence all the videos and radio interviews. They’re part of his sponsorship deal. I don’t think Luongo has any interest in becoming a professional poker player, at least not at this time. The idea that he’d retire from hockey now to play poker is pretty ridiculous.

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          • akiddddd
            July 11, 2013

            i’m just semi-kidding about the pro poker stuff, daniel. lou certainly seems into poker though. at this point he’s probably running a lot of ‘options’ through his head. i wouldn’t doubt that he’s mused with the idea of just playing poker…for himself. and no doubt that whenever he retires he’ll probably hit the felt, like others hit the golf course, a good deal more than in working life.

            no obviously lou is pretty stoked to return to the canucks as the number one. the guy can’t shut up about it. press conferences here, tweets there. immediately took his yaletown condo off the market with a big whew. guy is stoked.

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  7. Kenji
    July 11, 2013

    Based on the StromboneWSOP twitter, he’s busted out. So, might need to play some goal to raise funds.

    On one hand, it was mean of the NHL to put a cap recapture penalty onto this contract retroactively. On the other hand, the cap recapture only penalized those who used the front loaded deals to manipulate the cap contrary to the spirit of the legislation. Also, there is nothing particularly unusual or illegal about retroactivity in and of itself.

    The upshot is that Luongo signed a career-long contract. If he is in a position of having to honour it, um, oh well.

    Much has been said about how his heart might not be fully in Vancouver anymore. And I have no doubt that he has taken some serious emotional blows. He may well come here and seem stiff and not fully into it. But I think that once the season starts, and the games are being played, and travel is happening, that he will find himself having fun again and seeing the positives of his situation. It’s like when your wife forces you to go to a party and, damn it, you wind up enjoying it.

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  8. mb13
    July 11, 2013

    Why is the recapture penalty unfair? I don’t get it.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      July 11, 2013

      Because it rewrites history on contracts. The NHL left a massive loophole in their CBA and teams exploited it, so they turned around and tacked a punishment onto the end of those deals in their next CBA. It was petty and bush-league. You can’t make a law and then go back and punish people who broke it before it was a law. That’s nonsense.

      Also nonsense: this idea of the “spirit” of a rule. It blows my mind that a roomful of lawyers could argue for that. Your law is your law as written. It isn’t what you hope it will be in your heart.

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      • mb13
        July 11, 2013

        Well there would not be a penalty if he plays out his entire contract, right?

        If Luongo and Gillis entered into this contract knowing that he never intended to play out his last 3 years, then wouldn’t the contract be borderline fraudulent? Not sure how anyone can defend the contract no matter how big the loophole is in the CBA.

        Also – a team and player must be aware that contracts are subject to the CBA. If you are worried the CBA will change the interpretation of contracts singed prior to the CBA but extending beyond the current CBA, maybe don’t sign a contract that extends beyond a CBA. Further, the players agreed to the CBA as did the teams so it isn’t the NHL that did this – it was the NHLPA and the NHL.

        Finally – it isn’t like there wasn’t precedent for grandfathering contracts from one CBA and having rules change for the next. 2004 had many players under contract when a salary cap was introduced meaning a) teams had to shed salary because the rules changed on them and b) less money was available for free agents in that year.

        If you couldn’t see something like this coming, you are not alone. The lessen is don’t sign players to contracts beyond multiple CBAs.

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      • Kenji
        July 11, 2013

        Spirit of the law may be nonsense to you but courts and lawyers argue about legislative intent all. The. Time.

        It was clever of the Canucks and others to find loopholes and to game the system, but sharp practice has never been a praiseworthy manner of doing business.

        Anyway, I remember Gillis pontificating on and on about how he expected that a 44 year old goaltender was a perfectly reasonable notion. (Not said by Gillis: “wink, wink.”)

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