PokerUpdate app feed. 2764 Mission Week Begins at PokerStars Mission Week Begins at PokerStars <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he latest promotion offered by PokerStars is Mission Week, which kicked off today and runs through April 30 and allows players to take a shot at $350,000 in prize money.</p> <p>There are three missions to choose from and all require only a minimal amount of VPPs to be earned during the course of the week in order to win a free seat to any of three Mission All-In Shootout tournaments to be held on Friday, May 2. The tourney in which a player is seated depends upon the mission accepted and completed.</p> <p>The 'Easy' mission requires the accumulation of 10 VPPs in any games on PokerStars to win a seat in a tournament guaranteeing a $50,000 prize pool to be held at 14:05 ET. The second option is the 'Simple' mission that promises a free entry into a $100,000 prize pool All-In Shooutout tournament at 15:05 upon collecting 30 VPPs. And finally, winning a free seat into the $200,000 prize pool event that kicks off at 16:05 ET is known as mission 'Possible' and requires only 80 VPPs.</p> <p>Keep in mind that players must opt-in to only one mission and do so by entering star codes designated for each. EASY6, SIMPLE6 and POSSIBLE6 are the star codes to be used for each respective mission.</p> <p>Entering star codes is slightly different depending on whether or not players log in via desktop or mobile devices. On a desktop, choose ‘Account’ while in PokerStars from the drop-down menu. Then click on ‘Enter Star Code’ and input the mission that you've accepted and plan to achieve. On iOS devices, click on ‘More’ in the PokerStars app on the bottom of the screen and then select ‘Settings &amp; Tools’ beneath the ‘Account’ option, followed by ‘Enter Star Code.’ Those players logging on with Android devices should select ‘Settings &amp; Tools’ &gt; ‘Account’ from the extended menu and use the star code of their choice.</p> <p>Upon completion of your chosen mission, PokerStars will send a confirmation email advising of your free tournament entry. Simply register manually for the All-In Shootout in which you've earned a free seat and let PokerStars do the rest. Players needn't even log in and play on May 2, as all who have succeeded in accomplishing their mission and registered for the tournament will be all-in on each and every hand until a winner is declared. The first place prize of the 'Possible' mission is a whopping $20,000.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:03:10 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2763 Overlay? 200 Players Advance to WPT World Championship Day 2 Overlay? 200 Players Advance to WPT World Championship Day 2 <p>The WPT World Championship needed 334 entries to reach its guaranteed prize pool of $5 million. And after a first starting day with 105 entries, Day 1B brought 223 more, falling just short of meeting the organizers’ expectations.</p> <p>The unofficial count is now set at 328 entries, which is still the largest World Championship field in five years. The official numbers will be released later today, but according to the WPT Blog, if the field size is confirmed, then the $15,000 + $400 event will effectively become a $15,244 + just $156 in tournament rake.</p> <p>This is definitely good news for all 200 players heading into Day 2 and great news for <strong>Jason Koon</strong>, who topped the Day 1B field and is sitting comfortably behind his 252-blind stack. He and <strong>Athanasios Polychronopoulos </strong>(223 BB), <strong>Keith Lehr</strong> (221 BB), and <strong>Lee Markholt </strong>(218 BB) will have a slight advantage over the remaining entrants to win the big prize of $1.35 million. To be in that position though, they will have to survive four more days.</p> <p>But they have already taken the first step toward the goal. Both Koon and Polychronopoulos arrived during Level 2 missing the opening 75-150 blinds. Polychronopoulos started his action with a .... fold? On a #ad#jh#8s#10d board, his opponent, WPT Jacksonville winner Doc <strong>Nabil Hirezi</strong> check-raised, a move that put the Greek-American into the tank for over two minutes until he decided to fold.</p> <p>Two levels later, Polychronopoulos started a pre-flop war against Lehr. Both players moved all-in only to catch a third unlucky one right in the middle of things. The two big stacks had pocket Aces while the third held pocket Kings.</p> <p>But this wasn’t the biggest hand of the day. <strong>Zohair Karim</strong> lost one particular hand although he had a straight flush:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Just lost str8 flush to bigger str8 flush. Just called a small raise otr tho <a href=";src=hash">#canNeverBeTooCareful</a></p> — Zo Karim (<cite>PakmanMMA) <a href="">April 22, 2014</a></blockquote> <p> <script src=""><![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ // <![CDATA]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt</cite>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]><![CDATA[>]]></script></p> <p>Other notable competitors who will play in the second day of the Season XII final are WPT Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble winner <strong>Jared Jaffee</strong>, $2.6 million live career winner <strong>Matt Stout</strong>, WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star champ <strong>James </strong>“Croll” <strong>Carroll</strong>, L.A. Poker Classic millionaire <strong>Chris Moorman</strong>, and Hall of Famer<strong> Scotty Nguyen</strong>.</p> <p>Jaffee, Carroll, and Moorman rebought their way through the event after an unsuccessful Day 1A.</p> <p><strong>Dan Smith</strong>, <strong>Eugene Katchalov</strong>, <strong>Ryan Riess</strong>, and <strong>Mohsin Charania</strong> tried the same strategy using two bullets in the World Championship but failed to advance. According to their Twitter accounts, Katachalov and Charania will head to Monaco next for the EPT Grand Final.</p> <p>Day 2 will commerce today at 12:00 PM ET. PokerUpdate will follow along bringing you the latest stories from Atlantic City, New Jersey.</p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:53:13 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2762 DuckPoker Launch Makes Splash in Online Poker Industry DuckPoker Launch Makes Splash in Online Poker Industry <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>ne of the newest kids on the block in the online poker industry is DuckPoker, who launched for real-money almost three months ago with one main goal in mind with regard to player benefits:</p> <p><blockquote>To provide players with a great software package so the games are strong, and back it up with simple straightforward deals that keep money in their bankrolls," a DuckPoker representative told PokerUpdate.</blockquote></p> <p>Those straightforward deals include some perks that are sure to turn the heads of online players who are looking for value when choosing poker sites. The first of those deals is a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus that includes a 30% rebate.</p> <p>There is more to like about that initial bonus considering that it comes with an additional $5 just for depositing, another $5 if that deposit is done using NETELLER, and $5 more if the DuckPoker sign-up goes through <a href=""></a>. So that first-time deposit bonus of $600 is actually worth more after all is said and done.</p> <p><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block">Sign Up to Duck Poker </a></p> <p>DuckPoker also offers the lowest rakes throughout the industry. A chart at the website spells out exactly the amounts to be raked according to the game played, the stakes involved, and the number of players seated at the table. The rake percentages begin at 3.45% and never exceed 4.45%, with caps in place.</p> <p>For tournament players, DuckPoker also boasts the lowest fees throughout the industry. A brief scan of the tournament lobby shows that $20 tourneys that typically assess a 10% fee of $2 at most other poker rooms are instead only $1.75 at DuckPoker. Likewise, industry standards of $50 + 5 and $10 + $1 are posted as $50 + $4 and $10 + $0.75 at DuckPoker.</p> <p>As many shrewd players are aware, those savings add up over time when 10% or more is knocked off of the tournament fee. Multi-table tournament players will earn greater returns on their investments as a result.</p> <p>The reason behind the lower rakes and tourney fees when compared to most poker sites is that DuckPoker was created by players for players. That is an important distinction to consider because players know best how to appeal to their fellow players with regard to the best value available among competing poker sites.</p> <p><blockquote>When we sat around thinking about what we would want as players," said a DuckPoker rep, "lowest rakes and fees" was seen as the best alternative to the typical industry norms. "We don't fool ourselves into thinking that players care about anything other than a great game at a great value."</blockquote></p> <p>As a player-friendly independent poker room not confined to the restraints of a network, DuckPoker is open to player suggestions with regard to any improvements that may enhance the quality of play for all involved. Those suggestions can run the gamut of tourney offerings to promotions that players would like to see.</p> <p>Some new promotions that will likely come into play once a loyal player base is established include bonus cash tied to a friend referral program, a rake race, and a monthly Duck Tournament that will feature the winner's photo on the website home page. Those perks will be added to the existing offering of daily freerolls and daily guaranteed tournaments.</p> <p>DuckPoker's VIP loyalty program, known as "The Club," basically revolves around one premise - cashback for players. There are nine club levels and the amount of cashback available to be earned increases according to the accumulation of Club Points and ascension up the tiered VIP ladder.</p> <p>Level 9 players can earn over 80% cashback. But the benefits of the reward scheme includes even Level 1 players, as all players who earn Club Points are eligible to receive cashback regardless of the level achieved.</p> <p>Incidentally, The Club operates on a monthly basis, so players start anew at the beginning of each month. That way, players who go on vacation or happen to stay away from online poker for a time for whatever reason are not penalized for not playing.</p> <p>Being players themselves, the brain trust at DuckPoker exude a passion for poker and have shown that passion by launching a poker room that offers better value than most other sites throughout the industry. It is anticipated that astute players will recognize that value and eventually find a new online poker home at DuckPoker.</p> <p><blockquote>The game of poker is what the players love, and we are working hard to not get in the way of that."</blockquote></p> <p><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block">Sign Up to Duck Poker </a></p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:40:41 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2761 Russia Submits Bill to Create Gaming Zone in Crimea Russia Submits Bill to Create Gaming Zone in Crimea <p>The Eastern European nation of Crimea has recently attracted media and political attention for reasons that are truly far from appealing.</p> <p>It has been the centre of a geopolitical tug-of-war between Russia and the Ukraine, with outside involvement from a variety of other nations. The headlines revolved around Russia’s assumption of control over Crimea amid highly controversial circumstances.</p> <p>Those circumstances appear to have not gotten in the way of the Russian government’s ambitions for the region. Among those ambitions are the creation of a gaming zone, something the government recently announced.</p> <p>President Vladimir Putin put forward a bill that, if passed, would establish a gaming zone in the region. Russia currently has four such zones that were established after President Putin passed anti-gambling laws in 2009. Those zones are located in Vladivostok, the Altai region, the southern Krasnodar region, and Kaliningrad in northeastern Europe.</p> <p>Russia may be hoping that it can use the popularity of gaming, including poker, in Eastern and continental Europe to boost Crimea’s economy in the midst of the past months’ events. Major poker events such as the Eureka Poker Tour have taken place throughout central and Eastern Europe and have attracted great success in recent years.</p> <p>Poker has also been gaining popularity in Ukraine, which previously had control of Crimea and is still recognised by some nations and entities as the region’s rightful government. Headlines were made in the online poker world back in February when the Russian Poker Tour Main Event in the Ukranian capital of Kiev was abruptly stopped due to safety concerns related to unrest in the city.</p> <p>International condemnation of Russian rule of Crimea may hinder any potential of the region becoming a European gaming hotspot. However, it may be successful in attracting Russians who may be enticed by the possibility of unrestricted gaming, a warmer climate, and the picturesque Black Sea.</p> <p>The Russian bill for the establishment of a gaming zone in Crimea is certainly a highly-intriguing one. While the bill will likely pass through the Russian parliament with little opposition, the creation of gaming establishments in Crimea will likely not occur for quite some time.  </p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:44:04 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2760 ACOP Platinum Series IV Recap ACOP Platinum Series IV Recap <p>The 2014 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) Platinum Series IV is now over with a total of four events having been played at the City of Dreams in Macau over the Easter weekend.</p> <p>Kenny Wong took out the Platinum Series IV Main Event after he outlasted the 273 other entrants. Wong beat Ziyang Zhao in heads-up play to win the event and the US$36,638 cash prize that came along with it.</p> <p>That is not a considerably large prize in the context of tournament poker, especially in comparison to Wong’s million dollar win for his runner-up performance at the 2012 Aussie Millions Main Event. However, it’s a sign that Wong – who marked his first tournament cash in 2014 with this win - is back on the poker tables with a vengeance.</p> <p>Min Yi took out the fourth and final event of the ACOP IV; a HK$2,500 (US$320) KO Bounty event. Yi came out on top of the 127 player field after a full day of play and took home a US$5,868 prize for his stellar performance. The cash was Yi’s second in the ACOP Platinum Series IV – Yi also came in 22<sup>nd</sup> in the Main Event which was good enough for a $1,586 cash prize.</p> <p>The ACOP IV kicked off with a HK$1,000 (US$130) Pot Limit Omaha Deep Stack event. That event attracted a total of 123 players and was won by Daren Yoon, who took home US$3,598 for the win. Yoon beat Scott Foster in heads-up play to emerge as the champion while Bengt Stefan Svandang finished in third place.</p> <p>Shingo Cho won the second event of the Series; a HK$1,500 (US$195) Deepstack No Limit Hold’em tournament. The 2013 Cebu Cup winner topped a field of 219 to take out the event and collect its US$8,872 cash prize. Sam Wu claimed the runner-up spot in the event while Jia Miao settled for third place.</p> <p>The event has helped set the stage for the much-anticipated Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau, which is set to take place next month. A total of 12 events are on the schedule at the upcoming festival, with the HK$25,000 (US$3,225) Main Event set to attract participants from all over Asia and the globe.  </p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:12:23 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2759 Shuffle Up and Deal! WPT World Championship kicks off in Atlantic City Shuffle Up and Deal! WPT World Championship kicks off in Atlantic City <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>here was need for a change. After reaching its peak in 2007 with 639 entries, the WPT World Championship shrank considerably in the last few years. Last year for example, only 146 entries were booked, an all-time low since the first season 11 years ago.</p> <p>This year, however, the World Poker Tour organizers came up with a plan to revive the once must-play tournament. First, they changed the location, moving the event from the famous Bellagio in Las Vegas to the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.</p> <p>The second change they made was lowering the buy-in from $25,500 to $15,400. Lastly, they raised the stakes by guaranteeing a prize pool of $5 million, including at least $1.35 million for the future Season XII World Champ.</p> <p>The poker community responded pretty well and 105 players gathered to play in the first starting day of the event. Players like Season XII winner <strong>Tony Dunst</strong>, <strong>James Carroll</strong>, <strong>Jared Jaffee</strong>, <strong>Dan Smith</strong>, WPT Player of the Year favorite <strong>Mukul Pajuha</strong>, former WPT Champions <strong>Scott Seiver</strong> and <strong>Chris Moorman</strong>, 2013 WSOP Main Event winner <strong>Ryan Riess</strong>, not to mention poker legend <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>, who didn’t want to miss the season finale:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Now playing in <a href=";src=hash">E-mail</a></p> — phil_hellmuth (<cite>phil_hellmuth) <a href="">April 22, 2014</a></blockquote> <p> <script src=""><![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ [CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ // <![CDATA] ]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt</cite> // ]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]<![CDATA[> // ]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]<![CDATA[> // ]]]]]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]<![CDATA[> // ]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]<![CDATA[> // ]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]<![CDATA[> // ]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]<![CDATA[> // ]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]<![CDATA[> // ]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]<![CDATA[> // ]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]<![CDATA[> // ]]]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]><![CDATA[>]]></script></p> <p>And after 8 levels, <strong>Paul Volpe</strong> ruled them all being the only player to have a 200-big blind stack or more. He started his chip accumulation late, in the fifth level of play, after doubling up through <strong>Anthony Zinno</strong>. Volpe moved all-in on a #5h#5c#4c#9c board and got called by Zinno. Both players had huge hands, but it was Volpe who took down the chips in the middle holding #9h#9d for the boat. His opponent turned a flush with #qc#8c and was drawing dead.</p> <p>Volpe continued to increase his lead by eliminating <strong>Micah Raskin</strong> in another huge showdown. Both of them flopped a set but it was Volpe who had the upper hand with a set of eights.</p> <p>Pahuja, who is very close to securing the 2014 POY title, had a good Day 1 and sent WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars winner James Carroll to the rail after flopping a set of kings.</p> <p>Other notable eliminations included WPT L.A. Poker Classic champion and online legend Chris Moorman, 2014 PCA Women’s Event final table participant <strong>Lily Kiletto</strong>, WPT Champions Club members Jaffee, <strong>Eugene Katchalov</strong>, Dan Smith, and poker’s self-proclaimed “best player in the world” Ryan Riess.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Busted JJ to AK aipf. Rebuying tomorrow</p> — Ryan Riess (<cite>RyanRiess1) <a href="">April 22, 2014</a></blockquote> <p> <script src=""><![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ <![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ <![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ <![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ <![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ <![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ <![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ <![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ <![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ <![CDATA[<![CDATA[// <![CDATA[ // <![CDATA]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt</cite>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]]]><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]><![CDATA[>]]></script></p> <p>All of them will have the chance to rebuy today starting at 11 AM ET. Just like in Day 1A, registration will remain open until the start of Level 7 and with satellites running all day long in the Borgata Poker Room, there is a big chance that the guaranteed prize pool of $5 million will be surpassed.</p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:26:37 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2758 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - April 22, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - April 22, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he downward spiral of online poker player traffic reached its tenth consecutive week as the global market saw 2% less cash game action than the week before.</p> <p>Bucking the trend last week was Full Tilt Poker, as PokerStars' sister site is getting considerable mileage out of its Build Your Bonus promotion. FTP has taken over third place worldwide, a spot it may hold onto at least until the ring game promo ends on May 3.</p> <p>Last week at this time, Full Tilt was tied with both PartyPoker and the iPoker Network for the third position globally. But as of this writing, iPoker slipped into fourth while PartyPoker tumbled further to fifth.</p> <p>Coincidentally, both PartyPoker and iPoker skins lost traffic yesterday when a power plant explosion and fire in Gibraltar caused a power outage for several hours. PartyPoker was reportedly affected about three times longer than such iPoker skins as William Hill, Betfred and Ladbrokes. All systems are apparently go once again for the gaming sites that experienced shutdowns.</p> <p>The power is on in New Jersey but malaise among East Coast players may be setting in because player traffic numbers have decreased for three months in a row, according to PokerScout. The hoopla surrounding New Jersey's launch about five months ago is now a distant memory as the nation waits for more states to enter regulated online poker territory.</p> <p>While New Jersey player numbers are waning, Delaware's three Internet poker sites reported positive gains for the month of March. Revenue increased 14% over February totals, but was still less than both December and January. A combined player pool with Nevada per an interstate agreement should take effect in a few months, which may cause a few more Delawareans to log on and play online poker.</p> <p>In the unregulated U.S. online poker market, the Merge Gaming Network continues to enjoy about 75% more action since desegregating player pools roughly two weeks ago. The increased cash player traffic has coincided with larger tournament fields, which enabled the network to boost tourney prize pool guarantees.</p> <p>Although not a guarantee but almost certainly a sure bet is that online poker traffic in 2014 will never match the same cash player numbers it did in 2013. As it stands currently, 10% less players are joining ring game action than the third week of April last year.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 04:38:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2757 Patrick Clarke is the Paddy Power Irish Poker Open Champion Patrick Clarke is the Paddy Power Irish Poker Open Champion <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">Today was the day that the Irish Poker Open champion was going to be crowned. For three straight days players battled it out on the green felt until the final nine were left standing (or sitting down). They came back today to finish the story and the eyes of many fans were set on the action at the table. However, as nine came back, we had to wait until one was eliminated before the live stream would show the hole cards.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">Not wishing bad luck on anyone, those watching the stream were still very impatient for the hole cards to kick in. They did not have to wait for too long, as <strong>Antoine Smits</strong>, one of two remaining non-Irish players who started the day as the short stack, was eliminated. He got his chips in with pocket Tens, a decent hand when you are riding the short stack, but he was met with an unpleasant surprise when he got called by Clarke holding pocket Queens. The board failed to produce any help and the Dutchman was done for the day, leaving with €13,350.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">With his departure, the official final table of eight was formed. And as play began, we can't lie, we were rooting for the Englishman <strong>Jonathan Lundy</strong> –  PokerTube's own player (and if you were following our live updates, it was hard to miss). His day was cut short, as he was the first one to leave the final table. He, too, fell at the hands of Patrick Clarke, as his Ace-King was far behind Clarke's pocket Aces. By the turn, Lundy could only hope for the split pot, but the river bricked and he was sent to the rail with €19,250 for his efforts. Once again, good game Jon, you'll get them next time.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">Following Lundy's trail was <strong>Barry Donovan</strong>, who departed in seventh. Although he had the second biggest stack at the table, the cards were dealt in such a way that there was no other way for the hand to play out. Donovan was dealt pocket Kings (with the King of clubs), while Clarke held pocket Tens. The flop came Queen high, with three clubs and a Ten. Clarke had a set, while Donovan had an overpair and the King-high flush draw, so the chips naturally ended up in the middle. Both the turn and river bricked, sending Donovan to the rail with €26,500.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">The next one to go was <strong>Michael Gilligan. </strong>He was down to slightly over five blinds and he was biding his time. He got his chips in the middle with Queen-Ten suited and wasn't in that bad of shape against Clarke's Ace-Eight. Gilligan did flop the flush draw while trailing Clarke's pair of Aces, but he failed to improve and was eliminated in sixth, taking home €38,500.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">So far, it was Clarke who took all the scalps, but for the next elimination it was <strong>Thomas O'Shea</strong>'s turn. He called an all-in 3-bet of <strong>Oliver Lynch </strong>with Jack–Ten. Lynch was looking good to double up with Ace–King, but the dealer would not oblige as he dealt out a Ten on the flop and nothing changed by the river. Lynch left in fifth, banking €54,500.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">This was, however, only a short break in Clarke's series of eliminations. The next stack he would claim was that of Thomas O'Shea. His day proved to be quite a roller-coaster and eventually he got his stack in with Queen-Nine suited against Clarke's Ace–Ten. The board provided no help for either player, and the best hand pre-flop took the pot, sending O'Shea out in fourth with €73,800.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">The play was now down to three, but it would take quite some time before it would get to heads-up. The special dynamic was added by the fact that of the three remaining, two were still in the Sole Survivor competition, meaning the one who outlived the other would win an extra €50,000 – not a small amount considering the first place prize was €200,000.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">Finally, it was <strong>Liam Chevalier </strong>who finished in third. Although he had his share as the chip leader at the final table, Chevalier's luck would eventually run out. Once again it was Peter Clarke who made the final call. Chevalier held pocket Fours and was far behind Clarke's pocket Eights. The board brought some hope for a chopped pot, but by the river it was clear that the best hand would hold up and Chevalier finished in third, banking €97,500.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">Heads-up between Clarke and Dave Pollock was not only for the title but also for the Sole Survivor cash of €50,000, for which they were both eligible. Clarke started the play with more than a two-to-one chip lead, but Pollock wasn't prepared to give up. After some play, he actually almost got to even stacks and it was right about this time that the tournament reached its conclusion.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">As the flop came #2h #7s #Ks, Pollock got his stack in with Queen–Seven, holding second pair. It was, however, far behind Clarke's King–Eight for the flopped top pair. The turn and river both bricked and it was all over.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"><strong>Patrick Clarke </strong>is the Paddy Power Irish Poker Open champion for the year 2014. He takes home the prize money of €200,000 together with the €50,000 Sole Survivor prize. <strong>Dave Pollock </strong>finished in second, banking €130,500.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;">That's all the action for the Paddy Power Irish Poker Open 2014. With the live coverage on, together with the updates we brought here and on the Paddy Power Poker blog, we hope we've managed to cover all the exciting moments of this year's Irish Poker Open tournament. Do stay tuned for the future tournaments to come, which will be covered here at and and enjoy all the best poker action moments as they happen!</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:22:49 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2756 Gibraltar Fire Disrupts Easter Sunday Betting Gibraltar Fire Disrupts Easter Sunday Betting <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile the wagers of many a punter often go up in flames, a fire yesterday on the island of Gibraltar kept many of those punters from placing bets with online bookmakers.</p> <p>Betting firms that included Stan James, Betfred, Ladbrokes, Betfair and William Hill were affected by a mid-day blaze that knocked out power. The fire was attributed to an explosion at a power station, causing an untold number of missed wagers, the Express reported.</p> <p><blockquote>There will be those who will claim they would have backed a winner but there will be others who have been saved from backing a loser," a William Hill spokesman told AFP.</blockquote></p> <p>A back-up generator allowed BetVictor to continue with business as usual while many of their competitors lost operations. However, indications are that power has by and large been restored and that the downed sites are once again up and running.</p> <p>Gibraltar is the choice of many online bookmaking operations due to favorable tax rates. The British overseas territory is home to roughly 30,000 residents.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:33:47 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2755 2014 Player of the Year? Ole Schemion Wins EPT San Remo High Roller 2014 Player of the Year? Ole Schemion Wins EPT San Remo High Roller <p><span class="letter-big">E</span>veryone who follows the High Roller action has already heard of <strong>Ole Schemion</strong>. The German is a regular at the high stakes tournament tables around the world not passing any major event when it comes to the European Poker Tour.</p> <p>He has over $4 million in live tournament winnings, according to the Hendon Mob Poker DB, including a big seven-figure win in the 2012 Partouche Poker Tour Grand Final. He is a true EPT grinder playing a wide range of events with buy-ins ranging from €2,200 to $100,000. He is also the leader in the EPT Season 10 Player of the Year rankings. But he failed to capture a major tournament trophy. Until San Remo!</p> <p>Schemion finally broke the ice yesterday and dominated the competition till the end, winning the €10,300 EPT San Remo High Roller event. He needed four cashes in the previous HRs and SHRs of Season 10 in Barcelona and the PCA to put his hands on the first big trophy of his career.</p> <p>And he also needed just three hours to take down the last seven players left in the final day of the San Remo event.</p> <p>The final table action started full steam ahead and the field shrank from eight to seven players in the very first hand of the day. The unlucky one was Tunisian <strong>Imed Ben Mahmoud</strong>. He was down under ten big blinds and immediately moved all-in after the chip leader American <strong>Philip Sternheimer</strong> open-raised. Mahmoud had a very good hand in #ad#qc but Sternheimer held the absolute nuts preflop - #ac#as. The Tunisian didn’t leave the table empty-handed, though, cashing in €36,550 for his eighth place finish.</p> <p>Brit <strong>Tamer Kamel</strong> followed him after defending his big blind with #ac#5h. The initial preflop raiser, Canadian <strong>Max Greenwood</strong>, made a continuation bet on a #qd#qh#5s board and the Brit raised all-in with two pairs. Greenwood snap-called showing trips as he held #qs#js. Kamel received a €47,800 prize for his seventh place finish.</p> <p><strong>Griffin Benger</strong> hit the rail next; he had to make a move with his ten big-blind stack and shoved the button with #as#5h. Schemion called with #ac#kh and took all the chips in the middle after the #9s#4h#8d#8s#jh board ran out. Benger will head to his homeland Canada €60,700 richer.</p> <p>The future winner made yet another victim in Italian <strong>Mustapha Kanit</strong>. It was a true war of the blinds with Kanit open-raising preflop and Schemion defending his big blind. The Italian confidently three-barreled to go all-in on the river with two pairs. The German, however, held two bigger pairs sending Kanit railing in fifth spot for €77,700.</p> <p>The next elimination could have very well secured Schemion the title. Again, the war of the blinds was on, this time with the German trying to ‘steal’ the big blind of Sternheimer. The American three-bet, and Schemion min-four-bet. <em>“Will you show if I fold?”</em> Sternheimer asked, according to PokerStars Blog. But he couldn’t fold his #jh#js and eventually put all his stack in the middle. The German called with #as#ah, severely crippling the American who was left with about one big blind. The next hand meant doom for Sternheimer as he finished fourth for €96,700.</p> <p>One hand later and another player was eliminated. Lone Russian <strong>Alex Bilokur</strong> made a bold move on the flop with bottom pair only to see he was dominated by Schemion’s top pair. For his performance, Bilokur cashed in €119,400.</p> <p>The heads-up play lasted only fifteen minutes with the German securing his win in a classic Ace battle: #ah#jd vs. #as#4s. The runner-up Greenwood will take home a decent six-figure prize of €182,100.</p> <p>The winner is now €265,000 richer. He is also very close to securing the top spot in the EPT Season 10 Player of the Year leaderboard. Only a miracle could dethrone him. And if a miracle does happen, be sure to check PokerUpdate as we will provide the latest updates from the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo.</p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 09:31:41 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2754 Paddy Power Irish Poker Open Down to the Final 9 Players Paddy Power Irish Poker Open Down to the Final 9 Players <p style="text-align: justify;">Today's Day 3 of the Paddy Power Irish Poker Open started with 59 players – some short-stacked, some with a lot of ammo, but all of them looking to make it over the first barrier. With 411 initial entries, it meant that 47 players were going to cash, and, in turn, it meant that twelve players had to hit the rail first. Nobody likes bubbling, but someone had to receive this bitter honor eventually.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After we had a couple quick eliminations at the start of the day, play slowed down a bit before picking up some pace again. After 11 players busted, including <strong>John Eames, David Docherty </strong>and <strong>Philip Hardy</strong>, it was bubble time. Once again, play got slower as no one seemed willing to go out. After a decent amount of back and forth, it was <strong>Konstantinos Tsikopoulos </strong>finishing 48<sup>th</sup> and being the last player to leave the Irish Poker Open empty-handed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Once the bubble had burst, shorter stacks in the room were ready to go for bust-o or robust-o and a few more fast eliminations ensued. At times it looked like it was going to be a short day, but once again it would be a wrong assumption. The original plan for today was to play until the final table of eight was formed, but the tournament director realized that it could drag on into the night so it was decided to play through Level 27 and wrap up for the day regardless of the number of players still in. As it turned out, it was just enough time to form the unofficial final table of nine, but the official one will have to wait for another elimination tomorrow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some players were looking good throughout the event but fell short of making the final nine, including <strong>Geard Harraghy</strong>, who ended up finishing in 30<sup>th</sup>, <strong>Steven John Warburton</strong>, who hit the rail in 36<sup>th</sup>, <strong>David Masters </strong>in 19<sup>th</sup>, and the last standing Fin, <strong>Ville Sissonen</strong>, who was eliminated in 12<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Jessie May</strong>, widely known as the <em>Voice of Poker</em>, was a story of the tournament as many were rooting for him to go deep. His run sadly finished in 17<sup>th</sup> place, but it is his biggest live cash to date and certainly a run to be proud of.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of the nine remaining, <strong>Dave Pollock </strong>will be returning as the chip leader with 1.7 million in chips. <strong>Liam Chevallier </strong>is in close second with 1.65 million. Sitting in third is <strong>Barry Donovan </strong>with 1,565,000 – an interesting development for him as he was announced out of the tournament in 14<sup>th</sup> due to confusion at the table, which was, apparently, set straight by <strong>Jonathan Lundy</strong>, who will return tomorrow with 1,500,000. He is only slightly behind <strong>Patrick Clarke </strong>on 1,550,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Oliver Lynch </strong>returns with more than 1.2 million, while <strong>Michael Gilligan </strong>is on 1.1 million, only slightly ahead of <strong>Thomas O’Shea. </strong>The only player returning tomorrow not in the million-club is <strong>Antoine Smits </strong>with 720,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Play resumes tomorrow at 2 PM local time. Of the nine remaining players, seven actually hail from Ireland, so there is a good chance that the Irish Poker Open will have an Irish champion. That is, if Lundy or Smits do not run away with the title and €200,000 first prize money. Either way, we will know soon enough as the tournament will be played until we have a final winner tomorrow. There will be a live stream of the final table at <a href=""></a> with cards uncovered (and the usual delay due to fairness considerations), and we will be bringing you up to speed here and on the Paddy Power Poker official blog page. Make sure to join us tomorrow for the big finale of the Irish Poker Open 2014!</p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:17:26 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2753 Victoria Coren–Mitchell Wins EPT San Remo Main Event Victoria Coren–Mitchell Wins EPT San Remo Main Event <p style="text-align: justify;">Eight players returned today to play for the EPT San Remo title, but they all knew that only one would walk away as the winner, while the rest would have to settle for the rest. Of these eight, only one had a previous title to her name – <strong>Victoria Coren–Mitchell</strong>, who was going for her second EPT victory after a 2006 trophy in London.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Coren did not try to hide her excitement going into today’s final table despite being the shortest stack. She was determined to give her best and fight for the title all the way, although at one point when the play got four-handed, she tweeted that this might be as far as she would go. But it wasn’t!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After getting through grueling three-handed play, she ended up in a heads-up match for the title against the Italian <strong>Giacomo Fundaro. </strong>Unlike three-handed, heads-up play did not last long, as Vicky got her opponent all-in on the turn holding top two pair against Fundaro’s slow-played pocket Aces. She needed to fade the river as Giacomo had a few outs, but as the river bricked out, it was all over. Victoria Coren–Mitchell made it – she won her second EPT title, together with <strong>€476,100</strong> and a stunning luxury watch to match. Not only this, but she enters poker history as the first two-time EPT champion! Fundaro will have to settle for second place and a very nice cash of <strong>€298,700</strong>, but no title for him on this occasion.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Third place elimination really took a while, as all three players were looking for their chance to get into heads-up battle. But eventually, it was Coren who managed to really build up her short stack and eliminate <strong>Jordan Westmorland. </strong>She took most of Westmorland’s stack in a trips versus trips confrontation and finished off what she had started a couple of hands later when she rivered an Ace with her Ace-Trey against the Queen-Six of Westmorland. Third place was good for <strong>€213,850</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Things just wouldn’t work out for <strong>Andrea Benelli</strong>. After catching some heat at the start of the day, the deck simply went cold on him and he had no luck picking up spots either. His stack was dwindling and he eventually found himself all-in against Fundaro and despite having a dominating hand, he failed to hold. He walked away with fourth place and prize money of <strong>166,700</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fifth place went to Italian <strong>Andreas Goeller. </strong>The payday of <strong>€130,750 </strong>is probably not a disappointment for someone who plays poker as a hobby. Finishing in sixth, <strong>Bruno Stefanelli </strong>managed to better his best live cash so far as he walked away with <strong>€102,700.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We do not see many Croats at EPT final tables, which meant that <strong>Andrija Martic’s </strong>performance today attracted some attention. Sadly for all supporting him, he wasn’t able to take the first EPT title back to Croatia, as he was eliminated in seventh place. Things didn’t really go right for him today, and eventually it was a bead beat that took the remainder of his chips after his Ace–Jack lost to Benelli’s King–Jack. Probably not the result Andrija was hoping for, but he still takes home <strong>€76,650 </strong>for his performance in San Remo.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Frenchman <strong>Emmanuel Pariset </strong>had been playing on a short stack for most of Day 4 and Day 5, but managed to get to the final table. Unfortunately for him, his luck ran out today. Pariset actually made an all-in move out of turn on a six-high flop holding King–Queen and was met with a quick call from Benelli with pocket Kings. Despite picking up a flush draw on the turn, he failed to improve on the river and was the first of the final table to hit the rail with <strong>€53,100 </strong>for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">And just like that, it was over. The EPT San Remo Main Event has reached its culmination and another champion of poker was crowned – or crowned again this time. All congratulations to Vicky Coren for her performance in the Main Event and her second EPT title, and to all others who made it to the final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">San Remo did not disappoint (not that EPTs ever do). Although this event is over, the next one is just around the corner and soon enough we’ll be enjoying more great poker. Good game!</p> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 21:53:35 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2752 59 Survive Day 2 of Paddy Power Irish Poker Open 59 Survive Day 2 of Paddy Power Irish Poker Open <p style="text-align: justify;">When the day started yesterday, 253 hopeful players returned to the tables. After some ten hours of play, that number has been reduced to just 59. It was expected that the bubble would burst yesterday, but as things stand right now, we will have to see another twelve players join the rail before the remaining 47 can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they will not be walking away with empty pockets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We’ve seen many notable eliminations yesterday and for many, hopes of winning the Paddy Power Irish Poker Open 2014 were crushed. Some of the names include <strong>Nick Newport, Dermot Blaine, Daniel Laming, Jude Ainsworth, John O’Shea, </strong>and<strong> Andy Black</strong>.<strong> </strong>The list of eliminations is, of course, a long one, as we lost about 150 players yesterday. But, there are also 59 survivors still in with a shot for €200,000 in first place prize money.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Leading that pack is Finnish player <strong>Ville Sissonen</strong>, who managed to seize the lead yesterday and ended the day with a stack of 522,000. Coming on his heels is German <strong>Yoni Kissous </strong>with 477,500, followed by <strong>Jessie May </strong>on 454,500. <strong>David Masters</strong>, who had his moments at the very top of the chip counts, will be returning with 330,000, just like <strong>Jonathan Lundy </strong>with a stack of 292,000. <strong>Gerard Harraghy </strong>may have lost some steam but he is still in with 178,500. <strong>John Eames </strong>is near the bottom of the table sitting on 126,000, while the official short stack to start the day will be <strong>Eldon Orr </strong>with 54,500.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for the sole survivor competition for players who qualified online via Paddy Power Poker, 22 players are still remaining in the hunt for the nice additional cash of €50,000. Play resumes at 1 PM local time today and the plan is to play down all the way to the final table, so we might potentially be in for the long ride. Keep in mind that you can follow the live stream of the feature table as well as all the fresh chip counts and seating order at <a href=""></a>. We will also be bringing you updates on the event page and you can also tune in on the Paddy Power blog. Brace yourselves for a day of exciting poker ahead!</p> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 11:23:33 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2751 Final Table is Set for EPT San Remo Main Event Final Table is Set for EPT San Remo Main Event <p style="text-align: justify;">The play in San Remo's Main Event started with 16 players yesterday and they were going to play until the final eight remained. We wouldn't predict how long it would take, but in the end it only took a couple of hours before we had the eight names that will be returning today for the conclusion of the story and to give a final answer on who will be walking away with the title and the first place prize money of <strong>€476,100</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First to leave yesterday was <strong>Vincenco Scarcella, </strong>followed by <strong>Jeff Hakim</strong>. PokerStars Team Pro <strong>Alex Kravchenko </strong>suffered the same fate as these two, as he departed in 14<sup>th</sup>. Following his trail, <strong>Stephen Chidwik </strong>got involved in a big hand against Fundaro and his chips went in the middle when he was holding pocket Fours against pocket Queens and it was his time to visit the rail. Spain’s own <strong>Raul Mestre</strong>, who was going strong for most of the tournament, could not wrap things up as he finished in 10<sup>th</sup> after losing most of his chips to Andrija Martic and wasn't able to recover. After Mestre left, the players merged into one table, but one more player needed to be eliminated before the official final table would be formed. This very unpleasant honor went to <strong>Jorma Nuutinen, </strong>and after his departure, everything was set for the final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The one who will be returning with the most hopes to start the day is probably the chip leader <strong>Jordan Westmorland. </strong>This is the first EPT visit for the American living in Australia and last night he bagged 3,330,000 chips. Italian <strong>Giacomo Fundaro </strong>is in a close second with 3,100,000. With a WPT title to his name and more than $650,000 in cashes, he represents a serious threat for everyone else at the table. Yet another Italian is returning today as 3<sup>rd</sup> in chips. His name is <strong>Andreas Goeller </strong>and his chip count is 2,320,000. Poker is his hobby, not his job, but nobody thinks this will prevent him for going for first place with all that he has. <strong>Andrea Benelli</strong>, with a stack of 2,085,000, will be looking to make some noise as he is no stranger to deep runs in big tournaments. In fact, his cash today at the final table will take him to over $1 million in live winnings.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The other half of the table is led by <strong>Emmanuel Pariset</strong>. His stack of 1,940,000 currently puts him in fifth place. Another recreational player, the Frenchman is guaranteed the biggest cash of his career regardless of his finish at today’s final table. Croatian <strong>Andrija Martic </strong>is a 25-year-old professional player who spends most of his time playing online on PokerStars. He will be looking to turn his 1,660,000 chips into the first EPT championship title for Croatia. Holding 7<sup>th</sup> place is <strong>Bruno Stefanelli </strong>with a stack of 1,335,000. His best cash to date is $65,670 and with total live cashes of $340,000, he will be looking to add to this number as much as possible.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Finally, starting with the shortest stack today will be <strong>Victoria Coren Mitchell.  </strong>She is not just the only woman at the final table, but also the only holder of the EPT title, which she won in London in 2006. Her live tournament winnings are standing at nearly $1.8 million, and although her stack of 910,000 doesn’t look too promising, Vicky probably has a few tricks up her sleeve and support and good vibes coming from her numerous followers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Today is the day! The EPT San Remo champion will be crowned today and we’ll be keeping an eye on the action at the final table until there is just one man (or woman) standing! Who will walk away with €476,000?</p> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 10:58:19 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2750 Paddy Power Irish Poker Open – Day 1 in the Books Paddy Power Irish Poker Open – Day 1 in the Books <p style="text-align: justify;">Day 1 of the Paddy Power Irish Poker Open has been completed. When the registration was done after Level 4 started, the total number of players climbed to 411. This meant that the final prize pool was concluded at <strong>€822,000</strong>. This prize pool means that the winner will be walking away with €200,000 and a total of 47 players will be getting paid for their performance. The rest will have to look for their chance in other tournaments.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of those 400 and change that started yesterday, 253 survived to battle today, as Day 2 will be starting at 1 PM local time. Some of the notable names that hit the rail yesterday included <strong>Martin Staszko, Ryan Spittles, Nick Abourisk,  </strong>and<strong> </strong><strong>Mark Kelly</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the other side of the spectrum are those who managed to end their day with some ammunition for today. Leading that group of players is <strong>Jonathan Lundy</strong> with a stack of 201,000. Although he had somewhat of a rollercoaster day, Lundy managed to emerge on top in the end and proudly tweeted about the fact, together with the picture of his big stack. Others with very workable stacks include second in chips <strong>Gerard Harraghy </strong>with 156,000, <strong>Yoni Kissous </strong>(154,800), <strong>Vincent McNamee</strong> (129,300) and <strong>David Masters  </strong>(119,600).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Still in the running are two former Irish Open Champions, <strong>Kevin Vandersmissen </strong>and reigning champ <strong>Ian Simpson</strong>, so we will certainly be keeping our eye on these two. Others who will be joining them at the tables today include <strong>Andy Black, Max Heinzelmann, John O’Shea, </strong>and<strong>  John Eams</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Day 2 will be starting at 1 PM local time today and the feature table will be streamed on <a href=""></a>. We’ll also be bringing you updates via Twitter and this site, so you won’t be missing  any of the action. It also means that there is plenty of reason to stay with us and enjoy the action as it unfolds.</p> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 10:03:36 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2749 EPT San Remo: 16 Players Return for Day 5 EPT San Remo: 16 Players Return for Day 5 <p style="text-align: justify;">Day 4 of the EPT San Remo Main Event was completed yesterday. Despite expecting it would be a short run as it was meant to play down to 16 players from the original 39 who returned for the start of the day, the players proved us otherwise. Everyone still was determined to battle to the bitter end in their efforts to put themselves in the best position possible to win the title and the first place prize of <strong>€476,100</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite all the determination and good will, always increasing blinds make sure that there is no lack of action and it was no different yesterday in San Remo. One after another, players busted, bringing the number ever closer to forming the final two tables. The first departures seen were those of <strong>Dan Murariu </strong>and<strong> Dimitar Danchev</strong>. A Bulgarian pro will not be seizing this title in Italy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As the eliminations continued, <strong>Olivier Busquet </strong>hit the rail as well, together with <strong>Michale Tureniac </strong>and <strong>Denis Pisarev</strong>. To wrap the day up, <strong>Ludovic Riehl </strong>finished his run in 17<sup>th</sup> place, banking €22,575, a nice cash but a far cry from what he would be battling for at the final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The final elimination was accompanied by an excited tweet from <strong>Vicky Coren. </strong>The only lady left in the tournament is in with a fighting chance, although her stack of 535,000 is trailing the average of about one million. The player who started yesterday as the chip leader, Spaniard <strong>Raul Mestre</strong>, continued his good run as he finished second in chips with a stack of 1.7 million. But the person all the remaining players will be looking to catch up with will be starting today with quite an advantage. <strong>Jordan Westmorland, </strong>an American living in Australia, managed to run away with quite a chip lead yesterday, as he is sitting on over <em>3 million in chips.</em> <strong>Alex Kravchenko </strong>is still in the tournament as well, with 743,000 – under average, but everybody still in knows that he represents a serious threat as long as he has chips in front of him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for Coren, she is not only the last woman standing in the tournament; she is also the last surviving EPT champion in Italy after yesterday’s eliminations of Tureniac and Danchev. If she is to make another run for the title, she will need some help to build up her stack, but one or two good hands could easily put her in a position of power.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The plan for today is to play until eight players are eliminated and the final table is formed. We will not make a mistake of predicting a short day today, as it can really go either way (as proven yesterday). But one thing is for certain, the remaining sixteen players have a lot of quality play in them and it will be an exciting day of poker in San Remo!</p> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 09:38:12 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2748 Full Tilt MiniFTOPS XXV Kicks Off Sunday, April 20 Full Tilt MiniFTOPS XXV Kicks Off Sunday, April 20 <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline poker players on a low budget are gearing up for Full Tilt's MiniFTOPS XXV that begins Sunday and promises to pay out $2 million over 31 events.</p> <p>Running through Sunday, May 4, players adept at navigating their way through large playing fields while risking minimal cash can find themselves in line for paydays that are far from "mini." That includes the series' Main Event on Sunday, May 4 that guarantees $600,000 in cash to players who land in-the-money.</p> <p><blockquote>MiniFTOPS XXV gives players the opportunity to play for great prize pools in a wide variety of exciting events,” said FTP's Head of Marketing, Sarne Lightman. “With more than $2 million guaranteed, the fields will be big and the prizes even bigger!”</blockquote></p> <p>The festival gets underway at 13:00 ET on Sunday, April 20 with $150,000 up for grabs in Event #1, a No-Limit Hold'em Re-entry tournament that costs $22 to enter. Another featured event with a large prize pool is slated for Sunday, April 27 where a $33 buy-in gives you a shot at a $200,000 prize pool.</p> <p>Full Tilt's MiniFTOPS XXV offers the same events as FTOPS XXV that concluded on April 13, scaled down to 1/10th the buy-ins. If those entry fees are still a bit pricey, there are satellites running now for all the events where a seat can be won for as low as $0.05. There's also the option of making a huge score by risking as little as 25 Full Tilt Points.</p> <p>A leaderboard race also accompanies the series, with a Black Card Pro sponsorship contract and avatar reserved for the MiniFTOPS XXV Leaderboard winner. In addition, that four-month contract comes with 100% cashback for the duration of the contract as well as the option of either a clearable bonus of $10,000 or $12,000 in FTOPS buy-ins.</p> <p>There's nothing more exciting in poker than parlaying a small investment into a big score. Opportunities to do exactly that are available for 15 straight days beginning Sunday at Full Tilt Poker.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:27:24 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2747 EPT San Remo: 39 Survive Day 3 EPT San Remo: 39 Survive Day 3 <p style="text-align: justify;">Another fun day full of excitement in San Remo is behind us. As announced yesterday, the first major decision about the tournament was to be brought today – who will make the money and who will walk away with nothing, as 116 players came back at the start of the day, but only 79 are going to walk away with cash in hand.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The hand-for-hand play started with 80 players left and it would take some time before the bubble boy was finally found in the field. After several players managed to win the race for their tournament lives, it was British player <strong>Mark James </strong>who finally fell short. His Ace-Queen was flipping against Mitch Johnson’s pocket Nines, but the dealer brought another nine on the flop, sealing James' fate. Mark did not appear to be particularly phased by the fact that he had just become the bubble boy, as he slowly packed up his things and calmly walked away from the table, wishing everyone good luck.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After the hand-for-hand phase was over, the tournament picked up the pace once again and when the tournament director announced the last hand of the night, 39 players were still standing. Of those 39, Spaniard <strong>Raul Mestre </strong>must have been the most satisfied, as he bagged the chip leader’s stack of 942,000. <strong>Lukas Berglund</strong>, who started the day as the chip leader, kept going in the right direction as he finished the day third in chips with a 867,000 stack, behind the 885,000 of second place <strong>Andrija Martic</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for the more notable names still in play, <strong>Olivier Busquet </strong>will be returning tomorrow with a very respectable 806,000 in chips, <strong>Alex Kravchenko </strong>is also still in with 390,000, as well as Dimitar Danchev with 302,000 and <strong>Dan Murariu</strong> sitting on 165,000. <strong>Vicky Coren </strong>is the last lady standing, and she is standing quite well with 455,000.<strong> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Those who fell short include <strong>Dominik Nitsche, Alex Bilokur, Johnny Lodden, Victor Ramdin, Pius Heinz </strong>and many others.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The play is scheduled to resume at noon tomorrow and it shouldn’t be a long day, as the plan is to play down to 16 players. Remaining players will continue their chase for the prestigious EPT title and the great payday of €476,000 guaranteed for the winner. But they will all certainly do the best they can to make this journey as hard as possible for everyone else. After all, that’s what poker is all about.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Make sure to tune in to <em>PokerUpdate</em> for what promises to be a short, but very exciting day of poker, and check up on how your favorites are doing at the tables!</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:04:42 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2746 Full Tilt Remission Update Clarifies Next Round of Payments Full Tilt Remission Update Clarifies Next Round of Payments <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>ne day after the three-year anniversary of Black Friday, the Garden City Group (GCG) issued an update regarding the second round of payments to be distributed in the Full Tilt remission process.</p> <p>The claims administrator revealed on the official website that the next wave of payments should be dispensed by the <em>end of July</em>. This second round will include petitioners who submitted more than one petition but withdrew duplicates, those who originally disputed the account balance on record but later withdrew such disputes, players with confirmed account balances who recently updated bank account information, petitions confirmed later than those in time for the first round, and affiliates with confirmed account balances.</p> <p>Prior to the second round of claimants receiving their funds, about 1,000 players are in line to receive payment near the <em>end of May</em>. Those petitions were found to have incomplete or inaccurate information. Players in this category were previously notified of the errors in their petitions and those who made the appropriate corrections will have the proper information reviewed in the next few weeks in time for payment before June.</p> <p>A total of $81 million has been distributed to U.S. Full Tilt players thus far. The bulk of that, $76 million, landed in player bank accounts on Green Friday - February 28. Another $5 million was dished out on April Fool's Day to roughly 2,200 players who originally supplied the GCG with incorrect bank account information.</p> <p>Both of those disbursements are considered "part of the first payment wave" by the GCG, as will be the late May payment to the 1,000 or so players whose petitions were also found to contain errors. Still waiting on further word regarding their frozen funds are players labeled with "pro' status, as well as those who disputed the account balances on record with the DoJ and GCG.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:38:34 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2745 Phil Ivey Being Sued by Borgata for $9.5 Million Phil Ivey Being Sued by Borgata for $9.5 Million <p style="text-align: justify;">The holder of nine WSOP bracelets and numerous other poker achievements, <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> has been finding himself lately more and more in the spotlight due to reasons totally unrelated to poker. His lawsuit <a href="">against UK-based Crockfords Casino in 2012</a> is still in the works and awaiting resolution, but just recently Ivey found himself on the other side of the table in a nearly identical case.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Atlantic City’s <strong>Borgata </strong>is suing the poker legend to the tune of $9.6 million that he won in 2012 playing high stakes baccarat. As the 58-page long suit explains, Ivey came to Borgata in April, announcing his intention to play some baccarat, requesting special conditions to be met.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>The casino said that Ivey requested a private pit, a dealer who spoke Mandarin Chinese, one eight-deck shoe of purple Gemaco Borgata playing cards to be used for the entirety of each session, as well as an automatic card shuffling device to be used to shuffle the cards after each shoe was dealt. According to the complaint, Ivey said it was because he’s superstitious.</em> <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As the suit further explains, Phil Ivey did not disclose his true intentions, as his request had nothing to do with superstition. Instead, he had found a way to use a small card defect to his advantage and gain an edge over Borgata – <a href="">the technique known as <em>edge-sorting.</em></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the Crockford's case, Ivey admitted to using the technique, claiming that what he has done does not constitute cheating but merely exploiting an edge the house presented him with. As for the Borgata suit, Ivey remained silent up to this point, but he will probably come out with a statement of some sort eventually. Interestingly enough, during his Borgata visit, the poker pro was accompanied by his lady-friend <strong>Cheng Yin Sun</strong>, and the Crockfords case mentions a female accomplice of Chinese origin as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At the same time, Borgata is also requesting judgment against <em>Gemaco Inc</em>, the playing card manufacturer, for  breach of contract, as they’ve delivered defective cards unsuitable for baccarat.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While he said nothing about the Borgata case in all of his previous statements, Ivey stayed adamant that what he has done could not be interpreted as cheating. He considers himself to be an <em>edge player </em>and managing to shift odds to his favor is simply finding an edge in the game.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ivey's Twitter account retweeted the link to an article explaining why Ivey’s play should not be considered cheating. Amongst other reasons, the article states that it wasn’t him or his partner who marked the cards and that simply <em>misrepresenting the motive</em> does not constitute cheating.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It will certainly be interesting to see how both of these cases unfold, as Phil Ivey is now sitting on both sides of the table in two separate but similar cases. The eventual rulings, depending on their outcomes, could set an interesting precedent.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:05:12 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2744 Eric Afriat stops Mukul Pahuja To Win WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Eric Afriat stops Mukul Pahuja To Win WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown <p><span class="letter-big">I</span>t wasn’t meant to be! A win in the last major World Poker Tour event before the big season finale would have guaranteed <strong>Mukul Pahuja</strong> the prestigious Player of the Year award. But he will have to live to fight another day as he was once again just one man away from entering the WPT Champions Club.</p> <p>Four months ago, in the WPT Montreal Main Event, a fellow American, <strong>Derrick Rosenbarger</strong>, stopped him from conquering Canada. Earlier this morning, a Canadian by the name of <strong>Eric Afriat</strong> denied Pahuja from establishing his reign in his home state of Florida.</p> <p>Not only did Afriat stop red-hot Pahuja, but he also managed to survive a gargantuesque field of 1,795 entries, a brand new record for the WPT circuit. All this was possible because of three starting days and unlimited rebuys with the prize pool hitting the $5,763,150 mark, including a seven-figure cash specially reserved for the winner.</p> <p>And after three starting days and three more regular days, the field shrunk to just six. Pahuja was the chip leader to start the final day with 118 big blinds, followed by <strong>James Mackey</strong> (73 BB), <strong>Jacob Bazeley</strong> (45 BB), Afriat (42 BB), <strong>Chance Kornuth</strong> (33 BB), and <strong>Matt Stout</strong> (22 BB).</p> <p>The shortstacks were first to go. Mackey started the elimination round calling a shove by Kornuth with #ah#10s. Kornuth held #kd#qs and flopped top pair, but the #as turn ruined his chances, busting out in sixth place.</p> <p>Sixteen hands later, two-million-dollar lifetime tournament winner Stout moved all-in from the button with #qd#10s. Pahuja tank-called and won the hand with #as#8h.</p> <p>Bazeley, who had a big chip lead with 18 players to go, hit the rail in fourth spot after his bullets #ac#as were cracked. He raised as first to act pre-flop and was called by Afriat. The flop brought a dangerous three-card combo #jh#8h#4s that heated the action. Afriat led the betting round and after a few raises and re-raises, all of Bazeley’s stack was in the middle. The Canadian showed #js#8s for the best hand.</p> <p>The three-handed play was a real grind with several double-ups and a huge 25 million pot that may have very well decided the winner. It all happened in the 121st hand of the final table with Afriat min-raising from the small blind. Mackey reraised over 2x and the Canadian min-reraised yet again only to see Mackey call. The future winner three-barreled on a #jc#5s#3s#8s#6h board with his opponent calling all the way and mucking his hand after Afriat showed #as#ks for the winning flush.</p> <p>At that point, the Canadian had over 60% of the chips in play.</p> <p>Mackey tried to stay in the tournament by playing aggressively but was eventually eliminated in third place after three-betting all-in with #kc#7c. Pahuja called with #9c#9s and set the stage for the heads-up display that lasted only seven hands.</p> <p>The final one was a standard flip pre-flop with Afriat holding #8d#8h, while Pahuja showed #kh#9s. The #10h#6h#2d#qd#jc board didn’t bring anything new to the table that could have helped the red-hot American and secured Afriat the trophy plus the first seven-figure prize of his tournament career.</p> <p>Here are the final payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Eric Afriat (CAN) - $1,081,184</em></li> <li><em>Mukul Pahuja (USA) - $691,965</em></li> <li><em>James Mackey (USA) - $441,128</em></li> <li><em>Jacob Bazely (USA) - $371,931</em></li> <li><em>Matt Stout (USA) - $308,501</em></li> <li><em>Chance Kornuth (USA) - $247,954</em></li> </ol><p>This is Mukul Pahuja’s third month in a row with a WPT Top 10 finish. Last month, he finished fourth in the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars for $320,800. Also, in February, the American finished eighth in the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open for $36,147.</p> <p>The winner, Eric Afriat, had $467,249 in tournament earnings prior to the big WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown event. He has two other minor trophies, according to the Hendon Mob Poker DB: the Bellagio Cup VIII and the Isle Poker Classic 2013.</p> <p>Starting Monday, Afriat and Pahuja will have the chance to compete with the best of the best in the WPT World Championship. We’ll follow their progress closely, bringing you the latest updates from the Season XII Final.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:33:56 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2743 EPT San Remo – Lukas Berglund Leading into Day 3 EPT San Remo – Lukas Berglund Leading into Day 3 <p style="text-align: justify;">After six levels of play today, Day 2 of the EPT San Remo Main Event has come to an end. After Day 1A and Day 1B, the total number of players amounted to 556, but only 115 of them will return to take their seats tomorrow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of that 100 and change, the one who will come back with the biggest smile on his face is <strong>Lukas Berglund</strong>. He managed to finish the day with a substantial chip lead over the field, as he accumulated 700,600 in chips, more than 200,000 ahead of <strong>Thiago Crema De Macedo</strong>, who finished today in second with 482,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Amongst the more notable names left in the field, <strong>Olivier Busquet </strong>bagged 392,000 in chips, <strong>Dan Murariu </strong>is on 317,000, and Bulgarian star <strong>Dmitar Danchev</strong> has just shy of 300,000. <strong>Alex Kravchenko </strong>is also still in with 97,500, as well as <strong>Vicky Coren </strong>with 162,400 and <strong>Johnny Lodden </strong>(185,000).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As usual with EPTs, and especially San Remo, the field was quite filled with stars, but some of them had to fall along the way. Today’s action saw the departure of the likes of <strong>Steve O’Dwyer, Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, Tatiana Barausova, Toby Lewis </strong>and <strong>Vanessa Selbst</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Among those who fell today was also one person who will always have a special place in her heart for San Remo. Although the majority reading these lines will know who we are referring to, but for those less informed - it is <strong>Liv Boeree</strong>.  She won the EPT San Remo back in 2010 and it was her first major breakthrough on the live scene and the turning point in her professional career, both in terms of success and money as she walked away with €1,250,000. Unfortunately, her elimination today means that we won’t be seeing her at this year’s final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As registration ended with the start of the day today, the final prize pool was formed. When play resumes tomorrow, 37 players will have to be eliminated before the bubble bursts, as 79 players will be entering the money. The minimum cash is €8,434, while the winner will run away with <strong>€476,100</strong>. It could be only a third of what Liv won during Season 6 in the same tournament, but it is still a very respectable number.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Play will continue tomorrow and we’ll make sure to keep an eye an all the big stacks and all the big names in the room to bring you news and updates from the green felt of San Remo.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 22:51:53 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2742 State of Poker in America – Where to Play in USA State of Poker in America – Where to Play in USA <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hen the infamous UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was passed in 2006 no one could really predict the events that were going to unfold in the coming years relating to online poker. The bill was very controversial in its numerous aspects, starting from how it was passed (buried within the SAFE Port Act) to what it represented. Some compared it to alcohol prohibition in the 20<sup>th</sup> century and did believe it would actually succeed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This was, however, a turning point for many sites operating on US soil. The definitions of the Act were such that they made business in the states much harder for these sites, especially when it came to transferring money between the players and operators.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some, like PartyPoker, decided it was better to leave and wait for some better times to return. Many others, headed by PokerStars and Full Tilt, decided they would take their chances and continued business as usual as much as they could.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Black Friday</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For the next couple of years, the sites that continued offering their business to US customers seemed to have made the right choice. The states were a huge market and, financially speaking, it was in no one’s best interest to leave unless they had to. It was looking more and more that Party Gaming and those who followed suit made the wrong move in the heat of the moment and should have never pulled out. But then <em>Black Friday </em>hit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was on April 15<sup>th</sup> of 2011. Everyone and anyone who ever played poker to any extent still remembers the day when the three major poker operators, namely PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker, had their domains seized by the FBI and their home pages replaced with the Department of Justice Logo across the screen.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The charges against the sites and their owners were quite damning:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>As charged, these defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to ensure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits.</blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was an <em>all in </em>move by the American government to bring poker operators offering services on their soil to their knees. If they wanted to stand any chance, they had to remove themselves from the USA immediately. What followed is a long story of a waiting game for the return of money to the customers, which is still ongoing, but that’s a story for a different article. The important fact for this one is that millions of Americans were left without their favorite pastime and many of them without their livelihoods when the ban hammer hit the online poker felt.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Taking the Gamble</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Black Friday </em>charges were only directed at major operators. Either the government did not really find it profitable to deal with smaller sites or they thought that bringing down giants like Stars and Tilt would serve as a good enough warning for the others who could hardly compete with the size and resources of these sites. And for some it was more than enough, as sites left the US market one after another. But a couple of rooms saw the opening and were willing to take the gamble and try and grab their share of the cake that was hardly available to them when the competition was at their peak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Even though player traffic dropped by 80% after Black Friday, as many US residents were unwilling to tangle with what seemed borderline illegal at best, there were still those very eager to get back in action. And this is where a couple of sites stepped up and started offering their services to anyone willing to take the risk.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>Carbon Poker </em></strong>was amongst the first ones to step out. They welcomed US customers despite the obvious risks and obstacles of such a proposition. Although working basically <em>illegally</em>, Carbon managed to keep their customers more or less satisfied with cashouts, although there were a plethora of problems, as expected. Apart from sometimes waiting for a long time for checks to arrive, reports coming from <em>Two Plus Two </em>users tell the stories about checks bouncing, problems with banks and other similar issues simply unavoidable in this type of business scenario. All that said, Carbon has managed to somehow stay operational in the US and maintain a good reputation amongst their player base, as there are no big threads popping online about how Carbon is cheating their players and apart from occasional complaints, they seem to be keeping their head above the water.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another room that’s part of the same network as Carbon, namely the Merge network, and offering their services to US players, is <strong>Aced Poker. </strong>Although it offers pretty much the same experience as Carbon, with the same software and similar promotions, the player traffic on Aced is very low, so there isn’t much incentive for players to look for action there.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of the sites that managed to emerge as a competitor for the US market is <strong>Bovada. </strong>Formerly known as Bodog, Bovada started offering their services as an independent poker room in 2011. Although the general consensus seems to be that their software is pretty good, it is not at the level of top tier sites. They have also implemented the anonymous table model across the site in an effort to attract more recreational players, the idea that some find refreshing while others frown upon it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>Anonymous poker is the way poker was meant to be played, a <strong>level playing field for everyone</strong> at the table. <strong>Every poker session will be a fresh start</strong>. You can take your seat at the table as a mysterious card player and nobody will know if you’re the confident bluffing type or more of a tight-handed conservative player.</blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Cashout times at the moment seem quite decent, as some reports state the waiting time of 5 – 15 days, which is very good at this point in time.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There were other sites who tried to grab their share of the market as well, but some of them did not fare so well. One such experiment was <strong>Lock Poker</strong>, who attracted a lot of players with good promotions and relatively fast cashouts for a period of time, but then they went belly-up in 2013 and were forced to leave the Revolution Network and players’ funds are now floating in limbo and nobody is really holding their breath for the money.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are several common themes for all of these sites, one of them clearly being the waiting time for withdrawals. But apart from that, most of them are not really able to offer many withdrawal or deposit methods due to circumstances out of their control, and those who manage to sneak in the deposit using credit cards can count themselves lucky. Others are forced to use Western Union or MoneyGram services, which come with chunky fees for the services provided.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>US Regulated Sites</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After the USA was excluded from the rest of the world market, it was pretty clear even to financial laymen (like yours truly) that the poker industry was financially too big to simply be completely ousted. Sure enough, not long after Black Friday, the foundations have started to be set for the US-based and operated poker sites. The trouble in this scenario was the lack of an all-encompassing federal bill that would enable the foundation of poker rooms catering to the entire US (and potentially to the ROW). In such a climate, certain states decided they would regulate online poker on the state level until such a bill passed and today there are several states and several poker rooms catering to residents of the said states.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>Nevada</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Nevada has been a center of gambling and poker in the United States for decades. Therefore, it was no surprise that Nevada would be the first state to sign an interstate bill allowing for online poker. The signing of the legislation happened on February 21 2013, and it was accompanied by these words from Governor Sandova<div class="cl"></div><div class="divider-article"></div></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>"This is an historic day for the great state of Nevada," Sandoval said, flanked by dozens of state lawmakers. "Today I sign into law the framework that will usher in the next frontier of gaming in Nevada."</em> <cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It wasn’t long before the first American poker site appeared. It was <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> and they made the big entrance to the scene by signing several high-profile pros like <em>Antonio Esfandiari</em>. Although there was some confusion during the early days, the site has no ties to the <em>Ultimate Bet </em>room that’s been out of operation for quite some time now.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>“The Nevada Gaming Control Board has set regulatory requirements for online poker at the highest level,” remarked Ultimate Gaming Chief Executive Officer Tobin Prior. “We are thrilled that our product is the first to not only meet these standards, but exceed them. Ultimate Poker gives online poker fans the game they love in an environment they can trust.”</blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ultimate wouldn’t stay a lone competitor for long. In September of the same year, Caesars launched their real–money online room branded <strong>World Series of Poker. </strong>Caesars saw an opening after the customers of Ultimate Poker started voicing their dissatisfaction with the room’s software and the overall slow-pace of the implementation. However, the software met with a lot of problems at the launch, as there were both software and banking issues that needed immediate attention.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The third site that launched in mid-February of this year is <strong>Real Gaming</strong>, but so far they’ve failed to attract any substantial number of players, which can partially be attributed to the short existence of the site.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At this point in time, these are the only three operators offering online poker in Nevada and at least three more are awaiting their licenses. How many is too many remains to be seen, but as the numbers stand right now, there doesn’t really seem to be a place for six network operators to conduct their business profitably in Nevada, especially considering the traffic on the already existing sites has been rather low.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>New Jersey</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The online poker phase in New Jersey started on November 21 2013 with the soft launch of several poker sites, with the public launch scheduled for November 26. The promise was kept as six casinos were given permission to continue with the full launch on the 25<sup>th</sup>. These six are <strong><em>The Borgata</em></strong>, <strong><em>Caesars</em></strong>, <strong><em>Bally’s</em></strong>, <strong><em>Trump Plaza</em></strong>, <strong><em>Trump Taj Mahal</em></strong> and <strong><em>Tropicana</em></strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">New Jersey experienced the same problems like Nevada when it came to processing of deposits, as some banks and operators refused to do business with poker sites, even if they were fully regulated.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So, where can residents of New Jersey actually play some online poker? One of the biggest names is certainly <strong>Party Poker NJ</strong>. It is PartyPoker’s American franchise, marking their return to the US market after a long absence following UIGEA. Teaming up with <strong>Borgata Poker</strong>, these two sites have managed to seize the lion’s share of the state’s market operating as a part of the same network. The traffic is quite decent for New Jersey – only site, with 1,200-1,500 players during the peak hours. The software, although it looks sleek, has quite a few functionality issues, as well as latency problems. Support is sub-par, but cashouts are quite fast.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Both <strong>Ultimate Poker </strong>and<strong> </strong>also have their New Jersey variations, offering their games. While Ultimate’s software certainly has its issues, they try to make up for it with good customer support. Player traffic is okay for tournaments, but rather lacking for cash games.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for, both software and customer support are quite exemplary. The software may not offer anything spectacular, but it is simple to use and functions well. It also offers a wide variety of games apart from Hold’em, including PLO, PLO8, Seven Card Stud, and 7CS eight or better. Traffic is decent, although trailing the Party-Borgata combination.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another operator offering their services in NJ is <strong></strong>. Although they are the creator of the software for, they also offer their own client. Despite being a well-known and trusted name in the industry, combined with numerous promotions, their traffic is still only in the third place with around 600-700 online players during peak hours. The software is basically the same used by WSOP.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>Delaware</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Delaware actually introduced their online games before New Jersey, but they’ve never received much attention for the fact. It is clear that Delaware cannot create much of the player traffic on its own, but it is playing an important role in the creation of the cross-state poker network. They’ve been very vocal about their intentions to partner up with Nevada.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>Nobody is expecting Delaware to build a player pool with enough liquidity to survive on its own, the state simply doesn’t have the population to generate this type of player base. </em><cite></cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The biggest currently running Delaware room is <strong>Delaware Park</strong>, but once again, the traffic on the site is rather negligible.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Following their efforts to team up with Nevada in their online poker efforts, the two states signed a gambling compact (in February of 2014) that should enable people from the two states to play against each other once such a technology is made available.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although the state on its own might not contribute greatly to Nevada’s player pool, this contract and its results may well sway other states to start signing such contracts as well, eventually leading to federal legislation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At the moment, these are the only three states in the USA where playing online poker is allowed and regulated by law. California is well on its way to passing a bill, and there have been some movements in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Illinois. Other states have not yet made any significant (positive) progress on the matter of online poker and it remains to be seen what the rest of the year will bring on that front. Stay up to date with the latest developments as we bring them to you here at PokerUpdate.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:42:42 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2741 Americas Cardroom Review Americas Cardroom Review <p>Americas Cardroom is part of the Winning Poker Network, one of the few online poker operators that currently accept players from the United States. Yes, this means it is completely safe for any US player to download the software and start playing for REAL MONEY. And yes, the cashouts will be processed in a timely manner, no delays, no additional fees, no matter if you are American or a player from other parts of the world.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Traffic</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">According to PokerScout, WPN is somewhere in the mid-20s as far as the traffic goes. Since it’s better to compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges, WPN is in fact third in the online poker traffic ranking that includes specifically the legal <strong>US poker sites</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The average of real money ring game players is somewhere around 350 to 400 in the last six months, with the peak up to over 700 in the evenings, Pacific Time.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><blockquote><em>America's Card Room is the 3rd busiest network that allows players from the U.S.A.</em>.</blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: justify;"><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block"> Sign Up to America's Card Room </a></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong><br/>Game Selection</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">By playing on Americas Cardroom, you can choose from a variety of games. From the standard No Limit Texas Hold’Em and Pot Limit Omaha cash tables ranging from $0.01/$0.02 to $25/$50, to Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, 32 Card Poker, and Telesina.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">You can also play Sit &amp; Go’s, with the ACR special $10 Freeroll on Demand, or the Double or Nothing, the Single Table Tournaments, and the Heads-Up SNGs ranging up to $1,200. Also, the tournament lobby lets you choose from guaranteed prize MTTs like the BIG 10, to bounties and special satellites for the Latin Series of Poker Millions.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img large"/></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><blockquote>'<em>America's Card Room offers a simple and easy to navigate lobby and offers a range of games to suit any player.'</blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Bonuses and Promos</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Apart from the 100% First Deposit Bonus and two separate reload bonuses given every single month, ACR also offers a special race called The Beast. The Beast is the world’s first progressive points race that redefines how players get rewarded. It costs nothing to enter the race; all you have to do is play on any ACR cash table and you will be automatically ranked on the race leaderboard. There isn’t an extra jackpot fee, all the prize money will be taken from the rake generated on a daily basis.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The Beast is a weekly race that runs from Saturday at 12:00 AM ET to the following Friday at 11:59 PM ET. Along with a cash prize paid every Monday, the winner will be awarded a seat in the ACR live tournament satellites.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">There is also a race for the SNG players called Sit &amp; Crush. Just play as many SNGs as you can, earn points, and you will have the chance to compete for cash prizes and seats to the ACR live tournament satellites.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><blockquote>'<em>With twice monthly reload bonuses and 'the beast' progressive points race, ACR has very generous bonuses and promotions.'</blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><br/><strong>Deposits and Withdrawals</strong></p> <p>You can deposit as little as $5 using the virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin, or $10 using the ewallets Skrill and Neteller. If you live in the US, you can try the person-to-person transaction using either Western Union or MoneyGram. The minimum deposit, though, for this type of transaction is $50. </p> <p>The withdrawals are usually processed the day after they are requested. If you live outside the US, you can cashout using various speedy methods like Skrill and you will have your money in a maximum of three business days. If you want a check, you will usually have to wait around two weeks.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:00:59 +0000 Ross Clark 2739 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - April 15, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - April 15, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline poker cash game player traffic decreased 1% last week, extending the losing streak to nine weeks in a row.</p> <p>Another noteworthy statistic revealed by PokerScout indicates that all poker rooms and networks within the top ten saw player traffic fall. That's somewhat of a rarity and shows that even the globe's most popular poker sites are feeling the effects of an industry on the decline.</p> <p>The smart money says that all ten won't be losers in next week's report, however, considering that Full Tilt Poker has unveiled another Build Your Bonus promotion. The qualifying week of the promo kicked off yesterday and allows players to earn up to $400 in bonus cash after the bonus clearing period expires on May 3.</p> <p>Build Your Bonus deals have attracted a good number of players to the sister site of PokerStars in the past and the latest offer will likely deliver similar results. As of this writing, the promo is already paying off, as FTP has climbed into a third place tie with both PartyPoker and the iPoker Network.</p> <p>Other movement within the top ten shows Bodog/Bovada back in seventh place after finding itself in an eighth place tie with at this time last week. PokerStars' offering in Spain now sits alone in eighth place while Winamax fell two notches from seventh to ninth.</p> <p>Like Full Tilt, Bovada also began a new promo yesterday. But players won't be building any bonuses at the top U.S.-friendly poker room. They will instead be vying for $42,000 in bonus cash through May 11 that includes daily drawings with rewards of either $500 or $100 and one grand prize winner who will claim a WSOP Main Event seat worth $12,000.</p> <p>That may increase traffic at Bovada, but the downside is that players have no control over the bonus as all prizes will be determined by the luck of the draw. However, the more points earned, the greater are the chances of having your name selected as a winner. Though Bodog/Bovada stress anonymity on the poker tables, that anonymity will be gone when the lucky prize winner sits down to play at the Main Event adorned in Team Bovada patches.</p> <p>Elsewhere in player traffic news, the Merge Gaming Network saw cash action increase a whopping 75% from just one week ago. It was quite a tumultuous week for Merge that began when Poker Host officially left to join the Equity Poker Network (EPN). While a defection of that significance typically results in declining player numbers, Merge took immediate action to stave off such a tumble.</p> <p>That action included instituting a network-wide no-rake Bad Beat Jackpot (BBJ) that will be funded 100% by Merge. Also, the network desegregated the player pools of Jazette and Carbon Poker that were separate since last May. Merge merged all the skins and the newly-formed unity, as well as the no-rake BBJ, has allowed the network to shoot into second place in the U.S.-friendly market.</p> <p>EPN, meanwhile, gained a modest 5% of ring game traffic with the addition of Poker Host. Many expected the increase to be larger, but the numbers indicate the likelihood that a good portion of Poker Host players chose instead to play on a different skin on Merge rather than join EPN.</p> <p>In the regulated U.S. market, the Party Borgata Network reached a milestone last week when the 30 millionth hand was dealt. While $10,000 went to the winner of the hand, the promo did not achieve the same fanfare as does PokerStars during its milestone hand promotions mainly because of the restricted market.</p> <p>Today marks the third anniversary of Black Friday, a day that will forever be looked upon with disdain and regret by most players. The inability of U.S. players to play at sites such as PokerStars and PartyPoker has had a considerable negative effect on online poker player traffic. That effect is still felt to this day and will likely continue until online poker legislation spreads throughout the U.S.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:52:33 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2738 Over 2,100 Players Will Receive a Refund in the Borgata Counterfeit Chips Case Over 2,100 Players Will Receive a Refund in the Borgata Counterfeit Chips Case <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he Borgata Counterfeit Chips Scandal reached its climax yesterday after New Jersey gaming regulators released a statement regarding the much talked about opening tournament of the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open.</p> <p>The tournament was cancelled with 27 players still fighting for the big first-place prize after the casino discovered over 800,000 worth of counterfeit tournament chips in play. <a href="" target="_blank">So far, one suspect, <strong>Christian Lusardi</strong> of North Carolina, has been arrested</a>.</p> <p>Three months after the cancellation, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement issued a final order which obliges the Borgata Casino to refund the $1,433,145 prize pool left in play when the tournament was called off.</p> <p>Therefore, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the order</a>, a total of 2,143 players who<em> “may have been impacted by the alleged criminal conduct”</em> and didn’t finish in the money will get their buy-ins back including the casino rake for a total of $560.</p> <p>The 27 players who were still active at the time of the cancellation will receive $19,323 each, more than double the minimum prize of $8,140 paid to whoever would have finished between 19th and 27th place, but much less than the first place prize of $372,123.</p> <p>Moreover, the 423 players who finished in the money and received a total of $892,690 will retain their prizes.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">To answer player questions</a>, Borgata Casino has opened a hotline (609.317.1000) that deals with the eligibility concerns. All the participants entitled to the refund of their buy-in will receive a check within ten working days.</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:18:47 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2735 Nosebleeds Report: Phil Galfond Solves Puzzle, Niki Jedlicka Turns It Around Nosebleeds Report: Phil Galfond Solves Puzzle, Niki Jedlicka Turns It Around <p><strong>Phil Galfond</strong> finally got his answer. After losing $1.4 million in just five days last month, the online poker legend was in search of answers and tweeted out a very interesting question: <em>"What’s the best way to make a quick $1.4M back? Asking for a friend."</em></p> <p>He managed to solve the puzzle one month later by winning big between April 6-9. No, it was not a flight to Macau that did the trick, nor playing bacarrat, as his friend <strong>Tom Dwan</strong> suggested. The solution was much more standard and involved grinding the highest stakes in online poker.</p> <p>‘OMGClayAiken’ had a fantastic week by concentrating mainly on mixed games. According to HighStakesDB, he won $1.1 million in four days, crushing the likes of <strong>Phil </strong>‘Polarizing’ <strong>Ivey</strong>, <strong>Viktor </strong>‘Isildur1’ <strong>Blom</strong>, <strong>Alexander </strong>‘PostflopAction’ <strong>Kostritsyn</strong>, and <strong>Patrik </strong>‘FinddaGrind’ <strong>Antonius </strong>at the 8-Game tables. He played 4,780 8-Game hands on Full Tilt last week, cashing in over $864k. Overall, between April 6-13, 2014, ‘OMGClayAiken’ won $956,491. The additional $134k won on PokerStars made him the biggest nosebleeds winner of last week and the only player with a seven-figure profit.</p> <p>Austrian <strong>Nikolaus Jedlicka</strong> came in second place, dominating the mixed-games action alongside Galfond. He won $932,155 in almost 11k hands, most of them played on FTP at the 8-Game tables. However, he still has a long way to go to break even in the online world. He started his poker adventure by hitting a major slump and losing one big session after another while playing Pot Limit Omaha. At one time, the Austrian was down almost $4.5 million, but turned things around in April by winning $1.4 million.</p> <p>Russian high stakes player ‘Trueteller’ is third in the winners’ leaderboard, cashing in over $643k in the last seven days. He had a big Sunday, taking $700k from Macau-based samrostan’s bankroll. The pair played four sessions at the 2-7 Triple Draw and CAP PLO tables with ‘Trueteller’ winning three of them. He also played 2k hands on PS, experimenting at the No Limit Hold’Em high-stakes table and open-limping in several spots with hands like #kd#10c or #qc#7c.</p> <p>The biggest losers’ leaderboard is dominated by two high stakes players. One of them is ‘samrostan,’ who played over 13k hands at high stakes between April 6-13, losing $990k “thanks” mostly to the four-session Sunday played against ‘Trueteller.’ Still, he is not the biggest loser of last week. Viktor Blom is!</p> <p>The Swede is on a big downswing after starting the year hot. He played 108 sessions and 12,703 hands on FTP, leaking $1,090,632. Most of the money was lost at the 8-Game tables where he grinded 7,548 hands. Lifetime, he is once again in the red and is down over $2.5 million.</p> <p>Other players like Phil Ivey and <strong>Daniel </strong>‘jungleman12’ <strong>Cates </strong>complete the biggest losers’ leaderboard with six-figure downswings. No sign of <strong>Gus Hansen</strong> though. He took the week off and didn’t play a single hand at the nosebleeds stakes. When will he come back?</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:22:25 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2734 Sofia Lövgren and Xuan Liu Sign With 888poker Sofia Lövgren and Xuan Liu Sign With 888poker <p>888poker bolstered their pro roster with the additions of Sofia Lövgren and Xuan Liu, both attractive young professional poker players with impressive resumes.</p> <p><blockquote>The word is out!!!! Team 888poker is very happy to announce its newest signings Xuan Liu and Sofia Lovgren!!!! Welcome ladies!!" stated an 888poker tweet.</blockquote></p> <p>Lövgren recently left PKR after four years of pro representation. She was named PKR's first female Team Pro after building a substantial bankroll playing cash games online. The 24-year-old also made a successful transition to live tournament play.</p> <p>Some of Lövgren's best live tourney results include 16th place in the 2013 EPT London High Roller for $34,925 and a 30th place finish at the 2012 EPT San Remo Main Event for a payday of $24,532. Her poker portfolio also lists four WSOP cashes.</p> <p><blockquote>888poker feels totally right for me," Lövgren told Poker Player Magazine, a publication that she also contributes articles to when not playing poker.</blockquote></p> <p>Liu hails from Toronto, Canada and was the first female player to land at a PCA Main Event final table. A fourth place finish in 2012 upped her career earnings by $600,000.</p> <p>Those earning were already significant the year before when Liu finished third in the EPT San Remo Main Event for $524,705. She also has a championship to her credit, when she bested the entire field at the IPT San Remo in 2010 for more than $64,000.</p> <p><blockquote>Delighted to be a new 888poker ambassador," Liu tweeted. "A great company with unlimited potential that has always kept poker fun."</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:01:14 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2733 Rafael Nadal Loses Heads-up Poker Match to Vanessa Selbst Rafael Nadal Loses Heads-up Poker Match to Vanessa Selbst <p><strong>Rafael Nadal</strong> has come a long way in the almost two years that he has been playing poker. In recent months, the top-ranked tennis star won a live poker tournament and a couple of Zoom Poker sessions that all greatly benefited charity.</p> <p>But the latest charitable event held Friday in Monte Carlo was the first in which Nadal played a heads-up poker match. The tennis pro could not overcome the poker talents of the all-time leading poker tournament money winner among females, <strong>Vanessa Selbst</strong>.</p> <p>Seated on the live felt at the Casino de Monte Carlo where both players are in town to compete in their respective chosen professions, Selbst at the EPT in San Remo and Nadal at the ATP Monte Carlo Masters, Selbst managed to accrue more chips than Nadal.</p> <p><blockquote>Rafa played a great game, but the format and the cards were in my favour," Selbst told PokerStars blog. "I was able to win by using aggression in good spots and I also made a number of strong hands. I had an excellent time with Rafa and I'm looking forward to the re-match!"</blockquote></p> <p>PokerStars donated €5,000 to Care International upon staging the heads-up exhibition, the same worthwhile cause that received a similar amount when Nadal took on the world in a one-hour online poker session last month and won.</p> <p><blockquote class="left">It was a great honour to play against a strong competitor and although I lost, I had a lot of fun," Nadal said.</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p>Nadal is quite a competitor himself and will now get to work on his ninth tennis title. Selbst, meanwhile, has her sights set on eclipsing $10 million in career earnings.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 18:09:21 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2732 Full Tilt Reruns 'Build Your Bonus' Promotion Full Tilt Reruns 'Build Your Bonus' Promotion <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter slipping to fifth place in the global online poker industry's cash game market, Full Tilt has announced that the "Build Your Bonus" promotion is back for a ten-day qualifying period and a ten-day bonus clearing period.</p> <p>The qualifying period starts on Monday, April 14 and runs through Wednesday, April 23, permitting players to earn up to $400 by achieving the highest target bonus of 10,000 Full Tilt Points. Eligible players must first opt in via the "My Promotions" page sometime between April 8-19.</p> <p>Requirements include earning at least one FTP point on each of five days during the ten-day Build Your Bonus promo qualifying period. While the grinders will undoubtedly be shooting for that $400 reward, less active players can earn either $5, $50, $100 or $200 in bonus cash. Those rewards require 100, 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000 points, respectively.</p> <p>After the qualifying period concludes on April 23, players will automatically receive 40% of their bonus by 7:00 ET on April 24. On that day, a bonus clearing period begins and runs through Saturday, May 3.</p> <p>For each day during the qualifying period that a Full Tilt Point was earned, opted in players will be given a day during the clearing period in which to earn points in order to release the rest of the bonus in three equal segments. For instance, if you earned points in seven days during April 14-23, you also have the first seven days of April 24-May 3 to collect more points in pursuit of the full bonus.</p> <p>Previous runnings of the Build Your Bonus promotion proved quite successful in attracting players to the virtual felt at Full Tilt. The latest promo that begins Monday aims to do the same.</p> <p> </p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 18:52:46 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2731 Dan Bilzerian – a Guy Who Has it All? Dan Bilzerian – a Guy Who Has it All? <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hat would it be like to have anything you want whenever you wanted it, without giving more than a moment’s thought? I guess it would be pretty awesome, but most likely I’ll never know that feeling. And, let’s face it, neither will most of the people reading this article – life only treats a select few that way. You can argue it is bad for a person to have it all and say that money corrupts people, but at the end of the day, they probably don’t really care. Dan Bilzerian is one such guy – a guy who just has it all and is not afraid to make a big noise about it. On the contrary, he enjoys letting the world know just how good he is doing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Who is Dan Bilzerian?</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">To answer in short: a 32-years old multi-millionaire, who describes himself on Twitter as “an actor, an astronaut and I play poker sometimes.” When someone willingly uses the word <em>asshole </em>to describe himself, you can guess one of two things about him: he is either not right in his head or, which is clearly the case with Bilzerian, he just doesn’t give a damn about how the world perceives him and wants to project an image of a guy who knows that he is so rich and so awesome that people will admire him even if he is a self-proclaimed asshole.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Son of a prominent equity trader, Paul Bilzerian, Dan is not even close to being the richest guy out there. His net worth is estimated to be around $100 million, but you’d never guess that judging by his lifestyle. Before doing some research for this article, I myself believed that he was some sort of a billionaire. His father made $40 million by the time he was 36, but was indicted for tax and securities fraud in 1988. In 2001, he declared bankruptcy, claiming only $15,000 in assets and more than $140 million in debts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although his childhood was accompanied by FBI raids and ridicule and snide comments from his schoolmates, it did not stop Dan Bilzerian from getting where he is today. Of course, the trust fund that he had to his name probably had something to do with that.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>People that don’t know me are going to judge me. I’m not going to run around and worry about what people think,” he said. “People that are friends might not know what’s up, but it doesn’t matter. Look, I have had some money given to me but I’ve made money and at the end of the day it’s nobody’s business but mine.” <cite></cite></blockquote></em></p> <p>INSTAGRAM://;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Soon after getting to college, he started gambling compulsively. As he couldn’t touch any of his trust fund money, it did not take long before he went broke for the first time. After that, he had to sell his guns (more on guns coming later) to get him going again. He got $750 and managed to turn that into $10,000 by gambling on a boat in St. Petersburg.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>‘I distinctly remember having to sell my guns – I loved my guns,’ he says. ‘I had to go broke to respect the money.’ <cite>Daily Mail</cite></blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">How exactly Dan Bilzerian perceives <em>respect for money</em> is a different story, but it is clear that this phrase means something very different coming from his mouth than what it would mean if it was uttered by the average person. Little surprise coming from a man who obviously lives life by his own rules.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This is how his life of extravagance started and he never looked back. Bilzerian spent most of his college time gambling in Vegas or the Bahamas. He cared for little else apart from gambling and partying like every day was his last day on this earth.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Guns, Girls, Parties, Super-Cars and - Poker</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">These few words describe the couple things Dan Bilzerian probably enjoys the most in his life. Of all those, guns are probably the most uncharacteristic, but this love was developed very early in his life, as his father gave him an M16 rifle that he returned with from the Vietnam War.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>‘My dad didn’t hunt or anything and the only gun he knew was the machine gun he’d been issued in the Vietnam war. So he just figured, “I’ll give him an M16.” </em><em>‘I thought it was normal. I took some kids into school in my car and I was like “hey do you want to see my M16?” <cite>Daily Mail</cite></blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Young Dan apparently liked his quite unique present a lot and started collecting guns. Today, in his own words, he owns more than 100 different guns, and he believes they can be <em>stylish accessories</em>, if state law permits it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">INSTAGRAM://;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote></em><em>I got all sorts of guns. I got functional guns, I got guns for looks, I got hunting rifles, </em><em>and everything in between. <cite></cite></blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Watches are another passion of his and he spends a lot of money on them. Bilzerian says that his cheapest watch costs like $40,000. But for a person so preoccupied with the image he projects, he seems to care very little about clothing. Although he owns some very expensive articles of clothing, like a $40,000 Tom Ford suit, he spends most of his time wearing very simple combinations like simple black T-shirts and camo cargo pants. Dan Bilzerian just loves to dress as a <em>free man </em>and doesn’t believe that clothing has much to do with achieving success with women.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>Just be confident, successful, funny, whatever it is, girls aren’t necessarily attracted like guys are. Guys are attracted based on looks 95% of the time. Girls are almost the opposite. Looks are a smaller factor. They’re more attracted to a confident guy, or a successful guy, or someone who makes them laugh, or makes them feel comfortable. <cite></cite></blockquote></em></p> <p>INSTAGRAM://;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I guess these words make sense when they come from a multi-millionaire seemingly without a care in the world. Bilzerian doesn’t need to dress up since his simple black shirt must look way better when it’s on the guy driving a supercar powered by racing fuel. And he’s got quite a few to go around, including Lamborghini Aventador’s Bentley Continental and his prize possession – a rare aluminum AC Cobra with the license plate “SUCK IT” to go along. He also has, surprise-surprise, his own private jet that takes him pretty much anywhere he wants to go.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But back to the topic of girls – Dan Bilzerian is certainly not lacking any in his life. He claims that his wealth doesn’t have much to do with his success with women – and without going into deeper discussion on the topic, let’s just take his word on that one. One thing is certain – he enjoys female company <em>a lot</em>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not surprisingly, he has no problems openly saying that he loves beautiful girls and doesn’t hold back at all on this topic.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>But I’d take a chick who goes to the gym all the time and has a good body over a chick who covers it up well with good clothes. My feeling is, if they look good in a minimal amount of clothes, good. <cite></cite></blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>Poker</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Recently, Bilzerian has attracted a lot of attention from the poker community. Although he made his first attempts in poker back during his college days, it wasn’t really until 2013 that he garnered wider recognition. He was a Victory Poker pro player, but he doesn’t really see himself as a professional poker player.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For Bilzerian, poker is more like a favorite form of recreation, as he enjoys the adrenaline rushes that come with the game and with playing for hundreds of thousands. He admittedly doesn’t play with the pros, but instead plays in the private games with business guys and celebrities who are mostly playing for fun.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite claiming that he is <em>not nearly the best player out there,</em> Bilzerian still takes pride in what he has achieved in poker and thinks of himself as the Bill Gates of poker because of this.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>Bilzerian claims to have won over $50 million playing poker, in cash games against mysterious one-percenters who make bets in units like “Ferraris” and “mansions.” None of these victories can be verified, of course—we have to take his word on it. And since when do we take poker players at their word? <cite></cite></blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Unconfirmed poker winnings have always been somewhat of a taboo in the community, as most players require graphs or similar evidence to back up these claims. Bilzerin obviously has nothing of the sort, but something tells me that he is not very concerned with whether everyone believes him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite all of his (claimed?) poker success, when asked what part of his life would be the easiest to give up, poker seemed to be on the very top of the list without much deliberation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>That's a no-brainer: poker. It's the bane of my existence. When you win, you don't care and when you lose, it's depressing. I don't play as much as I used to either. It's hard. I've been playing such big games, so it's hard to get the buy-ins together very often. Plus, once you go big, it's hard to go back to the smaller buy-ins. <cite></cite></blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another fact supporting the claim that he is in poker for adrenaline more than anything else these days is that he never plays tournaments. He finds them too slow and the fact that you cannot rebuy and play with a full stack whenever you feel like it just doesn’t do it for him. As for the cash games, Bilizerian claims that the highest he’s ever played was $10,000/25,000 No-Limit. It is impossible to verify if he really played in these games, but everyone who knows the first thing about poker also knows how insanely high that game would be.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">INSTAGRAM://;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The biggest poker forum on the web, <em>Two Plus Two</em>, has created a <em>Dan Bilzerian Containment Thread (All things Bilzerian go here</em>) for his fans and haters alike. The thread has more than a thousand comments and is very often frequented by those curious as to what he’s been up to lately.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Acting, Instagram and – Summary</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Acting is another of Dan Bilzerian’s passions, although his acting career has never really sky-rocketed. He appeared in the “<strong>Olympus Has Fallen</strong>” and “<strong>Lone Survivor</strong>,” “<strong>The Other Woman</strong>” and “<strong>Equalizer</strong>.” His attempts on the big screen haven’t garnered huge amounts of success, but it is not hard to understand why he’d want to be up there.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Instagram, on the other hand, is a whole different story. The number of his followers on the photo-sharing network is several hundred thousand as he enjoys sharing all the details of his lavish lifestyle on the Internet. The images he shares are full of expensive cars, boats and gorgeous women – for many out there, he is <em>living the dream</em>, the life that everyone wants and only few can have.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>I have a pretty crazy life, so when something happens, I'll take a picture and post it. My Instagram is interesting because it gives people a look into my life. I only post things I find really interesting. The first site that ran it, BroBible, didn't contact me. A lot of other sites then ran their version of the same story. I got like 25,000 new followers in three days on Instagram from it all. <cite></cite></blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So who is Dan Bilzerian really? Many see him as a rich playboy who enjoys the life of riches and the company of beautiful women, making the maximum out of life. Others hate him as they feel he rubs their noses into his success, while the origins of his wealth are questionable.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But if you try to put together a whole picture, and especially if what he says about his past is true, he is a guy with a very specific life philosophy. He loves to enjoy every minute of his time, but is it simply because of the money or is it more because of the way he is?</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is easy to look at someone with heaps of money and condemn them for who they are and what they do. No one is immune to envy and many of us, even if we wouldn’t admit it, want to have what he has (apart from two heart attacks before he was 32). But at the end of the day, he is living his life the way he wants and if it bothers someone it is easy enough to stay clear of <em>all thing Bilzerian</em>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He is rich, he is pompous, he is Dan Bilzerian, and, whether we like it or not, he just doesn’t care.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>I feel that if you don’t have people hating on your lifestyle then you’re not doing it that well. There’s always going to be people envious — it’s just the way it is. An ugly girl is going to hate on a pretty girl and a poor guy is going to hate on a rich guy. That’s just the way of the world.” <cite></cite></blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><br/></em></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 18:03:48 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2730 Phil Hellmuth's Generosity Includes His WSOP Bracelets Phil Hellmuth's Generosity Includes His WSOP Bracelets <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile Phil Hellmuth's reputation as "PokerBrat" on the live tournament tables is legendary, he certainly is not a brat when it comes to philanthropic efforts and sharing his wealth.</p> <p>The all-time leader in collecting WSOP bracelets often lends his time and name to worthwhile charitable causes. Last year, a small sampling of the events Hellmuth devoted his energy to included hosting both the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and WPT Foundation All In For Kids Charity Poker Tournament and the Kentucky Derby Charity Poker Tournament.</p> <p>Hellmuth also did his part for All In for One Drop, allowing himself to be dunked in a dunk tank in order to help raise money for countries around the world that lack safe and sanitary water. A tremendous cause that is also aided by many players in the Big One for One Drop poker tournament, the second installment of which will be played at this year's WSOP.</p> <p>The PokerBrat's giving ways also extend to his 13 WSOP gold bracelets, as Hellmuth just recently announced via Twitter and his Facebook page that he parted with bracelet no. 13. The lucky recipient was his best friend Chamath Palihapitiya, a venture capitalist and software engineer with previous ties to both AOL and Facebook.</p> <p>Hellmuth also revealed that of his 13 gold bracelets, he has held on to only two, nos. 1 and 12. The other 11 have been doled out to friends and family members.</p> <p>The 2014 WSOP in Las Vegas is a little more than a month away. Hellmuth has his eye on adding to his leading WSOP gold bracelet total and putting even more distance between himself and pursuers such as Phil Ivey. Odds are that any future bling that Hellmuth collects will also find its way to someone special in his life.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:56:39 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2729 Ivey Poker Pros Up $9 Million in 2014 Ivey Poker Pros Up $9 Million in 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hen <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> set out to surround himself with the best pros the poker world has to offer for his coaching and training site, he did so with an eye toward finding a team of professionals that could teach poker as well as have the results to back it up.</p> <p>One need look no further than the first three months of 2014 to see that the tournament results of Team Ivey Pros has been outstanding. The two and a half dozen or so members of the team have combined to earn $9 million in live and online tournament play in Q1.</p> <p>Team Ivey has cashed in 50 live tourneys this year, with 25 of those consisting of final table finishes. A Team Ivey Pro landed in the winner's circle in five of those events, including Ivey himself when he took down the Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge for more than $3.5 million.</p> <p>The other four first place finishes belong to <strong>Mike Leah</strong>, who has at least one victory in each of the year's first three months. At the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) in January, he bought in for $5,300 and scored first place prize money of $119,770. In February at the Fallsview Poker Classic, Leah bested the field in Event #1 for over $108,000.</p> <p>When the calendar flipped to March, Leah kicked it up a notch by winning two WSOP Circuit championships within 24 hours at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. Another solid finish later in the month at the WPT National Canadian Spring Championship and Leah earned just shy of $280,000 in March alone.</p> <p>Other big winners in live competition this year include 2012 WSOP Main Event champion <strong>Greg Merson</strong>, who eclipsed $1 million in earnings this month at the LA Poker Classic. But the bulk of Merson's winnings came at the PCA where he followed up a 98th place cash of $20,300 in the Main Event by finishing second in the $25,000 High Roller for a tad less than $950K.</p> <p><strong>Dan Shak</strong> also passed $1 million in winnings this year. The "amateur" landed runner-up to Fabian Quoss in the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller for a payday of more than $1.175 million. The following month in the Land Down Under, Shak cashed for $87,484 for sixth place prize money in the Aussie Millions $25K Challenge.</p> <p>All told, Team Ivey has taken home more than $7.5 million on the live felt thus far in 2014. In online poker tournaments, the Ivey Poker pro roster earned another $1.5 million to date this year by cashing in 1,075 tournaments. The Internet poker scorecard reads 37 victories in 170 final table finishes.</p> <p>Standing out among the top online poker Team Ivey players was <strong>Dan Smith</strong>, who grabbed $125,146 by winning the title in Event #17 of the PokerStars Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP) in January. Another prolific Ivey Poker online star was <strong>Griffin Benger</strong>, who cashed 262 times, made 42 final tables, secured nine championships, and won more than $362,000.</p> <p>With the 2014 WSOP in Las Vegas just around the corner, Team Ivey is itching to pile on to that $9 million total and add a few bracelets in the process. Phil will be gunning for WSOP bracelet no. 10 as he and his colleagues descend on the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in May with an impressive start to 2014 already in the books.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:43:53 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2727 iPOPS VI Begins at iPoker on Sunday, April 13 iPOPS VI Begins at iPoker on Sunday, April 13 <p><span class="letter-big">P</span>layers at iPoker Network skins are gearing up for the iPOPS Series VI that kicks off on Sunday, April 13 and guarantees €1 million in prize money spread out over 16 events.</p> <p>The series is broken down into two segments of eight tournaments each, the first of which is designed as low buy-in events. The festival begins with a €1 entry fee for the NL Hold'em Rebuy with Multi-Entry €10K Guaranteed at 19:00 GMT on Sunday. Low buy-in tourneys follow on each of the next seven days at various entry fees, three of which are only €10 and one each at €3 and €5.</p> <p>Of the first eight low-stakes tourneys, all but one allow multiple entries. The first segment concludes on Sunday, April 20 with the iPOPS Mini Main Event that guarantees €40,000 at a buy-in of €40. The Mini Main Event is a No-Limit Hold'em Freezeout, also permitting Multi-Entries.</p> <p>iPOPS VI takes a two-week break and resumes on Sunday, May 4 and features a tournament each evening for eight consecutive days that are more in the range of high-priced buy-ins in comparison to the first eight events of the series. However, the Sunday Special on May 4 is only a €1 buy-in and guarantees a payout of €10,000.</p> <p>Featured tournaments during the second phase of iPOPS VI include the €250 High Roller Freezeout with Multi-Entry guaranteeing €100,000 and the Main Event on Sunday, May 11 with an entry fee of only €40 and a guaranteed prize pool of €300,000. Also a Freezeout with multiple entries, the Main Event concludes iPOPS Series VI.</p> <p>All 16 tournaments are No-Limit Hold'em. Here is the schedule for iPOPS VI showing the date, starting time, tourney name, buy-in and guarantee:</p> <p> </p> <p>iPOPS Low Events</p> <p>13/4/2014 19:00 10K GTD Rebuy (Multi-Entry) €1 €10,000</p> <p>14/4/2014 19:00 Mini High Roller Freezeout (Multi-Entry) €75 €40,000</p> <p>15/4/2014 19:00 Mini Super Tuesday Rebuy (Multi-Entry) €10 €30,000</p> <p>16/4/2014 19:00 Speed Wednesday Rebuy (Multi-Entry) €3 €10,000</p> <p>17/4/2014 19:00 6Max Thursday Rebuy (Multi-Entry) €5 €15,000</p> <p>18/4/2014 19:00 Top Gear Friday Freezeout(Multi-Entry) €10 €15,000</p> <p>19/4/2014 19:00 Saturday €15K GTD Rebuy €10 €15,000</p> <p>20/4/2014 20:00 Mini Main Event Freezeout(Multi-Entry) €40 €40,000</p> <p> </p> <p>iPOPS High Events</p> <p>4/5/2014 18:00 Sunday Special Rebuy (Multi-Entry) €1 €10,000</p> <p>5/5/2014 19:00 High Roller Freezeout (Multi-Entry) €250 €100,000</p> <p>6/5/2014 19:00 Super Tuesday Rebuy (Multi-Entry) €50 €50,000</p> <p>7/5/2014 19:00 €40K GTD Rebuy €40 €40,000</p> <p>8/5/2014 19:00 30K GTD - 6 Max Rebuy €25 €30,000</p> <p>9/5/2014 19:00 Big Friday Rebuy (1R/1A) €75 €75,000</p> <p>10/5/2014 19:00 €30K GTD Freezeout (Re-Entry) €40 €30,000</p> <p>11/5/2014 18:00 Main Event Freezeout(Multi-Entry) €40 €300,000</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 19:07:30 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2726 Merge Offers Bad Beat Jackpot With No Rake Merge Offers Bad Beat Jackpot With No Rake <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he Merge Gaming Network suffered a bad beat of sorts when Poker Host jumped ship and moved to the Equity Poker Network yesterday, but that didn't keep the U.S.-friendly network from implementing a new no-rake Bad Beat Jackpot (BBJ) effective today.</p> <p>Flagship skin Carbon Poker has revealed that the new BBJ is 100% network-funded, meaning that players at any full and 6-max cash tables are eligible to be jackpot winners with no cash taken from each pot. That includes No-Limit and Fixed-Limit action.</p> <p>The new BBJ will be funded by Merge on a rolling basis starting with $1,000 and adding $0.10 every minute until a player loses a hand holding at least four of a kind, #2d #2c #2h #2s or better. Simple arithmetic tells us that the BBJ will increase at the rate of $144 per day and $1,008 per week.</p> <p>The requirements to hit the jackpot are that three players must be dealt into the hand and at least two must continue to the showdown stage. Also, both the hand's winner and the bad beat recipient must use both of their hole cards.</p> <p>Every player seated at the table will grab a piece of the jackpot when the BBJ hits. The player who suffers the bad beat gets the largest share of the jackpot at 38%, while 20.5% will go to the hand winner and another 20.5% will be equally distributed to the other players at the table. The 21% left over is reserved in order to seed the new jackpot.</p> <p>Bad Beat Jackpots had been quite popular at a number of poker sites years ago, especially among the recreational crowd. However, most employed scooping a rake from each pot in order to fund the jackpot, severely crippling the efforts of players attempting to grind out profits on a daily basis.</p> <p>Players began taking notice of their reduced bankrolls due to taking a hit on the BBJ rake, including the casual players that the jackpot is geared toward. This caused many to turn away from BBJ tables.</p> <p>Now that Merge has introduced rake-free BBJ action, even at the tiny rolling amount of $144 per day, it may prompt some players to once again patronize the likes of Aced Poker, PlayersOnly, Sportsbook and Carbon Poker.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:19:17 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2725 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - April 8, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - April 8, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he decline in player traffic has reached eight straight weeks, a streak that many in the online poker industry are hoping will one day shift in a positive direction.</p> <p>PokerScout reports that the loss was a mere 0.1% last week, which is negligible and perhaps indicates better things to come in future weekly updates. In comparison to this time last year, 12% fewer players are logging on in 2014.</p> <p>Another $5 million landed in the pockets of U.S. Full Tilt players on April Fools Day when the Garden City Group released more cash to petitioners who had previously provided the claims administrator with bank account information that couldn't be validated. About 2,200 such claimants got their act together and submitted the proper bank info to GCG, which resulted in a long-awaited payday.</p> <p>By the looks of player traffic numbers, not enough of that fresh $5 million has found its way to U.S. online poker sites. With U.S. income tax returns due next week, perhaps those ex-Full Tilters are preparing to pay Uncle Sam with their reunited funds instead of sitting down at a $5/10 cash game at Bovada, WPN or Merge.</p> <p>Speaking of Merge, that U.S.-friendly network officially lost Poker Host to the Equity Poker Network. News of the network switch had been leaked in March, but the deal wasn't sealed until today. The transition means that player traffic in coming weeks will likely continue to climb at EPN, while Merge will naturally drop.</p> <p>Merge and the Chico Poker Network both currently enjoy a seven-day average of 300 cash players, good for a third place tie among U.S.-facing poker rooms and networks. Bodog/Bovada and the Winning Poker Network are 1-2 in the rankings, with EPN fifth at 170 ring game players.</p> <p>While EPN is on the way up, so is Unibet, whose estimated cash player traffic has now been revised from 300 to 550 by PokerScout. However, the independent player traffic-tracking site warns that numbers at Unibet may drop once the novelty of joining an exciting new poker room wears off. PokerScout has been tracking player numbers since 2006 and has seen such trends before.</p> <p>Also seen by PokerScout has been a 15% drop in player traffic at SealsWithClubs. The Bitcoin-only poker room's decline may be due to China deciding to do away with the accounts of exchanges centered around the virtual currency. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) ruled that Bitcoin is a commodity, not a currency, which led to the digital currency/commodity losing 25% of its worth.</p> <p>As a result of the PBOC ruling, Bitcoin exchanges will be shuttered in the world's most populous country, likely effective April 15. Most online poker players remember that date in history for other reasons, with the three-year anniversary of Black Friday just one week away.</p> <p>From China we travel to Russia, a country that Betfair has elected to no longer accept any new players from effective April 11. That announcement was made to affiliates following the recent release of a blacklist by Russian authorities that included more than four dozen gaming sites. While other poker sites on the blacklist continue to operate in Russia, the future is unknown and further developments down the road may eventually have an adverse effect on player traffic.</p> <p>Cash game traffic among the top ten poker rooms and networks jostled slightly last week. Bodog/Bovada slipped from seventh into a tie for eighth place with, while Winamax managed to slide into seventh place. The other seven slots within the top ten remained in the same positions as the week before.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 19:40:43 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2724 William Hill Scores Bullseye as Sponsor of World Darts Championship William Hill Scores Bullseye as Sponsor of World Darts Championship <p>William Hill has agreed to a two-year deal with the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) to sponsor the World Darts Championship.</p> <p>The 72-player event is to be played during the Christmas holidays at London's Alexandra Palace. Dart players and fans in the UK can watch the tournament broadcast live over Sky Sports, the PDC announced.</p> <p><blockquote>Since first being staged in 1993-94, this tournament has grown into the biggest in darts, not only in terms of prize money and stature – with over £1 million paid out in the sport's richest event - but also with the fantastic crowds who flock to Alexandra Palace every year," said PDC chairman Barry Hearn.</blockquote></p> <p>William Hill takes over sponsorship duties from Ladbrokes and the tournament will now be known officially as the William Hill World Darts Championship. The deal is reportedly in excess of seven figures.</p> <p>Michael van Gerwen will be defending his title and is listed as the early favorite. He will be challenged by runner-up Peter Wright and by 16-time World Champion Phil 'The Power' Taylor.</p> <p>The UK bookmaker is no stranger to sponsoring dart championships, as William Hill previously handled similar duties for the Grand Slam of Darts from 2011-13 at Wolverhampton Civic Hall.</p> <p> </p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:18:01 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2723 Poker Host Leaves Merge for Equity Poker Network Poker Host Leaves Merge for Equity Poker Network <p>Poker Host has officially transitioned from the Merge Gaming Network to the Equity Poker Network (EPN).</p> <p>That move was merely a rumor last month but its validity gained favor last week when Poker Host sent emails to its loyal players advising of the network switch. EPN made it official today by issuing a press release welcoming Poker Host to the fold.</p> <p><blockquote>Partnering with Poker Host is one more figurative feather in EPN’s cap," a network spokesperson said, adding that players from Poker Host can expect to find "fun, excitement, and a safe environment for the recreational player" at EPN.</blockquote></p> <p>Poker Host joins the likes of Full Flush Poker, Integer Poker, 5 Dimes, Action Poker, Heritage Sports and Gear Poker as part of the non-profit cooperative of EPN. The network launched for real-money on November 8 and has been adding skins and players ever since. EPN now ranks fifth among U.S.-friendly online poker rooms and networks.</p> <p>There reportedly had been some animosity between Merge and Poker Host that was likely related to the skin maintaining its own cashier apart from the network. That bitterness was punctuated by the press release, which stated in part:</p> <p><blockquote>Difficult times for Poker Host are now behind them as they jump aboard the express to success at EPN ...."</blockquote></p> <p>That success consists of 170 players found on EPN cash tables in a seven-day average, according to PokerScout. Merge, meanwhile, enjoys 300 cash players during the same time frame, as of this writing. Expect that gap to shrink now that Poker Host has officially jumped ship exactly five months after EPN launched.</p> <p>Apparently, Poker Host players who were clearing bonuses and accumulating loyalty points have seen those efforts converted into cash accordingly even though the bonuses may have been only partially cleared. That was spelled out in the email sent to Poker Host players last week. Naturally, those players will now join the loyalty program in effect at EPN.</p> <p>Also in effect at EPN is a policy of restricting players from playing on more than one skin on the network. This, unfortunately, stops players from engaging in the somewhat lucrative practice sometimes referred to as being a "bonus whore." In other words, players cannot clear the first-time deposit bonus on one network skin and repeat the same practice on additional network skins.</p> <p><blockquote>The PLAYER can only have one account (“The PLAYER’s Account” or “Your Account”) across the EPN Network," read the Terms and Conditions.</blockquote></p> <p>A visit to the Poker Host website reveals that the Equity Poker Network logo is now proudly displayed on the home page, further indication that the transition is complete. Players wishing to join Poker Host on EPN are eligible for a 150% up to $600 first-time deposit bonus that includes an instant 20% cashback provided that they don't already have an account at another skin on the network.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:07:20 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2722 Nosebleeds Report: Gus Hansen On Macau High Stakes, Alex Millar's Money Factor In Big Pots Nosebleeds Report: Gus Hansen On Macau High Stakes, Alex Millar's Money Factor In Big Pots <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>ith all the crazy action going on at the highest stakes in online poker, two of the usual suspects playing the nosebleeds sat out on all tables and shared their thoughts about what has been happening as of late in the land of the millions.</p> <p>Brit <strong>Alex Millar</strong>, who plays on PokerStars under the nickname ‘Kanu7’ and on Full Tilt (‘IReadYrSoul’) is one of the players who talked to <a href="" target="_blank">Card Player</a> about what it means to grind stakes like $400/$800. He admitted that money can become a factor when the pot is six-figures deep:</p> <p><blockquote>I mainly just try to ignore the money involved and make the best decision I can, but certainly I am rooting for my decision to be right a little bit more when the pot is big.</blockquote></p> <p>Millar’s surprising thinking process is based on the fact that the high stakes action is scarce nowadays and that there is a good chance he won’t get any six-figure action afterwards.</p> <p>The British cash player also talked about Macau unknown ‘MalACEsia,’ who basically resurrected the No Limit Hold’Em nosebleeds stakes in March. After losing almost $3.78 million in 2013, the Macau gambler returned to the virtual poker felt in the last couple of weeks and surprised a lot of people with his improved game, including Millar:</p> <p><blockquote>He improved a lot as he played and by the end there were even times when I was playing three-handed with him and one other and nobody else would join.</blockquote></p> <p>The unknown from Macau didn’t play that much in April because of that. According to HighStakesDB, he played only 452 hands in the last week on Full Tilt, losing over $64k. He also played 768 hands on PokerStars and leaked $88k.</p> <p>As for Millar, he is in the green on both sites, cashing in over $150k in April so far.</p> <p>The second action seeker who took a break from the online games to talk about high stakes is the all-time online biggest loser <strong>Gus Hansen</strong>. Surprisingly, he said in a <a href="" target="_blank">PokerStrategy interview</a> that he actually does care about the money although the leaderboard shows a big eight-figure red number in front of him: $17,657,051 lost on FTP since 2007. Despite the number, Hansen stated in the interview that he still can afford to lose.</p> <p>He also spoke about the famous Macau private games and confirmed that the pots can go as high as $5 million:</p> <p><blockquote>It’s a big game. I mean obviously when you play No Limit and people are fresh, they like to gamble. When you play blinds of $1,300/$2,600, everybody buys-in for 100 big blinds and stacks get deeper and deeper and sometimes people play with a live straddle, obviously it gets very big.</blockquote></p> <p>Moreover, the Dane gave the poker community a hint about why he can still afford to lose online. <em>“At least, I’ve been doing well in those games,”</em> Hansen explained.</p> <p>And those losses keep piling up. He started April in the red-zone by leaking $326,734 in 2,132 hands. Overall in 2014, Hansen is on top of the biggest online losers’ leaderboard with -$2,784,306. Only he and China-based ‘samrostan’ have a seven-digit losing mark this year.</p> <p>As for the biggest winners, <strong>Daniel</strong> ‘jungleman12’ <strong>Cates </strong>is in front in 2014 with $1,026,236. However, big names like <strong>Ben </strong>‘Bttech86’ <strong>Tollerene</strong>, <strong>Niklas </strong>‘ragen70’ <strong>Heinecker</strong>, <strong>Alexander </strong>‘PostflopAction’ <strong>Kostritsyn</strong>, and <strong>Kyle </strong>‘cottonseed1’ <strong>Hendon </strong>opted out from having their long-term results displayed on HighStakesDB, so the yearly leaderboard isn’t that accurate anymore.</p> <p>Tollerene, for example, enjoyed a very good start to the year and since opting out we can only see his short-term results. The same applies to Heinecker, who was red-hot during a three-day span. He won $1.4 million in three days by hammering his opposition at the $2,000/$4,000 2-7 Triple Draw and Limit Omaha 8-or-Better poker tables. He is up $485,233 in the last seven days. Where would they have been in the rankings if they hadn’t opted out?</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 19:27:46 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2721 Rafael Nadal to Battle Vanessa Selbst Heads-up Rafael Nadal to Battle Vanessa Selbst Heads-up <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile Rafael Nadal is accustomed to taking on only one opponent on the tennis court, his competition on the poker tables thus far has not focused on one-on-one battles. That will change on April 11 when the 'King of Clay' takes on poker's top female live tournament money winner, Vanessa Selbst.</p> <p>Nadal has passed every test on the felt to this date, the most recent being last month when he Zoomed his way to victory on PokerStars play-money fast-fold tables against any and all challengers during a one-hour session. That followed a similar contest on in January for real-money low-stakes at which Nadal proved successful against his fellow Spaniards.</p> <p>Just one month earlier, the 27-year-old tennis star won his first live poker tournament at a charity event in Prague. He managed to best a field that included Italian skier Alberto Tomba, Ukrainian footballer Andriy Shevchenko, Brazilian football star Ronaldo, and PokerStars' top Team Pro and ambassador, Daniel Negreanu.</p> <p>Nadal's latest challenge will be a heads-up match against Selbst at the Casino de Monte Carlo this Friday, reported. Their paths will cross as Nadal competes at an ATP tour stop in Monte Carlo while Selbst is scheduled to play the EPT in San Remo.</p> <p><blockquote>I have been playing poker online for almost two years and now I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing against Vanessa,” said the affable Nadal. “It’s no secret that I love the competition and that’s what I like about poker. It’s a game of skill that requires mental strength and the ability to out-think your opponents, and in that way there are similarities to tennis."</blockquote></p> <p>Not too many players can out-think Selbst, who completed undergrad work at MIT and found the time to earn a law degree from Yale University in-between earning over $9 million in live tournament play. The Team PokerStars Pro is aiming to add to her career cashes at the EPT, but will also battle Nadal one-on-one in what promises to be a fun event.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 16:46:57 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2720 William Hill Poker Room Review William Hill Poker Room Review <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong>Software</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>William Hill is currently part of the iPoker network, which means they use the same software as all the other rooms on the network. With the most recent face-lifting, poker now looks pretty good and allows for easy searching between different game types (sng, cash games, tournaments). There are all the standard options at the tables, including four-colored deck and pre-made avatars.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>One of the biggest complaints is a lack of stability, as software is prone to longer disconnects if your connection is not perfect. The issues with the time bank have also been fixed so it can now be set to start automatically once your time expires. Synchronized tournament breaks have finally been introduced by the network. </span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><blockquote>''</span><span><em>Being part of the iPoker network, William Hill's software is decent, with a few stability issues.''</blockquote></em></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><em><br/></em></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong>Game selection</strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>William Hill is one of the flagship rooms of iPoker2 along with other big names such as Titan Poker and Betfair. This guarantees a lot of cash tables running during most of the day all the way up to NL600, especially during peak hours. Higher games run sometimes, but they are not quite as regular. There are also Speed Poker games with a decent number of players during good hours.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><span style="text-align: justify;"><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img left"/></a></span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Selection of tournaments on iPoker has always been somewhat weak, apart from their big series' or weekly events. Those looking for micro and small stakes tournament action may have a hard time filling their schedules, as tournaments offered are mostly rebuys. Sit and go traffic is not great, but at the right times you can play a decent number of games.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><blockquote>''Being part of </span><span><em>the iPoker Network means William Hill offers a large number of small and mid stakes cash games.''</blockquote></em></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block"> Sign Up to WilliamHill </a></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><em><br/></em></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong>Game Softness</strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Small and medium stakes cash games on William Hill have a large player pool and tend to be on the softer side, as the massive amounts of sports betting and casino players William Hill are famous for find there way into the poker room. William Hill also offers </span>anonymous games that appeal to casual players, as no tracking software or table selection is available.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>The fast-fold option at iPoker is Speed Poker and those tables can be highly-populated with solid regulars so should maybe be avoided. Sit and gos and tournaments have a very soft field and can offer big returns if played correctly.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><blockquote>''</span><span><em>With casino and sports betting offered alongside the poker room, William Hill offers some very soft low stakes cash games.''</blockquote></em></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong>Deposit Methods and Cashout Speed</strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>William Hill offers a variety of deposit methods, including some of the most popular eWallets like Skrill, Neteller and Clickandbuy. Apart from this, players can also deposit using their credit cards, bank transfer or even Western Union. Minimum deposit for eWallets is $20, except for Neteller, which is $15. Other methods allow for minimum deposits of $10. If your account is in a different currency, then the equivalent amounts will be applied for your currency.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Cashouts can usually be done via methods used for deposits. Withdrawals made to eWallets usually take 24-48 hours to complete, while other types of withdrawals, like credit cards, may take 2-5 business days, with 3-4 days being somewhat standard.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong>Security / Support</strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Being one of the largest bookmakers in the U.K., players can rest assured that their money is safe with William Hill. Logging in is a one stage security process whereby only username and password are required. Once logged in, there is a player protection feature that enables you to set stop/loss limits, deposit limits or exclude yourself from the games for a set period of time.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Support can always be contacted by email or telephone and response times are generally very fast. William Hill Poker customers benefit from being part of one of the largest and most trusted bookmakers in the U.K.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong>Check out William Hill's software in action below.</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY">pokertube:william-hill-and-pokertube-samsung-g4-final;</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:29:03 +0000 Ross Clark 2718 Sky Poker Review Sky Poker Review <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Software</span></strong></p> <p>Sky Poker is a part of the Sky Broadcasting company, and as such, is a fully independent poker room. It was initially only offered as a web client, but now there is the downloadable version available as well. The software requires Adobe Air to run, so it may take a bit longer to go through the installation process. But once completed, it is quite easy to navigate without too much unnecessary information floating around.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: normal;">One of the biggest perks of the Sky Poker software are their TV tables that feature hands that were played on Sky Poker TV available across the UK. As far as multi-tabling goes, players can play up to four tables at the same time, so it is not geared toward the heavy-duty grinders.<br/></span><span style="font-weight: normal;"> </span><span style="font-weight: normal;"><strong><blockquote>''<em>Sky offers decent software, complimented by the in-browser play that requires no download.''</blockquote></em></strong></span></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Selection</span></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="font-weight: normal;">Sky Poker attracts a decent number of players, especially during the European peak hours. Offered cash tables run as high as NL £10/20, but the games that run regularly are up to NL 200. Smaller stakes tables usually offer plenty of action. All games are played in British Pounds, so that makes the stakes a bit higher than most rooms offering $ or € tables.</span></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="font-weight: normal;">The number of tournaments offered is decent, although they mostly feature the smaller guaranteed prize pools. As of late, Sky Poker have also introduced timed poker tournaments for players who like that format. For those looking for other games, Sky also offers Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo tables, although the traffic for these is quite limited.<br/></span></strong><strong><em><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><blockquote>''Smaller stakes cash games have a soft and large field.''</blockquote><br/></span></span></em></strong><strong><em><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img large"/></a></span></span></em></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Softness</span></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="font-weight: normal;">Competition is mostly soft. The site offers casino and online betting features as well as their poker games, so there are many players who come to the tables simply looking for some fun and excitement without any real poker experience. Add the TV tables feature into the mix and you get a lot of people who are only there “for the glory,” meaning that making some money at the tables shouldn’t represent too much of a challenge.<br/></span></strong><strong><em><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><blockquote>''Sky Poker offers some of the softest low stakes cash games as the companies ban on the use of huds appeals to casual players.''</blockquote></span></span></em></strong></p> <p><span style="text-align: justify;"><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block"> Sign Up to Sky Poker </a></span></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Deposit Methods and Cashout Speed</span></strong></p> <p><strong><strong><span style="font-weight: normal;">You can use a variety of options to fund your poker account, including a majority of the most popular credit cards as well as online eWallets like Skrill, Neteller and PayPal. The minimum deposit is £5 or the equivalent in your currency. </span></strong></strong><strong><strong><span style="font-weight: normal;">Cashouts can be done via the same methods used for deposits.</span></strong></strong></p> <p><strong><strong><span style="font-weight: normal;">One thing to be aware of is the Sky Poker policy on 'Held funds.' What this means is that you will not be able to withdraw any of your poker winnings from the past 24 hours. The 24-hour period is used to check for any fraudulent activities and although these funds are only available for withdrawal after 24 hours have expired, they can be used to play poker in the meantime. Withdrawals to credit cards take between 2 – 5 business days, while the cashouts to eWallets are usually processed within the day. The minimum withdrawal amount is £10 or the equivalent in your currency.</span></strong></strong></p> <p> </p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Security/Support</strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>As mentioned already, Sky Poker has some features in place that try to ensure that fraudulent activities are detected before the money is released to any user involved in such activities. As for support, it is mainly done through emails, although there is an extensive FAQ section on the website dealing with some of the most common issues users may encounter.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>They also feature a community with blogs and forums where users can ask about anything related to software and discuss issues among themselves. </span>Priority Members (based on the play volume) receive some extra perks in terms of support, like the early payments of their Sky Poker Rewards and a Priority phone number for real-time support at any time. </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong>Check Out Sky's software in action below.</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY">pokertube:sky-poker-1000-added-241213;</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 10:11:30 +0000 Ross Clark 2716 Stan James Poker Review Stan James Poker Review <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Software</span></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>As part of the Microgaming Network, Stan James is able to offer their customers poker games using one of the more popular platforms in today’s online environment. It offers both a downloadable version as well as the instant-play option that only requires a browser and Internet access. One difference about Stan James in relation to other sites on the network is the fact that players can only play four cash game tables simultaneously.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span> Other than that, the software is pretty smooth and easy to navigate. There is also a rabbit cam feature to see the next card on the turn or river after the cards have been folded. Although there is nothing particularly exceptional about the software, it offers everything that is needed to have an overall good and smooth experience at the tables.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><blockquote>''<em>Decent software is limited by the fact you can only play up to a maximum of 4 cash games at a time.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><em><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img left"/></a></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><em><br/></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game selection</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Stan James offers a selection between Hold’em and Omaha games. Although there are tables offering as high as €50/100 games, the highest stakes that attract a decent number of players are NL600 (3/6). Sit and goes come in a couple of varieties including HU, 6-max and 9-max games, with OK traffic especially during peak hours. Scheduled tournaments are not amongst the best offerings that exist but there are some games that cater to different types of players, including a big €100k guaranteed tournament on Sundays.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><blockquote>''<em>Cash games have good traffic up to 3/6 whilst tournaments have a weaker selection.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Softness</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>The room is much more renowned for its presence in the world of sports betting and the addition of poker tables to the mix is certain to attract some of those players as well. This makes for some soft and easy-to-beat games across many levels, which is not that common in today’s online poker climate.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><blockquote>''<em>Due to its massive sports betting offering attracting total beginners, Stan James offers one of the softest fields around.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><em><span style="text-align: justify;"><a href="</span><span style="text-align: justify" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block"> Sign Up to StanJames Poker </a>">;</span><br/></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Deposit Methods and Cashout Speed</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>There are numerous options available for deposits on Stan James, including Neteller, Skrill, InstaCash, Citadel and Paysafe. Of course, players can fund their accounts using credit cards or direct bank transfers as well.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Withdrawals can be performed via all these methods and players depositing via their banks can also request a cashout using Western Union. Cashout times are standard for the industry, with 2-5 business days for card withdrawals and 24-48 hours for online wallets. Overall, the waiting time for cashouts is very good and is usually on the shorter side of the time limits.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Security / Support</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Stan James has been in the sports betting busines</span>s for a very long time and has a great reputation in the UK. Their most recent addition of poker tables is simply an expansion into new markets, and hence, they are amongst the more reputable sites out there when it comes to dealing with players and their money.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Support can be reached via several means including email and a live chat feature. Response times are quite fast and usually have a good grasp on user inquiries. There are also toll-free telephone numbers allowing for quick contact with regard to any and all issues.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong>Check Out Stan James' software in action below.</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>pokertube:stanjames-monday-madness-1-pokertube-added-tourneys;</span></p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 09:52:13 +0000 Ross Clark 2715 Redemption! Last Year’s Runner-Up Chane Kampanatsanyakorn Wins APPT8 Seoul Redemption! Last Year’s Runner-Up Chane Kampanatsanyakorn Wins APPT8 Seoul <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter being so close to winning last year’s Asia Pacific Poker Tour Seoul Main Event, <strong>Chane Kampanatsanyakorn</strong> got his revenge in 2014 and became the first player from Thailand to win an APPT Main Event.</p> <p>He was the last man standing, beating a field of 256 players from all over the world - from Australia, Japan, and Mongolia, to Romania, USA, and Canada. But surprisingly, no South Koreans. They are not allowed to enter the casinos, according to South Korean laws. Only foreigners can play there and this special event wasn’t an exception.</p> <p>The final day started steaming as 24 competitors gathered up to finish the business in Seoul. It took around six hours to narrow the field to just nine. The unfortunate final table bubble boy was American <strong>Jeff Holbrook</strong>, who started the day in the lead. He couldn’t win a flip and busted out after his #10s#10c hand was called by #as#kd.</p> <p>After just a 30-minute break, the final niners were in the heat of the action again. Four players were representing Japan, while three others were North American. Among them was chip leader <strong>Samantha Cohen</strong>. She had a decent cash of almost $127,000 in last year’s Aussie Million Poker Championship when she finished eighth.</p> <p>The Japanese were the first to leave the table. <strong>Kosaku Akashi</strong> ($14,600) and <strong>Makoto Yoshimichi</strong> ($19,500) finished ninth and eighth, respectively, after running into #ad#as. They both moved all-in in the same hand and couldn’t do anything as <strong>Shinya Umano</strong> took all their chips with the magic bullets.</p> <p><strong>Keiichiro Sugimoto</strong> ($24,400) followed them after three-betting all-in with #ah#5c. But it was not the initial raiser, <strong>Christian Haggart</strong> who called him; <strong>Sam Cohen</strong> jammed his stack, isolating the Japanese with #ad#qd.</p> <p>The all-in frenzy continued with four double-ups. The fifth all-in, however, was an unlucky one for <strong>John Marshall</strong>, an American who set his headquarters in South Korea. He raised his entire stack pre-flop with #ad#jc and was called by <strong>Winfred Yu</strong>, who held a bigger hand, #ac#qs. Sixth place brought Marshall a decent prize of almost $31,000.</p> <p>Fifth place belonged to Yu ($39,000) after busting out in a #qh#jd vs. #ah#js battle. A few hands later, the last Japanese at the final table, <strong>Shinya Umano</strong> ($47,000), hit the rail losing his race with #8c#8h. Haggart was the player who eliminated both Yu and Umano.</p> <p>Three-handed play lasted just ten minutes before the action was paused for a potential deal. Eventually, the deal was struck with chip leader Haggart taking top prize ($132,000), while Kampanatsanyakorn took $114,000 and shortstack Cohen settled for around $82,000.</p> <p>Of course, there was still some money left ($28,500), plus a HK$100,000 entry to the 2014 ACOP Macau Main Event to play for. Cohen didn’t waste any time and busted out after the deal by the hands of the future winner. And after 90 more minutes, Kampanatsanyakorn eliminated the last player in his way with a special hand, the very best in No-Limit Hold’Em - #ad#ah. <em>“You’re a good man and you played really awesome,”</em> Haggart congratulated the Thai player, according to PokerNews Live Reporting.</p> <p>Congratulations to Chane Kampanatsanyakorn on winning the 15-hour poker marathon. His place in the 2014 ACOP Main Event is now secured. How well will he handle Macau between November 3 and 8, 2014?</p> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 20:06:25 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2714 WPN's 'The Beast' Promo Offers Better Value WPN's 'The Beast' Promo Offers Better Value <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline grinders who enjoy leaderboard races in which thousands of dollars and free tournament entries can be won will be pleased to know that the structure of the Winning Poker Network's 'The Beast' promotion has been revamped to offer better value to players.</p> <p>The announcement was made weeks ago to remove the fee that had been charged to players in order to fund The Beast. That fee has since been removed effective April 5 and The Beast is now fully-funded by the rake taken from each pot at no additional cost to players.</p> <p>In essence, players at the network skins of Black Chip Poker, Americas Cardroom and True Poker will see increased value since they are no longer contributing to fund the "jackpot" of sorts. Another major structural change is that all cash tables are now part of The Beast promotion, whereas prior to April 5, The Beast tables were separate from tables that were not part of the promotion.</p> <p>In other words, all cash players including those at heads-up tables are now eligible to win prizes in the progressive points race. The Beast runs on a weekly basis, beginning each Saturday at 00:00 and concluding at 23:59 the following Friday.</p> <p>The Black Chip Poker website clearly spells out how The Beast is fed according to the number of players competing at each cash table. If only two players are seated, every $0.06 in rake will see $0.02 go to The Beast up to a maximum of $0.04. The same $0.02 of every $0.06 holds true for three seated players, except the maximum take for The Beast is $0.08. A table with four or more players, the max is kicked up to $0.24.</p> <p><blockquote>The changes to The Beast are right on the money," said former leaderboard champion 'MamaCoolj.' "When The Beast drop comes out of the rake, any Beast payout is gravy."</blockquote></p> <p>The new structure of The Beast promotion may entice some new players who had previously been turned off by the added fee taken to fund the jackpot. It is quite possible that player traffic at WPN, which accepts players worldwide including the U.S., may get a boost due to the promo offering more by taking less.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 16:09:17 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2713 State Lawmaker Organization Opposes Ban on Online Gambling State Lawmaker Organization Opposes Ban on Online Gambling <p><span class="letter-big">L</span>ast week's federal proposal to ban online gambling is receiving increased opposition as the latest organization to voice their disapproval to Sheldon Adelson's crusade is the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).</p> <p>The NCSL penned a letter denouncing the Restoration of America’s Wire Act that was introduced about 10 days age by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The letter was sent to each member of Congress and calls the anti-online gambling measure "a solution seeking a problem."</p> <p>Graham and Chaffetz are attempting to further the efforts of Adelson's Coalition to Stop Interrnet Gambling with the proposal that takes aim at the DoJ's re-clarification of the Wire Act in 2011. It was that ruling that permitted states to follow the road currently being traveled that calls for each to decide on their own whether or not to enact online poker and gambling legislation.</p> <p>With Oregon Sen. Bruce Starr leading the way, the NCSL believes that the "sovereignty of states" should be respected and takes offense at the attempted prohibition as outlined in the Graham-Chaffetz proposal. The NCSL is not alone in that regard, as the Fraternal Order of Police, North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, and the Democratic Governors Association have all spoken out against Adelson and the bill attempting to ban Internet wagering.</p> <p><blockquote>States have proven that they are effective regulators of the gambling industry, and the proponents of this legislation fail to make a case that we have been negligent in our responsibilities to the industry and consumers," said the NCSL letter.</blockquote></p> <p>As pointed out by Sen. Starr, NCSL president, states such as Utah that do not approve of online gambling are certainly free to not enact online gambling legislation. But those that do, such as Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and others that may be considering igaming regulations should have the right to do so.</p> <p><blockquote>This is the way it should work, each state making the decision that is best suited to the desires of its residents and not through a congressional mandate," the letter stated.</blockquote></p> <p>Adelson's coalition was formed in December and has been a burr in the side of online gambling advocates ever since. With unlimited wealth at his disposal, the 80-year-old billionaire has made it his goal to destroy the proliferation of Internet gambling in the U.S. The Las Vegas Sands CEO is said to have dumped nearly $100 million in donations to Republican candidates that failed to collect a majority of votes in the 2012 elections.</p> <p>A better time for Adelson to begin his crusade might have been just after an opinion was issued on the Wire Act in 2011 and before states had already begun creating laws in favor of Internet gambling. Three states launching regulated gaming sites in 2013, with perhaps a dozen more state legislatures currently debating the issue.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 21:26:36 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2712 PokerStars Review PokerStars Review <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Software</span></strong></p> <p>PokerStars has arguably the best software in the industry. The main lobby is arranged in such a way as to provide easy access to the exact game type you are looking for, and for fine-tuning there are also numerous filters for buy-in levels, table sizes, etc. The software is optimized to run well on most computers, even those with rather low performances. Tables are fast and multi-tabling even a great number of tables won’t cause problems for most computers. Limits for multiple tables are such that they will meet the needs of 99% of the players (usually up to 24 cash tables at a time). </p> <p>There are numerous customization options to make your table backgrounds and card appearance more to your liking, and betting buttons can also be adjusted to reflect different values in relation to the blinds or pot size. The software also includes a neat option for home games where you can create private tables and tournaments and even entire leagues. </p> <p><blockquote>''Widely seen as the best software in the industry.''</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game selection</span></strong></p> <p>No other single room offers the range of games that PokerStars does. Apart from standard variations of Hold’em and Omaha games, there are also 7-Card Stud tables, 7CS Hi/Lo, Razz, 5-Card Draw, Badugi, 2-7 Single and Triple Draw, as well as mixed games like HORSE and 8-game.</p> <p>Buy-in levels range from $0.01/0.02 tables all the way up to $200/400 for NL and PL games, and up to $1000/2000 for limit games. There is always plenty of action throughout the stakes, with the highest stakes games running reasonably frequently. Zoom cash tables are also offered for those looking for fast-paced action.</p> <p>The sit and go offering is also very versatile with regard to both number of players and types of games. Popular sit and goes go off very often, so waiting time is really reduced to a minimum.</p> <p>For multi-table tournaments, Stars has no real competition. From the smallest to the highest buy-ins, they offer a variety of games and big prize pools to players and are definitely the number one site for online tournaments.</p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img large"/></a></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Softness</span></strong></p> <p>The quality of players at PokerStars varies greatly depending on your preferred format and stakes. Some of the games like MTTs are quite soft as they attract a great number of players just starting their poker journey or simply playing for fun. Sngs, on the other hand, especially certain formats, are heavily-populated with regulars and unless you are a very experienced player yourself, you might have a hard time beating those games. Cash tables are quite soft at lower limits, but become increasingly difficult as you climb through the levels.</p> <p><blockquote>''PokerStars has the biggest and best tournaments on offer, but for cash grinders, the player pool gets significantly tougher at the mi-high stakes.''</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block">Sign up to Pokerstars </a></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Deposit Methods and Cashout Speed</span></strong></p> <p>Depending on your place of residence, PokerStars offer a long list of deposit options available to their players. Some of the more popular include Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, as well as a variety of credit cards. You can also fund your account using local bank transfer.</p> <p>Withdrawal options include all of the deposit methods, plus a few more, as you can cashout using direct bank transfers or checks. Withdrawal times are among the fastest in the industry, as withdrawals to online wallets are usually processed within a couple of hours (in most cases under an hour), while for the other methods, like credit cards, the usual 2-5 days waiting period is required as it is more connected to banks than to the poker room.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Security / Support</span></strong></p> <p>Not only does PokerStars software have different certificates confirming its fairness, but they have proven with their past actions that the safety of player funds is a high priority. During some of the relatively recent changes they have introduced other layers of security for their users as well, so now, instead of just a user name/password combination, you can also protect your account with a secret pin. For those who require more safety, there are also security tokens that can be ordered from the store, and for some countries they’ve started introducing verification via cell phones.</p> <p>Support has always been very good. Although the room doesn’t offer a live chat function in the client or on the web page, emails are always answered within a couple of hours and are usually directed to proper departments if the general support team is unable to offer satisfying answers to your queries or concerns.</p> <p><blockquote>''PokerStars is widely regarded as one of the most trusted sites in the industry.''</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Watch action below from the PokerStars client.</strong></p> <p><strong><br/></strong></p> <p>POKERTUBE:pokerstars-215-pca-satellite-161113;</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:13:32 +0000 Ross Clark 2711 PartyPoker Review PartyPoker Review <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Software</span></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Party Poker has certainly come a long way in regards to their software. In the past it was quite hard to use and users experienced frequent crashes, but the new software is much more user-friendly and solid overall, with easy to navigate lobbies for cash games, sngs and tournaments, arranged according to buyin levels. Other options include upload of customized avatars and a real time hand replayer in case you’ve missed the action at a table.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span> There are also synchronized tournament breaks as well as an option to have your hand histories emailed to you, which can come quite convenient at times. It also features badges for completed missions and achievements. Apart from the PC version, there is also a mobile client, as well as an option to play without a download.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><blockquote>''<em>Recent improvements to the software bring it up to par with other top poker rooms.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game selection</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>PartyPoker attracts a great number of players, which means that game selection for Hold’em and Omaha is very good all the way to the higher limits. There is also a ‘fastforward’ poker, another variation of fast-fold tables where you get dealt into a new hand as soon as you fold. Heads-up players will find a lot of action, especially at higher limits, as there are always games running as high as $5/10. Party also offers some nice tournaments like their weekly $215 buy-in $200k guaranteed and $530 High Roller with $100k guaranteed prize pool.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><blockquote>''<em>Party offers a wide variety of games with a large player pool.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block">Sign up to PartyPoker </a></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img large"/></a></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Softness</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>The room has always been one of the favorite places for new and i</span>nexperienced players. Due to this fact, PartyPoker probably offers some of the softest games around, even at the higher stakes. In fact, this distinction was so prominent that for a period of time during 2013, they’ve tried to segregate novice players from more experienced grinders. They have since revoked this decision and segregation is no longer in place, as they were facing a lot of heat from the online poker community. This means that as things stand now, PartyPoker continues to offer soft games with a lot of inexperienced players hitting the virtual felt, but there are also some experienced grinders at higher levels.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><em><blockquote>''PartyPoker offers some of the softest games around.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Deposit Methods and Cashout Speed</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Party has all the standard deposit options like Skrill, Neteller and other eWallets. Other than these, there are also credit cards, bank transfers, checks and Western Union.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>The same options are offered for cashouts, but there is a twist there. PartyPoker charges players for withdrawals to eWallets an uncapped fee of 3% in order to absorb the fee that wallets charge them for these withdrawals. Credit card withdrawals are still free, but they normally require a successful deposit using this method. The standard withdrawal times are 2 -5 days for most options apart from the check withdrawals, which take 7 – 20 days and have a fixed fee of $5 per check.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Security / Support</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>PartyPoker offers an extra layer of security at login in the form of a security token for those who opt to get it from the store. Also, their security team has been known to work diligently on breaking collusion and cheating rings in the past, so in this regard the security team has a really good reputation. All the financial transactions as well as the game information are protected with 128-bit encryption.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>As for support, there is live online support as well as the toll-free number for customers, but players’ experiences are somewhat mixed. Although the response is instantaneous, it was often not very satisfying or relevant to the problem at hand, so the support department might need to up their game a bit.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong>An example of PartyPoker's software in action.</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY">POKERTUBE:party-poker-bankroll-challenge-from-100-to-22368;</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:17:58 +0000 Ross Clark 2710 Bwin Poker Review Bwin Poker Review <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Software</span></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;">As one of the rooms with the longest presence in the online community, Bwin has made the move from the Ongame to the Party Network, and in the process it inherited the improved Party software together with a big player pool. The software is available as both a downloadable version and the browser client, and there is also a mobile instance. The software is also available to Mac users. Tables look really good and with very customizable cards and avatars, it offers an enjoyable experience, even if it is nothing unheard of before. Other capabilities include taking notes on players. The concept of missions and achievements that has been implemented throughout the program adds another layer to the games, making for a more competitive environment. Multi-tablers can play up to 12 tables simultaneously.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><blockquote>''<em>The recent move to the party network mean Bwin benefits from the new and improved software.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><em><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img large"/></a></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game selection</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Offered games include NL, PL and Fixed Limit Hold’em, PL Omaha (including Hi/Lo), as well as Fixed Limit 7-Card Stud. While Hold’em and Omaha games run as low as $0.01/0.02 and up to $5/10, Stud tables start off at $0.50/1 and run as high as $30/60. Interestingly enough, although there is still plenty of action at lower limits, there seems to be a bigger concentration of the player pool at higher limits, ranging from NL50 to NL1000, with numerous tables running throughout the day. There are also “fastforward” tables (Speed Hold’em variation) running as high as $1/2, but they are not as popular as regular tables. Sit and go buy-ins range from $0.10 all the way up to $5000, but the traffic is considerably lower than on the cash tables. The tournament schedule is very solid for different buy-in levels, with good guarantees.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><blockquote>''<em>Decent cash and good tournaments whilst sit and gos suffer from a low player pool.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block">Sign up to bwin now </a></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Softness</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>According to reviews and people who put in more volume at the room, Bwin is not amongst the softest out there, as it seems to attract more serious players interested in higher stakes action. For those looking for easy bucks and soft games, Bwin might not be the best choice, but those looking for some competition and higher level games will probably feel at home.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><blockquote>''<em>Those playing at higher stakes will enjoy Bwins offering.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Deposit Methods and Cashout Speed</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Deposits to Bwin can be made using eWallets like Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, Clicktopay, as well as credit cards and direct bank transfer. There are also other options like uCash and Instadebit, Western Union, and myriad other choices. The list is actually quite impressive, although not all options are available to all users, depending on their place of residence.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Many of these methods can also be used for withdrawal. Processing times for cashouts using some of the most popular eWallets like Skrill are usually 24-48 hours, while credit card and bank transfers take between 2 – 5 days, as is standard in the industry.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Security / Support</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Bwin is a member of EGBA (European Gambling &amp; Betting Association), and as such, is subject to a certain Code of Conduct which involves participation of independent inspection bodies in charge of verifying fairness and safety of provided games.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Support is offered in the form of a very extensive FAQ section on the web site, as well as a mailing form which sends your inquiries directly to the support team. There are also telephone numbers that can be used during working days (Mon - Fri). The response from support is usually fast and efficient.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span> </span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY">An example of a tournament played on Bwin's software.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>POKERTUBE:pokertubebwin-july-31st-14;</span></p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:11:24 +0000 Ross Clark 2709 Black Chip Poker Review Black Chip Poker Review <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Software</span></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Black Chip Poker is the part of the Winning Poker Network. The software does not offer anything extra innovative, but it does look pretty good overall. Games can easily be filtered for different types of cash games, tournaments or sngs. One thing that takes getting used to is that clicking on the “tournaments” tab opens a new window with the tournament schedule. Options in regards to the game play are not very rich, but there are all of the basic necessary things, like waiting lists for cash games and four-colored deck, as well as players’ notes functionality. Although the overall impression of the software is a good one, the font in the lobbies seems a bit small.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><blockquote>''<em>As part of the winning poker network, Black Chips software is good overall.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game selection</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>The room offers a variety of different games, from standard NL and FL Hold’em and Omaha/Omaha Hi/Lo games, to games like 7-Card Stud, together with Hi/Lo variation, 32-Card Poker and Telesina. As for the cash games, Hold’em and Omaha tables go up to $25/50 levels, but there doesn’t seem to be much traffic above NL100. During the peak hours, NL200 and NL400 tables also run. There is a variety of sit and goes as well, in terms of both games and buy-in levels. As with the majority of smaller rooms, traffic for sngs is not too high. Scheduled tournaments offer a decent selection of games for different bankrolls and with reasonable guaranteed prize pools.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><blockquote>''<em>The room offers a decent and varied selection of games.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block">Sign up to BlackChip Now </a></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Softness</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Black Chip Poker is one of the few sites still catering to American players, meaning that there will be quite a few recreational players just looking for their favorite games to pass some time. That said, there are also some serious players who have found their home on BCP, so it is probably not the softest site out there. In addition to this, most traffic happens on The Beast or BBJ tables where rake is higher, so it may make games more difficult to beat.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><blockquote>''<em>Black chip is not the softest site around.''</blockquote></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span><strong>Deposit Methods an</strong></span><strong>d Cashout Speed</strong></span></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Depending on your place of residence, different options are available for deposits and cashouts. Black Chip Poker enables you to fund your account through numerous eWallets, credit cards and via bank transfers. For US-based customers, available options include Visa and Master Card and online bank transfers. Minimum amount to deposit is $50.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>As for withdrawals, if you’ve used an eWallet to make your deposit, this is where your money will be sent, and minimum withdrawal for this method is $50. Check withdrawals are also an option, with minimum of $100 and maximum of $2,995. Users are entitled to one free check in any 30-day period, with additional checks subject to a $65 fee. Another option offered by Black Chip is their own prepaid debit card that can be obtained from the room. According to their site, all cashouts are processed the day after the request but are subject to review and may take up to 15 days. When American players are concerned, BCP offers some of the fastest cashouts currently available to them from the non-restricted rooms.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Security / Support</span></em></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Black Chip Poker has a security team devoted to 24/7 surveillance of their games in order to ensure fairness and put a stop to any type of collusion or partnership between players. As far as the support to the players goes, there is a FAQ section on the site dealing with the most frequent issues customers might face. If you cannot find what you need there, you can send them an email, which is usually answered within 24 hours, or click on the “Call support” option in the client, after which you will be taken to the web page and have a chance to talk to a support agent in real time.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong>An example of Black Chip software in action.</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>POKERTUBE:shorthanded-200nl-review;</span></p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:05:18 +0000 Ross Clark 2708 Bet Victor Poker Review Bet Victor Poker Review <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Software</span></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;">After the Entraction network closed in 2012, Bet Victor (formerly Victor Chandler Poker) has become part of Microgaming, meaning their software is similar to numerous other rooms in this big network. The interface has experienced some improvements during the past year or so and the software now offers easy access to different lobbies for cash games, tournaments and sngs, with additional filters for different game types and stakes limits.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>There is also an option to play directly from your browser without a download. The tables are quite fast and include standard options, like custom avatars and a four-colored deck. However, multi-tabling can be a bit of an issue, especially on slower computers. A mobile version of the software is also available for the majority of popular devices.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong><blockquote>''<em>Bet Victor offers user friendly software and easy game selection.''</blockquote></em></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><em><br/></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game selection</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Cash game tables at Bet Victor run up to NL €50/100, and the highest stakes games do run from time-to-time, but the majority of the action happens at levels up to NL200. For those who prefer faster-paced games, there is Blaze Poker (Microgaming’s Rush Poker variation), but the highest offered stakes are NL50, and apart from NL10, there doesn’t seem to be any action at Blaze tables.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Other than that, as of right now, tracking programs like PT or HM are not supported on these tables, so that’s not very appealing to cash game grinders. Apart from the standard Hold’em and Omaha games, Bet Victor also offers 7 and 5-Card Stud, Razz and 5-Card draw games. Sng traffic is acceptable, especially during the peak hours, although there is some down time, especially waiting for the higher buy-in games to fill. The tournament offering is not very rich and probably won’t attract many seasoned MTT players, but it does mean the games are softer as well.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong><br/></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong><blockquote>''<em>Bet Victor offers the highest cash games and a large player pool for the low to mid stakes cash game players.''</blockquote></em></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong><em><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img large"/></a></em></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Softness</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>The Microgaming Network, and thus Bet Victor Poker, attracts a lot of less-experienced and novice players looking to test their luck at the poker tables. There are some regular players scattered around, but there are also many amateurs who will make really bad plays regardless of whether you play cash games or tournaments. On top of that, most of the reg players do not seem to be very tough either.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><strong><blockquote>''<em>Bet Victor offers some of the softest player fields around.''</blockquote></em></strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block">Sign up to BetVictor Now </a></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Deposit Methods and Cashout Speed</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Bet Victor supports all of the standard deposit options including Skrill, Neteller and even PayPal, as far as the online processors go. For more traditional methods, there are credit cards, wire transfers from bank accounts, and Western Union.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Cashout times will depend on the selected withdrawal method. Credit cards usually take between 2-5 days, while payments to eWallets will mostly be made within 48 hours of the request, but the room has been known to process these requests within a couple of hours. UK and Northern Ireland-based players can also use BACS Network for withdrawals to their bank accounts and the usual waiting time is four days. Withdrawals via bank transfer can take up to 10 days for customers outside of UK (and may include some bank processing fees) and around 3 days for players from the UK.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br/></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Security / Support</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><strong><br/></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>The room’s security includes 128-bit encryption guaranteeing the safety of the information being sent. Their Random Number Generator is independently tested for fairness and the site has a very good reputation for quick payouts, often much faster than the time limits stated on their web page. End users can even require a copy of the RNG certificate for any particular game to be mailed to them by contacting Bet Victor.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span>Support-related queries are mostly carried out through email communication, with fast turnaround times. There is also a live support feature available through the web site, and support agents are usually available during business hours on working days.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY"><span><br/></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1500000000000001; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 10pt; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><strong>An example of BetVictor's software in action during a PokerTube Tournament.</strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.1500000000000001; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 10pt; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr">POKERTUBE:pokertube-betvictor-500-added-rebuy-18122013;</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 09:34:48 +0000 Ross Clark 2706 Howard Lederer Ridiculed in Comedic Rap Video Howard Lederer Ridiculed in Comedic Rap Video <p>U.S. Full Tilt players are in the midst of a remission process that has seen $81 million released by the Garden City Group thus far, but it hasn't stopped certain folks from continuing to take jabs at Howard Lederer.</p> <p>At the forefront of the mismanagement at Full Tilt, Lederer has been rumored to be itching to get back on the live felt at the WSOP this summer. That apparently led to Thomas 'SrslySirius' Keeling creating a humorous rap video in which "The Professor" is the subject of considerable ridicule.</p> <p>The song is titled "Without Me" and borrows from a single released by Eminem about a decade ago. Along with clever lyrics, the rap tune includes quotes from Lederer related to trust issues in the world of poker.</p> <p>The song's "hook" is quite catchy, the gist of which is that the poker world is just not the same without Howard at the tables. The video includes familiar faces in poker. Take a look by clicking at the bottom of this page.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 21:07:18 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2705 APPT8 Macau And Macau Poker Cup Schedules Set APPT8 Macau And Macau Poker Cup Schedules Set <p>Just half a month ago, Macau was hitting a new all-time high. <a href="" target="_blank">The 2014 Macau Millions got into the record books by becoming the biggest Asian poker tournament ever.</a></p> <p>Now, the city is getting ready for yet another chance to become part of poker history as the live tournament frenzy will return to the Las Vegas of Asia with two major Asia Pacific Poker Tour stops in 2014.</p> <p>The first stop – the APPT8 Macau, will take off on May 14, 2014. During a 12-day stretch, all the players visiting the City of Dreams poker room will have the possibility of being part of the festival, no matter the size of their pockets. From HK$170 ($22) satellites and HK$1,500 ($190) bounty tournaments to the HK$25,000 ($3,200) Main Event and the HK$100,000 ($12,900) High Roller, the APPT8 Macau will have it all.</p> <p>The second stop will take place between August 1 and 17, 2014 and will include 14 events as part of the 21st Macau Poker Cup (MPC). The HK$11,000 ($1,400) Red Dragon Main Event will return in the last month of the summer with a HK$5,000,000 ($645,000) guaranteed prize pool. Also, between August 14-15, the big spenders will clash in the HK$80,000 ($10,000) MPC High Roller.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">In the last MPC played in January 2014, Mongolian <strong>Buyanjargal Bold</strong> made a name for himself as the last man standing from a record-setting field of 995 players from all around Asia and Australia.</a> Who will be the next winner?</p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:23:47 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2702 Introducing Natasha Sandhu - New Host of PokerTube Introducing Natasha Sandhu - New Host of PokerTube <p><strong><em>Introducing a new blog series from Natasha Sandhu - The New Host of <a href="">PokerTube</a> </em></strong></p> <p><strong>"Natasha brings to the team a great energy and lovable charisma, along with a great inside knowledge of the poker high life!"</strong></p> <p><strong>PokerTube is The World's Largest Poker Media Website with over 20,000 Poker Videos, Community and Exclusive Promotions.</strong></p> <p><div class="cl"></div><div class="divider-article"></div></p> <p>I’m Natasha Sandhu, aka Tash. Who’s Tash you must be thinking? Im a 27-year-old food loving, dog loving, music, shopping and gossip loving, half English half Indian, over excitable, photo and selfie taking addict (I hope this sums me up a little).</p> <p>I have a happily married mum and dad, an older brother and a younger sister. My little sister is the VIP host for the Trickett room at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham at the minute so she is trying to get her head around the crazy world of poker!</p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img right"/></a></p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img right"/></a></p> <p>I used to work for Thomsons travel agents which I used to love. I left to go and work in Cyprus for 3 months and live with my brother whilst he had a bar there I had one of the best summers of my life! I have a business diploma and a diploma in wedding planning. I recently planned my first charity event, which successfully raised almost £16,000! I love to plan and organise!</p> <p><strong><em>Pocket Pair</em></strong></p> <p>Now you know a little about me you may or may not already know that I’m also the fiancée of professional poker player Sam Trickett. We have been together for 8 years now into our 9th year. We are very happy in our home together and have 2 amazing doggies, I support him whenever and wherever he needs me to and its my main priority to look after him (feed him).</p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img left"/></a></p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img left"/></a></p> <p><blockquote>I have been very lucky to be able to accompany Sam on the poker circuit to various places around the world, I have been there with him through the ups and downs.</blockquote></p> <p>We’ve had some amazing celebrations after tournaments, but there have also been some downs that I have been there with him for too. Poker can be very cruel sometimes! (Especially that river card!) Being a poker player can take up a lot of someone’s time and energy it’s important to be an understanding partner!</p> <p>Besides all the travelling and site seeing its not the nice restaurants and clubbing that me and Sam enjoy to do together the most its sitting at home on the sofa with a HUGE amount of junk food watching films!</p> <p><em><strong>PokerTube</strong></em></p> <p>I have joined forces with <a href=""><strong>PokerTube</strong></a> because I think I can offer you all something great. I am extremely lucky enough to travel a lot and see some amazing sites and visit some great places, as well as this I sometimes get a front row seat at some really exciting poker events, I would really love to share all this with you! <blockquote>I hope you will join me on my journeys via photos and videos, I can give you inside exclusives and exciting news. I will take you all with me wherever I go! Including the One drop at the WSOP in Vegas this year….I CAN NOT WAIT for this!!!</blockquote></p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img right"/></a></p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img right"/></a></p> <p>As well as this I am here to offer my advice and tips, If you are thinking of travelling the poker circuit I can offer travel and booking advice, the best places and times to book, also where I think is good to eat, what I think is good to do. You may have different tastes to me but I’m here to help!</p> <p><strong><em>Sharing memories</em></strong></p> <p>Before I go for now I just thought I would share with you one of my best memories from the poker circuit and travelling, it was Cannes 2011 when Sam won Partouche Poker Tour.</p> <p>It really meant a lot because a lot of our close friends and family flew over with it being a delayed final and it was one of the best weekends of my life! I will never forget it, its one of the best finals I’ve ever watched, the lay out and structure was great, the rail was amazing. My sister and me even made banners!</p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img right"/></a></p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img right"/></a></p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img right"/></a></p> <p>Boy did we celebrate at the Black Pearl that night! I really suffered the next day I do not know how I managed to fly home with the hangover I was suffering with! Sam was allowed to take the big novelty cheque home and I got it framed for him for the house. That really is a weekend ill never forget. </p> <p>We were regulars at a bar called the Black Pearl which was a great bar, we played drinking games for hours in there! And of course to top it all off Sam won the tournament. I was so proud I was just crying and when he came over to the rail I got completely squished by all of Sam’s friends jumping over me haha!</p> <p>I was so proud of Sam this was the third big win he had that year after the Aussie Millions High roller and Super high roller and I think people were starting to realise just how talented he really was. </p> <p><strong><em>Over and out</em></strong></p> <p>That’s it from me for now, please make sure you follow me on twitter <strong>@natashasandhu</strong> and my <a href=""><strong>PokerTube Instagram account</strong></a>. Especially over the next few days as im going to be offering some goodies giveaways!!</p> <p>I hope you're all as excited as we are - Please stay tuned as there’s much more to come!</p> <p>Until next time!</p> <p><em>Tash x</em></p> <p><strong>Check out Tash and Sam in Vegas for the WSOP 2013:</strong></p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 17:40:04 +0000 Natasha Sandhu 2701 Jason Comtois Wins WPT National Canadian Spring Championship Jason Comtois Wins WPT National Canadian Spring Championship <p><span class="letter-big">I</span>t was a close call. After two quiet starting days, the World Poker Tour National Canadian Spring Championship was close to becoming one of the few WPT events with an actual overlay. The CAD$1,100 buy-in tournament had a guaranteed prize pool of CAD$1,000,000 with Day 1a and Day 1b bringing only 527 entries.</p> <p>Day 1c, however, surpassed all expectations and 552 more entries were booked, creating a total prize pool of CAD$1,046,630.</p> <p>Although it was a national WPT event with a rather small buy-in, big names like <strong>Antonio Esfandiari</strong>, <strong>Gavin Smith</strong> and <strong>Mike Sexton</strong> joined the action filled with local amateurs and small-stakes live tournament grinders. But none of them made it through to the final table.</p> <p>The last six men standing were mostly unknowns to the poker community with small cashes in minor events. Canadian <strong>Johnny Mazzaferro</strong> was the only one at the final table who could brag about a live win. He won the WPT Canadian Spring Championship last year, cashing CAD$44,000, and was looking for more in 2014, maybe putting his hands on the first six-figure performance of his poker career. <strong>Mario Lim</strong> was another player who could have stood out after finishing the 2014 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic in 21st place, according to the Hendon Mob Database.</p> <p>But again, not even those players managed to come away with the win. In fact, it was all about a local favorite who started the final day as a shortstack. <strong>Jason Comtois</strong> had only 31 big blinds when play resumed but doubled up fairly quickly. After open-raising under the gun with #qc#qs, Comtois check/raised all-in on a #ad#ac#2c flop with two pairs and dodged the outs of Lim, who called with a flush draw.</p> <p>Lim was eventually the first eliminated after three-betting all-in with #kc#3c. The initial raiser, Mazzaferro, called holding #ah#js to win the hand.</p> <p><strong>Alexander Wong</strong> was next to make a bold all-in move on a #kc#8d#5h flop with just third pair (he had #6d#6c). <strong>Daniel Gagne</strong> snap-called him with his #ks#8c hand flopping big.</p> <p>Two hands later, Comtois was in the spotlight once again. He raised and called Mazzaferro’s all-in with #ah#qc while his opponent was a huge underdog with his #qd#jd. The board gave both players a pair but the local hero had the higher kicker, sending the 2013 WPT Canadian Spring Championship winner home in fourth place for CAD$59,762.</p> <p>The next elimination was spectacular and helped Comtois’ heads-up opponent, <strong>John Paul Tabago</strong>, win over two-thirds of the chips in play. Tabago three-bet pre-flop and checked on a #qh#9s#3c flop. The #jd turn turned the heat on and after several raises, Gagne was all-in holding a massive straight. Tabago had a flopped set and only 23% to river a boat. Fortunately for him, the river brought another #3s, eliminating Gagne in third place for CAD$80,904.</p> <p>Heads-up play had two crucial moments that turned the odds in favor of the shortstacked Comtois. In the first one, he called a shove pre-flop with #ad#8s. His opponent also had ace-rag but with a much lower kicker: #as#3c.</p> <p>The next move was the finish line for Tabago. He moved all-in with #qs#4s only to run into the Big Slick, #ac#kd. The board sealed the deal with Tabago earning CAD$124,758 for his second place performance.</p> <p>Along with the WPT National Canadian Spring Championship title, Comtois took home the top money prize of CAD$178,114, plus a WPT champion belt and a trophy from the organizers, the Playground Poker Club.</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:27:51 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2700 Sofia Lövgren Out, Eleanor Gudger In as PKR Pro Sofia Lövgren Out, Eleanor Gudger In as PKR Pro <p>PKR recently said farewell to Sofia Lövgren, the site's first-ever female pro sponsor. However, Eleanor 'Elz442' Gudger signed on as a new pro just a few days ago, allowing PKR to keep its Team Pro roster intact.</p> <p>Lövgren, who represented the site for four years, is moving on to new adventures. She gave "big thanks" to PKR upon her departure, expressing tremendous gratitude for the opportunity.</p> <p><blockquote>It is now six years since I started from the lowest levels building a bankroll on PKR," Lövgren said. "After grinding millions of hands and just turning 20, I was given the responsibility to be the first female Team Pro. PKR has been like my second family and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with so many genuine and nice people and to represent this unique poker site and community."</blockquote></p> <p>Lövgren's latest endeavor will be revealed in a couple weeks, she tweeted. Meanwhile, Gudger is ecstatic at joining PKR, her online poker home since 2007.</p> <p>After starting out seven years ago by winning $1 in a PKR freeroll tournament, Gudger has gone on to become the most prolific female tourney player in the site's history. With career earnings over $225,000 in tournament play, the powers-that-be at PKR certainly took notice, resulting in the pro sponsorship deal.</p> <p>Gudger has also found success on the live felt, winning the Binion's Poker Classic Ladies Event and finishing runner-up in the WSOP Europe Ladies Event in 2011. Last year, a sixth place finish in the WSOP Ladies Championship was good for $27,045, running her live tournament cashes to over $65,000.</p> <p>Best of luck to Lövgren and Gudger, as they both embark on new chapters in their careers.</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 08:48:20 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2699 Another $5 Million Paid to U.S. Full Tilt Players Another $5 Million Paid to U.S. Full Tilt Players <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he claims administrator in the Full Tilt remission process announced yesterday that another 2,200 players have been reimbursed to the tune of $5 million.</p> <p>This latest round of payments went to petitioners who had been approved in the first round of reimbursement that commenced on the last day of February (Green Friday), but who had supplied inaccurate bank account information to the Garden City Group (GCG). After submitting the correct banking details, those players have now received payment via ACH.</p> <p>Players who neglected to provide GCG with accurate bank information by the due date of March 13 can now expect payment in the form of a cheque sent to the mailing address listed on the Petition for Remission. Players who owe a debt collectable by the Treasury Offset program are advised to fill out a Unified Financial Management System Vendor Request Form posthaste.</p> <p>Added to the $76 million Green Friday payouts, approximately 29,700 former U.S. Full Tilt players have now been reunited with $81 million that had been in limbo since Black Friday, the three-year anniversary of which is a mere two weeks away.</p> <p>Players still estranged from their funds include Full Tilt affiliates, pros, and players who took issue with the account balances on record with the DoJ and GCG. Though no time table has been mentioned at the latest update, announcements regarding the petitions of those players are likely next on the GCG agenda.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 07:34:56 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2698 Nosebleeds Report: March Madness Nosebleeds Report: March Madness <p>After a quiet February, high-stakes poker players tried to create their own version of the famous NCAA tournament.</p> <p>Big swings, huge comebacks and major slips. This is what we would say if we were to describe the high-stakes action over the past month; in other words – Poker’s March Madness.</p> <p>It all started with <strong>Daniel Cates</strong>’ big return. After receiving his money from the Full Tilt remission process, ‘jungleman12’ left his comfort zone and sat at the notorious 2-7 Triple Draw tables. He won big in the first half of the month, over $1.67 million in 10k hands, but cooled off in the next couple of weeks, losing almost $900k. Overall, in March, he played 15,662 Draw hands and cashed $795,715.</p> <p>The action just got a lot hotter with <strong>Phil </strong>‘Polarizing’ <strong>Ivey </strong>joining the tables. According to HighStakesDB, Ivey hasn’t played online on FTP since October 2013. He returned to the virtual poker felt ten days ago by trying his luck at 2-7TD, Limit Omaha-8-or-Better and the mixed games. So far, he didn’t succeed in either game, losing over $240k in 2,709 Draw hands, $112k in 1,011 LO8 hands, and $4k at the 8-Game tables. Since FTP's relaunch, Ivey has sunk deeper and deeper and is down $3 million.</p> <p><strong>Alex </strong>‘Alexonmoon’ <strong>Luneau </strong>is another interesting name who has been seen at the nosebleeds stakes recently after a quiet start to the year. He got back to his old habits, dominating the 2-7TD games on March 28, 2014. The Frenchman played mostly $300/$600 and $500/$1,000 and cashed in almost $530k in less than 24 hours. The next day, however, he lost everything he earned and more, winding up $721k in the red.</p> <p>Also, the unknown Macau gambler who plays on FTP under the nickname of ‘MalACEsia’ was back at the tables in March. He created a lot of action around him last year, losing $3,773,524. <strong>Isaac </strong>‘luvtheWNBA’ <strong>Haxton </strong>said of him back in June 2013, in a Card Player interview that:</p> <p><blockquote>He’s not just a clueless amateur, he’s just not world-class."</blockquote></p> <p>This time, MalACEsia seems to know what he’s doing; so far, last month, he played 2,662 hands at the NLHE tables and won $147,053. Nevertheless, he had his fair share of luck, <a href="" target="_blank">winning one of the biggest pots of last month in what looked like a sure chop</a>.</p> <p><strong>Phil </strong>‘OMGClayAiken’ <strong>Galfond </strong>found his winning ways after losing almost $1.4 million in five days. He enjoyed back-to-back wins on March 26 and 27, 2014 at the 2-7TD tables, but he’s still the biggest loser of the month with -$666,198.</p> <p><strong>Gus Hansen</strong> finished the third month of the year in the red .... again, and so did his FTP Team Pro companion, <strong>Viktor </strong>‘Isildur1’ <strong>Blom</strong>. Hansen’s loss could have been much worse but for the last weekend of March. He leaked over $2 million between March 18 and 27, 2014, but the last couple of days saved him, winning $328k on Saturday and $526k on Sunday. Overall, Hansen is down $281k in March; he was also the most active grinder on FTP, playing 415 sessions and 57,326 hands at the highest stakes in online poker.</p> <p>Blom had a similar path in the last 30 days. He was at one point $1.71 million in the red but he eventually climbed out of the hole in the second half of March, finishing with a “slight” six-figure loss of $235,687.</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 18:51:47 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2697 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - April 1, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - April 1, 2014 <p>April Fools Day is upon us, but the decline of player traffic in the online poker industry is not a joke.</p> <p>At least the drop last week was only 1%, almost a welcome sight considering the previous two weeks were 3% and 4%, respectively. We've now seen seven straight weeks of less action on the cash tables and a 15% fall from the end of Q1 last year.</p> <p>Players at Bovada in the U.S. underwent a bit of a scare when some could not log on and it was at first believed that Internet service provider Comcast was perhaps blocking access to the site. This turned out to be erroneous and the problem was merely a technical glitch.</p> <p>PokerScout reports that Bodog/Bovada saw 1% fewer players, but still managed to move up a notch in the rankings to no. 7. That knocked down to eighth place, the only movement for the week among the top ten poker rooms and networks.</p> <p>Third place in the global market continues to be shared by the iPoker Network and PartyPoker, as it was in last week's update. However, the expiration Sunday of the Points Hunt and Bonus Builder promotions at PartyPoker may see the offering slip back down to fourth place in future weeks.</p> <p>Just outside of the top ten, The Hive has pulled into a tie with MPN for 12th place. Both are considerably off the pace of, who has sole possession of 11th. Earlier this year, MPN had been within the top ten, but the loss of Unibet one month ago has caused Microgaming to experience a substantial decline in cash player traffic.</p> <p>Speaking of Unibet, the poker room just revealed its new loyalty program called "Challenges." Continuing with its aim to attract recreational players, the scheme rewards players that accomplish various steps as opposed to providing rewards under the more familiar rake-based industry standard.</p> <p>A seven-day average of about 300 cash players can be found logged on at Unibet since the site took the bold move of striking out on its own. However, that's merely an estimation of the actual number and has led a Unibet representative to indicate that 300 is quite shy of even an approximation of the real number of players.</p> <p>Unibet, along with the likes of Titan Poker, William Hill, PartyPoker and PokerStars, were among about 50 sites blacklisted by Russian authorities recently. The latest reports from players show that most remain unaffected. PokerStars issued a statement that said "our operations continue as usual." However, this could be something to watch in the future.</p> <p>In U.S.-related player traffic news apart from Bovada, industry rumors have circulated stating that PokerHost will be leaving the Merge Gaming Network to join the Equity Poker Network (EPN). An official announcement has not yet been released by EPN, who have made a habit of issuing press releases on such matters since launching last November.</p> <p>EPN has half the cash player action as Merge at the moment. But the switch, if and when it eventually takes place, will likely cause a substantial shift in player numbers among the two networks in the U.S.-facing unregulated online poker market.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 18:48:24 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2696 Macau's March Gaming Revenue Third Highest Ever Macau's March Gaming Revenue Third Highest Ever <p>Macau’s gaming sector has continued to strengthen its reputation as the world’s premier gaming destination. That can be seen through the sector’s revenue for March, <a href="">which totalled US$4.4 billion</a>.</p> <p>The monthly bottom line marked a 13 percent increase year-on-year and was the third-highest monthly revenue on record for Macau. It is quite a big deal considering that only the month before, the gaming sector posted its highest monthly revenue ever, US$4.8 billion.  </p> <p>The March revenue boost was largely attributed to Macau’s continuing popularity as a holiday destination of China’s ever-growing middle class, many of whom are enticed by the wide variety of casinos and real-money games that the gambling enclave has to offer.</p> <p>Economic analysts had predicted a revenue increase of between 10 and 13 percent in March, which means that the $4.4 billion sum was at the top end of those estimates. Macau’s total revenue in the first three months of 2014 stands at US$12.8 billion.</p> <p>Should those sort of numbers continue for the rest of the year, it may push yearly revenue past the $50 billion mark, which would smash revenue records for the Chinese special administrative region’s gaming sector.</p> <p>The month of March also saw Macau play host to the highly anticipated <a href="">Macau Millions poker event</a>. That event saw a record number of players take to the felt, with a total of 1,804 entries in the Main Event, which led to a total prize pool of US$450,000.</p> <p>Chinese player Hao Chen took out the six-day tournament and pocketed HK$550,000 (US$70,815) as a result of his stellar play. The overwhelming success of the Macau Millions shows that the game of poker has and could continue to benefit as the gaming sector in Macau continues to grow.</p> <p>That may be a welcome sign to the organisers of the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) Platinum Series IV, which takes place in Macau between April 17 and 20. The series will have four events, one of which is the two-day Main Event.</p> <p>Should the numbers of the ACOP Platinum Series IV events be high, it may just confirm Macau as the premier Asian poker destination. That would be an honour Macau would have alongside its reputation as the world’s biggest gaming destination.</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 14:04:13 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2694 Tatjana Pasalic: I love making people happy and I think food is one way of accomplishing that Tatjana Pasalic: I love making people happy and I think food is one way of accomplishing that <p style="text-align: justify;">I met Tatjana for the first time a couple years ago, right here in Sarajevo. I was pretty much clueless about poker, as I’d only just discovered it and started dabbling with a few freerolls here and there. Her career was just beginning, but even back then her overall demeanor and the passion she had for what she was doing were a good indicator that she was embarking on what was going to be one great success story.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Today, Tatjana Pasalic is a name known to everyone in the poker world and beyond. Her passion for the game and talent for presenting coupled with true beauty enabled her to get where she is today, and it is a story that still has at least a couple chapters to be added, for sure.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After reading an article this morning about her idea to make a documentary about Sarajevo, the city that is one of her two favorite destinations in the world, I decided to try and get in touch with her again and see if she had a little time to answer a couple of questions for PokerUpdate. Luckily for all the numerous fans (myself included), she did!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>Hi Tatjana and thank you for your time, I know you must be super busy all the time.</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>How did you first start with poker? Where did you first hear about the game and what attracted you to it?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana</strong>: I was in Denmark when the online poker boom started and got involved in the back office jobs – customer support, blogging… Eventually I advanced towards the TV presenting and found myself there. A lot of things attracted me to poker: traveling, meeting new people, working in front of the camera.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>Talking about your career as a poker blogger/presenter, what would you say was the first major breakthrough that enabled you to get where you are today?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>The presenting for PartyPoker and the World Poker Tour. They gave me an amazing opportunity to go places, meet people and establish myself in the world of poker presenting. After that, it was Full Tilt with the gig in Eastern Europe, and, of course, CalvinAyre, who has supported me and used me as their face for the past 4 years, which I am very grateful for.</p> <p><em><strong>You are always very busy with everything that's going on in the poker world. Could you tell us what does an average day in the office look like for Tatjana? When all is said and done, do you have enough time left for yourself?</strong></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>I do not really have an office; most of our work is done via emails, Skype and meetings on location. If I am covering a tournament, I usually meet the crew around noon, we go through the plan for the day, decide who we want to interview and come up with the theme/questions. Then we spend the day trying to grab those interviews. After getting those done, we film links in front of the camera and then head back home/studio so the crew can cut the videos and prepare them for publishing. I am usually still on call in case something needs to be redone. When we cover a big event like the ME or the One Drop, we stay there until the winner.<em> </em><strong>Not once have I slept on the chairs of the media room waiting for the HU to finish.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>Your cooking skills have become quite famous and many well-known players sing praises to your food preparation abilities. How did you become so involved with it – was it something you've always enjoyed and knew how to do or something you've discovered along the way and fell in love with?</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em><img class="leftAlone" src="" alt="" width="600" height="400" title=""/><br/></em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>I got involved with it a few years ago but after I cooked for ElkY and Eugene Katchalov, my kitchen got swamped with people requesting my dinners.<em> </em><strong>I love making people happy and I think food is one way of accomplishing that</strong><em>.</em> Plus, my food is very clean and the ingredients come from healthy stores and fresh markets, so people can feel good about themselves when they come by for dinner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>Apart from your engagements as a poker media persona, you’ve also been known to play occasional tournaments yourself. How’s poker been treating you overall and do you have any specific goals in that regard, or you just play for the enjoyment of the game?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>I am and have always been a TV presenter and a spokesmodel. I enjoy playing poker, I absolutely love playing in the ME and hanging out with people and I think those will maintain my goals: representing CalvinAyre as a brand and having fun at the tables.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>We know how most guys spend their free time on the circuit – playing Chinese poker or whatever the game of the moment is for the most part. How about girls, is it the same, or you have some other things you like doing to unwind? Who are the people you spend the most time with when travelling around?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>I play Chinese Poker quite a bit. <strong>I especially love spending my days off grabbing a beer, a burger and playing some Chinese.</strong> If I am at a new location,<strong> I like exploring the local cuisine; I very often get enrolled in a cooking class or find a local restaurant and indulge.</strong> If I can, I rent a bike or take mine with me and spend time exploring the hills of the city I am in.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>A question on everybody’s mind: what is the situation like on a personal plan, if you do not mind sharing? There is a special someone in your life, if I am not mistaken? Anything else you feel like sharing on that subject?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>Yes, I have been in a relationship for 3 years now.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>I've heard that you are planning on filming a documentary about Sarajevo. Where did that idea come from and what would be the focus of the film?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>I did say I would like to do that, but there is so much between a wish and it being made. Hopefully, one day it happens.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>Your thoughts on poker in the Balkans region? It has certainly come a long way from where it was a couple years ago?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>I wish it went further than it did, to be honest.<strong> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Do you know what the rest of the year will look like for you? Are you playing the Main Event?</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>I am heading out to Vegas in a couple of weeks and will be there for a while. Definitely playing the ME, covering the One Drop and the ME for and then heading out to Australia in September for the WSOP Asia. <strong>Taking my bike with me so expect a lot of beach photos.</strong></p> <p><img class="leftAlone" src="" alt="" width="544" height="408" title=""/></p> <p><strong style="text-align: justify;"><em>If someone fronted you a $1 million to play in the One Drop, do you feel you would be up for the challenge or the experience would be too overwhelming and intimidating?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>How could I ever reject that offer?</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><strong>Who do you think are the sexiest five guys in poker? Or three at least?</strong></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>McLean Karr, Patrik Antonius, Elliot Smith.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>What do you make of Dan Bilzerian, who's been dubbed the real Bruce Wayne and the most interesting person on Instagram?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>I think he is brilliant.<strong> I want to pet his cat.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>Do you enjoy playing online poker, or is live much more down your venue? What was your biggest online score?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>I prefer playing live, unless there is a decent group of people hanging out and there is only a few tables being played, otherwise it becomes boring after a while. Well, until somebody final tables a major. :)</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>What would be your biggest strength at the tables? Do you feel there is anything special that gives you an edge while playing?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>Honesty<strong>.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>And finally, when can we expect to see you here in Sarajevo? You mentioned that you enjoy the Sarajevo Film Fest – will you be here for it this year, or you’ll be occupied with other things?</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tatjana: </strong>I can’t wait to come back to Sarajevo. Hopefully it will happen next summer.<strong> I have not had a Balkan vacation in a few years and I miss all the cevapi, hurmasice and burek.</strong></p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:12:25 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2693 Internet Poker Bill Proposed in New York Internet Poker Bill Proposed in New York <p>A New York lawmaker has proposed an online poker bill just days after a federal effort to ban online gambling reached both chambers of Congress.</p> <p>State Senator John Bonacic has introduced S 6913, which restricts online action to games of skill such as poker and excludes casino games. The measure seeks a licensing fee of $10 million that would not expire for 10 years. Taxation would be set at 15%.</p> <p>A bad actor provision is included, aiming to keep out those who failed to recognize the UIGEA and continued operating in the U.S. market. Should lawmakers vote in favor and Governor Andrew Cuomo approve the measure, New Yorkers could be playing in one year following the establishment of rules and a vetting process for would-be operators.</p> <p>Cuomo supports land-based gaming, as did 57% of voters in a November referendum. A casino expansion plan is in the works and online poker could possibly be tacked on.</p> <p>The New York state effort comes on the heels of a Sheldon Adelson-supported anti-online gambling federal proposal last Wednesday that targets the 2011 DoJ interpretation of the Wire Act that has a number of states queuing up to offer online gambling. New York has a population just shy of 20 million, third most in the nation.</p> <p> </p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 18:00:12 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2692 PokerStars "Bad Actor" Label Undeserved? PokerStars "Bad Actor" Label Undeserved? <p>Indian tribes in California have recently banded together in an uncharacteristic show of unity in hopes of keeping "bad actors" out of a possible online poker scheme in the state.</p> <p>Urging California lawmakers considering regulation to exclude <em>"bad actors whose past behavior and tainted brands and assets would erode the integrity of Intrastate Internet poker,"</em> the tribes took aim at PokerStars' reported collaboration negotiations with one tribe and a few card rooms.</p> <p>As is well-known, this is not the first time PokerStars has been called a bad actor for continuing to operate in the U.S. post-UIGEA and probably won't be the last. But is it a fair label to put on the world's top poker site considering that the previous settlement with the DoJ allows PokerStars to apply for a license just like any other potential operator?</p> <p>Let's face it. PokerStars catapulted to the top of the online poker industry in part by remaining in the U.S. market while others left. For this, there is an incredible amount of contempt and jealousy among gaming companies and others who cry foul over PokerStars gaining perhaps an "unfair" advantage. But was it unfair?</p> <p>PokerStars issued a statement as first divulged by Online Poker Report that took offense to the tribal condemnation. Released by PokerStars’ Head of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser, the statement does make some interesting points, such as:</p> <p><blockquote>"The fact is that UIGEA did not make illegal any gaming that was not already illegal before its passage. This has been confirmed by the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals and by the U.S. Department of Justice. PokerStars operated under legal opinion that its offering of online poker did not violate U.S. law before 2006 and maintained that opinion following the passage of UIGEA."</blockquote></p> <p>That statement is supported, according to Hollreiser, by a letter written by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczowski to House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Rep. John Conyers in 2007 stating that, <em>“[T]he UIGEA itself does not make any type of gambling legal or illegal, rather, the statute is focused on regulating the methods of payment for already-illegal gambling.”</em></p> <p>Hollreiser also states an opinion by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Interactive Media Entertainment &amp; Gaming Ass’n v. Attorney General that found the UIGEA <em>“does not itself outlaw any gambling activity, but rather incorporates other Federal or State law related to gambling.”</em></p> <p>The intent of the UIGEA and whether or not those examples are proof enough that PokerStars is not the bad actor as has been portrayed are much better left to attorneys and gaming regulators to decide. It does seem proper that PokerStars be given the opportunity to apply <em>"just like any other company seeking to operate in California and investing in a fair and well-regulated market,"</em> as Hollreiser requests.</p> <p>California tribes have long been stifling any process in online poker regulation while looking out for their own interests. Part of the problem is there are a large number of tribes in the state and they all can't agree on what their best interests are. Naturally, the tribes can mostly come together on the issue of keeping other gaming interests out. But is that fair?</p> <p>PokerStars points out that it has always met <em>"the highest standards of suitability that maximize consumer protection and consumer choice."</em> The Rational Group cites the procurement of 11 licenses in jurisdictions worldwide, <em>"more than any other company,"</em> as evidence of this.</p> <p>Whether the tribes get their way or PokerStars is allowed to make their case remains undecided at the moment. But PokerStars' desire to be treated as any other applicant should be considered. Hollreiser is correct in pointing out the following:</p> <p><blockquote>"Most regulatory frameworks around the world leave the assessment of suitability to qualified expert regulators. The same position has been taken by the legislators in New Jersey. The California Gambling Control Commission has a 15-year history of successful consumer protection and is more than qualified to continue to determine suitability."</blockquote></p> <p>It is evident that tribes in California are attempting to limit competition based on the alleged bad actor status affixed to PokerStars. But as was done in New Jersey where PokerStars was permitted to apply, it only seems fair that a PokerStars application should also be allowed to be presented before the commission. Whether the UIGEA was violated by PokerStars or is being misrepresented by others in an effort to keep PokerStars out is up to gaming regulators to decide.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 16:44:56 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2691 Oleksii Khoroshenin Takes EPT Vienna Title to Ukraine Oleksii Khoroshenin Takes EPT Vienna Title to Ukraine <p style="text-align: justify;">After a week of play, the action reached its culmination late last night as the new EPT Vienna champion was crowned. It is <strong>Oleksii Khoroshenin</strong>, a 27-year-old Ukrainian player. With his victory, Khoroshenin has become the first ever Ukranian EPT winner and this is by far his best tournament score to date as he banked <strong>€578,392</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">His last obstacle was <strong>Anthony Ghamrawi</strong>, a local player who came close to disputing some of the early claims that the EPT Vienna winner wouldn't come from Austria. However, he came short in heads-up play, as he couldn't find a way to beat Oleksii. He did come into heads-up as about a 3:1 dog, so it was an uphill battle right from the start. The last hand saw Ghamrawi get it in with #7h#6d against Khoroshenin’s #ks#3s on a #5s#7c#4s flop and they were essentially flipping for it. The pot would bring Anthony back into serious contention, but #10s on the turn sealed his fate as it made Oleksii’s flush, leaving him drawing dead. He took home <strong>€446,481 </strong>for his performance so the defeat probably hurt a bit less, but he was on the verge of bringing an EPT title to Austria and it would certainly have been a great accomplishment.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Germany’s <strong>Marko Neumann </strong>was going strong for the entire final table despite coming in as a short stack. He clawed his way to the chip lead and at some points it definitely felt like it was his tournament <em>to lose</em>. It turned out it was, as he was eliminated in 3<sup>rd</sup> place after getting it in with top two pair against Khoroshenin’s flopped nut straight and failing to improve. He still walked away with the biggest cash of <strong>€638,127 – </strong>courtesy of the deal that was made during three-handed play, leaving €50,000 to play for while splitting the rest.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The story of the tournament was a young man called <strong>Pablo Gordillo</strong>. A PokerStars qualifier, the 20 years young Spaniard was quite an enigma, as he only had about €2,500 in live cashes up to this point. This did not stop him from making the most from the good run of cards he has had here in Vienna, but he couldn’t go all the way. Despite coming to the final table with a very good stack, his run was ended by Neumann as he got his pocket pair to hold up against Gordillo’s <em>Ace-King</em>. For his 4<sup>th</sup> place finish in the EPT Vienna Main Event, Gordillo took home <strong>€262,150</strong>, an amount that pretty much guarantees that we will be seeing much more of him in the future.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Timo Pfutzenreuter, </strong>a German player with a decent amount of experience under his belt, finished in 5<sup>th</sup> place. He had his ups and downs throughout the tournament and was eventually eliminated by Ghamrawi, whose <em>pocket sevens</em> held up against Timo’s <em>pocket sixes</em>.<strong> </strong>He still walked away with his biggest cash to date, amounting to <strong>€203,900.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For 26-year old Bulgarian <strong>Simeon Naydenov</strong>, the final table wasn’t all that new of an experience as he is the proud owner of a WSOP bracelet, becoming the second player from Bulgaria with this achievement. However, he failed to add an EPT title to his name as he finished in 6<sup>th</sup>, banking <strong>€151,000</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Frei Dilling </strong>represented Denmark at the Vienna final table. Although he started the day as second in chips, he couldn’t master better than a 7<sup>th</sup> place finish after barreling away his stack in a bluff attempt against Neumann. Although he banked <strong>€108,100</strong>, it is probably not the result he was hoping for going in with a big stack.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Nine eliminations were needed before forming the final table and it happened in only a couple of hours. The final table, on the other hand, played for a couple of hours before seeing even a first elimination. But it had to happen eventually and the first one to hit the rail was <strong>Rumen Nanev</strong>. He played a classic flip against Khoroshenin, with his <em>Ace-King </em>looking to improve against Khoroshenin’s <em>pocket Queens</em>. It did not happen, as Oleksii flopped the set and Nanev was sent to the rail, banking <strong>€77,000</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite the fact that the final table lacked <em>the big names</em> as some have complained, EPT Season 10’s stop in Vienna offered a lot of fun and excitement. There was certainly not a lack of good poker and it was very interesting to see how things panned out in the end, especially for young Gordillo, a man you simply had to root for, at least a little bit. And now that all has been said and done and the last cards have been dealt, our congratulations go to the winner, <strong>Oleksii Khoroshenin</strong>, and to all the others who made it to the final table. But also to those who came short somewhere along the way, there is always <em>the next time</em>!</p> Sun, 30 Mar 2014 11:10:17 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2690 Fabrice Soulier Wins EPT10 Vienna High Roller Fabrice Soulier Wins EPT10 Vienna High Roller <p>Patience is a virtue and can also help you win tournaments.</p> <p>Just ask the latest European Poker Tour High Roller champ, <strong>Fabrice Soulier</strong>. <em>“I waited, I took my time in the beginning, and I observed the action. I was shortstack the whole tournament and I had nothing else to do than observe people. I was between 7 and 12 blinds for six – seven hours maybe (yesterday in Day 2) so it is kind of crazy to win it,”</em> Soulier told PokerStars Blog after his amazing win.</p> <p>Far from the bright spotlights of the EPT10 Vienna Main Event final table and between two crowds that were looking in a different direction, the Frenchman managed to sneak his way through a very tough field and secured a nice €392,900 prize along with the prestigious EPT10 Vienna High Roller champion title.</p> <p>He started the unofficial final table fifth in chips and not very far from fourth place <strong>Vitaly Lunkin</strong>. <strong>Oleh Okhotskyi</strong>, <strong>Rasmus Agerskov</strong>, and <strong>Fady Kamar</strong> were the shortstacks and the usual suspects for bursting the official final table bubble.</p> <p>However, none of those three got in that unpleasant position. In the first hand of nine-handed play,<strong> Jonathan Duhamel</strong> three-bet chip leader <strong>Dmitry Yurasov</strong> and called his all-in with #9h#9d. <em>“Out 1st hand…. 99 &lt; TT vs super aggro chip leader….. #ouch,”</em> Duhamel tweeted after his exist.</p> <p>The official final table was on and aggro Yurasov was rolling. He was one river away from eliminating two players but he ended up bleeding 40 big blinds. Both Kamar and Lunkin were all-in and at risk after a series of aggresive plays pre-flop. Lunkin had #qh#qc while Famar held #ac#js. Yurasov called with #as#ks and caught top pair on the #kc#3h#10h flop. The #9d turn gave the underdogs hopes and when the #jc hit the river, Lunkin yelled <em>“straight.”</em> Famar had nothing else to add, shaking hands with the high rollers on his way out.</p> <p>2011 EPT London Main Event champ <strong>Benny Spindler</strong> was next to hit the rail. He shoved his remaining 22 big blinds with #as#qc, but ran into the one of the worst possible hands: #ac#kc. A little while later, Agerskov put all his chips in the middle, saying to Yurasov: <em>“You call the all-ins.”</em> Indeed he did, and he also won it after a #ac#5s vs. #qd#10h battle.</p> <p>Eventually, Yurasov’s super-aggressive style crippled his stack. Soulier took full-advantage and won a major pot that put him in the lead by turning a made straight after his opponent moved all-in with top pair. Fifteen minutes later, Yurasov was gone. He open-shoved from the cut-off with #qd#10s but couldn’t connect with the board in any way as his opponent, <strong>Anatoly Filatov</strong>, held #6h#6s.</p> <p>Lunkin followed him in fourth place. He lost most of his stack to Soulier and was forced to shove twice. He rivered a board in the first all-in but got really unlucky two hands later holding an Ace with a better kicker than his opponent, Filatov. Nevertheless, Filatov flopped a pair that grew into a full-house on the river. <em>“Good game, Vitaly,”</em> the future winner tried to comfort the fourth place finisher.</p> <p>Three-handed play didn’t last long as Ukrainian<strong> </strong>Oleh Okhotskyi made a move with a very tiny stack of just 5 big blinds. His #as#5s hand ran into Filatov’s #ad#7h.</p> <p>Heads-up play was one hour long and finished in style. <em>“I’d better put my sunglasses on,”</em> Filatov told Soulier prior to the last hand of the tournament. He open-raised the action and called his opponent’s raise that put him at risk. Filatov had #ks#10h while the Frenchman held #as#5s. The board gave Soulier a flush, securing his title.</p> <p>Here are the final payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Fabrice Soulier (France) - €392,900</em></li> <li><em>Anatoly Filatov (Russia) - €265,200</em></li> <li><em>Oleh Okhotskyi (Ukraine) - €182,500</em></li> <li><em>Vitaly Lunkin (Russia) - €148,800</em></li> <li><em>Dmitry Yurasov (Russia) - €118,650</em></li> <li><em>Rasmus Agerskov (Denmark) - €91,150</em></li> <li><em>Benny Spindler (Germany) - €66,350</em></li> <li><em>Fady Kamar (Lebanon) - €48,050</em></li> <li><em>Jonathan Duhamel (Canada) - €39,800</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Fabrice Soulier on his performance. He added a new big cash to his already impressive resume that includes six-figure numbers like €610,000 in last year’s WSOP Europe, €500,000 in the 2010 Partouche Poker Tour Cannes Main Event, and $609,130 in the 2011 WSOP H.O.R.S.E. Championship.</p> Sat, 29 Mar 2014 20:55:56 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2689 Gus Hansen in Vienna: You Don't Need to Play for Millions All the Time Gus Hansen in Vienna: You Don't Need to Play for Millions All the Time <p style="text-align: justify;">PokerTube's own Rikard caught up with the Great Dane during Day 3 of EPT Vienna. <strong>Gus Hansen</strong> was in a good mood after having a good day at the tables and he shared his thoughts on his table antics, how the online games have been going for him, his plans for the WSOP, and what is going on in his personal life.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We all know Gus as a chatty guy at the tables, and he explains it has nothing to do with tactics.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote><em>You can always be nice and chat to people and I think a lot of people actually enjoys it. If people are up for it, I am always up for the chat</em>.</blockquote></p> <p>It doesn't have much to do with the fact that he is a sponsored Full Tilt player, but it's more a part of who he is.</p> <p>On the topic of Full Tilt and cash games, Hansen was very forthcoming. Things are clearly not working that well for him so he is considering his options, including the idea of moving down for a bit.</p> <p><blockquote><em>I need to make some changes. I've been trying along the way to be a little more focused, improve on my game, but it definitely hasn't been enough. I'm actually thinking about taking a short break, maybe playing a little smaller stakes. <strong>You don't need to play for millions all the time</strong></em><strong>.</blockquote></strong></p> <p>It is clear from these statements, and Gus acknowledges it himself, that his confidence hasn't been very high lately.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For those wondering, Gus explains that he clearly has some other lines of income, including playing Backgammon. He's been doing well, but he is in no position where he can lose millions day in and day out and feels that he definitely needs a break from online losing, although he still believes he can turn it around somehow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Apart from the standard variations of poker, Gus Hansen admits to enjoying different variations of Chinese poker, as well as any other card and board games like Gin Rummy, Chess, Bridge, etc.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">His future plans include EPT in Monaco and the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. As for the <strong>One Drop</strong> tournament, Gus says he is about 50-50 to play it. He did mention that his participation might depend on how well he does in Vienna. Unfortunately, Hansen was eliminated during Day 3 shortly after getting into the money, so hopefully this won’t influence his plans too much.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For those who didn’t know, Hansen is a big fan of <strong>racketlon </strong>– a racket competition involving badminton, table tennis, squash and tennis. As of late, however, he’s been playing a lot of poker and didn’t have much time to practice apart from squash. He is planning on playing the first international tournament in Denmark as well as the World Championship in August. Gus hopes he will get some time to practice for the championship with his friends during his stay in Las Vegas for the WSOP.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On a personal plan, Gus says he is still single and plans on staying single.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote><em>One should never say never. Maybe you need someone and maybe you don’t. But I am not infatuated with finding someone, settling down… That doesn’t necessarily appeal to me as it does to a lot of people, about seven billion of them or something like that</em>.</blockquote></p> <p>He enjoys his freedom, travelling around without too much planning ahead.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hansen is also contemplating moving back to Denmark after living in Monte Carlo for eleven years. He opened a squash club in Denmark to make his ties to his home country even stronger and if he moves back home, it is possible that he won’t be travelling around the circuit as much and might consider settling down at that point. But as things stand right now, he likes being single and free.</p> Sat, 29 Mar 2014 19:44:01 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2688 Sam Trickett: Vienna Experience and Macau Cash Games Sam Trickett: Vienna Experience and Macau Cash Games <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"><strong>Sam Trickett,</strong> one of the most recognized names in high stakes poker circles, has shared his thoughts in an exclusive interview for <strong></strong>. Sam had a deep run in the EPT Vienna Main Event, but lost most of his stack just before the money in a cooler hand where he had flopped a set of fours against the set of queens of his opponent. Although this hand left Trickett's stack crippled, he managed to pull off a min-cash, but not much more than that, as he busted soon after the bubble. Trickett took it in stride, as he believes it was simply a cooler that could not be avoided.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;">He shared his plans for the WSOP in Vegas this year, as he expects to be playing much more, including 2-7 events, even though he admitted to being terrible at it – <em>but it is a lot of fun</em><span style="font-style: normal">. His plans include the tournament that everybody's talking about – <strong>Big One for One Drop </strong>$1 million event, but Trickett admits that it is a lot of money for any poker player to pony-up on their own, so he'll be looking to find a staking deal for this one. The amount of money at stake doesn't phase him once play begins, though, as he is focused on the cards and is trying to make the best plays. However, not everyone is able to forget about the money, and Sam says that there are ways to exploit this fact, but he wouldn't share much more on the topic for obvious reasons.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-style: normal">One of the most recent events in his life was signing a sponsorship deal with Everest Poker. In Trickett's own words, <em>he's been looking for a right deal for a while and this offer came at just the right time.</em></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-style: normal">If there is one thing that always tickles the imagination of poker fans around the globe, it's the stories about famous Macau cash games and huge pots that are being reported. Trickett offered a little insight, as well as a comment about the recent rumors that he is being denied his place at the tables in Macau. Although he has been a regular player there for quite a while, he states that games have dried up and that action is not what it used to be. Apart from that, Trickett was not invited to play a couple times that he has been there and there was too much waiting around for his liking. The game revolves around businessmen who have other obligations and poker is only their hobby, so games are not always as good.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;">“<em>There's so many politics about getting into game,</em><span style="font-style: normal">” said Tricket. “</span><em>It's just got to the point where I wasn't in the game, like I used to be, all the time. It's not my style to suck up to the people, trying to weed my way in or wait out for six, seven or ten hours to get into a game, so I'm happy to play some poker elsewhere</em><span style="font-style: normal">.”</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-style: normal">As far as his personal life, Sam's girlfriend <strong>Natasha </strong>has been accompanying him to some tournaments, but it is hard to find time to spend with her between all the tournament and cash game action. She recently got involved with <strong>PokerTube</strong>, so this engagement might help them see each other a bit more.<br/></span></p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 17:59:11 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2687 Final Stage is Set for EPT Season 10 Vienna Main Event Final Stage is Set for EPT Season 10 Vienna Main Event <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;">It is never a good idea to try and predict how long it would take players to play down to the final table, but if we had to guess, we'd probably take over four hours – and we'd be wrong. Today at noon, seventeen players returned to play, all with their eyes set on the final eight seats and, ultimately, the first place prize. But they all knew that nine of them would have to walk away disappointed, everyone just hoped it wouldn't be them.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;">The day started fiercely, as we saw the first elimination of the day in the very first hand. It was <strong>Mike Adamo </strong>who broke the ice, as he got picked off by Roman Korenev, who was more than happy to send Adamo to the rail. Not long after, the one big name still in the tournament was sent packing, as <strong>Johnny Lodden </strong>fell at the hands of Gavin O'Rourke, finishing in 15<sup>th</sup> place. One after another, players followed suit as Panny, Murariu, Vitagliano and Kovacs all headed for the exit.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;">Things went along as scheduled, and when nine players were left in the tournament, they were moved to a feature table to play for one more elimination before the official final table of the EPT Vienna Main Event would be formed. These final table bubbles have been known to last a while in the past, but it wouldn't be the case today. <strong>Gavin O'Rourke </strong>has been running and playing well for most of the tournament, but his luck turned today as he got into a huge cooler pot against Anthony Ghamrawi.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: normal; text-align: justify;">O'Rourke held pocket Queens against Ghamrawi's Kings, and as the board ran out, the pot of more than 3.6 million went Ghamrawi's way, leaving Gavin in dire straits. He never really managed to recover and came into the final nine with the short stack. It did not take O'Rourke long to find a spot to shove his chips in and get into a flip against <strong>Frei Dilling. </strong>With the way things went down for him today, it was no surprise that O'Rourke couldn't improve and he headed for the rail as the remaining eight players started bagging their chips for tomorrow's final table.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-weight: normal">Of those remaining eight, it is </span><strong>Anthony Ghamrawi </strong><span style="font-weight: normal">who has the highest hopes for the prestigious title of EPT Main Event winner as he will be coming back as the chip leader with a stack of 5,150,000, nearly a million more than that of Dilling in second place.</span><strong> Pablo Gordillo </strong><span style="font-weight: normal">will be continuing his success story, as he will be coming third in chips with 4,075,000. The chip leader at the start of the day, </span><strong>Timo Pfutzenreuter</strong>, is also returning with 3,740,000, together with <strong>Simeon Naydenov </strong><span style="font-weight: normal">(3,550,000), </span><strong>Rumen Nanev </strong><span style="font-weight: normal">(2,765,000), </span><strong>Oleksii Khoroshenin </strong><span style="font-weight: normal">(2,150,000) and </span><strong>Marko Neumann </strong><span style="font-weight: normal">(1,685,000).</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-weight: normal">Ghamrawi will be aiming to turn his chip lead into becoming the first Austrian EPT champion tomorrow, while mysterious Gordillo will be looking to do the honors for Spain. Although many with far more experience and recognition have tried – and failed, there is something about Gordillo that indicates that he just might </span><em><span style="font-weight: normal">make it all the way</span></em><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">. This is not to say that the remaining six will sit idly, as we are sure that they will do all in their power to prevent the title from slipping under their fingers.</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">It was nothing if not fun as EPT Season 10 made its stop here in Vienna. There is no more waiting as tomorrow, the champion of Vienna will be crowned. Alongside the Main Event final table, the High Roller final table will be played as well, so it will be a truly action-packed day with a lot excitement as we finally find out who will be walking away with the €816,000 first place cash and a cool watch to match!</span></span></p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 15:55:19 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2686 EPT Vienna: 17 Players Survived Day 4 EPT Vienna: 17 Players Survived Day 4 <p style="text-align: justify;">Day 4 of the EPT Vienna Main Event started today with fifty players taking their seats. The plan was to play until sixteen players remain or five levels had passed. The latter came to be the case, as after seven and a half hours of play, seventeen players are still in the hunt for the trophy and the first place prize of €816,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The day started off with quite a few quick eliminations, as the shortest stacks hit the rail one after the other. The first to leave the tables today was <strong>Mathias Rinnhofer</strong> at the hands of the chip leader at the start of the day, <strong>Pablo Gordillo</strong>. Then followed Jonathan Roy, Vit Blachut, and Timothy Davie.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Gordillo, who had an amazing run yesterday, continued to accumulate chips throughout the day. Although he is quite an enigma in the poker world, it doesn’t seem to represent an obstacle for the young Spaniard to lay his claim to the throne here in Vienna. It appears that Gordillo really has no interest in sharing any of his personal details with representatives of poker media as he skillfully avoids interviews while continuing to crush at the tables. When the final hand was dealt today he was no longer the chip leader, but was in a close second with 3,582,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He resigned the chip lead honor to Austrian <strong>Timo Pfutzenreuter</strong>, who bagged 3,837,000 at the end of the night. Pfutzenreuter had his share of luck to get where he was in the end, but some luck is always needed in poker tournaments. Should the Austrian make the final eight tomorrow, it would be the biggest cash of his career.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other big stacks that we will be watching tomorrow include that of Anthony Ghamrawi (2,790,000), Simeon Naydenov (2,324,000), Frei Dilling (2,280,00) and Gavin O’Rourke (2,071,000). On the other end are the short stacks of Oleksii Khoroshenin, Mike Adamo and Sebastian Panny. Team Pokerstars Pro <strong>Johnny Lodden</strong> also made it through the day and is around the middle of the pack with 1,113,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">To reach these 17 players, we first had to lose 33 of those who started the day. Apart from the players already mentioned, <strong>Marcel Luske</strong>, Anatoly Filatov, Sebastian Trisch and Marko Vukoja all landed on the sidelines.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The remaining field will take their seats once again tomorrow at noon and will play down to the final table of eight. It will be interesting to see if Gordillo makes it to the final table and continues to puzzle the poker world or if the good fortune makes him a bit more forthcoming. It is always fun to keep an eye on well-known names, so Lodden will certainly attract a lot of attention with his performance tomorrow. We are approaching the final culmination of the EPT Vienna Main Event and as the big hands go down and those less fortunate hit the rail, we’ll be bringing you timely updates to keep you in the loop.</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:28:15 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2685 California Tribes Unite Versus Bad Actors California Tribes Unite Versus Bad Actors <p>The lack of unity among Indian tribes in California has been a major reason why online poker regulation has not yet been put into play. But those tribes tend to agree on one issue - keeping particular gaming interests out.</p> <p>Most of the tribes have been steadfast in excluding the state's racetracks from being a part of a possible Internet poker regime. And the tribes have now found common ground against another entity that may want a piece of the ipoker revenue pie - bad actors.</p> <p>Just days after the California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA) spoke out against a possible alliance between the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, a few card rooms and PokerStars, several more tribes have issued a "Joint Tribal Statement on iPoker Bad Actors."</p> <p>Taking aim at PokerStars in particular and bad actors in general, the statement was signed by a dozen tribal leaders who <em>"urge the State Legislature to maintain the highest standard of suitability in order to prevent unscrupulous entities and brands from any involvement in legislatively authorized internet poker opportunities."</em></p> <p>Of the dozen tribes that affixed their names to the joint statement, three belong to the CTBA and two tribes each support AB 2291 and SB 1366, the current online poker bills pending before the legislature. Both bills include bad actor clauses.</p> <p>PokerStars, of course, is seen as public enemy no. 1 among gaming companies who are quick to point out that the site continued operating in the U.S. post-UIGEA until the hammer came down on Black Friday. However, PokerStars is not viewed as an enemy by the over 180,000 players who flock to the site's SitNGo, MTT, play-money, and cash tables at any one time.</p> <p><blockquote>"Although we presently have slightly differing views on a legislative framework for Intrastate Internet Poker in California, our tribal governments are united in our steadfast opposition to the easing of regulatory standards that would accommodate bad actors whose past behavior and tainted brands and assets would erode the integrity of Intrastate Internet poker under consideration," said the statement published by</blockquote></p> <p>California, as most already know, has more residents than any of the 50 states and would be the crown jewel of any regulated online poker scheme in the U.S. The failure of tribes to unite on the online gambling issue has severely hampered progress up until now. Whether or not this newfound unity will result in Internet poker legislation eventually being approved remains to be seen.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:06:35 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2684 Former Sponsored Lock Pro Reveals Insights On Scheme Former Sponsored Lock Pro Reveals Insights On Scheme <p>Unable to process its countless cashouts, disgraced online poker site Lock Poker is still trying to lure people into its web.</p> <p>After launching version 2.0 that had absolutely no effect on the site’s ability to process withdrawals, Lock Poker has come up with other ideas to boost their nearly-dead traffic: a new poker site by the name of joined the Lock network, plus a new rake and bonus promotion – REKOLLECT – that promises a 200% deposit bonus and a rake chase <em>“with a chance for even more cash prizes.”</em></p> <p>Of course, whoever reads the 2+2 forums already knows about the serious accusations Lock is facing and definitely won’t take the bait. <a href=";postcount=1817" target="_blank">According to the latest 2+2 report</a> updated through March 19, 2014, a total of 362 players are still waiting to get their money back while only 47 players have been paid since January 11, 2013. Lock owes those players over $936,000 and the number could be even higher if we count the users that didn’t have the opportunity to get in touch with the author of this report – 'IHasTehNutz.'</p> <p>Even the former sponsored pros are turning their backs on the disgraced site. Recently, a former Lock pro who wished to remain anonymous shared some insights on Lock’s business and how some of the players made quite a small fortune just <em>“by working the system.”</em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">In an Online Poker Report interview</a>, the former Lock pro talked about a rumor that was going around.<em> “I heard of one non-pro getting biweekly Skrill withdrawals for $10k. He would purposely drive the price down on 2+2 by as much as he could on the site, then he would rake $20k or more per month to keep getting the expedited cashouts. He was making $20k just by working the system,”</em> he explained.</p> <p>He launched a full-out attack on the way the 2+2 community handled the situation – the negative PR via word of mouth with no real proof. However, the reality is the real proof and shows that the community was actually right.</p> <p>The poker pro also explained how things were done early to mid-2013. He talked about certain active 2+2 users lying about their withdrawal times, launching unsustainable rumors about frozen bank accounts and shut-down processors, and trying to lower the market value for every Lock dollar.</p> <p>Since the poker site was becoming more and more unstable, the poker players were trying to get their money back and sold every Lock dollar in their bankroll for less than 70 ($0.70) cents to start with.</p> <p>IHasTehNuts, who also recorded these particular trades, shared with the community how the value of a Lock dollar plummeted into mere oblivion. For example, in January 2013, 72 trades were made at an average rate of 68.86, meaning for every Lock dollar, the user received 68.86 cents. In June, 51 trades were reported at an average rate of 37.97 cents on the dollar, while in the last month of 2013, only 3 trades were made at an average rate of 17.25. Since nobody is getting paid anymore, in 2014 the market value of a Lock dollar has decreased to 10.92 cents.</p> <p>However all the trades and rumors doesn’t justify at all Lock Poker's faulty business and the lack of communication with its customers. If the players’ funds had been segregated, all those 2+2 trades and rumors shouldn’t have had any real effect on those funds. <em>“Even if someone was able to ’unfairly manipulate’ the price of Lock to .10, and millions of Lock dollars are being bought and sold on a secondary market, it doesn’t change their liabilities. They still owe millions, and received millions in deposits,”</em> user 'JimAfternoon' pointed out.</p> <p>In fact, it is likely that Lock didn’t have a segregated pool with the players’ funds in the first place. Now, in spite of all their promotions and network extensions, all the signals show that the funds are not there anymore. Less and less cashouts are being processed and the waiting time is increasing rapidly and will soon reach the 100,000-days mark (total days from the cash-out requests from all the 362 players combined waiting for their money). Will they ever get their money back?</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:54:13 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2683 EPT Vienna: Pablo Gordillo Leads Into Day 4 EPT Vienna: Pablo Gordillo Leads Into Day 4 <p style="text-align: justify;">A total of 189 players came back today to play Day 3 of the EPT Main Event in Vienna. Of those 189, 54 busted out without cashing, while 135 were guaranteed to walk away with at least the min-cash of more than €8,000. As anticipated, the money bubble did not slow players down too much, as most have their eyes set on the final table. For that reason, the hand-for-hand stage of play did not last long before the bubble burst.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Even so, it is never a nice feeling to be the player who gets eliminated just before finishing in the money, yet every poker tournament has the infamous <em>bubble boy</em>. Today it was<strong> Ronny Kaiser</strong>, who got his chips in with Ace-King suited, but couldn’t improve against the pocket tens of Metalidi. Unlucky, for sure, but it’s the nature of the beast.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Once the bubble phase was over, short stacks had nothing to wait for, so we saw quite a few eliminations in a short time span. One of those was <strong>Sam Trickett</strong>, who  lost a huge pot in an earlier cooler hand and was hanging around with a couple of blinds.  This, combined with his tweets from the start of day, indicate that things are not going too well for Sam here in Vienna overall, but a player of his reputation is probably not too concerned about some bad luck coming his way.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Gus Hansen </strong>has been going strong for most of the tournament and we wouldn’t be at all surprised had he made it all the way to the final table. However, Lady Luck turned her back today on the Great Dane, as he finished in 71<sup>st</sup> place after losing a few key pots. Among the other names that we will not be seeing at the tables tomorrow are Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Viktor Blom, Alex Kravchenko and Vladimir Geshkenbain, who lost a huge pot to Harig after they both flopped a set, creating the biggest pot of the tournament so far.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fifty players did survive today, and they will be coming back tomorrow to resume their quest for the coveted first place title and prize money of €816,000. Of those survivors, the man who will be returning with the biggest hopes is <strong>Pablo Gordillo</strong>, the current chip leader with 2,111,000 in his stack. He has a substantial advantage over his pursuers such as second place <strong>Anatoly Filatov </strong>(1,500,000) and <strong>Timo Pfutzenreuter </strong>(1,065,000). The more notable names that will be taking their seats tomorrow include Marcel Luske (512,000) and Johnny Lodden (477,000).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The play is scheduled to start again at noon tomorrow and we will be bringing you all the updates as the players approach the final table. Also scheduled for tomorrow is the €10,000 High Roller event and we are certain to see some big names in that one. Poker fans have a lot to look forward to as the Main Event progresses into its final stages and the High Roller gets underway.</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 23:01:15 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2682 The Poker Mob Return Home to Grosvenor Poker The Poker Mob Return Home to Grosvenor Poker <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>hree of the four legendary UK poker players widely known as "The Hendon Mob" have signed a deal with Grosvenor Casinos that will see them return to the locale where their poker careers began by playing in events both live and online.</p> <p>Joe Beevers, along with Barny and Ross Boatman, are now being referred to as "The Poker Mob." The new name was chosen because Hendon Mob Limited was sold to the Global Poker Index last July.</p> <p>Along with fourth member Ram Vaswani, the four poker players were often seen arriving together at the Victoria Grosvenor Casino in London to play poker beginning in the 1990s. Television appearances on Late Nite Poker from 1999-2002 helped to show off their talents and enhance their popularity.</p> <p>A journalist dubbed them The Hendon Mob in 2000 and they became household names throughout the UK poker community, both individually and collectively. Instrumental in making the game of poker popular in the UK, the four are also known worldwide, albeit at a lesser extent than the esteemed status achieved in their native land.</p> <p>In addition to their prowess on the felt, the four established The Hendon Mob database that lists the results of major poker tournaments worldwide, as well as breaking down the results for each player. The Boatmans and Beevers were ecstatic at signing the new deal and making a triumphant return to their roots.</p> <p><blockquote class="left">“It means we'll be back playing where we began,” Beevers said. “The Victoria Casino is regarded as the heart of UK poker. Grosvenor is a long established name with more card rooms in the UK than anyone and we are really looking forward to working with them and visiting lots of their poker rooms, old and new.”</blockquote></p> <p><blockquote class="right">“It means a reconnection with the grassroots game that I love so much” said Barny. “I’m looking forward to connecting with old and new friends all over the country.” Brother Ross also expressed nothing but fondness regarding the trio's return. “It's where I really began to learn my trade, so after spending many years traveling the world and using the skills I developed there, signing with Grosvenor is like coming home.”</blockquote></p> <p>Along with playing at live Grosvenor Casinos’ events, a PokerMob League has been established at Any player with a Grosvenor Poker account is eligible to sign up and play against the "mobsters." Also, a new website,, will provide a forum and news updates pertaining to the Poker Mob's exploits throughout the UK.</p> <p><blockquote>“We’re delighted to have teamed up with The Poker Mob," said Rory Cartwright, Head of Online Poker for Grosvenor Casinos. "They are the most influential independent voice in the UK poker fraternity, and this deal will help to cement Grosvenor as the home of UK Poker.”</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:21:27 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2681 Sheldon Adelson Claims "Internet Gambling Floundering" Sheldon Adelson Claims "Internet Gambling Floundering" <p><span class="letter-big">S</span>heldon Adelson continued his war against online poker and gambling by posting on the Facebook page of his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling that the revenue projections of regulated states such as Delaware and New Jersey are falling short of expectations.</p> <p>A post reading "Internet Gambling Floundering in the States" mentions that New Jersey revenue estimations are off by 80% and that Delaware "is not on track" to bag the $5 million anticipated. Adelson is correct in that the high end of anticipated revenue has not yet been met. New Jersey officials have since revised their projections down to $34 million.</p> <p>However, as some replies to the Facebook post pointed out, $34 million is still a considerable sum. It is important to remember that both markets are only a few months old and that revenue totals may increase in the future once geolocation and credit card deposit issues are rectified. Another factor that may boost revenue totals is if other states eventually join in and form interstate agreements and regulated online poker becomes more widespread throughout the country.</p> <p>The Facebook post comes at a time when the online gambling regulation issue is likely to heat up considerably with the expected formal introduction of the Internet Gambling Control Act of 2014 perhaps as early as today. That Adelson-backed legislation is set to be proposed by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz in both chambers of Congress.</p> <p>With a goal of reversing the 2011 DoJ ruling that prompted states to begin passing statutes approving online poker and gambling, the proposals of Graham and Chaffetz are certain to be vigorously opposed by the American Gaming Association, Poker Players Alliance, and the organization formed in response to Adelson's effort, the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection.</p> <p>The anti-online gambling crowd got a boost recently when Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley sent letters to Congress in support of prohibiting online gambling. But that directive was met head-on by the Democratic Governors Association, who also made their pro-online gambling stance known by urging Congressional leaders to uphold the rights of states to enact Internet gambling legislation if they so choose.</p> <p><blockquote>"This Bill has a severe and disastrous impact on state governments and in light of these potential effects, the Bill is unworkable and it must be defeated," the DGA insisted.</blockquote></p> <p>The DGA further points out that the wording of the bill is so broad that the Wire Act would be applied even to current lottery sales in 47 U.S. jurisdictions dependent on the Internet for the transmission of wagering, thereby wiping out nearly $20 billion in revenue that those 44 states and three U.S. territories currently enjoy.</p> <p>The fireworks have only just begun in this issue in which pro and anti-online gambling causes are clearly at odds. With billions of dollars at stake, this battle may go the entire 12 rounds.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 17:52:40 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2680 Nabil Hirezi Wins WPT Jacksonville Nabil Hirezi Wins WPT Jacksonville <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he World Poker Tour returned to Jacksonville, Florida for the second time this season. The first stop was back in November 2013 when <strong>Jared Jaffee</strong> finally broke the ice and <a href="" target="_blank">won his first major title</a>. He was close to reaching yet another final table as he started Day 3 with the chip lead. But the poker gods didn’t help him this time as he finished in 12th place after running into #kc#ks.</p> <p>The poker gods favored a local player this time around, a 59-year-old dentist and philanthropist by the name of <strong>Nabil Hirezi</strong>. He entered the final day with the biggest stack at the table and the only player with 100 big blinds or more. The other five players also had decent stacks that didn’t require immediate action.</p> <p>However, the first elimination came on the second hand of six-handed play. Former WPT Player of the Year <strong>Faraz Jaka</strong> was the unlucky player who finished in sixth place. He woke up with #kc#ks and three-bet <strong>Peter Le</strong>, who open-raised from under the gun. Le four-bet and Jaka put all his chips in the middle confidently. His confidence was shattered, though, after his opponent called and turned over #ac#as. The board brought Le the full house and the former PoY left the table with a $38,241 prize.</p> <p>The next player to step out was WPT Legends of Poker winner <strong>Jordan Cristos</strong>. He called Hirezi’s all-in on the river but mucked his hand after his opponent showed him a made straight. Cristos cashed in $47,802 for his fifth place finish.</p> <p>The four-handed action was intense with players doubling up at the expense of the big stack. Le lost a big pot on the 69th hand, remaining with only two big blinds. After a double-up, he was all-in again with both Hirezi and <strong>Brian Green</strong> calling. Green flopped a set that sent Le home with $63,682 in his pockets.</p> <p>Thirteen hands later, Green joined his victim. He three-bet his #qs#qh hand pre-flop after <strong>James Calderaro</strong> open-raised from the button. Calderaro, who had #jh#10d, stuck around and on a #jd#10s#5s flop he snap-called Green’s all-in with the magical two pairs. Third place brought Green a prize of $86,043.</p> <p>Heads-up play lasted 49 hands and Hirezi had a difficult task at hand having less chips and less big poker action experience than his opponent. Calderaro was rolling; he won the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open last month and finished in tenth place in the last WPT Rolling Thunder event. But this didn’t impress the local dentist, who eventually drilled his way to victory.</p> <p>Hirezi fought hard and also caught a lucky break in the last hand of the tournament. After a raise and two reraises pre-flop, both players got their chips in the middle. The local player had #10c#10d while the WPT Lucky Hearts winner held #ac#kd. The #kh#6h#5h flop propelled Calderaro into the lead and the #qh turn gave Hirezi some extra outs for the chop. The #10s river, however, put an end to the tournament, with James Calderaro finishing in second place for $133,764.</p> <p>Congratulations to Nabil Hirezi, who won $206,041 and a special opportunity to compete with the best of the best next month in Atlantic City in the season-ending WPT World Championship.</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 00:19:01 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2679 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - March 25, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - March 25, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>nother week of declining player traffic makes six in a row, which has been a familiar refrain in 2014. Nine weeks out of the last 10 have seen less cash game player traffic than the previous week.</p> <p>It was roughly seven weeks ago that 2005 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem lit a match under the poker community by stating "I think poker is dying and it’s dying because it’s no longer fun for people to play." Sorry to say, with regard to online poker, Hachem's words seem to be ringing true as the situation has gotten worse instead of better.</p> <p>Something must surely be done to inject new life (money) into the game to bring back players who may have left, as well as to attract those who have yet to discover the game (deposit). Perhaps greater attention should be focused upon converting social poker players who now number 38,500 at Zynga Poker and 21,000 at the play-money tables on PokerStars, according to PokerScout statistics.</p> <p>That's a huge untapped market that is one deposit away from possibly turning out everyday real-money players. If there were more social and recreational fun player experiences for first-time depositors, it's possible that the industry would keep new cash players coming back.</p> <p>As it stands now, some players who do try real-money online poker may be retreating back to play-money tables due to unfavorable experiences or lack of fun at the cash games. It's uncertain if this is actually happening, but the declining player numbers suggest it to be so.</p> <p>In any event, last week's drop in traffic was 3%. That follows a 4% decline from the week before. This time last year, cash tables throughout the industry had 14% more action. It's beginning to sound like a broken record.</p> <p>Feeling the major brunt of the decline are the French-facing sites of Winamax and Both have 25% less players than this time last year. The decrease in action in that region of the world is more likely due to the high taxes imposed, but a lack of recreational players certainly plays a part. The drop in players caused to fall out of the top ten and allowed Adjarabet to take sole possession of that position.</p> <p>Other position shifting within the top ten saw PartyPoker pull into a third place tie with the iPoker Network as of this writing. The Points Hunt promotion at PartyPoker in which players can earn an additional $300 weekly by reaching a points target may be responsible for the traffic increase.</p> <p>Elsewhere, Switch Poker has copied the playbook of PokerStars by offering a cash bonus for players who participate in the site's 12 millionth hand. Well, the entire playbook wasn't copied, as there will be only one milestone hand payed out and the bonus will be €500 split equally among those who contribute to the pot. Switch Poker tallies play-money and real-money hands together, so if the big one occurs at a play-money table, the prize will go to the next real-money hand.</p> <p>New Jersey's Party Borgata Network is also staging a milestone hand promo on the road to 30 million. Next up is the 27 millionth hand that PokerScout estimates will hit on Thursday. Players in the Garden State who enjoy milestone hand action may want to log on around lunchtime on that day.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 22:25:42 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2678 189 Survived EPT Vienna Day 2 189 Survived EPT Vienna Day 2 <p style="text-align: justify;">After six levels of play, 189 players bagged their chips for tomorrow's continuation of the EPT Main Event in Vienna. After registration closed, the final number of participants reached 910, creating a total prize pool of €4,413,500. Of this number, €816,000 will go to the last man standing, while the rest will be distributed amongst the other top 134 finishers. The smallest cash for those who make it into the top 135 will be €8,700.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As anticipated, we've seen a lot of fireworks during Day 2. There were numerous short stacks throughout the room and as the clock was ticking away, those players had to move those chips around as they were running out of time. There were some who only registered to play this morning, like <strong>Daniel 'Jungleman' Cates</strong>, who didn't get to play much as he was quickly eliminated in a set over set situation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The man who was favored by Lady Luck today was <strong>Sebastien Trisch</strong>. The German played well and cards fell his way and as the last hand of the evening was dealt, he bagged 568,500 in chips to bring back to the tables tomorrow. Others who survived today with big stacks are Artur Koren (463,000), Marko Neumann (421,100), and Ivan Neytchev (377,100). Other names that might ring the bell and who will be returning tomorrow include Vladimir Geshkenbein, Sam Trickett, the Great Dane himself – Gus Hansen, Marcel Luske, Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom, and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier. All in all, it seems we are in for quite a treat in the coming days. We should probably make mention of Eureka Main Event winner <strong>Zoltan Gal</strong>, who is still holding on in the tournament although he will be quite short-stacked tomorrow with 40,000 chips to his name.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Michael Eiler</strong>, the defending champion of Vienna, will no longer be defending his title, as he failed to survive the day. <strong>Michael Telker</strong>, whom we’ve noticed mostly due to his shenanigans at the table today and the fact that the tournament director had to take a bottle of vodka away from him, did not make it either. Telker's promise that <em>he would be drinking for seven days by the time he wins</em> will not materialize. <strong>Karl Ruprecht Prinz von Bavaria</strong>, probably the only representative of any royal family in this event, will not be joining the action tomorrow either. Other notable names that have fallen include Vitaly Lunkin, Sandra Naujoks, Olivier Busquet, Dominik Nitsche, Ole Schemion and Kevin MacPhee.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Play will continue tomorrow at noon again, probably for another six levels. We should also burst the money bubble tomorrow, so make sure to tune in for the live coverage of Day 3 action from the EPT Vienna Main Event.</p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 22:16:48 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2677 Tipday Launch Provides Unique Social Sports Betting Site Tipday Launch Provides Unique Social Sports Betting Site <p>Sports fans who fancy themselves as successful in the art of predicting winners of sporting events now have a social sports betting site in which to display their talents with the launch of Tipday.</p> <p>The new betting site is free and aims to revolutionize wagering on sporting events by allowing players to make predictions or tips on a wide range of sporting contests from English Premier League football to NBA basketball. Those tipsters who do indeed show a penchant for selecting winners can earn a number of risk-free prizes that include choice seats to sporting events.</p> <p> is brought to you by 180Vita, whose presence in igaming media and entertainment is enjoyed immensely by punters throughout the globe at sites such as PokerTube, FootballTube and PokerVIP. With the launch of Tipday, the company's aim is to offer a website where the world's largest selection of sports betting tips can be found in one place.</p> <p><blockquote>"With more and more people becoming interested in sports betting, we wanted to build the world's largest sports tipping authority to help provide a fun and social way to learn how to make informed bets," said 180Vita founder Jamie Nevin.</blockquote></p> <p>Users of the site will be able to plainly see which tipsters have been the most successful. Players then have the option of taking the advice of the best sports betting prognosticators and perhaps placing real-money wagers to earn some cash while cheering on their favorite teams.</p> <p>Those real-money wagers can be made right at Tipday, where the best available odds on sporting events can be found from among a variety of popular sportsbooks.</p> <p><blockquote>"Sports fans love showing off that they know more than their friends, and Tipday lets them show off their expertise and sporting knowledge without having to risk any of their own money," Nevin added. "Then, when they're ready to make real-money bets, they will be in the best possible position to do so."</blockquote></p> <p>While the hard launch of Tipday is generating a tremendous amount of excitement among the sports wagering crowd - both social and real-money - even more exciting is the fact that 180Vita plans to roll out iOS, Android and Facebook apps in Q2 of this year.</p> <p>Sports betting has taken on a whole new look at Tipday, where social sports bettors can challenge their friends, climb leaderboards and win prizes while providing tips on their way to achieving "expert" status in their preferred sports. Real-money bettors, on the other hand, are privy to a huge selection of tips on upcoming sporting events that can be turned into cash by following the most successful tipsters.</p> <p>To celebrate the website launch, Tipday is giving users who share the most betslips on Twitter and Facebook two free tickets each to the Premier League football game of their choice. Check it out today at!</p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img large"/></a></p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:58:42 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2676 Day 1B of EPT Vienna Concluded Day 1B of EPT Vienna Concluded <p style="text-align: justify;">Both first days of the EPT Vienna are now behind us. As expected, Day 1B attracted a greater number of players – 559, 318 of whom got through to Day 2 that is scheduled to take place tomorrow. <strong>Mad Smith Hansen </strong>emerged as the chip leader today with 200,000<strong> </strong>and<strong> </strong>he will be returning as the overall chip leader tomorrow, as he bested yesterday’s result of Khoroshenin. Igin Viacheslav will also be coming back tomorrow with 182,700 chips. The combined number of entries from today and yesterday guarantees that at least 500<strong> </strong>players will be taking their seats tomorrow, but this number is highly likely to get bigger, as the registration will remain open until Day 2 officially starts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Like yesterday, today did not lack colorful characters and table action either. One of those players was <strong>Andre Krieger</strong>. The 34-year-old German has become quite famous for his Youtube channel where he regularly uploads videos in which he commentates on video games. His channel has an impressive 650,000+ subscribers and 75 of his groupies actually showed up today to greet him at the Vienner airport.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The big story of this EPT in Vienna is <strong>Eugene Katchalov</strong>. The Ukrainian player has locked up his place in the Eureka €2200 High Roller Event, guranteeing a very decent payday. That did not stop him from bringing his A-game to the tables today, as he managed to end the day with more than 80,000 in chips.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Zoltan Gal</strong>, who has already made a decent chunk of change here in Vienna after shipping the Eureka Main Event yesterday for more than €200,000, seems to be riding the wave of good fortune as he finished today with a very respectable stack of 135,000. Other notable names who made it through to Day 2 include Kevin MacPhee (128,800), Ole Schemion (102,800), Sam Trickett (77,000), and Gaelle Bauman (73,500).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are, of course, those who did not make it through the minefield that every big poker tournament is, including Ivan Demidov, Mickey Petersen and Mikhail Petrov, as well as those who have only barely made it, such as Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier with 11,800 and Juha Helppi with 12,100.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The play for Day 2 tomorrow will once again start at noon and will continue for six levels. We will keep bringing you regular updates on all important happenings as things will certainly get even more interesting once the registration has closed and the final number of players and total prize pool is set.</p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 00:02:21 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2675 From casual home games to ANZPT winner: Josh Redhouse wins it in Sydney From casual home games to ANZPT winner: Josh Redhouse wins it in Sydney <p><span class="letter-big">E</span>ight weeks ago, it was just a dream. Eight weeks ago, a group of friends started what today turned to be the biggest challenge of their poker lives. They decided to play a home game league, put some money aside for the Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour Sydney Main Event, and go with the flow. Whoever won the league would represent them at the Main Event.</p> <p><strong>Josh Redhouse</strong> was part of that challenge, eventually winning the league and entering the big event, according to PokerStars Blog. And after five days of intense playing, Josh brought the house down by taking the initial challenge to a whole new level.</p> <p>He entered the final table third in chips and in front of much more experienced players like <strong>Milan Gurung</strong>, who has cashed in around $300,000 in his live tournament career, Chinese <strong>Steven Zhou</strong>, who can brag about significant cashes in Macau, and online poker tournament expert <strong>Oliver Gill</strong>, who won over $1.1 million on PokerStars.</p> <p>Moreover, the first two stacks had almost 20 years of experience in playing the game.</p> <p>However, this didn’t dishearten Redhouse; he played solid and took advantage of every opportunity he had. He wasn’t a major factor in the elimination frenzy, but he delivered the blows when it mattered most: during heads-up play.</p> <p>Chip leader <strong>Peco </strong>“The Magician” <strong>Stojanovski </strong>took the most victims. Stojanovski started the action eliminating <strong>Brent Taunton</strong> in ninth place. Taunton attacked viciously with #as#9s on a #6s#qs#10d flop and eventually went all-in. The Magician called with the goodies, holding #qh#10s for two pair.</p> <p>Gurung followed him, being eliminated by the hand of Redhouse, and <strong>Nathan Sawyers</strong> took his leave in seventh place after an #ah#jc vs. #qd#qc pre-flop clash. Stojanovski held the ladies and he also had #jh#js in a victorious all-in battle against Gill, who finished sixth.</p> <p>After a series of ups and downs, <strong>Rory Young</strong> moved all-in with #ac#kc but couldn’t do anything when <strong>Jazz Mathers</strong> called with #10s#10h and hit the set on the flop. Young finished the tourney in fifth place, taking home a prize of AUD$48,000.</p> <p>The four-handed play started with a round of negotiations but the deal wasn’t set until Zhou doubled-up twice. Eventually the chop was made with Stojanovski having the big prize of AUD$155,000. Zhou got AUD$120,000, while Redhouse (AUD$116,000) and Mathers (AUD$105,000) divided the remaining prize money.</p> <p>As play resumed, Mathers had to sit up and leave the table in fourth; he moved all-in with #ks#10s and was called by Zhou, who held a dominant #as#kc. Zhou also dominated Stojanovski in another pre-flop all-in battle, #as#jh vs. #ac#4c. This time, however, “the Magician” got lucky and flopped a #4h that sent the Chinese back home.</p> <p>Redhouse started heads-up play with a small chip lead and although he was playing a much more experienced player, he succeeded eliminating Stojanovski in second place. In the last hand, Peco shoved with #ad#6s and his opponent immediately called with #8d#8c. The #7c#4d#9h#7s#Qs board secured Redhouse the impressive Sydney title.</p> <p>Along with his AUD$116,000, Redhouse also cashed in the AUD$17,360 bonus left for the ANZPT Sydney winner after the chop. According to him, though, he is entitled to only half of the money; the other half will be shared among his home game mates.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 22:00:30 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2674 LAPT 7 kicks off: Mario Lopez emerges victorious in Chile after a four-way chop LAPT 7 kicks off: Mario Lopez emerges victorious in Chile after a four-way chop <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he Latin America Poker Tour returned in 2014 with the promise of being bigger than ever. The seventh season kicked off in Vina del Mar, Chile and after five days and eight tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $200 to $5,000, an Argentinian sealed the deal by winning the first Main Event of the season.</p> <p><strong>Mario Lopez</strong> started the final day ready to risk his whole stack and had to sweat a little before going for the win. He moved all-in during the fifth hand of the eight-handed play against big stack <strong>Jefferson Melo</strong>. Lopez had #ac#as on a #3h#7h#4d board, while his opponent had a dangerous flush draw (#kh#8h) and over 37% chance to knock him out. Fortunately for the Argentinian, the bullets held and suddenly, he was in striking distance of chip leader <strong>Rodrigo Perez</strong>.</p> <p>Lopez increased his stack even more in the next hands by eliminating shortackers <strong>Raul Pino</strong> and <strong>Guilherme Pita</strong>. Pino open-shoved the button with #qh#jc and caught a #qc on the flop. Lopez, however, flopped a bigger hand, #kd#kh, that sent Pino railing. Pita couldn’t let go of his #10d#10s and four-bet all-in only to see that his opponent had #kc#ks.</p> <p>The Argentinian wasn’t done and eliminated yet another foe. With under 8 big blinds, <strong>Robert Lipkin</strong> shoved his #4d#4h being first to act. Lopez took the opportunity and called with #6c#6s. Lipkin didn’t leave Chile empty-handed, turning his $1,700 investment into a decent $37,260 win.</p> <p>The five players left tried to make a deal and failed, but after yet another elimination, the second round of negotiations was on. <strong>Johann Ibanez</strong> seemed in a hurry when he tried to scare his opponent with a 15-big-blind shove. Unfortunately for him, <strong>Luis Resk </strong>woke up with a premium hand, #ad#kc. The #kd high flop sealed the deal for both Ibanez ($47,620) and the remaining four players.</p> <p>Soon after that, the deal was set and the chop was made. The big stack Perez secured the largest prize of $120,000, Resk and Lopez got $95,000 each, while shortack Melo got $90,000. The rest of $22,991 was left for the Main Event winner.</p> <p>With the money left aside, the gambling frenzy began. Resk made an unlucky exit moving all-in with #ad#jh, but failed to stay alive against Melo’s #qh#9s. Minutes later, Melo tried to bluff his opponent out of the hand with #as high, but instead he was the one eliminated from the tournament with Perez calling his flop shove with top pair.</p> <p>Surprisingly, heads-up play lasted more than 90 minutes. Perez started with a big chip lead over his opponent, Mario Lopez, but the first hand signaled things to come. Lopez doubled up right at the start with both players putting their stacks in the middle with Ace-high hands. However, the Argentinian had the higher kicker that helped him win the first pot of the head-to-head battle.</p> <p>Lopez also won the final hand and with it the Main Event. Again, all chips were in the middle pre-flop with both players having huge hands: Perez had #as#qd, while Lopez held #10s#10c. The #qc high flop gave Perez the big lead but the #10h turn buried him, giving the Argentinian the winning set.</p> <p>Although he finished second, Perez can brag about cashing in the largest prize of the tournament: $120,000. Lopez won $117,991, but he will remain in the history books as the LAPT7 Chile Main Event winner.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 19:59:02 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2673 California Tribal Alliance Opposes PokerStars California Tribal Alliance Opposes PokerStars <p>A tribal group in California representing three of the state's native Indian tribes has voiced its opposition toward allowing PokerStars to be part of any new online poker legislation.</p> <p>The California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA), whose members include the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, the Pala Band of Luiseño Indians, and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, "will strongly oppose any legislation which allows PokerStars to participate," said CTBA chairman Leslie Lohse.</p> <p>That opposition comes on the heels of reports last week indicating that PokerStars has been negotiating a partnership with three California card clubs and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians in order to offer Internet poker in the state. Those discussions come at a time when two bills to regulate online poker have been introduced to the state legislature.</p> <p>Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) is the sponsor of one of the bills, SB 1366, that has the support of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians and the United Auburn Indian Community. Correa was named to head the Senate Governmental Organization Committee following the resignation of former chairman Senator Rod Wright, who stepped down after being found guilty of eight felony counts related to residing outside of the district he was elected to represent.</p> <p>The second bill was introduced by Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) and also has tribal support from influential native tribes. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuila Indians and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians are behind AB 2291. Both proposals do not include the state's racetracks in the online poker winner's circle, which differs from past measures offered by Wright that failed to advance.</p> <p>Lohse and the CTBA are of the mind that applicants for licensure in the state's online poker scheme be of the highest standard, PR Newswire reported. PokerStars has been lambasted for continuing to operate in the U.S. market following enactment of the UIGEA in 2006 until the Black Friday shutdown forced them to pull out in 2011.</p> <p>PokerStars, under parent company Rational Group, bailed out thousands of players by purchasing Full Tilt Poker and reimbursing players who may have had no other recourse had the online poker giant not stepped in. While rest-of-world players were made whole in November, 2012 following the site's relaunch, $76 million was paid to former U.S. Full Tilt players last month on Green Friday, with further stages and payouts in the remission process yet to come.</p> <p>Keep in mind that PokerStars admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement with the DoJ, which Lohse rightfully acknowledged despite voicing opposition. California tribes have failed to find common ground on the Internet poker legislation issue for several years, throwing a wrench in the entire process. The latest salvo fired by Lohse continues the discord.</p> <p>An estimated 1 million Californians are online poker players, a number that makes state officials salivate at the potential revenue opportunities. Yet that revenue continues to go to unregulated sites while California tribes fail to find solidarity on the matter.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 17:05:27 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2671 EPT Vienna Day 1A in the Books EPT Vienna Day 1A in the Books <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">B</span>ag 'em and tag 'em. We have just reached the conclusion of Day 1A of the EPT Main Event here in Vienna. Out of 341<strong> </strong>players who took their seats at the tables today, 182<strong> </strong>survived and will be returning for Day 2 on Tuesday. The player with the most chips at the moment is <strong>Olekii Khoroshenin </strong>with 171,000, but he is not certain to enter Day 2 as the chip leader, as more players will be qualifying tomorrow. Other big stacks are those of Dzmitry Urbanovich<strong> </strong>(163,400), Sergii Baranov (155,000), Jesper Hoog (149,200) and Mohamed Kerkeni (140,600).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was a fun day here at Hofburg Palace with lots of poker action, but also a lot of shenanigans and table banter that usually accompany poker tournaments. One of those who attracted a lot of attention was <strong>Michael Piper</strong>, who came to the table with a six-month beard and wearing a gray suit and a bowtie around his neck. Although he was going strong for a while, his future presence at the tables was denied as the dapper dresser was eliminated before the night drew to a conclusion.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another notable name was that of <strong>Max Silver</strong>, whose early success during the day indicated that he might be repeating his performance from Prague. Sadly, a missed flush draw sent Silver to the rail and he will have to wait for another EPT Main Event to try and reach the coveted final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of those still in the running, <strong>Dominik Nitsche </strong>has a very respectable stack of 138,000, Vladimir Geshkenbein is sitting on 130,000, Marcel Luske is still in with 47,500, as well as Vitaly Lunkin, although he is below the starting stack with 27,600. Busquet and O’Dwyer are also still in, although not with very big stacks.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Michael Elier</strong>, the defending EPT Vienna champion, survived the day, albeit barely. His stack is only 7,200, so he will be returning for Day 2 with about 10 blinds, but as the saying goes – <em>chip and a chair</em>. Elier won a title in Vienna in October of 2010, a championship that brought him a €700,000 payday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another curiosity today was the first live Flipout tournament. It was played as a freeroll satellite with the winner receiving a Main Event seat worth €5300 and the entire final table being paid something at least. As 184 players registered and only 81 players could participate, they drew the cards to see who would get to play. When the dust settled and all was said and done, it was Felix Schulze who walked away with the seat.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Play will resume tomorrow at noon for Day 1B and we’ll be bringing you regular updates on all important events throughout the day.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 00:01:40 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2670 Delaware and Nevada Aim for Interstate Poker This Summer Delaware and Nevada Aim for Interstate Poker This Summer <p>Online poker players in Nevada and Delaware may be competing against each other as early as this summer.</p> <p>After forging the nation's first interstate agreement last month, Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval are aiming for the new online poker scheme to be up and running in just a few months. Previously, the end of 2014 had been mentioned as the target, but that projection has been shortened.</p> <p>Both states could use the increased liquidity, as both are in the lower third of the nation in population. Delaware ranks nearly at the bottom of the 50 states, coming in ahead of only a handful of others.</p> <p>With the Multi-State Internet Wager Agreement now in force between Delaware and Nevada, Sandoval has invited other states to take part and team up with the pair. Perhaps 10 or so state legislatures are said to be contemplating online gambling legislation and the Nevada governor is more than happy to lend a hand.</p> <p><blockquote class="left">"If there are states that don’t have as sophisticated a regulatory structure as we have, that’s something we can offer,” Sandoval told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “If your state doesn’t have the infrastructure, use our capabilities.”</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>New Jersey, the only other legalized state, already has established its online gambling regulatory structure. Governor Chris Christie has spoken with Sandoval about an interstate compact, but a commitment has yet to be offered. With roughly 9 million residents, New Jersey is the 11th most populous state and would be a considerable boon to Delaware and Nevada players.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 22:05:28 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2669 Zoltan Gal Takes Down Eureka Vienna Main Event Zoltan Gal Takes Down Eureka Vienna Main Event <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter five days of play, the biggest Eureka tournament to date has come to its natural end – with one player holding all the chips and others probably regretting their missed opportunities or bemoaning their bad luck. That one player standing with his head held high tonight is Hungarian <strong>Zoltan Gal</strong>, who banked €208,655 for his performance in the magnificent Hofburg Palace. His last obstacle was Andreas Freund, hailing from Austria, who came into the heads-up battle with a nearly 3:1 chip deficit with his 7.6 million in chips playing Gal’s 20.7 million. Although there was a little back and forth movement in chips, Andreas never really managed to close the gap.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With about 25 big blinds in his stack, Freund was more than happy to get his chips in the middle with pocket eights, but was soon disappointed to see that he was far behind Gal’s pocket 10s. As the board ran #6c #7s #7d #Kh #6h, it was lights out for Freund. The last player eliminated, he still banked €174,655.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The reason prize money was distributed differently than it was announced when registration closed is that the last two players made a deal when heads-up play started, putting aside €10,000 for the winner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Poland’s Blazej Przygorzewski finished in third place despite being the chip leader for a long time three-handed. Cards simply decided not to cooperate, as he lost several showdowns in a row and was eventually knocked out by Gal in a blind vs. blind confrontation. Three-handed play took quite some time, as clearly neither of the two players would go out and in the end it was Przygorzewski who had to come to terms with the fact that tonight was simply not his night – although the €98,210 he received in prize money might help to alleviate that feeling a bit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite coming into today’s final table as a chip leader, things did not work out all that well for Markus Stoger. The Austrian finished his final table performance in fifth spot, taking home €56,600. Bryan Paris (USA) experienced a similar fate, as he started the day a very close second in chips, yet made it only to fourth place, which was good for €72,230.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Greek Stavros Kalfas finished in 6<sup>th</sup>, banking €42,230, Germany’s Erik Scheidt took home €33,090 for his 7<sup>th</sup> place finish, while another player hailing from Poland, Robert Malinowski, busted first from the final table and still got a nice payday in the form of €23,430.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Zoltan certainly has something to be proud of, as outplaying the field of more than 1,400 players is quite an accomplishment. At 27 years young, he mostly plays high stakes cash games online. This was his biggest live tournament result to date and could be the breakthrough that the semi-pro (as he refers to himself) has long been awaiting!</p> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 21:02:46 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2668 Eureka Poker Tour in Vienna Breaks the Field Record Eureka Poker Tour in Vienna Breaks the Field Record <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">I</span>t is now clear that the decision to start the Eureka Main Event just a few days before the start of EPT in Vienna was a great success. Although the tour has only been in existence for a relatively short time (since 2011), the number of players it attracts seems to be steadily growing. This year's event in Vienna broke the record in terms of player entries. A total of 1,432 players took their seats in magnificent Hofburg palace, breaking the Eureka - Prague record by more than 100 players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The big turnout resulted in an even bigger prize pool, totaling €1,389,040 and very respectable first place prize money in the form of €244,000. The play started on March 19 with Day 1A, and the field is now at 47 players who will play down to the final table of eight today and return tomorrow to fight for the biggest prize the Eureka Main Event has offered to date.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The story of the tournament is <strong>Sangkhadech Fremming</strong>, the chip leader heading into Day 3 with 1.5 million in chips. Although this is impressive in its own right, what makes it much more outstanding is the fact that Fremming came into Day 2 with a measly 9,800 chips, which was less than half of the starting stack and a whole six big blinds when play started. A couple of lucky double ups later and he was back in the game, although the Dane was surprised to hear that he was leading the way going into Day 3 after the official chip counts were up. If Fremming goes on to win the event, it will make for a really great story about a (couple of) chip(s) and a chair.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Notable names that made it through to Day 3 include <strong>Todor Purice</strong>, <strong>David Kaufmann</strong>,<strong> Max Pescatori</strong> and <strong>Benjamin Pollak.</strong> The event was full of big names like Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Pius Heinz, Marcel Luske, Mickey Peterson, Max Lykov, Kevin MacPhee, Dominik Panka and many others who will not be making their appearance at this Eureka final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Apart from the Eureka final table, tomorrow is also Day 1A of the EPT Main Event and judging by the numbers so far, we should see a really big field with a lot of big names in the mix, guaranteeing a lot of fun and excitement. We will be bringing you updates here at as things go down, so make sure to check in from time to time for fresh information from the tournament action.</p> Sat, 22 Mar 2014 11:14:45 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2666 888Poker Launches 'Road to WSOP Vegas 2014' Promo 888Poker Launches 'Road to WSOP Vegas 2014' Promo <p>Want to win an entry to the $10,000 buy-in 2014 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas for only $0.01? It's possible at 888Poker under a new promotion designed to give players an opportunity to play in poker's most celebrated live tournament at a small fraction of the entry fee.</p> <p>A 6-step process to advance to the qualifying tournament for the Main Event is available to players with the first step a mere penny to enter. The steps have buy-in fees of $0.01, $0.10, $1, $5, $30 and $160, respectively. Players can forgo any of the initial steps by buying in at the tournament (step) of their choice.</p> <p>Or, there is always the 2014 Main Event Qualifier for $1,050 for those players with a bankroll large enough to skip all six steps. The tournaments are running now until June 8 with winners receiving a package worth $15,000 that includes the Main Event buy-in, $1,500 in travel expenses, $500 in pocket money, and six nights at the glorious Palazzo Hotel Las Vegas.</p> <p>The fun and prizes don't end there, as Road to WSOP Vegas winners will receive a VIP invite to an 888Poker-hosted Welcome Party and a bunch of other goodies such as headphones, a hoodie and baseball cap to be worn at your discretion during your hopeful ascent to the final table. Should you happen to make it as one of the November Niners, 888Poker will gladly cover your accommodations for that return trip in November.</p> <p>The 2014 WSOP Main Event is set to begin on July 5 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino and is guaranteeing $10 million to the winner. After establishing the nine final tablists and allowing for a four-month hiatus, the November Niners will conclude the tournament on November 10 &amp; 11, 2014.</p> <p>888Poker is giving you the chance to be one of the players at the final table at a very low price via the Road to WSOP Vegas 2014. Registration is open now for the satellite tourneys.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 20:13:15 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2665 Is Ivey League Good for Poker? Is Ivey League Good for Poker? <p style="text-align: justify;">The number one coaching site that has stirred up the most debate in the poker world lately is certainly Ivey League. Once Mr. Ivey declared his intention to get into the coaching business, there was no doubt in anybody's mind that he would gather the best crew available to make a great product. The entire poker community was naturally pumped up about the site, but since it went public there has been an ongoing discussion on whether the site is really good for poker or whether it will do more damage than good.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The whole coaching project was preceded by the Ivey Poker Facebook app, which clearly indicated that they were targeting recreational players. The main idea of Ivey Poker was to offer people from around the world an opportunity to play against the best players in the world without having to risk thousands of dollars.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although the design and functionalities of the app are of quite high standard for a Facebook poker app, the reach is probably not as big as expected. The app page has about 13,000 likes and there are usually a few dozen active players, but these numbers pale in comparison to the main competitor in this area, Zynga Poker.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This did not prevent Ivey from expanding his impressive roaster of signed pros, clearly showing that there was a much bigger plan behind the project than creating a cool poker application. Names associated with Ivey Poker now include Greg Merson, Cole South, Patrik Antonius, Jen Harman, Toby Lewis, James Dempsey – to name just a few. The Ivey League site was announced at the end of October 2013, promising coaching videos from truly the best in the business and the Ivey Poker app and page served as a marketing platform for the site.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Aggressive Business Model</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">From day one of the project, Ivey was insistent that he would create the best coaching site yet. His actions were in line with the idea, as he proceeded to sign all the big names that he could get and also invested money in purchasing LeggoPoker, a coaching site with a very good reputation. Through this acquisition he has ensured that a few more players got on board as coaches and created the solid foundation for his own site, making sure there was no lack of content on launch.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>In my opinion, LeggoPoker is one of the best teaching sites on the market. <cite>Quote Phil Ivey</cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">From the customers’ standpoint, this all sounds good, but how can a project of this magnitude be feasible with the highest yearly subscription being $500 a year (or $75/month) for the Masters tier that includes all the videos? Considering that some high stakes players charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for one hour of coaching, one doesn’t need to be a math genius to figure out it would take a huge number of subscribers to meet these expectations. And if expectations are not met, will the content suffer? Even Aaron Jones, the former Leggo coach and the new content manager for the Ivey League, said (albeit as a joke) something on the topic in an interview with Pokerfuse.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>Making three videos a month used to be exhausting, I’m now hoping to get down to one or two. He laughed at the suggestion that it would be like “herding cats,” but pointed out that the large number of coaches Ivey has assembled would make the job easier. <cite>Quote Pokerfuse</cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Why Ivey would decide to go for the social poker platform and paid coaching site instead of expanding Ivey Poker for real money play while offering some bonus videos along the way is hard to understand. Maybe it is a challenge that’s driving Ivey, as he was always the type of person to go for the number one place, and becoming the number one coaching site with all the competition already out there - like Runitonce, Deucescracked, Cardrunners – to mention a few, is certainly a worthy challenge.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the words of Lee Davy from</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>What is going to set them apart from their peers, other than the current USP of having Phil Ivey at your disposal? After all, aren’t we tired of the same old videos being pushed through cyber space? <cite>Quote Lee Davy</cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It will certainly be interesting to follow the development of the Ivey League and see what path they go down. It is a tough market out there, and although big names are great for attracting signups, maintaining membership will require a constant influx of new and quality videos.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>‘I want poker to be as tough as it can be’</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This is Ivey’s statement from one of the recent interviews he gave for Bluff Magazine and it certainly created mixed feelings to say the least. While many observe poker as a competitive environment where they come to seek mental challenge, during the last decade, the game has also become the profession and main source of income for a great number of players. While Ivey perhaps doesn’t mind for poker games to get tougher, it is a safe bet that other players may not share his enthusiasm.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is probably much easier for someone who has made millions at the tables to say ‘hey, these games are too easy, let’s make it more fun,’ but for those grinding their behinds off day in and day out to make marginally decent ROIs, games are probably enough of a challenge as it is.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Ivey League concept created quite a debate on 2+2 forums, with some users maintaining that it would hurt the bottom line for many regulars in the game, while others are certain that it doesn’t matter all that much, because the proverbial fish are not capable of properly applying all the complicated concepts and thought processes.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is probably a more reasonable conclusion that a lot of new players will be attracted to the game because of Ivey and the likes of Antonius, than that these videos would create a bunch of super tough players that would seriously hurt the poker economy. Plus, it’s not like every amateur out there is just waiting to give $75 out of their pocket for a couple of videos, even if they are featuring Ivey himself.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Good or Bad?</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is really hard to give a definite answer to this, as there are always two sides to every coin. On the one hand, games are bound to get tougher with all those resources readily available at affordable prices. On the other hand, everybody’s always going on and on about how there is not enough fresh blood coming into the poker eco system. Ivey League will certainly help with popularization of games and attract some new players or help activate those who were more of once-a-week guys or girls.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As far as the content goes, the free membership gets you some of the low level stuff, but not much more than that. Bachelor’s access costs $9/mo and lets you watch most of the Leggo videos and some of the Ivey League content, but for the high end stuff, like Ivey’s videos, you’ll need a Master’s subscription. As things stand now, there is not much of the high end of content but the promise is that there will be more as the site moves along. One thing that seems to bother users a lot at this point in time is not being able to download videos for later viewing. Although the site may change their policy when it comes to some lower tier videos, they are adamant about keeping their videos from the best pros and only viewable on site to protect the content.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bottom line is this: those who really want to get better in poker have found ways before this site and will find them regardless of how scarce the resources are. The average player might get better overall, but on the other hand, there was no guarantee that poker would never become harder anyway. Games are getting tougher nearly every day and availability of resources has become a standard, so those wanting to survive will simply have to come to terms with this and keep up the pace.</p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:47:12 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2664 Rafael Nadal Zooms to Victory for Charity at PokerStars Rafael Nadal Zooms to Victory for Charity at PokerStars <p>Action on the tennis court can often become fast and furious for the world's top pro, and Rafael Nadal used that experience to his advantage while taking on the world at fast-fold poker on PokerStars.</p> <p>In a one-hour session seated alongside commentator Daniel Negreanu, Nadal managed to outplay his opponents at six-man Zoom Poker tables while answering questions from fans and players. The handsome and affable Spaniard responded to player queries in humble fashion, all the while concentrating intently on poker as he was whisked from one play-money table to the next.</p> <p>"A lot of times you will have someone who is number one in the world, and they develop an ego," said Negreanu of the top-ranked tennis pro. "He's just very humble despite his success."</p> <p>That success in yesterday's action was highlighted by a hand in which Nadal received hole cards of pocket Queens and managed to scoop the pot after getting all his play-money chips in the middle. After 60 minutes of poker play had ended, the tennis champ had 20 points, while his opponents throughout the world had 18.</p> <p>Since Nadal had to face five players at each Zoom Poker table, he was given two points for each hand won. Any of his five opponents were given one point for taking down the pot against the tennis star. The event was aired via live webcast on PokerStars' Facebook application, YouTube, and</p> <p>Prior to the event, PokerStars had offered to donate $100 to a charitable cause for every Zoom Poker hand in which the "King of Clay" claimed victory. The world's leading poker site upped the ante after all was said and done, sending $5,000 to Care International.</p> <p>Players and fans are wondering, does Nadal have a future in poker after his tennis playing days are over? A new career may be in the cards considering that the tennis champ did win an EPT charity tourney in Prague and has now emerged victorious in two other charitable contests hosted by PokerStars.</p> <p>"In terms of him being successful in poker, that's not surprising to me, because guys like him that are so driven, they don't like to lose," Negreanu told PokerStars blog. "He takes it pretty seriously."</p> <p>Nadal will now take that seriousness and competitive spirit to the Sony Open this weekend.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 21:58:13 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2663 New Unibet Loyalty Program Coming Soon New Unibet Loyalty Program Coming Soon <p>Unibet's standalone poker room has been running for a bit over two weeks now, but the site continues tinkering with ways to improve the online poker playing experience for grinders and recreational players alike.</p> <p>Though the site's aim is admittedly toward the casual crowd, grinders will be pleased to know that a more permanent loyalty program than the current plan running only for March is in the works. Recent posts at 2 + 2 by Unibet representative 'Sciolist' indicate that a new loyalty scheme could be in place by the 1st of April.</p> <p>The new loyalty plan is not designed to coincide with April Fools Day, as most players who continue to flock to the site aren't feeling foolish at all. While PokerScout estimates put Unibet among the top 30 in player traffic worldwide, Sciolist posted just a couple days ago that the number of players is actually "almost double what PokerScout have us at."</p> <p>Sciolist further prods players to "count for yourself if you go into the client and add up the numbers for all the cash games." While that certainly would put an accurate total on the number of ring game players at any given moment, why not avoid all the discrepancy and provide a feed to PokerScout so that players interested in player pool liquidity can see for themselves by simply clicking on PokerScout?</p> <p>In any event, a few peaks at the parameters of the new loyalty scheme reveal that it will be implemented on a quarterly basis, not monthly. Rewards will be paid out "as soon as you hit enough loyalty points, not wait til the next month." It will be similar to the existing loyalty program in terms of payouts and will "continue with the philosophy of paying more to the top, more to the bottom, less to the middle," Sciolist posted.</p> <p>Unibet's idea is to reward loyalty over the long term and not just on a monthly basis. In tune with the aim of promoting achievements, players will also "get loyalty points for finishing minor and major steps" as opposed to rewards only being based on the amount raked.</p> <p>Minor steps will be of the pre-flop variety, such as winning ten hands in which you raised before the flop or after receiving pocket Aces five times, win or lose. Minor achievements are estimated to be accomplished in about 1,000 hands.</p> <p>Major steps require roughly 10,000 dealt hands and are of a post-flop nature. Flopping trips using a pocket pair 35 times or taking your full house to a showdown 25 times are the examples used by the Unibet rep as major achievements.</p> <p>Keep in mind those achievement requirements are not set in stone and complete details will be unveiled at the time the new loyalty scheme is instituted. But it's relatively safe to assume that about 33% "of all rewards will be in the form of a playthrough bonus." This is aimed at rewarding loyalty in the hopes that players will not stop playing after finishing a particular step.</p> <p>The plan is for each player "to have a good loyalty page" so that goals, rewards and progress are clearly identified. In addition to the upcoming loyalty program, Sciolist indicated that a new software update is in place to be rolled out as early as today in order to fix some glitches and improve performance on the site.</p> <p>At least one player expressed his gratitude toward Sciolist and the new Unibet, posting, "you are doing great job with all these new improvements IMO." Identified on 2 + 2 as 'zovkoj10,' the happy Unibet player concluded his post by saying, "really enjoy playing, haven't regret depositing."</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 16:55:18 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2662 Nosebleeds Report: High-stakes Chat Heating Up, Is Viktor Blom Really Earning $180,000 per Month from his FTP Sponsorship? Nosebleeds Report: High-stakes Chat Heating Up, Is Viktor Blom Really Earning $180,000 per Month from his FTP Sponsorship? <p>The high-stakes swings built up a lot of tension in the last couple of days and now <strong>Viktor </strong>“Isildur1” <strong>Blom </strong>is seen as the poker villain by most professionals who play the highest limits in online poker.</p> <p>It all started during a heads-up display between <strong>Daniel </strong>“jungleman12” <strong>Cates </strong>and Blom. Cates was steaming and started throwing heavy words in the chat, calling the Swede “scum.” <em>“Pay your debt scumbag,”</em> Cates said at one point.</p> <p>Cates admitted that he was tilted in a Card Player interview, but didn’t back down when it came to Blom’s debts. <em>“He owes me like a little over $100,000, but he’s been making some small payments here and there,”</em> Cates explained in the interview.</p> <p>Moreover, he spoke of “Isildur1” deliberately using his timebank in paying his debt although he has the necessary bankroll to do that as we all have witnessed in the last couple of weeks. <em>“He owes other people money as well. He owed me money first. I stopped loaning him money or whatever…It’s a complicated situation,”</em> Cates added.</p> <p>The no-limit expert also called the Swede <em>“kind of a degenerate”</em> who doesn’t use a poker tracker or study the game.</p> <p>The heated discussions continued as Pot Limit Omaha expert <strong>Ola </strong>“no_Ola” <strong>Amundsgard </strong>joined the action. After being provoked by Blom to take all his money, Amundsgard had a very interesting reply that could have revealed to the poker world some insights on how much money the Swede is currently making from his Full Tilt Poker sponsorship. <em>“How can you go broke? You get 180k freeroll per month,”</em> “no_Ola” told him in the chat.</p> <p>Later, after losing to the PLO expert, “Isildur1,” visibly shaken by his run, wrote, <em>“I’m giving up poker.”</em> Amundsgard advised him acidly to borrow another $100,000 and return to the tables. Of course, hours later, Blom forgot all about what he said and was right back in the action.</p> <p>Online poker legend <strong>Phil Galfond</strong> also started an interesting discussion, this time away from the tables, after losing $1.4 million in the last five days. He tweeted out asking his friends what would be the best way to make all that money back. <strong>Tom Dwan</strong> promptly answered joking about how things are done in Macau: <em>“In Macau the standard way to get even is bacarrat.”</em> Any other ideas?</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 16:19:16 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2660 The $1 Million Buy-in BIG ONE for ONE DROP Filling Up Fast The $1 Million Buy-in BIG ONE for ONE DROP Filling Up Fast <p>The one-million-dollar buy-in event countdown has reached its final 100 days and already half of the seats are taken.</p> <p>Time is running out for those who want to play possibly the biggest poker tournament in history, as 20 players confirmed their participation in the BIG ONE for ONE DROP event. Another two are reserved for the lucky ones who will qualify through satellites held by Aria Resort and Bellagio. Another seat could be won by taking part in a special 2014 World Series of Poker satellite.</p> <p><em>“The inaugural event made history and I look forward to another historic moment again this June,”</em> event co-founder <strong>Guy Laliberté</strong> told He will take part in the contest and hope to relive the great experience of his 2012 participation, but is aiming to land in the money this year.</p> <p>The 2012 BIG ONE for ONE DROP winner and first place in the all-time poker tournament money-list, <strong>Antonio Esfandiari</strong>, is another important name that will join the action between June 29 and July 1, 2014. Two years ago, 'The Magician' cashed in over $18 million for his one-million-dollar buy-in success and now he wants to remain in poker history as the player with the largest single payout EVER won. If the 56-player cap is reached, the winner will get $20 million plus an exclusive platinum WSOP bracelet designed by world-renowned watchmaker <strong>Richard Mille</strong>.</p> <p>Other names eager to buy-in for $1 million are online poker guru <strong>Phil Galfond</strong>, poker legend <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>, two-time WSOP bracelet winner <strong>Jason Mercier</strong>, 2012 BIG ONE for ONE Drop runner-up <strong>Sam Trickett</strong>, live poker tournament veteran <strong>Erik Seidel</strong>, plus high-rollers <strong>Philipp Gruissem</strong> and <strong>Andrew Robl</strong>. Casino executive <strong>Bobby Baldwin</strong>, hedge fund manager <strong>David Einhorn</strong>, private equity and venture capital millionaire <strong>Bill Perkins</strong>, car dealer <strong>Brandon Steven</strong>, private equity investor <strong>Paul Newey</strong>, and poker pros <strong>Vivek Rajkumar</strong>, <strong>Noah Schwartz</strong> and <strong>Brian Rast</strong> close the exclusive list.</p> <p>Three other businessmen announced their participation but they’ve preferred to remain anonymous.</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 10:49:55 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2659 J.C. Tran Wins WPT Rolling Thunder J.C. Tran Wins WPT Rolling Thunder <p>Home Sweet Home! That’s what the newest World Poker Tour champion, <strong>J.C. Tran</strong>, must have said after winning the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event played just outside his hometown of Sacramento.</p> <p>Tran used all his poker knowledge and experience to overcome a short stack and with the major support of his friends and family, he won the latest WPT event held at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort.</p> <p>The Sacramento native started the final day of the tournament with only 23 big blinds and was the second shortest stack at the six-handed final table. He knew that in order to get to the top, he needed to gamble and decided to call when shortstack <strong>Ken Jorgensen</strong> moved all-in with his last 15 big blinds. Jorgensen showed Ace-Three and Tran needed to improve in order to win the hand with his King-Queen. The flop brought a King that sent Jorgensen to the rail with a bonus of $60,180.</p> <p>The stack-building continued for the Sac-town native as he doubled through <strong>Benjamin Zamani</strong> twice. Zamani started the day third in chips but couldn’t connect with any type of board and was eventually eliminated in fifth spot for $80,130. He raised his final two big blinds under the gun and was called by both Tran and Bay 101 Casino tournament director <strong>Quoc Pham</strong>. Tran won the hand after turning his Ace-Four into a dominant full-house.</p> <p><strong>Mimi Luu</strong> was the next final table competitor eliminated, failing to make history and become the first woman to win a WPT main event. She started the day well, doubling up early with pocket Kings and was preparing to celebrate in her last tournament hand. She shoved with a rivered Queen high straight only to see that her opponent, Tran, had a King high straight.</p> <p>Luu left the final table $100,420 richer.</p> <p>Three-handed play lasted only seven hands with Tran taking yet another victim. Pham moved his last 10 big blinds all-in pre-flop with a suited connector while his opponent made a good call with Queen-Ten. Pham finished third, taking home a decent prize of $127,140.</p> <p>Heads-up, Tran was unstoppable and took the chip lead after an outstanding seven straight winning hands. <strong>Preston Harwell</strong> fought bravely, but couldn’t do anything to erase his opponent’s home court advantage. Harwell fell victim to yet another king-type hand and finished runner-up for $200,030.</p> <p><em>“That was a secret no one knew about it. If you had a king in your hand, you had to just gamble. We’re in Sacramento and it’s all about the Kings,”</em> Tran said after winning the title plus $302,750, linking his success to the local NBA franchise, the Sacramento Kings.</p> <p>This was Tran's second WPT title as he became only the 20th player in history to win multiple WPT events. Overall, Tran has cashed almost $11 million while playing live tournaments, according to Hendon Mob Database, including a big $2 million prize for fifth place in last year’s WSOP Main Event.</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 09:14:39 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2658 New Federal Bill Banning Online Gambling in the Works New Federal Bill Banning Online Gambling in the Works <p>A federal proposal aimed at turning over the DoJ's 2011 decision that permitted individual states to enact online poker and gambling legislation is reportedly being readied.</p> <p>Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is the bill's sponsor and its introduction may run alongside the anti-online gambling proposal of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Congress will reconvene next week and indications are that both bills will be introduced at that time.</p> <p>In late 2011, the DoJ ruled that the 1961 Wire Act pertained only to sports betting after Illinois and New York requested clarification of the statute. That allowed Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey to launch online poker and gambling regimes last year, with about a dozen other states considering following suit.</p> <p>Chaffetz' proposal seeks to restore the previous long-held policy that found all online gambling to be prohibited under the Wire Act. The Utah lawmaker's bill mimics that of Graham, as well as the aim of the three-month old Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling funded by Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson.</p> <p>Pro-online gambling forces such as the American Gaming Association, Poker Players Alliance, and the newly-formed Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection (C4COP) are preparing to combat any attempts to ban Internet gambling. C4COP recently completed a three-week media campaign that ran adverts on the websites of high-profile newspapers urging readers to get behind the move to “stop the congressional ban on online gaming.”</p> <p> </p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 20:11:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2592 Weekly Poker Strategy - VPIP - The Deceptive Poker Stat Weekly Poker Strategy - VPIP - The Deceptive Poker Stat <h3>Strategy Time!</h3> <p>Each week here at PokerUpdate we'll be bringing you a fresh strategy post sponsored by <a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block">PokerVIP Coaching</a></p> <p>Each post will contain relevant, up-to-date strategy information from one of the resident PokerVIP Coaches.</p> <h3>VPIP - The Deceptive Poker Stat</h3> <p><em>From PokerVIP </em><a style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;" href="">Poker Coaching</a><em><strong> </strong>Pro Jon Lundy</em></p> <p>Most modern online poker players use poker tracking software (Hold'em Manager or PokerTracker). Of course the most common feature is HUD (Heads Up Display), which provides us with basic statistics information on our opponents. VPIP (Money voluntarily contributed to the pot) is the most commonly used statistic. However, many poker players don’t look further than the first number that their HUD presents them and often end up making split second decisions based on their presumptions of that number.</p> <p>In this article we will explain why this is a costly leak, since these surface numbers do not tell the full story of our opponent.</p> <p>A typical TAG player will have a VPIP of 18-24, which alone is enough for us to respect their raises and give them more credit than if it was an opponent with a VPIP of 26+. This is theoretically correct, but can actually be costing us a ton of money as we are not playing correctly vs this opponent due to not reading deep enough into this incredibly simple stat.</p> <p>We need to use our pop up here and look at each stat in each position to see what it truly means. A player's VPIP will change in each position and should always be a gradual progression from UTG being the tightest range to the BTN being the loosest. If we look at our opponent's specific position and the correlating VPIP to that position, we should be able to gain an even greater advantage. </p> <p><div class="cl"></div><div class="divider-article"></div></p> <h3/> <h3>A HUD example:</h3> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img left"/></a></p> <p><strong>Analysis:</strong><strong> </strong></p> <ul><li>You can see the VPIP (marked on this HUD as v) is 21. </li> <li>From first glance we note this as a tight player. </li> <li>The story checks out, but what does 21 VPIP actually mean? What is his exact range? </li> </ul><p><div class="cl"></div><div class="divider-article"></div></p> <p><strong>Well, 21% of opening hands looks something like this:</strong></p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img left"/></a></p> <p>You can see from this diagram that the player (who we'll call the villain) has an overall range of strong hands that play well in an opened pot. Therefore, it would make sense for us to give this player a lot of respect, right?</p> <p>How can we beat a player like this? Do we need a stronger hand to beat them and which hands should they be?</p> <p>...Well this is where the VPIP becomes deceptive, because once we scratch beneath the surface we soon discover that this player isn't as strong as he seems. We need to look at his opening range <strong>depending on position</strong>.</p> <p><div class="cl"></div><div class="divider-article"></div></p> <h3><strong>Early Position (UTG): 10%</strong></h3> <p><strong>Here's what a 10% VPIP looks like:</strong></p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img left"/></a></p> <p>So if we just look at the HUD we see a 21% VPIP, but now looking at EP we actually see their true VPIP from just this position which is, in fact,  just 10% of hands. An incredibly narrow range of hands. We may have called with KJ or KQ vs a 21% but if we call or play those hands vs a villain's UTG open, we are going to get into a fair bit of trouble. So our playable range vs this player when UTG should be incredibly high value/high strength hands and post flop we should be pretty cautious and fold to aggression with our marginals. Also knowing that if we do make a hand such as a set, 2 pair, or big draw/made draw, we are more likely to get paid as the villain's hand will be so strong that they will find it hard to fold.</p> <p><div class="cl"></div><div class="divider-article"></div></p> <h3><strong>Middle Position (MP) 13%:</strong></h3> <p><strong><strong>Here's what a 13% VPIP looks like:</strong><br/></strong></p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img left"/></a></p> <p>Again, this is very similar to EP. A super tight range which should be played similar/almost the same as EP. It involves smaller pairs and a couple more broadways but this is again a range of hands that includes just premiums and a range of hands we should be wary about and treat with respect.</p> <p><div class="cl"></div><div class="divider-article"></div></p> <h3/> <h3><strong>Cut-Off (CO): 24%</strong></h3> <p><strong><strong>Here's what a 24% VPIP looks like:</strong><br/></strong></p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img left"/></a></p> <p>Now villain's range is similar to his overall VPIP. Not much different here to a 21% range apart from a couple more suited connectors/connecting cards + a9os. Vs a range like this we can be happy calling wider but also 3-betting to steal. A lot of these hands can’t profitably call a 3b out of position vs our BTN steals such as the lower pairs, suited connectors, and off suit weak broadways such as q10 and kj. So we can apply pressure when this player opens in the cut off than if he was EP or MP. </p> <p><div class="cl"></div><div class="divider-article"></div></p> <h3>Button (BTN) 34%:</h3> <p><strong><strong>Here's what a 34% VPIP looks like:</strong><br/></strong></p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img left"/></a></p> <p>Compared to the overall 21% open of this player, you can already see how many more hands are included in his<strong> button opening range</strong>.</p> <ul><li>Most suited connectors.</li> <li>Some more offsuit connectors.</li> <li>Weaker Kx hands, more Ax hands. </li> <li>The button will always be our loosest position and for good TAG players, should actually be over 40%.</li> </ul><p>The main difference to notice is the original 21% VPIP we see compared to the EP 10% open and the BTN 34% open. If we react to this player using 21%, we are going to lose so much money. We need to look at the pop up and see what the VPIP is per position, otherwise 21% looks like 21% overall whereas we have just learned that the difference can be pretty incredible.</p> <p><div class="cl"></div><div class="divider-article"></div></p> <h3>Conclusion Points:</h3> <ul><li>Pay Careful attention to position.</li> <li>Don’t ever just look at the VPIP on your HUD.</li> <li>Pay careful attention to the position of your opposition - This will greatly influence his opening VPIP %.</li> <li>Look at what those %s really mean.</li> <li>Play poker more profitably depending on your position and your opponents' position!</li> </ul><p> </p> <p><a href="" class="btn bg-red x-small-pad inline-block">PokerVIP Strategy</a> - for more completely free poker strategy articles!</p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 12:59:19 +0000 Stewart Dunlop 2653 Nosebleeds Report: Gus Hansen Enjoys BIG WIN, Viktor Blom Destroys Phil Galfond Nosebleeds Report: Gus Hansen Enjoys BIG WIN, Viktor Blom Destroys Phil Galfond <p>The nosebleeds are back. Whoever watched the high stakes action in the last four days may have experienced what is commonly known as a nosebleed due to major chip inflation and money spinning out of control.</p> <p>However, for the pros who inflated pot after pot and put their whole bankroll at risk, this was just another day at the office. Players like Full Tilt Professionals <strong>Viktor </strong>“Isildur1” <strong>Blom</strong>, who makes six-figure bets as comfortable as playing for worthless chips. Or <strong>Gus Hansen</strong>, who has lost $16 million online since 2007 and now is playing like he has nothing to lose anymore. Because of their styles of play, both pros are continuing to attract action and produce major swings in their competitors’ bankrolls.</p> <p>Hansen, for example, is on a major roll winning big in the last 48 hours. Big as in $1.1 million BIG…in the green. No, this is not a typo, just plain ol’ facts, according to HighStakesDB. It all started on March 17. The Dane cleaned up the 2-7 Triple Draw tables filled with big sharks like TD expert <strong>Niklas </strong>“ragen70” <strong>Heinecker</strong> and <strong>Daniel  </strong>“jungleman12” <strong>Cates</strong>, cashing in over $300k. He then switched to the $200/$400 CAP Pot Limit Omaha tables playing against other major winners like <strong>Ben </strong>“Bttech86” <strong>Tollerene</strong> and <strong>Ola</strong> “no_Ola” <strong>Amundsgard</strong>. This didn’t stop Hansen from accumulating another $350k in his account.</p> <p>The action continued with the Full Tilt pro spending countless hours until this morning playing both 2-7TD and PLO and cashing in six-figure numbers every time. Overall, the Dane has played 5,653 hands since yesterday.</p> <p>He also enjoyed a big comeback last week on Thursday after losing almost $900k in one and a half hours. In spite of being severely crippled, Hansen continued playing and ended up the day with a decent $200k profit.</p> <p>Blom is the other major winner on Full Tilt. He has experienced major swings since the beginning of the year, starting hot and ending February down $1 million. In March, the ups and downs were on again, starting the month deep in the hole another two million dollars.</p> <p>Nevertheless, this weekend things changed dramatically and put him back on track in the biggest winners’ leaderboard. He won $1.6 million at the PLO, 2-7TD and the mixed games tables. His largest win came at $300/$600 PLO, where he battled <strong>Phil </strong>“OMGClayAiken” <strong>Galfond</strong>.</p> <p>The two spent 12 hours playing each other at four tables, with Blom destroying Galfond for about $900k. The Swede could even have won more if it hadn’t been for the infamous poker variance.</p> <p>The biggest pot produced by the two high stakes players in the 12-hour span was worth over $240k. Galfond started the action open-raising 3x; Blom three-bet the same way and his opponent called. The flop turned out to be perfect for the Swede’s hand (AAKQ) - he had an overpair, two overcards, plus a flush-draw - so he bet immediately. “OMGClayAiken” called and on the 7 turn things got a lot more interesting. Both put all their money in the middle with Galfond catching a dream turn that made him the favorite to win the hand with two pair. He dodged all Blom’s outs on the river and managed to get away with a massive pot.</p> <p>The American also won another $200k pot, but unfortunately for him, he lost the war. Overall in March, G-Bucks is the biggest loser at high-stakes with -$1,197,094. Rematch?</p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 19:50:54 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2652 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - March 18, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - March 18, 2014 <p>Five straight weeks of declining player traffic have caused a number of industry insiders to fondly look back at the online poker industry's glory days of about 10 years ago and compare the differences between then and now.</p> <p>One difference that clearly stands out is that No-Limit Hold'em is now the game of choice among a large majority of players, while Fixed Limit tables were all the rage back then. Inexperienced (recreational) players tend to lose their money faster at No-Limit, thus leaving them with a bad poker-playing experience, which likely keeps some from ever returning to the game.</p> <p>Perhaps a greater push toward promoting the virtues of Limit Hold'em would attract the casual crowd. The playing time and money of players typically lasts longer and is without the disturbing experience of losing all your money on one hand. Limit Hold'em requires a different mindset and strategy to be successful, and does lend itself to more socialization among players.</p> <p>While five consecutive weeks of falling player numbers is bad enough, the gloom and doom is punctuated by the fact that eight of the last nine weeks have seen less players on the virtual felt than the week before. That's practically all of 2014. To top it off, last week saw 4% less players, a rather steep drop that PokerScout attributes to favorable weather in Europe during the week. </p> <p>After being tied with PartyPoker for fourth place in last week's update, Full Tilt now sits alone in fifth place a couple hundred players off the pace of's global offering. The only other change within the top ten finds Adjarabet and in a virtual tie for tenth place, a position that the French-facing site had all to its own the week before.</p> <p>In other news of note regarding online poker rooms and networks, the Winning Poker Network (WPN) has decided to stop taking a fee from players participating in its "The Beast" leaderboard promotion. Beginning April 5, that promo will include all cash tables and will be funded only from a percentage of the rake reserved for the site operator. </p> <p>That's good news for WPN players, especially grinders, who typically abhor seeing their cash going toward the funding of jackpot-type promos. WPN is second in player traffic among U.S.-friendly poker sites with only about 25% of the cash game action of industry leader Bodog/Bovada. Perhaps modification of The Beast will allow the network to gain some ground.</p> <p>In New Jersey, Party Borgata dealt its 25 millionth hand last week and instituted a milestone hand promotion that saw a record number of cash players take to the felt. A total of 870 players were seated at ring game tables at one time, blasting past the old record of 729. </p> <p>Globally, 14% fewer players are logging on and playing poker at online sites in comparison to the third month of 2013. That includes a mild increase of action seen among U.S.-facing poker rooms that have benefited from $76 million landing in the pockets of U.S. Full Tilt players on Green Friday two and a half weeks ago.</p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 16:11:49 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2647 Rafael Nadal Challenges Poker World on March 19th Rafael Nadal Challenges Poker World on March 19th <p>Ever wanted to test your skills against no. 1 ranked tennis champion Rafael Nadal? Unless you're a world class tennis player, that won't be happening. But any poker player with a PokerStars account can face Nadal on the virtual felt this Wednesday, March 19 for play money.</p> <p>Nadal is taking on all comers at the $5/10 Zoom play-money tables at or at 5:30 ET. The tennis star will take a break from preparing for action on the court at the Sony Open in Miami to compete against poker players worldwide.</p> <p>The competition will include running commentary by PokerStars Team Pro Daniel Negreanu. Players are invited to watch, play, and ask Nadal questions during the hour of poker fun. PokerStars will provide a webcast that can be viewed on the site's Facebook app, YouTube channel, or on</p> <p>"Rafa's poker knowledge and skill level has improved dramatically since he started learning the game," Negreanu told PokerStars Blog. "I'm looking forward to seeing if he can make this a hat-trick of wins, having already taken down the charity tournament at EPT Prague and beating players from across Spain."</p> <p>Nadal was victorious against poker players in Spain earlier this year in a similar staged event on the real-money Zoom tables at The tennis star won more hands than he lost and PokerStars donated money to charity as a result. Wednesday's action will see the world's top poker site multiply Nadal's total winning hands by $100 and donate that amount to Care International.</p> <p>Join the play money Zoom Poker tables at PokerStars on Wednesday, March 19 and tell your friends that you competed against Rafa Nadal.</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 18:44:03 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2646 Mike Leah Wins Two Live WSOP Tourneys in One Day Mike Leah Wins Two Live WSOP Tourneys in One Day <p>Lots of people complain that there just aren't enough hours in a day to accomplish all the tasks at hand. Not so for Mike "GoLeafsGoEh" Leah, who managed to win two live WSOP Circuit tournaments in the span of 24 hours.</p> <p>The venue was the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, California. Leah outplayed a field of 121 to win $16,945 in Event #9, a $580 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament Friday afternoon on March 14. Nabbing his first-ever WSOP Circuit ring, Leah also ponied up the cash for Event #10, but busted out.</p> <p>The next tournament on the schedule, Event #11, was a No-Limit Hold'em Turbo affair with a $365 entry fee. Leah again skillfully found his way to the winner's circle, adding $15,440 to his live career earnings. His total take in under 24 hours was two WSOP Circuit rings and more than $32,000 in winnings.</p> <p>But wait, there's more. The Canadian pro also was named Casino Champion, which permits Leah to take a free seat worth $10,000 at the WSOP Circuit National Championship following the Circuit season later this year.</p> <p>Last month on his home turf, Leah took the title and $108,465 at the World Poker Tour Fallsview Poker Classic in Niagara Falls after buying in for C$1,100. That followed a victory in January at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas in $5,300 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo that was good for almost $120,000.</p> <p>Leah's four victories and four other cashes at live tournaments in 2014 have pushed his live poker tourney earnings beyond $2 million. Also extremely prolific on the virtual felt, the Team Ivey pro captured his fourth FTOPS title in November. </p> <p>On his way to scoring two WSOP Circuit championships within 24 hours, Leah had to outplay Charles "Woody" Moore, who landed at both final tables with the Canadian star. Moore came in ninth place in Event #9 for $1,530 and in fifth place in Event #11 for $3,780, the Hendon Mob database reported. Moore's live career  tournament winnings are now over $1.2 million.</p> <p>Leah has yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet, but has his eye on doing so in Las Vegas this summer. The way he's running so far in 2014, Leah certainly is a player to watch and may add the coveted jewelry to his two WSOP Circuit rings before the 45th annual WSOP is over.</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 18:37:10 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2635 Frederik Jensen Wins Unibet Open Copenhagen Frederik Jensen Wins Unibet Open Copenhagen <p style="text-align: justify;">The Unibet Open in Copenhagen is now behind us. After four days of play we have our champion, and, surprise-surprise, it is a Danish player. Frederik Jensen reaffirmed the domination of Danish players here in Copenhagen as he walked away from the tables with his head held high. His heads-up battle with Hungarian Emil Hegedus didn’t take long. Although Jensen came into heads up action as a 5:7 underdog, he quickly turned the tables and soon after it was all over. In the dramatic last hand of the tournament, Jensen flopped two pair with his Q-J against the A-7 of Hegedus. The board ran A-Q-J-7, but the river brought another Q to send the last obstacle standing between Jensen and victory to the rail.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Jensen won 625,000 DKK (€83,700) for his extraordinary performance here in Copenhagen, while Hegedus takes home 430,000 DKK (€57,600). Swede Greger Aktell finished in 3<sup>rd</sup> winning 275,000 DKK. Other players who made it to the final table were Knudsen (4<sup>th</sup>), Szuster (5<sup>th</sup>), Daniel Petersen (6<sup>th</sup>), Dziewonski (7<sup>th</sup>), Carsten Petersen (8<sup>th</sup>), and Kousgaard (9<sup>th</sup>).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The day started with fourteen players and they took their time before the final table was formed. Everyone was trying their hardest to get a coveted seat amongst the final nine, but five players had to bust first. Eventually, blinds got higher and short stacks started hitting the rail.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The action at the final table was fast and furious at times, with slower intermittent periods. Poker fans were certainly not denied the viewing pleasure as the live stream with delay gave them the opportunity to see the action in nearly real-time – and there was plenty to see. Players were not shy in pulling big bluffs and making bold plays throughout the final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Unibet Open certainly did not fail the expectations. A couple of days of great poker was spiced up with the great overall atmosphere, the players’ party, and a lot of socializing and fun off the tables as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for Jensen, this victory bears special significance for him. He had never before cashed in any Unibet Open events, although he does have an EPT title to his name.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although this concludes things here in Copenhagen, the Unibet Open has only just begun and will continue with the tour in Tallinn in May/June. PokerUpdate will be there for you again to bring you the news from the tables in Estonia in just a couple short months.</p> Sun, 16 Mar 2014 23:11:32 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2634 Hao Chen wins record-breaking Macau Millions Hao Chen wins record-breaking Macau Millions <p>All eyes were set on Macau as the City of Dreams Casino was aiming to host the biggest Asian poker tournament in history. And after six long days, the record was in the books: 1,804 entries plus a total prize pool of HK$3,499,750 ($450,000). The previous record was set in 2011 in the same city, but with almost 500 less entries (1,329).</p> <p>The format of the event was unique with six starting days and the option to re-enter as many times as one wished. It wouldn't matter if you didn’t bust. If you wanted another shot to build an even bigger stack than the previous one, you could get that chance. At the end of the starting days, however, you would go into Day 2 with the largest stack of them all. The smaller stacks would be removed from the event and transformed into a decent HK$11,000 ($1,400) prize.</p> <p>As opposed to the six starting days, Day 2 and Day 3 were fast-paced affairs. And one player who had entered the tourney in Day 1F and had started Day 2 with just 13 big blinds managed to control the action and win the 2014 Macau Millions. His name is<strong> Hao Chen</strong> from China. He’s been playing poker for five years and usually grinds the HK$50/HK$100 (around $6/$12) cash games, according to PokerStars Blog.</p> <p>After just barely surviving the last starting day, he never looked back in Day 2, accumulating chip after chip to eventually start the final table with the largest stack. Chen waited patiently as the smaller stacks went to war and entered the action when it mattered most. He eliminated <strong>Chul Woo Jung</strong>, who tried a check/raise all-in bluff on a wet flop. Jung finished the event in sixth place, cashing in HK$105,000 ($13,500). </p> <p>With almost half of the chips in play, Chen played the waiting game once more as Hong Kong’s <strong>Ping Cheong Fung</strong> and Taiwan’s <strong>Chia Wei Tsui</strong> busted out to cash in HK$135,000 ($17,400) and HK$190,000 ($24,500), respectively.</p> <p>Three-handed play lasted only 10 minutes as the first ever Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event champ, Hong Kong’s <strong>Kenneth Leong</strong>, hit the rail with HK$270,000 ($34,760) after losing the largest pot of the tournament. He raised the button and called Chen’s three-bet. After massive action on the flop and turn, Leong snap-called the river shove thinking he had trips. However, he did not, he had only two small pair, while the Chinese had an overpair in his hand to make two higher pair.</p> <p>Rookie <strong>Sheng Chang</strong> was Chen’s final victim. The winner flopped a straight and caught his opponent with two pair after moving all-in on the turn. The river changed nothing with Chang finishing second for HK$400,000 ($51,500).</p> <p>Hao Chen won HK$550,000 ($70,815) along with the 2014 Macau Millions title.</p> Sun, 16 Mar 2014 13:50:19 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2633 Red-Hot Carter Gill wins Latin Series of Poker Millions Red-Hot Carter Gill wins Latin Series of Poker Millions <p>He could do no wrong. <em>“It was odd, but with the hands I was getting, it would have been hard not to win. I was joking to someone that if you gave the cards that I had to anyone at the final table, they would have won also,”</em> <strong>Carter Gill</strong> told Card Player after winning the Latin Series of Poker $1 million guaranteed event.</p> <p>He may not have won one million dollars, but with his six-figure cash he managed to hit the million-dollar mark in live tournament winnings. Gill has been on a roll of making final tables in the region, plus a major Latin America Poker Tour title in Uruguay, before winning the Latin Series of Poker Millions.</p> <p>He started the final day eighth in chips but not that that far behind <strong>Francis Cruz</strong>, who was the fifth biggest stack at the final table. Gill started his run by eliminating shortstack <strong>Adam Reynolds</strong> in seventh place. After a series of raises and re-raises, Reynolds confidently moved all his chips in the middle with pocket Queens. But Gill smooth-called with pocket Aces, ending Reynolds' hopes of staying in the game.</p> <p>Cruz was Gill’s next victim. He open-raised all-in with pocket sixes and had to dodge an Ace or a Queen to survive. That didn’t happen as the river brought a Queen to the board, sending Cruz packing in sixth place with $33,950.</p> <p>Team PokerStars pro <strong>Jose </strong>“Nacho” <strong>Barbero </strong>was the fifth place finisher, losing his entire stack to <strong>Leonardo Tarazona</strong>. He didn’t leave Panama empty-handed, though, cashing in $43,625. Tarazona followed Barbero, putting his stack at risk with Ace-rag. Israeli <strong>Alon Raz</strong> got all of Tarazona's chips with his pocket eights.</p> <p>From three-handed play to the last man standing, it was only a matter of minutes. <strong>Maziar Keshavarzi</strong> finished third for $75,675 by losing his final hand against the future winner in an Ace-Nine versus Ace-Queen all-in battle. Moments later, Raz made a similar move by going all-in with Ace-Seven. Gill had the goodies again with Ace-King, finishing the tournament in style.</p> <p>For his second-place finish, the Israeli cashed in $100,600. The winner earned a big $175,040 check.</p> <p>Congratulations to Carter Gill on his outstanding run. Will he continue his domination in this year’s LAPT?</p> Sun, 16 Mar 2014 09:56:22 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2632 Final Day of Unibet Open Just Around the Corner Final Day of Unibet Open Just Around the Corner <p style="text-align: justify;">Play is now complete for Day 2 of the Unibet Open Copenhagen. We know the names of the players who will return to play tomorrow until only one player remains. Although it was planned to play down all the way to the final nine, things slowed down a bit as fewer players were in the field. So play was stopped and will resume tomorrow with 14 players. Their names and chip counts are as follows:</p> <table style="width: 392px;" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tbody><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Frederik Brink</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Jensen</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Denmark</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">2,038,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Greger</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Aktell</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Sweden</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">1,983,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Emil</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Hegedus</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Hungary</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">1,492,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Mateusz</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Dziewonski</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Poland</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">1,224,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Stefan</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Knudsen</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Denmark</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">840,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Jérome</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Launay</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">France</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">802,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Kenny</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Kousgaard</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Denmark</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">648,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Daniel</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Petersen</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Denmark</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">586,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Nils</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Jarefjäll</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Sweden</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">581,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Wiktor</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Szuster</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Poland</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">495,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Henri</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Koivisto</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Finland</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">459,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Aage</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Reerslev</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Sweden</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">452,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Carsten</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Petersen</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Denmark</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">385,000</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="96"> <p align="center">Thomas</p> </td> <td width="95"> <p align="center">Svendgaard</p> </td> <td width="111"> <p align="center">Denmark</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">170,000</p> </td> </tr></tbody></table><p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was truly an action-packed day, especially after the dinner break. Everyone expected that players would be cautious around the bubble, as 63 players returned after dinner. But instead, in about an hour and a half, the bubble burst, with Ronnie Espensen taking the disliked title of the Bubble Boy. Another famous casualty was that of Kassem Yassine, last year’s champion, whose hopes of a repeat performance were crushed quite early in the day, although he came in with a decent stack.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The action only got crazier after the bubble burst. In the next hour or so, we’ve seen nine more players hit the rail, taking home at least something for their efforts here in Copenhagen. But even those who did not reach the money will certainly not regret the experience because the atmosphere surrounding the tournament was truly great, with just the right amount of fun, teasing and big hands to make it worthwhile. There was no lack of emotion either, as unlucky rivers sent players to the rail or saved them from nearly certain doom. Action got slower as we went deeper into the night with play stopped after the conclusion of Level 19.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The final day is scheduled to start tomorrow (Sunday) at 12:00. It will be streamed live with a commentary, so you can tune in at <a href=""></a> as the event plays down all the way to crowning the king of Copenhagen for this year. Once again, the first prize for tomorrow is around €84,000, so there will certainly be no lack of motivation for the participating players. When play resumes tomorrow, we’ll make sure to be here to keep you posted with the latest results.</p> Sun, 16 Mar 2014 03:36:40 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2631 Italian Carnevale! Andrea Dato defeats Sam Trickett to win WPT Venice Carnival Italian Carnevale! Andrea Dato defeats Sam Trickett to win WPT Venice Carnival <p>The challenge was on and the only thing <strong>Andrea Dato</strong> had to do was defeat the “Final Boss.” <em>“He might be the ‘Final Boss’ but I don’t care…I run good,”</em> the Italian said of his final opponent, <strong>Sam Trickett</strong>, as reported by the World Poker Tour (WPT) Blog. And what a boss: Trickett has $20 million in live tournament winnings so far, including a huge $10 million cash in 2012 in the Big One for One Drop event.</p> <p>On the other hand, Dato won only $880,182, according to Hendon Mob Database. His biggest payout was $138,044 in 2011 at the World Series of Poker. But for one day, he owned Trickett, stealing the WPT Venice Carnival Main Event trophy out of his hand.</p> <p>The Italian started the final day in the lead as the only player remaining with over one million chips. He drew first blood by eliminating the 2014 EPT Deauville Main Event winner, Greek <strong>Sotirios Koutoupas</strong>. Koutoupas tried to steal a pot from him by moving all-in on the turn with only an open-ender and was called by Dato, who held top pair plus a flush draw.</p> <p>The next three eliminations were made by Trickett, who took over the final table with his aggressive play and a little bit of help from the poker gods. <strong>Alessio Isaia</strong> finished fifth after being forced to shove his Eight-Six hand with under two big blinds left following losing a big flip versus <strong>Maurizio Saieva</strong>. Trickett called with Queen-Nine and solved the deal immediately by flopping a boat.</p> <p><strong>Mario Vojvoda</strong> was next to go after a disheartening river. All chips were in the middle on the turn with Vojvoda having the big advantage with his Jacks full of Queens over Trickett’s trip Queens. The river, however, changed everything by giving the Brit the higher full house and adding even more chips to his stack. <em>“I didn’t think that one was coming,”</em> the winner of the hand said.</p> <p>Trickett’s good run continued when he outflopped Saieva and his Ace-Jack hand with Six-Four.</p> <p>In heads-up play, things turned upside down. The Brit started with a big 3-to-1 chip advantage and was close to finishing Dato in an Ace-Eight versus King-Queen all-in battle, but the King high flop helped the Italian stay in the game. Eventually, Dato severely crippled Trickett after both of them flopped top pair. Dato had the higher kicker and moments later he also had his hands on the WPT trophy.</p> <p>Here are the final payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Andrea Dato (ITA) - €105,000 ($15,400 WPT Championship seat included)</em></li> <li><em>Sam Trickett (UK) - €66,000</em></li> <li><em>Maurizio Saieva (ITA) - €42,000</em></li> <li><em>Mario Vojvoda (CRO) - €31,000</em></li> <li><em>Alessio Isaia (ITA) - €24,000</em></li> <li><em>Sotirios Koutoupas (GRE) - €19,400</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Andrea Dato, who finally managed to win the WPT Venice Main Event. He was close to winning the Carnival in 2011 (fourth place) and 2012 (third place). The third time’s a charm.</p> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 21:56:10 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2629 Unibet Open Day 2 so far Unibet Open Day 2 so far <p style="text-align: justify;">Day 2 of the Unibet Open has reached the dinner break. As the players walk away from the table, tournament staff is busily counting chips for the official update.  According to the current information available, there are 62 players still remaining in the field and 45 of them will reach the money today. That also means that there will be 17 disappointed contenders, but it's the nature of the beast.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The play today was fast and furious and action was not lacking as chips were flying around the room. Kassem Yassine, the reigning champion, has unfortunately fallen in the heat of battle. He will not be reaching the final table and is denied the opportunity of successfully defending his title.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Danes are still going strong, as they make up 70% of the top 10, or at least that’s how things looked after level 13 was completed. Frederik Jansen, who was holding the lead for most of the day, has been struggling as of late. But his stack is still very healthy at 240,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fun is apparently not lacking away from the tables either, as a Swedish contingent of players gathered at a local Ping Pong bar in Copenhagen for some friendly action. It has become somewhat of a tradition to organize fun sporting competitions among Swedish players at Unibet events and it seems everyone is enjoying themselves. The final Ping Pong match featured Johan Vallgren and the football legend Tomas Brolin. Eliminated at the poker tables on Day 1A, Brolin will not be taking this trophy home either, as Vallgren managed to seize the day despite Brolin’s masterful play.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for the tournament, Hungarian Emil Hegedus will be leading the way with 600,000 in chips when we return. He is followed by two Danes, Wrang with 510,000 and Petersen with 468,000. Action will certainly be heated as the bubble approaches. It seems that there are no more Unibet Ambassadors in the field, as Quentin Lecomte has been eliminated.</p> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 17:43:41 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2630 James Carroll shoots for the stars and wins WPT Bay 101 Main Event James Carroll shoots for the stars and wins WPT Bay 101 Main Event <p>It all started ten years ago in San Jose, California. Back then, 243 players were trying to shoot the poker stars down from the sky and win the bounties set on the famous professionals. They failed to do that as <strong>Phil Gordon</strong> emerged victorious, winning $360,000.</p> <p>Ten years later, however, things have changed. The number of entries tripled and the total prize pool grew exponentially. And although stars like <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>, <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>, <strong>Scotty Nguyen</strong>, and<strong> Mike Sexton</strong> are still participating, the outcome is quite different. No more legends winning the famous World Poker Tour (WPT) Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event, only members of the newer generation. Players like <strong>James Carroll</strong>, who beat down a record-setting field of 718 players to secure his place in the WPT Champions Club.</p> <p>Not only did Carroll handle the greatest pros who have ever played the game, but he also managed to survive a very tough final table filled with rising stars. Those stars included <strong>Garrett Greer</strong>, who finally reached a WPT final table after being the bubble boy twice in the last 13 months. Or <strong>Dylan Wilkerson</strong>, who was runner-up in this year’s WPT Fallsview Poker Classic. And let’s not forget <strong>Nam Le</strong>, who had the possibility to become the first player ever to win the same event twice. Le won the WPT Bay 101 back in 2006.</p> <p>Unfortunately for Le, he could not rewrite history after being eliminated in the early stages of final table action. The first player to leave was Greer, who had only 24 big blinds to start the final day. He shoved his snowmen after just 27 hands and was called by Wilkerson’s pocket nines. The board bricked and Greer left the event $174,080 richer.</p> <p>Le was the other shortstacker and was forced to move all-in with Ace-Three. Carroll denied the former winner’s chances at making history, calling with pocket fives and eliminating him in fifth place. For his performance, Le cashed in $223,810.</p> <p>The four-handed play was a real grind for all the participants, lasting over 100 hands. <strong>Mukul Pahuja</strong> was the unlucky number four, busting out of the tourney after a bad beat. He raised all-in with his Ace-Queen and was in very good shape when Wilkerson called with Queen-Ten. The flop, however, ruined everything for Pahuja when his opponent hit a Broadway straight. Pahuja cashed in $320,800 for his fourth place. He also finished second back in November in the WPT Montreal Poker Fall Classic Main Event.</p> <p><strong>Shaun Suller</strong> soon followed, being eliminated at the hands of the future winner. After a K-4-2 passive flop, Suller called the Queen turn and check-raised all-in the Jack river. Carroll quickly called, showing his Broadway straight. Suller had only two pair and left the table $477,470 richer.</p> <p>Heads-up play was a fast-forward affair. Carroll had the upper hand over Wilkerson and 15 hands later, he also eliminated him thanks to a great hero call. Wilkerson min-raised pre-flop and made a standard continuation bet on a 9-4-2 rainbow board. Carroll raised the c-bet and had a tough decision to make after his opponent moved all-in on a 2 turn. Carroll eventually called with two small pair as he held Six-Four. Wilkerson had Ace-Five for the bluff and the gutshot that never came. The bluff cost him yet another second place finish in less than a month. Nevertheless, he did earn $728,650 for his overall performance.</p> <p>Congratulations to James Carroll, who won the highest single payout in WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star history: $1,256,550. Carroll is also a successful online tournament player, cashing in almost $3 million on PokerStars, Full Tilt and the defunct Cereus Poker Network, according to</p> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 17:29:47 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2628 Danes Dominating Unibet Open in Copenhagen Danes Dominating Unibet Open in Copenhagen <p style="text-align: justify;">After completing the two starting days of Thursday and Friday, 79 Danish players make up for almost half of the field as the remaining 165 players were seated at noon in the Danish capital for Day 2 of the Unibet Open. Plenty of countries are still represented as the field will be narrowed down to the final table scheduled for Sunday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Frederik Jensen of Denmark (pictured), leads the field with 365k in chips ahead of fellow Dane Rasmus Vogt. Sweden has 31 players still in the competition, with last year’s winner Kassem Yassine among them. Other well-known Swedes include Micke Norinder, Paul Kristoffersson and Greger Aktell.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Later on today we will reach the bubble as 45 players will be paid here in Copenhagen. Finishing in 45th place is worth 16,000 Danish Kroner and first place will pay out 625,000 DKK. Play will continue on today until we reach the final nine that will return on Sunday to play for the Unibet Open Copenhagen 2014 crown.</p> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2627 Unibet Open Day 1B Comes to an End Unibet Open Day 1B Comes to an End <p style="text-align: justify;">The second of two day 1s at this year's Unibet Open in Copenhagen is now behind us. It was ten levels of excitement, good poker and great atmosphere. Some will come back tomorrow to play on Day 2, but just like yesterday, more than half the field has been eliminated and will not be walking away with the winner's trophy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A total of 208 players entered Day 1B today, meaning that the combined number of participants in the event has peaked at 406 players, generating a prize pool of nearly €392,000. The winner will be taking home just shy of €84,000. Total number of players who will walk away with at least something in their pockets is 45.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of those 208 who came down to the felt today, 87 will come back tomorrow, together with 75 players from Day 1A. The plan for Day 2 is to play all the way down to the money bubble and further to the final table, which is scheduled for Sunday. Leading the way for tomorrow are two players with a home field advantage, Frederik Brink Jensen with 364,700 in chips and Rasmus Vogt with 300,000. One of the most notable survivors in the group is Kassem Yassine, last year’s champion, who will return tomorrow with 163,000. The one player truly hanging on by a thread is Sweden’s Linda Willix with only 2,600 in chips. But poker has witnessed remarkable comebacks in the past and Willix may be down but not out..</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The names of those who will not be coming back tomorrow include Irish Open champion Ian Simpson, WPT National winner Mette Louise Christiansen, former Unibet Open champions Paul Valkenburg and Jimmy Jonson, and two-time bracelet winner Jan Sorensen, to name just a few.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The greatest number of players who registered for this event naturally hail from Denmark – 189, with Sweden in second place with 82 representatives. Third place goes to Netherlands with 33 players in the field.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Apart from the excitement of the Main Event, this day was eventful in other regards as well, especially in terms of the Omaha Flips Championship. Thirty-two runners took part and although it was over in a blink of an eye, it was still a lot of fun. Jakob Pilgard won the mini-event, claiming nearly €2,800 for his “efforts,” while Anders Ottosen finished runner-up after straight up losing the first three of the five flips.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The play for Day 2 resumes tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. and the live stream will once again start at 2:00 p.m.. You will be able to see the action unravel before your eyes at <a href=""></a> and we at PokerUpdate will bring you up to speed with all of the important developments as the tournament moves closer to forming the final table!</p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 23:46:47 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2626 Unibet Open Day 1B Preview Unibet Open Day 1B Preview <p style="text-align: left;">As the players head to a well-deserved dinner break, we bring you a short preview of what has been happening during Day 1B of the Unibet Open Main Event.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Just as expected, all seats were filled, plus a couple of alternates. As registration is now finished, we have the numbers for the prize pool distribution. A total of 45 players will walk away with something to show for their efforts, while the others will, unfortunately, go home €1,100 poorer. But the experience alone was certainly well worth it for many. The winner of the Main Event will take home 625,000 DKK, which is the equivalent to about €84,000. Not bad at all for a couple days of playing cards.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="left" src="" alt="" width="400" height="600" title=""/></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Some of the notable names that took part today include Unibet Ambassador Micke Norinder with 45k in chips; WSOP gold bracelet holder Anders Henriksson currently at 40,000 chips; last year’s champion Kassem Yassine; Jimmy Jonsson, winner of a Unibet event in Prague in 2009; Paul Valkenburg, and many others. So far, 24 players have already hit the rail and when the tournament continues after the break, they will play down for a couple more levels (total of 10 for the day). The field for Day 1B will probably be narrowed down to around 80 players.  It seems that Copenhagen is not very favorable for Unibet Ambassadors, as Hugo Borst also busted before the dinner break.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Currently leading the pack is Norway’s Trond Aanesen with 95,000, followed by two Swedes, Viktor Akerlund with 86,700 and Nils Bergqist sitting on 78,000. When everyone gets back to their seats, we will certainly see some movement in the chip counts, as short stacks will be playing more aggressively to try and build up their stacks for Day 2.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="right" src="" alt="" width="400" height="600" title=""/></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Keep in mind that a live stream is running for the entire duration of the tournament at <a href=""></a>, so if you have a little time on your hands you can get over there and keep up with the action. The stream will start from around 1:00 p.m. on Day 2 (Saturday) and Day 3 (Sunday) and feature live commentary and interviews throughout. We'll also be bringing you exclusive interviews here at PokerUpdate!</p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 17:33:10 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2624 Winamax Poker Review Winamax Poker Review <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Software</span></em></strong></p> <p>The Winamax software is based on Adobe Air technology, which supports both PCs and MACs. The minimum requirements are Windows XP SP2 or newer (like Windows 7), as well as Pentium III or better processors and at least 512 MB of RAM. These are not unrealistic requirements for today’s environment. A big plus for the software is the fact that it supports Linux OS and it can also be played on different iPhone and iPad devices through an application available on AppStore. There is also a no-download required version, allowing quick access to the games.</p> <p>The interface enables easy navigation with all sorts of filters to find the games you are looking for and the tables look pretty cool as well, with a few options for customization, like changing background colors and using a four-colored deck.</p> <p><blockquote>''<em>Easily navigable software, plus apps and an in-browser version mean convenience wherever you play.''</blockquote></em></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game selection</span></em></strong></p> <p>As far as the cash tables, Winamax Poker seems to have decent traffic all the way up to NL200, which is quite good for a stand-alone room that’s not a part of any large network. Apart from NL and Limit Hold’em, they also offer PLO in both cash game and tournament variations. Talking about the tournaments, the selection is quite decent for an independent room, and there is also the Winamax Series featuring bigger tournaments and prize pools. Sng traffic seems to be a bit lacking, but games do go off, especially during peak hours. An interesting fact is that they offer tables for 2, 3, 5 and 9 players, without the standard 6-max tables.</p> <p>Winamax also have a brand new game-type called <a href="">Expresso Poker </a>which is a new innovative Sit 'N Go format. The basic premise is a lottery style Sit 'N Go - you pay your entry for the tournament and have a chance to play for a prize pool much greater than the amount you bought in for. Conversely, you also have the chance of getting a lesser prize pool. Overall however, the added lottery element seems to create a more fun experience that encourages users to gamble it up.</p> <p><strong>Check out our Winimax expresso poker review below.</strong></p> <p>POKERTUBE:winamax-expresso-poker-review;</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Softness</span></em></strong></p> <p>According to the reports, competition on Winamax is very soft. The site is only open to players from the European Union and this seems to create somewhat softer games than on poker sites that cater to the worldwide pool. As this is the French site, most players are France-based and there are probably a lot of amateur players who play there due solely to this fact.</p> <p><blockquote>''<em>Hosting European only players has resulted in Winimax offering one of the softest player pools around.''</blockquote></em></p> <p> </p> <p><em><a href="">''Sign up using this link now.''</a></em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Deposit Methods and Cashout Speed</span></em></strong></p> <p>When it comes to deposits, options on Winamax are pretty much in line with most of the sites out there, including most popular eWallets like Neteller, Skrill and PayPal. There are also options to fund your account via a credit card, wire transfer from your bank, or using one of the prepaid cards like Paysafe.</p> <p>When it comes to withdrawals, however, your options are very limited, as the only way you can cashout money from your account is by sending it to your verified bank account. If you have completed the process of verification, the withdrawals are sent promptly to the registered account and the money is usually available to you no later than five days from the time of the request.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Security / Support</span></em></strong></p> <p>As far as the security goes, a lot of players can be overwhelmed by the verification process, but it is in line with their France-issued license and there is no way around it. Once you register your account, you have up to three months to send in documents confirming your identity. That includes a scan or screenshot of your bank statement, confirming you are the owner of an EU bank account, with clearly visible personal information as well as an IBAN.</p> <p>Support deals with queries via email for the most part and there are different support emails for different types of requests. The response is usually quite fast and informative.</p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 13:37:44 +0000 Stewart Dunlop 2623 Are Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer ready for their poker comebacks? Are Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer ready for their poker comebacks? <p>Now that Full Tilt has finally started to pay its debts to U.S. poker players, Black Friday seems to be just an old and distant nightmare. But is it really?</p> <p>Former Full Tilt pros and owners, <strong>Chris </strong>“Jesus” <strong>Ferguson </strong>and <strong>Howard </strong>“The Professor” <strong>Lederer </strong>certainly think so. According to 2+2 poster and FT scandal insider “Diamond_Flush,” both Ferguson and Lederer believe that the poker community has forgiven them and that the Black Friday scandal has been forgotten. They plan to make their comebacks and start playing again with all the spotlights on.<em> “I assure you he (Ferguson) has plans to return to poker when people get repaid, as does Howard (Lederer). They assume all is forgiven and some regulars in the Las Vegas circuit think that’s true,”</em> “Diamond_Flush” stated in the 2+2 forums.</p> <p>So far, Ferguson has been fairly quiet since April 2011. A lawyer representing him denied his client’s implication in the famous Black Friday scandal. He was seen in Las Vegas months ago, as reported by “Diamond_Flush,” but no one could reach him as he refused to answer questions knowing that he would be crucified in public.</p> <p>On the other hand, Lederer tried to wash his dirty laundry in public with his famous interview known as “The Lederer Files,” but had little success. The poker community still see him as public enemy number one and few poker players are ready to forgive him for the way he handled the Full Tilt situation back in 2011.</p> <p>Lederer reached a settlement with the Department of Justice in December 2012, agreeing to forfeit assets worth an estimated $2.5 million.</p> <p>So when will they make their official comeback? Ferguson plans to be in Las Vegas for this year’s World Series of Poker. <em>“He expects to be back, especially for WSOP,”</em> “Diamond_Flush” said. How do you think the community will react when the two FTP ex-owners return to the live poker felt?</p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:49:12 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2620 Unibet Open Day 1A Summary Unibet Open Day 1A Summary <p style="text-align: justify;">After 9 levels of play, Day 1A of the Unibet Open has drawn to its conclusion. In total, 198 players hit the felt today, all keeping their eyes on the prize. But as is always the case with poker tournaments, only a few will walk away happy, others will have to seek their opportunities in some other events.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some of the names that did not make it through the day include Tomas Brolin, the Unibet Ambassador, Rasmus Nielsen, and two-time Unibet Open in-the-money finisher Tomasz Kozub. As for those still in, Henri Kovisto from Finland leads the way with 231,500 in chips, followed by Sweden’s own Andreas Matila sitting on 177,400, and Denmark’s Pierre Christensen with 173,000.  Mickey “mement_mori” Petersen unfortunately did not make it through the field today, so we will not have the pleasure of watching him during Day 2 action that starts on Saturday. A total of 75 players will bring their chips back onto the tables on Day 2 and join tomorrow’s Day 1B survivors.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="left" src="" alt="" width="200" title=""/></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Unibet certainly did not disappoint anyone with their setup. The tournament venue looks truly majestic in every sense, and the overall atmosphere in and around the poker room seems great. The free welcome drinks for all the players certainly helped with keeping up the good spirits.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The play for Day 1B will start tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. and as the tournament has already been sold out, we will certainly see a full house once again. Apart from that, an Omaha Flips Championship is scheduled for 8:00 p.m., which is bound to be a lot of fun. At 9:00 p.m., a Turbo PLO event gets underway. With all that action taking place tomorrow, the room will certainly be even more packed than today.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Poker action aside (as crazy as it may sound during the poker tournament), the story of the day was Tomas Brolin. Although he did not make it into Day 2, the man is a living legend and, according to many, the best Swedish soccer player to have ever walked the Earth. Nowadays he enjoys playing an occasional poker tournament for the competitive spirit, but it is probably safe to say that he will remain much better known for his fame from the bigger green “felt.”</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="left" src="" alt="" width="400" height="267" title=""/></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Everybody’s now looking forward to Day 1B. Some will get their chance to play, others will have some time to rest, and us fans will get to enjoy the always great action that big tournaments provide. Do not forget to tune up with <a href=""></a> for a live stream of the event. I promise the sight of the place alone is enough to keep your attention, never mind the cards flying through the air and the raffling of the chips.</p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 23:20:10 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2618 PokerStars MicroMillions 7 Runs March 13-23 PokerStars MicroMillions 7 Runs March 13-23 <p>Online poker players on an extremely low budget are rejoicing today as PokerStars hosts MicroMillions 7 that will payout a guaranteed $5 million over the course of 11 days and 100 events.</p> <p>With buy-ins as low as $0.11 (11 cents) and most well under $10, accompanied by huge prize pools in the thousands of dollars, it doesn't get any better for players looking for value in micro-stakes tourney action. MicroMillions 7 runs today through March 23.</p> <p>Headlining the micro-stakes online poker festival is the $1 million guaranteed Main Event scheduled for March 23 with only a $22 buy-in. Satellites for all 100 tourneys have been running at the world's top poker site and will continue to run up until tournament starting times.</p> <p>Since its inception, MicroMillions has paid out over $45 million in prize money. After all is said and done following MicroMillions 7 in 11 days, that total will eclipse $50 million.</p> <p> </p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 17:40:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2617 Female Social Online Poker Players on the Rise Female Social Online Poker Players on the Rise <p>While the game of poker remains heavily dominated by men, a recent study indicates that 22% more women can be found playing online poker socially.</p> <p>That increase was reported by International Game Technology and DoubleDown Casino, who make a habit of tracking player preferences among social online casino players. The rise in participation on the virtual felt among the fairer sex occurred in 2013 in comparison to 2012 player statistics.</p> <p>"As the world's largest virtual casino, we pay attention to trends and make note of the fact that poker is appealing to broader audiences both online and on the casino floor," stated IGT Interactive Group's VP of Global Marketing John Clelland in a press release. "Poker is traditionally thought of as a male-dominated game, but our data proves that female poker players are on the rise in social casinos."</p> <p>Some women may be reluctant to participate in live poker events due to the large majority of men seated at the tables. That intimidation factor does not come into play in online poker where the only clue as to an opponent's gender may be a player's screen name or avatar. That in itself may be a bluff, however, as players can pretend to be whomever they so choose, male or female, while hiding behind a computer monitor.</p> <p>There currently exists a trend toward attracting more recreational real-money online poker players, as the industry continues to see a decrease in player traffic numbers. Considering the findings of the IGT and DoubleDown data research, perhaps more marketing strategies should be geared toward converting the increasing numbers of female social online poker players into real-money players.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 16:29:50 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2616 Unibet Open Day 1A Preview Unibet Open Day 1A Preview <p style="text-align: justify;">Already with the start of Day 1A, the Unibet Open in Copenhagen had no problems reaching its quota of 400 players. As the cards started flying through the air, all the seats in the room were occupied and everyone was ready for action. There is even an alternates list for today and tomorrow, for up to 25 registrants for each day.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some of the most notable names in the bunch are certainly Dan Glimne, Tim Verbon and Tomasz Kozub. But one face seems to be attracting the most attention - that of Mickey Peterson, to the wider audience better known as “mement_mori.” With numerous live final table appearances, Peterson’s live cashes are in the vicinity of €1,000,000. However, he is much more famous for his online achievements. Still in his early twenties, “mement_mori” has more than $6 million in online cashes to his name and half a million comes from his SCOOP showings alone. He is certainly one of the players to keep a close eye on for the remainder of the event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For those not fortunate enough to go deep in the Main Event or not knowing what to do with their time as they wait for Day 1B tomorrow, Copenhagen has a lot to offer. If you are looking for fine cuisine, you may want to visit local restaurants like “Noma,” which has been named the finest restaurant in the world more than once.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Those looking for some recreation can take a bike ride, as Copenhagen is one of the friendliest cities in the world for people who enjoy biking and there are numerous bike-rental companies. If going around town on foot is more your style, you could visit the “freetown” of Christiania, which is home to about 1,000 artists, musicians and others looking for an alternative lifestyle.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Copenhagen also abounds with all types of clubs and places with different kinds of music and atmosphere, so those looking to spend a fun night out will certainly not be disappointed.</p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:13:49 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2615 Migration Games Migration Games <p>As the poker industry becomes more consolidated, we take a look at some of the notable moves made by European poker rooms over the last decade.</p> <p> </p> <p><img class="center" src="" alt="" width="745" height="764" title=""/></p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:32:08 +0000 Jamie Nevin 2614 Unibet Open Season 7 Kicks off in Denmark Unibet Open Season 7 Kicks off in Denmark <p>Unibet launched their standalone online poker room earlier this month and are kicking off Season 7 of the Unibet Open beginning March 13 and running through Sunday the 16th in Copenhagen, Denmark.</p> <p>The Casino Copenhagen is the venue that will feature a No-Limit Hold'em Main Event with a €1,100 buy-in that's capped at 400 players. A new tournament structure is also in store for participants that includes a starting stack of 30,000.</p> <p>For those who can't make it to Copenhagen, a daily live stream will be available at Final table action will be shown its in entirety on a delay that will allow fans watching to see the hole cards of the players.</p> <p>Running alongside the Main Event will be an assortment of side events tailored to the needs of all types of players, including the Omaha Flips Championship. For those who enjoy action away from the felt, the Thursday Welcome Drinks and Saturday Players’ Party will allow participants to mingle and have fun, a much-needed respite from long hours at the poker tables.</p> <p>Players who won online satellites at Unibet Poker will be staying at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia hotel. Those €2,000 packages include the Main Event buy-in, additional travel money, free breakfast and dinner, and four unforgettable nights at the luxurious hotel.</p> <p>For those who missed out on winning one of those coveted packages, Unibet Poker will provide additional online satellite opportunities later in the year when the Unibet Open makes its first-ever stop in Tallinn, Estonia from May 29 to June 1. Also on the schedule is a return trip to the fabulous French Riviera on September 18-21 in Cannes.</p> <p>The Unibet Open will also play host to three online championship events this year. The dates are set as April 20, July 6 and October 19, with buy-ins, start times and prize pool guarantees still to be determined. Also to be announced at a later date are the particulars of the last live Unibet Open event of the season, the Unibet Open 30th Edition. Something special is promised for all at that festival.</p> <p>The start of the Unibet Open Main Event tomorrow in Copenhagen at 12:00 (local time) is comprised of a player pool of 54 players from Sweden, 29 hailing from the Netherlands, 17 Poles, 12 players from Finland, 8 Norwegians, 13 from Belgium, 11 who speak French, and 21 Danes on their home turf, according to Unibet's latest player breakdown by country.</p> <p>A number of successful finishers from Unibet Open Copenhagen 2013 have also committed to making a run for the 2014 title. Those players include Johnny Østbjerg (DK), who took home $112,865 for his runner-up finish; Poland's Marek Niedzwiedz, who grabbed $27,971 for sixth place; two places behind Niedzwiedz was Dane Peter Myrvig; and 10th place finisher Alexis Gillot (FR).</p> <p>Live streaming begins at 14:00 CET each day. Through a partnership with PokerTube, live video interviews and updates will be delivered by media presenter extraordinaire Rikard Aberg throughout the event.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 21:47:09 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2612 Tiger Gaming Guarantees Payouts in 24 Hours Tiger Gaming Guarantees Payouts in 24 Hours <p>Tiger Gaming on the Chico Poker Network has announced via its website that player cashouts are guaranteed to arrive within 24 hours or 100% of the withdrawal amount will be given to players as a bonus if the funds fail to arrive within the 1-day turnaround time.</p> <p>Payments will be processed via Neteller, Skrill and EcoPayz on the site that also offers a number of online casino games. Tiger Gaming's home page also displays a clock showing the latest record cashout time. Currently, that mark of efficiency is listed at 12:08:46.</p> <p>The website proudly proclaims that it "offers the fastest payouts online – and we put our money where our mouth is! If we do not pay you within 24 hours, we will give you 100% of your requested cashout amount, guaranteed!"</p> <p>A new marketing strategy aimed at spreading the word about the guaranteed 24-hour withdrawals has also been instituted, with players encouraged to post the information on Twitter, Facebook, and online poker forums. Each posting is worth a free entry into $10,000 guaranteed freerolls running throughout March at the Chico skin.</p> <p>Players at Chico were reporting cashout problems at a number of network skins just last year that included Action Poker, Tiger Gaming and Pay No Rake. The issues were resolved toward the middle of the year and players reportedly have been made whole. Action Poker has recently found a new home on the Equity Poker Network.</p> <p>Players skeptical of the new withdrawal guarantee are advised by Tiger Gaming to "don't just take our word for it, try it for yourself the next time you withdraw, and put us to the test!"</p> <p>The Chico Poker Network ranks 27th globally, according to PokerScout.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 17:36:21 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2611 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - March 11, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - March 11, 2014 <p>Ring game traffic fell for the fourth straight week as the online poker industry continues to attract less players than days gone by.</p> <p>Last week, 1% fewer players made their way to the virtual felt than the week before. Year-on-year numbers show a much steeper decline of 15% from this time in March, 2013, PokerScout reported.</p> <p>A newcomer to the global rankings is Unibet, currently landing 26th with roughly 300 cash players in a seven-day average. That's just an estimate, however, as the recreational player-friendly standalone site has decided not to allow traffic tracking by PokerScout.</p> <p>A Unibet rep did reveal the site's current traffic on a 2 + 2 posting last week, indicating that 506 cash players were logged on and receiving hole cards at the time. Since departing MPN, the new Unibet has made quite a splash on its own while working to rectify a few glitches that are common upon such a re-launch.</p> <p>Another new arrival to the PokerScout rankings is from India. An estimated 90 cash players on average puts the site at 47th globally. Two variations of Rummy are available and Adda52 is listed as U.S.-friendly, using the English language exclusively.</p> <p>The top ten poker rooms and networks saw some shifting in positions over the last week, with PartyPoker creeping into a virtual tie for fourth place with Full Tilt. The biggest dive went to Winamax, now finding itself in ninth place following the conclusion of its billionth hand promotion.</p> <p>Since that promo ended after paying out €100,290.04 in milestone hand bonuses, cash game traffic has tumbled 19% at Winamax. Coincidentally, that is the same percentage that the French-facing site has lost since this time last year.</p> <p>With the descent of Winamax,, and Bodog moved up to 6th through 8th, respectively. Those three poker rooms were slotted in the 7-9 positions in last week's update.</p> <p>Tenth place currently belongs to, who managed to boot Adjarabet into 11th after previously being tied for inclusion in the top ten. As expected, MPN fell further off the pace of the sites vying for upper echelon status with the loss of Unibet players. MPN is now in a 12th place tie with The Hive, a relative newcomer to the online poker scene at just a few months old.</p> <p>In the regulated U.S. market, New Jersey's Party Borgata enjoyed a 10% gain in cash traffic thanks to several promotions that kicked off in March. Party Borgata is 32nd worldwide and fourth among U.S.-friendly poker rooms and networks, whether regulated or unregulated.</p> <p>In the U.S. unregulated market, the Equity Poker Network continues to slowly add players. The recent addition of Action Poker to the network may be responsible for a portion of that gain at the expense of the Chico Poker Network, where Action had been a skin.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:44:40 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2610 Unibet Poker Review Unibet Poker Review <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Software</span></strong></p> <p>After being a part of the Microgaming Network for a long time, Unibet Poker decided to go their separate way beginning in March, 2014. This meant the introduction of new software, and they did quite an interesting job. The whole software update was done with the goal of appealing to recreational players. Upon logging in for the first time following the change or creating a new account, you need to choose an avatar from several funny characters. The lobby is super easy to navigate, as it only features cash game, sit and go, and tournament tabs, and these can be arranged by the buy-in levels and start times.</p> <p>There are no other advanced filters for the game selection. As for the cash games, you are only joining the pool of players that are playing at the same stake level, after which you are randomly assigned a table. However, there is no play money option. The tables are done in 3D and are clearly targeted more at players seeking entertainment than at hardcore grinders used to heavy multi-table action. This is even more reinforced by the fact that the software allows players to change their screen names up to 3 times per day, together with their avatar, if they so choose.</p> <p><blockquote>''<em>Simple, easy to navigate and designed with amatuer players in mind.''</blockquote></em></p> <p><em><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img large"/></a></em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game selection</span></em></strong></p> <p>As of right now, Unibet Poker offers NL Hold’em and PL Omaha games. Stakes run from €0.02/0.04 up to €2/4 tables. There is a decent amount of action up to NL50, but there are some tables open for all the available stakes, particularly during the evenings. There is also a Fast Hold’em game offered, but at the moment, the only available levels are NL4 and NL10. Sit and go buy-ins range from €1 to €100.</p> <p>But for both sng and cash games, you can’t see the registered players or select a table to sit at. After you click to join the game, the software randomly assigns you a seat or places you in the sng of your desired buy-in that starts next. The tournament schedule is mostly filled with events featuring small guarantees, but there are also plenty of freerolls. Most sit and go and cash tables are five-handed.</p> <p><blockquote><em>A smaller selection of games run compared to other networks, but there are plenty of games avaliable that will appeal more to low stakes cash grinders.''</blockquote></em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Softness</span></em></strong></p> <p>With this recent shift, Unibet will certainly attract a lot of recreational players simply looking to have maximum amount of fun at the tables. This means the games should be very soft overall, but the fact that the tables are practically anonymous, as players can change their aliases frequently, and the inability to select tables, could make it a bit harder. There is also the fact that no tracking software can be used effectively with these rules in place. So while the games will certainly be soft, it could be hard for some players to adapt to them.</p> <p><blockquote>"We're definitely going to lose some regulars," a Unibet rep using the moniker of 'Sciolist' at online poker forum 2 + 2 stated. He added that Unibet executives felt the need to go in that direction "to try to stop the decline of poker at Unibet."</p> <p>"Our general attitude is that we want to encourage casual players to play more," Sciolist continued. "We want to keep our regulars happy, but our main focus is on casual players instead. But regardless of what type of player you are, we're interested in what you have to say because we want you to keep playing on our site (ideally more than you did on the old!)"</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p><a href="">''<em>Sign up using this link now.''</em></a></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Deposit Methods and Cashout Speed</span></em></strong></p> <p>As anyone would expect, Unibet offers a myriad of deposit methods, including Skrill, Neteller, credit cards and direct bank deposit. There is also a feature called “Phone deposit,” which is basically a deposit from your credit card, but instead of typing the numbers into the client, you can call a toll-free number and have a Unibet representative take your information and guide you through the deposit process.</p> <p>Cashout options include eWallets mentioned above as well as bank transfer and credit card withdrawals. There are no minimum withdrawal amounts for bank transfers, while the minimum for eWallets is $20 and for credit cards, $25. Processing times vary depending on the method – up to 48 hours for online processors and 3– 5 working days for banks and credit cards.</p> <p><blockquote>''<em>Unibet has shifted its focus towards recreational players, which will make the player pool softer, but harder to game select or use tracking software.''</blockquote></em></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Security / Support</span></em></strong></p> <p>A site that has been in business for as long as Unibet certainly has an air of confidence surrounding it. All financial transactions are protected by 128–bit encryption technology and cannot be intercepted by a third party.</p> <p>For customer inquiries, there is an extensive FAQ question on the site that can easily be accessed from within the client. Apart from this, customer support can be contacted via email or using the live chat feature on the site. There is also a telephone number that can be called during working hours seven days a week, but the calls are not toll-free.</p> <p> </p> <p>Catch <a href="">PokerTubes </a>review for UniBets new software below.</p> <p> </p> <p>POkertube:all-new-unibet-poker-2014-review;</p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:22:50 +0000 Stewart Dunlop 2609 Betfair Poker Review Betfair Poker Review <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Software</span></em></strong></p> <p>Betfair Poker is currently part of the iPoker network, which means they use the same software as all the other rooms on the network. With the site's most recent face-lift, the poker now looks pretty good and allows for easy searching between different game types (sng, cash games, tournaments). There are all standard options at the tables, including four-colored deck and pre-made avatars.</p> <p>One of the biggest complaints is a lack of stability, as software is prone to longer disconnects if your connection is not perfect. The issues with the time bank have also been fixed so it can now be set to start automatically once your time expires. The long-awaited synchronized tournament breaks have been introduced as well.</p> <p> </p> <p><blockquote>''<em>Part of the iPoker network, Betfair's software looks pretty good but suffers from some stability issues.''</blockquote></em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Selection</span></em></strong></p> <p>In their recent transition, the room managed to become part of iPoker2, which means it shares the same player pool with the flagship rooms such as Titan Poker and William Hill. This guarantees a lot of cash tables running during most of the day, especially during peak hours, all the way up to NL600. Higher games run sometimes, but they are not quite as regular. There are also Speed Poker games with a decent number of players during good hours.</p> <p>Selection of tournaments on iPoker has always been somewhat weak, apart from their big series' or weekly events. Those looking for micro and small stakes tournament action may have a hard time filling their schedules, as tournaments offered are mostly rebuys. Sit and go traffic is not great, but at the right times you can play a decent number of games.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="" class="lightbox"><img src="" class="article-img large"/></a></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Game Softness</span></em></strong></p> <p>Apart from poker, Betfair also offers online sports betting, which translates into many players with little poker-related experience joining the action at the tables. This results in soft games, especially at small and middle stakes. Speed Poker games are not as soft since they are quite populated with regs, but regular cash tables as well as sit and goes and tournaments offer very juicy action and a lot of opportunities for someone with solid fundamental knowledge. </p> <p><em><a href="">''Sign up using this link here.''</a></em></p> <p> </p> <p><blockquote>''<em>Betfair attracts many amateur players, who find themsleves wandering onto the tables from the casino and sports betting.''</blockquote> </em></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Deposit Methods and Cashout Speed</span></em></strong></p> <p>Betfair Poker offers a variety of deposit methods, including some of the most popular eWallets such as Skrill, Neteller and Clickandbuy. Apart from this, players can also deposit using credit cards, bank transfer, and even Western Union. Minimum deposit for eWallets is $20, except for Neteller, which permits $15. Other methods allow for minimum deposits of $10. If your account is in a different currency, then the same numbers will be applied for your currency, for example €10, etc.</p> <p>Cashouts can usually be done via methods used for deposits. Withdrawals made to eWallets usually take 24-48 hours to complete, while other types of withdrawals such as credit cards may take 2-5 business days. The standard withdrawal time for credit cards is typically 3-4 days.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Security / Support</span></em></strong></p> <p>As far as security goes, until recently, Betfair had only been using a username/password combination to access your account. Now there is also a two-step authentication process that can be activated and adds an extra layer of protection via a security code sent to your mobile phone. Once logged in, there is a player protection feature that enables you to set stop/loss limits, deposit limits, or exclude yourself from the games for a set period of time.</p> <p>Support can always be contacted directly through the client, but they are only available during working hours. They can help you with some minor issues, but for more serious problems, you will need to email support (or have live support do it for you). The response times are usually relatively fast (during the day or the next day, at least during the working week).</p> <p> </p> <p>Check out Betfair's software in action below.</p> <p>POKERTUBE:betfair-pokertube-super-league-tournament-3;</p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:20:00 +0000 Stewart Dunlop 2603 Nosebleeds Report: Daniel “jungleman12” Cates revives “poker is dying” remark, wins big after receiving his FT money Nosebleeds Report: Daniel “jungleman12” Cates revives “poker is dying” remark, wins big after receiving his FT money <p><strong>Daniel </strong>“jungleman12” <strong>Cates </strong>is officially a happy camper after receiving his money <em>“in full” </em>as part of the Full Tilt “Green Friday” reimbursement to its US players.</p> <p>Cates didn’t waste any time and started off the third month of the year at the highest stakes in online poker. He had a huge Saturday session, winning over $600k at the 2-7 Triple Draw tables, according to HighStakesDB. Most of the profit came from playing heads-up with Russian pro <strong>Alexander </strong>“PostflopAction” <strong>Kostritsyn</strong>. Overall, in March, he won $1,100,934, becoming the third player to hit the million-dollar mark in 2014 after <strong>Viktor </strong>“Isildur1” <strong>Blom </strong>and <strong>Ben </strong>“Bttech86” <strong>Tollerene</strong>.</p> <p>Although Cates can find his way to the biggest online games with ease, on the live poker felt he has difficulties, complaining in an iGaming interview that he can’t get into the Macau nosebleeds games. <em>“If I could I would play the biggest games in Macau as well, but nobody can get into that game,”</em> the American explained. He also agreed with Joe Hachem’s remark stating that the entire online poker industry is dying: <em>“My win rate has gone down by about 25 or 30% since Black Friday and that’s largely due to there being so much less action. I’m not saying poker will die right now, but I think eventually it will happen.”</em></p> <p>At the nosebleeds stakes, however, things don’t look that grim at all. Cates is not the only player to have won $1 million in recent days. German Limit Hold’Em expert “Kagome Kagome” is the newest member of the 2014 million-dollar club after having a very busy weekend at the $2,000/$4,000 2-7TD tables. He played against the best of the best, including <strong>Phil</strong> “OMGClayAiken” <strong>Galfond</strong>, <strong>Niklas </strong>“ragen70” <strong>Heinecker</strong>, Blom and Cates.</p> <p>Tollerene has continued his run by adding even more money to his already huge 2014 profits. The Pot-Limit Omaha expert returned to the high stakes tables in March, winning $429,494 in 11,652 hands and 73 sessions. Overall, in 2014, he is very close to reaching the two-million-dollar mark. “Bttech86” is the biggest winner so far with a staggering profit of $1,959,708.</p> <p>The biggest surprise of the month is the all-time $16-million-dollar loser, <strong>Gus Hansen</strong>. The Dane is third in the winners’ leaderboard, cashing in over $338k in the first nine days of March. He is also the most active pro, playing almost 23k hands and 124 sessions. However, Hansen still has a long way to go until he reaches his break-even point in 2014. He is down over $1.1 million since January 1st.</p> <p>After starting the New Year hot, Swedish high-stakes player Blom cooled off in the last two months. He is the biggest loser in March with -$448,984. Like always, he played almost every game type, from NLHE and PLO to 2-7TD and 8-Game. He is on a downswing at the 2-7TD tables, losing big in the last nine days – over $650k. On the other hand, at the mixed-games, “Isildur1” emerged victorious after six sessions and 831 hands, winning $331k.</p> <p>Unknown “mikki696” is the second biggest loser of the month with -$443k, while Galfond sits in third place with -$364k. “OMGClayAiken” tried his luck at the notorious 2-7TD tables but couldn’t find his winning ways, being crushed by the likes of Cates and “Kagome Kagome”.</p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:20:02 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2602 Sam Trickett Inks Sponsorship Deal With Everest Poker Sam Trickett Inks Sponsorship Deal With Everest Poker <p>Sam Trickett has signed a new deal to represent Everest Poker that includes giving 10% of his WSOP winnings to players at the online poker website in a new promotion announced after forging the sponsorship agreement.</p> <p>Trickett's lifetime earnings skyrocketed when he came in second place in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop in 2012 and pocketed $10 million. But UK's favorite poker son was establishing himself as a force on the felt long before that huge payday catapulted him into super stardom.</p> <p>He has been been cashing at live tournaments since 2007, initially in his native homeland before expanding his reach worldwide. Trickett's first six-figure payday came in 2008 in Las Vegas when he came in 4th place in $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em at the WSOP for over $245,000. Less than two weeks later at the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour, he beat the field in £1,060 NLHE to add another $215,178 to his bank account.</p> <p>Trickett landed his first million-dollar payday in 2011 at the Aussie Millions where a first place finish at AUD$100,500 and runner-up in the AUD$250,000 Super High Roller just a few days apart was good for a tally of more than $2.9 million combined. He has now cashed for almost $20 million in his career, landing in second place on the all-time list.</p> <p><blockquote>I’m very excited to be joining Everest Poker <cite>Sam Trickett</cite></blockquote></p> <p>"I’m looking forward to interacting with our players online and at Everest Poker Live events, where I’ll be playing and coaching. Everest is a great poker brand and I will be doing everything I can to make it one of the most recognized in the world.”</p> <p>Despite his incredible success, a coveted WSOP gold bracelet has eluded the 27-year-old. But he aims to add that achievement to his resume this summer.</p> <p>"I’ve promised my Mum a bracelet and will be doing my very best to score big for everyone who’ll own a share in me.” Trickett said. “It will make the World Series grind a lot easier knowing I have a lot of players sweating my results this year."</p> <p>By depositing and playing at Everest Poker now and until the WSOP concludes in July, players can own a piece of Trickett. Cash rewards are dependent upon the number of Summit Points earned as well as Trickett's cashes in the 20-30 events he plans to enter, excluding the Big One for One Drop. It's a wonderful opportunity to grab a stake in one of the most exciting players in the game today.</p> <p><blockquote>“We want to encourage UK players to get behind Sam’s quest for a first bracelet this summer," <cite>Des Duffy, Everest Poker Director</cite></blockquote></p> <p>"I think for players who can’t make it to Las Vegas themselves, having a share in Sam will be the next big thing.”</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 19:07:56 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2597 Lost Poker Bet Results in Absurd Name Change Lost Poker Bet Results in Absurd Name Change <p>While people sometimes legally change their names for a variety of reasons that may include marriage or religion, it isn't often that losing a poker bet is one of them.</p> <p>But a man in New Zealand apparently was forced to do so after suffering a lost bet on the poker table. He also had the misfortune of having to accept the name bestowed on him by his undoubtedly drunken poker buddies, The Telegraph reported.</p> <p>Adhering to a limit of 100 characters, the poker-playing troop decided that their 22-year-old friend would best be identified as "Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova." Apparently, the marriages and deaths division of the Department of Internal Affairs accepted the name after receiving the required fee of NZ$127 (£64).</p> <p>A policy that name change requests do not include symbols or numbers, undeserved titles or rankings, excessively long names, or offensive language, was seemingly met by the new name given to the lousy poker-playing New Zealander. It came in just under the limit of 100 characters.</p> <p>The man (Mr. Frostnova) learned of his new moniker after his passport expired. He must now make the change on other official documentation such as his drivers license. Should he pay the £64 in order to legally change his name again, Frostnova would be well-advised to steer clear of Knight, King, Justice and Mafia No Fear, as those names have already been rejected.</p> <p>Likewise for "Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii." A New Zealand Family Court judge required that a girl given that name by her parents in 2008 be allowed to change it.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 17:11:47 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2596 PokerStars Brings UKIPT Back to Isle of Man in October PokerStars Brings UKIPT Back to Isle of Man in October <p>Proud to be hosting live poker on their home turf, PokerStars announced that the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) will return to the Isle of Man in October.</p> <p>The five-day festival will run from October 2-6 and feature a £770 Main Event with a guaranteed prize pool of £350,000. Visitors throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe are expected to attend, making their way to both the tourney and cash tables.</p> <p>However, a bit more strategy than starting hands and pot odds may be on the minds of some of the attendees, as the PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament will also be running on the island from October 4-12, 2014. The mental brain power required to excel at both sports is somewhat synonymous and PokerStars decided to overlap the staging of both festivals in an exciting mind-sports showcase.</p> <p>Last October, PokerStars' corporate hometown played host to the UKIPT for the first time and 379 entrants that included a number of Team PokerStars Pros competed in the Main Event. Tours of the Rational Group offices were also conducted, allowing players to see first-hand the inner workings of the world's top poker site that has won awards for being among the best places in which to work.</p> <p><blockquote>“I’m proud to say that the first UKIPT event on the Isle of Man was a big success in 2013... The atmosphere was very social and it was obvious that the players were really enjoying themselves,” <cite>Mark Scheinberg, Rational Group CEO</cite></blockquote></p> <p>While poker players on the Isle of Man in early October will be hoping to look down at pocket kings or queens and strategically thinking of the best way to play such a hand to maximize the pot, chess players not far away will be engaged in devising the best methods of play in which to use their queen to both dominate their opponent and protect their king. It should make for an interesting and fun time for all.</p> <p> </p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 18:29:16 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2595 Winamax Announces Sismix Electro Poker Festival in Marrakech Winamax Announces Sismix Electro Poker Festival in Marrakech <p>Winamax, France's leading online poker site, has announced the hosting of a live poker tournament in Morocco in late May that combines several nights of music-filled partying with exciting live poker action.</p> <p>Running from May 21-25, 2014 in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, the poker festival features a €550 buy-in Main Event, as well as a €1,500 High Roller. But the fun doesn't stop there, with cash game action, side tournaments, and non-stop entertainment slated for those in attendance.</p> <p>Held at the Es Saadi Resort – Marrakech Casino, the fest will feature electro music at a number of locations that include the restaurant, shisha bar, swimming pool, and the Theatro Marrakech nightclub. Along with following the rhythm of the cards, Winamax invites players the world over to make their way to Marrakech and feel the rhythm of the music for five fun-filled nights at the Sismix Electro Poker Festival.</p> <p>Winamax players can win their way to Morocco online beginning this Sunday, March 9 when a €100 buy-in Super Sat SisMix tourney that guarantees five €1,100 packages kicks off at 21:00 CET. Even more satellite opportunities will be available soon at Winamax.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 16:06:47 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2594 Online Legend Chris “Moorman1” Moorman Wins WPT L.A. Poker Classic Online Legend Chris “Moorman1” Moorman Wins WPT L.A. Poker Classic <p>It was just a matter of time. After becoming the first poker player in the world to win $10 million exclusively from online tournaments (according to PocketFives), British pro <strong>Chris Moorman</strong> owns at long last the live poker felt, winning the first major live tourney of his career.</p> <p>He needed 32 cashes, 4 major final tables, and 1 lucky river to finally conquer the final frontier.</p> <p>The Brit was in a good position when the televised final table bubble burst. <strong>Dan O’Brien</strong> was the unlucky number seven who finished off the fifth day and set the stage for the sixth and final day. O'Brien moved all-in on the turn with his bullets, but couldn’t dodge <strong>Michael Rocco</strong>’s outs. Rocco snap-called holding a pair of Kings, a flush draw, and a gutshot. The river completed the flush and O’Brien was officially eliminated from the tournament.</p> <p>Rocco started the six-handed play in the lead, holding around 35% of the chips in play. Moorman was second, but still dangerous as he had over 100 big blinds to start the final day. He was the most active player and put his opponents into a lot of uncomfortable situations.</p> <p>After shortstack <strong>Adam Friedman</strong> hit the rail in sixth place with a decent prize of $200,000, Moorman started his domination, eliminating one opponent after another. He made a three-bet from the big blind with pocket tens and called <strong>Josh Neufeld</strong>’s all-in move. Neufeld held Ace-Ten and was behind all the way. He finished fifth, winning $264,520.</p> <p>Moorman’s next victim was Frenchman<strong> Patrick Bruel</strong>. He called a raise in the small blind with King-Eight suited and check-raised all-in with second pair on a J-8-2 flop. Moorman called with Ace-Jack, taking Bruel’s whole stack after the turn and the river bricked. For his fourth place finish, Bruel took home over $332k.</p> <p>The three-handed play was spectacular and could have decided the winner if not for the river. <strong>Glenn Lafaye</strong> had a huge advantage before hand #129 with over 11 million chips. Moorman was second holding over 22 big blinds and 2,855,000 chips. Rocco was third with 2,040,000.</p> <p>Lafaye acted first, open-raising the button with Queen-Jack suited. Rocco raised all-in from the small blind with Ace-Eight, while the Brit re-raised his whole stack with pocket tens. The big chip leader called and was preparing for a big celebration after the K-Q-J flop gave him two pair. The lone 3 turn changed nothing and Lafaye had to dodge only the three Aces remaining in the deck, plus four nines. Unfortunately for him, that didn’t happen. Moorman rivered a broadway straight, eliminating Rocco, who cashed in $423,440 for his finish.</p> <p>Moorman was ready to battle Lafaye head-to-head with over 50 big blinds. The battle was swift, with Moorman taking down pot after pot. The final blow involved the famous poker bullets and one legend. The Brit snap-called after his opponent moved all-in with an open-ender on the flop. The turn and river were safe enough to give Moorman his second million-dollar live cash.</p> <p>Here are the final payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Chris Moorman (UK) - $1,015,460</em></li> <li><em>Glenn Lafaye (USA) - $662,840</em></li> <li><em>Michael Rocco (USA) - $423,440</em></li> <li><em>Patrick Bruel (FRA) - $332,190</em></li> <li><em>Josh Neufeld (USA) - $264,520</em></li> <li><em>Adam Friedman (USA) - $200,440</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Chris “Moorman1” Moorman, who added another million-dollar win to his already full-house. He has won $10,925,072 in the online world, according to, and $3,900,939 on the live poker felt, as reported by Card Player. Will he double the stake and reach the $10 million mark in live tournament winnings as well?</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 15:42:56 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2593 Paddy Power Ordered to Remove Oscar Pistorius Advert Paddy Power Ordered to Remove Oscar Pistorius Advert <p>Citing an "an unprecedented number of complaints," the Advertising Standards Authority has ordered Irish bookmaker Paddy Power to withdraw an advertisement that featured Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius as an <a href="">"Oscar" film award statuette</a>.</p> <p>Pistorius is currently on trial in South Africa for the murder of his model and reality TV star girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The advert was the subject of more than 5,000 complaints to the ASA, easily breaking the previous record of 1,671 complaints for a Kentucky Fried Chicken ad in which call centre employees sang with their mouths full, BBC News reported.</p> <p>Quite troubling to those who found the Paddy Power ad offensive was the fact that the oddsmaker was accepting wagers on the murder trial's outcome, going so far as to offer a refund to punters who happen to lose their bet should Pistorius be found not guilty and "walk" away scot-free. A bit of irony is that Pistorius is a double amputee who wears artificial limbs on both legs following an amputation at 11 months of age after being born with fibular hemimelia.</p> <p>Putting Pistorius' head on an Oscar statuette also possibly implied that being found not guilty of the murder charge would require Pistorius to continue with his award-winning "act" of believing that he was shooting at an intruder, which was the claim that the "Blade Runner" made to police following the shooting and untimely death of Steenkamp.</p> <p>Womens' rights groups were up in arms over the Paddy Power advert, believing that violence by men toward women was being mocked. Actually, the ASA mentioned that the ad could be construed offensive on three counts, "for trivialising the issues surrounding a murder trial, the death of a woman, and disability."</p> <p>In addition to the thousands of complaints fielded by the ASA, an online petition rebuking the ad garnered more than 120,000 signatures. Paddy Power held fast in their resolve to continue promoting the ad, with a spokesperson insisting that attraction to the trial was worldwide and that "everyone is interested and intrigued."</p> <p>But the ASA's decision finding that the advert harms "the good reputation of the advertising industry" and that it "may be seriously prejudicial to the general public" requires Paddy Power to withdraw publication. The ASA ordered the advert's removal prior to concluding their investigation, which is highly "unusual," said ASA chairman Lord Smith.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 17:43:02 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2591 Poker Night in America Heads to Maryland Live! Casino Poker Night in America Heads to Maryland Live! Casino <p>A new tour stop has been announced by Poker Night in America as the production crew is preparing to set up cameras at the Maryland Live! Casino for the $1 Million Live! Poker Classic scheduled for March 10-24.</p> <p>A total of nine events with $1 million in guaranteed prize money combined will be hosted in The Poker Room at Maryland Live!, with the featured $3,500 Main Event and $400,000 guaranteed prize pool scheduled to commence on March 21.</p> <p>The Main Event final table set for Monday, March 24 will be recorded for airing at a later date, as will two separate cash games on Tuesday, March 25. The cash game action requires a buy-in from $5,000 to $20,000 and is by invitation only.</p> <p>Already invited and committed to competing under the bright lights are 2012 WSOP Main Event champ Greg Merson, "Bet Raise Fold" star Danielle 'dmoongirl' Andersen, and former World Poker Tour Player of the Year Gavin Smith. Merson is a native of Maryland and will be under the gun to bring his A-game on his home turf.</p> <p>Seats remain open for the cash game action and an email sent to along with a decent bankroll could garner an invite for those interested. Include your contact information and several reasons why you may be worthy of consideration.</p> <p>The first broadcast of Poker Night in America from previous tour stops is set for April 27, 2014. Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic is one of the channels where fans can tune in to see the show. An as yet unannounced national cable network will also be airing the poker programming, with details to be revealed shortly.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16:03:08 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2590 Unibet 18th in Online Poker Player Traffic Unibet 18th in Online Poker Player Traffic <p>Unibet's standalone poker site ranks itself 18th in online poker player traffic on its first day of action operating independently after closing down its room on MPN.</p> <p>That information comes from a 2 + 2 post by Unibet representative 'Sciolist' yesterday morning on a thread dedicated to updating and solving the dilemmas of Unibet players. The new Unibet poker room will not be providing a feed to independent poker traffic-tracking website PokerScout.</p> <p>"Just thought I'd mention," posted the Unibet rep, "506 cash game seats at the moment. That'd put us 18th in the world at the moment according to PokerScout, and 7th for .com stand-alone sites. MPN on 689 at the moment according to PokerScout."</p> <p>Unibet elected to break free from the constraints of being a skin on a poker network to strike out on its own with a soft launch on February 19. The new site was to operate alongside the "Old Poker" site on MPN until the scheduled date of March 2. Unibet shed its old skin for good earlier this week and the results, according to the numbers provided by the site itself, look encouraging.</p> <p>"To be fair, we've 'bribed' a lot of those with the free €10," Sciolist further posted with regard to a bonus offer, "but that's not a bad start for this time of day [8:24 a.m.] on our first full day."</p> <p>Unibet is <a href="">aiming to cater to casual players</a> by forbidding poker-tracking software, allowing screen name changes thrice daily, taking very low rake at the micro-stakes levels, and encouraging the accomplishment of missions. That certainly doesn't sound like a poker room that grinders will flock to and Unibet is aware of that.</p> <p>"We're definitely going to lose some regulars," the rep stated. He added that Unibet executives felt the need to go in that direction "to try to stop the decline of poker at Unibet."</p> <p>Regulars who do stick around will be pleased to know that Unibet unveiled a temporary loyalty scheme that will run through the month of March. A more permanent VIP plan will be forthcoming.</p> <p>"Our general attitude is that we want to encourage casual players to play more," Sciolist continued. "We want to keep our regulars happy, but our main focus is on casual players instead. But regardless of what type of player you are, we're interested in what you have to say because we want you to keep playing on our site (ideally more than you did on the old!)"</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 22:12:19 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2589 Betfred Poker Shifts to iPoker Network's Top Tier Betfred Poker Shifts to iPoker Network's Top Tier <p>The iPoker Network experienced a bit of restructuring this morning when Betfred Poker made the move to the top tier of the industry's leading online poker network.</p> <p>That is certainly good news for loyal Betfred players, who can now enjoy greater liquidity and a larger number of recreational players among the upper echelon of iPoker's two-tier system. iPoker split into two tiers in September of 2012 and established criteria to be met by each skin in order to be placed in the higher-level tier.</p> <p>The dual-tier system was implemented as a way to protect the larger skins such as Titan Poker, Paddy Power, William Hill and others, whose marketing spend and ability to attract casual players is far greater than that of the skins landing in the lower tier. Boylepoker, Genting and Dafabet Poker are among the smaller, lower-tier skins that will now be part of a reduced player pool with the loss of Betfred Poker.</p> <p>Online poker players would be well-advised to check out the deposit bonus and additional deals available at the latest poker room to be welcomed to iPoker's top tier, Betfred Poker. Those deals are further enhanced by signing up through <a href=""></a>, whose players have received over $31,500,000 in loyalty and rakeback payments.</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 20:49:02 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2588 Hard Rock May Have Sights on Revel Casino Hard Rock May Have Sights on Revel Casino <p>Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment may be positioning itself to make a bid on the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City after submitting paperwork to New Jersey gaming regulators requesting approval for a possible casino license.</p> <p>Run by a Florida-based Seminole Indian Tribe, Hard Rock operates well over a hundred businesses internationally that includes eight casinos. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement did enter an order last month waiving the company from further casino license qualification requirements, but did not yet green light almost a dozen Hard Rock representatives.</p> <p>Rumors persist that Hard Rock is eyeing the Revel, though the company has not made its intentions public, the Press of Atlantic City reported. Caesars is also reportedly interested, but with four casinos already under its charge in New Jersey, gaming regulators may not approve such a bid for fear that the state's gaming industry will be much too reliant on the success of one company.</p> <p>The Revel filed for bankruptcy just one year after opening and is now reportedly being offered to bidders by the current ownership group. Hard Rock International owns a portion of the New Jersey Meadowlands Racetrack, which is often mentioned as a possible casino site should gambling expand beyond the constraints of Atlantic City.</p> <p>With online poker and gambling now <a href="">legal in New Jersey</a>, land-based casino ownership takes on a new dimension of added revenue. However, that was not the case for the Atlantic Club, which was purchased jointly by Caesars and Tropicana, and subsequently stripped for parts and shuttered.</p> <p> </p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:18:49 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2587 Action Poker Acquired by Equity Poker Network Action Poker Acquired by Equity Poker Network <p>The Equity Poker Network (EPN) is aiming to increase action on the virtual felt with the acquisition of Action Poker, a long-standing poker room that has already migrated to the U.S.-facing network.</p> <p>Action Poker has been around since 1999, most recently on the Chico Poker Network. That network, which also caters to U.S. players, was formerly known as the Action Poker Network.</p> <p>Anchored by Full Flush Poker, EPN is approaching four months of real-money play since launching on November 8. Despite the departure of PokerHiro from the network last month, the remaining skins such as GearPoker, 5Dimes and Integer Poker are part of an online poker cooperative that is allowing the relatively new network to slowly establish a loyal following of players.</p> <p>That player base will likely increase with the addition of Action Poker, which will operate as a sister site to Full Flush. Action Poker will target the European Internet poker market.</p> <p>“Action Poker was once a great, competitive, and respected brand, but in more recent times, its standing in the poker community has lapsed," a Full Flush spokesperson stated in a press release. "We plan to restore it to its former glory. We’re excited to be the instrument of Action Poker’s rebirth.”</p> <p>EPN uncovered a <a href="">collusion ring</a> last month and instead of keeping the possible bad publicity quiet, chose instead to alert the public that the fraudulent behavior had occurred. The network took immediate action by closing the accounts of the players involved and promising to reimburse those players who may have been victimized.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:27:16 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2586 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - March 4, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - March 4, 2014 <p>Player traffic on cash tables declined for the third week in a row, resulting in a decrease for six of the last seven weeks in the global market overall.</p> <p>Even more discouraging is the fact that the pace is 15% less from the same time last year. Part of the reason why the decline is so great is that players were flocking to PokerStars' ring games at this time in 2013 to cash in on the 95 billionth hand promotion, PokerScout reported.</p> <p>On the bright side, $76 million was injected into the bank accounts of U.S. players last Friday when the Garden City Group made the <a href="">first round of payments to former U.S. Full Tilt players</a>. Let's see how much of that cash finds its way to online poker tables in coming weeks.</p> <p>Among the top ten poker sites and networks, the billionth hand promo at Winamax concluded over the weekend. While last week's online poker player traffic update saw Winamax in a fourth place tie with Full Tilt, the promo's end finds Winamax in a tie with PartyPoker for fifth place as of this writing.</p> <p>Winamax enjoyed a 28% increase in traffic during the height of its PokerStars-like promotion. But PokerScout predicts a tumble down to eighth place in the future now that the €100,000 giveaway is over. Players at the French-facing site received bonus cash in 111 jackpot hands during some 10 days of the promotion.</p> <p>PokerStars, 888poker, iPoker and Full Tilt are 1 through 4 in the cash game rankings, respectively. Toward the lower end of the top ten,, and Bodog respectively occupy the 7 through 9 slots, while Adjarabet and remain tied for tenth.</p> <p>MPN is slightly behind the tenth place position, just 50 players less than the other two in a seven-day average. Unibet is officially gone from MPN as of March 2, so it may be difficult for Microgaming to climb back into the top ten. However, a Blaze Cash Drop promo this week in which random MPN players are awarded €10 in bonus cash every 10 minutes may draw some low-stakes fast-folders.</p> <p>Among U.S.-friendly poker sites, SealsWithClubs has seen a decrease in player traffic as of late. The drop likely coincides with the somewhat shaky status of Bitcoin following the closing last week of the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox exchange.</p> <p>In the U.S. regulated market, PokerScout reports that player traffic is no longer on the upswing in Delaware, New Jersey or Nevada. While new player signups may trickle in from this point forward in either of the three markets, we can likely expect no more substantial increases.</p> <p>The newest among the regulated sites, South Point Casino's Real Gaming in Nevada, has dealt slightly more 2,000 hands since launching almost two weeks ago. The lack of action at the site is somewhat depressing, considering that South Point had early intentions of being first-to-market before Ultimate Poker won that title.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 18:26:02 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2585 Macau Nosebleeds REVEALED: $5 million pots and $800,000 river bluffs Macau Nosebleeds REVEALED: $5 million pots and $800,000 river bluffs <p>The live high-stakes poker cash games have been surrounded by folklore for years and not even a single pro has been willing to shed light on the matter. From <strong>Guy Laliberté</strong> secret games where only the best of the best could enter, to Macau nosebleeds stakes with huge downswings like <a href="" target="_blank">Dwan’s $4 million in a day loss</a> – everything has been shaded with more assumptions than hard cold facts. Until now!</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">In a recent 2+2 post</a>, user <strong>Tom Hall</strong> took the liberty to share with the poker community what has been happening in Macau for the past three years. He participated recently in one of the nosebleeds games with the likes of <strong>Tom Dwan</strong> and several Asian multi-millionaires, talking about endless hours of play and only a few four-hour breaks.</p> <p>The blinds at that particular game were $4,000/$8,000<em> “but they had been playing as high as $12,500/$25,000 earlier in the session.”</em> There was over $20 million up for grabs at the table, with the smallest stack having at least $1 million in chips.</p> <p>The 2+2 poster also talked about the biggest pot he saw there. Things got out of hand after a 10 turn doubled the K-10-7 flop. Big bets and raises followed on the turn and blank river to complete an incredible $5.1 million (HK$40 million) pot. Both players who attacked viciously held A-10 and split the money in the middle.</p> <p>Moreover, Hall spoke about $700,000 - $800,000 river bluffs <em>“which were treated with much amusement at the expense of the folding player.”</em> Usually, the players going after those games are 100 – 150 big blinds deep to start the action.</p> <p>Already, 2+2 regulars are making bets as to who’s playing those games. Dwan is definitely one of the them, while controversial poker player <strong>Alec Torelli</strong> seems to be the community favorite as one of the players who joins 'durrrr' in the Macau nosebleeds games. Another notable mention is Hong Kong-based poker pro, <strong>Windfred Yu</strong>.</p> <p>Who do you think plays at the highest stakes in the whole wide poker world?</p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 13:54:45 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2584 Irish Luck: Kevin Killeen Wins UKIPT Dublin Irish Luck: Kevin Killeen Wins UKIPT Dublin <p>The beard has got to go. This is what <strong>Kevin Killeen</strong> had to say after he secured the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Dublin title.</p> <p><em>“I said at the beginning of the year that I wouldn’t shave my beard until I’d had a 50k score,”</em> the winner told PokerStars Blog.</p> <p>He needed some old-fashioned Irish luck to get it done, but it was definitely worth it.</p> <p>Killeen started the final day of the UKIPT Dublin Main Event in the lead, dominating the seven other stacks at the final table. The eight-handed play lasted only three hands as Italian <strong>Ivan Tononi</strong> hit the rail with no chance of doubling up after his Jack-Eight was called by pocket Queens.</p> <p><strong>Larry Ryan</strong> was next to go in probably one of the most exciting hands from the final table. Ryan was in the small blind and called Killeen’s three-bet. Killeen made a late continuation bet on the turn after checking back the flop. The river brought Ryan the straight, and thinking he had the best hand, he check-raised all-in. However, it was the future winner who held the winning hand: a rivered boat.</p> <p>Dutchman <strong>Joeri Zandvliet</strong> finished sixth after three-betting with a marginal hand: King-Seven. Former 2010 UKIPT Dublin Main Event winner <strong>Max Silver</strong> wasn’t impressed and called with pocket sevens to add even more chips to his stack.</p> <p>Rational Group employee <strong>Dirk Thijssen</strong> had the chance to feel what it's like to participate in a Main Event and managed to survive till Level 28. He played to win but didn’t received any help from the poker gods after moving all-in with King-Ten. He was in good spirits after he saw that he was a 60% favorite to win the pot over Silver’s Eight-Nine suited. Unfortunately for Thijssen, the river paired Silver’s eight, sending Thijssen packing in fifth place with a €23,100 prize.</p> <p>Ten minutes after that, qualifier <strong>Robert Sturman</strong> left the table after winning €29,100. He qualified for the Main Event via an £8 investment in an online satellite and got away with quite an amazing profit.</p> <p><strong>Chris Wood</strong> busted out next after three-betting all-in with suited connectors. He was called by Killeen, who had King-Queen and a turn-made straight. Wood was rewarded €38,400 for his third-place finish.</p> <p>The heads-up play between Killeen and Silver began full-steam with the former UKIPT Dublin winner having the edge both in chips and experience. But he did not have another essential ingredient to win any poker tournament: luck. Killeen started the double-up frenzy minutes after the heads-up kicked off. He went all-in with pocket nines and survived against a dangerous King-Queen hand.</p> <p>The future winner continued his run and doubled-up three more times before eliminating Silver. In the last hand of the tourney. Killeen three-bet and called a four-bet with King-Queen, dominating his opponent, who held Queen-Eight. The community cards brought nothing new, denying Silver the chance to repeat. He won €53,700 for his second-place finish.</p> <p>This is Killeen’s first major cash and win; he leaves Dublin €87,700 richer. Congratulations to the winner on his impressive performance.</p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:21:06 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2583 Paddy Power Criticized for Advert and Offering Odds on Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial Paddy Power Criticized for Advert and Offering Odds on Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial <p>Bookmaker Paddy Power has come under fire for a controversial advertisement tied to the Oscar Pistorius murder trial that is promoting an offer of refunding the losing bets of gamblers should the sprint champion be found not guilty.</p> <p>The advert is a play on the recently concluded Academy Awards held in Los Angeles Sunday in which the film industry awards the year's best actors and filmmakers with an "Oscar." Paddy Power's ad shows Pistorius' head on an Oscar statuette with the words "Oscar Time" and "Money Back If He Walks" emblazoned on the advertisement.</p> <p>Women rights groups and others who find the advertisement in poor taste are complaining quite vociferously that Paddy Power is making light of violence against women. Pistorius, a double amputee from South Africa who won two gold medals as a Paralympic runner, stands accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. The murder trial began Monday.</p> <p>A model and reality television star, Steenkamp was killed when Pistorius allegedly shot her at his home a little more than one year ago. Pistorius claims that he thought he was shooting at an intruder.</p> <p>Early odds posted by Paddy Power on the murder trial's outcome were set at 7/4 that Pistorius is found guilty and 2/5 that the 27-year-old "Blade Runner" manages to convince Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa that he is not guilty, reported. But Paddy Power then changed things up a bit, creating further outrage by offering to return the wagers of gamblers should Pistorius walk away scot-free.</p> <p>"We Will Refund All Losing Bets On The Oscar Pistorius Trial If He Is Found Not Guilty" the ad also states.</p> <p>Paddy Power has not been swayed by the overwhelming number of complaints posted on social media, as well as being forwarded to the Advertising Standards Authority. An online petition demanding that the advertisement be pulled continues to gather signatures.</p> <p>"People are talking about this," said a Paddy Power spokesman. "It is top of the agenda. It is in everyone's face. Everyone is interested and intrigued."</p> <p>The spokesman added that the wagers accepted thus far have been rather small and that Paddy Power is offering odds not to make money but more so because of the trial's global appeal.</p> <p>“This is the biggest profile trial that has ever been. It’s the only topic of conversation around the world. It’s to provide customers with the opportunity to bet on something that everyone is talking [about],” the spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph. “We’re not betting on murder here. We’re betting on the outcome of a trial.”</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 07:11:50 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2582 Winamax Deals 1 Billionth Hand .... and Promo Continues Winamax Deals 1 Billionth Hand .... and Promo Continues <p>Winamax dealt its one billionth cash hand at around 2:00 a.m. Sunday, an accomplishment that was punctuated by a promotion that gave away a guaranteed €100,000 in cash to players seated at the table of each milestone hand beginning with hand no. 990,000,000.</p> <p>The milestone hands were scheduled to be every 100,000th hand up to and including the big one billionth hand. However, when the major milestone was reached after about 10 days of action since 990 million, Winamax had not yet met its guarantee of doling out €100,000, PokerScout reported.</p> <p>Though organizers of the promotion originally envisioned that players would be awarded bonuses in 101 jackpot hands culminating in the billionth hand celebration, the promotion continued since all the cash allocated for the promo had not been given away. An additional 10 milestone hands every 100,000 beyond 1 billion were included in the promotion until the 1,001,000,000th hand was dealt and the jackpot total of €100,290.04 was reached.</p> <p>Players at milestone hands were rewarded cash according to a formula that depended upon the length of time playing at the table and the number of Miles earned prior to the jackpot hands. That made it difficult for Winamax to gauge exactly when €100,000 in cash bonuses might be reached. The promo did clearly state that milestone hands would continue even beyond the 1 billionth hand until player accounts had received at least €100,000 in bonus cash.</p> <p>The promotion proved extremely successful for Winamax. At one point, cash game traffic at the French-facing site was up 28%. Winamax remains the industry leader in the French market.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 05:19:04 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2579 Poker Notes Live App Review Poker Notes Live App Review <p>Poker players are always looking for new and improved ways to keep track of their poker sessions, take notes on opponents they play against, and remember the general tendencies of those players and how they may react in specific spots. This is especially true for the younger generation used to online poker tracking software. The <a href=""><strong>Poker Notes Live app</strong></a> is a very useful little tool created for this very purpose … but it’s designed exclusively for <strong>live</strong> poker.</p> <p>It features a graphic interface that allows you to select the number of players at the table with a single tap, and you will have before you a small table ready to be filled up with players and relevant notes. The first seat you select at the table will be reserved for you, and this is where you can keep track of all relevant information for that table: buy-in amount, win/loss, tips, and any other custom made notes you find important. After you are done with that, you can proceed to add other players and match their seat placement around the live table at which you are seated. The information you can enter for every individual player includes their name, three different tabs for taking general notes, pre-flop and post-flop tendencies, tags for general style of play (TAG, LAG, fish, maniac, etc.) that come with small descriptive icons, as well as customizable color tags if these are not enough for you. There is also a section devoted to keeping track of the overall aggression, win percentage at showdown, and hands played percentage.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" src="" alt="" width="400" height="225" title=""/></p> <p>In many of its features, the Poker Notes Live app mimics HUDs available for online tables these days. Paying enough attention at the table and taking detailed notes on how particular hands went down can, in the same way, serve as a powerful tool against live opponents in the future. Unlike online HUDs, you will have to take the notes manually. The app unfortunately cannot do that for you, but your time between hands will now be used in a productive fashion.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" src="" alt="" width="400" height="225" title=""/></p> <p><strong>Do You Get What You Pay For with Poker Notes Live?</strong></p> <p>There’s a Free version of Poker Notes Live as well as a Premium version ($9.99) available at the App Store and Google Play. The main <a href=""><strong>difference between the two</strong></a> is that the free version can only support one table at a time, so as soon as you start a new table, the old one is forgotten (i.e., your notes don’t get saved). It will come in handy if you only play occasionally, as you can keep track of your profits and keep notes on a couple of players that you tangle with often. If you are a more serious player, the money you spend for this application will most likely turn out to be a good investment. After all, you probably don’t think TOO hard to call a $10 bet - the $10 you’ll spend on this app is definitely a great bet!</p> <p><a href=""><img class="leftAlone" src="" alt="" width="300" height="251" title=""/></a></p> <p>Features of the premium version include saving an unlimited number of new tables, a database that keeps track of all your notes and all the players you have ever tagged, as well as the stats for your results across all the sessions you have ever recorded. There is even a database backup feature that will help you make sure you can keep your valuable notes safe even if something happens to your phone or tablet. Additional perks include changing table themes, which is really not necessary, but is certainly cool. What poker player doesn’t get bored of the same background after a while?</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" src="" alt="" width="400" height="225" title=""/></p> <p><strong>One Minor Criticism</strong></p> <p>The only thing that did not appeal to me about Poker Notes Live is the fact that there is absolutely no access to player lists or session history features in the free version. While I can fully appreciate the fact that the creator wants (and deserves, in my opinion at least) to make some money with this app, it would be nice to have at least some type of access just to see how it works. Even if it was just for a couple of players and the last five sessions or something like that. I am guessing that seeing the entire picture of what the app has to offer would go a long way in helping people with the decision to buy the full version.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion and Our Recommendation</strong></p> <p>In any event, whether you are a serious live grinder or just a regular recreational player, this is an app that you will probably want to have. While it may take some time to get used to, especially if you do not have much experience with online poker, it is intuitive enough for anyone who plays poker to get a hang of it quite quickly. Since there is a free version available, there is absolutely no reason not to take it for a spin and see how you like it. Poker Notes Live will certainly help with keeping track of your live poker play and give you easy access to your notes for future studying of your opponents. If you need a better way to take the notes while at the table and have difficulties with finding what you need in the sum total of information you try to gather on people, then this app is exactly what you are looking for. And if you just find it hard to keep your attention at the table when you are not in the hand, it might become your new favorite pastime.</p> <h3><strong><a href="">Download Poker Notes Live App</a> - Free or Premium</strong></h3> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 18:57:38 +0000 Stewart Dunlop 2581 Blaze Poker Cash Giveaway at MPN Blaze Poker Cash Giveaway at MPN <p>Fast-fold poker has turned into fast cash poker at MPN's Blaze Poker tables.</p> <p>Beginning today and running through March 9, players at favorite MPN skins such as BetVictor, <a href="">StanJames</a>, 32Red and Betsson may receive €10 in their account just for being seated and playing at a Blaze Poker 6-max table. The Blaze Cash Drop will run all week long and will drop €10 bonus cash into a random player's account every 10 minutes.</p> <p>There are no strings attached in the Blaze Cash Drop, meaning that recipients can use the bonus as they see fit. Parlay the free bonus into even greater rewards in a SitNGo or an MTT tourney, keep playing at the Blaze Poker tables, or add the dough to your next cashout.</p> <p>Yet another way to win free cash while playing Blaze Poker is through MPN's Blazing Cannon promotion that began February 24 and will run through March 31. Cash prizes of €1, €10 or €100 are available to qualifying Blaze Poker players.</p> <p>How do you qualify? Simply win 20 raked hands at 6-max Blaze Poker and you will be positioned behind a cannon at a firing range. Your goal is to aim and fire at a house of cards by mouse-clicking on the cannon, knocking down as many gold suits as you can in the process. The random result is either a misfired cannon or €1, €10 or €100 in cash, depending on the success of your shot.</p> <p>Blaze Poker is MPN's fast-fold variant that allows a pool of players to play a much quicker pace of poker by immediately being jettisoned to a new table upon folding. The Blaze Cash Drop and Blazing Cannon promos are running simultaneously, but the €10 cash drop will end March 9.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:58:07 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2578 Dislike for Sheldon Adelson Grows Dislike for Sheldon Adelson Grows <p>Sheldon Adelson has raised the ire of the poker community with his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, but indications are that he is also not very well-liked among his own employees.</p> <p>The Las Vegas Sands CEO has apparently made some enemies of workers at his Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who blame the casino mogul for causing their social security numbers to be made public. The information was leaked by hackers last month, who allegedly were perturbed at Adelson for comments he made encouraging the U.S. to use nuclear warheads against Iran in an effort to protect Israel.</p> <p>Several Bethlehem Sands casino employees anonymously voiced their displeasure over their boss' actions to Gambling911, one saying that the elderly billionaire "should just shut up" with regard to politics and keep his focus on his gambling businesses. Another revealed that the security breach has left him "terrified" that his identity may now possibly be stolen.</p> <p>In addition to employees being affected by the security breach, The Morning Call reported that some 40,000 customers also had their passport, driver's license and social security numbers posted online. Those casino patrons will be notified shortly and allowed to participate in credit monitoring in order to stave off any possible identity theft.</p> <p>More than 8 million people enter the Pennsylvania casino complex annually and a spokesman attempted to downplay the damage by stating that only "a very small percentage" of patrons had their personal information compromised. The casino is now busily "working to ensure that the identified customers [and employees] are protected."</p> <p>That was little consolation to one employee, who sarcastically said that "a lot of good that does you after the fact."</p> <p>In addition to spouting his views on global affairs, Adelson has declared war on the online gambling industry in the U.S. His coalition is attempting to stop the expansion of online poker and gambling and the 80-year-old has vowed to throw as much money at the effort as is needed in order to accomplish his goal.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 16:34:57 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2577 February a Revenue Record Breaker for Macau February a Revenue Record Breaker for Macau <p>Macau’s gaming sector did not have a great start to the year, with January’s revenue growth having fallen below the estimates of economic analysts.</p> <p>That led to a fear of a potential slowdown in the growth of the world’s largest gaming area after a record-breaking year of revenue in 2013. Those fears will likely be gone after February’s revenue figures were released this week.</p> <p>The figures show that Macau’s gaming revenue for the month of February <a href="">totalled US$4.8 million</a>, a 40% increase from the month before. That was an amount that actually exceeded analysts’ expectations, which were between 29 and 35 percent.</p> <p>February’s gaming revenue was also the highest ever monthly revenue recorded in Macau, which was previously US$4.57 million in October last year. Macau saw a major spike in the number of tourists from the Chinese mainland throughout February, in particular during Chinese New Year celebrations in the first week of the month.</p> <p>That week saw over 770,000 tourists from mainland China travel to Macau, the majority of whom partook in gaming throughout their time in the Special Administrative Region.</p> <p>The ever-strengthening state of the Macau gaming sector is likely to be good news for the organisers of the Macau Millions poker event. The ten-day festival, which takes place between March 7-16, will feature at least six different poker tournaments and is expected to have over 1,000 participants in its main event.</p> <p>The Macau Millions previously had what its promoter PokerStars referred to as a “two-year hiatus.” Its return in 2014 puts it alongside other major Macau poker events such as the Macau Poker Cup and helps to show that Macau is fast becoming a regional and global hub for high level professional poker.</p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 14:05:40 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2576 Patrick Mahoney Wins ANZPT Perth Main Event Patrick Mahoney Wins ANZPT Perth Main Event <p>The Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) Perth Main Event is now over with Patrick Mahoney as its winner. The Minnesotan - who now calls Australia home - beat a total field of 256 to win the event and its AUD$120,000 cash prize.</p> <p>The final table began in a highly competitive manner with all players bringing their A-game to the last day of play. The first two hours saw no eliminations as players did all they could to stay in the game.</p> <p>Someone had to go eventually, though, and that player was Justin Walch. The short-stacked Walch went all-in before the flop with Ace-Nine offsuit and was called by Mahoney, who had him outkicked with Ace-Jack. Both players hit an Ace on the flop, but that wasn't enough for Walch, who lost the hand and settled for ninth place.</p> <p>Eighth place went to local poker player Vesko Zmukic, who became Mahoney’s second straight final table scalp. Like Walch, Zmukic went all-in pre-flop with Ace-Nine, except his hole cards were suited. Mahoney was waiting in the wings with pocket Jacks, which meant Zmukic had to hit something big on the board to stay in the event.</p> <p>It didn’t happen, however, as Mahoney’s Jacks held on the board to give him the hand and put the Main Event down it its last seven players.</p> <p>Paul Murray was knocked out of the event just minutes later at the hands of Dean Blatt. It came as the short-stacked Murray went all-in on the blind with an amount that was covered by both Blatt and Scott Davies, who both stayed in the hand. Davies folded on the river to a bet from Blatt, who showed a nut flush, which beat Murray’s hand and eliminated him in seventh place.</p> <p>Matthew Rolfe was gone only a few hands after Murray when he lost a showdown to Davies. Rolfe went all-in pre-flop with pocket Threes and was instantly called by Davies, who had pocket Jacks. The Jacks held on the board and Rolfe was officially out of the event in sixth place.</p> <p>As if there weren’t enough players eliminated in such little time, Sal Fazzino was knocked out of the final table just a couple minutes after Rolfe’s exit. The Perth player went all-in before the flop with Ace-Six offsuit only to be called by Mahoney and his Ace-Jack. The Ace-Jack remained the dominant hand on the Ten high board and Fazzino exited the event in fifth place.</p> <p>Blatt got his second final table scalp after he eliminated Brian Mcallister from the event in fourth spot. The short-stacked Mcallister went all-in pre-flop with Seven-Four offsuit and was called by Blatt, who was ahead with King-Six. Blatt’s hand remained the dominant one on the Jack high board to win him the hand and leave only three players vying for the title.</p> <p>Third place went to Davies after he came off second best in a showdown against Blatt. Davies went all-in pre-flop with Queen-Jack offsuit only to be called by Blatt, who was slightly ahead with King-Five. The King-high was good on a board with two Aces and, just like that, Davies was sent packing.</p> <p>Davies’ elimination put Blatt and Mahoney in heads-up play and Blatt held slightly less than a two-to-one chip lead when play began. It did not take long for Mahoney to take the chip lead, however, and he put himself in a great position to take out the event.</p> <p>In the last hand of the Main Event, both players saw the flop, which consisted of the Jack of Diamonds, Six of Clubs and Three of Diamonds. That gave Blatt – who had Six-Seven of Diamonds - a pair of Sixes and a flush draw, while Mahoney had top pair with his King-Jack offsuit.</p> <p>The flop led to a number of raises and reraises, but Mahoney eventually went all-in. Blatt, who was covered by about 150,000 chips, called the all-in and needed to hit on the turn or river to stay in. That did not happen as another Jack came on turn, followed by the King of Spades on the river, which gave Mahoney a full house.</p> <p>With that, Blatt was eliminated from the event in second place and Mahoney was officially crowned the winner of the ANZPT Perth Main Event.</p> Sun, 02 Mar 2014 13:17:45 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2575 Full Tilt Payments Total $76 Million on "Green Friday" Full Tilt Payments Total $76 Million on "Green Friday" <p>More than 27,500 U.S. Full Tilt players received about $76 million yesterday in the first round of payouts of the Full Tilt remission process.</p> <p>The long-awaited reimbursement administered by Garden City Group (GCG) on behalf of the DoJ was effectuated via ACH deposits to the bank accounts of players who had timely confirmed their Full Tilt account balances. The latest update at the website posted February 28 reminds players that funds may not be available for immediate withdrawal. The length of time that players must wait is dependent on the practices of each particular bank.</p> <p>The first wave of payments brought overwhelming relief to the thousands of former U.S. Full Tilt players on the receiving end who have waited almost three years for their funds. As evidenced by the joy and happiness expressed by posters on online poker forums, yesterday can best be described as <a href="">one of the most blissful days in online poker history</a>. Many players now euphorically refer to February 28, 2014 as "Green Friday."</p> <p>The GCG is already looking ahead to the next round of reimbursement and reminds affiliates that their Petitions for Remission are due on March 2. Players whose bank accounts failed to pass a previous test and have been found to be inaccurate have until March 13 to advise the GCG of their correct account information.</p> <p>Also of note, players who received notice of an outstanding debt that qualifies for collection by the Treasury Offset Program are advised to send a complete Unified Financial Management System Vendor Request Form to the GCG as soon as is possible.</p> <p>The GCG had earlier stated that about 30,000 players had been approved to receive roughly $82 million in the first round of reimbursement. The $6 million of approved funds that have been held back from approximately 2,500 players is likely attributable to those players whose bank accounts could not be verified and possibly some players who owe the government money.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 01 Mar 2014 21:57:25 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2574 $8 Million Guaranteed in PokerStars Sunday Million Anniversary $8 Million Guaranteed in PokerStars Sunday Million Anniversary <p>The PokerStars Sunday Million is celebrating its 8th anniversary this Sunday, March 2, and the world's leading poker site is marking the occasion by guaranteeing an $8 million prize pool.</p> <p>The winner can expect a massive payday of at least $650,000, while those running deep in the event can also expect a fantastic return on their investment based on the buy-in of $215. However, there are a number of ways to possibly increase that ROI by winning a seat for much less in satellites being hosted by PokerStars.</p> <p>While the Sunday Million kicks off at 14:30 ET, a pair of Deadline satellites guaranteeing a combined 1,333 seats just prior to the $8 million anniversary bash will be played. An $11 buy-in at 13:30 ET will produce 1,000 guaranteed seats, while a $33 buy-in at 13:45 ET will send 333 players to the Sunday Million.</p> <p>Players on an even tighter budget can win their seat to the Sunday Million 8th anniversary special in hourly $1 feeder satellites that are running now. You won't want to miss this $8 million guaranteed tournament as PokerStars celebrates another milestone in their 12-year history.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 17:57:58 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2573 Full Tilt Payments Arrive for U.S. Players Full Tilt Payments Arrive for U.S. Players <p>U.S. Full Tilt players who have been estranged from their funds for nearly three years are reporting that reimbursement has begun and that payments are landing in their bank accounts via ACH.</p> <p>The thread dedicated to the Full Tilt remission process at online poker forum <a href="">2 + 2</a> has become inundated with posters who make no secret of their elation at finally being reunited with account balances that some had resigned to never seeing again following Full Tilt being shut down and the discovery of horrendous mismanagement at the site in 2011.</p> <p>"Money is in my available balance. It's really here!" posted 'lilwhaldo,' followed by 'blankoblanco' stating, "Money's in my account. Is this real life??? More importantly is 7:30 am too early to start drinking in celebration?" Another example of a happy poster comes from 'Madmaniac21,' who said, "MONEY RECEIVED. As everyone else in this thread, cannot explain my level of joy."</p> <p>While the day that the U.S. DoJ clamped down on the top three offshore online poker sites of PokerStars, Full Tilt and AbsolutePoker/UltimateBet is widely known as Black Friday, players are referring to today as "Green Friday" after receiving notice in their bank accounts that their funds have arrived.</p> <p>Yet another ecstatic former U.S. Full Tilt player known as 'AnAnonymousCoward' stated, "Shipped, HSBC. I can't believe this is finally over, but I am glad to be done with this thread and this whole goddamn [Full Tilt] saga."</p> <p>While it may be over for 'AnAnonymousCoward,' the entire Full Tilt remission process is far from over for every petitioner who has a claim pending with claims administrator Garden City Group (GCG). This marks only the first round of reimbursement payments that are earmarked for about 30,000 players at a combined total of roughly $82 million.</p> <p>Still waiting on their funds are players who have been labeled as affiliates and pros, as well as those whose account balances are in dispute with the balances on record by the DoJ and GCG. Affiliates, who have been informed by GCG that rakeback will be redeemable, have a deadline of March 2 to submit their Petitions for Remission.</p> <p>Also facing a deadline are players whose bank accounts could not be verified in a testing process conducted by the GCG. Those ex-Full Tilt players have until March 13 to supply their correct or updated bank account information. Players who fail to meet the deadline will receive payment in the form of a cheque to be sent to the home address listed on their claims.</p> <p>The claims of Full Tilt pros and players with disputed account balances remain under GCG review and those players will be updated on how to proceed at a later date. While today is historic for the first round of payments being issued, there will likely be several additional rounds before all petitioners are finally reunited with their cash.</p> <p>"After 2 years, 10 months, and 13 days later it's finally over for most of us," posted 'Alex_Striker.' "Good luck to those of you in the second wave, disputed, and with affiliate status."</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 16:06:48 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2572 Delaware-Nevada Interstate Online Poker Action by 2015 Delaware-Nevada Interstate Online Poker Action by 2015 <p>The excitement of Nevada and Delaware compacting to form the first interstate online poker scheme in U.S. history just a few days ago has worn off a bit with the revelation that the time frame estimate of having the system up and running is the end of this year.</p> <p>Governors Jack Markell of Delaware and Brian Sandoval of Nevada signed the agreement on Tuesday that will allow the player pools of both states to be combined. Delaware Finance Secretary Thomas Cook told that it will take some time to get the interstate system in place and has pegged the end of 2014 as doable.</p> <p>While a state's population is often looked at with regard to the potential of an online poker player pool, perhaps a more important statistic is those within the state who are of legal age to gamble online. In Delaware, that's roughly 600,000, while Nevada has about 2 million adults who call the Silver State home.</p> <p>Both Nevada and Delaware have extended a welcome to other states to join them in their newly-formed interstate online poker agreement. At present, the only state that could accept such an invitation is New Jersey.</p> <p>"It would be very helpful if New Jersey got into our compact - not only for us, but for them," said Dover Downs CEO Ed Sutor. "They need more players, as well."</p> <p>New Jersey Senator Ray Lesniak has long envisioned New Jersey as being the hub of online gambling and expressed some frustration to upon hearing that Nevada and Delaware had already joined forces. While New Jersey and Nevada have had some preliminary discussions regarding an online poker partnership, their long-standing rivalry in attracting gamblers to their land-based gaming operations may prevent the formation of an alliance via the Internet.</p> <p>"I think we want to be separate from Nevada because we have more to offer with full casino gambling, which brings in additional revenue," Lesniak said. "We'll have to pick up the ball and hook up with other states."</p> <p>Nearly a dozen states are said to be considering Internet gambling legislation this year, so some options for partnerships may open up for New Jersey in the not-too-distant future. Even though Lesniak does not seem enthusiastic about joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement with Nevada and Delaware at the moment, there is still a chance that it could happen some day.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 06:24:03 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2571 500 Supernovas Applied for Team PokerStars Online 500 Supernovas Applied for Team PokerStars Online <p>The job market is highly competitive in many industries these days and that includes top online poker pros who strive to represent the world's top poker site.</p> <p>A total of 500 online grinders with Supernova status submitted applications in hopes of being chosen as Team PokerStars Online pros. Only three made the cut. But the 497 who missed out were encouraged to keep grinding and to try again in the future.</p> <p>"We had a number of fantastic candidates during the open application process, many of whom we'll be keeping tabs on going forward," Team Online manager Chris Jonat stated on the PokerStars blog. "Ultimately, we chose people who represented game types and countries that were new to our Team."</p> <p>So who are the players who managed to outshine the competition and be rewarded with the coveted Team PokerStars Online status? Luka 'LukaSteel' Kovač, Katerina 'Katerina289' Malasidou and Matthias 'Mati312' Brandner are the trio who were warmly welcomed by PokerStars after standing out among the 500-player field of applicants.</p> <p>Kovač hails from Slovenia and is described as a specialist in Limit Hold'em. His competitive spirit was nurtured through spending 10 years of his youth traveling and entering ski events. Kovač paid his way through college from his online poker winnings, finding success after making only one deposit at PokerStars. 'LukaSteel' contends that Limit Hold'em provides as much action, fun and profit as other game variants and his success bears that out.</p> <p>Malasidou left her employment as an accountant to concentrate on poker and all her number-crunching these days is relegated to toting up her online earnings. The Athens, Greece native had a bit of help and encouragement in shunning the 9-5 workday from another Team PokerStars Online member who happens to be her boyfriend, André ‘acoimbra’ Coimbra.</p> <p>Under Coimbra's tutelage, 'Katerina289' has established an impressive online poker resume specializing in hyper-turbo SNGs, but also includes a number of multi-table tournament final table finishes. Malasidou is aiming for Supernova Elite status and hopes to attract more women to take up the game of poker. While her play on the virtual felt is one way of doing that, another is through her writing. Last year, Malasidou captured the WBCOOP Best Female Blogger Award.</p> <p>Brandner majored in information technology at the University of Vienna and was chosen to represent Team PokerStars Online mainly due to his prowess at Badugi. He has been known to switch to other variants at times such as Razz and 2-7, racking up a high amount of winning sessions that the brain trust at PokerStars couldn't help but notice. Social gamers will be pleased to know that Brandner started out on the play-money tables before depositing for real cash and eventually developing enough skill to join the ranks of the Supernova class.</p> <p>All three earned a well-deserved spot as members of Team PokerStars Online. Congratulations are in order for each as they embark on a new phase of their online poker-playing careers.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 21:00:48 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2570 Ivey Poker Pros Have Earned $90 Million in Live Tournament Cashes Ivey Poker Pros Have Earned $90 Million in Live Tournament Cashes <p>When Phil Ivey set about selecting pros for the Ivey League roster at his coaching and training website, he sought professional poker players who were successful on the felt as well as having the ability to teach players of all levels.</p> <p>What Ivey was likely not aware of was the magnitude of the cumulative success that his hand-picked fellow pros had achieved over the years. By poring over records supplied by the Hendon Mob database, it was learned that Team Ivey Pros have eclipsed $90 million in live tournament cashes.</p> <p>That's just in live events. If the Internet poker statistics of such prolific online players such as Toby Lewis and Mike Leah were added to the total, quite a few more millions of dollars would be tacked on to that $90 million.</p> <p>Concentrating just on live tournament poker, the roughly two and a half dozen Team Ivey Pros have landed in-the-money in more than 1,500 events. With regard to tourney victories, Ivey tops the list with 27. His nearest pursuer among Ivey League colleagues is Allen Kessler, who has sawed his way through 14 tournament fields to emerge as the winner.</p> <p>Prior to taking home first place prize money in a poker tournament, the goal is to reach the final table. The Ivey League roster has accomplished that feat 647 times. Ivey again is the winner in that category with 92, but "Chainsaw" is not far behind, having been seated at 86 live final tables - four in January and February of this year - in his remarkably consistent career. Leah is a distant third, just one final table finish shy of four dozen.</p> <p>Of that $90 million in live earnings, almost $7 million has come in 2014. Half of that was won by Ivey himself when he took down the <a href="">2014 Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge</a> a little more than two weeks ago for his largest live poker payday ever. The way things are going for the talented Ivey League, $100 million in earnings may be cracked by the end of the year.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 20:04:47 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2569 Mt. Gox Shutdown Puts Bitcoin Investors on Edge Mt. Gox Shutdown Puts Bitcoin Investors on Edge <p>The closing earlier this week of Mt. Gox, formerly the largest Bitcoin exchange worldwide, has left some investors in the digital currency quite anxious.</p> <p>Mt. Gox, headquartered in Japan, closed rather suddenly Monday, apparently the result of DDOS attacks and phantom transactions that have also been felt at other websites. Those who visited the Mt. Gox site were met with a posting which stated that "a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.”</p> <p>The value of Bitcoin sharply declined, falling to some $470, with a number of investors seemingly hitting the panic button. It didn't help that a significant number of media reports hinted that in light of the problems facing Mt. Gox, Bitcoin's demise was likely just around the corner.</p> <p>Mt. Gox customers were clamoring for more information from the exchange. With no information forthcoming, a number of other Bitcoin sites teamed up to release a joint statement to ease the fear that was beginning to take hold in the Bitcoin community. The statement read as follows:</p> <p>"This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt.Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry. There are hundreds of trustworthy and responsible companies involved in bitcoin. These companies will continue to build the future of money by making bitcoin more secure and easy to use for consumers and merchants. As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today."</p> <p>Bitcoin's value managed to gain some strength following that reassurance and is now trading at roughly $583, according to CoinDesk. The digital currency has fluctuated wildly in the last three months, first reaching an all-time high in mid-November of $400. Two weeks later, it was trading at more than $1,200.</p> <p>Though the issues at Mt. Gox are troubling, the gloom and doom currently surrounding Mt. Gox and Bitcoin may turn out to have a silver lining. As the joint statement offered, the industry can learn from mistakes made and become stronger as a result.</p> <p>The latest statement from Mt. Gox, dated today, comes from CEO Mark Karpeles. Although not very informative or reassuring to Mt. Gox customers, Karpeles said:</p> <p>"As there is a lot of speculation regarding Mt. Gox and its future, I would like to use this opportunity to reassure everyone that I am still in Japan, and working very hard with the support of different parties to find a solution to our recent issues."</p> <p>Karpeles may not be part of the solution if the authors of a <a href="">"Crisis Strategy Draft"</a> have their way. It has not been made clear exactly who is behind a 4-part plan outlined to save Mt. Gox. But one of the recommendations is that Karpeles step down while new advisors take over in an effort to restructure and re-brand the exchange after one month of remaining offline.</p> <p>Bitcoin has been gaining a wider global welcoming as of late, including the online gambling industry. But as stated in the draft that aims to resolve the current problems, the Mt. Gox issue may cause "damage in public perception" to Bitcoin that "could put it back 5-10 years" with regard to mainstream acceptance.</p> <p> </p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 18:07:37 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2568 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - February 25, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - February 25, 2014 <p>Cash game action among poker sites and networks vying to be included in the top ten and those already there hoping to move up in position became quite competitive over the last week in the global online poker market.</p> <p>Winamax, on the strength of its billionth hand promotion that promises at least €100,000 to players involved in milestone hands leading up to and including the big one, has vaulted into a tie for fourth place with Full Tilt as of this writing. Using a marketing strategy perfected by PokerStars, the promo at Winamax has allowed the French-facing site to rack up a seven-day average of 2,100 players.</p> <p>That 2,100 trails the 2,300 of third place iPoker Network and 2,500 of second place 888poker. Nudged out of the top five into sixth place was PartyPoker at 2,000 cash players, according to PokerScout.</p> <p>Last week, had sole possession of tenth place. But at the moment, PokerStars' French offering is mired in a three-way tie with Adjarabet and MPN for the last spot in the top ten, averaging 1,150 cash players.</p> <p>MPN will officially lose Unibet players in five days, as Unibet's new poker room launched successfully on February 19 and will go it alone from March 2 forward. Until that time, Unibet players can choose to play at the old poker room at MPN or the new standalone site that is geared toward recreational players. Check out a video review of the new Unibet brought to you by PokerVIP and PokerTube at the bottom of this page.</p> <p>In the regulated U.S. market, Real Gaming joined Ultimate Poker and WSOP last week as the third poker site available to Nevada residents. However, that market is no longer restricted to players in Nevada. Earlier today, the governors of Nevada and Delaware signed the first-ever interstate partnership agreement that will pool players among the two states.</p> <p>There is not yet a specific date as to when Delaware and Nevada will put their new agreement into effect on the virtual felt. Once the technological aspects have been worked out, both states will be good to go under their new alliance. Both have reached out to New Jersey to also sign on, and have likewise extended a welcome to any other states that should happen to enact online poker legislation in the future.</p> <p>Player traffic among U.S. poker rooms and networks may see an increase of players come Friday when the <a href="">first batch of reimbursement payments</a> in the Full Tilt remission process are scheduled to be deposited in player bank accounts via ACH. It's been a long time coming - almost three years - and it's likely that at least some of that initial $82 million will be funneled back onto online poker tables.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 20:13:05 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2567 Matthew Lapossie Wins WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Matthew Lapossie Wins WPT Fallsview Poker Classic <p>The last will be first and the first will be... first. This is what the latest World Poker Tour (WPT) champ taught us after an amazing three-day run in Niagara Falls, Ontario.</p> <p>Canadian<strong> Matthew Lapossie</strong> came away with the victory after a series of ups and downs, bad beats, and one-of-a-kind poker hands. He was the chip leader after the first day of the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic event and the last man standing from a field of 383 players.</p> <p>Lapossie wasn’t in a bad place before the beginning of the final day either; he was sixth in chips out of ten players left. The action resumed full steam ahead as two of the remaining cast were eliminated in the first five hands of the day. <strong>Xiaohu Chen</strong> was the first to go; he had around 11 big blinds left and moved all-in immediately after he saw the hand that was dealt to him: Ace-Queen. Unfortunately for him, <strong>Spiro Mikrogianakis</strong> woke up with a similar big hand and called the shove with pocket Jacks. The community cards didn’t help Chen, who finished the WPT event in tenth place.</p> <p><strong>John Boulougouris</strong> made the same move with a stack worth under 10 big blinds. He had another premium hand, pocket Queens, and was called by the same player who eliminated Chen. This time, Mikrogianakis wasn’t even close to flipping with his opponent as he held pocket Jacks and some slim 20% chance of winning the hand. Nevertheless, he managed to peel a Jack on the flop to increase his already big stack.</p> <p>After that, it was Lapossie’s time to shine. He eliminated the next player in style, catching an unlikely hand on the turn. <strong>Peter Labib</strong> was fairly confident when he shoved the turn with the nut flush. But the smile on his face was immediately erased after Lapossie snap-called with the winning hand – A STRAIGHT FLUSH. The river couldn’t change anything as Labib left the table still wondering what he had done wrong to deserve this.</p> <p>The Canadian, however, was still far away from winning the WPT title. He was put to the test after the big hand, losing an all-in battle with pocket Aces. Moreover, Lapossie lost another important pot with a full-house. He bet on a 5-K-5-8-K board while holding another five. His opponent,<strong> Jason James</strong>, tank-called with the bigger boat.</p> <p>It was James who eventually eliminated the last player standing in the way of the official final table. He called a shove from <strong>Dave Graham</strong> to win a race – pocket sixes against Ace-Eight.</p> <p>With the six-handed final table under way, the future champ was the shortstack, being the only player with under 1 million chips. This changed immediately after only one hand and a Big Slick double-up. The up and down continued for Lapossie, falling yet again to just five big blinds only to climb up to 20 in just four hands.</p> <p><strong>Howie Leung</strong> was the first to leave the shorthanded play after 17 hands. He raised all-in with pocket eights but couldn’t survive in front of <strong>Dylan Wilkerson</strong>’s Ace-King. Leung left the final table $65,373 richer.</p> <p><strong>Josue Sauvageau</strong> followed him after being eliminated by the lucky Wilkerson, who won another race – pockets Jacks versus Ace-Queen. Sauvageau cashed in $81,716 for fifth place.</p> <p>The next elimination was also Lapossie’s big breakaway. After a button shove, the Canadian and Mikrogianakis called, creating a three-way all-in. The button, Wilkerson, had Queen-Ten, Mikrogianakis held pocket sixes, and Lapossie had Ace-King. The King river secured the future champ all the chips in the middle and the lead. Mikrogianakis hit the rail with $108,956.</p> <p>Fifteen hands later, there were only two. James three-bet all-in with Ace-Seven and Lapossie called yet again with the big Ace-King. For his performance, James won $147,090.</p> <p>From then on, Lapossie never looked back, securing his big lead and first place. The last hand was an already classic flip for Niagara Falls: pocket fours versus Ace-Five won by the slight underdog.</p> <p>Runner-up Dylan Wilkerson cashed in $228,806, while the winner took down the big prize of $342,266 plus a guaranteed place at the WPT Championship event at Borgata.</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 19:05:19 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2566 Delaware and Nevada Interstate Online Poker Deal Set for Today Delaware and Nevada Interstate Online Poker Deal Set for Today <p>A history-making online poker interstate partnership between Nevada and Delaware is set to be signed by the governors of both states later today, <a href="">Delaware Online reported</a>.</p> <p>Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and his Nevada counterpart, Gov. Brian Sandoval, will reportedly get together in Wilmington, Delaware and officially forge an agreement that will allow both states to combine their player pools. The deal will boost the online poker regimes of both states, increasing liquidity and perhaps prompting more signups as a result.</p> <p>Revenue numbers released by the Delaware State Lottery for January reveal that a combined 1,006 new players signed up at the state's three online gambling sites operated by Harrington Raceway, Delaware Park and Dover Downs. The new registrations allowed the state's online gambling scheme to experience increased revenue only slightly, from $140,009.22 in December to $145,276.23 in January.</p> <p>With regard to poker, a significant decrease was seen. While $106,922.76 was earned in rake from the online poker tables in December, 2013, only$88,390.48 was reported in January. That decline approaching 20% is likely a huge factor in Markell deciding to team up with Sandoval and the Silver State.</p> <p>Nevada's two sites of and Ultimate Poker typically average less than 200 players combined on the cash tables, according to PokerScout. A third site, Real Gaming, launched last week, which may siphon players from the two that have co-existed since mid-September. This appears to be a fine time for both Delaware and Nevada to make their play and increase liquidity.</p> <p>The interstate agreement comes on the heels of a recent announcement by Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) that he expects an online poker-only bill on the federal level to be introduced in a matter of weeks. The proposal will reportedly rewrite the Wire Act to exclude online casino gambling, but allow Internet poker to be regulated by any state that chooses to opt in on the federal scheme.</p> <p>The expected alliance of Nevada and Delaware later today is what many had envisioned for online poker throughout the U.S. once state-by-state regulations began taking hold. Perhaps New Jersey will also join the mix in the near future, to be followed by a number of other states who are said to be considering online poker and gambling legislation.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 15:11:09 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2565 PokerStars' World Record Attempt Falls Short PokerStars' World Record Attempt Falls Short <p>Every other online poker site would be ecstatic at hosting a tournament with 211,619 entrants. For PokerStars, that was not quite enough as an attempt to break its own world record missed the mark yesterday.</p> <p>Aiming for 230,000 players at a buck a piece to buy-in, PokerStars attracted some 18,000 players less. But not to worry. The world's top poker site still holds the Guinness World Record for the largest poker tournament with 225,000 set last June.</p> <p>Yesterday's tourney guaranteed a $300,000 prize pool, meaning an overlay was in the cards for the low-stakes players who took part. The top 60,000 players landed in the money. But the big prize went to Germany's "Dal2009," who overcame the huge field to earn a massive ROI on a $25,000 payday.</p> <p>PokerStars allowed no late registrations, which may have played a part in attracting "only" 211,619 players. Odds are that the online poker king will one day crack that 225,000 record, but yesterday was not the day. Look for PokerStars to announce another attempt in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 23:55:41 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2564 Full Tilt Remission Payments Begin Friday, February 28 Full Tilt Remission Payments Begin Friday, February 28 <p>U.S. Full Tilt players who have been waiting nearly three years to be reunited with their account balances will be pleased to know that the first batch of payments in the remission process are due to be released this Friday, Feb. 28.</p> <p>The funds will be distributed via ACH to players with undisputed account balances provided that those players have also "passed the preliminary testing process" with regard to their bank account information, the <a href=""></a> website stated today. That testing process, in which player bank accounts were to receive a dummy deposit transaction in the amount of zero dollars in order to make sure the account was valid, began on Feb. 13.</p> <p>Those players whose bank accounts passed should be receiving an email from claims administrator Garden City Group (GCG) today or tomorrow advising of the payment amount ahead of the actual deposit that is set to arrive on Friday. Players with bank accounts that failed to pass the test due to incorrect or incomplete information were sent emails last Friday, February 21, with instructions on how to rectify and update their banking information.</p> <p>That update should be completed by March 13. If the GCG fails to receive the required updated bank account information by that date, checks will be issued to the mailing addresses that players listed on their Petitions for Remission. Those who do successfully rectify their bank account information by March 13 will receive their funds via ACH in the second batch of payments at a date that has yet to be announced.</p> <p>About 30,000 accounts have been approved for payment and are due to receive a combined $82 million. The GCG's latest update does not break down exactly how much of that $82 million will be dished out this Friday and how much will be held back due to the failure of player bank accounts to properly receive the ($0.00) test transaction.</p> <p>The first round of payments on Feb. 28 will not include Full Tilt pros, affiliates, or players with account balances that are in dispute. Affiliates have until March 2 to submit their Petitions for Remission. The claims of players labeled as pros and those whose balances don't match with that of the GCG are still under review and further instructions will be announced in due course.</p> <p>The GCG's update of January 24, 2014 promised payment by the end of February to players without problematic issues and the first batch will apparently be finding its way to player accounts right on time. After a shaky start to the remission process when claims were first accepted in mid-September, the GCG has gotten its act together and now seems to be operating rather efficiently.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 23:46:29 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2563 2014 Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza Main Event Underway 2014 Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza Main Event Underway <p>The starting flights of the first 2014 Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza Main Event have now been played and poker veteran Scott Epstein is the player on the top of the chip ladder.</p> <p>Epstein finished the first day of play with 198,500 chips to his name, which is slightly ahead of Stephen Graner who will enter Day 2 with a stack of 190,500. Both players will have their fair share of competition over the rest of the event, however, as a total of 154 players made the cut to Day 2.</p> <p>Those players were the survivors of a field of 475 who took the felt on three of the starting flights. As is normally the case in major poker events, the final starting flight proved to be the most popular day with 246 players turning out for their chance at poker glory.</p> <p>The current chip leader is no stranger to poker. Epstein has gotten in the money at the WSOP a whopping 21 times in the last 10 years, three of those being final table finishes. The Las Vegas player has also played in numerous Deep Stack Extravaganza events over the years as well as a WPT event in 2008 where he won $105,525, his biggest live tournament cash prize to date.</p> <p>That will be his second biggest prize should he be able to retain his lead and win the event since $148,694 will go to the winner of the Main Event. The six-figure sum is part of a total prize pool of $691,600 for this tournament.</p> <p>Other notable poker players who made it to the second day of play include two-time WSOP runner-up Dan O’Brien and WPT and WSOP veteran Joe Serock. O’Brien had a great start to the event and he will go into Day 2 with 145,200 chips, which is the eighth largest stack in the tournament.</p> <p>Serock, on the other hand, finished the starting flights with a stack of 57,200. Although he will be considered a short stack when play resumes, Serock’s experience and past prowess in major live tournaments means he cannot be counted out as a threat this early in the game.</p> <p>Day 2 of the first 2014 Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza Main Event is set to get underway later today at the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas. As always, PokerUpdate will keep readers posted on the event’s major news as it progresses over the next few days.</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 13:47:10 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2562 New Federal Online Poker Bill Being Considered New Federal Online Poker Bill Being Considered <p>A new federal proposal that would legalize online poker but would disallow Internet casino games may be introduced within a month or so, according to U.S. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV).</p> <p>The Nevada senator is concerned that the state-by-state proliferation of online gambling legislation that may include games such as blackjack and roulette would seriously hurt the revenue streams of land-based casinos, particularly those in his home state. Heller stated that some of the issues brought up by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson in his crusade to prevent online gambling legislation from taking hold throughout the country should be adhered to.</p> <p>“I think Adelson brings up some reasonable concerns,” Heller told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “And to have the wild wild West as an empire of gambling for the country would have some serious social implications."</p> <p>Adelson formed the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) and has vowed to use his deep pockets to fund the organization. One of the goals of CSIG is to overturn the 2011 DoJ ruling that re-clarified the 1961 Wire Act, permitting individual states to move forward with online poker and gambling legislation. Adelson is behind the draft of an Internet Gambling Control Act that would outlaw Internet wagering.</p> <p>Heller, in tandem with U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), also want to rewrite the Wire Act, but seek to carve out a niche for online poker while banning other casino games. Reid was previously behind the much-maligned Reid-Kyl bill in late 2012 that was never formally introduced to his legislative colleagues. That proposal was also poker-only and drew heavy criticism for being weighted toward favoring Nevada.</p> <p>That mistake is being addressed this go-round, as Heller stated that he and Reid are "trying to keep it from being just a Nevada issue.” The senators from opposing political parties "are trying to look for help from members in each of our conferences to come forward with legislation" that would provide a long-term solution on the online gambling issue.</p> <p>While Adelson continues in his anti-online gambling efforts, the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection (C4COP) is fighting back. With backing from MGM, the American Gaming Association, and the Poker Players Alliance, C4COP is taking on CSIG heads-up. It appears that the battle by opposing coalition forces finally has prompted some federal lawmakers like Heller to begin taking the online poker and gambling issue a bit more seriously.</p> <p>Whether a poker-only bill such as the one that Heller intends to get moving on has a decent chance of being approved is up for speculation. New Jersey has already invested considerable funds in its online gambling scheme and a number of other states have reportedly been looking seriously at following suit. Don't forget that tribal concerns will also have a say in the matter.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:28:52 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2561 Lockdown Ends at Russian Poker Tour in Ukraine Lockdown Ends at Russian Poker Tour in Ukraine <p>Players competing at the Russian Poker Tour (RPT) in Kiev, Ukraine have finally been allowed to leave the Khreschatyk Poker Club following a previous lockdown order due to political unrest and rioting in the streets.</p> <p>The latest reports from the New York Times indicate that today may have been the worst yet in terms of bloodshed with 39 people killed. That brings the unconfirmed death toll to 70 in several days of protesting, with injuries in the hundreds. It is becoming likely that a state of emergency may be declared by President Viktor Yanukovych, which would activate military forces to combat the mayhem.</p> <p>Poker players who had settled in to compete at the club for RPT's 5th anniversary from February 17 - 26 were locked in beginning on Feb. 18 when the turmoil outside made it dangerous to leave. The RPT's Facebook page reports that the event has been canceled and the players who had been holed up inside were allowed to disperse.</p> <p>Players competing in the Main Event will receive a distribution of the prize pool according to their chip stacks when the tourney was called off. Players are further advised not to return to the Khreschatyk Poker Club, as arrangements will be made to pay back those who had chips remaining.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:47:58 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2560 Danielle Anderson Fulfills Goal of Pro Sponsorship at Ultimate Poker Danielle Anderson Fulfills Goal of Pro Sponsorship at Ultimate Poker <p>Online poker websites are loaded with players who dream of someday landing a pro sponsorship contract. That dream became a reality for poker pro Danielle “dmoongirl" Andersen when she joined the pro roster at Ultimate Poker.</p> <p>Perhaps online poker's winningest female cash player of all-time, the 29-year-old Andersen started playing online poker in 2003. A $50 deposit turned into a career which led to signing a contract with UP yesterday and joining the likes of Jason Somerville, Jeremy Ausmus, and Antonio Esfandiari in representing Team U and regulated poker in the U.S.</p> <p>“I'm very excited to begin a new chapter in my poker career as I sign on as the newest member of Team U," Andersen said. "I'm looking forward to my return to the online poker tables and the first legal online poker site in the United States seems like the perfect place to do it!”</p> <p>Andersen is known to many via her appearance in the documentary titled "Bet Raise Fold" that told the story of online poker. The life of “dmoongirl" as a professional player was chronicled in the broadcast, which allowed Andersen to gain a considerable amount of notoriety.</p> <p>With female players making up only a small percentage of the poker community, successful pros such as Andersen are instrumental in attracting more ladies to the game. That fact has not been lost on the executives at UP, who consider "dmoongirl" to be an excellent addition to the pro roster.</p> <p>“We’re excited to add Danielle to Team U,” said UP Chief Marketing &amp; Operations Officer Joe Versaci. “We love the energy that she brings to the online arena with her competitive attitude.”</p> <p>Anderson will be playing under the "dmoongirl" moniker at UP. Take a look at this video of Andersen signing her pro sponsorship contract, compliments of <a href="">PokerTube</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 17:14:35 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2558 Microgaming Goes Live: New Poker Tour Ready For Take Off Microgaming Goes Live: New Poker Tour Ready For Take Off <p>Micrograming Poker Network (MPN) revealed yesterday its live plans for 2014. The online gaming operator will organize a poker tour across Europe in an attempt to attract new players and build a stronger relationship with the current ones.</p> <p>So far, the network announced three stops: London, Malta, and Tallinn (Estonia). The full schedule for the London poker festival has already been released with a wide range of online satellites ranging from just €11 to €215. The winners of the satellites will have the entire package, from hotel accommodation for four nights and an invitation to the welcome party, to spending money and entry to the £450 buy-in Main Event.</p> <p>The Main Event will start on May 30, at 12:00 local time and will have a two hour late registration. The final table will run on the first day of the summer.</p> <p>There will also be other tournament options for the poker players who choose to participate at the festival, including an Open Face Chinese event for just £55, a £110 Bounty tourney, a Pot Limit Omaha £165 special, and the Mosh Pit Live – a fast-structure tournament with rebuys and lots of action.</p> <p>All the events will be held at the Aspers Casino.</p> <p>This is not Microgaming’s first live poker experience. Back in 2004, the network sponsored the Monte Carlo Millions.<em> “I’m looking forward to seeing the MPN running their own live event again. I still have fond memories of the Monte Carlo Millions, which produced some of the best poker I’ve ever seen. We will see an equally friendly atmosphere and even more exciting play on the MPNPT,”</em> MPN representative <strong>Christopher Hirst</strong> said, according to SBCNews.</p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 11:13:04 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2557 Will Unibet's Standalone Poker Site Achieve its Goals? Will Unibet's Standalone Poker Site Achieve its Goals? <p>Unibet launched its independent poker site today with an eye toward attracting recreational players and making the game fun and rewarding for newbies and grinders alike.</p> <p>With the ability to change avatars and screen names three times each day, as well as disallowing HUDs and poker-tracking software, players can compete on the Unibet felt rather anonymously and without being targeted. While those factors tend to force grinders to seek other online poker rooms, Unibet's goal is to keep its hardcore regulars happy by reducing the rake to a level below typical industry standards at the lower stake tables.</p> <p>A focus on missions and achievements at the new Unibet Poker also gives players goals to shoot for in addition to scooping pots and winning cash. New state-of-the-art graphics, a redesigned lobby, and a €500 play through bonus available to all players are some of the perks waiting for those who either make the jump from MPN with Unibet, or for new signups wanting to be part of a new and exciting poker room.</p> <p>The departure from MPN will become official on March 2. Until that time, Unibet players can choose either the new Unibet Poker site or continue playing on what the website calls "Old Poker" at Microgaming's MPN.</p> <p>MPN, which recently <a href="">dropped out of the top ten</a> in PokerScout's global online poker traffic ranking, is likely to lose a considerable amount of traffic once Unibet is officially gone in early March. One industry insider predicted that cash game traffic at the network could fall as much as 25%.</p> <p>MPN will continue to draw players from stable skins such as StanJames, BetVictor, Betsson, 32Red and Betsafe. But with Unibet out of the lineup and the possibility of player defections from other skins finding their way to Unibet due to the novelty of playing at a new poker room, Unibet may end up with a player base similar to that of SkyPoker.</p> <p>Details of the player loyalty program at Unibet will be revealed on Saturday, the website states. Early indications are that the most loyal of Unibet players will find rewards greater than they have been accustomed to receiving from the Unibet Plus scheme.</p> <p>Will this exit from network poker by Unibet under a new philosophy geared toward greater enjoyment by casual players and enhanced rewards for grinders allow the poker site to achieve its goal of finding a satisfied and balanced ecology of players within its new standalone poker offering? And will other poker skins follow suit?</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 23:32:57 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2556 South Point Launches Real Gaming Online Poker Site in Nevada South Point Launches Real Gaming Online Poker Site in Nevada <p>A new online poker site has been soft-launched in Nevada's regulated market, as South Point Hotel Casino &amp; Spa rolled out its offering under the Real Gaming brand.</p> <p>Initially hoping to be the first-to-market in late 2012, unexpected delays resulted in Real Gaming becoming the third online poker site to launch in the Silver State behind Ultimate Poker on April 30, 2013 and on September 19, 2013. The current intrastate market in Nevada averages a combined 185 players as of this writing, which may leave little room for a third product to achieve viable liquidity.</p> <p>“This is a regular field trial of their [South Point's] I-gaming poker platform and will be monitored closely,” Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.</p> <p>South Point launched a free-play poker site in late 2011, the first of its kind in Nevada, which many believed would give the casino the edge in transitioning to real-money online wagering. But that turned out to not be the case, as UP and WSOP managed to squeeze in ahead.</p> <p>No download is required to play at Real Gaming for those within Nevada's borders. Deposit options include electronic check, wire transfer, mailing a check via snail mail, or making a cash deposit at the South Point Casino cashier cage. Location verification is necessary and permitted only by iPhones or Android phones.</p> <p>No promotional bonuses are available as yet during the soft launch phase. The player VIP program is known as Real Rewards and does list cashback up to 30% for players who reach the highest tier of the new site's loyalty program.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:04:00 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2555 PokerStars Licensed for Online Poker in Bulgaria PokerStars Licensed for Online Poker in Bulgaria <p>PokerStars can now add Bulgaria to the list of countries in which it is licensed to offer online gambling, as the Bulgarian State Gambling Commission has given its rubber-stamped approval for the online poker king to launch.</p> <p>Citing a commitment to enter newly-regulated markets in swift fashion, PokerStars is the first Internet poker operator to be granted a Bulgarian license. Next on the agenda of parent company Rational Group is taking a few weeks to adhere to technical requirements regarding starting up and servicing an anxious Bulgarian pool of online poker players.</p> <p>“Bulgaria is full of promise,” PokerStars Head of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser told PokerUpdate. “Poker is extremely popular in the country. We are looking forward to work with the Gambling Commission so that we can launch as soon as possible.”</p> <p>Already holding licenses in Estonia, Italy, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Isle of Man and Malta, Rational Group proudly includes Bulgaria to the mix. PokerStars will undoubtedly make good use of its first-to-market advantage in Europe's 14th largest country that boasts a population of over 7 million.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 17:14:41 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2554 EPT Sanremo Schedule Released EPT Sanremo Schedule Released <p>The Italian coast town of Sanremo has played host to a leg of the European Poker Tour (EPT) since Season 4 back in 2008.</p> <p>It will keep its hosting streak going in 2014 following the announcement of the Season 10 Sanremo schedule by the EPT. Festivities are set to kick off on April 9 and will conclude on April 20, when the final table of the Main Event will be played.</p> <p>A total of 43 events are set to take place at this season’s EPT Sanremo, the first of which will be the first starting flight of the €770 IPT Accumulator event. A €170 satellite to the Main Event is also set to be held in the opening days of the festival, with the winner in line for a possible massive monetary return should his or her satellite success be replicated in the big show.</p> <p>The EPT Sanremo will also host a High Roller event, meaning those with more than a little pocket change will have a shot at a huge payday. The High Roller event has a €10,300 buy-in and the top prize will more than likely be in the hundreds and thousands of Euros. German high roller Benny Spindler won last season’s event at Sanremo and took home €253,000 for his efforts.</p> <p>While that event is set to garner some interest, it will not be anywhere near the interest that will likely be shown in the Main Event. At €4,900, the Main Event buy-in will be slightly cheaper than the €5,300 of last season.</p> <p>That could help boost the number of participants who take to the felt this season. A total of 797 players turned out for last season’s EPT Sanremo Main Event, which was won by French player Ludovic Lacay.</p> <p>Another factor that could lead to an increased field is that it takes place right before the EPT Grand Final in Monaco, just over the border from Sanremo. That festival kicks off just three days after the EPT Sanremo comes to a close, which may entice a number of players to enter some events in San Remo before moving on to Monaco.</p> <p>The EPT Sanremo is one of three EPT legs still to be played in Season 10. The EPT Vienna will take place in March, while the aforementioned EPT Grand Final will round out the season.</p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 15:02:48 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2553 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - February 18, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - February 18, 2014 <p>Online cash game player traffic took a 3% dive last week even though reports from PokerScout indicate that this time of year has typically been strong with regard to players finding their way to logging on in years past.</p> <p>The only change toward the upper echelon of poker rooms and networks saw creep into the top ten and bump MPN down to 11th. This has been a common scene in recent months as PokerStars' offering in the French market and Microgaming's MPN sometimes trade places.</p> <p>MPN's player traffic numbers will likely further decline this week when Unibet beta launches its standalone poker site on Feb. 19. During the test period, Unibet will still be available on MPN in addition to its independent offering. But Unibet will be shutting down on MPN once the testing phase has completed its course.</p> <p>Another poker room shutting down (but not opening elsewhere) come March 1 will be Poker770 on The announcement was made via Twitter and will likely allow to move into third place ahead of in the Spanish market.</p> <p>Eyeing the top ten is a relatively new European online poker network known as The Hive. In operation since last summer with poker skin PlanetWin365, The Hive's debut in the worldwide rankings finds the network in 14th place and averaging 850 players over a seven-day span. New skins are expected to join the network shortly, which will likely allow The Hive to move up a couple rungs on the global ladder.</p> <p>In U.S. regulated online player traffic developments, New Jersey's poker regime hit new highs the day before Valentine's Day only to fall to near record lows on the day reserved for lovers. Indications are that tourists were logging on in droves on the 13th, but those same out-of-towners had their minds on romance on the 14th.</p> <p>In the unregulated U.S. market, the Equity Poker Network uncovered a <a href="">collusion ring</a> last week and closed the accounts of the players involved. Honest players who may have been victimized by the cheating will see their accounts credited accordingly. The discovery hasn't affected traffic on EPN, as player numbers remained stable in comparison to the week before.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 23:46:06 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2552 Nosebleeds Report: Doug “WCGRider” Polk Atop February Leaderboard, Shares Poker Wisdom Nosebleeds Report: Doug “WCGRider” Polk Atop February Leaderboard, Shares Poker Wisdom <p>After an entertaining action-packed January, the Nosebleeds grew unusually quiet in the first half of February. No news about <strong>Viktor </strong>“Isildur1” <strong>Blom</strong>’s six-figure winning days, nor about <strong>Gus Hansen</strong>’s losing streak.</p> <p>But that doesn’t mean the high-stakes online poker tables were left empty. On the contrary, the action continued and it was time for others to fill in the gap and conquer the games. Others like <strong>Doug </strong>“WCGRider” <strong>Polk</strong>. Although he played just seven sessions and 574 hands, Polk is the biggest winner of February so far with a $290k profit, according to HighStakesDB. He won over $680k for the year by playing the game that made him notorious in the online world: No Limit Hold’Em.</p> <p>This was not his only highlight though. Recently, the self-proclaimed best NL Heads-Up player in the world decided to share with the poker community how he thinks about the game, and more specific, what his thinking process was in a huge $467k pot played in October 2013 against “Isildur1.” In that hand, Polk made a hero call on the river in what seemed to be a very dangerous shove by Blom. What made the pot more interesting is that both players were actually 300 big blinds deep at that moment and Polk’s opponent snap-shoved a river that could have completed a straight draw.</p> <p>However, after careful thinking, Polk concluded that Blom’s range consisted of more bluff hands than value-bets. <em>“Is my opponent the type of player that is willing to put in 300 big blinds, at the highest stakes, against a tough opponent, on a complete airball?”</em> “WCGRider” asked himself as he was pondering whether to call or fold. And since he was playing “Isildur1,” Polk made the call to catch him with busted draw. You can read the whole analysis <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>Besides Polk, only four other players have six-figure wins in February. Full Tilt unknown “bbvisbadforme” is second for $157k, while Dutch pro <strong>Noah </strong>“Exclusive” <strong>Boeken </strong>completes the podium with a profit of $117k. “bbvisbadforme” played exclusively NLHE, while Boeken ran the show on Pokerstars at the mixed-game tables.</p> <p>After a great start of the year, <strong>Ben </strong>“Bttech86” <strong>Tollerene</strong> cooled off and won just $115k in the first half of February. Overall in 2014, he cashed in $1.56 million and is only the second player to hit the million-dollar mark after Viktor Blom.</p> <p>Pokerstars unknown “yurasov1990” is fifth and last with a $100k+ profit in the second month of the New Year.</p> <p>In the losers’ category, four players have managed to post six-figure red numbers since February 1. “Isildur1” is one of them, losing $232k in 3,600 hands and 34 sessions. Nevertheless, the Swede remains the top winner of 2014 with over $1.92 million.</p> <p>Unknown “tyme2gamb0l111” is second with -$160k in only 809 hands, while the ever-present Hansen is third. The Dane leaked $156k in 45 sessions and passed the $1.5 million losing-mark in 2014.</p> <p><strong>Ike </strong>“luvtheWNBA” <strong>Haxton </strong>is next in the leaderboard with -$136k. He was much more prolific on the live poker felt though. Haxton actually made some successful investments in the Aussie Millions high-roller and super high-roller events and managed to cash out a nice profit of over $1.7 million. </p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 12:28:52 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2551 to Remain Inactive to Remain Inactive <p>Although the website proclaims that online gambling for real money is coming soon, what's really coming is the end to a federal lawsuit that the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes had filed in hopes of being first from the U.S. to offer online gambling outside the country's borders.</p> <p>Granted permission last April via a deal with the administration of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to offer online poker and casino games internationally but not within the U.S., the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes were blindsided by the Department of Interior in November and told that state officials have no authority to allow such an exclusive arrangement. Tribal leaders filed a federal lawsuit in December in hopes of allowing the agreement to move forward.</p> <p>But a new government took over the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes last month, and with it came a decision to no longer pursue the idea of operating a gambling website outside of the U.S. that is situated on tribal land in Oklahoma, the Native American Times reported. While some $9.5 million was reportedly spent by the tribe on its international igaming hopes, new Cheyenne and Arapaho Governor Rollin “Eddie” Hamilton has decided not to throw good money after bad in continuing the pursuit that promised to be both costly and a likely losing effort.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:05:57 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2550 PokerTube Offers Satellites to Paddy Power Irish Open PokerTube Offers Satellites to Paddy Power Irish Open <p>PokerTube, the world's greatest resource for poker-related videos, has teamed with Paddy Power to form the PokerTube Irish Open Tourney League and is offering exclusive satellite tournaments to win seats to the Irish Open 2014.</p> <p>Players who sign up at Paddy Power through <a href="">PokerTube</a> will receive a free $4.40 Irish Open Satellite ticket that can lead to winning a free seat to the Irish Open in Dublin on April 18-21. But the rewards don't stop there, as a $2,000 deposit bonus, up to 50% VIP cashback, $10 free, and additional goodies compliments of PokerTube are available to new players.</p> <p>The Paddy Power Irish Open is the oldest and longest running NLHE poker tournament held in Europe, first appearing in 1981. On the world stage, the Irish Open comes in second in longevity only to the World Series of Poker.</p> <p>Last year's prize pool at the Irish Open was over €1,000,000 and organisers are anticipating €1 million to be eclipsed again in 2014. Held at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel (formerly The Burlington Hotel) on Burlington Road in Dublin, Ireland, the buy-in is set at €2,000 + €250 and features a starting stack of 30,000 and 60-minute blind levels.</p> <p>The PokerTube Irish Open Tournament Series Super Satellites that are exclusive to PokerTube players begin today and run every Tuesday for the next seven weeks through April 1. The €200 Super Sat + €30 Sat Added events begin each week at 20:00 GMT. Additional prizes include a PokerVIP Coaching Pack from the PokerTube Store for 1st place and PokerTube T-shirts for 2nd and 3rd place winners.</p> <p> </p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 06:01:37 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2549 The Hive Poker Network Gaining Players The Hive Poker Network Gaining Players <p>A new poker network known as The Hive launched just a few months ago and is quickly adding players mostly from regions in Europe, Turkey and Italy.</p> <p><a href="http:///">The Hive</a> made its debut on PokerScout's global rankings in 14th place and currently clocks in with a seven-day average of 850 cash players, reaching peaks of around 1900 players daily. That 24-hour peak time typically arrives rather early in the day.</p> <p>PlanetWin365 is listed as the only skin operating at The Hive website. However, recent reports indicate that Yachting Poker has migrated to The Hive from the PokerPack Network earlier this month. PokerScout stated that several more skins will be launching on The Hive Poker Network within a couple months time.</p> <p>Hive Poker is accessible on Windows and Mac via download, with mobile and tablet availability likely to follow in the first half of this year. The games offered include Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi Lo, Telesina, and a fast-fold variant known as Instapoker. Telesina is a variation of Five-Card Stud that is popular in Italy. The addition of other game offerings such as Turkish Poker are in the works.</p> <p>A VIP player loyalty program, as well as weekly rake races and a SitNGo leaderboard competition are some of the promotions marketed at The Hive. PlanetWin365 also offers a €365 deposit bonus.</p> <p>Current languages supported are English, Chinese, Serbo-Croat and Italian. Additional languages are available upon request.</p> <p>The Hive is headquartered in Malta and informs potential players on its website that "security and pool ecology are our main priorities."</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 04:57:11 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2548 Ivey Poker Spotlight Shines on Phil Ivey Ivey Poker Spotlight Shines on Phil Ivey <p>Every week, the coaching and training website highlights one member of the Team Ivey roster as its pro of the week. This week, the honor goes to none other than Phil Ivey himself due to his recent victory in the 2014 Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge.</p> <p>Ivey added over $3.5 million to his career earnings in overcoming a final table that included Team PokerStars Pros Isaac Haxton and Daniel Negreanu, ex-Full Tilt Professional Tom Dwan, Mike "Timex" McDonald, and Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel. This is the second time Ivey has won the $250,000 Challenge in Australia, earning slightly more than $2 million when he took home the title in 2012.</p> <p>Regarded by many as the world's best all-around poker player, Ivey's live tourney cashes have reached the $21.25 million mark. That is good for second place on the all-time live tournament winnings list, with only Antonio Esfandiari ahead of Ivey on the strength of "The Magician" bagging $18 million in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament in 2012.</p> <p>In the WSOP gold bracelet chase, Ivey is tied with Johnny Moss at nine and trails only the ten each of Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan, and 13 racked up by Phil Hellmuth. Ivey has his eye on <a href="">passing the "Pokerbrat"</a> and the odds look good considering that he is almost 12 years Hellmuth's junior.</p> <p>The coaching and training section of Ivey Poker celebrated its launch on January 28 and the biggest single payday of Ivey's career just two weeks later at the Aussie Millions has likely drawn even greater interest to the site. The Ivey League is geared toward players of all levels with three separate subscription packages aimed at spreading the poker knowledge required to improve on the felt.</p> <p>While Ivey has been proud to highlight the accomplishments of his fellow Ivey League pros at his poker training website, this week the spotlight shines in his direction. The 38-year-old Ivey has been accustomed to being the focus of attention ever since he began cashing in poker tournaments about a decade and a half ago.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 23:26:23 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2547 Norway Aims for Live Poker Tourneys in 2015 Norway Aims for Live Poker Tourneys in 2015 <p>Live poker tournaments may be allowed in Norway next year, which would permit the staging of a 2015 Norwegian Poker Championship.</p> <p>The country currently has stringent gambling regulations that include fines and possible jail time for operating poker games. Anti-gambling proponents within Norway continue to make their voices heard, but Culture Minister Thorhild Widvey has volleyed a proposal that would permit poker tournaments under certain restrictions.</p> <p>Those restrictions would include maximum buy-in rules and a capped prize pool "to avoid attracting the wrong crowd," reported. Also, the poker tournaments would require special licensing of the casinos and land-based clubs that wish to host the events.</p> <p>PokerStars is hosting live poker at the Norwegian Championships 2014 form April 5 - 13, 2014, but the festival takes place at the Citywest Hotel Conference Leisure and Golf Resort in Dublin. Should Norway officials succeed in relaxing the strict rules currently enforced, such championships may be allowed to take place within Norwegian borders next year.</p> <p>Norway is home to a number of poker pros who have made their mark on the world of poker. Annette Obrestad, Thor Hansen, Johnny Lodden and Elisabeth Hille have all traveled outside of their home country and found success in live poker tourneys worldwide.</p> <p>Oberstad won a WSOP Europe title at 18 years of age in 2007, winning over $2 million in the £10,000 + 350 World Championship in London. Her most recent live WSOP cash came last summer at the $10,000 Main Event at the 44th WSOP in Las Vegas where an 89th place finish was good for $71,053, according to the Hendon Mob database.</p> <p>Hansen has two WSOP gold bracelets to his name, the first won in 1988 in $5,000 Seven-Card Stud that earned him a payday of $158,000. The 66-year-old nabbed another in 2002 in $1,500 Limit Ace to Five Draw for $62,600.</p> <p>Lodden is 3rd on Norway's all-time money list and also earned quite a reputation playing poker online. Just a bit over a month ago, Lodden notched a runner-up finish to Dmitry Ponomarev at the PCA in the Bahamas in $2,000 + 200 No Limit Hold'em to add $78,100 to his live career cashes.</p> <p>Hille burst onto the poker scene in 2012 with an 11th place finish at the WSOP Main Event and won $590,442. She and France's Gaelle Baumann, who finished 10th, just missed the final table of poker's most prestigious event. Poker fans the world over were rooting for <a href="">either or both of the ladies</a> to make the final table, which has happened only once in poker history.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 21:06:44 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2546 Attack Poker and Bellator MMA Sign Partnership Attack Poker and Bellator MMA Sign Partnership <p>Poker and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) have often had a complementary relationship, something that has continued with the announcement of a partnership deal between Attack Poker and Bellator MMA.</p> <p>The deal was made public late last week and sees Las Vegas-based Attack Poker become the official online gaming partner of US-based Bellator. Both organisations view the deal as highly important to their own goals, as they have stated their intentions to promote each other.</p> <p>Attack Poker is already doing just that. Among the first things one sees when visiting the free-to-play online poker provider’s website is a large banner declaring a ticket giveaway to Bellator’s next event, which will be held on February 28.</p> <p>Bellator will also do its bit in promoting Attack Poker to mixed martial arts fan. The company has said that the Attack Poker logo will feature prominently in its cage, where Bellator fights take place.</p> <p>The organisation will also introduce an award that will be known as the ‘Attack of the Night.’ A reference to their online gaming partner, the Attack of the Night will go to the fighter deemed to have had the ‘most explosive finish or technique’ in each Bellator event.</p> <p>Bellator Chairman &amp; CEO Bjorn Rebney expressed his delight at the deal and said he was looking forward to a solid partnership with Attack Poker.</p> <p>"Our partnership with Attack Poker speaks directly to our focus of aligning with innovative industry leaders," he said. “Attack Poker's distinctive and consumer interactive approach to free-to-play poker is what positions them as a leader in the online gaming industry and it's what made them our top choice to align our brand with.”</p> <p>The partnership is a clear sign that both companies wish to be strong players in their respective areas. Bellator is considered by a number of MMA fans and pundits to be the second largest MMA organisation in the world, although the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the clear leader in the sport. Teaming up with Attack Poker will expose Bellator to poker players throughout the US, something the organisation hopes will boost viewer numbers.</p> <p>Attack Poker stands to benefit from the partnership by capitalising on both the MMA viewership and through exposure on free-to-air TV in the US. Bellator’s events are shown on the TV channel Spike and often attract around one million live viewers.</p> <p>Being exposed to a large number of people will help boost Attack Poker’s brand awareness among Bellator viewers, which the online service hopes will translate into a boost in players. While Attack Poker is currently a free-to-play service, increasing its awareness now will likely play into its favour should it ever decide to also adopt a real money poker service in the future.</p> <p>Specifics of the deal were not announced, however, the partnership has been described as being “multi-year,” meaning Attack Poker’s brand will likely stay on Bellator’s cage for some time to come.</p> Sun, 16 Feb 2014 10:00:42 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2545 Daniel “jungleman” Cates wins WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg Daniel “jungleman” Cates wins WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg <p><strong>Daniel Cates</strong> is the new King of the Jungle after winning the exclusive high-roller World Poker Tour (WPT) event in Johannesburg, South Africa. Cates, widely known in the online poker community as “jungleman,” dominated the WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg $100,000 buy-in tournament from start to finish, proving that he can be a poker “wiz kid” not only online but also on the real poker felt.</p> <p>To win the prestigious event, Cates beat down a field of nine players with impressive resumes including recent Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge winner <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>, all-time live tournament money-list leader <strong>Antonio Esfandiari</strong>, and two-time WPT Alpha8 winner <strong>Philipp Gruissem</strong>.</p> <p>Of those nine players, only seven qualified for the second and final day. <strong>Max Altergott</strong> was the first to bust out of the tournament followed by Ivey. Esfandiari was also eliminated on the first day but he decided to rebuy and try his luck one more time.</p> <p>Unfortunately for "The Magician," nothing changed on the second day. He was the first to leave the final table after just two hands played. He called a flop with only a flush draw and got penalized for it.</p> <p>Gruissem was next to leave the action after losing two important pots. <strong>Erik Seidel</strong> drew first blood, winning an all-in battle against the German, while <strong>Jeff Gross</strong> finished him off by catching a river-saving ten for the best hand.</p> <p>Although he had some breathing room after doubling up, Seidel finished in fifth place. Cates, who was already the dominating stack, min-raised under the gun and Seidel shoved his pocket sevens. Cates called with pocket tens to send the poker veteran packing. And the money bubble was on.</p> <p>Because of that, play slowed down immediately with each participant carefully choosing spots to put chips in the middle. Eventually, after 134 hands, the money bubble burst. Gross was the unlucky player who finished just outside the money, going all-in with Ace-Eight. Cates increased his chip lead by calling and winning the hand with pocket eights.</p> <p>After that, the fast-paced action resumed. Local South African player, <strong>Kinesh Pather</strong>, inspired by his fans’ vuvuzelas, shoved all-in with King-Queen and was facing elimination against <strong>Jason Mercier</strong>’s pocket Aces. But the poker gods had other plans and gave the South African a river flush. Seven hands later, Mercier was out of the tournament at the hands of the chip leader, Cates. Mercier didn’t leave Johannesburg empty-handed, though, winning $200,000.</p> <p>Heads-up play lasted only 12 hands because of the difference in stack sizes. Cates had 836,000 chips to start the final run while Pather had only 164,000. Cates quickly started his aggression, winning nine pots in a row. The South African had to make a move and did so by shoving his King-Jack hand. The “jungleman” called with a dominated Jack-Ten that transformed post-flop into a huge full house, giving him first place plus $500,000 and a $24,000 special edition pair of Monster headphones. The runner-up cashed in $275,000.</p> <p>Congratulations to Daniel “jungleman” Cates, who won the first major live title of his career. Will he be back for more?</p> Sun, 16 Feb 2014 00:13:36 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2544 Equity Poker Network Uncovers Collusion Equity Poker Network Uncovers Collusion <p>The U.S.-friendly Equity Poker Network (EPN), online for only a little more than three months, announced today that its Security and Fraud Department managed to uncover fraudulent activity on the network and has closed down a number of accounts as a result.</p> <p>According to a press release, a "collusion ring" was discovered to be operating on the upstart network and was shut down after a full investigation. Any players found to be affected by the fraudulent activity will be fully refunded, with credits to those accounts likely to be processed shortly.</p> <p>"The welfare of our players is our top priority and we will not tolerate cheating or any other form of fraud occurring on our network," an EPN spokesperson said. "We take all precautions to safeguard our network and to protect our players and their bankrolls."</p> <p>Anchored by the Full Flush Poker skin, EPN has been slowly moving up the ladder of poker rooms and networks that cater to U.S. players in unregulated states since <a href="">launching on Nov. 8, 2013</a>. As of this writing, the three-month old poker network is in a dead heat in terms of cash player traffic with Bitcoin-friendly SealWithClubs. The pair are tied for sixth place among U.S.-facing rooms with 120 players in a seven-day average, PokerScout reports.</p> <p>Investigators at EPN apparently moved swiftly to wipeout the collusion. The press release failed to mention how many players may have been involved in the fraudulent behavior, but did say that the perpetrators were dealt with "quickly and permanently."</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 19:39:41 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2543 Full Tilt Micro Turbo Online Poker Series (MTOPS) Starts Sunday Feb. 16 Full Tilt Micro Turbo Online Poker Series (MTOPS) Starts Sunday Feb. 16 <p>Online poker tournament players on a low budget will be in their glory for 15 days beginning Sunday, February 16 when Full Tilt kicks off the first of 75 events in its Micro Turbo Online Poker Series (MTOPS).</p> <p>More than $1 million is guaranteed to land in the accounts of winning players upon the conclusion of MTOPS on Sunday, March 2. Half of that will be doled out to players who finish in the money of the $500,000 Guaranteed Main Event on the final day of the series that requires a buy-in of only $14 + $1 in No-Limit Hold'em Turbo that features a huge starting stack of 10,000 in chips.</p> <p>Most events throughout the 15-day online festival can be entered for just a few dollars and all 75 allow for multiple entries. The number of entries permitted per player for each event is listed on the <a href="">MTOPS schedule</a>. As always, FTP provides a wealth of satellite opportunities for players to gain entries for as little as $0.11 or 5 Full Tilt Points.</p> <p>Of course, NLHE is the dominant game of the 75 events on the schedule. However, a wide assortment of various game types are on the menu, including Courchevel, Irish, Badugi, Razz and Stud.</p> <p>MTOPS action begins at 08:00 ET on Feb. 16 with a $25,000 guaranteed freeroll. On the same day at 16:00 ET, a NLHE Turbo Rush Rebuy allows for four entries on a miniscule $2 + $0.20 buy-in that guarantees a prize pool payout of $30,000. There are also a few Pro Bounty events on the schedule that award cash for knocking out FTP pros in addition to the prize pool guarantee.</p> <p>While the pro bounties and guarantees are worthy goals to shoot for, FTP has tossed in some added fun by also promising cash bonuses, tourney tickets, MTOPS merchandise, and prizes for excelling in MTOPS Leaderboards and a Multi-Entry Challenge.</p> <p>Players would be well-advised to highlight Feb. 16 - March 2 on their calendars for micro turbo tournament action at Full Tilt Poker. It all begins this Sunday!</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 18:42:28 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2542 Two Street Hold'em Online Launch Postponed Two Street Hold'em Online Launch Postponed <p>The launch of Two Street Hold'em, a Texas Hold'em variant that was to make its online debut at Ultimate Poker today, has been postponed.</p> <p>The game's creator, UP Poker Product Manager Chris Danek, advised those interested in the online rollout via Twitter that he decided to "push 2 Street Holdem to next wk." Still to be tended to are some software issues as well as a decision on the ante amount and whether to feature the game at 9-max or 6-max tables.</p> <p>In <a href="">Two Street Hold'em</a>, two hole cards are dealt to players after antes and blinds are posted. A round of betting is followed by five community cards being turned face up on the board. Another round of betting ensues before the best hand wins.</p> <p>Danek's idea is to increase action in the pot at showdown due to less rounds of wagering. A live free-play trial scheduled for earlier this week apparently led to the decision that a bit more refinement was needed before launching the game online at UP's Nevada poker site.</p> <p>The original plan was for Two Street Hold'em to be rolled out online on a limited basis for four hours today, tomorrow and Sunday. The new game's Internet debut will now have to wait until given the go-ahead by Danek and the brass at UP.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 16:02:03 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2541 Full Tilt Remission Payments Enter Test Period Full Tilt Remission Payments Enter Test Period <p>U.S. Full Tilt players waiting for $82 million in approved payouts are inching closer to receiving their cash as claims administrator Garden City Group (GCG) announced that a testing process for the disbursement of funds kicked off today.</p> <p>A new update on the website informed players with confirmed account balances that their bank statements may include a transaction for zero ($0.00) dollars that "is a normal part of the bank testing process in preparation for payment of ACHs." Some banks do not post such zero-dollar entries to customer accounts, so players who fail to receive said notice should not have cause for concern.</p> <p>As <a href="">promised by GCG</a> in a late January update, some 30,000 petitioners can expect $82 million to land in their bank accounts by the end of February. Today's update lets those players know that the "GCG is in the process of preparing payments for petitioners who timely confirmed their FTP account balance" and that process apparently requires a dummy deposit to be sent out first.</p> <p>It's been a long wait of nearly three years for former Full Tilt players in the U.S., many who thought that their funds would perhaps never be recovered after mismanagement of the poker site was discovered in 2011. But that wait appears to soon be over for those with undisputed account balances.</p> <p>Affiliates, pros and players who don't agree with the balances in their accounts put forth by the GCG are next in line to have their claims sorted out. There is currently no timetable as to when those petitioners will be reunited with their funds.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 23:55:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2540 Unibet to Beta Launch New Poker Software on Feb. 19 Unibet to Beta Launch New Poker Software on Feb. 19 <p>The wait is almost over! Online gambling operator Unibet will release its new standalone poker software in six days, on February 19, 2014.</p> <p>The old software will also be available after the launch date and will run in parallel with the new one in order to make the transition smoother for current users.</p> <p>The product will feature 3D backgrounds, options to change avatars and screen names, plus a wide range of achievements and missions. <em>“It will allow a much better customer experience and enable us to focus more on the recreational poker players,”</em> Unibet CEO <strong>Henrik Tjärnström</strong> said at the 2013 Q4 Business Presentation.</p> <p>Tracking software like HUDs will not be supported at all along with data mining. Users won’t have the possibility to watch other players and track the weaker ones; players will be seated randomly and will have to make adjustments on the go without any outside help and based solely on poker reads.</p> <p>Furthermore, the rake will be adjusted, according to Unibet representatives. The €0.02/€0.04 No-Limit Hold’Em cash tables will have a much lower rake than that of their competitors; users who play higher like the €0.05/€0.10 stakes will also enjoy a lower rake.<em> “This is based on the idea that if we remove less money from the bottom of the ecology, more players will move up.”</em> Two Plus Two Unibet representative 'Sciolist' explained.</p> <p>The highest stakes for the No-Limit cash tables will be €2/€4 at launch, but this will be subject to change in the future based on the mid-stakes action.</p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 22:59:23 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2539 Daniel Negreanu Voices Opinion on Resurrecting Poker Daniel Negreanu Voices Opinion on Resurrecting Poker <p>The <a href="">"poker is dying"</a> comment made by 2005 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Hachem last week continues to stir debate on the current state of the game and has resulted in many players expressing their sentiments regarding the best approach to take in order to shine a spotlight on poker and make it more attractive to potential players.</p> <p>Six-time WSOP gold bracelet champ Daniel Negreanu, who is never one to hold back when voicing his opinion, recently tweeted a few nuggets of wisdom with regard to the issue. KidPoker points to the Winter Olympics and the way in which the broadcasts delve into the background of the athletes as an example of how poker should focus on the characters of the game as opposed to the game itself.</p> <p>"Public doesn't know the people or the sports but with great story telling fans &amp; stars are created," Negreanu tweeted. "Out with the high end analysis during broadcasts and in with the back stories, character development, and connection to fans."</p> <p>While poker strategy is exciting to some, the life of professional players and how they got to where they are is likely much more appealing to casual players. That appeal is even more compelling when learning that a number of players started out at small stakes online and moved up the ranks to attain pro status. That is an accomplishment that low budget players can relate to and even strive to achieve themselves.</p> <p>"There is something interesting about EVERYONE!" Negreanu added. "It's up to the production team to find out what that is, then sell it to the public. We waste time appeasing the wrong demo[graphic]."</p> <p>KidPoker gives credit of the poker boom of years gone by to ESPN, "who spent time developing stars of poker." Negreanu further stated that poker broadcasts of late "have gotten away from" the approach of creating big-name stars when airing poker on TV.</p> <p>The type of broadcasts Negreanu is calling for that highlight the players themselves may soon be making a comeback. Poker Night in America has announced that their first television broadcast will air around April 1, 2014. Before kicking off their first tour stop at the Empire State Poker Classic at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York last August, PNA representatives made some exciting promises regarding what's in store for fans watching at home.</p> <p>“We’re going to bring a fresh approach to how poker is shown on TV, making the show relevant to the average viewer," said PNA tour co-founder and president Todd Anderson. "We think the world is ready to watch poker in a whole new way.”</p> <p>With an emphasis on variety that includes story telling and engaging viewers at home by awarding prizes and possible appearances on TV for contest winners, PNA aims to revolutionize poker broadcasting.</p> <p>"One week you might see a celebrity-filled poker game from a Hollywood mansion and the next week could feature a high stakes cash game between poker heavyweights like Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu," Anderson said. "What you'll always be able to count on is interesting story lines and variety. We'll only be limited by our imagination."</p> <p>Sounds a bit like the kind of programming that KidPoker is clamoring for. We'll have to find out when the first telecast makes it to living rooms throughout the country in April. In the meantime, Negreanu has promised to further expound on his ideas on ways to make poker more attractive to the masses in a blog to be released shortly.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 19:56:25 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2538 WSOP Schedule Announced: $10 Million for the Main Event Winner WSOP Schedule Announced: $10 Million for the Main Event Winner <p>Shuffle Up and Deal! The full schedule of the 45th annual World Series Of Poker (WSOP) held in Sin City - Las Vegas, was released yesterday and features several important changes.</p> <p>First of all, three more bracelets will be added to the mix compared to last year when 62 bracelets were handed to winners. Because of that, the hosts expect to break down the $200 million barrier in prize money this summer. In 2013, the poker festival had a total prize pool of over $197 million along with 79,471 entries.</p> <p>Secondly, the late-afternoon events will commence at 4 PM local time, one hour earlier than last year. Players will be able to register until the start of Level 7 with the exception of shootouts, heads-up tournaments and the Main Event. <em>“We have tweaked our schedule and feel very good about the opportunities it presents poker players of all levels,”</em> WSOP Tournament Director <strong>Jack Effel</strong> said in a statement.</p> <p>Thirdly, this year’s $10,000 Main Event will guarantee a top prize of at least $10 million. Only one time in its history did the Main Event winner cash in an eight-figure prize. Back in 2006, <strong>Jamie Gold</strong> won $12,067,292 as the last man standing from a record field of 8,773 entrants. Since then, only <strong>Peter Eastgate</strong> in 2008 was close to hit the $10 million mark, winning $9,152,416.</p> <p>As we’ve become accustomed to in the last few years, the poker World Champ will be decided in November as part of a two-day show. The quest for the most-wanted bracelet will start on July 5, 2014 and will last nine days till the final nine players will be decided.</p> <p>Until then, poker players will have lots of tournaments to choose from. The WSOP will begin with a new $25,000 Mixed Max event on May 27. Each day of that event will be unique: Day 1 will be a nine-handed tourney, Day 2 will feature short-handed 6-max tables, Day 3 will play four-handed, while the final day will be filled with heads-up action.</p> <p>The Millionaire Maker event will open its doors on the last day of May and will have only a $1,500 buy-in.</p> <p>The already-classic $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship will start on June 8, 2014, another mixed-game event of the festival. On June 22, a high-roller will put players’ skills to the test. The Poker Players Championship is a $50,000 buy-in event with a wide range of games like Limit Hold’Em, Omaha Hi-Low Split-8-or-Better, Seven Card Razz, Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8-or-Better, No-Limit Hold’Em, Pot-Limit Omaha and 2-7 Triple Draw. The low-stakes grinders will have their opportunity in the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E event on June 12 and in the $1,500 8-Game event on June 25.</p> <p>Besides the Main Event, the BIG ONE FOR ONE DROP will be Vegas’ biggest summer attraction. The $1-million buy-in tourney will start on June 29 at 1 PM with the winner being crowned on July 2, 2014 on possibly a record-setting day. If the cap is reached, the BIG ONE FOR ONE DROP champ could win the biggest single-tournament prize in poker history: $20 million.</p> <p>Here are the highest-paid tournaments of the 2014 WSOP:</p> <ul><li><em>May 27 - Event #2: $25,000 Mixed Max NLHE</em></li> <li><em>May 29 - Event #5: $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw</em></li> <li><em>May 31 - Event #8: $1,500 Millionaire Maker</em></li> <li><em>June 1 - Event #10: $10,000 Limit Omaha 8-or-Better</em></li> <li><em>June 3 - Event #13: $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw</em></li> <li><em>June 6 - Event #18: $10,000 Razz</em></li> <li><em>June 8 - Event #22: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.</em></li> <li><em>June 12 - Event #28: $10,000 PLHE</em></li> <li><em>June 14 - Event #32: $10,000 NLHE 6max</em></li> <li><em>June 17 - Event #38: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better</em></li> <li><em>June 19 - Event #40: $10,000 Heads-up NLHE</em></li> <li><em>June 22 - Event #46: $50,000 Poker Players Championship</em></li> <li><em>June 29 - Event #57: $1,000,000 BIG ONE FOR ONE DROP</em></li> <li><em>July 1 - Event #61: $10,000 Seven Card Stud</em></li> <li><em>July 3 - Event #64: $10,000 PLO</em></li> <li><em>July 5 - Event #65: The $10,000 WSOP Main Event</em></li> </ul> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 12:52:19 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2537 James Calderaro wins WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open James Calderaro wins WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open <p>It was finally his time! After years of grinding the live tournaments and after several frustrating eliminations including a second place finish in the 2012 World Poker Tour (WPT) Jacksonville Main Event, <strong>James Calderaro</strong> got his wish and won the first major event of his career. He also topped his girlfriend’s performance from last year: <strong>Lily Kiletto</strong> was runner-up in the 2013 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open, falling short of making history and becoming the first woman to win a WPT Main Event.</p> <p>This year, however, Calderaro was prepared to become a member of the WPT Champions Club and didn’t let anybody stand in his way. He survived four days of battling among a field of 415 poker pros and amateurs that was eventually reduced to only six.</p> <p>As final table play began, Calderaro was third in chips after <strong>Dimas Martinez Jr.</strong> and <strong>Shannon Shorr</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Evan Dollinger</strong> started the elimination frenzy. He finished sixth for $54,355 although he was a big 80% favorite when all the chips got in the middle. He shoved his 20+ big-blind stack with pocket tens and was called by Martinez, who had pocket sevens. The poker gods favored the big stack and put a seven on the flop for the winning set.</p> <p>The next to go was <strong>Tim Kegel</strong>. He moved all-in from the button with Ace-King suited after an under the gun open-raise. The initial raise, Shorr called with pocket deuces and managed to survive three streets in the head-to-head race. Kegel flopped the king but Shorr caught a flush on the river. Kegel left the table $67,842 richer.</p> <p>Although he was the chip leader to start the final day of the event, Martinez hit the rail after 78 hands. He looked at his Ace-King and decided to four-bet all-in for 40 big blinds with lots of action left behind him. The initial raiser, <strong>Keven Stammen</strong>, folded but the three-bettor Calderaro called with pocket tens. Martinez received no help post-flop and finished fourth winning $90,366.</p> <p>Calderaro continued his run and eliminated Stammen. Again the shorter stack was dominating the big stack but the community cards changed the final outcome. Holding Ace-King suited, Stammen was looking in great shape before the river against his opponent’s Ace-Nine. He had to only dodge a nine but to no avail. With this performance, Stammen turned his $3,500 buy-in into a nice $122,197 payday.</p> <p>The heads-up up play started with almost even stacks and neither player wanted to give up the opportunity to win a WPT Main Event. The winner emerged after over 100 hands of heads-up action. The first blow was all about cracking Aces. Shorr didn’t want to let Calderaro see a cheap flop and raised his bullets. His opponent called twice pre-flop and raised on a 10-7-4 flop. Shorr re-raised all-in to see his Aces being dominated by 10-7 and the flopped two pair. The turn and river brought nothing new to the table and left Shorr with only four big blinds.</p> <p>Shorr doubled up the next hand but couldn’t do the same afterwards. Calderaro open-raised all-in with Nine-Eight suited and the shortstacker called with Ace-Jack. The river delivered the final blow as it completed a flush for Calderaro, who became the new WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open champion, winning $271,103. Shorr’s second place finish was worth $190,039.</p> <p>Congratulations to the winner and his ice-breaking performance.</p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 09:35:48 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2536 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - February 11, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - February 11, 2014 <p>Online poker players are logging on at a pace that's 13% behind numbers seen during mid-February 2013.</p> <p>It's no secret that online play has faltered in recent years and a recent comment that <a href="">"poker is dying"</a> by 2005 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem has players at every level weighing in with opinions on how to improve the game both live and online to attract more players. With regard to online play, it's quite conceivable that player participation will continue to be less than that of previous years as long as a majority of the U.S. remains unregulated.</p> <p>Online poker player traffic did manage to gain 1% last week over the previous week, the first positive showing in a month, PokerScout reported. Among the top ten poker sites and networks, PartyPoker regained sole possession of fifth place after last week's report saw them sharing the slot with Further down in the top ten, Winamax grabbed eighth place and booted Bodog/Bovada into ninth.</p> <p>Full Tilt is hoping that its recent rollout of a Rush Poker application designed for mobile devices will persuade players on the go who enjoy fast-paced poker action to log on there. Mobile online gambling is expected to grow considerably in the future as technological advancements continue to improve. Full Tilt sits in fourth place in worldwide rankings with an eye toward overtaking iPoker and 888poker, who hold down third and second place, respectively.</p> <p>While Full Tilt attempts to pump up its Rush Poker player pool, sister site PokerStars is using the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia to promote national pride among its loyal following. Players are invited to proudly display their country's flag as their avatar during the month of February. Notably absent among the colorful avatars are the stars and stripes of the U.S., as American online poker players remain shut out from action at the world's top poker site for almost three years.</p> <p>PokerStars will attempt to break its own world record for the largest poker tournament on February 23. Capping the field at 230,000 on a $1 buy-in, an overlay of $70,000 is available, as the prize pool is guaranteed at $300,000. PokerStars hold the current Guinness World Record of 225,000 set last year.</p> <p>In the U.S. regulated market, there are indications that the New Jersey player pool has begun to reach the level at which it may likely remain. Growth has begun to tail off and, like Nevada, the Garden State may have reached its point of saturation.</p> <p>Ultimate Poker is hoping to grab a greater share of those saturated market numbers with the advent of a new Texas Hold'em variant. Two Street Hold'em will make its online debut at the UP Nevada site on Valentines Day. The goal is for players to fall in love with the new game that requires players to ante up and permits only two rounds of wagering - pre-flop and post-flop.</p> <p>Two Street Hold'em will be rolled out slowly, four hours each day on Feb. 14, 15 and 16. It's likely that the trial launch will be analyzed and scrutinized before further decisions will be made with regard to the new game becoming a mainstay at UP.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 22:16:20 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2535 Alleged Poker Cheat Christian Lusardi Accused of Pirating DVDs Alleged Poker Cheat Christian Lusardi Accused of Pirating DVDs <p>Christian Lusardi, the poker player accused of boosting his chip stack by introducing fake chips at a Borgata poker tournament in Atlantic City in January, is facing copyright infringement charges for allegedly pirating DVDs.</p> <p>Under investigation by customs agents for about a year and a half, Lusardi's home in Fayeteville, North Carolina contained over 37,000 bootleg DVDs when authorities conducted a search. Also recovered was equipment used to burn DVDs to further the illicit pirating operation, reported.</p> <p>While on to Lusardi's alleged scheme, agents began intercepting packages containing DVDs coming from China that were addressed to his residence. Lusardi also reportedly admitted to investigators that he attempted to avoid detection by having several DVD deliveries make their way to the residences of his friends and relatives.</p> <p>Lusardi allegedly made nearly $1 million selling the bootleg DVDs over the Internet. Flea markets in Fayeteville and Raleigh were also reportedly used to unload the pirated entertainment for additional cash.</p> <p>Fake poker chips valued at 2.7 million in tournament play were found by casino maintenance employees after unclogging a hotel room pipe at Harrah's Resort and Casino during the Borgata Winter Open late last month. The clogged pipe was traced to the room of Lusardi, who seemingly failed to connect on a straight flush after dumping the counterfeit chips in the toilet.</p> <p>Some 800,000 in fake chips were found in play at the tournament in which Lusardi cashed for over $6k. <a href="">Lusardi was arrested</a> and booked on charges of rigging a public contest and theft. The tournament was subsequently canceled, with online poker forums now filled with posts from players suggesting ways to increase security.</p> <p>Custom agents in the bootleg DVD case pointed out that among the recent shipments from China addressed to Lusardi was a box said to be labeled as containing "plastic chips." Lusardi is not a stranger to law enforcement in his home state of North Carolina, where authorities charged him almost six years ago with operating an illegal gambling house.</p> <p>Lusardi has two live tournament cashes to his name, according to the Hendon Mob database. In 2008, a second place finish at Harrah's Atlantic City in $300 + $40 No-Limit Hold'em on the WSOP Circuit was good for $29,189. Just one month later at the 2009 Borgata Winter Open, Lusardi claimed 28th place and earned a payday of $1,556 after buying in for $750 + $60.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 19:03:30 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2534 Broke? Phil Ivey Wins $4 Million in the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge Broke? Phil Ivey Wins $4 Million in the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge <p>Last month, the poker community was buzzing with rumors of <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> hitting rock bottom. <strong>Dan Bilzerian</strong> started the whole thing by stating in a Card Player interview that <em>“Phil Ivey just went broke.”</em> One month after the comment, Ivey returned to the poker felt in style by winning AUD$4,000,000 in the Aussie Millions LK Boutique Challenge. Ivey is also planning to conquer South Africa in four days by participating in the exclusive high roller event at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Alpha8 in Johannesburg.</p> <p>As opposed to <strong>Daniel Negreanu </strong>and <strong>Isaac Haxton</strong>, the winner needed only one shot to make it happen. Ivey invested only AUD$250,000 in the last event in Melbourne. Negreanu and Haxton, on the other hand, had to rebuy. The two Team PokerStars Pros raised the bar higher than ever by investing over $2 million combined at Aussie Millions events in the last four days. Their decisions eventually turned out for the best, both of them showing positive ROIs after the major nosebleeds challenges.</p> <p>Like two days ago, history was once again rewritten. The 2014 Aussie Million AUD$250,000 Challenge had 46 entries, 26 more than the previous record established in 2011. The total prize pool passed the AUD$10 million mark, leaving no less than AUD$4 million for the winner.</p> <p>Because of the 40-minute level, the tournament seemed like a turbo shallow online Sit’N’Go at times. After an action-packed first day with big names hitting the rail, the decisive day started off strong and only eight of the 31 registered players managed to qualify for the final table. But being in the spotlight didn’t guarantee anybody a place in the money. In fact, only six of the eight final tablists left the event with a cash prize.</p> <p>The unlucky bubble boys were <strong>Max Altergott</strong> and <strong>Erik Seidel</strong>. After a great score in the AUD$100,000 Challenge, Seidel got unlucky and finished seventh, although he had a premium hand going all-in: pocket Jacks. However, <strong>Fabian Quoss</strong> had an even better one – pocket Kings – to burst the money bubble.</p> <p>After that, it was all about who gets the big AUD$4 million prize. <strong>Tom Dwan</strong> was the first to fail on that mission, losing a flip against Haxton – pocket eights versus King-Jack. Quoss had the same unlucky snowmen in a pre-flop battle against Ivey, who held King-Queen. The future winner eventually spiked a King on the river and sent the German home with AUD$800,000.</p> <p>Negreanu had some ups and downs going from chip leader to bust in just one hour. He raised all-in from the small blind with Ace-Two but was severely dominated by Ivey’s big slick. The 10-6-2 flop turned the odds upside down, but yet again the American hit a lucky King river.</p> <p>Third place was sealed by another Canadian who started the New Year on fire. <strong>Mike</strong> “Timex” <strong>McDonald </strong>tried some late heroics being super-short and coming back on top just like in the AUD$100,000 Challenge. He took down yet another million-dollar-plus cash prize, his third in 2014. McDonald has won $4,322,895 in 2014 for a total of almost $10 million in tournament winnings.</p> <p>After McDonald’s departure, Isaac Haxton and Phil Ivey were the only ones left battling for the big prize. The heads-up play lasted three hours and boiled down to one huge pot that left Haxton with around 17 big blinds. Ivey started the action open-raising over 2x. Haxton called and both players checked on an 8-5-5 rainbow flop. Haxton fired on a King turn and tried another bullet on the river. Ivey hesitated and raised all-in, just to see his opponent snap-fold.</p> <p>On the final hand of the tournament and Aussie Millions festival, Haxton moved all-in with Eight-Seven and was called by Ivey’s Ace-Six. The Ace high flop sealed the deal and the winner.</p> <p>Here are the final payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Phil Ivey (USA) – AUD$4,000,000</em></li> <li><em>Isaac Haxton (USA) – AUD$2,820,000</em></li> <li><em>Mike McDonald (CAN) – AUD$1,900,000</em></li> <li><em>Daniel Negreanu (CAN) – AUD$1,250,000</em></li> <li><em>Fabian Quoss (GER) – AUD$800,000</em></li> <li><em>Tom Dwan (USA) – AUD$500,000</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Phil Ivey, who won the Aussie Millions AUD$250,000 Challenge for the second time in his career. He also came out on top in 2012. This win helped him reach the $20 million mark in tournament winnings and if we also take into consideration the $16 million won online, then we can assume that the American is far from being broke.</p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 19:27:21 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2533 Full Tilt Launches Rush Poker App Full Tilt Launches Rush Poker App <p>Full Tilt Poker's research and development team announced the roll out of its latest creation, a Rush Poker application designed for iOS and Android mobile devices.</p> <p>The widely-popular fast-fold variant Rush Poker that first launched in 2010 can now be easily played on the free app that is "fully optimized for mobile," Full Tilt Poker Head of Marketing Sarne Lightman told PokerUpdate.</p> <p>Players will find a variety of stake levels available via the new Rush Poker application. While most will of course want to play for real money, a play-money format is also available for players who may want to try it out first. The app also provides cashier functions that permit players to make deposits and withdrawals both quickly and easily.</p> <p>“We are committed to continually enhancing and evolving the Full Tilt experience and we pride ourselves on being industry leaders when it comes to innovation and imagination,” Lightman said. “The Full Tilt Rush Poker app has been designed specifically for mobile phone play" and allows for exciting fast-paced online poker action played virtually anywhere "no matter how long you have to spare."</p> <p>Players with an existing Full Tilt account can log on to the new app with their IDs and passwords and begin playing right away. A simple download of the app and the creation of a Full Tilt account will allow new players to join them directly.</p> <p>Along with Rush Poker, players on the go can also utilize the new app to access Adrenaline Rush, an even speedier version of fast-fold poker. Adrenaline Rush was launched by Full Tilt just one month ago and increases the speed of hands by restricting tables to 4-handed play and permits no post-flop wagering. As in Rush Poker, competition exists among a pool of players who are whisked to a new table upon folding.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 19:08:05 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2532 PokerTube Software Upgrade Benefits Players PokerTube Software Upgrade Benefits Players <p><a title="" href="" target="_blank">PokerTube,</a> the favorite website of poker players the world over that is dedicated to providing the best and largest assortment of poker-related videos, has been upgraded with some new features that greatly enhance the top-rated poker media website.</p> <p><img class="center" title="Pokertube Logo and Homepage" src="" alt="Pokertube logo and home page" width="600" height="226"/></p> <p>The new software includes mobile optimization that allows poker enthusiasts on the go to access the site's incredible amount of poker content from mobile devices. You can now watch exciting poker videosthat include <a title=" Television Shows" href="" target="_blank">poker television shows</a> such as <em>Poker After Dark, High Stakes Poker</em> and <em>World Series of Poker</em> broadcasts from virtually <strong>anywhere</strong>.</p> <p><img class="center" title="Pokertube on iPhone" src="" alt="Pokertube on iPhone" width="600" height="271"/></p> <p>Online poker players are always looking for the <strong>best deals</strong> at poker sites and many new and exciting opportunities await those who become members of PokerTube. Due to its status as the world's greatest poker media resource and close working relationships with a number of the biggest and best poker rooms, <a title=" Deals" href="" target="_blank">PokerTube can offer players some incredible deals.</a></p> <p><em>William Hill, PaddyPower, PartyPoker, Ladbrokes</em> and <em>Betfred</em> are just some of the sites where PokerTube members can get in on amazing promotions and bonuses. Those awesome promos included winning gadgets such as <strong>iPhones or stylish poker apparel,</strong> and money added tournaments <strong><a title=" Deals and promotions" href="" target="_blank">exclusive to PokerTubers!</a></strong></p> <p>The <a title=" Store" href="" target="_blank">PokerTube store</a> now offers a wide array of goodies such as poker tracking software, coaching videos, and poker books that will help you to step up your game and crush your opponents on the poker tables. Whether its <em>SitNGos, MTTs</em> or<em> ring games</em> that you'd like to focus on, PokerTube has the videos and text available to increase your profitability on the felt.</p> <p>The software upgrade at PokerTube also includes a cleaner interface, a pop out video player, and an enhanced "My Account" area that has a new wealth of features that allows you to keep track of the videos you have watched, a section where you can store your favourite videos, and monitor your activity history that includes your forum posts.</p> <p><img class="center" title="Pokertube on Browser" src="" alt="Pokertube on browser" width="600" height="271"/></p> <p>While PokerTube is widely-acclaimed for its exhaustive library of poker videos, keep in mind that the <a title=" forum" href="" target="_blank">PokerTube Forum</a> is also available for players to interact and discuss just about <strong>any topic</strong> that comes to mind. Whether its poker strategy, the best tourney deals and poker room promotions available, feedback on videos, or lifestyle concerns beyond poker, PokerTube members are part of a vibrant community and are there to add their opinions in a unified effort of improvement.</p> <p>It's been widely reported that players who have successfully moved up in stakes on their way to achieving pro status have the best chance of doing so by talking poker with other players and improving their game by watching videos that include coaching and training. All that and more is available for students of the game of poker who are intent on using the priceless resources found at PokerTube.</p> <p>Those resources include videos of your favorite stars in action such as Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari. We've already mentioned some of the poker TV shows on the PokerTube menu. But you'll also be able to <a title=" speciality pages" href="" target="_blank">watch the pros</a> competing at some of the biggest events in the game on livestream that include the EPT, PCA, UKIPT, Irish Open and WPT.</p> <p>The best part is that PokerTube is <strong>free to join!</strong> While other sites are charging for coaching videos, PokerTube allows you to browse through a list of thousands of poker training videos at no cost. Not only coaching videos, but a wide variety of live events, online games, video blogs, interviews and TV shows.</p> <p>All of the content available at PokerTube is organised and categorised accurately which makes finding the videos that you would like to watch as easy as can be. Go ahead and take a look at the new <a title="" href="" target="_blank"></a> Watch some videos, check out the deals, browse through the store, and enjoy! <strong>It's free</strong> and it's a virtual guarantee that you will find something to your liking that will enable you to improve your game and keep coming back for more!</p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 11:59:29 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2531 Ami Barer Wins 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event Ami Barer Wins 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event <p>Ami Barer entered the 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event final table as the chip leader, but it was far from an easy road for the Canadian as he battled fierce competition to win the event.</p> <p>Predominantly an online player, Barer also asserted himself as a force to be reckoned with in live tournament poker and took home AUD$1.6 million for his stellar play at the Melbourne event.</p> <p>The start of the final day of play was a hard fought war of attrition by all the remaining players as each of them found their own ways of staying alive in the event.</p> <p>Eventually though, the floodgates opened after Scott Seiver became the first player to be knocked out of this year’s final table. It came at the hands of Darren Rabinowitz after he called Seiver’s pre-flop all-in reraise with Ace-Ten offsuit.</p> <p>The Ace-Ten was just behind Seiver’s pocket Eights before the board, but an Ace on the flop put Rabinowitz in front and kept him there when Seiver found no help on the turn or river.</p> <p>Hometown player Andrew Phaedonos was eliminated in sixth place soon after Seiver hit the rail. The only Australian player at the final table, Phaedonos went all-in pre-flop with Queen-Jack of Clubs and was called by Sorel Mizzi, who had a dominant pair of Kings in the hole.</p> <p>Mizzi hit a set on the flop and Phaedonos was sent packing as the tourney went down to its last five players.</p> <p>Fifth place in the Aussie Millions Main Event went to Vincent Rubianes, who became Rabinowitz’s second scalp at the final table. Rubianes went all-in with King-Jack suited, but was in big trouble when Rabinowitz called with pocket Aces.</p> <p>Rubianes had a glimmer of hope when he hit a pair of Jacks on the flop, but the bullets of Rabinowitz held when neither fourth nor fifth street were kind to Rubianes.</p> <p>The elimination was not a huge help to Rabinowitz, however, as he was the next player to be knocked out of the event. It took a while, with all of the remaining players fighting hard to stay in the game.</p> <p>Despite his best efforts, Rabinowitz was eventually eliminated in fourth place by Ami Barer. It came when Rabinowitz went all-in pre-flop with pocket Fives and was called by Barer, who had pocket Nines.</p> <p>Jake Balsiger exited the event in third place after he was eliminated by the eventual winner in an almost epic turn of events. After a series of raises and reraises, Barer went all-in pre-flop with Ace-Ten offsuit and was called by the smaller-stacked Balsiger, who was in front with pocket Kings.</p> <p>The 9-8-7 flop gave Barer an open-ended straight draw, however, and Balsiger was no longer sitting comfortably. The Five of the Clubs on the turn changed this a bit, though, as it gave him a flush draw.</p> <p>The Six of Hearts on the river was one of the worst possible cards for Balsiger as it gave Barer the straight, which won him the hand and knocked Balsiger out of the final table.</p> <p>Balsiger’s elimination put Barer and Mizzi in heads-up play. Both players had the chip lead on various occasions throughout the last day of play before HU action began, which helped to make the final phase of the event one to watch closely.</p> <p>It was all Barer in heads-up play, though, as he quickly chipped away at Mizzi’s stack to give himself a huge chip lead.</p> <p>In the last hand of the event, Mizzi moved all-in with Queen-Eight suited before the flop. Unfortunately for him, Barer had pocket Aces, and he certainly did not hesitate to call with them.</p> <p>Mizzi’s hand did not improve on the flop or on the turn, which made it impossible for him to stay in the event. The Ace of Diamonds on the river was like salt in the wound for the Canadian, as Barer hit a set to confirm him as the winner of the hand and the 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event.</p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 01:55:37 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2530 More Growth for Macau Gaming Sector in January More Growth for Macau Gaming Sector in January <p>Gamers in Macau kicked off 2014 by spending a lot of money, but not as much as was expected by economic analysts.</p> <p>Revenue from gaming in Macau totalled US$3.6 million in January, which heralded a seven percent increase in growth. While seemingly a positive result, the growth was the lowest experienced by Macau’s gaming industry in 14 months.</p> <p>It was also below estimates given by most analysts, which was between 11-15 percent for the month of January. There was little surprise in the lower-than-expected growth, however, as the Chinese New Year holiday period began at the end of January.</p> <p>That led to a number of Chinese, who form the largest contingent of visiting gamers in Macau, choosing to stay at home ahead of the important holiday.</p> <p>It was not all negative for Macau’s gaming sector, however. Poker went from strength to strength in the gaming enclave in the first month of the year, something evidenced by the popularity of last month’s Macau Poker Cup.</p> <p>A record field of 995 players turned out to the Cup’s main event, known as the Red Dragon, which was won by Mongolian player Buyanjargal Bold. The field was substantially higher than the previous record field of 891 players that was set in January 2013.</p> <p>While poker is not the largest gaming stream in Macau, it likely made a significant contribution to overall gaming revenue due, in part, to the popularity of the Macau Poker Cup.</p> <p>It is likely that the next few months will yield greater revenues for gaming in Macau, which will need to happen if it is to see growth in its yearly revenue. That will not be an easy task since total gaming revenue for 2013 was $45 billion and China’s economy is currently experiencing a slowdown.</p> <p>However, Macau’s ever-growing reputation and popularity as a global gambling centre could help make this year an even stronger one for Macau’s gaming sector.</p> Sun, 09 Feb 2014 13:23:42 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2528 Yevgeniy Timoshenko wins record-setting Aussie Millions AUD$100,000 Challenge Yevgeniy Timoshenko wins record-setting Aussie Millions AUD$100,000 Challenge <p>The 2014 Aussie Millions AUD$100,000 Challenge was a tournament to remember. From high stakes action and record-breaking entries to epic comebacks and turnarounds, the event had it all.</p> <p>After a monster first day with 66 entries including half-million dollar investments by <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong> and <strong>Isaac Haxton</strong> (both players rebought five times yesterday), the second and final day started with 10 more entries that set a new tournament record of 76 total buy-ins and a prize pool of AUD$7,486,000.</p> <p>Haxton tried his luck one more time but lost a flip against <strong>Patrik Antonius</strong> to start the action. Soon after that, other big names busted out of the tournament, including <strong>Scott Seiver</strong>, <strong>Gus Hansen</strong>, <strong>Viktor Blom</strong> and <strong>Justin Bonomo</strong>.</p> <p>The Germans who dominate the high roller scene ran out of luck in Melbourne and not even one managed to survive to make the final table. <strong>Tobias Reinkemeier</strong> and <strong>Marvin Rettenmaier</strong> were the first eliminated, while <strong>Ole Schemion</strong>, <strong>Phillipp Gruissem</strong> and <strong>Fabian Quoss</strong> soon followed them. Quoss was the unfortunate final table bubble boy, losing with his pocket tens against <strong>Doug </strong>“WGCRider” <strong>Polk</strong>’s big slick.</p> <p>The story of the day, however, was all about the Canadian <strong>Mike </strong>“Timex” <strong>McDonald</strong>. He started the second day as the chip leader and after losing two big pots to Negreanu and Quoss, he was near annihilation. He had only two big blinds left, but a series of all-ins put him right back in the race for winning the challenge. When the final table started, McDonald was third in chips and ready for revenge.</p> <p>He eliminated Negreanu in a battle of all-ins preflop. This time, “KidPoker” was the one with two big blinds and had to make a move with his Ace-Ten. McDonald isolated him with Ace-Queen suited and won the pot, busting Negreanu in sixth place.</p> <p>“Timex” marched on and set eyes on his next victim: Patrik Antonius. The Finnish pro made an uninspired bluff on a 6-5-2 flop and McDonald called with his pocket sevens. Nothing changed on the turn and river and Antonius had to settle with fifth place and a AUD$700,000 prize.</p> <p>Although he started the final table as the chip leader, Polk was eliminated in fourth place, winning AUD$860,000. He three-bet all-in with Ace-Ten only to get called by <strong>Erik Seidel</strong>, who held pocket queens.</p> <p>Seidel was the next player to bust out, this time at the hands of <strong>Yevgeniy Timoshenko</strong>. Seidel lost a major flip against the Ukrainian although he was a big favorite after the flop. The American flopped two pair but the turn gave Timoshenko a miraculous set that helped him fill the gap in chips between him and McDonald. Seidel left the table as a millionaire; he won AUD$1,076,000.</p> <p>The heads-up play lasted around an hour and a half. The pot that decided the champ was played during level 22. Timoshenko open-raised and also called a three-bet from the button to see the 9-2-5 with two spades flop. He check/called the flop and did the same thing on an Ace of spades turn. On the river, McDonald bet all-in and the Ukrainian quickly called with his flush. The Canadian had only top pair good kicker and was severely crippled. He didn’t have the same amount of luck when he started shoving again: he was called by King-Queen and his Ten-Seven suited didn’t catch anything post-flop. McDonald finished second and won AUD$1,500,000. Timoshenko cashed in an impressive AUD$2,000,000.</p> <p>Congratulations to the Ukrainian on the second-best performance of his poker career. He was very close to beating his single tournament prize record of $2,149,960 won in 2009 at the Five-Star World Poker Classic.</p> Sat, 08 Feb 2014 23:44:39 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2527 Poker Community Reacts to Joe Hachem's "poker is dying" Comment Poker Community Reacts to Joe Hachem's "poker is dying" Comment <p><a href="" target="_blank">Joe Hachem’s latest remarks</a> in which he expressed regret that the game of "poker is dying" fired up the whole poker community. From the 2+2 forums to the high stakes professionals playing in the 2014 Aussie Millions tournaments, everybody seems to have taken sides on the never-ending battle of the generations.</p> <p><strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>, for example, agrees in many ways with what Hachem said four days ago. He called the younger generation “short-sided” because they think in terms of equity and expected value even when they are away from the poker table.</p> <p><em>“In the long term, creating more interest in the game and keeping people interested keeps the numbers up, keeps more new people coming into the game, whereas if everyone approaches it at a cut-throat kind of business level like bum-hunting online, then eventually the money will dry up,”</em> Negreanu said in a BLUFF interview.</p> <p>The Canadian explained that somebody from the new online generation must step up, interact with the fans and encourage people to play poker.</p> <p>On the other hand, 2007 WSOP Main Event winner <strong>Jerry Yang</strong> doesn’t believe poker is dying. He told that the passion for poker will never die out. He acknowledges the regression of the game but thinks that the world economic situation is in fact the real problem why there are less and less people playing poker.</p> <p>Yang was accused by Hachem of destroying the legacy of poker and of not being a good ambassador for the game.</p> <p>Meanwhile, on 2+2 forums, the opinions are divided. Players like <strong>Dani </strong>“Asnky” <strong>Stern </strong>agree with the Aussie, while other posters and experienced poker coaches blame legislation and high rake. Many see Black Friday and other poker scandals like UltimateBet as the tipping point that marked the regression of the game.</p> <p>The rake is also a problem for both live and online play.<em> “Rake is the biggest thing killing poker,”</em> user “iPUTnutsONtheTABLE” posted, giving examples of cash rakes up to 10% and caps of $5 or $6 and 25% tournament rakes.</p> <p>“LolZombies” stated in a post about the current state of online poker compared with what was happening four or five years ago when the prize pools were huge and the European networks were filled with recreational players. Now all those poker rooms have cut their guaranteed prizes to a quarter and are left with only bum-hunters.<em> “I can’t see online poker lasting another decade the way it’s heading. Something drastic needs to be done to get a mass influx of new players,”</em> he wrote.</p> <p>Nevertheless, there are still many players who believe that poker is in fact still alive and well. <em>“Poker is not dying, just changing, or maybe reverting to what it was pre TV Boom. The sky is not falling folks,” poster</em> “Bene Gersserit” assured us.</p> <p>Where do you stand?</p> Sat, 08 Feb 2014 13:44:41 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2526 Tom Dwan’s “Big Issue” with Full Tilt Tom Dwan’s “Big Issue” with Full Tilt <p>The Aussie Millions poker festival may be nearing the finish line but it still continues to shake up the poker world.</p> <p><strong>Tom Dwan</strong> is the latest professional who launched a bullet and is targeting the biggest online poker company in the world: the Rational Group. Dwan, who is currently playing the high stakes tournaments and cash games in Melbourne, is still upset that <a href="" target="_blank">Full Tilt Poker dropped him as a sponsored pro</a> almost two months ago and shared with the world some insights about why he and FT parted ways. Or at least he tried to…</p> <p><em>“I haven’t been comfortable playing on Full Tilt because I have a really big issue with it. I don’t really want to get into too much detail about it now, I’ll probably be saying something about that soon… Three or four months ago was when I found out how bad the issue was,”</em> the American said in a BLUFF interview yesterday. He was speaking about his online challenge with <strong>Dan</strong> “jungleman12” <strong>Cates </strong>and admitted that Cates knows about this “issue” and why the challenge didn’t continue after FT reopened its doors.</p> <p>Dwan explained that he didn’t want to get into the full extent of the problem because he slept only three hours due to playing poker all night and wouldn't go into details about something “that important” to him.</p> <p>Is it a blind bullet fired in anger or is “durrrr” preparing his heavy arsenal?</p> Sat, 08 Feb 2014 13:35:39 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2525 Aussie Millions Final Table Set for Sunday Aussie Millions Final Table Set for Sunday <p>The 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event is at the business end with the final table for the major Australian tournament now set.</p> <p>Seven players will make their return to the felt on Sunday afternoon for the last day of the event. Ami Barer will be the initial favourite going into the last day of play given the massive chip lead he has over the other six players.</p> <p>Barer will go into the final table with a stack of 6,570,000 chips to his name, which is 2.7 million more than the next highest stack. That stack belongs to California’s Vincent Rubianes, who finished Day 4 with 3,865,000 chips.</p> <p>That makes him the biggest present threat to Barer’s chip lead, but as we all know in poker, it is not over until it’s over.</p> <p>Andrew Phaedonas is the lone Aussie at the final table, and at 45 years old, is also the only remaining player not aged in their twenties. He will have 1,105,000 chips to his name when the final table gets underway, which makes him one of the short stacks. However, Phaedonas will likely have the home crowd on his side as he seeks to keep the Main Event title on Australian soil, meaning he should not be written off just yet.  </p> <p>Another player who most certainly cannot be counted out is Sorel Mizzi. The poker veteran is no stranger to the Aussie Millions and is, in fact, the only player in the history of the event to have landed at the final table more than once.</p> <p>Mizzi made the Main Event final table in 2010, where he finished in third place. He also finished in 16<sup>th</sup> place in 2009 and ninth place in 2011. Such a strong history at the Aussie Millions, along with a stack of 2,830,000 chips, makes Mizzi one to watch on Sunday.</p> <p>One player who did not make it to the final table was 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel. He was one of 36 players who made the cut to Day 4, but was eliminated in 25<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p>Another WSOP Main Event winner, Jason Mercier, was also eliminated on Day 4. The current chip leader ended Mercier's Aussie Millions title aspirations. Mercier went all-in pre-flop with pocket Sevens and was called by Barer, who was in front with pocket Nines. Barer hit a full house on the flop, which enabled him to eliminate Mercier in 18<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p>Another famous player who was knocked out on Day 4 was eight-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and 35-time WSOP final table achiever Erik Seidel. Seidel was also eliminated by Barer, whose Ace-King stayed strong on the board to send Seidel packing in 11<sup>th</sup> spot.</p> <p>The final table of the 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event is slated to take place Sunday afternoon at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. As always, PokerUpdate will keep readers posted with results of the final day of play.</p> Sat, 08 Feb 2014 07:44:51 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2524 PokerStars Aims to Break World Tournament Record .... Again PokerStars Aims to Break World Tournament Record .... Again <p>PokerStars has announced that it will attempt to rewrite Guinness World Record history once again and it needs 230,000 players with $1 to do so.</p> <p>The world record for the largest tournament with regard to player participation was set last June by - you guessed it - PokerStars, when ‘Mr.SlavaPro’ from Russia outlasted a field of 225,000 to etch his name in the record books. On February 23, 2014, the Russian's name will likely be removed as PokerStars aims to top the old record by 5,000 more entries.</p> <p>Though the $1 buy-in is affordable for even the most budget-minded micro-stakes players, a number of satellites are available that award tickets to the record-breaking event for even less. A $10 deposit is also good for a free ticket as long as ‘RECORD2014’ is used as the bonus code.</p> <p>The prize pool for the record-breaker is guaranteed at $300,000, with $25,000 of that going to the champion. At a player cap of 230,000, there is also a guaranteed overlay of $70,000. The top 60,000 players will receive payouts, meaning that slightly more than 26% of participants will finish in-the-money.</p> <p>Players who participate in the tourney can receive an official certificate from Guinness World Records to commemorate being part of the record-breaking tournament. Just £20 plus postage and handling charges will allow any player who desires so to confirm their participation with a personalized certificate.</p> <p>The tournament world record is being held on the same day that the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will be winding down. To promote national pride, PokerStars is permitting players to choose the flag of their home nations as their personal avatars until the end of February.</p> <p>So mark 13:00 ET on February 23 on your calendar to be part of the Guinness World Record for the largest poker tournament. And don't forget to enter well before the tourney gets underway due to the player cap of 230,000.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 23:34:27 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2523 Two Street Hold'em Set for Trial Run at Ultimate Poker Two Street Hold'em Set for Trial Run at Ultimate Poker <p>Trailing the pack in both regulated online poker markets of Nevada and New Jersey, Ultimate Poker is hoping that the rollout of a new Texas Hold'em variant know as Two Street Hold'em will attract new cash players to its sites.</p> <p>Two Street Hold'em consists of only two rounds of betting - pre-flop and post-flop. Players wager after receiving their hole cards, after which the entire board of five community cards are revealed. Another round of betting ensues before the winning hand scoops the pot.</p> <p>The brainchild of UP Poker Product Manager Chris Danek, Two Street Hold'em will make its debut on Monday, February 10 during a live play-money game in Las Vegas that will include UP pros Jason Somerville, Brent Hanks and Dan O’Brien. Two seats remain open and players who would like to participate are advised to send a tweet @cdanek or @UltimatePoker to request an invite.</p> <p>The stakes will be $1/2 with a $1 ante for the experimental test run that UP plans to offer at its Nevada site on a limited basis for four hours beginning February 14. Four more hours of Two Street Hold'em (TSH) will also be available at the site each day on Feb. 15 and 16.</p> <p>Danek explains that his job description includes "to find the things that people have fun doing, and bring them to our software." Expressing a profound love for poker, Danek also mentions that achieving success at Texas Hold'em requires a bit too much folding for his tastes. Craving more action, the concept of TSH was born.</p> <p>The new Texas Hold'em variant sounds intriguing, with the ante and fewer rounds of betting a possible recipe for increased action post-flop. UP is hoping that the game finds favor with recreational players and brings with it a wave of new money to online poker tables - which the industry sorely needs at this time.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 23:03:29 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2522 Latest GPI Player of the Year Standings: Panka Number 1 Latest GPI Player of the Year Standings: Panka Number 1 <p>When it comes to Poker, Dominik Panka had a tremendously great start to 2014. The Polish pro took out the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event in mid-January and followed it up by winning the EPT Deauville High Roller event last week.</p> <p>Those victories literally paid off for Panka as he netted around $1.8 million from both events. They have also paid off in the form of top level recognition from the <a href="">Global Poker Index (GPI), which has now put Panka at the top of its 2014 Player of the Year standings.</a></p> <p>Panka has a GPI score (the score used to determine the standings) of 397.13. That is a semi-comfortable lead over the other poker players on the list, with Dan Smith sitting in second place with a score of 385.81.</p> <p>Smith went up in the rankings following a second place performance in the $25,000 Challenge event at the Aussie Millions in Melbourne earlier this week. Smith also finished in the money in three different events at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure last month, one of which was the Main Event.</p> <p>Vanessa Selbst slipped to third place on the Player of the Year standings. However, with 383.14 points, she is comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack, with fourth place Alexander Denisov having a GPI score of 337.93.</p> <p>Selbst had a solid start to the year after she came in third place in two events at the PCA. She also landed in the money in the PCA Main Event, taking 42<sup>nd</sup> place in the first major poker tournament in 2014.</p> <p>It is still early in 2014 and the largest events, like the WSOP, have yet to be played. That ultimately means that the 2014 GPI Player of the Year is still truly up for grabs.</p> <p>While that is the case, Panka, as well as Smith and Selbst, have set the bar at a high level for the rest of the year in poker.  </p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 13:51:41 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2521 Ivey Poker Adds Bill Chen, Two Other Pros to Roster Ivey Poker Adds Bill Chen, Two Other Pros to Roster <p>Ivey Poker has added three more pros to its Ivey League roster, two of whom are best known for teaching mathematical strategies, while the third has appeared on a reality television show.</p> <p>Brian Roberts, Jerrod Ankenman and Bill Chen join the star-studded list of Ivey League pros <a href="">just one week</a> after Phil Ivey's website rolled out the coaching and training realm of the venture designed "to teach the world how to play better poker." The lineup of pros offering their poker expertise at three different subscription levels at now numbers 34.</p> <p>Roberts starred on "2 Months 2 Million," a reality show that tracked his progress and that of three other online pro players in their pursuit of attempting to win $2 million on the virtual felt in only two months. With a fourth place finish worth $534,435 at the 2011 WSOP Europe Main Event to his name, Roberts will focus on training Ivey Poker members at Pot-Limit Omaha cash games.</p> <p>Chen, the recipient of two WSOP gold bracelets, just missed a third in 2010 when he finished second to Ivey in a $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament. With a Ph.D. in mathematics adorning his wall at home, Chen is best known for devising the "Chen formula" that ranks starting hands with an assigned numerical value.</p> <p>Along with establishing starting hand criteria for maximum profitability on the felt, Chen co-authored "The Mathematics of Poker." He wrote the poker strategy book with Jerrod Ankenman, the third new addition to the Ivey League team. Ankenman transitioned to poker from bridge in 1999 and won a WSOP title in 2006 in Limit Hold'em. He followed that championship with a runner-up finish again at Fixed-Limit Hold'em at the WSOP two years later that was good for a payday of $307,380.</p> <p>"The Mathematics of Poker" combines quantitative techniques and game theory and formulates those principles to poker. Ankenman and Chen will team up again at Ivey League to create training videos based on strategic elements found in their book. Ankenman is interested in making the book's concepts “accessible to a wider of audience of people" by joining Ivey's hand-picked roster at Team Ivey.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 20:35:22 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2520 Senior Citizen Turns to Fraud to Satisfy Penchant for Online Poker Senior Citizen Turns to Fraud to Satisfy Penchant for Online Poker <p>A 74-year-old highly-respected former school teacher and part-time accountant entered a guilty plea in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, admitting to pilfering money via his position as an accountant at Eddie Rockets in order to fund his online poker play.</p> <p>While employed by the fast food chain, John Carlos altered cheque amounts and forged signatures from 2005 and 2008 to the tune of €135,000, depositing the ill-gotten gains at Paddy Power Poker. His addiction to poker on the virtual felt apparently developed in his sixties following a successful career teaching school children, the Irish Independent reported.</p> <p>A resident of Galway, Carlos' misdeeds caught up with him in 2008 when his employer, Eddie Rockets franchise owner Peter Fortune, received a letter from government offices requesting a tax audit. An independent accounting firm hired by Fortune to unearth bookkeeping discrepancies discovered the suspicious cheque activity perpetrated by Carlos.</p> <p>Carlos' guilty plea comes on the heels of an <a href="">armed robbery charge</a> levied against a senior citizen in the U.S. about three weeks ago for attempting to hold up a bank in order to make up for losses suffered while playing poker and betting on horses. John A. Dougherty, 73, faces nine counts related to a failed bank robbery in Florida in January.</p> <p>Carlos will be sentenced on June 5.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 19:09:22 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2519 Rakeback Approved for U.S. Full Tilt Affiliates Rakeback Approved for U.S. Full Tilt Affiliates <p>Former Full Tilt players in the U.S. tagged as affiliates in the remission process will be able to claim rakeback payments following a new update made at claims administrator Garden City Group's official website.</p> <p>The posting dated February 4 at states that the DoJ "does not consider rakeback an Affiliate payment and will include rakeback payments in approved remission amounts." That announcement comes on the heels of a January 31 posting by the GCG advising that 8,400 notices containing information regarding the submission of Petitions for Remission was sent to affiliates.</p> <p>A number of affiliates took to 2 + 2 to voice their displeasure following the late January posting and after receiving their notices by lambasting the DoJ for apparently using a formula that disqualified rakeback payments. Many of the posters insisted that the rakeback accrued in their Full Tilt accounts was in no way connected to affiliate endeavors.</p> <p>The DoJ is known to follow the thread dedicated to the Full Tilt remission process at 2 + 2 and one can certainly speculate that the complaints from angry players were heard loud and clear by the powers that be at the DoJ in charge of making such decisions. The February 4 GCG announcement clarifies the issue that had been troubling a number of affiliates since the January 31 posting.</p> <p>While discrepancies will likely exist in the claims to be submitted by affiliates in advance of the March 2 due date, the GCG's latest announcement makes it clear that the burden of proving that affiliate revenue is separate from monies received via rakeback falls upon each individual player. An explanation will be necessary to convince the DoJ that funds deducted from the balance due to being labeled as affiliate earnings are, in actuality, legitimate rakeback not subject to account balance deduction.</p> <p>The GCG has updated information regarding the remission process a number of times since the claim acceptance period began in the middle of September. While the entire process has been fraught with complications related to account balances of some players who have either disputed the amount the DoJ has on record or were labeled as affiliates and pros, the GCG has done an admirable job of keeping the lines of communication open and providing updates to those players.</p> <p>At this point in the remission process, $82 million is on its way to about 30,000 players with undisputed claims in three weeks or so. Roughly 8,400 affiliates need to file their claims by March 2, detailing the differentiation between rakeback and affiliate earnings. The fate of the account balances of pro players is still under review. Those pros will be duly notified via email and given 30 days to submit their Petitions for Remission once a decision regarding eligibility is made.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 18:16:24 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2518 EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final Schedule Announced EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final Schedule Announced <p>The final stop of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Season 10 is set.</p> <p>A total of 48 events with buy-ins ranging from as little as €110 to €100,000 will be organized at the Monte Carlo Casino between April 23 and May 2, 2014 as part of the EPT Monaco Grand Final poker festival.</p> <p>This year, the EPT will partner up with the France Poker Series (FPS) to offer action for low-stakes tournament players. The high-rollers will have their share with big-buy-in tournaments like the €10,600 Main Event, €25,500 High Roller or €100,000 Super High Roller.</p> <p>Even the cash players will be covered: 40 tables will run every day from noon until 6 AM with big blinds from €5 to €400.</p> <p><em>“The EPT has been leading the way in live poker for ten years, and this year’s EPT Grand Final will be the biggest and best ever. With more tournaments than ever before at lower buy-ins alongside our other events plus a wide range of cash games, a greater variety of player will be able to experience the EPT, creating a fuller festival atmosphere,”</em> EPT president <strong>Edgar Stuchly</strong> told PokerStars Blog.</p> <p>Last year, it was <strong>Steve O’Dwyer</strong> who took down the Main Event, winning €1,224,000 from the total prize pool of €5,310,200. <strong>Steven Silverman</strong> won the High Roller and with it €775,400 in a three-way deal while <strong>Max Altergott</strong> won the biggest prize of the series alongside the Super High Roller trophy: €1,746,400.</p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 16:47:22 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2517 Ivey League ready to take on South Africa’s WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg Ivey League ready to take on South Africa’s WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg <p>Big names are already suiting up for the big World Poker Tour (WPT) high-stakes event in South Africa scheduled for February 14 – 15, 2014.</p> <p>The series reserved for the big spenders, WPT Alpha8, will return in 2014 in Johannesburg and the field has just gotten tougher. After <strong>Erik Seidel</strong>, <strong>Antonio Esfandiari</strong>, <strong>Jason Mercier</strong> and <strong>Dan </strong>“jungleman” <strong>Cates</strong>, another two big poker names confirmed their presence in the $100,000 buy-in tournament: Ivey League founder <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> and one of the Team Ivey pros, <strong>Dan Smith</strong>.</p> <p>Ivey, who played just five live tournaments in 2013, his last one being the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe Mixed Max Event #3, wants to start the New Year in style by playing the highest stakes and also being around the most dangerous predators in the animal kingdom. All the participants will enjoy a three-day photo safari at the Ivory Tree Game Lodge where they will have the unique opportunity to see lions, leopards and cheetahs hunting in their natural habitat.</p> <p>Smith has already played four events in 2014 including the Aussie Millions AUD$25,000 Challenge where he finished second, winning over $244k. He won the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic back in December and is ready for more in Johannesburg.</p> <p>Also joining the high-stakes crew will be German <strong>Philipp Gruissem</strong>. He is looking for his third Alpha8 trophy in a row after winning the last two events in London in October 2013 and St. Kitts in November.</p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 16:39:31 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2516 Joe Hachem: I think poker is dying Joe Hachem: I think poker is dying <p>The 2005 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion, Australian <strong>Joe Hachem</strong>, doesn’t believe in the future of poker anymore. He launched a full-out attack on the new online generation, questioning their passion and heart for the game.</p> <p>The Aussie Millions ambassador is saddened by the young generation’s attitude towards poker. He said in a BLUFF interview that they only care about money and themselves and aren’t interested in making the game widely-known and fun for recreational players.</p> <p><em>“I think poker is dying and it’s dying because it’s no longer fun for people to play,”</em> Hachem warned. According to the Australian, the new online generation is responsible for this: they don’t talk at the table and don’t entertain the fish, the ones that make it all possible. He also mentioned about bum-hunting and about the new poker pros’ reluctance to play without weaker players at the table. <em>“As soon as the fish walks away from the table, the game breaks online or live now and I witnessed both,”</em> Hachem stated.</p> <p>He talked about <strong>Antonio Esfandiari</strong> as a great example of how to behave when recreational players are playing.</p> <p>The attacks continued with the former WSOP champ saying that the young generation is to blame for the low ratings of the poker TV shows. Only the hardcore players are interested in finesse tactics such as one's check/raise range or opening range from a certain position. <em>“Who gives a s---? The public wants to know what pushes his buttons, what sort of person is he, when is he upset, how well does he handle victory, is he a calm human being away from the table, what’s his background,”</em> Hachem explained.</p> <p>What do you think? Is poker dying? Is the new online generation responsible for the regression of the game?</p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 13:03:47 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2515 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - February 4, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - February 4, 2014 <p>Although online poker suffered its third straight week of declining player traffic, the pace was a mere 0.4% less than that of a week ago.</p> <p>Sit-N-Go action at the Twister Poker tables on the iPoker Network has finally pulled players away from the cash tables at the world's top online poker network. iPoker maintains its third place ranking by only 100 players over fourth place Full Tilt.</p> <p>A Build Your Bonus promotion or some other ring game promo at Full Tilt at this time would likely catapult PokerStars' sister site into third place while iPoker promotes its jackpot-style Winamax Expresso knock-off. Cash traffic at iPoker was down 9% last week, PokerScout reported.</p> <p>No poker rooms or networks among the top ten changed positions from the previous week. However, sixth place has crept into a tie with fifth place PartyPoker as of this writing with a seven-day average of 2,100 cash players. Ditto for ninth place Winamax, who tied eighth place Bodog at 1,500.</p> <p>Winamax and may see increased action at the tables in coming weeks following a recent campaign by the French regulating body ARJEL warning players in France to avoid unregulated poker sites. This is the second such awareness initiative put forth by ARJEL and the advertisements are likely to sway at least a few players.</p> <p>Speaking of unregulated markets, in the U.S., the Equity Poker Network (EPN) continues its ascent up the ladder of popular poker rooms and networks not servicing Delaware, Nevada or New Jersey. Still trailing Bovada, WPN, Merge, Chico, SealsWithClubs, and Revolution, respectively, EPN is aiming to be among the top five U.S.-friendly poker rooms by its six-month anniversary in May.</p> <p>SealsWithClubs (SWC), however, may not relinquish fifth place without a fight. The Bitcoin-friendly poker site is back on track after a DDoS attack late last month halted play for a couple days. SWC is currently tied with the Revolution Gaming Network with 130 cash players in a seven-day average, 30 ahead of upstart EPN.</p> <p>In New Jersey, online poker play decreased a bit as the Garden State hosted the NFL Super Bowl on Sunday. A <a href="">recent survey</a> indicates that more New Jersey residents favor marijuana legalization than those who support online gambling.</p> <p>The first month of the new year is in the books and with it went a 6% increase in player traffic over December, 2013. That's been a typical trend over the years, as the Christmas holidays pull grinders away from their work for a short time. That decrease in action is likely a much-needed break for many players who navigate multiple tables on computer screens for hours on end.</p> <p>The global online poker market remains at a 10% deficit from the number of players who were logging on and playing at this time last year. The effects of Black Friday 34 months ago still linger.</p> <p>About 30,000 U.S. Full Tilt players will be receiving some $82 million in reimbursement by the end of this month. That's a huge infusion of cash, some of which may land at the tables of unregulated U.S. poker rooms. It will be interesting to see if action on the virtual felt rises following the disbursement of funds via ACH to former U.S. Full Tilt players in three weeks or so.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 19:19:16 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2514 New Jersey Residents Favor Pot Over Online Gambling New Jersey Residents Favor Pot Over Online Gambling <p>A recent poll conducted in New Jersey found that more residents support the legalized recreational use of marijuana than those who favor online gambling.</p> <p>A PublicMind poll undertaken at Fairleigh Dickinson University discovered that 41% of 734 registered voters in the state are behind smoking weed if it were legal to do so. Only 32% support placing wagers online even though that activity has been legally available since Nov. 26.</p> <p>"The public's attitude was, for several years, warming up to online gambling," said Krista Jenkins, director of the survey. "But there has been a clear change in direction now that the practice has actually been legalized."</p> <p>It is believed that overkill with regard to online gambling marketing efforts has turned off a number of New Jersey residents. Several Atlantic City casinos have inundated the area with advertisements aimed at getting more players to gamble online. While over 150,000 player accounts have been established at the state's Internet gaming sites, a majority of the population has yet to be swayed.</p> <p>Just 10 months ago, 46% of New Jersey respondents opposed online gambling. That number climbed to 57% in this recent poll taken the week of Jan. 20-26, the Idaho Statesman reported. The earlier survey was done right after Governor Chris Christie signed online gambling legislation.</p> <p>Lawmakers look at such polls in an effort to determine public opinion with regard to potential legislation. If future polls indicate that support for marijuana is on the rise, it could signal time for a change.</p> <p>The legalized use of marijuana took center stage this past weekend in New Jersey as the NFL Super Bowl was played there between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. The teams come from the only two states in the U.S. that have legalized marijuana recreationally, Washington and Colorado.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 16:06:06 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2513 Nosebleeds Report: Two major online poker winners in January Nosebleeds Report: Two major online poker winners in January <p><strong>Viktor Blom</strong> is not alone anymore! <strong>Ben Tollerene</strong> has just joined the 2014 million-dollar online poker profit club and is ready for more in February.</p> <p>According to HighStakesDB, Tollerene, who plays on Full Tilt under the nickname “Bttech86,” won $1,444,718 in January alone. He is on a major heater if we look at how many hands he needed to reach this incredible milestone. He played only 8,690 hands and 95 sessions at the highest stakes in online poker in the first 31 days of the year. It was on January 22, 2014 when he hit the million-dollar mark. “Bttech86” played two sessions against “Isildur1” that day, one at the $400/$800 Pot-Limit Omaha stakes, and the other at the $500/$1,000 CAP PLO tables. In the first session, he recorded a $177k profit, while in the second one that lasted around two hours, Tollerene won $417k.</p> <p>During the first session, Tollerene took down the biggest PLO pot of the year so far. It was all about pre-flop raises and reraises in that hand. A big part of their stacks went in the middle pre-flop and by the turn, both players were all-in. “Bttech” had pocket Aces double-suited with not much improvement post-flop. Blom had A-Q-2-4 double-suited and improved his chances on the flop by catching a pair of Queens and a flush draw. Unfortunately for him, he bricked both streets twice as the Run It Twice option was enabled at that particular table. Because of that, Tollerene won the whole pot of $283,696.</p> <p>But that didn’t stop Blom from becoming the biggest winner of January. Although he lost two of the biggest pots of the month, Blom tops the leaderboard with a $2,154,113 profit. He was a true grinder to start 2014 as he played 48,517 hands and 426 sessions. As usual, he was involved in all types of poker variants from No-Limit Hold’Em and PLO to Limit Omaha 8-or-Better and 2-7 Triple Draw. Surprisingly, most of his winnings were from grinding the mixed-games: $1,373,677. “Isildur1” also won almost $800k at the FLO8 tables last month.</p> <p>Third in the leaderboard is unknown “mikki696.” He played exclusively PLO, cashing in $581,500 in 10,513 hands. The unknown had two great days at the beginning of the year, cashing in $300k.</p> <p><strong>Ike </strong>“luvtheWNBA” <strong>Haxton </strong>is the fourth biggest winner of January with +$393,494. He had a big day on January 21, crushing Blom at the $400/$800 NLHE tables. He won $563k that day and also the biggest pot of the month. Haxton caught a dream flop with the made flush and bet big three streets. “Isildur1” didn’t believe him and called all the way just to see how $322k can vanish in seconds.</p> <p>At close range sits American <strong>Doug </strong>“WGCRider” <strong>Polk</strong>. He won $390,731 in over 6k hands. He finished off the month with two great wins against "SallyWoo" and Blom. He took $70k from SallyWoo and $125k from Blom at the $500/$1,000 CAP NLHE tables.</p> <p>The biggest loser of January is the ever-present Danish poker player <strong>Gus Hansen</strong>. He had yet another million-dollar-losing month, leaking $1,367,890. Overall since 2007, Hansen lost over $16 million on Full Tilt. British <strong>Alex</strong> “IReadYrSoul” <strong>Millar</strong> is second in the red leaderboard with -$659,520. He lost all that money in just 1,389 hands at the NLHE tables against “Isildur1.” He didn’t play much on PokerStars, just 412 hands this year. How will he respond in February?</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 15:33:40 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2512 Sotirios Koutoupas Wins EPT Deauville Main Event Sotirios Koutoupas Wins EPT Deauville Main Event <p>Sotirios Koutoupas entered the EPT Deauville Main Event final table with a massive chip lead and ultimately left the final table with all the chips as he won the event.</p> <p>The Greek player beat a total field of 671 over the five-day event and took home €614,000 (around USD$827,730) for his stellar play. It is the first time a Greek poker player has won an EPT Main Event, as well as the biggest live tournament win for Koutoupas.</p> <p>The first player to be eliminated from the final table was Frenchman Anthony Lerust, who was the first final table scalp for Koutoupas. Lerust moved all-in pre-flop with pocket Aces – an expected move – and was called by the Greek, who had King-Queen of Diamonds.</p> <p>Koutoupas hit a pair on the turn, but Lerust and his Aces were still ahead. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, however, Koutoupas’ pair turned into two pair on the river, which won him the hand and eliminated Lerust in eighth place.</p> <p>Carlos De Benedittis was the next player to be eliminated from the event. It came at the hands of Oliver Price, who called Benedittis' (who had Ace-Ten of Diamonds) all-in raise with Ace-Queen offsuit. The Ace-Queen remained dominant throughout the board and the event soon was down to six players.</p> <p>Price then claimed his second straight final table scalp when he knocked Rustem Muratov out of the event in sixth spot. The short-stacked Muratov went all-in with Five-Six offsuit and was called by Price, who had Ace-Eight offsuit. It was the same story as the last knockout as Price’s hand remained the strongest on the board.</p> <p>Koutoupas was not to be outdone on the scalps, though, as he claimed a second final table scalp of his own when he eliminated Harry Law in fifth place. Law went all-in with pocket Aces and it looked like he was going to double up when the Greek called with Ace-King of Hearts.</p> <p>That all changed on the flop, however, as three hearts were shown, which gave Koutoupas a nut flush. There was almost no way Law could come back to win the hand, and he was eventually eliminated from the event in fifth place.</p> <p>Fourth place went to Eli Heath as he became Koutoupas’ third final table scalp. Heath was ahead when he moved all-in pre-flop with Ace-Eight offsuit. But with King-Jack offsuit, Koutoupas was also in with a solid chance to win the hand.</p> <p>That’s exactly what happened, as a Jack was one of three cards to come on the flop, good enough to win the hand for the Greek while eliminating Heath from the event.</p> <p>Heath’s elimination put Koutoupas and Eugene Katchalov in heads-up play with Koutoupas holding approximately a two-to-one advantage in stack sizes when play began. While Katchalov came in with a lot of high level poker experience to his name, there was simply no stopping the extremely good run of play of Koutoupas in this event.</p> <p>In the last hand of the tournament, Katchalov went all-in pre-flop with Ace-King offsuit and was called by Koutoupas, who had Ace-Three offsuit. Katchalov was a good chance to double up, but Koutoupas had a habit of come from behind victories in this event.</p> <p>This hand was no different, as the Greek hit trip Threes on the flop to put himself well ahead. The turn and river were of no help to Katchalov and, just like that, Koutoupas was officially crowned the winner of the EPT Deauville Main Event.</p> Sun, 02 Feb 2014 05:50:02 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2511 REPEAT! Dominik Panka wins EPT Deauville High Roller REPEAT! Dominik Panka wins EPT Deauville High Roller <p>After winning the Poker Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event last month, Pole <strong>Dominik Panka</strong> showed the poker world he is the real deal. He captured yet another big title by being the last man standing in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Deauville High Roller event.</p> <p>This time, Panka faced a much smaller field, but filled with high-stakes players and experienced sharks. And with the help of the poker gods, he ruled them all. <em>“To be honest, I had aces three times at the final table and also on the money bubble I eliminated another unlucky player with kings against my aces. I wasn’t really three-bet bluffing to be honest. I three-bet bluff twice at the final table, other than that all my three-betting was with good hands,”</em> the High Roller winner told PokerStars Blog.</p> <p>But it wasn’t all about pocket aces. Panka started the show eliminating rising-star <strong>Adrian Mateos Diaz</strong> in eighth place, calling his four-bet all-in with Ace-King. Diaz had Ace-Three suited with no help on the flop, turn or river.</p> <p>The show continued with <strong>Davidi Kitai</strong> choosing the worst possible spot to bluff all-in preflop. He five-bet shoved with Four-Three of cloves only to get called by Panka’s pocket Aces. Kitai finished sixth and cashed in €64,200.</p> <p>After that, Lebanese <strong>Albert Daher</strong> tried to step up and steal the show from the PCA Main Event winner. He eliminated <strong>Martin Schleich</strong> the easy way, holding bullets against King-Queen. The next player eliminated at the hands of the Lebanese was Czech <strong>Ondrej Vinklarek</strong>. Vinklarek raised all-in on the button with King-Jack and Daher called with Ace-Two. The flop brought a two on the board but also a gutshot for the Czech along with his six live outs. The Jack turn raised Vinklarek’s hopes, but the two river sealed the deal, leaving the Czech with a €101,000 prize.</p> <p>Soon after, Panka recaptured the spotlight with two interesting calls. First, he sent Swede <strong>Kent Lundmark</strong> home calling an 11 big-blind shove from the big blind with King-Seven. The Swede held Queen-Six and although he hit a Queen, he had to settle for the third spot and €122,000.</p> <p>The second call was huge and virtually won the tournament for Panka. Daher tried to steal a big pot from the Pole by betting three streets with only draws, but Panka didn’t believe him and hero-called with second pair. Left with five big blinds, Daher started shoving and couldn’t win the race in a King-Four vs Ace-Nine battle. He finished second for €189,000.</p> <p>Congratulations to Dominik Panka and his second major live tournament victory. He is now €272,000 richer. When will his next big score come?</p> Sat, 01 Feb 2014 23:10:38 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2510 Amateur Anthony Merulla wins WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Amateur Anthony Merulla wins WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open <p>After a shaky start and one cancelled tournament, the Borgata Winter Poker Open festival finished in style, crowning a new World Poker Tour (WPT) champion.</p> <p>It wasn’t about 2013 WPT Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble champ, <strong>Jarred Jaffee</strong>, who had the opportunity to become only the sixth player ever to win twice in the same season. It wasn’t even about chip leader <strong>David Paredes</strong>, who thought that the third time’s the charm after cashing in twice this season. It was all about an amateur who emerged victorious after starting the final day at the bottom of the chip lead.</p> <p><strong>Anthony Merulla</strong> had the fifth stack when six-handed play started and came out on top in the end proving once again that in poker everything is possible. The amateur didn’t waste any time in building his stack and on the 11th hand of the day, he won his first big pot. Although he had a big hand – pocket Queens – Merulla was severely dominated in a three-way battle against <strong>Jared Jaffee</strong> and Columbian <strong>Farid Jattin</strong>. Both Merulla and Jattin moved all their chips in the middle pre-flop calling big stack Jaffee. Jaffee had only pocket tens with the Columbian being the big dog, holding pocket Kings. The flop was safe and changed nothing, but the turn and the river were a real emotional rollercoaster. The turn gave Jaffee a set and the big chance to eliminate two players in one shot. The river, however, reshaped the odds once again and gave Merulla the flush and the best hand.</p> <p>He was the one who eventually eliminated the WPT Jacksonville champ just four hands later. Jaffee moved all-in pre-flop holding King-Jack with his last 14 big blinds and was called by Merulla, who had the slight lead with his Ace-Eight suited. The Ace turn wrapped things up for Jaffee, who finished fourth for $258,590.</p> <p>After that, the action slowed down and the three players left had to play 61 hands before one of the them hit the rail. <strong>Anthony Maio</strong> was the unlucky one to finish third; he open-raised the button with pocket Queens and Merulla called from the small blind. The flop was all diamonds with Maio firing a continuation bet and his opponent smooth calling. Maio fired the second barrel only to watch the amateur move all-in. He eventually called and was drawing dead against a flopped flush.</p> <p>The heads-up play was another marathon. The finalists played 95 hands and switched the chip lead time and time again before the final hand. And it was once again a queen that brought Merulla the victory. Paredes started the action min-raising from the small blind; Merulla called and led on a Q-6-3 flop. Eventually, after several raises and re-raises, all the chips were in the middle. Paredes had top pair, but Merulla had Queen-Three and two pair. Nothing changed on the turn and river with the amateur winning the big tournament and $842,379. Paredes cashed in $499,549.</p> <p><em>“I know (Paredes) has an edge on me heads-up. I thing I’ve got a little bit better at recognizing when people are better than me. I used to play online heads-up and I felt fairly comfortable playing heads-up. I’ve just played my game, ran pretty well in some spots and was able to beat him one time,”</em> the winner said in a WPT interview.</p> Sat, 01 Feb 2014 21:20:44 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2509 Caesars Eyes Acquisition of Revel, But May be Denied Caesars Eyes Acquisition of Revel, But May be Denied <p>Recent reports alluded to the possibility that Caesars Entertainment was contemplating a bid on the Revel Casino Hotel, but at least one lawmaker believes it may be unlawful for them to acquire another Atlantic City gaming establishment.</p> <p>New Jersey Sen. Jim Whelan brought up the matter of "undue economic concentration" should Caesars be allowed to takeover the Revel. Caesars already operates Showboat, Harrah's, Bally's and Caesars Atlantic City. Adding yet another casino to the mix would make New Jersey's gambling industry much too dependent on one company, Whelan told the Press of Atlantic City.</p> <p>The senator also pointed to the fact that Caesars recently acquired the Atlantic Club via a joint bid with Tropicana and has no plans to open a casino at that location. He called the prospect of Caesars also purchasing the Revel as “bad for Atlantic City, and more importantly, it’s against the current law.”</p> <p>That law is not clearly defined mathematically with regard to the amount of control allowable to any one gaming company on the Eastern Seaboard. According to 2013 statistics, Caesars laid claim to $1.1 billion of the $2.9 billion in revenue generated by Atlantic City casinos. That comes out to about 38%.</p> <p>But revenue is not the only factor in determining whether one company has too much concentration of the industry. Also to be analyzed are such considerations as the number of table games, slot machines, hotel rooms, the overall market situation, and how another license for a particular operator would benefit the growth of Atlantic City gaming.</p> <p>Whelan could not quantify exactly how much control would be too much for any one company such as Caesars. But he did utter the famous quote attributed to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who was asked to define pornography regarding a case before him in 1964. "I don’t know how to define it," Whelan said, "but I know it when I see it."</p> <p>Following the closing of the Atlantic Club on Jan. 13, there are now 11 casinos operating in Atlantic City. The Revel celebrated its grand opening less than two years ago in 2012. That opening turned out to be not so grand when the casino filed for bankruptcy a year later. It is currently owned by a group of hedge fund investors. That group put the Revel Casino Hotel on the shopping block late in 2013 and bids are being accepted for roughly two more weeks.</p> <p>Whelan took his concerns to both the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and Governor Chris Christie's office. The DGE would analyze claims of undue economic concentration should a possible sale get nearer to the finish line, a spokesperson said.</p> <p>The same topic was addressed almost nine years ago when Harrah's and Caesars merged. The Casino Control Commission signed off on the merger, as did the DGE. However, warnings were issued by a DGE lawyer that rules regarding excessive industry control by any one company needed to be tightened up for the overall good of Atlantic City gaming.</p> <p>Before 1995, a state statute limited the number of casino licenses to any one entity at three. The law was amended when Donald Trump requested to open the Trump Regency, the fourth Atlantic City gaming establishment under the real estate mogul's control.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 22:56:26 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2508 Chris Moorman Writing Book on Poker Strategy Chris Moorman Writing Book on Poker Strategy <p>A ton of players have great respect for Chris Moorman and his ability to win more than $10 million in online tournaments and those players will soon learn the secrets to his success in a book to be released later this year.</p> <p>"Moorman's Book of Poker" will hit the U.S. in November and Europe the following month, just in time to make an awesome Christmas gift for those online grinders who hope to step up their game by learning from the best. Moorman will analyze and break down more than 100 hand histories during tournament play.</p> <p>Moorman recently told PokerNews that he has yet to coach other players or release a training video despite being asked by many to do so. The book will be his first foray into the world of teaching, imparting his wealth of knowledge that is sure to prove beneficial to a number of players who hope to emulate his success.</p> <p>In addition to his prowess on the virtual felt, Moorman also has almost $3 million in live tourney cashes. So the book won't be exclusively for online players, but for "anyone that wants to take their game to the next level."</p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 15:05:19 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2507 Full Tilt Website Lists Tour Ambassadors and Black Card Pros Full Tilt Website Lists Tour Ambassadors and Black Card Pros <p>Full Tilt Poker recently added new tabs to its website that identify the current tour ambassadors and Black Card pros.</p> <p>In addition to Gus Hansen and Viktor 'Isuldur1' Blom, "The Professionals" who represent Full Tilt both live and online, a total of 14 pro players are on the list of "Tour Ambassadors." Those ambassadors hail from seven different countries, with Brazilians leading the list at four. The UK and Australia each have three players on the list, while one tour ambassador comes from each of Hungary, Romania, Ireland, and Croatia.</p> <p>The 14 Full Tilt tour ambassadors are: Andras Nemeth - Hungary; Martins Adeniya - United Kingdom; Carlos Marques Caputo - Brazil; Robert Cezarescu - Romania; Dermot Blain - Ireland; Hana Soljan - Croatia; Larissa Metran - Brazil; Leonardo Martins - Brazil; Ben Jenkins - United Kingdom; Tom Grigg - Australia; Rafael Caiaffa - Brazil; Sinem Melin - United Kingdom; Jonathan Karamalikis - Australia; Liam O’Rourke - Australia.</p> <p>The <a href="">Black Card pros</a> who were named by only their screen names earlier this month are also listed under separate tab at the FTP website. The first batch of Black Card pros total 13 and come from eight different countries. Three each from Russia and the UK, two from the Netherlands, and one from Austria, Germany, Canada, Sweden and Serbia.</p> <p>The Black Card pros won prize packages worth $20,000 and cashback of 100% during their reign. Remember that any player can become a Black Card pro by opting in and excelling on the Full Tilt felt during a four-month qualifying period. The latest period began on January 1 and will end April 30.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 23:40:57 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2506 888 Revenue Up 10% in Q4 888 Revenue Up 10% in Q4 <p>888 Holdings released its revenue tallies for Q4 of 2013 that showed an increase in all but one vertical, resulting in 10% growth to close out the year.</p> <p>Revenues reached $107 million in the last three months of 2013, increasing $10 million from the $97 million reported in Q4 of 2012. That boost in revenue was $4 million more than analysts had predicted, eGR reported. For the entire year, 888 took in $401 million, a 7% rise from $376 million in 2012.</p> <p>During Q4 in 2013, 888 rolled out online gambling offerings in the newly-regulated markets of Delaware and New Jersey. It now holds the distinction of being the only operator in all three states that have thus far enacted online gambling legislation that includes Nevada's poker-only scheme last April.</p> <p>“Our strong result has again been driven by the progress we have made in newly regulated markets as well as a continued excellent performance in casino and further market share gains in poker," said 888 CEO Brian Mattingley.</p> <p>Early morning stock trading saw 888 shares rise from 5p to 144p on news of the Q4 growth. A financial analyst at Panmure Gordon warns that further profits in the U.S. may be limited until other states join the online gambling party, but noted that 888 has positioned itself well to become players in any new U.S. markets that may open up.</p> <p>The new year has begun where the old one left off for 888, as the first four weeks have seen a revenue increase of 3% over the same period last year.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 23:24:48 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2505 Gaelle Baumann Winamax Photo Shoot Turns Heads Gaelle Baumann Winamax Photo Shoot Turns Heads <p>While poker sites often hope to get maximum exposure out of their sponsored pros, most of those pros wouldn't look as good in red leather as Gaelle Baumann did at a recent Winamax photo shoot.</p> <p>The accompanying photo appeared on Instagram and will undoubtedly call a bit of attention to the lone female pro player among the ten who represent Team Winamax.</p> <p>Since <a href="">just missing the final table</a> at the 2012 WSOP Main Event and earning $590,442, Baumann has cashed at seven live events. Her biggest score among those came three months after the WSOP 10th place finish at the EPT San Remo where 11th place in the €2,000 + 200 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry was good for €12,800 ($16,527).</p> <p>Baumann's deepest run occurred at the WSOPE in the Ladies Event last October in France. She landed 7th after buying in for €1,000 + 100 and took home €3,200 ($ 4,325). Her most recent cash came in Johannesburg, South Africa in November at the WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic. A 24th place finish in the $3,300 + 300 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event returned $5,278, according to the Hendon Mob database.</p> <p>Baumann told GPI last year that bubbling the WSOP Main Event final table 1 and 1/2 years ago was "my best and worst poker experience at the same time." She went on to add that although that 10th place finish created "a lot of frustration and the feeling that I just missed a huge opportunity in my life," the 30-year-old eventually was able to find peace and is "very pleased with my performance."</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 17:47:41 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2504 Phil Ivey's Ivey League Launch Far From Smooth Phil Ivey's Ivey League Launch Far From Smooth <p>At long last, the poker training realm of Phil Ivey's website known as the Ivey League launched yesterday, but ran into some difficulties and was forced to shut down for awhile.</p> <p>A tweet from Ivey Poker following the rollout informed players that "You guys love the new site so much that we've exceeded our bandwidth. Please stay with us as we work to resolve some technical issues."</p> <p>Players who have been waiting since October 2012 when <a href="">Ivey first announced</a> that he would launch a poker training website in order "to teach the world how to play better poker" apparently overwhelmed the Ivey Poker servers.</p> <p>That was yesterday afternoon. Ivey Poker took to Twitter seven hours later to advise the poker community that "Things should be back to normal on the Ivey League site. Busted servers are no fun but we appreciate the love!"</p> <p>Ivey is regarded by many to be perhaps the best all-around poker player in the world with nine WSOP gold bracelets on his resume. His lifetime earnings exceed $20 million when combining live and online play. When Ivey talks, poker players listen, and you can bet that many want to hear what he and his hand-picked coaches at Ivey League have to say about successful poker strategy.</p> <p>Those coaches run the gamut of tourney pros and cash game specialists from around the world. It's a diverse staff of poker experts that includes recognizable names from both online and live play. The coaches will provide training to players from beginner to advanced under three separate subscription packages offered at the Ivey League.</p> <p>'Undergraduate' is for poker rookies and provides free access to introductory videos and the Ivey League forums. 'Bachelors' is the intermediate level geared toward players who are ready to begin specializing their skills. In addition to the same content available at the Undergraduate level, Bachelors can sign on for $9 per month and will be privy to strategy videos to maximize profitability at "micro to small stakes." A yearly subscription at the Bachelor tier is also available for $70.</p> <p>Those players ready to advance their Ivey League education and "receive access to content from the greatest poker coaches in the game, including Phil Ivey," can subscribe to the 'Masters' plan and pay either $75 a month or $500 per year. Undergraduate and Bachelor level poker training, as well as an assortment of coaching designed for mid and high stakes play, is available at the highest tier of the Ivey League. That includes a question and answer session each month with an esteemed Ivey League coach that occurs in real time.</p> <p>Some of those coaches are Greg Merson, Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger, Patrik Antonius, Aaron “aejones” Jones, Cole South, Dan “Irishman07″ Myers, and Jennifer Harman. All will offer a variety of instruction that includes reviewing hands and debating strategy.</p> <p>"I feel like there’s a big hole in the poker community," Ivey told ESPN 15 months ago upon launching "I speak with people all the time about poker, and people say they’d love to learn how to play but they don’t know where to start. It’d be nice to teach people how to play the correct way."</p> <p>Ivey now aims to fill that hole and teach players to make the proper decisions on the felt. Players are encouraged to signup for free at the Undergraduate level at to check it out.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 29 Jan 2014 23:01:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2503 Sheldon Adelson Casino Snake-Free? Sheldon Adelson Casino Snake-Free? <p>The power of social media and the negative effects sometimes caused by the entire world having access to mediums in which anybody with a voice can be heard reared its ugly head recently when a rumor that one of Sheldon Adelson's casinos was infested with snakes picked up steam via Facebook.</p> <p>The Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania fell victim to the gossip when a resident of that state visited a doctor due to a possible insect bite. The doctor reportedly told the patient that it was a snakebite and asked if he had recently visited the Sands Casino, <a href="">the Inquisitr reported</a>.</p> <p>“You’re the 14th patient I’ve had this week who got bit at the Sands,” the doctor said.</p> <p>Apparently, a Facebook post got misconstrued and it led to many social media visitors believing that the casino had a snake problem. The misunderstanding became so widespread that it forced the casino to issue the following statement:</p> <p>“There have been no reported incidents of snakes on our property. We do not allow any animals on property with the exception of service animals.”</p> <p>Somehow, this being the Year of the Snake was believed to be tied in with the rumor advancing to the point that the casino had to comment on it.</p> <p>Although many may think of Adelson as a snake in the grass for making a fortune on casino gambling but aiming to wipe out online poker and gambling through his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, there is no truth to the rumors of snakes in his casino.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 29 Jan 2014 19:55:02 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2502 California Sen. Rod Wright Guilty of Voter Fraud and Perjury California Sen. Rod Wright Guilty of Voter Fraud and Perjury <p>Sen. Roderick Wright, the sponsor of two California online poker bills both introduced in 2012, faces a possible eight years behind bars after being found guilty of perjury and fraudulent voting.</p> <p>Wright pled not guilty to eight counts - five for fraudulent voting, two counts of perjury, and a single count of filing a false declaration of candidacy - but was convicted of them all in a jury trial. Jurors sided with testimony that showed Wright to be domiciled in a home outside of his Inglewood district, a no-no according to state statutes.</p> <p>While he did also have a home within his district, Wright was found to be there infrequently and was done in by testimony from his Baldwin Hills neighbors who saw him at that location most often. Wright's case was not helped by evidence showing his closet at the Baldwin Hills address filled with clothes and a number of luxury autos there, the L.A Times reported.</p> <p>In February 2012, Wright and Sen. Darrell Steinberg co-sponsored SB 1463, an intrastate Internet poker-only bill. The proposal failed to gain momentum. In December of the same year, Wright was the lone sponsor of SB 51, which was quite similar to the measure he had supported with his colleague 10 months earlier. That bill also was never voted upon by lawmakers.</p> <p>The state's racetracks, cardrooms and Indian tribes could not find common ground among the particulars of each proposal. Indications are that the gaming interests in California may be getting closer to reaching a compromise, but Wright may not be around to see it. Should two-thirds of his fellow senators vote to oust him from office, Wright will be forced to leave the state Senate while his attorneys appeal his conviction.</p> <p>"We hold Sen. Wright in high regard," Steinberg said, speaking on behalf of himself and his colleagues.</p> <p>Wright is free on $45,000 bond and his sentencing is scheduled for March 12. The fate of online poker in California remains up in the air, as does the fate of Wright until his fellow lawmakers decide what to do and the appeals court looks over his case.</p> <p>California tops the 50 states in terms of population. Should an online poker bill become approved in the Golden State, it could have a tremendous effect on other states that may be contemplating similar legislation. But at least one report from a noted gaming expert indicates that a greater likelihood of Internet poker finding approval in California would be in 2015 rather than this year.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 29 Jan 2014 18:55:29 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2501 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - January 28, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - January 28, 2014 <p>After one week in sixth place, PartyPoker moved back up to its familiar fifth place ranking in worldwide cash player traffic, pushing down out of the top five.</p> <p>PokerStars continues to dominate the online poker industry as it has since shortly after the UIGEA was enacted in October, 2006. Among the rest of the top five, only 200 cash players separate each of the poker rooms and networks. Holding down second through fifth place are 888poker, iPoker, Full Tilt, and PartyPoker, respectively.</p> <p>In other changes among the top ten poker sites, Bodog advanced one position to eighth, sending Winamax down to ninth. Also gaining one spot in the rankings was MPN, who moved back into the top ten. In so doing, MPN nudged another PokerStars offering,, to 11th place.</p> <p>While slower cash action was anticipated on the iPoker Network due to the recent launch of Twister Poker on its SitNGo tables, the rollout commenced on only a handful of skins. Plans are for the rest of the network to eventually catch up, but until then, ring game traffic will likely remain somewhat stable.</p> <p>The Merge Gaming Network saw traffic lessen by 4% last week, as players from Delaware and New Jersey have posted on 2 + 2 that they are being locked out of skins such as Carbon Poker and Sportsbook. The missives from customer service sent to players tend to say things like "we no longer offer online gaming services to members in Delaware" or that "your account has been banned as per restrictions set in your state."</p> <p>Speaking of Delaware, that state's online gambling regime took in <a href="">revenue of only $253,000 for the first two months of operation</a>. That figure represents not only online poker, but a few other casino games as well. Delaware online poker sites average less than two dozen cash game players over a seven-day period. The First State could seriously use the boost that interstate partnership agreements would provide.</p> <p>Things are looking better in New Jersey, where a new high in player traffic was set last week. Much of the spike in action is attributable to a 100% up to $400 reload bonus offered by That allowed player traffic to skyrocket almost 30% at the Caesars site. But the All American Poker Network and Party Borgata also saw an increase of activity on the cash tables. The former saw an 8% rise in ring game action, while the latter enjoyed 7% more players than the week before.</p> <p>The seven-day average player count tumbled almost 50% at SealsWithClubs as the Bitcoin-only poker room was forced to shut down for a couple days. A "nasty" distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack was the culprit. The poker room is now up and running once again, with a post on the website thanking "all our loyal players for sticking with us."</p> <p>The overall online poker industry saw a 2% decline in player traffic last week, PokerScout reported. Last year at this time, cash tables at poker rooms and networks worldwide had 10% more players than are logging on now.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 23:36:52 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2499 Poker and Racetrack Losses Prompt Bank Robbery Poker and Racetrack Losses Prompt Bank Robbery <p>A senior citizen on a fixed income claims that a losing streak at horse racing and poker was the catalyst that caused him to rob a Florida bank with a loaded shotgun last week.</p> <p>John A. Dougherty, 73, disguised his face by wearing black underwear when he instructed two tellers at a TD Bank in St. Lucie County to load a Walmart bag with $20 and $50 bills. The tellers complied, but also hid a tracking device within the bag, the Palm Beach Post reported.</p> <p>After receiving the loot, Dougherty ordered seven bank employees and one customer to get on the ground and count to 100. He made his getaway in a Chevy Suburban with Minnesota plates. The activation of a silent alarm and a call to 911 by alert bank workers allowed law enforcement to make use of both the detection device and a description of Dougherty's vehicle to apprehend the wayward gambler in a matter of minutes.</p> <p>Dougherty was found with some $1,800 in cash and the shotgun. He reportedly admitted to the bank job, telling the arresting officer that he needed the dough because he "gambled away his money on horses and Texas Hold'em,” the arrest report stated.</p> <p>Dougherty faces eight counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and an armed robbery charge despite telling the police he had no intention of using the shotgun.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 22:36:36 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2498 Delaware Online Gambling Revenue Extremely Low Delaware Online Gambling Revenue Extremely Low <p>With less than one million residents, nobody expected Delaware's intrastate online gambling regime to be gangbusters from the get-go. But pulling in only $253,000 in revenue for November and December combined is far lower than state officials had projected.</p> <p>Only about 4,000 players have signed up to gamble online in The First State. If more players don't find their way to log on at the Internet gaming sites operated by Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway and Delaware Park, the first year of operation will bring in only about $1.7 million.</p> <p>State officials had estimated $5 million in revenue in year one, a goal that may be hard to achieve. The first $3.75 million goes directly to the state, with the racinos beginning to get a cut after that total is reached.</p> <p>“When you are doing online gaming in a state like Delaware, there is just not enough population to bring in much revenue,” Jay Masurekar told Delaware Online. “Unless you have bigger states involved, it’s not going to work,” the KeyBanc Capital Markets investment banker added.</p> <p>Those bigger states are Nevada and New Jersey. Discussions regarding partnership agreements to boost online poker player liquidity have been broached among the three states, but the talks have been of a preliminary nature.</p> <p>Delaware remains plagued with geolocation issues that have kept some state residents who live near the border from gaining access to the sites. Depositing via credit cards has also been a problem, with Lottery Director Vernon Kirk indicating that 30% of Mastercard users and 70% of Visa card holders are being rejected by credit card companies who continue to question the legality of processing payments for Internet gambling sites.</p> <p>State officials still consider Delaware's online gambling regime to be going through growing pains and believe that action will pick up as time moves on. Increased promotion and marketing efforts, as well as the addition of new online casino games, are on tap in order to attract more players.</p> <p>“It might be two, three years from now, we might say this [online gambling] is a nice little business in Delaware,” said Frank Fantini of Fantini Research, a Delaware gaming publication. “But right now, it’s pretty slow.”</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 19:21:37 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2497 Merge Network Banning Players in Regulated States Merge Network Banning Players in Regulated States <p>Reports from various players at online poker forum 2 + 2 indicate that the Merge Gaming Network is no longer allowing players from regulated states such as New Jersey and Delaware to log onto network skins that include Carbon Poker.</p> <p>A thread entitled "Banned from Carbon Poker" began at 2 + 2 last Thursday by New Jersey resident 'riverrunsred,' who posted an email he received from Carbon Poker. The email informed him that his "account has been banned as per restrictions set in your state." Posters who play at other Merge skins such as Sportsbook have chimed in with similar notices that will apparently end their playing days at the U.S.-friendly network.</p> <p>Another poster from Delaware identified as 'Buffalo_Chiggens' informed his fellow players that Carbon Poker advised him that "we no longer offer online gaming services to members in Delaware." That's bad news for Delaware players who require more action than the state's regulated sites offer. Delaware Poker currently averages less than two dozen cash players, according to PokerScout.</p> <p>The entire 2 + 2 thread only has 30 posts as of this writing, with a majority of the locked out players indicating that refunds will be made available in due course. One poster reports difficulties dealing with customer service in arranging to have his funds returned.</p> <p>Should the banishment of players in regulated states become an industry norm for online poker rooms and networks who cater to the U.S., it could leave some players with no options to play online poker. Geolocation problems are still being reported by players in both Delaware and New Jersey who are having no success at gaining access to the regulated sites in their home states.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 18:03:23 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2496 Sheldon Adelson Coalition Declares War on State Level Sheldon Adelson Coalition Declares War on State Level <p>Billionaire casino honcho Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling have announced a new approach that will take aim at individual states that may be considering online poker and gambling legislation.</p> <p>So says Andy Abboud, the Las Vegas Sands Vice President of Government Relations and Community Development who has been anointed chief lobbyist for Adelson in his crusade to wipe out online gambling in the U.S. Many will recall that Abboud testified rather unconvincingly before a House subcommittee last month that debated "The State of Online Gaming."</p> <p>"We are prepared to mount full campaigns in every state where a bill is introduced to legalize any form of online gaming," Abboud told Jon Ralston of Ralston Reports. "We will also be doing education in all states to prevent the introduction of any bills."</p> <p>The coalition's attack on online gambling at the state level complements its war on the federal level that included the recent drafting of an Internet Gambling Control Act that seeks to overturn a 2011 DoJ decision that paved the way for states to enact online gambling legislation. Adelson has previously vowed to spare no expense in his campaign to influence lawmakers to see things his way.</p> <p>Abboud was one of a handful of witnesses who provided testimony Dec. 10 at a House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade hearing that centered around online poker legislation introduced by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). Abboud's stance on behalf of Adelson was cited by at least two lawmakers as being hypocritical. Adelson has made his fortune operating casinos located throughout the world.</p> <p>The American Gaming Association and Poker Players Alliance have increased efforts to promote online poker and gambling legislation in response to Adelson's recently-formed coalition. It appears as though a full-scale war is developing, as Abboud mentioned an approach designed to "block legalization state by state" and further added that "we are going to make it [online gambling] the plague."</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 26 Jan 2014 21:00:32 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2495 Full Tilt Remission Payments by End of February Full Tilt Remission Payments by End of February <p>U.S. Full Tilt Poker players whose remission claims were undisputed can expect reimbursement by the end of February.</p> <p>Some $82 million is headed to the pockets of about 30,000 players who have been waiting for almost three years to be reunited with their funds. An official notice was posted by claims administrator Garden City Group (GCG) at the website late Friday.</p> <p>Funds will be disbursed electronically via ACH to the bank accounts of the approved petitioners. Further information regarding the payment process will be revealed within 2-3 weeks at the GCG website.</p> <p>Simple arithmetic tells us that the average amount of each of the 30,000 claims comes to roughly $2,733. The $82 million approved for payment is a bit more than half of the estimated $150 million that is owed to former U.S. Full Tilt players.</p> <p>The remaining funds that have not yet been approved for release belong to players whose Petitions for Remission do not align with the amounts that the DoJ has on file, as well as the petitions of affiliates and pro players. There is no word yet on when those claims will be fully addressed. But it is apparent that the undisputed claim payments will be tended to first before the more complex claims are dealt with.</p> <p>The GCG had previously estimated that the first batch of payments would be completed by March 31, 2014. The new information shortens that deadline by one month, welcome news to players who had at first questioned the claims administrator's ability to successfully complete the remission process back in mid-September when petition submissions began.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 26 Jan 2014 19:38:50 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2494 Suspect arrested in Borgata counterfeit chips case Suspect arrested in Borgata counterfeit chips case <p>One week after the cancellation of the Borgata Winter Poker Open Event #1, the authorities managed to make an arrest in the counterfeit chips case.</p> <p><strong>Christian Lusardi</strong> from North Carolina was arrested yesterday at an Atlantic City motel and was charged with rigging a publicly exhibited contest, criminal attempt, and theft by deception. The charges were made after the authorities discovered $2.7 million worth of counterfeit tournament chips in a sewer pipe at Harrah’s Resort and Casino where Lusardi stayed during the cancelled tournament.</p> <p>Prior to this discovery, 800,000 tournament-value chips were found in play in the first event of the Borgata Winter Poker Open. Because of that, the $2 million guaranteed tournament was suspended and ultimately cancelled with 27 players left in the game.</p> <p>It is unclear what will happen with the $2.3 million prize pool or the 4,812 total entries. A total of 423 players already cashed in their winnings ranging from $1,082 to $6,338 before the event was cancelled. The winner of the tournament was set to receive $372,123 in prize money, while the runner up would have been $241,899 richer.</p> <p>Lusardi’s bail is $300,000 with no option to pay 10% in cash to win his freedom. This isn’t his first visit to jail. Lusardi had prior legal troubles in 2008 when he was charged with gambling and illegal alcohol sales.</p> Sat, 25 Jan 2014 17:34:55 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2493 Amsterdam’s court calls poker a game of skill Amsterdam’s court calls poker a game of skill <p>The game of poker has scored yet another goal in Holland in a match against the state’s punitive Gambling Act.</p> <p>In 2010, poker player and tournament organizer <strong>Steve van Zadelhoff</strong> won a case in court stating that poker is not a game of chance, but a game of skill. Four years later, 'the game of skill' has won another battle against 'the game of chance.'</p> <p>According to NL Times, three men were acquitted by the Amsterdam court after being charged of violating the Gambling Act. Seven years ago, the three men were caught organizing a live poker tournament. The verdict was clear: poker is first and foremost a game of skill, not of chance. The court needed seven years to reach the decision because of extensive research conducted by a group of experts regarding “the skill's game.”</p> <p><em>“The game of poker has evolved tremendously over the years. Many people play the game today, study books and experts acknowledge the skill level has increased to a point where one can no longer speak of a game of chance,”</em> attorney <strong>Peter Plasman</strong> said after the acquittal. He represented the three men charged with violating the Gambling Act. Plasman was also on van Zadelhoff's side four years ago.</p> <p>However, this does not mean the Dutch will now be able to organize live poker tournaments when and where they please. They will still have to face the consequences even if that only means to pay for a long trial. Also, another judge could very well rule that poker is a game of chance. In fact, the current Dutch gambling law is unclear when it comes to poker both live and online.</p> <p>The Gambling Act stipulates that offering or promoting games of chance without a license is prohibited. Holland Casino is the exclusive licensee for casino gambling, including live poker. And since the law is quite old (the legal basis is found in the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act of 1964), it doesn’t mention anything about the online market. Therefore, gambling online is prohibited.</p> <p>It is still unknown if the prosecution will appeal. In 2010, the prosecutor appealed against the court’s decision but withdrew the appeal two years later. What will happen this time?</p> Sat, 25 Jan 2014 16:04:08 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2492 Iowa Lawmaker Makes Case for Online Poker Iowa Lawmaker Makes Case for Online Poker <p>An Iowa lawmaker has come out in favor of online poker legislation less than two weeks after a state gaming association president indicated the likelihood that the Hawkeye State would not be considering such a proposal in 2014.</p> <p>Sen. Brian Schoenjahn (D-Arlington) told the Quad City Times of his concern that Iowans who visit unregulated online poker sites located offshore are afforded no consumer protections that regulation would provide. He mentioned the fact that logging on and playing at gaming websites that are not overseen by any government authority within the U.S. could lead to problems beyond the failure of the processing of withdrawal requests.</p> <p>“My fear is that it’s like the Target credit card scam, except there are no protections,” Schoenjahn said. “If people are going to do it [play online poker] anyway, maybe Iowa ought to take a piece of the pie and regulate it.”</p> <p>That piece of the pie may be worth $3-$13 million annually based on research conducted on behalf of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. The study found that some 150,000 Iowa residents log on and play online poker.</p> <p>But don't expect any online poker proposals to be introduced in Iowa this year. Iowa Gaming Association president and CEO Wes Ehrecke said roughly 10 days ago that the wait and see approach would be employed at present. Ehrecke told Casino Enterprise Management that a shorter legislative session in 2014 is another reason why an Internet poker bill will not be introduced.</p> <p>That sentiment was echoed by Iowa Lottery Director Terry Rich, who indicated that the progress made in the online poker regimes in New Jersey and Nevada would be scrutinized before the state legislature looks at a new proposal. State officials are also monitoring movement with regard to online gambling at the federal level, of which there currently is none.</p> <p>Online poker proposals failed to advance the past two years in Iowa. The Iowa Senate approved a measure by a 29-20 vote in 2012, but it died in the House. In 2013, a similar Internet poker bill failed to gain traction in a Senate committee.</p> <p>Commercial brick and mortar casinos in Iowa showed less than promising results in 2013. The addition of online poker to the mix could increase revenue much the same way that it has in New Jersey. Despite Sen. Schoenjahn's concerns, it looks like that revenue boost will have to wait until at least 2015.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 22:07:49 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2491 South Africa to Consider Online Gambling Legislation South Africa to Consider Online Gambling Legislation <p>A new bill that aims to repeal the 2008 National Gambling Act and legalize online gambling will be introduced to South Africa's parliament.</p> <p>Up until now, the only regulated online wagering allowed in the country has been that of sporting contests. But a new bill proposed by South African MP Geordin Hill-Lewis seeks to include Internet casino gambling, eGR reported.</p> <p>South African lawmakers have been under pressure recently from commercial interests who are against the proliferation of unregulated gaming sites. Similar to the voices of online gambling proponents in the U.S., consumer protection and taxation have also been cited as reasons to consider approving the regulation of Internet wagering.</p> <p>“This is eight years overdue now and we’ve fallen behind international standards,” said Wayne Lurie, director of a South African law firm that specializes in gaming.</p> <p>The bill is similar to those found in Australia and Europe that allow licensing to be overseen by national and provincial governments. Online gaming license applicants would apply through one of South Africa's ten provinces much the same way that Australia has parceled its regulatory procedures.</p> <p>Existing gaming license holders in the country, such as Krugerbets and Sportingbet, would be required to re-apply for permission to operate online via a remote gaming license. Categories of license holders would be established, such as those of operators, as well as manufacturers and suppliers.</p> <p>The proposal calls for taxation to be determined by each individual province. However, standards and levels would be established to eliminate provincial competition.</p> <p>“With this regulation, we can look to satisfy consumer demand and offer our customers a full suite of gambling products in a safe and secure online environment that abides to local regulatory controls and consumer protections,” said Sportingbet SA managing director Tyrone Dubbin.</p> <p>Following its introduction in parliament in coming months, establishing standards will likely take another six months. It is estimated that licenses may not be issued for about 18 months if applicants must wait to apply during that initial six-month period.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 19:13:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2490 Lock Poker Unlocks Pro Sponsors Lock Poker Unlocks Pro Sponsors <p>Lock Poker, who in the past had prominently featured its sponsored pros via a tab on the website homepage, quietly removed the tab and has apparently also removed itself from pro sponsorship affiliations.</p> <p>No press releases were issued by Lock, but that is not surprising in light of the considerable bad press that Lock has received in recent months. Most of the negativity pertains to the fact that almost 300 players have been waiting a long time for cashouts that total more than $800,000, according to a 2 + 2 thread devoted to keeping a running total.</p> <p>The U.S.-friendly poker room broke away from the Revolution Gaming Network in late October and announced that "many exciting changes" were on the way as the standalone site underwent a transition "away from the network model." The split was far from amicable, as plenty of finger-pointing between Lock and Revolution did nothing to enhance the image of online poker.</p> <p>The Lock Poker website promised "A New Beginning" and labeled itself Lock Poker 2.0. Almost three months later, that new beginning finds Lock averaging an estimated 45 cash players, according to PokerScout. Whether the omission of pro sponsor representation is indicative of what may lie ahead remains to be seen.</p> <p>What has been seen were the departures of several big name pro players such as Chris Moorman and Michael Mizrachi. Both left Lock last year, obviously not wanting to be affiliated with a site that was way behind on cashouts despite promising a two-month maximum turnaround time on withdrawal requests.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 02:40:01 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2489 $82 Million in Full Tilt Remission Claims Approved by DoJ $82 Million in Full Tilt Remission Claims Approved by DoJ <p>U.S. Full Tilt Poker players are one step closer to receiving funds in the remission process as the DoJ has approved the disbursement of roughly $82 million from about 30,000 player claims that were not disputed.</p> <p>Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas spoke to representatives of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the DoJ and posted the breaking news on popular online poker forum 2 + 2. The claims administration firm handling the case, Garden City Group (GCG), will likely make a formal announcement on the official website within 24 hours.</p> <p>There is still no concrete date as to when reimbursement will actually commence, but it looks as though players with undisputed claims may be receiving their account balances well in advance of the March 31, 2014 target date. Players are advised to watch their email in-boxes in coming weeks for instructions on receiving payment.</p> <p>"The onus is now on GCG to remit the funds to players," Pappas posted. "I don't know their payment process and it very well could be days, not weeks."</p> <p>An undisclosed number of the 30,000 claims in which players and the DoJ had the same account balances were filed either incompletely or not correctly and those players will receive notice on how to rectify the error. Pappas said that the number of such erroneous filings is likely small, but it was "significant enough for the DoJ" to make mention of it.</p> <p>Still to be determined are the claims of players that do not match up with account balances on record according to DoJ figures, as well as reimbursement for affiliates and pros. More will likely be known regarding the claims of those players after the release of undisputed funds.</p> <p>"The DoJ and Garden City are working on this very diligently and I trust they will be sharing news with this affected class of players soon," Pappas said.</p> <p>Although the filing deadline passed more than two months ago, players who have not yet filed for whatever reason may still submit a Petition for Remission. Indications are that "those claims will be considered," Pappas added.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 01:20:00 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2488 PokerStars May Enter U.S. Based on New DoJ Policy PokerStars May Enter U.S. Based on New DoJ Policy <p>The U.S. Department of Justice has apparently established a new policy in conjunction with outstanding charges tied to online gambling that have been levied against individuals who are not American citizens and whose companies did not establish a physical presence within the U.S.</p> <p>A recent report from indicates that defendants such as PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg who have yet to own up to Black Friday-type allegations may be allowed to pay fines and make corporate plea bargains that would resolve the charges. Such a scenario would likely allow the suspension of PokerStars' application to participate in New Jersey's online gambling regime to be lifted.</p> <p>The report alludes to the possibility that plea negotiations could be finalized this year, perhaps allowing PokerStars to join Party Borgata, WSOP and the All American Poker Network in providing online poker to New Jersey residents. Remember too that parent company the Rational Group promised to base their U.S. headquarters in New Jersey if granted an Internet gambling license, which would boost the state's economy.</p> <p>The fine imposed on Scheinberg/PokerStars would likely be substantial. However, with a foot in the door of the U.S. online gambling market hanging in the balance, Rational Group executives would no doubt be eager to fork over whatever penalty the DoJ deems necessary.</p> <p>The report does not indicate how received information regarding the new DoJ policy. But Bodog founder Calvin Ayre is facing online gambling charges of his own and one can certainly speculate that his lawyers have been in contact with the DoJ in hopes of removing Ayre's mug shot from the Most Wanted list of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Like Scheinberg, Ayre is not a U.S. citizen.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 19:29:27 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2487 Mongolian Buyanjargal Bold wins MPC20 Red Dragon Mongolian Buyanjargal Bold wins MPC20 Red Dragon <p>It all started with a 33-player event six years ago. Now at its 20th anniversary, the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event rewrote Asian poker history by attracting a record-breaking field of 995 players from all around Asia and Australia.</p> <p>From that field, only one emerged victorious - a former Mongolian poker dealer by the name of <strong>Buyanjargal Bold</strong>. He was the last man standing on the final day of the Main Event, beating the 2013 MPC champion, <strong>Terry Fan</strong>, and one lady who wanted to set a record of her own.</p> <p>Fan beat a field of 891 players last year and was looking for more in 2014. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t win his flips when the lights were on. He finished in eighth place, losing a race with his pocket fours against <strong>Percy Yung</strong>’s Ace-King. As the only woman at the final table, Yung took out yet another victim after Fan, this time with her Ace-Queen. Last year’s fourth place finisher, Chinese<strong> Xiao Lin</strong>, was the unlucky man moving all-in with Ace-Four, only to get severely dominated by Yung’s hand. Lin finished sixth and won HK$334,000 ($43,000).</p> <p>India’s<strong> Akash Malik</strong> was next to hit the rail at the hands of the Australian chip-leader, <strong>Victor Teng</strong>. Malik held a strong hand, a set of fives, only to get coolered by a made-flush on the turn. Finishing fourth was <strong>Richard Hu</strong>, who moved all with Ace-Three. Bold made the call from the big blind with pocket fours and his pre-flop lead eventually gave him all Hu’s chips.</p> <p>With three players remaining, a deal was made so the money pressure was off, just in time for the lady and the Mongolian to take a shot at history. Although Teng started the three-handed play as chip leader, he was the next player eliminated. The Australian raised all-in with his Ace-Queen, but ran into the best possible starting hand in Texas Hold’Em – pocket Aces. Yung was the lucky player to hold such a hand and Teng finished third, winning HK$1,498,000 (over $193,000).</p> <p>Besides eliminating the Australian, she also took the lead chip-wise, having a 2-to-1 advantage over Bold. But the Mongolian quickly recovered, taking a big pot with top two pair on the flop versus lower top two pair held by Yung. In the last hand of the tournament, Yung moved all-in with King-Nine and Bold quickly called with Ace-Eight suited. The Ace-high flop secured the Mongolian the MPC20 Red Dragon title plus a big money prize: HK$1,492,000 ($192,000), including a HK$100,000 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) seat. Yung had to settle for second best and HK$1,159,000 (almost $150,000).</p> <p>Congratulations to Buyanjargal Bold, who became the first Mongolian to win such a big poker event.</p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 16:05:57 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2486 Global Poker Index - How Good Is It Really? Global Poker Index - How Good Is It Really? <p>For the second straight year, the Global Poker Index (GPI) will sponsor the European Poker Awards (EPA). The annual award festival will be held in the “Salle des Ambassadeurs” during the European Poker Tour (EPT) Deauville on January 29, 2014.</p> <p>The partnership between the GPI and the EPA should come as no surprise since the poker ranking authority website has gathered momentum in the last few years. Its recent success boils down to two major events: the selling of the site to Zokay Entertainment, a venture founded by former ChiliGaming CEO <strong>Alex Dreyfus</strong>, and the purchase of the Hendon Mob poker database, one of the most comprehensive live poker tournament databases in the world.</p> <p>But how did the GPI become so successful? And just how good is the GPI really?</p> <h3>The Good</h3> <p>The GPI was born from the need of ranking accurately the players who actively play live poker tournaments. Originally, the ranking system was created by Federated Sports + Gaming in 2011. The system had an innovative algorithm that helped shape a much clearer picture of what’s really going on in the live poker tournament world.</p> <p>Currently, the algorithm is determined by combining three factors: finishing place %, buy-in, and aging factor.</p> <p>What’s interesting about the finishing percentage factor is that it doesn’t only take into consideration the finishing place BUT the finishing position relative to the field size of the tournament. To be more precise, the points given to a specific player will depend on the number of entrants. The buy-in factor is calculated based on a baseline buy-in for events, calculated by the GPI as $1,000. This factor is trying to determine the relative difficulty of a certain event. So, larger buy-ins mean tougher fields and lower buy-ins mean softer ones. Finally, the aging factor is based on `the age' of the event; if someone had a deep finish in the last six months, that finish would be much more significant than the case in which someone had a deep finish last year or two years ago.</p> <p>Recently, the GPI tweaked its algorithm in an attempt to become a much more accurate ranking system. First of all, the baseline buy-in was lowered from $1,500 to $1,000. Secondly, the low-stakes tournament players are finally eligible to enter the rankings. Last year, for example, there was a minimum $1,000 buy-in cap. So if someone played a $750 or $500 tournament, he couldn’t enter GPI territory. This year, however, as long as it isn’t a freeroll, anyone can have a GPI score. Also, the maximum buy-in cap was lowered from $25,000 to $20,000, a plus for the lower-stakes grinders since the gap between them and the high-rollers has been lowered considerably. But this doesn’t mean that the high buy-in tournaments like the PCA $100,000 Super High-Roller won’t be in the mix; they will just weigh as a standard $20,000 buy-in tourney in the GPI leaderboard.</p> <p>The ranking system is complex without a doubt and helps the poker amateur (who isn’t interested in reading much about the game) have a more accurate idea about who is hot and who is not. As GPI CEO Alex Dreyfus said in a interview, the poker world needs an aggregate ranking like the ATP or PGA. The idea being that, yes, it’s much better for poker to be regarded as a sport rather than as a pure gambling game. The casual poker viewers need to know that skill is a big part of the game and such ranking systems can emphasize this fact.</p> <h3>The Bad</h3> <p>But really, how accurate is the GPI in fact?</p> <p>One major downside of the poker ranking system is that it limits the results that are taken into consideration from the best five tournament scores per half-year. So, no matter the cashes or the final tables, the GPI will only consider one player’s best five scores.</p> <p>Which brings to the table an important problem: VOLUME. We all know that playing a large number of tournaments is key to beating variance and eliminating the chance factor from the game. So why do we want to remove that from the rankings? GPI mentions that the results cap is there to combat the players who just play a lot of tournaments but have a negative ROI. Still, this shouldn’t obstruct the live tournament grinders to rank higher in the leaderboard. On the contrary, grinding and volume should be rewarded as it can accurately show the skill of a certain player.</p> <p>The aging factor should also be tweaked. Official ranking systems like FIFA take the last four years into consideration. The GPI factors only three years in a game where the luck factor is much more involved, at least in the short run. To be accurate, any poker ranking system should pay special attention to the sample size and a decent sample size is built after years and years of playing, especially if we talk about poker tournaments.</p> <p>The problems continue. According to Dreyfus, the first goal of the company is to expose the famous players. The second one (creating famous players who are not getting the attention they should) seems to become more and more distant as the latest GPI news shows. Yes, the GPI helped a number of lesser-known players to become popular, but the company seems to center its attention on the big names - the players who were already big and promoted in the media, the players who can afford the big buy-ins and who can go on big trips across Europe, Asia, Australia or the Caribbean. And all those players are constantly named ‘the best’ – look at <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong> for example.</p> <h3>The Ugly</h3> <p>We all know that Negreanu had a fabulous 2013, but what the GPI did was just too much. The last two months of 2013 were all about promoting “KidPoker.” No strings attached. Of course, the Canadian returned the favor and called the index “very important for poker” or “a special brand.” The cherry on top, however, was naming Negreanu as the GPI Player of the Decade …. in 2013! What decade? Not even the poker community knows. The community responded ironically with a thread on the 2+2 forums. <em>“So people are keeping track of things with rolling decades?”</em> user ‘Jigsaw' asked. Also, ‘SrslySirius’ can’t wait to see who gets awarded Player of the Century next year. Other big names were thrown out in the special decade project like <strong>Erik Seidel</strong>, <strong>Barry Greenstein</strong> or <strong>John Juanda</strong>. Isn’t it enough?</p> <p>Clearly the GPI is over-reliant on poker players’ wealth. Pros who have massive spending ability like Negreanu have a clear advantage over the low-stake and mid-stakes grinders. They can afford to play most High-Roller and Super High-Roller events throughout the year and even rebuy, which doubles and even triples their chances of making the money compared to most players who don't have the same bankroll. It is far better to create a division system like the online poker world that is based on buy-ins rather than making up a buy-in factor that helps yet again the big media names to rank higher.</p> <p>The ranking system also seems to mislead the casual players by describing itself plain and simple: A system for ranking the world’s best poker players. Now Daniel is the best poker player in the world just like 2013 WSOP champion <strong>Ryan Riess</strong>. Let’s not forget the overall picture here: poker is a complex game. The live tournaments are ONLY part of it; there are also the online tournaments, and the online and live cash games (which are almost impossible to rank, of course). And all those types can break down into several other sub-types that require different skill sets. But one fact is for sure: the GPI only tries to rank the world’s best live tournament poker players.</p> <p>Lastly, although the index did a good job in not considering special events such as charity, seniors, women, team, employee, executive and CEO tournaments, one major event sneaked in the allowance list: the 2013 NBC Heads-Up Championship. Which brings us to the old news: the first goal of the GPI is to expose the famous players. The Heads-Up Championship was in fact a closed-doors tournament; the 64 players were all invited by the TV network. And since it’s a TV show, it’s almost natural for them to want the most popular (not necessarily the best) players on the felt. Players like <strong>Doyle Brunson</strong>, <strong>Mike Matusow</strong>, <strong>Phil Laak</strong> or <strong>Jennifer Tilly</strong>. Was it fair for <strong>Ole Schemion</strong>, <strong>Philipp Gruissem</strong> or <strong>Stephen O’Dwyer</strong>, top players who haven’t had the same publicity as Matusow, Laak or Tilly? Of course not! But the stat remains: the heads-up show was taken into consideration for both the GPI Player of the Year and GPI 300.</p> <p>In conclusion, the Global Poker Index still has a long way to go to really become a reliable and trustworthy ranking system for the poker world. Whilst it's undoubtedly a work in progress and a promising system to legitimize poker as a real sport with real rankings, the current system just isn't good enough and places far too much impetus on short-term results while favoring players with far greater spending power and existing fame.</p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 14:36:06 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2485 PokerVIP Launches iPhone App PokerVIP Launches iPhone App <p>Players aiming to step up their profitabilty on the poker tables will be pleased to know that PokerVIP has recently launched an iPhone application that provides valuable poker training and incredible offers from online poker sites.</p> <p>The iPhone app is nearly identical to the Poker School &amp; Training Android app released in November that has proven to be quite popular among serious poker players in just two short months. With nearly <strong>10,000 downloads already</strong>, the application leads the way among poker training apps within the Android store.</p> <p>The app is <strong>100% free</strong> and is equipped with more than <strong>500 questions</strong> on various poker scenarios ranging from beginner to advanced that allows players to increase their knowledge and know the proper plays to make in order to maximize effectiveness during in-game situations. The app was designed for iPhone and iPad by well-respected professional poker players with the goal of making pros out of any players who aspire to reach that level.</p> <p>Included in the app are poker strategy articles that will help to eliminate any uncertainty that players may encounter in those critical bet, call, raise or fold situations.The Poker School &amp; Training app will assist in changing crucial decision-making situations on the felt into relatively easy decisions that become almost second nature to the serious student of poker.</p> <p> </p> <div class="captionImage center" style="width: 600px;"><img class="center" title="Poker School app on iPhone" src="" alt="Poker School app on iPhone" width="600" height="193"/><p class="caption" style="text-align: center;"><em>Poker School app on iPhone</em></p> </div> <p><em>"I'm a complete poker noob and can already tell this is exactly what I've been looking for to help me improve my game,"</em> said a satisfied Mark Hughes about the PokerVIP app. <em>"The Poker School starts with the basics and ramps up the lesson difficulty as you progress and introduces things I would never have considered such as bankroll management."</em> </p> <p>That five-star recommendation was seconded by 'Jonny1981ab7,' who called the app <em>"completely unique" </em>and admitted that the Poker School &amp; Training application was quite instrumental in him gaining the confidence needed to move up in stakes.<em> "I've played for a few hours and feel a lot better about my game now."</em></p> <p>Learning to play poker like the pros has never been easier. After spending some time gaining valuable tips and advice on the app, you'll be ready to put your newly-developed skills to the test for real money at any one of a number of iPhone and iPad compatible poker rooms showcased in the PokerVIP deals area.</p> <p>Again, the <a title="Poker School and Training App" href="" target="_blank"><strong>Poker School &amp; Training app</strong></a> is <strong>100% free</strong> and available to any players ready to take the next step in improving their game. You can't afford not to check it out if you're truly serious about poker.</p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:26:31 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2484 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - January 21, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - January 21, 2014 <p>A modest 1% decline in player traffic was felt throughout the online poker industry last week, tumbling from a 6% gain seen the week before.</p> <p>Year-on-year numbers remain 11% off the pace of last year's totals, as a considerable number of players who were accessing online poker sites at this time in 2013 have apparently turned their attention elsewhere. The reasons for the decline are likely numerous, but attracting more recreational players and seeing to it that their dollars last a bit longer at the tables could go a long way in offsetting that double digit decrease.</p> <p>PartyPoker fell to sixth place worldwide for a short time last week, with taking over fifth. That's PartyPoker's lowest ranking in over a decade, PokerScout reported. As of this writing, however, the two poker rooms are in a dead heat for fifth place in player numbers averaged over seven days.'s fall from the top five may be short-lived.</p> <p>Another PokerStars offering moved up a notch last week as its French-facing poker room regained 10th place and shoved MPN back down to 11th. The January Supernova Blast promotion at seems to have attracted some additional cash action as intended.</p> <p>Cash game player traffic may decline at the iPoker Network in coming weeks following the recent rollout of Twister Poker. Copying the successful formula of <a href="">Expresso Poker at Winamax</a>, Twister Poker employs a three-player turbo SitNGo winner-take-all format where random prize pools can escalate to 1,000 times a single buy-in. However, three of every four Twister Poker games will see the prize pool limited to two buy-ins despite three players seated.</p> <p>Players looking for jackpot-type riches at a quick pace tend to favor this type of action. When Expresso Poker first launched in July, ring game handle was down around 17% for a few weeks. Curiosity may get the better of iPoker players and cause Twister tables to be quite popular for a spell, reducing cash game action at iPoker in the process.</p> <p>Speaking of quick-paced poker action, Full Tilt's Adrenaline Rush accounted for almost 10% of ring game play at the sister site of PokerStars for the first couple of days after the faster fast-fold variant's introduction. Now at two weeks later, only 6% of Full Tilt's average of 2,300 cash players can be found playing Adrenaline Rush. Expect those numbers to decrease further, as the lack of post-flop betting takes away some of poker's intrigue and fun.</p> <p>As most are already aware, New Jersey online gambling revenue numbers were released last week by the Division of Gaming Enforcement. Revenue for the first full month did not match the annual projections of analysts, but it is much too early to draw conclusions from that. After a few more months of online poker play and additional marketing endeavors by the sites, New Jersey's online poker and gambling regime may turn out to be right on the money with regard to revenue estimates.</p> <p>Of greater concern to a larger number of U.S. players are recent comments made by American Gaming Association president and CEO Geoff Freeman. In a recent interview with the AGA honcho published at Online Poker Report, Freeman said that "we’re going to be coming after those entities that are participating in gaming in an unregulated manner."</p> <p>That could spell trouble for U.S. players who have been loyal patrons of unregulated poker rooms and networks such as Bovada, the Winning Poker Network, Merge, Revolution and SealsWithClubs. With state-by-state regulation moving at a glacial speed, U.S. players who want their online poker have no choice but to deposit and play at unregulated sites.</p> <p>Sheldon Adelson's Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling is a real concern to many U.S. residents who are in favor of online poker. Now, apparently, poker players in the U.S. also have to worry about the AGA possibly coming down on offshore poker rooms that cater to Americans and are not regulated. Though the AGA's goal of aiming to "protect the interests of consumers" is admirable, taking away the only Internet poker options available to U.S. players who are not in Nevada, New Jersey or Delaware is not the way to do it.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 23:55:04 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2483 Nosebleeds Report: Grinder Viktor “Isildur1” Blom back on track Nosebleeds Report: Grinder Viktor “Isildur1” Blom back on track <p><strong>Viktor </strong>“Isildur1” <strong>Blom </strong>didn’t need too much time to figure out how to get back to his winning ways. He beat a New Year’s downswing the old-fashioned way, by grinding day and night at the highest stakes in online poker.</p> <p>According to HighStakesDB, the Swede played an astounding 350 sessions and 41,590 hands between January 1 and 20, 2014. He went on a major heater, winning $1,821,884 in the last eight days after a losing start to the year. Blom is the only player to hit the million-dollar mark in 2014, showing a profit of $1,181,842 in January.</p> <p>He had big six-figure winning sessions including an unbelievable Friday. “Isildur1” managed to win over $813k in just 24 hours on January 17. He started the day at the 2-7 Triple Draw and Pot-Limit Omaha tables, but his first major win came in a $1,500/$3,000 mixed-game session against Russian <strong>Alexander </strong>“PostflopAction” <strong>Kostritsyn</strong>. Blom took from the Russian’s bankroll almost $290k, including a $130k pot in a PLO round. “PostflopAction” started the action minraising from the small blind. The Swede three-bet, but the Russian wanted to have initiative so he four-bet. “Isildur1” called and check/raised pot on a dry T-4-8 board with top pair. Kostritsyn put all his chips in the middle with AKQ8 double-suited and 34% equity to win the pot either on the turn or the river. Although the Run-It-Twice option was activated, the Russian lost in both situations.</p> <p>After that session, Blom took on “SallyWoo” at the $2,000/4,000 Fixed-Limit Omaha 8-or-Better tables, winning $410k in a six-hour span. He also had a losing session on that day while playing 2-7TD against <strong>Niklas </strong>“ragen70” <strong>Heinecker</strong>, but that didn’t stop him from hitting the million-dollar profit mark for the first time in the New Year.</p> <p>Second in the 2014 winners’ leaderboard is American PLO specialist <strong>Ben </strong>“Bttech86” <strong>Tollerene</strong>. He slowly but surely raised through the ranks and managed to win $800k in the first 20 days of the year. Last week, Tollerene cashed in $444k in 2,496 hands on Full Tilt. However, on PokerStars, the American didn’t have a good run this year. He lost $232k while playing under the nickname “Ben86.”</p> <p>The third biggest winner since January 1, 2014 is self-proclaimed best heads-up No-Limit Hold’em cash player <strong>Doug </strong>“WCGRider” <strong>Polk</strong>. He resumed his play last week starting the year in style with a $700k profit in only 5,027 hands. The American had a big weekend crushing red-hot Blom at the $500/$1,000 CAP NLHE tables. He won the heads-up battle against the Swede in style, taking from him almost $666k.</p> <p><strong>Gus Hansen</strong> continues to dominate the losers’ leaderboard like no one else before. The Dane cannot stop losing and is down $1,161,939 for the month. He played 2,281 hands in the last eight days, leaking over $400k in the process. His biggest leak is his PLO game, losing $783,007 in 8,771 hands played in January. Overall, since registering on Full Tilt in May 2007, Hansen has lost over $16 million.</p> <p>Far behind the Dane sits Finish pro <strong>Patrik </strong>“FinddaGrind” <strong>Antonius</strong>. He didn’t play at all last week and is still down $303k. <strong>Ben </strong>“sauce1234” <strong>Sulsky </strong>is the third biggest loser of 2014 with -$206,647. He lost $90k while playing NLHE and $78k at the PLO tables in the last eight days. His position in the leaderboard shouldn’t come as a surprise since he was number six in the 2013 biggest online poker losers’ list with -$1.47 million. Can Sulsky weather the 2014 storm?</p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 17:52:35 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2482 Hutchinson Wins UKIPT Edinburgh Hutchinson Wins UKIPT Edinburgh <p>Dean Hutchinson is this year’s winner of the UKIPT Edinburgh.</p> <p>He took out the event last night in the Scottish city after a stellar performance and took home £93,900 (around US$154,185) as a result. Hutchinson beat a field of 427 to win the event and came from behind in heads-up play before ultimately claiming the top prize.</p> <p>Eight players made it to the final day of play, but that quickly went down as Liv Boeree got off to an extremely strong start. She eliminated Irish player Ciaran Heaney in eighth spot shortly after the last day officially began.</p> <p>Both players went about a showdown – Heaney had Ace-Ten offsuit while Boeree had pocket Queens. The Queens held on the board to put the event down to seven players.</p> <p>Boeree claimed her second straight final table scalp soon after as she eliminated Michael Kane from the event. Kane went all-in with Queen-Jack of Spades and was called by Boeree and her Ace-Queen offsuit. Boeree's better starting hand held on the board to knock Kane out of the final table in seventh place.</p> <p>Jacobus Visser was Boeree’s third straight scalp of the final table. Visser, who was short-stacked, moved all-in with Nine-Six of Spades and was called by Boeree, who had Ace-Seven offsuit. Visser did not get any help on the board and had to settle for sixth place in the event.</p> <p>Hutchinson came alive not long after Visser’s elimination as he took Tomasz Raniszewski out in fifth place. Raniszewski went all-in pre-flop with pocket Threes and was called by the eventual winner, who had Ace-Queen offsuit. A Queen came on the flop, which was enough to give Hutchinson the hand and put the event down to its last four players.</p> <p>Fourth place went to Eldon Orr after he was eliminated by Boeree. Orr went all-in with Ace-King offsuit and was called by Boeree, who had pocket Eights. The Eights held on the board and Orr was knocked out of the event.</p> <p>Boeree then went on to claim her fifth final table scalp after she eliminated former chip leader Jason Beazley in third spot. Beazley was all-in with pocket Tens while Boeree had Ace-King of Hearts.</p> <p>Unfortunately for Beazley, an Ace came on the flop and he was left needing something major on the turn or river to survive. It did not happen, as another Ace came on the river to give Boeree three of a kind and end Beazley’s time in the event.</p> <p>Beazley’s elimination left Boeree and Hutchinson in heads-up play, with Boeree holding a comfortable chip lead when play began. At first it appeared Boeree was headed for a comfortable victory as a few small wins had her holding close to a four to one chip lead over Hutchinson.</p> <p>Hutchinson doubled up, however, which heralded the start of a surge that eventually ended in him winning. In the last hand of the event, Boeree went all-in with Five-Three of Clubs after hitting middle pair and an open ended straight draw on the flop.</p> <p>She was called by Hutchinson, who flopped two pair with Six-Five offsuit. The King of Clubs on the turn gave Boeree a flush draw along with her straight draw, but neither of them came on the river as the Eight of Diamonds came out.</p> <p>As a result, Boeree was eliminated from the event and Hutchinson was officially crowned the winner of the 2014 UKIPT Edinburgh.</p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 12:27:44 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2481 Online Gambling Revenue in New Jersey Likely to Improve in 2014 Online Gambling Revenue in New Jersey Likely to Improve in 2014 <p>The Internet gambling revenue figures released by New Jersey regulators last week were encouraging, but they were off the mark with regard to annual projections.</p> <p>The $8.4 million brought in by the Garden State's 15 online gaming sites since the soft launch on Nov. 21 until the start of the new year would be less than $100 million if those same results played out over a 12-month period. That's significantly lower than the $200 million to $300 million that analysts estimated for New Jersey's igaming regime.</p> <p>But a little more than one month of operation is not enough of a sampling to draw from for those who are hoping to put a label on whether or not the state's online gambling endeavor can be branded a success. Industry experts are preaching patience with regard to growth and expect numbers to improve as time marches on.</p> <p>"Everybody needs to take into consideration that this industry is in its infancy," Tropicana Casino and Resort president Tony Rodio told AP. "You'll see this grow quickly."</p> <p>Player accounts now total over 155,000, with those numbers climbing every week. Increased marketing efforts are likely to attract even more players, with much room for improvement considering New Jersey's sizable population of more than nine million. Players from neighboring states who also happen to visit the Garden State are being targeted as well.</p> <p>A primary hope of state officials is that the online market will create new gamblers as opposed to the land-based casinos losing regular customers to Internet offerings. The early numbers suggest that land-based revenue will not be cannibalized to a great degree.</p> <p>"Slightly more than 50 percent of our online customers were not regular customers at the Golden Nugget or were not customers at all," said Thomas Winter, Golden Nugget's online gambling vice president. Projections over the long term are in the 60-70% range that Internet gamblers will not come from those that are regular casino-goers.</p> <p>Should that play out over the long haul as expected, it will likely prompt other states to get in on the game with their own online gambling regimes. Some states are currently hesitant about advancing Internet wagering for fear that it will cannibalize land-based gambling revenue.</p> <p>According to Macquarie Capital analyst Chad Beynon, the New Jersey igaming market will "grow to $200 million to $300 million by 2015," which is what Governor Chris Christie and other state officials are counting on. Brick and mortar revenue is expected to be cannibalized by some $25-$50 million, a total that will clearly be offset by online gambling proceeds.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 20:08:08 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2480 Macau Poker Cup Attracts Record Field Macau Poker Cup Attracts Record Field <p>The 20<sup>th</sup> Macau Poker Cup has gotten underway in the Asian gaming mecca and a record number of participants showed up to play.</p> <p>A total field of 995 took to the felt on the event’s three starting flights, easily passing the previous record field of 891 players that was set in January 2013.</p> <p>Day 1c chip leader Lante Zhang will have the chip lead going into Day 2, with the Chinese player attaining a chip stack of 188,700. That is slightly higher than the stack of Day 1a leader Ka Cheong Wong, who is second on the chip ladder with 176,500 chips.</p> <p>Many eyes will also likely be on Terry Fan as he aims to win a second straight Red Dragon event. Fan is currently in a solid position to do just that as he enters the second day of play third on the chip ladder with 176,200 chips to his name.</p> <p>The aforementioned players are just three of a field of 223 who made the cut to Day 2 and all of them will be looking to claim the coveted title of Red Dragon over the next four days.</p> <p>Zhang propelled himself into the chip leader position in the closing moments of Day 1c as he won a showdown against an opponent in one of the last hands of the night. Zhang called his opponent’s all-in shove with pocket Jacks, while his opponent had King-Seven offsuit.</p> <p>The Jacks were good on the two hearts, one diamond flop, and while the Jack of hearts on the turn gave Zhang a set, it also gave his opponent a flush draw as his King was also a heart. The flush did not come, however, as the Ten of Spades appeared on the river, meaning that Zhang’s set of Jacks won the hand.</p> <p>Tournament organisers also released the prize pool for the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon event on Day 1c. The top 117 players in this event will be in the money, with the minimum cash prize being HK$19,100 (around US$2,460).</p> <p>Ninth place (the first player to leave the final table) stands to earn HK$143,000 (around US$18,435) while the top two players will leave with seven figure sums (in Hong Kong dollars, of course). The prize for second place stands at HK$1,337,000 (around US$172,380), while the player who is crowned the Red Dragon will also receive HK$2,010,000 (around US$259,155), a significant boost to their bank balance.</p> <p>Day 2 of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon is set to be played later today at the City of Dreams in Macau. As always, we at PokerUpdate will keep readers up to date on the event as it progresses over the coming days.</p> Sun, 19 Jan 2014 03:01:53 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2479 UKIPT Edinburgh Gets Underway UKIPT Edinburgh Gets Underway <p>The UK’s first major poker event of the year, the UKIPT Edinburgh, has gotten underway.</p> <p>Both of the event’s starting flights have taken place, with a total of 427 players having taken to the felt. David Vamplew will go into Day 2 as the chip leader with 146,200 chips to his name.</p> <p>It was quite a change from the middle of Day 1b as the Scot’s stack was as low as 14,000 at one stage of the day. However, Vamplew won a few big hands to boost his stack and he eventually took the chip lead before the end of the second and last starting flight.</p> <p>He will certainly have some competition in the remaining days of the event as 201 other players also made the cut to Day 2. It will be little surprise if Vamplew stays atop the chip ladder for some time, though, given his tremendous amount of experience in top tier poker events.</p> <p>While a WSOP gold bracelet currently eludes Vamplew, he came extremely close to winning not one, but two of them, in 2013. He came second in two events during last year’s WSOP, winning cash prizes of over $750,000 combined.</p> <p>Vamplew also took out the EPT London Main Event in 2010 and won over $1.4 million in the process. Such experience has shown in Vamplew’s play at the UKIPT Edinburgh thus far, and is likely to continue in the coming days of the event.</p> <p>Despite being the chip leader, Vamplew is not the only player who will begin Day 2 with a big stack. Leon Louis will start the day in second place with a stack with 122,700, which is slightly more than Graham Carter, who will enter Day 2 with 120,500 chips.</p> <p>In total, seven players ended both Day 1's with six figure chip stacks. Six of those players are UK residents. The other player is Milan Šašek, who hails from the Czech Republic and will enter the second day of the event with 112,700 chips.</p> <p>The prize pool for the UKIPT Edinburgh was released during Day 1b and the top 63 players in the event will be in the money. The lowest any player who cashes will stand to earn is £2,060 (around US$3,380), while the top 13 players will win cash prizes of at least five figures (in US dollars).</p> <p>Whoever ends up winning the event stands to take home £93,900 (around US$154,185), an amount that should motivate the remaining players to keep up their 'A' game.</p> <p>Day 2 of the UKIPT Edinburgh is set to be played later today in the Scottish city. As always, we at PokerUpdate will keep readers up to date on the event as it progresses over the coming days.</p> Sat, 18 Jan 2014 13:05:28 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2478 2013 Player Overview - Phil Ivey 2013 Player Overview - Phil Ivey <p>Our second 2013 Player Overview takes a look at the Tiger Woods of Poker, Phil Ivey.</p> <p>Ivey is one of the most notable poker players on the planet, with his high level poker play earning him fans all over the world. However, last year was a topsy-turvy one for Ivey as he experienced both highs and lows on and off the felt throughout 2013.</p> <p>Among the nine-time WSOP gold bracelet winner’s lows of the year were his major losses in online poker. Before 2013, Ivey was notable for his major success playing online, usually making millions per year playing on Full Tilt under his ‘Polarizing’ moniker.</p> <p>It was a completely different story last year, however, as Ivey lost over US$2.44 million playing online poker, according to HighStakesDB. It could have been an even worse scenario had he not experienced a resurgence in the closing months of 2013, as Ivey was $3.27 million in the red in September.</p> <p>Ivey also became involved in a highly-publicised court case with the prestigious London casino Crockfords after it refused to pay him over US$12 million that he won in a game of punto banco at the establishment. The casino alleged that Ivey won the money by cheating, something that Ivey has denied.</p> <p>Crockfords’ refusal to pay Ivey his winnings prompted him to pursue the matter in a court of law. Ivey described the move as a “very difficult decision” but was compelled to do so as he felt there was “no alternative but to take legal action.”</p> <p>Things weren’t all bad for Ivey in 2013, though, with a few things also going his way during the year. One of those was the official launch of his app, Ivey Poker, on Android and iOS, which took place in September. Ivey Poker ended the year by moving into new headquarters in Las Vegas, which has positioned it for a solid 2014.</p> <p>The Tiger Woods of Poker also added another WSOP gold bracelet to his large collection after he took out the WSOP Asia Pacific’s third ever bracelet last April. Ivey beat a field of 81 entries to win the $2,200 Mixed Event, winning his first WSOP title since 2010.</p> <p>Expect 2014 to be mostly good for Ivey. Despite his online poker losses in 2013, he is still a top poker player and will likely return to his winning ways. Ivey Poker will also be more established and his legal issues may be resolved by year’s end.</p> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 08:22:22 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2477 Infiniti Poker and Gavin Smith Part Ways Infiniti Poker and Gavin Smith Part Ways <p>Infiniti Poker and sponsored pro Gavin Smith have ended their alliance, with both parties releasing statements confirming the split.</p> <p>A press release issued by Infiniti indicated that the poker room "has terminated the contract of WSOP bracelet winner Gavin Smith as a sponsored pro for the site." Smith took to Twitter to announce that he will no longer be affiliated with Infiniti and tweeted, "I've ended my sponsorship deal with @infinitipoker to pursue other opportunities."</p> <p>Infiniti Poker is currently in soft launch mode, having endured numerous delays over a couple years to bring a Bitcoin-friendly poker offering online. The poker room further promised "to make changes as necessary to provide a first-class online poker experience and destination upon full launch in the first quarter of 2014."</p> <p>Smith won a WSOP gold bracelet in 2010 in $2,500 Limit/No-Limit Hold'em, earning a payday of $268,238. He also just missed another in 2007, finishing runner-up to Michael Spegal in $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em. That effort was worth $155,446, the Hendon Mob database confirmed.</p> <p>Smith has been cashing in live events since 1998 and enjoyed his biggest score in 2005 when he outplayed the entire field in the World Poker Tour $10,000 + $200 No-Limit Hold'em Championship for $1,128,278. His biggest cash last year was for more than $34,000 in a $5,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo event at the WSOP when he finished in 7th place.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 23:01:06 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2476 $7.4 million First Month Revenue for New Jersey $7.4 million First Month Revenue for New Jersey <p>New Jersey was the latest US state to launch an online gaming market when it did so late last year. The end of December did not only mark the end of 2013 but also marked the first full calendar month that the New Jersey market has been in operation.</p> <p>Revenues for the first month of the new online gambling market are now in and if there is one word to describe New Jersey's regime, it would be ‘encouraging.’</p> <p>Total gross gaming revenues for December 2013 totalled $7.4 million in New Jersey, with online poker having made up the bulk of that amount. The revenue itself shows that there is potential for the New Jersey market to be a vital one in 2014.</p> <p>That is particularly the case for two of the companies – Borgata and Caesars Interactive – who posted by far the largest revenues of all online gaming operators. Borgata posted a revenue of $3.34 million, $1.7 million of which came from poker via its partnership with PartyPoker in the state.</p> <p>Caesars Interactive was the other company with highly notable revenue, having posted $2.03 million in the month of December. The World Series of Poker service, which is owned by Caesars, is currently the second largest poker operator in the state.</p> <p>According to PokerScout, WSOP New Jersey has a seven-day player traffic average of 170 players. Party Borgata leads the way in the state, with 260 players averaged during the same time frame.</p> <p>Three other online gaming operators announced revenues of over $400,000 for the month of December.</p> <p>Although small in the context of global online poker sites, the current traffic numbers for Party Borgata and WSOP New Jersey are encouraging for the viability of an online poker market in the state.</p> <p>That was also the analysis of Boyd Gaming (which runs Borgata) CEO Keith Smith who said his company was due for further growth in 2014 and beyond.</p> <p>"We are extremely encouraged by Borgata's performance during the first full month of online wagering,” he said. “Having New Jersey's most trusted gaming brand has provided a solid foundation for our successful online launch.</p> <p>"We are confident that as we refine our marketing efforts, improve the customer experience, and introduce our mobile product, we will further strengthen our leading position in online gaming. We have significant room for growth ahead of us."</p> <p>December’s numbers played out over a full year would make New Jersey’s online gambling revenue worth nearly $89 million annually. However, that may increase should new players enter the market as expected.</p> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 14:03:20 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2475 Former NY Governor George Pataki Rails Against Online Gambling Former NY Governor George Pataki Rails Against Online Gambling <p>Sheldon Adelson is actively recruiting members to join his National Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and has found an ally in former New York Governor George Pataki.</p> <p>Pataki is a national co-chair of the coalition and recently made an appearance on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart" in which he railed against Internet gambling in much the same way that Las Vegas Sands CEO Adelson has recently done. Pataki called online gambling "a terrible idea" that could severely harm the younger generation who have yet to learn limits when controlling their own behavior.</p> <p>The ex-governor told hosts Emily Chang and Stephanie Ruhle that the FBI is in a bind when it comes to enforcing laws possibly related to online gambling such as money laundering. Pataki, like Adelson, points to a letter sent last September from Deputy Assistant Director J. Britt Johnson of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division to Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Florida), now deceased, that warned of the money laundering opportunities available to the criminal element when online gambling is regulated.</p> <p>“The FBI has said definitively that sophisticated technologies can be employed by terrorist groups and criminal organizations to move money undetected, conceal their physical locations, and entangle unwitting online players,” Pataki stated in a press release. “The FBI’s warning is part of a growing body of evidence that demonstrates how dangerous the expansion of Internet gambling will be."</p> <p>Adelson's coalition continues to increase efforts at preventing online gambling regulation in the U.S. The former mayor of Denver, Wellington Webb, recently <a href="">spoke out against Internet gambling</a> by writing an op-ed in the Denver Post. Like Pataki, Webb is a national co-chair of the coalition.</p> <p>Adelson is also reportedly behind a proposal to reverse the 2011 DoJ ruling that paved the way for individual states to legally offer online poker and gambling. A draft of the Internet Gambling Control Act has been circulated that aims to amend the 1961 Wire Act to include the Internet as a forbidden form of wagering.</p> <p>“Congress needs to do the responsible thing to protect American families and the innocent bystanders caught up in criminal schemes online," Pataki said. "It must restore the long-standing federal ban on all forms of Internet gambling.”</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 19:44:03 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2474 Jake Schindler wins battle of all-ins and captures the PCA High Roller trophy Jake Schindler wins battle of all-ins and captures the PCA High Roller trophy <p>The US wasn’t about to give up and just watch Germany dominate the High Roller events. The Americans made a strong comeback and also a strong statement, dominating the last day of the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) $25,000 High Roller.</p> <p>Half of the remaining field was American and only two were Germans, who happen to be two of the best who have taken high stakes live tournaments by storm in the last few years: <strong>Marvin Rettenmaier</strong> and <strong>Ole Schemion</strong>. At the PCA, however, they couldn’t stop the Americans. But the Germans were still able to reach the final table and finish in front of big names like <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong> (14th) and <strong>Dan Smith</strong> (13th).</p> <p>Rettenmaier was the first German out, finishing ninth and cashing $130,720 after a lost flip. He held pocket Eights and was a small dog pre-flop against <strong>Greg Merson</strong>’s Ace-Ten with the flop securing Merson’s victory. Left alone, Schemion couldn’t withstand the American pressure and busted out in seventh place. <strong>Robert Mizrachi</strong> drew first blood by going all-in with pocket Kings. The German decided to stay in the mix, but his pocket Nines were heavily dominated. A little while later, Schemion got his last chips in the middle with top pair, while <strong>Jake Schindler</strong> took a chance and called with a monster draw. The American rivered the flush and sent the German to the rail with yet another six-figure win: $216,040. Five days ago, Schemion finished seventh in the PCA Super High Roller event, cashing $277,080.</p> <p>Shortstacker <strong>Aleksandr Denisov</strong> was the next player out followed by Mizrachi. Mizrachi was all-in with King-Jack and had to win a race against <strong>Vanessa Selbst</strong> and her pocket Eights. Selbst eventually dodged the Kings and Jacks and busted Mizrachi in fifth place. <strong>Mustapha Kanit</strong> was the last non-American left in the tournament, only to finish in fourth spot and win $492,600.</p> <p>Although she was the chipleader when three-handed play started, Selbst lost two major pots and finished third. She also finished third in the Super High Roller and combined with her latest High Roller cash plus the PCA Main Event, Selbst won over $1.4 million in the last eight days.</p> <p>The heads-up play was surprisingly short. Both Schindler and Merson agreed to make a deal and left only $200,000 to play for. After the deal, it was all about getting all-in blindly. <em>“I didn’t get into poker to win trophies,”</em> Merson said, according to PokerStars Blog. He started the all-in battle and eventually Schindler took on the challenge and also the trophy.<em> “That was his idea. At first I was just going to wait with a good hand to call with, like Queen-Seven plus. I didn’t feel like waiting any more so just went in with him,”</em> the winner explained after the final King-Ten versus Nine-Four showdown.</p> <p>Along with the trophy, Schindler won total prize money of $1,192,624 and a Swiss watch from Slyde worth $17,500. Runner-up Merson won $948,996.</p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 14:51:06 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2472 Panka Wins 2014 PCA Main Event Panka Wins 2014 PCA Main Event <p>The first major poker Main Event of 2014 is now over, with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event having come to a close in the Bahamas.</p> <p>Dominik Panka ended the event as the winner after some stellar play throughout the last five days. He beat a field of 1,031 entries to win the top prize and the $1,820,420 payout that came along with it.</p> <p>Fabian Ortiz was the first member of the final table to be eliminated thanks to Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald and his pocket Queens. It was the classic Ace-King vs. Queens affair as Ortiz moved all-in with the former before being called by Timex. Unfortunately for Ortiz, McDonald's Queens held on the board to send him home in eighth place.</p> <p>Seventh place went to Pascal Lefrancois, who was knocked out by Isaac Baron not long after the dinner break. Lefrancois shoved pre-flop with pocket Sixes before being called by Baron and his Ace-King. The Sixes were good on the flop, but the Ace of Hearts came on the turn, which was enough for Baron to win the hand and put the event down to six.</p> <p>Shyam Srinivasan was the next player to be eliminated from the Main Event. It came at the hands Dominik Panka, who was actually behind when he called Srinivasan’s shove. Panka had pocket Tens, while Srinivasan showed pocket Jacks when the showdown began before the flop. Unfortunately for him, however, Panka hit a set on the flop, which won him the hand and knocked Srinivasan out in sixth place.</p> <p>Next to go was Daniel Gamez, who became Mcdonald's second final table scalp. Gamez went all-in pre-flop with Queen-Ten of Hearts and was called by Timex, who showed pocket Tens. Gamez had a flush draw on the turn, which gave him a few extra outs, but the Jack of Clubs that came on the river was not one of them. That ensured Timex won the hand while Gamez settled for fifth place.</p> <p>Panka then claimed a second final table scalp of his own after he eliminated Madis Muur from the Main Event in third place. It came when Muur moved all-in pre-flop with Queen-Ten and was called by Panka, who had Ace-King. Panka hit a King on the flop, which further cemented his lead and ultimately won him the hand while putting the event down to its final three players.</p> <p>Three-handed play lasted for around two hours, with the chip lead changing like a hot potato between the remaining players. Baron was the player who was eventually eliminated in third place after landing on the wrong end of a showdown against Panka.</p> <p>Baron moved all-in pre-flop with King-Queen offsuit and was called by Panka, who had Ace-Nine of Spades. The flop was one of the worst ones imaginable for Baron as all three of the cards were Spades, which gave Panka the nut flush. There was no way Baron could have won the hand after that and he was eliminated from the event, albeit with an extra $1,207,599 to his name.</p> <p>Baron’s elimination put Panka and Timex in heads-up play, with Panka holding a small chip lead when play began. Timex quickly took the chip lead, however, and held it throughout most of play.</p> <p>Panka then retook the lead about two hours into heads-up play after winning a showdown against Timex. It was all Panka from there as he boosted his lead en route to taking out the PCA Main Event.</p> <p>In the final hand of the event, Panka raised and Timex responded by moving all-in pre-flop. After asking for a count of McDonald's stack, Panka called and yet another showdown was soon underway.</p> <p>Panka showed Ace-Two offsuit while Timex had Seven-Four of Clubs. Panka hit a pair of Twos on the flop, but the Seven of Hearts came on the turn and Timex was thrust into the lead. Panka needed another Two or an Ace on the river to win the event and, low and behold, the last card shown on the board, and in this year’s PCA Main Event, was the Ace of Clubs.</p> <p>With that, Timex was eliminated in second place and Dominik Panka was crowned the winner of the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event.</p> <p>A great way to start the year in poker.</p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 11:12:49 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2471 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - January 14, 2014 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - January 14, 2014 <p>The online poker industry experienced a 6% gain in cash game player traffic last week, which is quite typical for this time of year as the winter season begins to take hold.</p> <p>The top ten poker rooms and networks all showed positive numbers from the previous week. The only position change from last week among those top ten saw MPN creep back into 10th place, knocking down to 11th.</p> <p>MPN's cash action rose by more than 25%. A somewhat surprising statistic that leads to a certain amount of speculation. Without actually polling the influx of players at the Microgaming network, one can surmise that the Bad Beat Jackpot that pays out 100% of funds and allows players to opt in at their choosing may be the reason for the increase.</p> <p>That tumble out of the top ten did not sit well with, as a new promotion was announced that caters to ring game players who may currently be favoring seventh-ranked Winamax. A January Supernova Blast promo is now underway at PokerStars' offering in the French market that aims to shorten the lead that Winamax enjoys over its competitor. That lead currently sits at 1,700 to 1,350 players in a seven-day average.</p> <p>Other highlights last week among top ten poker rooms include Full Tilt rolling out "Adrenaline Rush," an even quicker-paced fast-fold variant than its Rush Poker offering. Also, second-ranked 888poker announced a "Big Bang Promotion" that can best be described as a leaderboard competition geared toward recreational players that awards points according to hand rankings.</p> <p>Over in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie had to fire an aide who was responsible for causing traffic backups in Fort Lee N.J. as retribution for that town's mayor not supporting Christie's campaign. Online poker traffic backed up last week in New Jersey as well, with all four poker sites losing cash action from the week before. PokerScout reports that it was not particularly a bad week in the Garden State market, but that the previous week was just so much better.</p> <p>In other U.S. player traffic news, SealsWithClubs continues to gain players. The Bitcoin-friendly site added 20 more cash players, increasing its seven-day average to 140. Cashout speed is of utmost importance to players and SWC gets it done within 12 hours for most withdrawal requests and in 24 hours for the rest.</p> <p>In U.S. news that could affect future player traffic numbers, Sheldon Adelson has stepped up efforts with regard to his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. The billionaire casino honcho <a href="">drafted federal anti-online gambling legislation</a> that he hopes will lead to the DoJ's 2011 ruling that allowed individual states to offer online poker and gambling to be overturned.</p> <p>Despite the online poker industry gaining 6% overall last week, the global market remains 11% less than this time last year. Let's hope Adelson's campaign to wipe out Internet poker and gambling in the U.S. is unsuccessful or the decline in player numbers may be even greater next year.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 05:27:44 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2470 Nosebleeds Report: Gus Hansen and Viktor Blom start the year in the red Nosebleeds Report: Gus Hansen and Viktor Blom start the year in the red <p>The New Year didn’t bring anything new to the poker table for <strong>Gus Hansen</strong> and <strong>Viktor</strong> “Isildur1” <strong>Blom</strong>. Both players started 2014 just like they finished 2013: on the losing side of things.</p> <p>Hansen isn’t willing to give up first place in the biggest online poker losers’ leaderboard and continues to leak money. According to HighStakesDB, the Dane lost $759,315 in the first 12 days of the year. He was very active on Full Tilt, playing 90 sessions and over 11k hands at the highest stakes. He had a great start, winning over $212k on January 3 thanks to a marathon head-to-head match-up against unknown “taktloss47” at the 2-7 Triple Draw tables. Hansen didn't fare as well at Pot-Limit Omaha, however, losing -$611k.</p> <p>Blom started 2014 with a strong poker appetite playing a wide range of games and experiencing major swings. The Swede knows that volume beats variance and he’s now officially on a grinding mission; "Isildur1" played 195 sessions and 19k hands in the first 12 days of the year. Nevertheless, he still lost big: -$640,042. It’s his third consecutive losing month, his longest since becoming a Full Tilt sponsored pro.</p> <p>Third in the losers’ leaderboard is <strong>Patrik</strong> “FinddaGrind” <strong>Antonius</strong>. He made the mistake of playing <strong>Ben</strong> “Bttech86” <strong>Tollerene</strong> on his own turf, at the PLO tables, and paid for it. In the fourth spot sits PLO expert, <strong>Ola</strong> “no_Ola” <strong>Amundsgard</strong>. The New Year brought him a downswing losing -$244,334 in 4,246 hands at the game he loves most. On PokerStars though, where he plays under the feared nickname “Odd_Oddsen,” he won $85k.</p> <p>The biggest 2014 winner so far is “Bttech” with $355,335 won in over 4k hands. The American had a big winning day on January 5, crushing Antonius at the $500/$1,000 CAP PLO tables and cashing his way through in the $200/$400 CAP PLO ring games. He was the biggest PLO winner of 2013 with over $2.33 million. Will he keep up the pace in 2014?</p> <p>Three rather unusual names fill up the next spots in the winners’ leaderboard. Unknown “mikki696” is the second best online poker cash player in terms of winnings: he cashed in $349,015 after a red-hot two-day span. Both on January 8 and 9, “mikki696” was at the top of the leaderboard playing almost exclusively $200/$400 CAP PLO.</p> <p>The third place is occupied by another unknown who plays under the nickname “2Ari Gold.” He won $279,186 between January 1 and 12, 2014 while playing 5,626 PLO hands. “Doorbread” is fourth with a $218,543 profit.</p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 00:40:10 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2469 EPT Preparing Historic 100th Event Celebration in Barcelona EPT Preparing Historic 100th Event Celebration in Barcelona <p>The European Poker Tour (EPT) is planning on staging the largest poker festival ever seen in Europe to commemorate the hosting of its 100th event in Barcelona in August.</p> <p>Set to run from August 16-27 at the Casino Barcelona, the festivities mark the start of EPT's 11th season. A partnership with the Estrellas Poker Tour from August 16-21 is part of the 12-day run.</p> <p>Since its 2004 inception, the EPT has traveled to 16 countries and welcomed more than 180,000 players. Of those 180,000 participants, 39 have gone home as millionaires by winning chunks of the more than €535 million in prize money paid out..</p> <p>“The EPT was born in Barcelona so it’s very fitting to celebrate EPT’s 100th event in true style and with unforgettable poker,” EPT President Edgar Stuchly told Pokerupdate. “EPT Barcelona is one of the most popular tour stops and attracts players from all over the world for the fantastic mix of beaches, iconic architecture, party atmosphere and world class poker.”</p> <p>The 2013 EPT-Barcelona broke records for players entered and tour organizers anticipate more of the same in 2014. An additional 20 tables will be used in order to accommodate the expected larger field.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 19:05:54 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2468 2013 Player Review - Daniel Negreanu 2013 Player Review - Daniel Negreanu <p>PokerUpdate’s latest feature series takes a look at how some prominent poker players fared on the felt in 2013. Last year was a good year for some pros and not so good for others, as is often the case in both life and poker.</p> <p>Our first 2013 Player Overview is on poker great Daniel Negreanu, whose 2013 was certainly a great one. According to the Hendon Mob database, Negreanu took out a total of $3,208,630 in live tournament winnings, not bad earnings for a year’s worth of work.</p> <p>The Canadian’s first major poker win of 2013 was in April where he made history by winning the first ever WSOP Asia Pacific Main Event, an achievement that also netted him a gold bracelet and $1.087 million.</p> <p>Just three weeks later, Negreanu won $420,912 after he came in fourth in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final Main Event in Monte Carlo. A series of other in-the-money finishes followed, including six at the WSOP in Las Vegas.</p> <p>Negreanu capped off the year by taking out the WSOPE High Roller Event, which made him $979,955 richer and won him his second gold bracelet of the year. His stellar performances at the WSOP over the course of the year resulted in him being awarded the WSOP Player of the Year for 2013, the cherry on top of a nice year for Negreanu.</p> <p>The reason for such a great year on the felt? According to the man himself, it was a three-month emotional intelligence course he did in the US city of Las Vegas. <a href="">In an interview with Bluff Europe</a>, the poker superstar said the course gave him confidence in his talents, which helped result in the solid year he had.</p> <p>It also helped him in doing good things for those who need it, with Negreanu instrumental in raising $280,000 for a children’s hospital as part of the course.</p> <p>Here’s hoping Negreanu continues his solid poker playing and charitable ways in 2014.</p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 12:43:40 +0000 Bruno de Paiva 2467 Internet Gambling Control Act Drafted by Sheldon Adelson Internet Gambling Control Act Drafted by Sheldon Adelson <p>Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is ramping up his anti-online gambling efforts by drafting a federal bill whose purpose is to overturn the 2011 DoJ decision that found the 1961 Wire Act to be applicable only to sports betting.</p> <p>Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling have created a bill that would amend the Wire Act so that online gaming would be prohibited. The three-page Internet Gambling Control Act is still a work in progress that would require quite a few revisions before being introduced before federal lawmakers.</p> <p>A copy of the draft was made public by Marco Valerio at <a href=""></a>. The proposal takes aim at online poker by specifying that games "predominantly determined by the skill of the players" in addition to "games in part or predominantly subject to chance" would be verboten.</p> <p>The Las Vegas Sands CEO has in mind that federal legislators should "restore long-standing United States policy that the Wire Act prohibits Internet gambling to give Congress and the public time to fully examine the issues surrounding Internet gambling, including the potential for money laundering, fraud, terrorism financing, cyber-crimes and participation by minors," states the draft proposal.</p> <p>The 52-year-old Wire Act was enacted decades before the Internet came to be and was intended to outlaw wagers made via telephone. The DoJ's 2011 clarification allowed states to offer online poker and gambling, which New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada have done.</p> <p>Several more states may follow this year in a possible domino effect that could spread Internet gambling