PokerUpdate app feed. 3248 Card Player Tour Implements Quantum Reload Concept at The Bike <p>If you live in the UK, and love football (soccer for American readers), then a Saturday night is not complete without a cup of tea and Match of the Day.</p> <p>A few weekends ago I listened to the Hull City manager, Steve Bruce, complaining about a disallowed goal, due to a bad offside call.</p> <p><em>“We have goal line technology, so why can’t we use the same technology to make sure the offside decisions are also accurate?”</em> questioned a rather irate Bruce.</p> <p>The man has a valid point, but I couldn’t help but worry for the future of our game. Goal line technology was a good thing. The decisions are made in seconds, but to tinker even further? Our beautiful game would lose its sheen. It would become unrecognizable.</p> <p><strong>Too many changes in poker?</strong></p> <p>The same is happening in poker right now.</p> <p>There is a real worry that our beautiful game is undergoing so many facelifts that soon we won’t even recognize it.</p> <p>The Card Player Tour have just announced details of the next stop at The Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, California, Sep 21 through Oct 15. It’s a $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) Main Event that will use the Quantum Reload concept.</p> <p>Purveyors of poker press will remember that the Quantum Reload concept resulted in <strong>Allen ‘Chainsaw’ Kessler </strong>boycotting the World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main Event when they declared their intention to incorporate the concept a few weeks ago.</p> <p>It turned out to be a good call for Kessler, after he decided to travel to Connecticut instead. He played in the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) event and won it for $170,031.</p> <p>But that’s not the point.</p> <p><strong>Chainsaw makes plea on behalf of non-pros</strong></p> <p>Kessler was so incensed that he posted an open letter to the WPT head honcho, Adam Pliska, and even created a poll on 2+2 (77.14% of people who took part agreed with Kessler that Quantum Reload is bad for poker).</p> <p>In Kessler’s view, the Quantum Reload concept makes it incredibly difficult for the recreational player to make any headway in these sorts of events, as professionals have so many chances to even out their luck.</p> <p>So I guess Kessler will not be playing in the Card Player Tour event at the Bike then?</p> <p>An article on states that the event will carry an estimated guaranteed prize pool of $500,000. The last time the Card Player Tour was at The Bike they were only willing to offer a $300,000 guarantee, so it’s obvious the Quantum Reload structure allows the organizers to get a little bit more confident in their guarantees.</p> <p><strong>Definition of "guarantee" unclear to organizers</strong></p> <p>That being said I have never seen the word <em>"estimated"</em> next to the word <em>"guarantee"</em> before.</p> <p>Players will have the opportunity to buy-in for $1,100, on three different starting days. If they are eliminated during any of these starting days then they can re-enter the following day. Players also have the ability to enter on Day 2 - with an average starting stack - for the additional price of $4,000. This means the max buy-ins for the pros - or wealthy fish - is $7,300.</p> <p><em>“The deep pocket skilled pros have an even bigger edge,”</em> said Kessler, when complaining about the WPT using the structure at the Legends of Poker.</p> <p>It’s not surprising that the Card Player Tour have gone this way for their event at The Bike. After all, The Bike Tournament Director, Mo Fathipour, is the creator of the concept.</p> <p><blockquote>The Quantum Reload concept is one tournament where you can come in different times, pay different amounts of money, and get different amounts of starting tournament chips,” said Fathipour. “It’s the ability for the player to choose his or her day to play, depending on what day you choose dictates the amount of the buy-in and the amount of each starting stack. For the bigger tournaments, the players are coming on day two paying more money and starting with more chips.”</blockquote></p> <p>The Bike will also be offering a series of live satellites for as little as $65. This means that Joe Bloggs will get the opportunity to play in the main event for a paltry price. Rest assured, there won’t be many satellite winners taking advantage of the Quantum Reload concept.</p> <p><strong>Quantum Reload's effect on poker questioned </strong></p> <p>So is this a good or bad thing for poker?</p> <p>As a recreational player, I couldn’t care less about the Quantum Reload concept. I live in Cardiff, South Wales, and we rarely get any big time poker tournaments in this neck of the woods.</p> <p>If the only way this could happen is the introduction of a Quantum Reload tournament then bring it on. I know before I start that I am at a disadvantage so I have a choice whether I am going to play or not. I don’t really see much difference between this and the re-entry format. Either way, it’s more difficult for me to beat the pro.</p> <p>It’s a tough call to make but I think as a whole I would prefer to see the money remain in poker. This doesn’t happen if a Deli owner from California takes the first prize. So if the concept helps the pros more, then as long as we are sensible about the use of this toy, then we should be ok.</p> <p>And here lies the problem.</p> <p>It’s all about the money honey.</p> <p><strong>Bigger prize pools and bigger fields</strong></p> <p>The Quantum Reload concept allows the organizers to offer bigger guarantees, and that will attract bigger fields. The organizers of these events will do anything to earn more profit, and tournament derivatives such as Quantum Reload and Re-Entry seem to bring home the bacon.</p> <p>And this is where our beautiful game comes under threat.</p> <p>How long before the WSOP Main Event is a re-entry event?</p> <p>How long before the WPT and EPT Main Events are all re-entry?</p> <p>How long before poker players look back into the annals of time and piss themselves laughing at the thought that we used to have a tournament format called a Freezeout?</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:55:15 +0000 Lee Davy 3247 Who Is Going to Challenge PokerStars in the U.S.? <p>All the evidence is pointing to <a href="">PokerStars entering the New Jersey online poker market</a> in the coming weeks, a moment that is expected to be one of the biggest stories of the year, as poker players are looking to the return of PokerStars as that of a conquering hero.</p> <p>PokerStars is the consensus #1 in online poker, currently in a dominant position and the general feeling is upon their return to the U.S. online gaming market they will immediately establish a new ceiling that all other operators will strive to reach; it will be PokerStars and then a trail pack of operators trying to catch them.</p> <p>PokerStars is expected to ascend to the #1 spot, easily, but what about down the road?</p> <p>Stars may be the biggest and best company in the online gaming industry right now, but they are certainly not untouchable, and with their own future a bit uncertain (the company was <a href="">sold to Amaya Gaming</a> in August) a challenger could emerge on the horizon.</p> <p>From whence that challenge will come is still anyone's guess.</p> <p><strong>Full Tilt</strong></p> <p>PokerStars' most dangerous competitor may actually come from within, in the form of Full Tilt.</p> <p>The fact that they are currently owned by the same company makes Full Tilt perhaps the most interesting of PokerStars' potential competitors. Whether they remain friendly rivals, or once again become bitter enemies following Amaya spinning off Full Tilt is unclear, and could be something that determines the trajectory of the U.S. online poker industry in the coming years.</p> <p>During the post-UIGEA to Black Friday period from 2006-2011, PokerStars was the clear #1, but Full Tilt did manage to keep pace with PokerStars, forcing Stars to avoid becoming complacent.</p> <p>They managed this even though Stars had a five-year head start on FTP, and (as we have come to know following the company's internal issues coming to light after Black Friday) despite Full Tilt being grossly mismanaged --Who knows how the company would have fared against PokerStars had they had competent leadership and a business plan that went beyond doling out massive monthly dividends?</p> <p>Imagine if those dividend payments were reinvested in the product (which some would argue is the best poker software in the industry), marketing, or customer service?</p> <p>Furthermore, what would have happened had Full Tilt's monopoly on multi-entry tournaments and Rush Poker not been interrupted by Black Friday? Stars was #1, but Full Tilt was the innovator.</p> <p>Even though Full Tilt was a legitimate top tier online poker room from the moment they launched, thus far there has been little talk of Full Tilt returning to the U.S.</p> <p>The most obvious reason is the company's reputation is simply too tough to overcome. The term Ponzi scheme, and having your entire Board of Directors settle with the DOJ isn't the type of press companies want to receive, and it's the type of news consumers don't easily forget.</p> <p>There was also the <em>"minor"</em> issue of owing over $300 million to their players. Some of that money was repaid a year later, while some remains <a href="">unpaid to this day</a>, well over three years later.</p> <p>Moving forward there are two possibilities for Full Tilt to return to the U.S.</p> <p>The first possibility is for Amaya to launch Full Tilt alongside PokerStars in U.S. markets (with separate land-based partners), a move that seems somewhat redundant even though the two products differ aesthetically, but is not out of the question.</p> <p>The second possibility, the more likely in my mind, is for Full Tilt to be sold and rebranded by their new owners; owners I would expect to be a major casino corporation.</p> <p>If the company is rebranded (perhaps to <a href=""></a> or it would eliminate virtually all of the negatives overnight. Essentially wiping the slate clean for Full Tilt.</p> <p><strong>A new company</strong></p> <p>While their most likely challenger is Full Tilt, there is also the possibility that someone comes along with some online gaming breakthrough and releases a new software product that trumps PokerStars.</p> <p>The world is never short on visionaries with grand ideas.</p> <p>Paradise Poker took what Planet Poker had done and released a significantly superior product in 1999, completely reinventing the online poker industry a little over a year after it launched. Then along came another major innovation, the failed and tournaments.</p> <p><strong>The point is, if you think PokerStars is the pinnacle, you're sorely mistaken. They are currently halfway up the mountain while their competitors are still at base camp, but nobody has reached the summit.</strong></p> <p>A new company could come out of nowhere with some innovation that flips the industry on its head; perhaps 3-D video game graphics that do not use so much memory that the game is slowed down.</p> <p>Or, a current competitor could get their act together.</p> <p><strong>A resurgent partypoker</strong></p> <p>One company that has somewhat been written off (prematurely in my opinion) is partypoker.</p> <p>Party Poker dominated the U.S. market pre-UIGEA by appealing to casual players (grinders will remember you had to sign-up through the Party skin Empire Poker to get rakeback, and even those deals were hush-hush) and while they haven't exactly been world beaters in New Jersey, the company does have a real business plan in place and is sticking to it.</p> <p>A few software improvements, stepping up their customer service, and of course the vast U.S. market to pull casual players who like to play poker from is all partypoker needs. A task(s) that is far from impossible.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:54:19 +0000 Steve Ruddock 3246 Heads-Up Poker Match Between Ronaldo and Rafa Set for Nov. 6 <p>Brazilian football star <strong>Ronaldo</strong> and worldwide tennis champ <strong>Rafa Nadal</strong> are set to compete in a heads-up poker contest on Nov. 6 in London.</p> <p>The two sports stars are both <strong>PokerStars</strong> ambassadors and the upcoming match, dubbed "The Duel" by PokerStars Blog, came about after Ronaldo issued a challenge and Rafa gladly accepted. The event will be live and broadcast on</p> <p><blockquote>I challenged Rafa to a rematch after finding out he was preparing for another live poker game," said Ronaldo. "The last time we played together Rafa won the match and it was a lot of fun. This time it will be different, though, because I have been improving on my own poker strategy and will be more prepared."</blockquote></p> <p>That last match occurred in December in Prague as part of the <strong>European Poker Tour Charity Challenge.</strong> The six-handed event included <strong>Fatima Moreira de Melo</strong> and <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong> and resulted in Rafa taking home the title, which he also does quite frequently on the tennis court. The staging of that event raised €100,000 for charity.</p> <p><strong>Rafa's poker game is improving</strong></p> <p>This time around, Rafa believes he may be an even tougher foe for Ronaldo, considering that he has been able to put in a few more hours on the felt. That is, when he's not winning Grand Slam tennis titles.</p> <p><blockquote>It was my first live poker tournament when I last played against Ronaldo and one year later I'm more confident with my skill level," the affable Nadal said. "I really enjoy playing poker and the challenge of learning as quickly as possible, so I can't wait to get back to training on my game and to play against Ronaldo."</blockquote></p> <p><strong>Players and fans can compete against Nadal at PokerStars</strong></p> <p>In order to sharpen his game, Rafa will be putting in some time at the play-money tables at PokerStars. Players are invited to compete against the tennis champ on the six-max <strong>Zoom Poker</strong> tables today at 19:00 CET. Players in the U.S. can access PokerStars' play-money offerings.</p> <p>Questions can be asked of the tennis pro and up-and-coming poker star similar to the last time that PokerStars staged such an event in March. During that Zoom Poker session, <a href="">Negreanu sat alongside Rafa</a> as he took on the world and won, raising funds for Care International in the process.</p> <p><blockquote>"A lot of times you will have someone who is number one in the world, and they develop an ego," Negreanu said while mentoring the 'King of Clay.' "He's just very humble despite his success."</blockquote></p> <p>Another Zoom Poker play-money session with Nadal is scheduled for Oct. 14. Players and fans who would like to ask questions of the Spaniard either today or next month can do so via Twitter using the hashtag AskRafa.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:39:09 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3245 Ultimate Gaming Faced Too Much Competition to Survive in New Jersey <p><strong>Ultimate Gaming</strong> has officially pulled out of the <strong>New Jersey</strong> market and while some are viewing this as a black eye to the industry, was their departure unexpected?</p> <p>After all, the site was at a disadvantage in both brand identity and with the partner they chose in New Jersey. We can applaud their valiant effort to expand to the Garden State, but it may have been an ambitious move that should have waited until the company was more established.</p> <p><strong>Too Much Competition and Too Little Experience to Become Viable</strong></p> <p>One cannot blame Ultimate Gaming for wanting a foothold in Atlantic City. They enjoy the successful operation of <a href="">online poker in Nevada</a> and believed it was possible to replicate that same success in New Jersey.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there were just too many sites operating in the state and they had to compete against three powerhouses in the online gambling world. Borgata chose bwin.Party to supply the backend for their site. In addition, PartyPoker chose to provide a standalone site that shared player pools with BorgataPoker.</p> <p><a href=""></a> chose 888 Holdings to provide their backend. 888 also decided to run a separate, truly standalone site --<a href=";">888Poker</a>. by itself has proven to be more than a match for the combined pools of BorgataPoker and PartyPoker NJ. The All-American Poker Network is still a solid #3 in the state for online poker.</p> <p>Despite not running an online poker room, Tropicana has pulled in over $14 million this year in table game revenues. That's three time's Ultimate Gaming's total earnings in 2014. Tropicana partnered with Euro gambling leader Gamesys Limited for their site and have been one of the big surprises in NJ iGaming.</p> <p>The big three in New Jersey iGaming run over half of the state's eight iGaming sites. Their experience in the industry coupled with contracts with the largest casinos in the state resulted in their claiming the lion's share of the market. Had the big three been the only experienced operators in the state, Ultimate Gaming may have had a chance. Unfortunately, even the smaller sites were run by experienced companies.</p> <p>Golden Nugget partnered with Bally Technologies and Trump Plaza with Betfair, both companies having far more experience in the iGaming industry than Ultimate Gaming. Despite throwing a lot of money at advertising and running some clever promotions, Ultimate Gaming just didn't have the branding or the experienced needed to be successful in a state with eight iGaming sites. It was a brave endeavor, but perhaps one that they undertook too soon.</p> <p><strong>Lesniak Announcement Was Likely Death Knell, Not Bankruptcy</strong></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p>According to reports, the Taj hadn't paid Ultimate Poker in months and they are owed $1.5 million. In addition, the site was forced to do all of their own promotion because they were unable to get a deal in place with the property on advertising.</p> <p>Essentially, the site was operating as an independent entity. As such, did it really matter that the Taj was going into bankruptcy? Why not just try and continue with their license as Betfair did?</p> <p>Enter Senator Lesniak. He made claims last week that PokerStars was a matter of <em>"weeks, not months"</em> away from being approved for a license. That revelation changed the timeframe of PokerStars setting up shop from sometime in 2015 to possibly as soon as Thanksgiving.</p> <p>Ultimate Gaming was already dead last in the state for revenue and barely making a dent with their poker room. PokerStars likely would have killed a large percentage of the poker traffic and made them about as relevant as Betfair. Odds are that the table game revenue would follow.</p> <p>It's not a slam-dunk that the Taj will shut down in November, so the bankruptcy was a convenient excuse. Getting out of Dodge before PokerStars cuts further into their earnings would make more sense.</p> <p><strong>Ultimate Gaming May Be Perfect for Smaller Markets</strong></p> <p>One of the reasons behind the success of Ultimate Poker in Nevada is the fact that until recently, they were 50% of the industry. While is the industry leader in Nevada, Ultimate Poker is not far behind.</p> <p>As states begin to look at <a href="">online poker</a> in the near future, Ultimate Poker may want to start marketing themselves to some of the smaller market clients looking for a solid poker client or in states where a limited number of providers will be used.</p> <p>For example, states such as West Virginia and Rhode Island are going to have a limited number of sites. These smaller markets would be excellent targets for the company as they will have a larger chunk of the total market share.</p> <p>Ultimate Poker should also start marketing their brand as a U.S. brand. They didn't <em>"return to the U.S."</em> following Black Friday and are a company made by Americans for the American poker market. Why worry about whether a company broke the law post-2006 when you have a company that has only operated in a legalized American poker marketplace? <em>"Made in the USA"</em> may seem like a cliché for branding, but it may put them over the top in some more <em>"patriotic"</em> states.</p> <p>Ultimate Gaming will have a place in the legalized U.S. market. However, its growth will have to be slow as they continue to build their brand. With the right strategy, they can be a solid contender in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:51:05 +0000 James Guill 3244 Play Heads-Up vs. Viktor Blom for $5,000 at Full Tilt <p>Want to match your poker skills against the best in the business and earn $5,000 in cash and bragging rights for a lifetime? You can do so by playing in <a href="">Full Tilt's Sit &amp; Go Trio promotion</a> and win your way to a heads-up showdown versus <strong>Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.</strong></p> <p>Requirements for the <strong>Sit &amp; Go Trio</strong> promo are quite simple. Just play in three Sit &amp; Go Tournaments a day starting on Sunday, Sept. 28 through Friday, Oct. 3. That includes Full Tilt's popular Jackpot Sit &amp; Go Tournaments.</p> <p>Playing three Sit &amp; Gos will allow your account to be credited with a $1K Sit &amp; Go Trio Freeroll ticket. Register and play in that freeroll under a Super Turbo tournament format the very next day. The freeroll ticket is good only for the $1K Sit &amp; Go Trio Freeroll the following day and will expire if you fail to take part.</p> <p>Finish within the top three in the $1K Sit &amp; Go Trio Freeroll and you'll advance to a $5,000 heads-up match against online poker legend and Full Tilt Professional Viktor “Isildur1” Blom set for Sunday, Oct. 5. Take down Blom and your account will be credited with $5,000 in bonus cash. But more importantly, you'll have achieved success where many others have failed.</p> <p><strong>More ways to win</strong></p> <p>To increase your chances of facing Blom heads-up, play six Sit &amp; Gos in one day and earn another $1K Sit &amp; Go Trio Freeroll ticket. The maximum amount of freeroll tickets allowed to be earned each day during the course of the promo is two.</p> <p>However, three of those Sit &amp; Gos must be played on desktop software, while the other three must be entered via the Full Tilt Poker app. Each day of eligibility from Sept. 28-Oct. 3 begins at 00:00 ET and ends at 23:59 ET.</p> <p>That's a total of 12 $1K Sit &amp; Go Trio Freeroll tickets that are available to be won. A dozen chances to win money in the freerolls, as well as to pit yourself against one of the most feared and respected heads-up players in all of poker.</p> <p>The heads-up matches against Blom are set for Eastern Time on Sunday Oct. 5 at each of the following: 14:45, 15:00, 15:15, 15:30, 15:45 and 16:00. Do you have what it takes to step up your game and take on Blom?</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:41:12 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3243 Northern New Jersey Eyes Casino Proposals <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he recent spate of casino closings in <strong>New Jersey</strong> has renewed interest in perhaps allowing casinos to be located outside of Atlantic City, with the state's northern end receiving considerable attention.</p> <p>That attention has come in the form of huge projects proposed for the North Jersey area designed to capture gamblers who are currently visiting casinos in nearby states. One such proposal includes more than just a casino-hotel, with the world's largest Ferris wheel, a racetrack that seats more than 100,000, and a skyscraper 95 stories high all mentioned as part of the project.</p> <p>That massive development with a price tag of $4.6 billion has been proposed by Paul Fireman, founder of Reebok International. The venture capitalist is held in high regard by many in the Garden State for turning a toxic waste site in Jersey City into a lavish golf course a dozen years ago.</p> <p>Another project being discussed calls for a $1.2 billion investment to transform the Meadowlands sports complex into a gambling haven that would consist of a number of "themed casino districts" located among hotels and a huge convention center, the Press of Atlantic City reported. The Meadowlands racetrack would function as the centerpiece for that proposal that also includes blueprints for a water park, indoor ski slope, and a people-mover system to allow for easy access to the various entertainment options available.</p> <p><strong>Don't forget Atlantic City!</strong></p> <p>While both of those proposals sound wonderful, neither will get off the ground unless lawmakers agree to put forth a referendum that allows New Jersey residents to have a say on the matter. The state's Constitution currently restricts gambling to within Atlantic City.</p> <p>One of the concerns about allowing gambling expansion in the state is that it may decimate Atlantic City gaming even further. For that reason, any projects undertaken in North Jersey will also likely include strategic development for Atlantic City in order to continue to attract tourists and gamblers.</p> <p><em>“Any expansion up here (North Jersey) has to subsidize projects to make Atlantic City a year-round resort,”</em> said State Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, who previously held an executive position with an Atlantic City casino before venturing into politics in 2008.</p> <p><strong>Gov. Christie appears willing</strong></p> <p>Gov. Chris Christie has indicated a desire to expand gambling to North Jersey at some point in time, provided that revenue be used to help rejuvenate Atlantic City. While his approval of online gambling in February 2013 was also done to bolster slumping revenues at Atlantic City casinos, <a href="">New Jersey online poker</a> and gambling sites remain a work in progress.</p> <p><strong>PokerStars</strong> is expected to soon join that online gambling market, with a <a href="">recent study by Morgan Stanley</a> predicting that revenue may rise some 60% due to the presence of the industry giant. Following the casino closings of the Atlantic Club, Revel, Showboat, Trump Plaza, and perhaps the Trump Taj Mahal in November, the addition of PokerStars and the expected revenue boost, albeit in the realm of online gambling, will likely be a welcome sight.</p> <p>Should voters approve gambling expansion and North Jersey does become home to one of the two projects proposed, it's vital that the north and south regions of the state aren't pitted against each other. That's why including Atlantic City in any future projects elsewhere in the state is so important.</p> <p><em>“If Atlantic City loses, all of New Jersey loses,”</em> said Meadowlands Regional Chamber president Jim Kirkos. <em>“We want to use the resources of a North Jersey casino to help fund Atlantic City. We don’t want to hurt Atlantic City. But protecting dollars in New Jersey is really what this conversation is about.”</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:32:12 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3242 California Online Poker Advocate Resigns from Senate <p><strong>California Senator Roderick Wright</strong>, the backer of two intrastate online poker bills in 2012, resigned from office after receiving a three-month sentence for perjury and voter fraud.</p> <p>Wright's resignation was accepted by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who happened to co-author one of the online poker bills that Wright attempted to push through the legislature two years ago. The resignation is effective Monday, Sept. 22, about 40 days before Wright is scheduled to surrender to authorities on Oct. 31 to serve out his sentence, the Daily Breeze reported.</p> <p>The charges levied against Wright pertained to lying about where he resided. He was found to be living outside of Inglewood, the district he was elected to represent. Wright received a suspension of his Senate position with pay following his conviction in January.</p> <p><strong>Wright's proposals included racetracks</strong></p> <p>Wright and Steinberg championed SB 1463 in February 2012, but the state's gaming interests were not in agreement over the language of the bill. Wright tried again on his own with a proposal in December 2012, SB 51, that also failed to gain traction and never came up for a vote.</p> <p>Both of the bills supported by Wright included the state's horse racing industry as players in an ipoker regime. The two most recent online poker bills introduced by lawmakers in 2014, both of which were shelved last month, excluded horsemen from participation.</p> <p>The latest reports out of California indicate that a bill being prepared for introduction in December for the 2015 legislative session will include racetracks. The horsemen are reportedly prepared to initiate a legal challenge should attempts to keep them out of any Internet poker scheme continue.</p> <p>During his sentencing, Wright was told by Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy that he is ineligible to ever again hold public office. Though he was instrumental in laying some of the groundwork for the expected eventual approval of <a href="">online poker in California</a>, Wright will not be part of the celebration when regulation is enacted.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 21:27:08 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3241 Poker Strategy with Chris "Fox" Wallace: Quick Action Tells <p>When I first started watching for tells in live games, I watched for the timing of my opponent’s bets. After playing online for so long, it was the only thing I knew how to interpret right away, and it was a great entry into live tells because it was much easier in a live situation than online. Believe it or not, many online players are more conscious about giving away tells than live players. There was even an app that would randomly make your action take a few extra seconds to insure that your opponents couldn’t get a read on the timing of your bets.</p> <p>The one thing I was sure of was that a fast bet was a much more reliable indicator than a long pause. A long pause could literally mean anything because players sometimes thought a long time over tough decisions and often waited a long time on easy decisions as an attempt at deception. I don’t know if this ever worked on anyone, but I saw enough players tank for 30 seconds on an easy decision that I’m sure they thought it was working.</p> <p>Unlike a long wait in the tank, a fast action is tough to fake. A good player can act quickly in many situations, and prepare his action for all of the possibilities on the next street, but most players aren’t good, and some plays are tough to fake even for a strong player who is planning ahead.</p> <p>It’s elementary when you think about it. If a player flopped top pair on a nine-high board, and a queen falls on the turn, an instant bet has to be a preplanned action. Very few players will instantly evaluate an over card in that situation and decide to bet in less than two seconds.</p> <p><strong>Two second rule</strong></p> <p>Less than two seconds is the key here. The time can differ from player to player, but a bet that takes less than two beats after the card falls was almost always planned out. In order to make a decision, most players will take at least a beat to decide what they will do, and another beat because no one wants to act the instant they make their decision. Keeping their movements still and their face expressionless takes a beat as well. They don’t just have to decide to do something, they have to plan out doing it or their actions will be very readable.</p> <p>Almost always, an action that takes less than two seconds was preplanned. That planning might be “If the flush card or an over card comes, I check, otherwise I will bet.” But even that sort of plan requires a beat to read the board, and another to plan out and initiate your action. An instant bet means even less wiggle room. It means “No matter what, I will do x on the next street.”</p> <p><strong>Opponent aware of being read or not?</strong></p> <p>The interpretation can be the tough part. Once your opponent has acted quickly, you have to decide what it all means. I try to break opponents into two groups as soon as I sit down at a table. Either they are thinking about their actions, and aware that someone might be attempting to read them, or they are not.</p> <p>If your opponent is not thinking about how he is perceived, then he will be easy to read. His actions indicate what he holds and how he feels about it. A fast bet means he is confident. A slower bet means he had to think about it. A fast check and call often means a draw, but it can also mean that your opponent is excited for a check-raise, or even that they are checking instantly to make you afraid of a check-raise to induce you to check. Sometimes an instant check even means that they are feeling stubborn and ready to check and call every street instantly to show you that they know you are bluffing.</p> <p>When an opponent is not paying attention to covering up their emotions, you can discern what is causing their fast check. If they stare you down, they are stubbornly checking and calling with a real hand. If they are very interested in the next board card, they are probably on a draw. The simple opponent planning a check-raise will usually check and prepare to raise, and they will be interested in your bet, but not challenging or staring you down like Mr. Stubborn.</p> <p>My goal with this series is not to teach you every tell I can think of and what they all mean. I’m not sure it’s even possible to catalog a significant percentage of the tells I see at the tables. Multiple books have tried that approach, and while some of them were useful, none of them have gone beyond very rudimentary physical reads that aren’t reliable enough to make you real money. All of these tells need to be seen in context and you need to be able to think for yourself and stay a step ahead of your opponents.</p> <p><strong>Tells, like players, are unique</strong></p> <p>Every tell, and every player, is unique. I want you to be able to look at every situation and make smart decisions and narrow down your opponent’s hand ranges because of their appearance, behavior, speech, and body language. Those things are too wide ranging and there are too many of them to memorize, and far too many for me to write about each one. Think about the examples I provide and apply the same approach. Learn about people and think about why they do things and what they mean. Eventually it will start to make sense and your reads will be more and more accurate.</p> <p>As with all of my tells articles, I have to stress how important it is to get clean reads on your opponents. If they know you are watching them, they will be much tougher to read, and the best way I know of to keep my opponents in the dark is to wear Blue Shark Optics glasses. Check them out at <a href=""></a> and let them know that Fox sent you.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 23:16:50 +0000 Chris Wallace 3237 Is Congress Mulling Online Gambling Ban with Poker Exemption? <p>Rumors of a renewed push to ban online gambling at the federal level have started picking up steam, as it appears a more palatable version of <strong>Sheldon Adelson's Restoration of America's Wire Act</strong> (RAWA) bill with several exemptions including online poker may be brought up for a vote in Congress this November.</p> <p>According to the rumors, RAWA, or a toned-down version of it, would be voted on when lawmakers reconvene following the mid-term election -- commonly referred to as a <em>"Lame Duck"</em> session as many of the Senators and Representatives are little more than seat-savers for the men and women who unseated them during the elections.</p> <p><strong>The new rumor</strong></p> <p>As Chris Grove reported from C5's US Online Gaming Conference (USOG), Bally Tech's John Connelly stated during a panel discussion, <em>"he expects a federal push to make 'everything other than poker illegal' this November."</em></p> <p>Adding even more credibility to Connelly's statement, Editor Victor Rocha responded to Grove's tweet, saying he has been hearing these same rumors (that there will be a push for an online gambling ban with a poker carveout in November).</p> <p><strong>Not the first time this has been rumored</strong></p> <p>Earlier this week, <a href="">Politico reported</a> a rumored deal was hashed out over the summer between Sheldon Adelson and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) where the casino magnate would abstain from the 2014 Senate Races in exchange for Reid allowing a vote on Adelson's RAWA anti-online gambling bill.</p> <p>Whether the deal is true or not, it does indicate the two have spoken about RAWA.</p> <p>Any vote on RAWA by Reid would almost certainly have to contain an online poker carveout, or at the very least a grandfather clause for states that have already passed online poker bills, considering the state Reid represents.</p> <p>You may recall Reid made <a href="">a halfhearted attempt</a> to pass an online gambling ban with a poker carveout back during the 2012 Lame Duck session, but shelved the idea when he was unable to muster Republican support.</p> <p>Reid was also linked to <a href="">another similar attempt</a> along with the junior Senator from Nevada, Dean Heller (R-NV), earlier this year. Once again, the measure was unable to gain enough support to even be introduced.</p> <p>Back in May <a href="">another gambling ban with an online poker carveout</a> was reported by Jon Ralston, who later reported Caesars Entertainment was behind the bill. Ralston posted a draft of the legislation on his site, titled the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Control Act of 2014. This bill and the people behind it were never officially confirmed.</p> <p>A lack of support to introduce a bill wouldn't be an issue this time around, as the bones of a bill are already in place in the form of RAWA. More importantly, if Adelson is content with a poker exemption, Reid would find the Republican waters a lot more friendly this time around, as Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and other Adelson allies would likely go along with Reid provided the final bill receives Adelson's blessing.</p> <p><strong>Why RAWA needs exemptions</strong></p> <p>As far back as March, <a href="">I speculated</a> that the end-game for Adelson's attempted prohibition of online gambling was most likely a compromise bill that saw the prohibition of online gambling with numerous carveouts including online poker.</p> <p>The issue of online gambling is one that pulls political ideologies in several different directions, as Republican politicians must balance several contentious issues that are at the core of their political philosophies. There is a states' rights component, a moral "Christian Conservative" component, individual liberty considerations, and of course the revenue potential from the industry.</p> <p>Further complicating things, there are current exemptions to consider (Horse Racing and Daily Fantasy Sports) as well as the current landscape where three states (Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey) have passed online gambling laws and have their industries up and running, and three other states (Illinois, Minnesota, and Georgia) are offering online lottery sales.</p> <p>It would be difficult to muster Republican support without addressing these concerns. For instance, to get Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on board you would need a horseracing exemption, as you won't get a Kentucky senator's support without it.</p> <p>This same scenario will almost certainly play out across Congress.</p> <p>You also have several other states exploring their online options, from online poker in California to online lottery sales in West Virginia. Lawmakers from these states as well as Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and New York would all need to weigh the local politics back home at the state level with their vote on online gambling at the federal level.</p> <p>Finally, a full ban of online gambling also opens the door to legal challenges, as Illinois, Minnesota, Georgia, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey would likely challenge any attempt to repeal their online gaming/lottery laws.</p> <p>It's also quite likely that a passable bill would contain grandfather clauses for New Jersey's and Delaware's online casino games.</p> <p>All of these interests would need to be appeased, and a compromise bill seems to be the only solution.</p> <p>It's still a long-shot, but the path is starting to become more visible.</p> <p><strong>Is Poker-Only what Sheldon Adelson wanted/expected all along?</strong></p> <p>One of the earliest hints that compromise wasn't out of the question (even though Adelson was adamant he wanted a comprehensive ban) was when RAWA sponsor Lindsey Graham intimated that compromise was a perfectly acceptable outcome, telling <a href="">the Las Vegas Sun</a> back in March, <em>“If you want to have online gambling, then come to the Congress. … If you want to have a poker exception, offer an amendment and see if it will pass.”</em></p> <p>As I opined at the time, <em>"Was his [Sheldon Adelson] call for a ban on everything, simply an instance of leveraged bargaining?"</em>One would assume that Adelson understood the politics of the issue and understood the slim chance a comprehensive ban would have to even be voted on as sitting members of Congress are unlikely to take a vote on an issue that will alienate a significant portion of their constituents.</p> <p>Perhaps he has always seen online poker as the bone to throw to the other side to get what he truly wants: A ban on online house banked casino games?</p> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 02:00:51 +0000 Steve Ruddock 3240 Ultimate Gaming to Pull out of New Jersey <p>In a move expected by many, <strong>Ultimate Gaming</strong> has ended their contract with the <strong>Trump Taj Mahal</strong> in New Jersey.</p> <p>According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the company cited multiple breaches of contract by the casino. Ultimate Gaming has also chosen to shut down their New Jersey operations rather than find a new casino partner.</p> <p>While not specifically stated by the company, one of the breaches may have been over payment for services rendered. According to the bankruptcy filing by Trump Entertainment Resorts, Fertitta Acquisitions Co. is owed nearly $1.5 million by the Trump Taj. Fertitta Acquisitions is an associate company of Stations Casinos, majority owner of Ultimate Gaming.</p> <p>Trump Entertainment Resorts entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 9 and could be on the way to shutting down the Taj in November unless other arrangements are made.</p> <p><strong>Doomed From the Start?</strong></p> <p>What do you call a partnership where one side fails to do any work? You would call it Ultimate Gaming in New Jersey. From the beginning, it appeared that the Taj wanted an online partner but didn't want to do any work to help them grow.</p> <p>Look at their site. There are no links at either or for Ultimate Gaming. Advertising by the casino was non-existent for their partner. Odds are that if you asked the average player if the Taj had an online site, they would say no.</p> <p><strong>Failed to Replicate Nevada Success</strong></p> <p>Ultimate Gaming was unable to duplicate the success enjoyed in the <a href="">Nevada online poker market</a> and was dead last in New Jersey for overall performance. In 2014, the poker room pulled in just $451,321, less than 5% of second place Caesars.</p> <p>Ultimate Casino was dead last in table games, pulling in $4.46 million through August and just $4.92 million overall. Betfair, despite making only $49 this year on poker, pulled in $5.05 million through August.</p> <p><strong>Shutdown Not Expected to Take Long</strong></p> <p>While a date was not set for a final closure of New Jersey operations, many expect the company to shut down in just a few short days. According to UG chairman Tom Breitling, <em>“We are working closely with the Division of Gaming Enforcement to ensure a smooth transition for our online gaming customers as we wind down our New Jersey operations.”</em></p> <p>With the closure of Ultimate Gaming in New Jersey, there will be just five online gambling sites remaining. Betfair is continuing their New Jersey operations despite Trump Plaza shutting down and are looking for a new gambling partner.</p> <p>The shutdown of Ultimate Gaming could be of benefit for some of the other sites as players look for a new place to call their online home. With close to $600,000 a month in table game revenue, expect some sites to see noticeable jumps in revenue over the next couple of months as these players transition.</p> <p><strong>What's Next For Ultimate Gaming?</strong></p> <p>For now, the company will focus on Nevada. Ultimate Poker has remained competitive in the state despite Caesars popular launch of <a href=""></a> Enhancements to the Nevada site are planned in upcoming months, including the ability to play on both Mac and mobile platforms.</p> <p>Ultimate Gaming could also be biding their time until <a href="">California legalizes online poker.</a> The company has claimed in the past that they have tentative agreements with some tribes to serve as service provider. Depending on what happens with PokerStars, UP could find traction in a legal California marketplace.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 23:47:33 +0000 James Guill 3239 J.C. Tran and 888Poker End Partnership <p><strong>J.C. Tran</strong> announced that he longer represents <strong>888Poker</strong> as a sponsored pro, ending a partnership that lasted one year.</p> <p>Tran initially signed on with 888Poker last year during a hiatus of the 2013 WSOP Main Event final table. Tran was leading the November Niner finalists in chips at the time. When play resumed in November, the Vietnamese national finished in fifth place and took home more than $2.1 million.</p> <p><em>"Want to announce that I am no longer a member of <cite>888poker,"</em> Tran tweeted on Wednesday. <em>"Thank you for a fun journey ovr the past 12mos. GL to all of #team888."</em></p> <p>Tran's performance at last year's Main Event was his sixth cash at the WSOP in Las Vegas in 2013. His next best finish among the six was 20th place in $5,000 No Limit Hold'em that landed a payday of $24,872, according to the Hendon Mob database.</p> <p>Justin Cuong Van Tran also ran good at the 2014 WSOP, finishing in-the-money five times. A fourth place finish in $25,000 NLHE Mixed Max was good for $290,622, while fourth place in a six-handed $10,000 buy-in event added $185,971 to Tran's earnings.</p> <p>Prior to the 2014 WSOP, Tran bested the field in the World Poker Tour's $3,500 Rolling Thunder Main Event, grabbing $302,750 in first place prize money. All told, the 37-year-old is 16th on the all-time money list with more than $11.7 million in cashes.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="</cite>"><strong>Get up to $888 welcome bonus at (available for New Jersey players only!)</strong></a></p> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 20:28:30 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3238 Morgan Stanley Revise US Online Gambling Revenues <p>Financial reports…the words make me shudder.</p> <p>Lao Tzu, the sixth century BC Chinese poet, once said, <em>“Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.”</em></p> <p>If you’re a fan of sixth century poets, then perhaps you should take Morgan Stanley’s US online gambling revenue forecasts with a pinch of salt?</p> <p>The financial powerhouse has recently penned a 22-page report cutting US online gambling market estimates quite drastically. The new figures show a drop from $3.5bn to $1.3bn by the time 2017 rolls into town, and another drop from $8bn to $5bn in 2020.</p> <p>To be fair to Morgan Stanley, the current performance of iGaming revenue in the three regulated states doesn’t produce a tingle in the belly, and their assessment of the current levels of growth as <em>"underwhelming"</em> are on the mark.</p> <p>Despite the falling numbers, the reports indicate that Morgan Stanley remains bullish on the long-term opportunities for US online gambling once the technical and awareness issues are finally put to bed. Issues, the financial specialists said, that lead to <em>"a stubbornly slow market ramp and legislative process."</em></p> <p>Talking about legislative process, and the report bears no mention of any federal ruling over iGaming in the next five years, and instead focuses on the current state-by-state trend that has kick-started the revolution.</p> <p>The forecast indicates there will be seven states live by 2017, and 20 by the end of 2020. With the exception of California, Pennsylvania, New York and Illinois, the rest of the cast seem to be hiding on a memo that failed to reach the desk of the person who wrote this report.</p> <p>Writing in the California Gambler, intrepid reporter <strong>Steve Ruddock</strong> cites Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, West Virginia, Maryland, Hawaii, and Washington as potential candidates, but even that little wizard is left scratching his head as to what other states will be opening their cyber doors.</p> <p><strong>New Jersey</strong></p> <p>Morgan Stanley has had to rely heavily on the performance of the current three states (New Jersey in particular) for their predictions of the future.</p> <p>Here are the revised revenue forecasts for the Garden State.</p> <p><strong>NJ Online Gaming Forecast</strong></p> <p>2014 - $127m</p> <p>2015 - $203m</p> <p>2016 - $355m</p> <p>2017 - $507m</p> <p>PokerStars are still being hailed as the savior, and Morgan Stanley point to the Red Spade’s entrance into the Italian market as a potential indicator of the possibilities of a New Jersey impact.</p> <p>In March 2009, the Italian online poker market was worth €178m. PokerStars enter, and that figures rises 62% to €288m, with half of that lolly being earned by Stars, showing that the presence of the online poker giant created extra earning potential for their competitors also.</p> <p>The above figures are primarily based on the $73m of online gaming revenue earned this year, with a 3% growth month-on-month for the rest of the year. Morgan Stanley is predicting that <a href="">PokerStars will enter the NJ market</a> in January 2015, three months after Senator Ray Lesniak predicts.</p> <p><strong>California</strong></p> <p>The report believes an online poker bill will be passed in California some time during 2015, with the market opening up in 2016. The current 80/20 casino/poker revenue split in New Jersey has made them more cautious over the prospects for the <a href="">poker-only offering out of CA.</a></p> <p>The assumption is that PokerStars will ride into New Jersey, show the whole world how ‘this shit is done,’ and California will start thinking that bad actors are not that bad after all.</p> <p>A $260m market is assumed in 2016, growing to $610m by 2020. These figures have dropped quite significantly from $435m &amp; $1.2bn.</p> <p><strong>CA Online Gaming Forecast</strong></p> <p>2016 - $261m</p> <p>2017 - $348m</p> <p>2018 - $435m</p> <p>2019 - $522m</p> <p>2020 - $610m</p> <p><strong>Illinois</strong></p> <p>The inclusion of Illinois is forecast to be 2017 after legislation is passed in 2016. Morgan Stanley forecast $177m in the first year, and $607m by 2020. This assumes that Illinois will go the whole nine yards and introduce a total iGaming experience into the state, and not just <a href="">online poker.</a></p> <p><strong>Pennsylvania</strong></p> <p>A similar thought process is attached to the fate of Pennsylvania. Morgan Stanley predicts that a bill will be passed in 2016, and money will start rolling in during 2017. They believe it will earn $58m in its first year as an online poker-only operation, rising to $253m by 2020 with a full online casino implemented in the third year of operation.</p> <p>So there you have it.</p> <p>The art of saying what will happen, now we wait another few years for the explanation as to why it never did.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:03:05 +0000 Lee Davy 3236 Greg Merson Becomes's First Brand Ambassador <p><strong>Greg Merson</strong>, the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, abruptly left Ivey Poker this summer and was spotted wearing <a href=""></a> patches during the Main Event. Most speculated that he had been signed by the site but an official announcement was never made.</p> <p>On Thursday, <a href=""> officially revealed Merson as their first brand ambassador</a> as well as several promotions in connection with their one-year anniversary. Officials also revealed several brand enhancements that players can look forward to in the near future.</p> <p><strong>Merson to Be the Face of the Brand in New Jersey and Nevada</strong></p> <p>If you're going to pick a brand ambassador for, there are few stories more compelling than Merson's. Perfecting his game online, Merson overcame issues with drug addiction to win two bracelets at the 2012 World Series of Poker, including the Main Event.</p> <p> Head of Online Poker Bill Rini heralded the signing, stating, <em>“Greg is a terrific ambassador for the game of poker. He loves the game, is passionate and opinionated about its future, and he will help us spread the word about our offerings and ensure the poker playing community has a respected, experienced voice to help shape moving forward.”</em></p> <p><strong>Promotions Celebrate One Year Anniversary and Acclimate Merson in New Role</strong></p> <p>Today marks the official one-year anniversary of's launch in Nevada. The site is celebrating with some huge promotions available to all players.</p> <p>The first is the <strong>Anniversary Tournament Series</strong>. Running from Sept. 19 through the 27th, will run a series of tournaments with total guarantees of $70,000. The <em>"Super Sunday"</em> event on September 21 will feature a $25,000 guarantee.</p> <p>Players wanting to rack up some Action Player Points (APP's) can take advantage of's <strong>Double Me Up</strong> promotion. Through the 27th, players can earn double APP's on all ring games and tournament fees paid.</p> <p>Finally, players can take advantage of's <strong>Tournament Ticket Sale</strong>. Starting at 9:19 am on Sept. 19 and continuing to 9:19 am on Sept. 20, players can purchase tournament tickets at 50% of the normal tournament fees. These tickets will be valid for up to a year.</p> <p><strong>Improvements Will Help Improve Player Experience</strong></p> <p>Officials also revealed some recent and upcoming site improvements that will help improve the overall experience for players. These improvements include a new verification process, live withdrawal and deposit options, and a general time frame on the arrival of mobile gaming. The enhancements are as follows:</p> <p><strong>Wi-Fi Geolocation</strong> - Instead of using a mobile device, players can now use Wi-Fi to verify their location with This move was made to help eliminate many of the verification issues experienced under mobile verification. In order to participate, players must upgrade their client and keep Wi-Fi always on.</p> <p><strong>In-Person Withdrawals and Deposits</strong> - In addition to standard deposit and withdrawal options, players can now do both at the main cage of the Rio All-Suite Hotel &amp; Casino in Las Vegas. Players can begin the transaction at <a href=""></a> and complete the transaction at the Rio.</p> <p><strong>Mobile Options Coming</strong> - Players will be able to play at from their iOS and Android devices later this year. They will be able to do everything they can with the standard PC client once their account is linked to their mobile device.</p> <p><strong>Expanding Payment Options</strong> - This one was a bit vague, but officials revealed that <em>"positive discussions with major credit card issuers and banks"</em> have occurred and expanded payment options will be available in the future. An exact time frame was not stated.</p> <p> is the top online poker site in Nevada and #2 in New Jersey. During the 2014 World Series of Poker, they rose to the #1 spot nationwide. Since its launch, over 100,000 accounts have been created and $363.28 million wagered.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 15:02:06 +0000 James Guill 3235 Bitcoin Sports Betting Site Nitrogen Sports to Open Online Poker Room <p>Bitcoin-loving poker players got another shot in the arm this week after <strong>Nitrogen Sports</strong> declared their intention to open an online poker room.</p> <p>The scheduled launch date is Thursday, Sept. 18 and the online poker room will offer both real-money games (using Bitcoin) and a play money option. Customers will access the games via an HTML 5 application and initially there will be No-Limit, Pot-Limit, and Fixed-Limit Texas Hold’em cash games and tournaments (MTTs, SNGs and Rebuy tournaments).</p> <p><blockquote>It’s clear to us that online gambling would hugely benefit from embracing Bitcoin, with the biggest benefits being instant transactions, low transaction costs, anonymity, and security," said Jacob Dawson, co-founder of Nitrogen Sports. "Extending those benefits to a community of poker players was an easy decision for us."</blockquote></p> <p>The poker room is a turnkey system developed by the Swedish outfit Cubeia, who specialize in social and Bitcoin poker sites. They have business relationships with the likes of bwin and Microgaming, and a few fingers in the real-money poker pie in India.</p> <p><strong>A handful of Bitcoin poker sites</strong></p> <p>The Nitrogen Sports poker room is the latest poker room to choose the Bitcoin-only platform. <strong>Seals With Clubs</strong> and <strong>Betcoin Poker</strong> are the two well-known sites, with <strong>Switch Poker</strong> and <strong>WinPoker</strong> accepting Bitcoin alongside real-money offerings.</p> <p><blockquote>This extension of our brand comes directly from the feedback we’ve received from our current users," stated co-founder James Hampelton. "Our goal has always been to provide the best possible user interface, and I’m really excited to hear what they have to say about our new and modern software."</blockquote></p> <p>Although Cubeia have relationships with other poker operators, the liquidity of the Nitrogen Poker room will be purely self-contained. The poker room will run alongside the sports book, and it’s hoped that Nitrogen sports bettors will jump onto the tables in between flutters.</p> <p>Nitrogen Sports was launched in 2012 and is based out of Costa Rica. It’s one of the leading Bitcoin only sports books in the world. Bitcoin Reviewer said that the site delivered <em>"outstanding customer service,"</em> that it was <em>"a great social media experience,"</em> and that they <em>"listen to their customers."</em></p> <p>The Bitcoin betting guide said that Nitrogen Sports <em>"has the best odds in Bitcoinland"</em> before giving it a 95% rating.</p> <p>Nitrogen Sports is one of the only Bitcoin sports books that have a wide range of betting on eSports including Starcraft, League of Legends, and Counter Strike.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:49:23 +0000 Lee Davy 3234 WPT Heads to Asia in October <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he World Poker Tour has announced the schedule for events that will take place on Asian soil in October and November of this year. First on the schedule is the WPT National Philippines in Manila, which represents an inaugural World Poker Tour event. Immediately after the conclusion of the Manila stop, the tournament will move to Mainland China, more precisely, Hainan, where poker festivities will continue.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Solaire Resort &amp; Casino in the Manila Bay</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Philippines’ stop will spread over 11 days and all the action will take place in Solaire Resort and Casino situated in the famed Manila Bay. The flagship tournament, a $2,200 Main Event, will commence on October 25<sup>th</sup>. A rich offering of side events are also available, featuring tournaments such as the $25,000 high roller, $500 pot limit Omaha, and a $150 charity event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Solaire Resort &amp; Casino President Thomas Arasi expressed his excitement about the prospect of this inaugural event and it seems that players and other guests will be in good hands.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>Solaire is about creating moments, and the World Poker Tour is going to provide many powerful moments for everyone involved."</blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>MGM Grand Sanya in Yalong Bay</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Located some 800 miles from the Philippines, MGM Grand Sanya will host the players in Hainan, Mainland China. The National Main Event is scheduled to kick off on October 28<sup>th</sup> and features a buy in of $1,600, while the High Roller event will have a somewhat modest entry fee of $5,000. There are several $1,000 deepstack NLHE tournaments on the schedule as well as a $1,000 Open Face Chinese Poker event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Great Expectations</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first ever sanctioned poker tournament in Mainland China took place in 2012. It was a WPT event that attracted 550 players. Year 2013 saw an increase of nearly 100%. The organizers, WPT President <strong>Adam Pliska </strong>and tournament director <strong>Matt Savage</strong>, have every reason to hold big expectations regarding these events.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for Manila, it is already home to numerous poker professionals and it has all the makings of an evolving poker market that could help with bringing new players to the green felt.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>After experiencing great success during our first two trips to Mainland China, it was only natural for the World Poker Tour to expand within the region. Like China, the Philippines is an emerging poker market with a host of both talented new players and skilled veterans." <cite>Adam Pliska</cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The year so far has broken quite a few records in terms of tournament fields and Asian WPT stops could easily build upon this trend. A total of 35 events spread across two stops should guarantee enough action for all the potential grinders weighing their options.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">New poker markets are always more than welcome and Asia, without any doubt, has a lot of potential for numerous reasons – the number of people being near the top of the list. More information will be available once the tour kicks off, but things certainly look promising for everybody involved – players and organizers alike. </p> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:21:27 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3233 PokerStars Keen on Attracting Casual Players in NJ <p>Two <strong>PokerStars</strong> representatives met with online poker players in New Jersey last week in an effort to obtain feedback as to ways that its soon-to-be launched poker site can best address the needs of its loyal customers.</p> <p>On the surface, it may appear as though the meet and greets were mostly for PokerStars players who can best be labeled as regulars. After all, would recreational players be interested in attending and sharing their viewpoints considering that poker likely does not consume their time as much as it does the grinders who toil away on the virtual felt day in and day out?</p> <p>It seems that much of the discussion at at least one of the gatherings that took place at restaurants in Atlantic City and Jersey City last week was focused on casual players. Attracting more recreational players and keeping them coming back was apparently discussed at length, according to <a href="">posts at 2 + 2</a> made by attendees of the get-togethers.</p> <p><strong>New Jersey players provide insight regarding gatherings</strong></p> <p><blockquote>I went to the private dinner meeting with 9 other players and the 2 Poker Stars Reps," posted 'njpokerplayer24.' "First off let me say i felt way unqualified to be at that meeting compared to the accomplishments of the other players there. But the main point of discussion on the left side of the table was how to attract the casual player back into playing online poker."</blockquote></p> <p>Another player who attended, 'Jersey Jay,' echoed the sentiments of 'njpokerplayer24' by posting, <em>"There was plenty of conversation around casual players, and making deposits easy and solving geolocation frustrations."</em></p> <p>PokerStars has shown a knack for attracting both regs and casual players via their loyalty program and promotions such as 'milestone hands' that typically boost player traffic significantly. We can likely expect much of the same once New Jersey gaming regulators finally approve the application for an igaming license submitted by parent company Amaya that is expected soon.</p> <p><strong>Late October launch?</strong></p> <p>Another tidbit of information gleaned from players who attended the meet and greets was that a <a href="">PokerStars launch in New Jersey </a>may occur as soon as mid to late October. It should be stated, however, that 'njpokerplayer24' finds that timeline a bit optimistic and a <em>"best case scenario."</em> Later in 2014 is perhaps more realistic.</p> <p>Back to the matter of casual players, it is widely known in online poker circles that recreational players are key to the success of poker sites. Nothing better than fresh depositors who enjoy playing but tend not to withdraw. It can be argued that grinders are equally important, generating huge rake by playing many tables simultaneously.</p> <p>PokerStars has certainly found a balance in catering to both ends of the spectrum with regard to skill levels of its players. Based on the accounts of players who happened to partake in the free food and drink gatherings last week hosted by the industry giant, the player pool in New Jersey (whenever that may be) will follow much the same course and won't neglect the recreational crowd.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:02:46 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3232 Dan Bilzerian Teams with Verne Troyer in new BGO Marketing Campaign <p>Dan Bilzerian’s life is complete.</p> <p>He had the hookers, the porn stars, the money, the guns, and even the goat. And now to round it all off, he gets to hang with the coolest dwarf in the business: Verne Troyer.</p> <p>The images of Troyer kicking back in the world of Dan Bilzerian have already invaded my mind, and I can’t stop laughing.</p> <p>BGO Entertainment - an entertainment company founded in 2012 - has signed Dan Bilzerian to join the Hollywood movie star in a £15m online and TV marketing campaign.</p> <p><em>“I am very selective who I do business with because in the world of gambling you are only as good as your word, and I’m excited to be working with BGO,”</em> Bilzerian said.</p> <p>It’s not as if Bilzerian needs the money.</p> <p>In a recent interview with radio talk show host, Howard Stern, Bilzerian said that he had won over $50m playing poker in home games against billionaire businessmen – in 2014 alone.</p> <p>BGO Entertainment started out as one of the biggest casino affiliates in Europe before changing tact in 2009. Today, they work extensively in the online bingo market with,, and, a few of the brands that are associated with BGO.</p> <p><strong>Troyer worked with BGO previously</strong></p> <p>Troyer first joined the team in February of this year in a series of marketing campaigns called <em>‘Beat The Boss.’</em></p> <p><em>“I’m the boss at - come and beat me,”</em> says Troyer in the 30-second ads.</p> <div class="t_iframe"> <p>Troyer said. <em>"I really enjoyed working with the BGO guys last year and am really happy to be a part of the new campaign.”</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; color: #0563c1;"><br/></span></p> <p> </p> </div> <p><em><br/></em></p> <p><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">BGO Entertainment’s co-founder, Richard Skelhorn, thought the Troyer ads were a great success, hence the decision to bring him back into the fold.</span><br style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"/><br style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"/><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><blockquote>“Bringing Verne to the BGO brand made a real step change in our business," Skelhorn said. "We also won the EGR innovation in marketing award and to have the opportunity to continue working with Verne was really a no-brainer, we just had to do it.”</span></blockquote><br style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"/><strong><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Bilzerian's mass appeal cited</span></strong><br style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"/><br style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"/><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">The addition of Bilzerian makes for some crazy script ideas. Let’s just hope they don’t put the little man anywhere near the gun-toting playboy when they get on a roof!</span><br style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"/><br style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"/><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><blockquote>This year’s addition of Dan Bilzerian is very exciting and provides us a real opportunity to do something very different in the space, to continue to grow the brand internationally and appeal to a wider audience," Skelhorn added.</span></blockquote><br style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"/><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Troyer was keen to remind Bilzerian of his role in the new team set up.</span><br style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"/><br style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"/><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><em>“I’m still The Boss at!"</em> Troyer said. <em>"I really enjoyed working with the BGO guys last year and am really happy to be a part of the new campaign."</em><br/></span></p> <p>The new campaign is set to launch in Q4 of this year.</p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 229px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"><em>Troyer said. "I really enjoyed working with the BGO guys last year and am really happy to be a part of the new campaign.”</em></div> <p><em> </em></p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 229px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"><em>BGO Entertainment’s co-founder, Richard Skelhorn, thought the Troyer ads were a great success, hence the decision to bring him back into the fold.</em></div> <p><em> </em></p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 229px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"><em>“Bringing Verne to the BGO brand made a real step change in our business," Skelhorn said. "We also won the EGR innovation in marketing award and to have the opportunity to continue working with Verne was really a no-brainer, we just had to do it.”</em></div> <p><em> </em></p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 229px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"><em>Bilzerian's mass appeal cited</em></div> <p><em> </em></p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 229px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"><em>The addition of Bilzerian makes for some crazy script ideas. Let’s just hope they don’t put the little man anywhere near the gun toting playboy when they get on a roof!</em></div> <p><em> </em></p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 229px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"><em>“This year’s addition of Dan Bilzerian is very exciting and provides us a real opportunity to do something very different in the space, to continue to grow the brand internationally and appeal to a wider audience, Skelhorn added.</em></div> <p><em> </em></p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 229px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"><em>Troyer was keen to remind Bilzerian of his role in the new team set up.</em></div> <p><em> </em></p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 229px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"><em>“I’m still The Boss at!" Troyer said</em></div> <p><em> </em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; color: #0563c1;"><a href=";" target="_blank"><span style="color: #0563c1; text-decoration: none;">Get up to $888 welcome bonus in (available for NJ Players Only!)</span></a></span></strong></p> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:04:09 +0000 Lee Davy 3231 Margaritaville Casino Closes and Files for Bankruptcy <p>The <strong>Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant in Biloxi, MS</strong> closed its doors on Monday after just two years in operation. Failure to build helped lead to the casino's closure. A day after closing the casino, the property's parent company filed for bankruptcy.</p> <p>First reported by <a href=";rh=1"></a>, MVB Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday afternoon. The company had operated the now defunct Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant.</p> <p>This filing comes just one day after the Margaritaville closing. The property had announced back in July that they would close down. The facility opened in 2012 and was the first new casino to open since 2007.</p> <p><strong>Closure Not Unexpected</strong></p> <p>When the Margaritaville opened in 2012, owners knew that their future depended heavily upon building a hotel. Back in July, facility President Doug Shipley had been quoted saying, <em>“You need to have the amenities to be able to compete. It’s a fact that people play where they stay.”</em></p> <p>After the opening of the casino, the Mississippi Gaming Commission made a rule requiring new casinos include a hotel with at least 200 rooms so that the property would provide a well-rounded gaming experience for customers.</p> <p>Executive Director of the MGC, Alan Godfrey, was quoted back in July as saying, <em>“This is a pretty good example of why we put that rule in place. Without a hotel, they (Margaritaville) knew it was going to struggle.”</em></p> <p><strong>Attorneys Blame Landlord - License Now Void</strong></p> <p>Margaritaville attorneys were laying much of the blame on the property's landlords on Monday. According to Michael Cavanaugh, attorney for MVB Holdings, the casino had been attempting to reach an agreement with Clay Point LLC, the landowners of the property, to build a hotel. Unfortunately, that deal fell through.</p> <p>Now that the casino is closed, the landowners cannot just take over the property and operate a new casino. When the property shut down on Monday, the license was null and void. Any new operator would have to go through the standard licensing process and build a hotel.</p> <p><strong>Bankruptcy Filing Paints a Different Picture</strong></p> <p> listed the top 20 unsecured debts owed by the casino with more than $4.47 million owed to creditors. Of that figure, over $1.37 million is owed to Roy Anderson Corp of Gulfport, the builder of the casino.</p> <p>Other creditors owed money according to the filing include Bally Gaming of Las Vegas, Sysco Food Service of Jefferson, LA, WMS Gaming Inc. of Chicago, and Bally Gaming of Los Angeles.</p> <p>One debtor of note in the report was the aforementioned Clay Point LLC. The landowners of the Margaritaville property claim that they haven't been paid rent since the casino opened back in 2012. If this is true, that would explain the lack of cooperation on a new hotel.</p> <p>A hearing on the bankruptcy is scheduled for Wednesday morning. At this time, it is unclear if anyone will step up to purchase the casino, but any interested future owner will have to invest significant funds to bring the property up to regulation.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:29:54 +0000 James Guill 3230 Donald Trump Wants to Save AC; His Track Record Says Otherwise <p><strong>Donald Trump</strong> took to Twitter on Tuesday to lament the closing of the Trump Plaza and the current state of affairs in Atlantic City. During his <a href="">Twitter musings,</a> Trump also intimated that he may come riding back into town to save the day, apparently forgetting his own history in Atlantic City, where he possesses a track record most people would choose to leave off their resume.</p> <p>How bad was his time in AC? Consider that Trump found himself in <a href="">bankruptcy court four times</a> due to his casinos over the years.</p> <p><strong>A Recap of Trump Bankruptcies in AC</strong></p> <p>It started in 1991 when Donald Trump's Trump Taj Mahal found itself in bankruptcy court. The restructuring saw bondholders given 49% of the casino.</p> <p>In 1992, it was the Trump Plaza's turn with Chapter 11 restructuring as the casino was sitting on $550 million of debt. Donald Trump once again filed for bankruptcy, and in the process became the butt of many jokes as the only man who could bankrupt a casino --remember this was the 1990's and casino bankruptcies were quite rare. Trump also gave up 49% ownership in the Trump Plaza during the restructuring.</p> <p>In 2004, the parent company of the casinos, Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts, filed for bankruptcy protection again (restructuring $1.8 billion of debt) and Donald Trump saw his ownership share in the company reduced to 25% along with his title of CEO and control of his own name on the side of the properties vanish (although more recently he did try to <a href="">sue to have his name removed</a>).</p> <p>The newly renamed parent company, Trump Entertainment Resorts, minus Donald as CEO, didn't fare much better. Despite his reduced ownership, Trump was still the Chairman of the Board when the company found itself back in bankruptcy court in 2009 (that's four times if you're counting), and following another bailout Trump saw his ownership stake reduced to just 10% and resigned as Chairman of the Board after a heated fight with other owners and board members for control of Trump Entertainment.</p> <p>After the failed attempt to purchase the company and take it private in 2009 (see, he already tried to get back in long before this week), Donald Trump currently possesses just a 5% stake in the company that bears his name. No, Donald Trump didn't have a casino close on his watch, but at one point he controlled 30% of the AC casino market, and lost it all through restructurings.</p> <p><strong>A Gallant Rescue Attempt or Poor Memory?</strong></p> <p>Now Trump Entertainment is back in bankruptcy court once again, the Trump Plaza closed on Tuesday, and the company is threatening to close the Trump Taj Mahal in November.</p> <p>Amid this landscape, <em>"The Donald"</em> now feels he alone is the person who has the capability to save Atlantic City and rescue the properties that bear his name, because apparently history (and his memory) don't go back before 2009.</p> <p>In Trump's mind it's all the fault of the people who foolishly loaned him money during his restructurings and pushed him out. They are the ones that mismanaged the properties he bankrupted four times.</p> <p>Donald Trump took to Twitter this week to accuse those very firms that bailed him out during his company's 2004 and 2009 bankruptcies of essentially screwing up a good thing, because apparently being at the helm for four bankruptcies in 17 years is ok, but five in 23 years is just unacceptable and a sign of poor executive decisions.</p> <p><em>"They were run badly by funds!"</em> Trump tweeted, telling his followers, <em>"I may buy back in, at much lower price, to save Plaza &amp; Taj."</em> (Perhaps he has forgotten he tried to buy back in 2009, which would have been one of the absolute worst times to invest in AC, once again showcasing his acumen for the AC gaming industry).</p> <p><strong>Trump Re-entry? Don't Count on it</strong></p> <p>To be clear, the chances of Trump <em>"buying back in"</em> to Atlantic City fall somewhere between his investigation into the President's birth certificate producing results, and him officially running for President. Like much of what comes out of Donald Trump's mouth, in the end it's all just hubris and self-promotion.</p> <p>The <em>"funds"</em> weren't Trump's only targets, as he repeated comments he made just a month ago to <a href="">Bloomberg</a>, saying, <em>"It is so sad to see what has happened to Atlantic City. So many bad decisions by the pols over the years - airport, convention center, etc."</em></p> <p>His rewriting of history didn't end there. In the same Bloomberg interview Trump stated, <em>"A lot of people say when I left that's when it went bad,"</em> which is true, but let's be clear, Trump didn't voluntarily abdicate Atlantic City, he left after his fourth bankruptcy and was more or less forced out as his ownership dwindled to 5%.</p> <p>And let's also not lose sight of the fact that when Trump left AC in 2009 the financial crisis was in full swing.</p> <p>Trump doubled down on this assessment on Tuesday, tweeting:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Does anybody notice that Atlantic City lost its magic after I left years ago. I had the big boxing, introduced UFC (ask Dana),the best shows <p> </p> — Donald J. Trump (<cite>realDonaldTrump) <a href="">September 16, 2014</a></blockquote> <p> <script src=""><![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[>]]></script></p> <p>If Trump did anything right in AC it was bankrupting his company before the economy went completely downhill. I'm not sure that's the type of forward-thinking AC needs right now.</p> <p>Frankly, the last thing an Atlantic City casino needs is Donald Trump at the helm.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:52:11 +0000 Steve Ruddock 3229 in Nevada Marks 1-Year Anniversary with Promos <p>Regulated real-money online poker at <strong></strong> in Nevada will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Friday, Sept. 19 and the state's top online poker site is rewarding its players in commemoration.</p> <p>An <strong>Anniversary Tournament Series</strong> kicks off on the Sept. 19 anniversary date and runs for nine days through Sept. 27. One tournament is featured each day with a collective guaranteed prize pool of $70,000 covering all nine events.</p> <p>The highlight of the Anniversary Tournament Series is a $200 buy-in on Sunday, Sept. 21 that guarantees a prize pool of $25,000. That event is normally run as the $15,000 Sunday Guaranteed, but $10,000 more has been added to the guaranteed prize pool in honor of legally dealing <a href="">online poker in Nevada</a> for one full year.</p> <p>Satellites are available for budget-minded players hoping to enter at a fraction of the entry fee. Those on a budget will also be pleased to know that the $200 buy-in event is by far the most costly during the nine-day Anniversary Tournament Series. The other eight events in the series range from only $5-$100 to enter.</p> <p><strong>50% Off Tourney Tickets</strong></p> <p>Another promo offered in conjunction with the one-year anniversary celebration is the <strong>Tournament Ticket Sale</strong> that permits a 50% reduction in buy-in fees for specific tourneys. The tournaments available during the promotion range in entry fees from $1-$200.</p> <p>Players need to be aware that this promo runs for only 24 hours beginning on Sept. 19 at 9:19 a.m. PT and expires exactly one day later at the same time. To repeat, half-off selected tournaments from 9/19 at 9:19 a.m. until 9/20 at 9:19 a.m. That's a valuable promo for tournament aficionados!</p> <p><strong>September Reload Bonus and Extra APPs</strong></p> <p>Before entering the tournaments that begin on Sept. 19, players in Nevada would be well-advised to make use of a 100% up to $400 <strong>Reload Bonus</strong> that starts on the anniversary day and is available until Sept. 28. The bonus code of <em>"FALL2014"</em> is required when making a deposit that will lead to extra cash in your bankroll just for playing <a href="">online poker at</a></p> <p>Player points (APPs) at provide fantastic rewards and the <strong>Double Me Up</strong> promotion running from Sept. 19-27 allows grinders to earn twice as many. Simply play for an hour at a cash table or enter a MTT or SNG during the allotted time frame and your APPs will rack up double-time.</p> <p>Since launched on 9/19, the site loves to emphasize the numbers <em>"9"</em> and <em>"1."</em> As such, 19 players on each of the 9 days of Double Me Up will be winners of 919 bonus APPs.</p> <p><strong>Leading Nevada Market</strong></p> <p> in Nevada continues to reign supreme in player traffic over its competition. The latest numbers from PokerScout show roughly 25% more cash players at than its main rival, Ultimate Poker.</p> <p>Greater liquidity means more choices in selecting available tables on which to play, as well as larger tourney prize pools. Those prize pools and table options will be even larger come Sept. 19 when's promotions tied in with its 1st anniversary of dealing <a href="">real-money Internet poker</a> kick in.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:57:48 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3228 Straub Strong-arms Revel to a September 24 Auction Date <p><strong>Glenn Straub</strong> will get his chance to purchase the now defunct <strong>Revel</strong> casino in Atlantic City but not after threatening to pull the plug on the entire deal. According to <a href=""></a>, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Gloria M. Burns approved the new auction date of September 24 and the $3 million breakup fee despite objections from the bankruptcy trustee.</p> <p>Last week, real estate mogul Glenn Straub placed a $90 million cash bid on the property with the demand that the auction date be moved to September 24. Also, a $3 million fee would be awarded to Straub should someone outbid him by at least $1 million.</p> <p><strong>Delay Likely Would Not Make Much Difference</strong></p> <p>The hearing to consider the new auction date was held on Monday in Camden and lasted for over four hours. Lawyers representing both Straub and Revel tried in vain to negotiate terms for a delay but according to Revel lawyers, Straub wanted too many concessions.</p> <p>Judge Burns was not fond of setting the September 24 auction date but agreed because she didn't believe that extending the time for the auction would make much difference in gaining new bids for the property.</p> <p><strong>Lawyers Cave When Straub Threatens to Pull Out</strong></p> <p>Lawyers representing Revel and its creditors worked hard to try and force a delay for the auction proceedings but ultimately had their hand forced by Straub. According to reports, Straub was willing to pull out of the deal completely should he not get his way.</p> <p>If the property had other bids, this would not be a problem. However, the casino has tried twice before to hold an auction for the property and failed to receive bids. Furthermore, Straub threatened legal action to recoup his $10 million deposit already placed on the Revel should he choose to back out.</p> <p>Legal action would incur even more expense on Revel and its creditors and they cannot afford further losses. Apparently, the property is still racking up debt of $5 million per week despite shutting down.</p> <p><strong>Revel Could Reopen in Two Weeks Following the Sale</strong></p> <p>While not stated by the judge, another potential influence on allowing Straub's bid may have been his insistence that the property could reopen within a couple of weeks after the close of the sale.</p> <p>Stuart J. Moskovitz, attorney for Straub, revealed to the judge that parts of Revel could reopen within two weeks provided the property sells quickly. Those parts would not include a casino. However, a casino is planned sometime in the future.</p> <p>Straub has contended from the beginning that casino gambling would be part of the new property, but not a major part. He reiterated that position on Monday, saying that the casino will be there, just not the size that it was.</p> <p>The sale will commence next Wednesday at the New York offices of White &amp; Case L.L.P. Straub's offer sets the baseline for bidding, a bidding that will likely result in the property going for less than 10% of it's original construction costs.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:23:05 +0000 James Guill 3227 Trump Plaza Closes on Schedule <p>As expected, the <strong>Trump Plaza</strong> casino closed its doors this morning after enjoying a run of entertaining gamblers for three decades.</p> <p>The fourth Atlantic City casino closing of the year following <strong>Atlantic Club, Showboat and Revel</strong> may not be the last. The <strong>Trump Taj Mahal</strong> is next in line to be shuttered in November.</p> <p>New Jersey's gaming industry has seen revenue chopped almost in half after peaking at $5.2 billion eight years ago. A summit was held early last week under the direction of Gov. Chris Christie to address the problems.</p> <p>A number of the closed casinos may open at some time in the future. Recent reports indicate that <a href="">Donald Trump has shown an interest in the casinos that bear his name</a>, while a <a href="">bid for the Revel</a> has also been accepted.</p> <p>Trump Plaza lost $4.7 million last year and $7.4 million the first half of this year.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:56:59 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3226 Regulated Online Gambling Estimated in 20 States by 2020 <p>A recent <a href=";d=f%2Fe66941kg-3p1p-g00j-afb6-e41f13f03302%3Fstore%3D0%26d%3DUwBSZXNlYXJjaF9NUwAyYzA2YWY0Mi0xZGExLTExZTQtODhkOC0zNDllODg4ZjgwNTg%253D%26user%3Dkz1rms7fn9nb-196699%26__gda__%3D1536556228_4f0abb2fe2057b253ddc8950d2ec46a9&amp;s=f%2Fe66941kg-3p1p-g015-afb6-e41f13f03302%3Fstore%3D0%26d%3DUwBSZXNlYXJjaF9NU1NXRgAyYzA2YWY0Mi0xZGExLTExZTQtODhkOC0zNDllODg4ZjgwNTg%253D%26user%3Dkz1rms7fn9nb-196717%26__gda__%3D1536556228_5942d5508bd8fec54c92a22252b09388#docId:2c06af42-1da1-11e4-88d8-349e888f8058">igaming report</a> compiled by <strong>Morgan Stanley</strong> indicates that residents of 20 states may be enjoying <a href="">Internet poker</a> and gambling by the year 2020.</p> <p>The financial services corporation headquartered in New York released its findings a few days ago which revealed that those 20 states may be generating revenue of $5.2 billion by the end of this decade. If all 50 states became regulated and were included in the estimates, the U.S. online gambling market would be worth double that total at $10.7 billion.</p> <p>The $5.2 billion estimate comes in lower than Morgan Stanley's previous report that projected revenue in the range of $8 billion.</p> <p><blockquote>While we remain bullish on the online gaming opportunity in the U.S., we are lowering our estimates to better reflect the insights we have gained following the first few months of operations in NJ, NV and DE," stated the report.</blockquote></p> <p><strong>PokerStars' Impact in New Jersey</strong></p> <p>Those insights are gleaned from the fact that all three states have produced rather lackluster revenue results in comparison to projections made prior to launch. However, better days appear to be on the horizon, as Morgan Stanley believes <strong>PokerStars</strong> will have a tremendous impact on the <a href="">New Jersey market.</a></p> <p>Based partially on the performance of PokerStars following the industry giant's entry into the Italian market in 2009, Morgan Stanley sees revenue in New Jersey growing 60% year-on-year after gaming regulators give their approval as expected. The market in Italy boomed 62% due to PokerStars' inclusion.</p> <p>The report makes mention of the fact that PokerStars' entry into the marketplace in Italy is only one example, however, analysts <em>"believe it portends well for the potential impact PokerStars could have on the NJ market, especially if it begins to convert some of its users to casino games (which are much more profitable)."</em></p> <p>That projected spike in revenue in the Garden State may cause other states to rethink their online gambling regulation leanings. Should PokerStars indeed be responsible for New Jersey revenue to skyrocket as Morgan Stanley suggests, other states may be more inclined to get in on the action. That inclination would likely permit PokerStars to rid itself of the <em>"bad actor"</em> label.</p> <p><strong>The Projected 20 States</strong></p> <p>Online poker players in the U.S. who hold out hope that their state will soon enact igaming legislation are in for a disappointment, according to the report. Morgan Stanley envisions only the golden state of <a href="">California passing online poker legislation in 2015,</a> with a launch taking place the following year.</p> <p>Next in line to join the online poker and gambling party will likely be New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania in 2016 with market grand openings in 2017. While those three states are launching, Morgan Stanley believes there is a good chance that the legislatures in Colorado, Massachusetts and Iowa finally approve igaming regulations of their own and invite players within their states to place online wagers in 2018.</p> <p>The next handful of states most likely to climb aboard include Michigan, Maryland, Ohio, Connecticut and Florida. And by 2020, Morgan Stanley believes that regulation may find its way to Louisiana, Rhode Island, Missouri, West Virginia and Mississippi.</p> <p>The report points to the fact that casinos, run by either Indian tribes or commercial interests, are currently found in only 39 states. Its projections take this into account under the assumption that states without casinos would be less likely to enact Internet gambling statutes.</p> <p>Also a factor in Morgan Stanley's estimates is the unlikelihood that federal lawmakers will ever see clear to approving online gambling legislation that would provide blanket regulation on an opt in basis.</p> <p><strong>Still Not Enough States</strong></p> <p>The report's findings and projections, while certainly interesting and plausible, are merely estimates that may change substantially as time moves on. Whether 20 regulated states in six years is a lot or a little is a matter for debate. It's a lot considering only three states are currently regulated, and a little when realizing that it represents only 40% of the entire U.S.</p> <p>If the report should ring true, there will be far too many players in far too many states who won't have the safeguards and protections that regulation guarantees. And the players who do reside in states that eventually enact online poker legislation are seemingly still in for a long wait.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:45:34 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3225 Full Tilt Introduces Live Dealers at Online Casino <p><strong>Full Tilt</strong> has announced that real live dealers will be part of the online casino action for players who log onto the site via Windows.</p> <p>The dealers are located in Latvia and will be stationed at four tables --one roulette table and three blackjack tables. Online players seated at any of those tables can interact and chat with the dealers who will be attired in uniforms carrying the Full Tilt brand.</p> <p> </p> <p><blockquote>We believe that we have created the most authentic Live Casino experience available in the market right now," said Sam Hobcraft, Rational Group's Director of Casino. "When combined with some really innovative promotions, we are confident that we will quickly become market leader in Live Casino.”</blockquote></p> <p>Those promotions include the Gold Card promo that will pay out a guaranteed $15,000 each month to blackjack players seated at the live dealer tables. Live roulette players can enjoy the Lucky 13 promo where their bets will be refunded up to $13 whenever the roulette wheel hits the number 13.</p> <p>Full Tilt Poker rebranded in July, dropping <em>"Poker"</em> from its name to reflect a transition that includes online casino games in addition to poker. While the live dealer casino games are currently supported only by Windows, users of Mac, iOS and Android can expect to also be accessing the live dealer tables in the near future.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 23:29:24 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3224 Who's Better at Safeguarding Players, Live or Online Poker Rooms? <p>Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling spend a lot of time harping on the lack of safeguards available at online gambling sites. Their argument is essentially, <em>"we can't trust the Internet to protect us to the same degree that brick &amp; mortar casinos can,"</em> despite there being virtually no evidence to support this.</p> <p>So let's take a look at the evidence and see how online safeguards stack up against brick &amp; mortar safeguards.</p> <p><strong>Age verification</strong></p> <p><strong>Brick &amp; mortar safeguards: random, targeted, ID checks</strong></p> <p>Security at casinos don't check the ID of every player who attempts to access the casino floor (in fact they check very few), but overall they do a pretty good job of stopping underage players from gaining access to the gaming floor by profiling younger looking patrons along with random checks.</p> <p>The process is far from perfect (as the numerous fines for underage gambling and drinking attest to) but it does prevent underage gambling with a reasonable amount of certainty --which is really all we can ask for or expect.</p> <p><strong>Online safeguards: Know Your Customer Check</strong></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p>The signup process for an <a href="">online poker site</a> is essentially the same as signing up for a credit card or a PayPal account. The information you enter (including a social security number) is checked and verified in the same way a bank or American Express would verify a person's identity.</p> <p>Basically, <em>"faking out"</em> an online gambling site is as difficult as faking out Citibank.</p> <p>Still, there are several scenarios where an underage player could gain access to an online poker site. However, the methods all require the player to use someone else's account, either through identity theft or collusion.</p> <p><strong>Verdict: Slight edge to brick &amp; mortar casinos</strong></p> <p>I would call this a push, with a slight leaning towards brick &amp; mortar.</p> <p>Much like brick &amp; mortar procedures, online age verification is far from foolproof, but it does require someone to either break the law or be assisted in some way by an of age player, and prevents underage gambling with a reasonable amount of certainty.</p> <p>The reason I give a slight edge to B&amp;M casinos is due to the fact that casinos have a better chance to correct their initial error -- A player evading a security checkpoint and gaining access to a gaming floor could still be asked for their ID by another employee, or on their next visit, whereas, once a minor has access to an online account it's almost impossible to detect who is using that account.</p> <p><strong>Identity verification</strong></p> <p><strong>Brick &amp; mortar safeguards: None, except in the case of large transactions</strong></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p>Identity verification is virtually nonexistent in the brick &amp; mortar gaming industry with the exception of large transactions (wins) which need to be reported for tax purposes, and/or for large wires or money transfers that need to be investigated due to the Bank Secrecy Act.</p> <p>That being said, most players' identities are known through a casino's VIP Rewards Program, although this is not mandatory.</p> <p><strong>Online safeguards: Know Your Customer Check</strong></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p>Again, players have to go through a very stringent KYC check before sitting down at an online poker table. Unlike a brick &amp; mortar casino, every single player has their real-world information attached to every bet and wager and every deposit and withdrawal they make.</p> <p>This makes it incredibly difficult to launder money online (despite claims to the contrary), even though the player-to-player relationship is quite anonymous, the player-to-site relationship is completely transparent and leaves a clear paper trail anyone could follow.</p> <p><strong>Verdict: Blowout victory by online gambling sites</strong></p> <p>This isn't even close. When it comes to knowing your customer, brick &amp; mortar casinos cannot hold a stick to online gaming sites. This transparency allows online sites to <a href="">prevent money laundering</a> and identify problem gamblers through their betting habits.</p> <p><strong>Problem gambling</strong></p> <p><strong>Brick &amp; mortar safeguards: Self exclusion lists</strong></p> <p>At casinos any player can choose to add their name to the state's self-exclusion list, forcing them to abstain from gambling in the casinos under the penalty of having their money confiscated.</p> <p>It's a pretty strong deterrent; even if you make it onto the casino floor you're in danger of having your chips confiscated at any moment. The process is far from ideal though, as a player must, for lack of a better term, admit to being a problem gambler and sign themselves up for the self-exclusion list.</p> <p>And because of the anonymity of casino betting, the casinos have no real way of identifying problem gamblers other than the self-exclusion list.</p> <p><strong>Online safeguards: Self exclusion lists, deposit limits</strong></p> <p>Online sites use the same self-exclusion policy, however, because of the identity verification process (see above) its far easier to keep players on the self-exclusion list from entering the casino -- a baseball hat and a pair of sunglasses aren't going to disguise you online.</p> <p>Furthermore, with a player's complete betting history to peruse, online sites can better identify problem gambling behavior. While there is nothing they can do with this information at this point in time, it could be an invaluable research for getting problem gamblers help down the road.</p> <p>Finally, online sites have smaller stakes available and impose deposit limits on their players.</p> <p><strong>Verdict: Solid victory by online gambling sites</strong></p> <p>Both might rely on the same method to prevent problem gamblers from gaining access, but once a person places themselves on a self-exclusion list it's far more difficult to break that compact with an online site.</p> <p>Additionally, the lower stakes and deposit limits in place at online sites can be the difference between someone doing something stupid with a month's worth of wages and someone doing something stupid with their life savings.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:21:51 +0000 Steve Ruddock 3223 How Final Table Deals Hurt Our Ability to Promote Poker as a Sport <p>If poker is ever going to be promoted as a sport, we need to do something about our end game.</p> <p>I understand the player’s point of view. They stump up 100% of the prize money and have every right to determine the direction of those funds. But handing this power to players doesn’t help those who are trying to promote poker as a sport.</p> <p>At the recent A$2,200 Australia &amp; New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) Main Event in Melbourne, Edison Nguyen and Corey Kempson had battled through a field of 516-players to reach the heads-up phase of the competition.</p> <p>It was during this time that the pair decided to discuss a deal. The ANZPT is a PokerStars-sponsored event and therefore transparency is encouraged during deal making. It’s exposed and written about in the blog, and the revised numbers are sent to the Hendon Mob to ensure accuracy of data.</p> <p>In this instance there was $386,245 to play for, and despite Kempson holding the chip lead, Nguyen emerged from negotiations with the larger pay out ($203,410 vs. $192,835).</p> <p>Reading through the PokerStars blog it seems that Nguyen got the better end of the deal because he was more reluctant to enter into negotiations in the first place, instead preferring to rely on his skill edge to see how the cards fell. However, the deal did go ahead, and after the pay outs were revised, there was just $7,500 to play for during heads-up.</p> <p>Then, in the first hand, Nguyen limped the button, Kempson raised to 4m (leaving just 400,000 behind), Nguyen moved all-in and Kempson folded. The clock was then paused as the ANZPT Commissioner, Danny McDonagh, and Crown Poker Tournament Director, Joel Williams, entered into a confab, because it seemed pretty obvious that another part of the deal was to allow Nguyen to win the trophy and title.</p> <p><strong>Integrity compromised</strong></p> <p>The two head honchos finished their discussion and asked the pair to take back their chips and have more respect for the competition.</p> <p>The PokerStars blog stated: <em>“McDonagh implored both players to play it out with integrity.”</em></p> <p>So what did the pair do in order to maintain the integrity of the game?</p> <p>They decided to move all-in blind.</p> <p>Nguyen’s junk beat Kempson’s junk and the integrity of the game had been burned to a crisp.</p> <p>Whilst it’s clear that Kempson had no inclination to headline poker articles - and was only interested in the money - this sort of behavior is very worrying if we are to be promoted as a sport and eventually attract non-gambling related organizations as sponsors.</p> <p><strong>Winner has the title or more cash?</strong></p> <p>Here is another example.</p> <p>After Andrea Dato was eliminated in fourth place at the recent European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event in Barcelona, the remaining three players decided to negotiate a deal.</p> <p>Once again, the event in question was sponsored by PokerStars where transparency of deal making is encouraged. At this time, Samuel Phillips held a huge chip lead over the remaining two players, Andre Lettau and Hossein Ensan, and he quite rightly came out of those negotiations with the largest prize.</p> <p>Phillips picked up €1,021,275, Lettau €794,058, and Ensan €652,667. This time though, the players were facing off for an additional €90,000, and the title of EPT Champion.</p> <p>Lettau went on to beat Phillips in heads-up action, and whilst the €90k and title would have been serious enough for the trio to avoid a Nguyen/Kempson moment of madness, it’s still a little confusing to declare Andre Lettau as the winner when you know he took home over €200,000 less than Phillips.</p> <p>Ask anyone who won EPT Barcelona and they will say Samuel Phillips.</p> <p>We cannot be promoted as a sport if this is the way that we do business at the champagne end of our tournaments.</p> <p><strong>Final table deals remove magic of event</strong></p> <p>The World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker are often criticized for not allowing deals to be struck at their final tables. This doesn’t mean that deals are not made, but they do not form part of the final cut that the viewers at home get to see.</p> <p>This is exceptionally important because the success of the WPT and WSOP TV shows is one of the major reasons our sport is so popular today. They realized, very early on, that to allow the viewer to know that a deal had been struck removes the magic of the event.</p> <p>What’s the point watching if there is no magic?</p> <p>It would be the equivalent of the FIFA World Cup final ending in a draw and the two captains flipping a coin to determine the winner (yes they used to do this but evolved as we must now follow suit).</p> <p>The viewer watching the WPT show will have no idea that a deal has been struck because nobody will mention it. They won’t find anything in writing either because the modus operandi will be for the player to keep those details to themselves.</p> <p>It’s a form of control that appeases everyone, and after flip-flopping on this subject for many years, I am now comfortable in my backing of ‘no deal making’ at final tables.</p> <p><strong>Allow deals but remove transparency</strong></p> <p>The way the WSOP and WPT do business means the players get to make their deal, their final numbers are not made public, the general public aren’t even aware it’s happened, and the magic of the contest still exists.</p> <p>I’m not asking the players to stop making deals. It’s your money to do with how you please. But I am urging the organizers of live tournaments to once again question their decision to make deal making ‘transparent.’</p> <p>We are evolving.</p> <p>Promoting poker as a sport is the best way to gain maximum exposure for the game we love.</p> <p>Take a fresh look.</p> <p>Be bold.</p> <p>Change.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:38:15 +0000 Lee Davy 3222 Partypoker NJ Servers Freeze During Garden State Super Series <p><a href="">Online poker in New Jersey</a> could be said to have suffered a setback of sorts. Last night, during their heavily-promoted <strong>Garden State Super Series (GSSS)</strong>, partypoker’s servers experienced a serious malfunction. Over 700 entrants bought in to the $200,000 Guaranteed Main Event of the GSSS only for the event to be disrupted midway through. This was most unwelcome news for the players, each of whom ponied up the $200 buy-in, eager to cash in on what was to be a big overlay. To their credit, partypoker did what they could to make the best of the unfortunate situation.</p> <p>After intensive efforts to fix the technical glitch failed, <strong>partypoker issued an email to all players affected</strong> who still remained in the tournament, which read as follows:</p> <p><em>Dear all,</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>We experienced some serious technical difficulties with the Garden State Super Series and some other tournaments this evening which resulted in some of this evening's GSSS events, including the main event, crashing and their cancellation. Numerous attempts to resume these tournaments failed.</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>Players will shortly be paid out funds as per our tournament cancellation policy which deems that the entire prizepool is considered for payout including the guaranteed money which had not yet been covered by player buy-ins.</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>The cancellation policy is as follows: <a href=""></a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>Eliminated players at the time of cancellation will not be refunded their buy-in or entry fee</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>Players still in the tournament will be refunded the amount that would have been awarded to the next player to be eliminated from the tournament. 50% of the remaining prize pool will be distributed equally between the remaining players, and 50% will be distributed on a percentage basis according to each player's chip count. The remaining players will also be refunded their entry fee.</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this will have caused. We have been humbled by this experience and appreciate the enormous burden we have placed on the players tonight and are so sorry. We will diligently work to make certain that we overcome these technical challenges in the future.</em></p> <p>As confirmed by numerous players on Twitter, partypoker remitted the funds, as promised, to all players remaining in the tournament at the time of the malfunction. <strong>Moreover, again to partypoker’s great credit, these payments processed and distributed to the players reflected the full $200,000 prize pool guarantee.</strong> In other words, they didn’t capitalize on a technical glitch to renege on their commitments to the players.</p> <p><strong>Bad Timing</strong></p> <p>Despite partypoker taking responsibility for factors clearly beyond their control, players were understandably upset with what happened and <a href="">publicly voiced their displeasure</a> on social media as well as popular poker forums.</p> <p>There’s no such thing as a <em>“good time”</em> for bad things to happen to a poker operator, but partypoker seems to have gotten caught with their pants servers down at a particularly bad time, for multiple reasons.</p> <p>The GSSS represented the debut appearance of former New Jersey Devils star Ken Daneyko as a partypoker ambassador. Much commotion was made of this deal, which represented another successful crossover of poker into the mainstream. Daneyko naturally was active in promoting participation in the GSSS and it seems as though he’s unintentionally ended up with a bit of egg on his face. Not the most auspicious of debuts to say the least…</p> <p>Beyond this, <em>“PokerStars”</em> has been a buzzword on people’s lips in New Jersey, as their arrival on the local online poker scene seems imminent. It can’t have hurt their chances of gaining market share to have had this happen at a premier partypoker event.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href=";">Get up to $888 welcome bonus at (available for New Jersey players only!)</a></p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:35:49 +0000 Robbie Strazynski 3221 PokerStars Gears Up for UKIPT Isle of Man Oct. 1 <p>While <strong>PokerStars</strong> prepares for an entry into <strong>New Jersey</strong> perhaps as early as next month, preparations are also underway for the <strong>UKIPT Isle of Man</strong> that kicks off the 1st of October.</p> <p>This will be the second such pilgrimage to the home of PokerStars for the UKIPT following its inaugural stop there last year. Fourteen events are scheduled from Oct. 1-6, culminating in the final table of the £770 UKIPT Main Event on the last day. Satellites for that Main Event are running now at PokerStars.</p> <p>There will be more than poker for those who make the trek to the island inhabited by about 81,000 situated in the Irish Sea between Ireland and the UK. PokerStars will once again provide tours of their headquarters in addition to a free player party where a number of PokerStars Team Pros will be on hand.</p> <p>The UKIPT Isle of Man tour stop takes place while PokerStars also plays host to the <strong>Isle of Man International Chess Tournament.</strong> That event runs from Oct. 4-12 and gives players another option of things to do when not competing on the felt.</p> <p>Click <a href="">here</a> for the full schedule of this year's UKIPT Isle of Man.</p> <p> </p> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 22:56:17 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3220 Bankruptcy Trustee Objects to Revel Bid <p>The proposed bid to purchase the recently shuttered Revel Casino in Atlantic City may already be in jeopardy as U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee Roberta DeAngelis has objected to the bid submitted by real estate mogul Glenn Straub.</p> <p>In a 12-page document filed on Friday, DeAngelis objected to both the $3 million break-up fee and the September 23 auction date requested by Straub. DeAngelis feels that the $3 million fee is inappropriate since the property is currently in bankruptcy. The new auction date was objected to because it fails to give enough time for other interested parties to submit a bid.</p> <p><strong>Either They Sign the Contract or They Don't</strong></p> <p>Despite putting up a bid of $90 million with $10 million already in escrow, it appears that Straub isn't too concerned about the objection. He claimed to be unaware of the objections raised by DeAngelis and had a response ready when informed of the filing by the Press of Atlantic City.</p> <p><blockquote>We are cash buyers. We try to get things done and move on," Straub said. "I don’t do this for the $3 million. Either they sign the contract or don’t.”</blockquote></p> <p>Straub doesn't appear to be interested in waiting for other bidders and may be willing to pull his bid rather than wait. He commented, <em>“There are only so many people who can qualify to buy. I have a window right now. If they are not interested, give me my deposit back.”</em></p> <p><strong>Bidders Need More Time</strong></p> <p>The emergency motion to change the bid deadline is set to be heard this week and the September 23 deadline leaves insufficient time for bidders to act, according to DeAngelis.</p> <p>Bidding for the property had been open well before the casino closed. Tours were being provided to prospective bidders right up until the Revel shut down on Sept. 2, but nobody pulled the trigger.</p> <p>According to DeAngelis, <em>"now that (Revel's) operations have been closed, potential new bidders should be provided sufficient time to become qualified bidders and present their bid."</em></p> <p><strong>Casinos Will Not Dominate the Property</strong></p> <p>When Revel was first built, it was one of the most ambitious casino projects in Atlantic City history. Should Straub take over the property, the role of gambling will be secondary to the property's future.</p> <p>Straub plans to have a casino in the building, but he will let a third party operate the casino and the operation will be a secondary enterprise.</p> <p><em>"We're not going to let a building be dominated by a casino,"</em> he said.</p> <p>A multi-purpose complex with a casino as a small part of the business could be the type of business to flourish in Atlantic City in the future. The $2.4 billion failure of Revel along with the other recent casino closures is proving that a change is needed for the Atlantic City economy. Straub's complex could be part of that change.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 21:01:04 +0000 James Guill 3219 Donald Trump Eyes Trump Casinos in Atlantic City <p><strong>Trump Plaza</strong> is scheduled to close in a matter of days and the <strong>Trump Taj Mahal</strong> may follow suit in a couple months, but workers would be well-advised to not remove the signage bearing the Trump name just yet.</p> <p><strong>Donald Trump</strong> is reportedly considering a return to Atlantic City and is said to be eyeing the struggling Trump casinos, reported. <em>"The Donald"</em> has been gone for five years following his resignation as chairman of Trump Entertainment in 2009, but still retains a 10% share.</p> <p><blockquote class="left">I can confirm that Mr. Trump is looking at Trump Entertainment Resorts in Atlantic City," said Michael Cohen, Trump Organization Executive Vice President and Special Counsel to Donald Trump. "But he's doing so cautiously."</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>The real estate mogul and star of reality television's <em>"The Celebrity Apprentice"</em> made headlines just one month ago when he filed a lawsuit in an effort to force the casinos to remove his name. The 68-year-old claimed in legal documents that the casinos were in disrepair and lacked the <em>"high standards"</em> associated with the Trump name.</p> <p><em>"I want it off both of them,"</em> Trump said in August. <em>"People think we operate (the company), and we don't. It's not us. It's not me."</em></p> <p>Trump's limited involvement reportedly allows the use of his name for licensing purposes. His lawsuit states that Trump Entertainment defaulted on the licensing agreement due to the <em>"appalling conditions"</em> of the Trump casinos, among other reasons.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 13 Sep 2014 23:40:03 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3218 Illegal NY Poker Game Could Land "The Undertaker" in Jail <p><span class="letter-big">A</span> mortician in Staten Island, <strong>New York</strong> was found guilty in federal court of running an illegal poker game and may be sentenced to up to 16 months in jail.</p> <p>Known as <em>"The Undertaker,"</em> <strong>Joseph Fumando</strong> and his attorney were not able to convince a Brooklyn Federal Court jury that Fumando was simply a participant in the game and not its operator. The jurors deliberated only 20 minutes before returning the guilty verdict, which may cause the 42-year-old to surrender his mortician's license, the <a href=";utm_medium=social&amp;;utm_campaign=buffer">New York Daily News reported.</a></p> <p>The feds were tipped off to the whereabouts of the underground poker game after a plainclothes detective with the NYPD happened to spill the beans about the Staten Island gambling club while wearing a wire. Twelve other suspects were arrested in addition to Fumando, including two firemen and a retired police sergeant.</p> <p>One of the club's dealers testified against Fumando after cutting a deal with prosecutors. Deborah Berardi told the court that the club provided food and shoulder massages for the players. But more damaging was her testimony that a rake of 5% was taken from each pot.</p> <p><strong>Shades of Molly Bloom</strong></p> <p>Just a few months ago, illegal poker in New York also took center stage when Molly Bloom received probation and community service for her role in hosting high stakes games and raking the pot. Poker games run by the <em>"Poker Princess"</em> seated a number of well-known athletes and Hollywood movie stars.</p> <p>Bloom has since told her story in a book title <em>"Molly's Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker"</em> that was published by HarperCollins. The latest gossip from the rumor mill reveals that Hollywood is interested in bringing Bloom's tale to the silver screen.</p> <p>Those who have yet to read the tell-all from the Poker Princess may want to first read a <a href="">review</a> by <strong>James McManus</strong>, author of <em>"Cowboys Full - The Story of Poker"</em> and <em>"Positively Fifth Street."</em> McManus, who finished fifth at the 2000 WSOP Main Event and is approaching $800K in lifetime earnings, believes Bloom's prose may be fudging the facts.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 13 Sep 2014 21:43:09 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3217 New Jersey Online Gambling Revenue Up 4.5% in August <p>The <strong>New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement</strong> has released monthly online gambling figures for August that show $10.54 million in Internet win during the month, a jump of 4.5 percent from July.</p> <p>Of that win, $8.3 million came from casino games, while $2.2 million was attributable to online poker. The number of registered accounts in New Jersey grew by 6.5% to 431,617.</p> <p><strong>Tropicana and Borgata Big Winners</strong></p> <p>The Tropicana continues to make huge gains in New Jersey iGaming despite not offering poker. In August, the Trop took in $2.26 million compared to $1.96 million in July. The 13% gain was the largest among NJ iGaming sites for the month. Tropicana is currently third overall in annual iGaming revenue with a win of $14.05 million through August.</p> <p>The Borgata Hotel Casino &amp; Spa had a solid month, improving on their July numbers by 9.5%. Online poker was up, earning over $1.16 million, while table games swelled to $2.3 million.</p> <p>Borgata finished the month with $3.47 million in total win. They remain the industry leader in New Jersey with $30.6 million in Internet win earned through August.</p> <p><strong>Golden Nugget Takes Huge Hit - Caesars Remains Flat</strong></p> <p>The Golden Nugget took a huge 16.6% drop month-over-month. Total win in August was just $787,838 compared to $944,840 in July. Their bad month actually allowed Trump Plaza to close the gap in annual win rate. Less than $1,000 separates the two properties, with the Nugget earning $5,054,965 through August.</p> <p>Caesars saw a minor drop in revenues in August. They pulled in $2,705,475 compared to $2,716,594 in July. The drop came primarily from table games. Caesars claimed $23.94 million in win through August, making them second overall.</p> <p><strong>Trump Properties Improve</strong></p> <p>While both the Trump Plaza and Trump Taj are closing their doors soon, their online sites continue to make small gains.</p> <p>Trump Plaza jumped 4.6% in August, pulling in $709,674 in gaming win. Trump Taj experienced a rise of 2.6% with a win of $602,595.</p> <p>Both properties remain the state's cellar dwellers. Trump Plaza has closed the gap on Golden Nugget with annual win of $5,053,599. The Taj has pulled in just $4.92 million through August.</p> <p><strong>What Does the Future Hold for NJ iGaming?</strong></p> <p>The landscape of NJ iGaming could change dramatically by year's end. Both Trump properties are scheduled to close and their iGaming partners will be forced to find new allies or shut down.</p> <p>Betfair is currently in the market for a new partner and Ultimate Gaming has yet to make an announcement on their plans should the Taj shutdown occur in November as has been reported.</p> <p>In addition, PokerStars is now just weeks away from having their NJ iGaming license approved, according to State Senator Ray Lesniak. Many have predicted that PokerStars will grab a huge share of the <a href="">New Jersey online poker</a> and gambling market once they open for business.</p> <p>Also, will Tropicana continue to make gains in New Jersey? They have nearly caught Caesars in terms of table game win. Will PokerStars kill their growth or will they continue to be the state's iGaming alternative?</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 23:39:24 +0000 James Guill 3216 CSIG's Wellington Webb Plays Race Card in Anti-iGaming Op-Ed <p>Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb offered up one of the more head scratching op-eds the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling has produced in <a href="">The Hill</a> on Thursday, which basically makes it the valedictorian of head scratching op-eds.</p> <p>Webb decided to open up an entirely new line of attack against online gambling, citing the need to protect minorities, who he calls <em>"nearly twice as likely to be 'disordered gamblers' compared to the white population,"</em> based on a study from the NIH in 2009.</p> <p>Mayor Webb is apparently citing <a href="">this study</a>, which he fails to mention carries the all important caveat of <em>"However, no national survey on gambling disorders exists that has focused on ethnic differences,"</em> in its abstract introduction, also known as the very first paragraph.</p> <p>Here is the full statement for context:</p> <p><blockquote class="left">Prior research suggests that racial minority groups in the US are more vulnerable to develop a gambling disorder than Whites. However, no national survey on gambling disorders exists that has focused on ethnic differences."</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>The racial component to Webb's argument was not lost on online-gambling advocates.</p> <p>Rich Muny of the Poker Players Alliance accused Webb of pulling <em>"the race-card"</em> when he shared the op-ed on social media channels.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Former Mayor Wellington Webb tries to play race card for Sheldon Adelson's online <a href="">#poker</a> agenda: <a href=""></a></p> — Rich Muny (<cite>RichMuny) <a href="">September 11, 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[// <![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[><![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>Another high-profile vocal critic was the Competitive Enterprise Institute's (CEI) and columnist Michelle Minton, who had this to say about the allegations on Twitter:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>A race-based argument against igambling is 100% wrong. RFK was explicit in targeting mob sports-gambling rackets. <a href=""></a></p> — michelleminton (<cite>michelleminton) <a href="">September 11, 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[// <![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[ // --&gt;]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]]<![CDATA[><![CDATA[>]]]][CDATA[ // --&gt;]]]]]]<![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[ // --&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><strong>More troubling statements</strong></p> <p>In addition to the racial currents running through the article, there were also plenty of out-of-context quotes, and cherry picked data - an all too common theme in anti-online gambling columns.</p> <p>The study was adamant in pointing out that other factors such as socioeconomics, cultural norms, mood, and other dependencies are also factors. The study also makes clear that it was not a national study and focused on distinct regional groups.</p> <p>Mayor Webb did touch on the socioeconomic elements, but only to use out of context data to further prop up his already questionable points.</p> <p>Poker advocate Mike Exinger also noted that the article takes Pew Internet Research out of context when it contends:</p> <p><blockquote>… minority communities are uniquely susceptible to the threat posed by 24/7 access to Internet gambling, finding that African Americans and Latinos are more likely than whites to both own a smartphone and count on those phones for uses other than making calls."</blockquote></p> <p>What <a href="">the research</a> actually states is [bold mine]:</p> <p><em>"Among smartphone owners, young adults, minorities, those with no college experience, and those with lower household income levels <strong>are more likely than other groups to say that their phone is their main source of internet access."</strong></em></p> <p>What this research is saying is minorities and households with lower incomes are less likely to have Internet access beyond their smartphones.</p> <p>Pew's research also reiterated findings from a <a href="">2000 report</a>, that <em>"… minorities, adults living in households with lower incomes, and seniors were less likely than others to be online."</em></p> <p>Also interesting was Webb's use of the term <em>"disordered gambling,"</em> which is cited in the study, but never actually defined by Mayor Webb. What makes this term interesting is that it is far more encompassing than simply stating problem or pathological gambling.</p> <p>According to the definition given by <a href=""></a>, disordered gambling is:</p> <p><blockquote>A term coined by Howard Shaffer, Matthew Hall, and Joni Vander Bilt in 1997 to encompass the range of pathological, problem and excessive gambling. In their lexicon, level 1 of disordered gambling includes those with no gambling problems, level 2 includes people with gambling problems who do not meet the criteria for pathological gambling, while level 3 includes pathological gamblers."</blockquote></p> <p>As you can see, you can be classified as a <em>"disordered gambler"</em> without actually having a gambling problem.</p> <p>The NIH study makes this distinction clear by saying, <em>"'Disordered gambling' is used to describe the combination of problem and pathological gambling. All individuals meeting 3 or more DSM-IV criteria for the diagnosis of pathological gambling are considered as suffering from disordered gambling."</em></p> <p>As mentioned above, a disordered gambling diagnosis requires a positive answer to three of the 10 questions on the <a href="">DSM IV questionnaire</a>, whereas a problem gambling diagnosis requires a positive answer to five of the 10 questions.</p> <p>Another interesting little tidbit I discovered reading through the NIH study was the addition of an 11th question to the DSM IV:</p> <p><em>"In addition, the DSM-IV criterion for chasing one’s losses was expanded to include chasing one’s winnings."</em></p> <p>Essentially, instead of needing to score a 5 out of 10 to be labeled a pathological/problem gambler, Wellington Webb focused on a study and a diagnosis term that required a score of 3 out of 11. A score that doesn't even require the person to have a gambling problem.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 18:01:39 +0000 Steve Ruddock 3214 Back to Back WPT Titles for Alexander Lakhov in Cyprus <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Alexander Lakhov</strong> successfully navigated a field of nearly 250 players (including re-entries) in July and took home the title in the $2,2200 WPT National Merit Cyprus Main Event. That victory was good for $124,000, but it wasn't enough for the 42-year-old Russian.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Back to Back</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Lakhov came back for more as he registered for the WPT Merit Classic North Cyprus Main Event, contributing to the overall pool of 404 players who created just shy of $1.5 million in prize money. Once again, Lakhov dominated the field and ended up with all the chips in his possession – a bounty he exchanged for <strong>$310,000 in cold, hard cash</strong> together with a <strong>$15,400 ticket for the World Poker Tour World Championship</strong> at Borgata.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Outlasting the Four</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Russian player started the final table in very good shape, holding eighty big blinds in his stack. It was smooth sailing for him all the way to the heads-up stage. His compatriot, <strong>Igor Devkin</strong>, was first to depart in sixth place ($62,000), followed by Israeli player <strong>Ori Miler </strong>($77,000) and <strong>Toby Lewis </strong>of UK ($102,820).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At this point, <strong>Nicolas Chouity </strong>of Lebanon and another Russian, <strong>Dmitry Gromov</strong>, were in the lead, while Lakhov was waiting for his chance. He wouldn’t wait long as Gromov opted for a bluff on a board reading #9h#kh#5s#3s. He check-raised all-in with nothing but a pair of deuces and when Chouity made the call holding #ks#qs, Gromov was left with just one out from the entire deck of cards.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But once again, poker demonstrated its cruel side as the dealer peeled #2d on the river, delivering the one-outer and sending the Lebanese player to the rail with $140,000 in prize money.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Heads Up Miracle</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was time for the two Russians to face the music and Gromov had a huge chip lead over his countryman. However, it was clearly Gromov’s tournament to lose, as his pocket Aces could not hold up against the Ace-Jack of Lakhov and that’s how his comeback started.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Lakhov continued to grind down his opponent and was eventually able to strike the finishing blow when his pocket Jacks held up against Gromov’s Ace-Deuce. The runner-up took home $215,000 for his efforts, which is nothing to be ashamed off – but Alexander Lakhov was the man of the hour as he successfully pulled back to back runs in Cyprus and will be battling it out with other winners at Borgata at the end of the season.</p> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:34:18 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3213 Revel Receives Acceptable Bid of $90 Million <p>The <strong>Revel Casino</strong> will likely be under new ownership later this month as a bid of $90 million has been accepted.</p> <p>That amount represents the lowest that the current owners would take and may not be the final offer. A deadline of Sept. 23 has been established that allows other bidders an opportunity to trump the $90 million bid of <strong>Polo North Country Club Inc.</strong></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p>Polo president Glenn Straub develops real estate out of a home base in Florida and told the <a href="">Wall Street Journal</a> that the Revel needs <em>"a new direction."</em> Whether that direction consists of gambling was not made clear.</p> <p><strong>Two lesser bids received</strong></p> <p>Bids were also received from <strong>Carl Icahn</strong>, as well as <strong>Alex Meruelo's California-based Meruelo Group</strong>. Should those bidders or any others wish to come in with higher offers than $90 million, they have 13 days remaining before an auction hearing that is slated for Sept. 24.</p> <p>Icahn also is said to have his eye on the casinos owned by Trump Entertainment --<strong>Trump Plaza</strong> and the <strong>Trump Taj Mahal</strong>. The former is set to shut down on Sept. 16, while the latter may bite the dust in November, according to the latest reports.</p> <p>A purchase agreement between Straub and Revel has been signed that calls for $10 million to be placed in escrow while the clock ticks on the deadline for higher offers. Such offers may come into play for the Revel that opened in 2012 following an investment of $2.4 billion.</p> <p><strong>Revel tops spate of casino closings</strong></p> <p>The Revel closed its doors to gamblers on Sept. 2, two days after the <strong>Showboat Casino</strong> did likewise. Including the <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> shutdown in January, Atlantic City is now down to nine operating casinos. That number will be reduced further in the near future when the Trump properties follow suit as anticipated.</p> <p>The Revel never managed to operate in the black after its much-ballyhooed grand opening two years ago. High construction costs, elaborate plans, a nationwide recession, and over-saturation of casinos on the East Coast are reasons pointed to by those looking to play the blame game.</p> <p><strong>State officials taking action</strong></p> <p>In an effort to devise a new strategy for the struggling Atlantic City gaming industry, <strong>New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie</strong> fronted a summit on Monday that saw lawmakers and business leaders convene to discuss solutions. One result of that summit saw Christie approve a directive allowing the state's racetracks and casinos to accept wagers on sporting events.</p> <p>That decision follows the approval and launch of Internet gambling last November. Online casino and <a href="">poker sites in New Jersey</a> have been operating for 10 months, providing much-needed revenue to offset declining land-based gaming revenue totals in recent years.</p> <p>Legalized online gambling and sports betting will certainly help. Another option likely to be given serious consideration is casino expansion beyond Atlantic City. The state's northern section that includes the <strong>Meadowlands Sports Complex</strong> has often been mentioned as a favorable and likely site for a new casino.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 17:40:07 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3212 $2 Million More to 600 U.S. Full Tilt Claimants by End of Sept. <p><span class="letter-big">F</span>ormer U.S.<strong> Full Tilt</strong> players still waiting for reimbursement in the remission process can expect another wave of payments totaling $2 million by the end of September.</p> <p>Claims administrator <strong>Garden City Group</strong> (GCG) revealed in a recent update on the official website that the latest batch of cash recipients numbers about 600 players <em>"who confirmed their FTP account balances"</em> and previously submitted complete petitions. As with previous payouts, those who are included in this wave will likely see zero-dollar transactions on their bank statements prior to the release of actual funds, as the GCG conducts a test to make sure that bank accounts are valid.</p> <p>The GCG further advises that players with delinquent debts will see a reduction in their reimbursement in order to settle matters via the Treasury Offset Program. Those petitioners will receive a form to fill out in order to facilitate the process and eventually receive payment.</p> <p>The deadline for filing a Petition for Remission was Sept. 3. The <a href=""></a> website has since closed the section of the site where players previously submitted claims.</p> <p>A total of roughly $95 million has been dispensed by GCG in previous payment waves that began in late February. The last such round of reimbursement totaled $14 million and found its way to player bank accounts in June.</p> <p>Still waiting for payment are players who filed petitions that disputed the account balances on record with the DoJ and GCG, as well as those players labeled as Full Tilt Pros. The official website advises that more updates will be forthcoming, which will likely pertain to those petitioners.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 05:26:14 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3211 Changes Needed in Poker Hall of Fame Selection Process <p>Earlier this week, the finalists for the <strong>2014 Poker Hall of Fame</strong> were released. This launched the latest flurry of arguments about who was deserving and whether it's time for a change in the process.</p> <p>The problem resides in the fact that poker players are being judged on a set of standards set prior to the Poker Boom. Poker's landscape has changed dramatically in the last decade and tournament poker is the driving force in the poker economy.</p> <p>Much of today's modern induction process relies on fan participation and most of what fans know about poker is based on tournaments. This has resulted in some players being snubbed from consideration and others becoming finalists when they are less than deserving.</p> <p>A change is needed in the process, and below are a few of my personal suggestions.</p> <p><strong>Reduce Fan Voting</strong></p> <p>As pointed out by several top pros, the Poker Hall of Fame nomination process needs a bit of an overhaul. Currently, the process is almost entirely fan driven. They cast ballots for their favorite players and the top selections become finalists.</p> <p>The only exception to this rule, on paper at least, is if a Hall of Famer casts a write-in vote for a player during the voting process. That player will automatically be added to the following year's list of finalists.</p> <p>The problem with fan voting is that often we are seeing a mix of deserving candidates and those who have been in the headlines recently. For example, last year <strong>Carlos Mortensen</strong> was on the list and that was likely due to his high profile run in the Main Event. This year, he didn't make the final list.</p> <p><strong>Ted Forrest</strong> won his sixth career bracelet this year and subsequently has become a finalist. Where has he been the last few years? Did one more bracelet really put him over the top?</p> <p>A few years back, <strong>Tom "durrrr" Dwan</strong> received enough votes from fans to become a finalist. He was later removed from the list because he hadn't <em>"met the test of time."</em></p> <p>I'm not saying eliminate fan voting entirely, but rather we limit it to maybe two or three selections max. Continue the fan voting as has been done but only reserve two or three spots on the Top 10 for fan voting.</p> <p>The remaining finalists should be selected by a panel consisting of top players, Hall of Famers and select industry professionals. Those on the committee should have the knowledge and experience for making this type of decision.</p> <p><strong>Veterans Committee Needed</strong></p> <p>The Baseball Hall of Fame currently has three committees that essentially serve to consider the eligibility of executives, umpires and long retired players. They replaced what was known as the Veterans Committee. It may be time for poker to consider adopting a veteran's committee concept.</p> <p>The three committees that Major League Baseball uses to evaluate the game's history meets every three years on a rotating basis. While poker may not need multiple committees, they could adopt a three-year window for consideration by a potential Veteran's Committee.</p> <p>The other option would be to take one of the two yearly inductions and give one of those to the Veteran's Committee. A write-in nomination during annual voting would automatically be forwarded to the Veterans Committee for consideration.</p> <p>Former poker executives and contributors would definitely fall under this category, especially those who were known more for their contributions to the game <em>"Pre-Boom."</em></p> <p>Members of this committee should consist of living Hall of Famers, poker historians and other qualified individuals. Qualified individuals being those with demonstrated knowledge or experience with poker's past.</p> <p><strong>Time to Change The Criteria to Reflect Modern Era</strong></p> <p>Back before the Boom, if you had aspirations of being in the Poker Hall of Fame, you had better be ready to battle in high stakes cash games. The norm shifted after the boom and many of the game's recognized top pros have earned their fame via poker tournaments.</p> <p>Does someone who has earned $2 million or more in cash games over the last 10 years deserve more recognition than someone who has won the same amount in poker tournaments? Some would say yes.</p> <p>Tournament poker is the reason for the Poker Boom and why most of us are in the game today. It should not be overlooked by the Hall of Fame.</p> <p><strong>Here is how my criteria would look for nomination:</strong></p> <p>A player must have played cash or tournament poker against acknowledged top competition</p> <p>Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination</p> <p>Played for high stakes - Tournament players must have consistently played in events with $5,000 buy-ins or higher</p> <p>Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers</p> <p>Stood the test of time</p> <p>Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results</p> <p> </p> <p>I chose the $5,000 or higher buy-in plateau for <em>"high stakes tournaments"</em> because many major events have been adopting this concept in recent years.</p> <p>Some consideration should be given to changing the requirement for standing the test of time. Tournament players can often have their lifetime numbers skewed by a single year or two of performance.</p> <p>For example, <strong>Jamie Gold</strong> would hardly be considered Hall of Fame worthy despite having won over $10 million. However, many would agree that <strong>Antonio Esfandiari</strong> is a future Hall of Famer and nearly 70% of his lifetime tournament earnings are in one tournament.</p> <p>It is time to include criteria for tournament players. In baseball, pitchers are not judged on the same criteria as right fielders or shortstops. That's ridiculous.</p> <p>Tournament players should not be expected to go play in Bobby's Room when their edge is in tournaments. Adversely, those that are making a killing in high stakes cash games should not be overlooked because they didn't win any WSOP bracelets.</p> <p>Change the criteria to reflect the era.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 23:45:46 +0000 James Guill 3210 Lock Poker Gains Player Traffic <p><span class="letter-big">D</span>espite repeated warnings from the <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> (PPA) and players themselves who are owed almost $1 million (at last count), <strong>Lock Poker</strong> has seen traffic increase slightly better than 14% as of late.</p> <p>That boost represents only about five players, as the latest tallies from PokerScout show a seven-day average of 40 cash players at Lock, up from 35 previously. As far as many are concerned, any increase is reason to worry because Lock Poker continues to shirk its responsibility of paying players, a number of whom who have waited in excess of one year.</p> <p><strong>Warning issued</strong></p> <p>For those who continue to play at Lock Poker and may be unaware of the risk involved, the PPA issued a statement about two months ago warning of the danger of depositing, perhaps winning or earning a deposit bonus, and never being paid. Here is that statement:</p> <p><blockquote>Due to continued nonpayment of player funds by Lock Poker, along with their refusal to respond to inquires by PPA, PPA has shared with the Department of Justice player concerns regarding this site. We did this in person during regular meetings on ongoing Full Tilt Poker remission. In the meantime, we warn extreme caution when depositing on Lock Poker. We also strongly warn affiliates to remove Lock Poker ads and positive reviews."</blockquote></p> <p>In April, the PPA sent a letter to Lock management, requesting an open dialogue with regard to outstanding funds owed to players. No response was ever offered, the lack of transparency obviously showing that Lock Poker is not a site where your funds are safe.</p> <p>At this point, Lock has become and remains the poster child for <a href="">regulated online poker in the U.S.</a> Without regulation, player funds can never truly be safe.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:21:01 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3209 Online Poker Viability Requires Population of 40 Million <p>This week's big news in <strong>New Jersey</strong> was the directive legalizing sports betting that came out of Governor Chris Christie's office. The new directive still has some hurdles to clear, but the idea of legal sports betting in the Garden State sent the gaming community into a tizzy, and rightly so.</p> <p>Due to legalized sports betting dominating the headlines, another major revelation that came to light on Monday (courtesy of Howard Stutz's Twitter account) went relatively unnoticed, as Stutz, reporting from the Atlantic City Gaming Summit noted:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>When asked about a NJ-Nev Internet gaming pact, <a href=""><cite>GovChristie</a> says he's "spoken " to <a href="">@GovSandoval</a> about the idea <a href="">#lvrj</a> <a href=""></a></p> — Howard Stutz (@howardstutz) <a href="">September 8, 2014</a></blockquote> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute</cite> left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">&lt;blockquote lang="en"&gt;&lt;p&gt;When asked about a NJ-Nev Internet gaming pact, &lt;a href=""&gt;<cite>GovChristie&lt</cite>/a&gt; says he&amp;#39;s &amp;quot;spoken &amp;quot; to &lt;a href=""&gt;<cite>GovSandoval&lt</cite>/a&gt; about the idea &lt;a href=""&gt;#lvrj&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&amp;mdash; Howard Stutz (<cite>howardstutz) &lt</cite>a href=""&gt;September 8, 2014&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;</div> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;">&lt;script async src="//" charset="utf-8"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;</div> <p>New Jersey joining forces with <strong>Nevada</strong> (and by extension <strong>Delaware</strong>) would be a very big deal, but it's far from a game changer.</p> <p><strong>Failed to live up to expectations</strong></p> <p>A combination of small player pools and intrusive regulations has left players frustrated and annoyed with the online poker markets in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. But as annoying as it has been, the lack of liquidity in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey highlights the need for greater liquidity.</p> <p><a href="">U.S. online poker</a> needs action at the federal level, or, more states to legalize online poker and form interstate or possibly international compacts.</p> <p>Since federal legislation seems unlikely anytime soon, and international compacts are still in the theoretical stage, all eyes are on interstate compacts; something that is already available and set to happen between Delaware and Nevada, and now might extend to all three states.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the jump from intrastate to interstate online poker has been just as slow as online expansion itself.</p> <p>The good news is legislators and regulators are starting to understand the value and importance of shared liquidity and the necessity for interstate compacts.</p> <p><strong>Liquidity is, of course, the key to a thriving online poker industry</strong>, and even in New Jersey (with a healthy population 8.9 million) the reality is starting to sink in that the state simply cannot sustain a thriving online poker industry on its own.</p> <p><strong>What's the threshold?</strong></p> <p>40,000,000. That's the number of residents needed to have a viable online poker industry.</p> <p>This number wasn't pulled out of a hat; this is based on the historical data that we have (courtesy of sites like and regulatory bodies like France's ARJEL) which show the participation rates to be between 50 players and 100 players per million, depending on the region.</p> <p>Using these numbers, a player pool of 40,000,000 residents would see average traffic between 2,000 and 4,000 players. We can safely use the high-end for U.S. online poker, which would mean the #1 poker site in the market would likely have about 2,000-2,500 players, as overall traffic would be divided amongst several sites.</p> <p>This would create a top room with average traffic somewhere along the lines of the global <strong>iPoker Network</strong>, but far from <strong>PokerStars</strong> and its average cash game traffic of over 20,000 players according to's data.</p> <p><strong>Basically, other than California, no state can expect to create a strong online poker market on its own</strong>, and even California (38.8 million residents) isn't going to be a world beater. It's top room's traffic ceiling is somewhere around the iPoker Network.</p> <p>These numbers shouldn't scare away other smaller states from exploring online poker, <strong>they simply have to be aware that at some point they need to form interstate compacts in order to reach the 40,000,000 mark</strong> --and hopefully get well beyond that at some point.</p> <p><strong>New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware still not enough</strong></p> <p>Even if New Jersey joins Nevada and Delaware, this still leaves them well short of the 40,000,000 mark; the three states combined have around 12.5 million residents.</p> <p>It would nearly double New Jersey's liquidity, and completely reshape Nevada's and Delaware's online poker markets in the eyes of players, but the size of the top rooms in the market would only be comparable to poker sites like <strong>Unibet</strong> and the <strong>Merge Gaming Network</strong> (not exactly considered thriving rooms).</p> <p>It would also make joining forces with the trio far more appealing to other states that legalize online poker in the future. Add in a <strong>New York</strong> (19.6 million), <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> (12.7 million), or perhaps a couple of states like <strong>Maryland</strong> (5.9 million) and <strong>Massachusetts</strong> (6.7 million) and now you have something.</p> <p><strong>The first step in the process is almost upon us</strong></p> <p>So why haven't the current crop of states with legalized online poker joined forces already?</p> <p>A lot of states are taking a <em>"wait and see"</em> approach to online gambling, and New Jersey may be doing the same before joining Nevada/Delaware.</p> <p>Delaware and Nevada have certainly made it easy enough for New Jersey and others to join them, as they created the <strong>Multi State Internet Gaming Association</strong> (MSIGA) when they announced their interstate agreement back in February.</p> <p>MSIGA is heralded as a flexible agreement for member states, and most importantly it allows each state to retain their full share of revenue generated. In MSIGA there are no winners or losers, every state will get precisely what they deserve.</p> <p><strong>New Jersey may need to join MSIGA before PokerStars is licensed</strong></p> <p>Wait and see is fine, but New Jersey may need to join MSIGA sooner rather than later, otherwise they could be setting themselves up for some serious infighting, as certain companies would be pro MSIGA while others would be against it.</p> <p>If New Jersey does eventually team up with Nevada and Delaware it could allow <strong>Caesars</strong> and <strong>888</strong> to compete with PokerStars, as PokerStars would not be able to draw from Nevada (which has barred PokerStars for five years) or Delaware (where 888 has a virtual monopoly through the state) giving <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a> a huge advantage in the New Jersey market as almost all of the added liquidity would benefit them exclusively.</p> <p>If <strong>Boyd Gaming</strong> and <strong>MGM</strong> launch an online product in Nevada, they could then team up with the <strong>Borgata</strong> in New Jersey as well.</p> <p>The current lack of interstate prospects for PokerStars could severely limit them in New Jersey.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:44:08 +0000 Steve Ruddock 3207 2014 Poker Hall of Fame Finalists Announced <p>The finalists for the <strong>2014 Poker Hall of Fame</strong> have been named. This year's class consists of five repeat nominees and five new candidates.</p> <p><strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong> headlines the list of nominees. Joining him are <strong>Humberto Brenes, Jennifer Harman, Bruno Fitoussi, Jack McClelland, Huck Seed, Ted Forrest, Chris Bjorin, Mike Matusow and legendary road gambler Bob Hooks.</strong></p> <p>The list of finalists now heads to a 41-member panel who will each vote for up to two players to induct. The panel consists of 21 living Hall of Fame members and 20 media members.</p> <p>Voters will vote on the candidates in order of preference and return their ballots to the Poker Hall of Fame governing council. The two finalists with the most votes, provided they are a majority, will be inducted.</p> <p>This year's induction dinner will be held on Sunday, November 9. The inductees will also be recognized during the WSOP Main Event final table on November 10.</p> <p><strong>Daniel Negreanu a Virtual Lock for First Ballot Induction</strong></p> <p>Not surprisingly, Daniel Negreanu is a finalist for induction in his first year of eligibility. Outside of <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>, Daniel may be the only player 40 and under that clearly meets the hall's criteria.</p> <p>Negreanu is #1 on tournament poker's All-Time Money List with $29.76 million in earnings. He is a six-time WSOP bracelet winner, two-time WPT Champion and former winner of the now defunct United States Poker Championships.</p> <p>He has also excelled in the high stakes cash arena both live and online. Negreanu was one of the regulars on GSN"s now defunct High Stakes Poker, as well as numerous other poker TV programs.</p> <p>While he doesn't really need the extra help, his contributions to the game away from the table have been equally as impressive. He is the poster child for <strong>PokerStars</strong> and has been their primary ambassador for years. He has also given his time to help promote the game at all levels and has regularly been tapped to be a featured televised player.</p> <p>Negreanu has served as player advisor for the World Series of Poker and has been consistently vocal on all matters surrounding the game. While his opinions may not be popular with all players, he has never been afraid to stand up for the game or call out those who have wronged the game.</p> <p>Negreanu is one of the game's all-time greats and deserving of a first ballot induction. It's hard to imagine a scenario where that doesn't happen this year.</p> <p><strong>Fitoussi and McClelland Among Early Frontrunners for Second Nomination</strong></p> <p>Each year, the Poker Hall of Fame inducts up to two nominees. Five out of the last six years have seen one player and one individual whose nomination was at least partially based on being a <em>"contributor"</em> to the game. This year, two names fit under the latter.</p> <p><strong>Jack McClelland</strong> is known as one of the greatest poker tournament directors in the history of the game. While primarily known for running the WSOP in the 1980's, his career in poker spans five decades.</p> <p>Working events all over the world, McClelland earned the respect of pros and industry peers alike and helped to grow both the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour into premier events. McClelland retired from the industry last year.</p> <p>If you're a French poker player, odds are you're playing because of <strong>Bruno Fitoussi</strong>. An experienced player in his own right, Fitoussi has over $2.7 million in live tournament earnings.</p> <p>His greatest accomplishment in the game came at the 2007 World Series of Poker. He finished runner-up in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Event to earn over $1.27 million.</p> <p>Fitoussi was instrumental in developing the French poker market. He introduced Texas Hold'em to the Aviation Club de France in 1995 and over the next few years worked to bring poker to live TV. Fitoussi has appeared on French poker shows as both a player and commentator and is a key part to poker's growth in the region.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 23:34:32 +0000 James Guill 3206 Raffi Der Gregorian Wins $74,276 at HPT Agua Caliente Main Event <p>The <strong>Heartland Poker Tour</strong> finds many an amateur rubbing elbows with established pro players as it makes its way to various tour stops throughout America. Sometimes, an amateur manages to navigate the field and land on top.</p> <p><strong>Raffi Der Gregorian</strong> was able to do just that in <strong>Rancho Mirage, California</strong> when he binked the Main Event for $74,276 at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. Der Gregorian's accomplishment is even sweeter considering that he won his $1,650 Main Event seat through a $200 qualifier.</p> <p><strong>Eliminated pro Allen Cunningham</strong></p> <p>An electric contractor by trade, Der Gregorian was able to jolt his final table rivals despite having the third shortest stack as the remaining nine took their seats on the last day of the tournament. One of the players zapped by Der Gregorian was poker pro Allen Cunningham, who fell to the victor's aces and was sent packing with $21,973 in fourth place prize money.</p> <p>Cunningham is listed by the Hendon Mob as 17th on the all-time money list with earnings of $11,556,578. The HPT cash was his seventh and largest of 2014 following three in-the-money finishes at the WSOP that collectively totaled slightly more than $12,000.</p> <p><strong>Michael Rocco finishes second-best</strong></p> <p>Another pro taken down by Der Gregorian was Michael Rocco, who finished as runner-up and earned $45,803. The outcome may have been different had Rocco hit one of his outs on the last hand of the tournament. Those outs were many with a straight draw and a couple overcards, but the poker gods favored the amateur.</p> <p>Rocco is having a phenomenal year despite missing the winner's circle. In March, a 3rd place finish at the $10,000 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event was good for $423,440. He followed that up with a handful more cashes, the best among them another second place prize of $16,800 at the California State Poker Championship four months ago.</p> <p>But Monday belonged to Der Gregorian, who intends to take a vacation and buy his way into a few more tournaments with his winnings. He won't have to leave his home state of California to do so, as the HPT is in the midst of its four-stop Gold Rush Series. Other destinations that all begin in September include the <strong>Commerce Casino in Los Angeles</strong> (already underway), <strong>Thunder Valley Casino &amp; Resort in Lincoln</strong>, and the <strong>Club One Casino in Fresno.</strong></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 17:48:59 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3205 Poker Strategy with Chris Wallace: Check-Raised by an Aggro <p>Last week I covered a hand where I thought through my opponent's hand range, considered all the options, and made the wrong play. A few days later a surprisingly similar board popped up in a cash game and another interesting hand developed.</p> <p>The game was $2-100 spread limit, which plays a lot like $1/2 no-limit, especially in small pots. I raised to $7 from early position with a pair of fours and the big blind called. Both stacks were deep, a fact that I thought might be important when I flopped a set on a board of #As#Ks#4d.</p> <p>Flopping a set on an ace high board is about as good as it gets in a cash game. With an ace on board, it is likely that your opponent has a hand he won't let go, and he may even raise you with one pair and play a huge pot if he is inexperienced.</p> <p>The bad news was that my opponent was a strong player who knew who I was. We had played together many times. My opponent, we'll call him Tony because, well, his name is actually Tony, is a very aggressive young player who learned to play online. He is the very prototype of the young online player and is friends with a whole group of online players who have some similar strengths and weaknesses and all play in the same card room.</p> <p>The good news is that I know these players and I have played with all of them many times. I learned to play online too, and aggressive players don't scare me. Sure, I would rather avoid them when I can. My opponent is a solid player and I would rather not have him at the table, but it is important not to be fearful or timid when playing against aggressive players. It feeds into their game perfectly if you play scared whenever you are in a pot against them.</p> <p>Tony checked the flop. Checking back here would be terrible. If I slow play my hand, I may win one extra bet at some point, but as soon as I put chips in the pot after checking behind on the flop he will know I have a set and fold. If he has a draw, top pair or two pair, all of which are likely, then I win a much bigger pot by betting. I bet $10, Tony called, and after the rake the pot was about $35.</p> <p><strong>Scary turn card</strong></p> <p>The turn was the scariest card in the deck for me, the queen of spades. With Ace-King-Queen of spades on the board, and my opponent just calling a bet on the flop, it would seem likely that he has a flush or a straight here, but remember who my opponent is.</p> <p>Tony will call a bet on the flop with nothing to take the pot away from me if I check the turn. He may even call to represent the flush or straight if a scare card comes and raise me. If I have a hand like ace-jack, he assumes that I will fold to a raise on the river or even check and fold.</p> <p>At least that is how a player like Tony thinks, and they are typically correct. They steal pots from weaker players all day, and they steal enough pots to more than offset the times when they get caught. But a tiger can't change it's skin. In most cases, hyper-aggressive players have trouble finding the brakes and can be trapped. The fact that he made this play against me instead of waiting for a softer player is Tony's only mistake in this hand. Most of the table would have folded most of their range at some point in the hand.</p> <p>I bet $20 on the turn after Tony checked. I wasn't betting small because I was scared and didn't want to bet too much when I was going to have to fold, but it sure looks like it doesn't it? I looked weak. It was probably at this point that Tony decided to run a bluff if he missed the river. I was actually hoping for a turn raise, but he called and waited for the river.</p> <p><strong>River arrives as</strong> #jd</p> <p>The river was the jack of diamonds. Now I was losing to any ten, any two spades, or a higher set. With four cards to a broadway straight on board, many players would check behind with bottom set, but the real money is made in no-limit holdem with value bets on the river.</p> <p>There are a few players that are tricky enough to check-raise with a big hand here, and I would check behind if I thought I was playing one of those opponents. Tony might check raise if he had a ten for a straight, but what hands could he have that include a ten? Ace-ten maybe, but not many others. Any hand that was already strong would have raised the turn, and there just aren't very many combinations of cards that my opponent is likely to have that include a ten.</p> <p>I also know that Tony knows that if he leads out with a bet on a scary river, I am going to call with any reasonable hand. And I think that Tony assumes that I will bet my monster hands and bluffs and check behind with anything less than a straight. It's smart thinking against most opponents, because very few players will bet again with a medium strength hand here, and those who do will often fold to a raise.</p> <p><strong>Check-raise from aggro</strong></p> <p>Tony checked and I bet $30. Another small bet, looking weak. Maybe I was betting a monster trying to get a call from a weak hand, or maybe I had a monster and was trying to get paid off. Either way, it fits with his assumptions about my betting range.</p> <p>He raised to $80, and I wasn't terribly surprised. The only mistake I made in the hand was calling immediately. If I thought for awhile before calling, and made it look like a tough decision, Tony may make this mistake against me again. He, and some of the other players at the table, might not realize that I had planned the hand out well ahead of time and that I knew I was calling a check-raise. My snap call was a significant mistake that gave away information and also may have taught Tony something about how I play the game.</p> <p>When I was 30, and playing with mostly older players, I was seen as the loose and aggressive "Internet kid," but those days have passed. I'm 40 now and the Internet kids think I'm a nit. When someone has an idea about your game, push them farther in that direction. If they think they know all about you, let them hold on to that belief as long as possible. Don't show your true colors until you must.</p> <p>When I called, Tony said something like <em>"You must be ahead"</em> and I showed my set of fours. He mucked and looked surprised. I should have waited to see what his hand was, because he clearly had a little something or he would have just mucked as soon as I called.</p> <p><strong>Analyzing the possibilities</strong></p> <p>Let's take one last look at my river call. The hands that can beat me are:</p> <p>A flush - A flush, unless it included the jack, would have raised the turn. Even the nut flush probably would have raised the turn or bet out on the river. I don't believe my opponent ever has a flush here.</p> <p>A bigger set - Tony is too smart to slow play a set for two streets on a board full of draws. He never has a bigger set here.</p> <p>A straight - Once in awhile Tony has a straight, but not very often. Most hands that include a ten would have folded a long time ago, and would a straight check-raise here? There has to be some possibility that I have a flush, and if I bet I usually have a flush or nothing, so raising a straight doesn't always make sense either.</p> <p>I know Tony is a smart player, and you can't always be sure of your reads on a smart player. Every once in awhile he is going to show me a hand I didn't expect, or my read is just going to be wrong, but the pot was almost $185 and I only had to call $50. Those odds are too good to pass up, and if I wasn't calling a raise I would never have bet the river in the first place.</p> <p>Sometimes, against an aggressive player, you just have to make a hand and hold on to it. You don't need a set to do it, sometimes a pair is good enough, but make sure you are thinking it through and not paying them off every time they make a big hand, because that is how they get rich. From players who are tired of their aggression feeding them huge pots every time they make a big hand.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:20:08 +0000 Chris Wallace 3202 Pennsylvania Newspaper Sees Positive Future in Online Gambling <p>A major Pennsylvania newspaper's editorial board made a strong proclamation this past weekend when they came out in favor of the state expanding into online gambling. This is the first newspaper to weigh in on Pennsylvania's potential expansion into Internet gambling.</p> <p>Pennsylvania is considered one of the frontrunners for online gambling expansion next year, but expansion is far from assured and is still viewed as a bit of a long shot. <a href="">The endorsement by The Sentinel editorial board</a> could help pro-online gambling legislators and advocates get their message to the masses, counteract any negative columns, and possibly sway a few legislators that are currently on the fence.</p> <p>Citing the current situation unfolding in neighboring New Jersey, The Sentinel's editorial board endorsed online gambling in Pennsylvania in a short editorial simply titled, <strong>Our View: Seeking opportunities online.</strong></p> <p>The four-member editorial board sees the burgeoning industry as a way to stem current and future revenue slides, and referenced the Econsult Solutions study that was delivered to the Pennsylvania legislature earlier this year as a way to raise up to $113 million per year in tax revenue for the state.</p> <p>The editorial also spoke to Pennsylvania's successes in gaming, citing how Pennsylvania has quickly (in just eight years) risen to the second largest casino industry in the country behind Nevada. But, as The Sentinel editorial board points out, revenue has already started to decline as new competition continues to pop up in nearby states -- a trend that will only become more pronounced as the years go on.</p> <p><em>"The circle is closing. New Jersey and Delaware have legalized online gambling and are expanding casinos; New York is on the edge of legislative approval for Internet play; Maryland is looking at a sixth casino and Ohio has been deliberately sidestepping enforcement of online gambling,"</em> the editorial board stated.</p> <p>The board then went on to cite the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as saying <em>"increased competition"</em> is responsible for the slide in revenue, <em>"and the next logical step is legalized online gambling."</em></p> <p><strong>The path to a bill in 2015</strong></p> <p>Pennsylvania first flirted with online gambling expansion in April of 2013 when Representative Tina Davis introduced a <a href=";sessYr=2013&amp;sessInd=0&amp;billBody=H&amp;billTyp=B&amp;billNbr=1235&amp;pn=1566">bill to legalize online gambling.</a></p> <p>The Davis bill received little attention, and was met with lukewarm support and opposition, but it did set the stage for the State Senate to <a href=";sind=0&amp;body=S&amp;type=R&amp;bn=273">commission a study</a> (the Econsult Solutions study referenced earlier) in December of 2013 to examine potential online gambling in the state and compare it with other forms of expanded gambling.</p> <p>Things took a turn for the weird in February of 2014 when State Representative Mario Scavello tried to score some brownie points with Sheldon Adelson when he introduced <a href=";sind=0&amp;body=H&amp;type=B&amp;bn=2052">a bill that would make playing online poker a crime in the state.</a> The bill was quickly forgotten once the principles realized how much of a backlash the proposed legislation created.</p> <p>Within two months talk had once again turned to expansion and not locking up Pennsylvania players who accessed <a href="">online poker sites.</a></p> <p>Before the eConsult study's results were introduced in May of 2014, the State Assembly's Democratic Policy Committee (which includes Rep. Tina Davis) held an impromptu online gambling hearing that was positive and promising.</p> <p>The hearing went reasonably well, with a positive albeit unapprised vibe to the proceedings and the knowledge level of the state legislators. Just days after the hearing the eConsult report was introduced and the findings were incredibly positive, building on the momentum from the hearing.</p> <p>And with that being the case, Pennsylvania suddenly became a serious contender for online gambling expansion in the near future.</p> <p>From there, a second even more productive hearing was held in June that included most of the gaming power players in the state.</p> <p>Even with two productive hearings, a study in hand, and an open-minded legislature and gaming control board, 2014 seemed somewhat unreasonable, which it turned out to be.</p> <p>Still, Pennsylvania was moved from the <em>"when"</em> not <em>"if"</em> column, and 2015 is looking much better with The Sentinel's official endorsement.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 21:08:17 +0000 Steve Ruddock 3201 Singapore Proposes Online Gambling Regulation <p>A proposal to curtail unregulated online gambling in <strong>Singapore</strong> was introduced in Parliament, the result of studies by the government that included consultation with several organizations known to have an anti-gambling bent.</p> <p>Citing the need <em>"to maintain law and order, and protect young persons and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by remote gambling,”</em> the Ministry of Home Affairs put forth the proposal seeking to prevent unregulated online gambling throughout the country.</p> <p>Should the measure be approved, all igaming ads would be forbidden and those convicted of unregulated online gambling activities would face criminal penalties. Also outlined in the <strong>Remote Gambling Bill</strong> are steps to be taken to block Singaporeans from accessing non-sanctioned igaming sites.</p> <p><strong>Exemptions allowed</strong></p> <p>Exemptions would be made for gambling that benefits charitable or social causes, provided that the operators are both not-for-profit and based in Singapore. The exemptions may allow for current wagering on such contests as football and horse racing to continue, Channel NewsAsia reported.</p> <p>The ban includes the Internet and telephone, in addition to any other modes of communication. Wagering would be illegal even and especially if the site operators are beyond Singapore's borders.</p> <p>Roughly 5.4 million reside in Singapore on the country's 63 highly urbanized islands. With one of six households having acquired disposable wealth of one million dollars, <strong>the Southeast Asian country enjoys the largest percentage of millionaires throughout the world.</strong></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 18:28:50 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3200 Betfair Allowed Time to Find New Casino Partner in NJ <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he closing of <strong>Trump Plaza</strong> is scheduled for next week, leaving online gaming partner<strong> Betfair</strong> without a bricks and mortar ally with which to continue its online gambling operations.</p> <p>The <strong>New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement</strong> (DGE) has issued an order permitting the London-based bookmaker to continue accepting online wagers in the Garden State as it seeks a new dance partner. Its current partner, Trump Plaza, will lock its doors on Sept. 16 and join the <strong>Atlantic Club, Revel and Showboat</strong> on the list of <strong>Atlantic City</strong> casinos that have closed in 2014.</p> <p>Garden State online gaming statutes enacted in 2013 require licensees who don't operate a casino to align themselves with one. Betfair is one such licensee who has invested heavily in New Jersey, but has fallen victim to Atlantic City's struggling land-based gaming industry.</p> <p>In issuing the order allowing Betfair to continue sans a casino partner, DGE director David Rebuck did put limitations on the company's involvement pertaining to the entire licensing ordeal. Betfair asked to be fully apprised and a part of any future talks in conjunction with its operations and licensee status, but Rebuck will allow participation by Betfair only in writing as required, eGaming Review reported.</p> <p><strong>Available Casino Partners Dropping Like Flies</strong></p> <p>Options in finding a casino in which to form a partnership have decreased considerably due to the aforementioned spate of closings. Also <a href="">rumored to be joining that list of shuttered Atlantic City casinos</a> is the <strong>Trump Taj Mahal</strong>, Trump Plaza's sister casino that is reportedly in the process of initiating bankruptcy proceedings and aiming for a November shutdown.</p> <p>Should that occur, it would leave only the <strong>Golden Nugget, Tropicana, Borgata, Resorts, Caesars, Harrah's and Bally's</strong> remaining. Of those seven bricks and mortar gaming locales, the latter three are all owned by <strong>Caesars Entertainment</strong>.</p> <p>Betfair is certainly in a bit of a bind in New Jersey, a new market in which it has yet to reap revenue rewards in comparison to its competitors. But the London bookmaker has had no such problems back home where gambling on the <strong>World Cup</strong> earlier this year allowed Q1 results to experience a boost of 39% overall.</p> <p><strong>Future of Atlantic City to be Discussed at Today's Summit</strong></p> <p>Atlantic City's problems will be addressed at a summit scheduled for 2:00 p.m. today at the Casino Reinvestment and Development Authority. <strong>Gov. Chris Christie</strong> has invited business leaders and elected officials to convene in hopes of setting the state's gaming industry on a path to revitalization.</p> <p>That revitalization may include locating new casinos in northern New Jersey in an effort to keep gamblers from going to nearby states to place wagers. That idea had been toyed with previously, but Christie put it off until 2016 in hopes that Atlantic City revenue would regain some of its previous magic, in part by the approval of <a href="">online poker in New Jersey</a> that launched in November 2013.</p> <p>New casinos in coming years in the northern region of the state would create more partnership possibilities for companies like Betfair. But that is little comfort for the UK bookmaker today, as the time frame for finding a new casino partner is believed to be only a couple of months at most.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 16:50:02 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3199 South Korea Blocks Social Gaming on Facebook <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">I</span>n the most recent attempt to seize control of what they refer to as the 'social gambling industry,' authorities in South Korea have pulled the plug on all Facebook games, making the games unavailable to residents of the country. In order to be allowed back into the market, developers will have to submit an application with the Game Rating and Administration Committee (GRAC) to have their product reviewed and rated.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>All-Encompassing Ban</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The shutdown started on August 26<sup>th</sup> and initially blocked only financial transactions toward Facebook game operators, but quickly evolved into a full-fledged ban of all the games. That includes the highly popular <strong>Candy Crush Saga </strong>and<strong> Farmville</strong>, as well as the most popular social poker application – <strong>Zynga</strong> <strong>Texas Hold’em Poker</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although the Committee promised that all applications will be reviewed within 15 days after submission, game marketers are currently losing a lot of money that would be coming their way from numerous dedicated players residing in South Korea and are also at risk of losing them to other platforms.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Innocents Fall</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The move was initially directed at social casino games, which have been successfully circumventing Korea’s anti-gambling laws for quite some time, but turned into an all-encompassing action intended to bring all Facebook games in line with the<strong> Game Industry Promotion Act </strong>of December 2013.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Act describes the process of rating games by a panel of nine people, placing them into four categories:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>All – </strong>games that are suitable for all ages</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>12+ - </strong>not for minors under the age of 12</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>15+ - </strong>not for minors under the age of 15</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Adult only – </strong>games that can only be played by adults and are not suitable for children or minors</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In order for developers to get their games rated, they must not only submit an application but must also pay a fee. The new procedures happened very fast and without announcement, forcing game marketers to act swiftly in an attempt to control the damage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Financial Implications</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A market report published earlier this year by <strong>Transparency Market Research </strong>indicates that the value of the social gaming market is expected to reach $17.4 billion by 2019. In 2012, the largest contributor in this market by region was Asia Pacific. The largest amount of revenue (60%) was created through the purchase of virtual goods.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Social networking bans in regions like the Middle East and China have already had a serious impact on potential revenue and this latest development will certainly have serious consequences as well, especially if the speed of processing application is not satisfactory – a scenario that is not unlikely at all.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 21:48:38 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3188 iGaming Revenue in Regulated States Inconsistent <p>Nearly 16 months of online poker in Nevada, and over nine months of online gambling in Delaware and New Jersey and we have yet to settle into any discernible pattern.</p> <p>The industry is still new, and there will certainly be variance from month-to-month, but all things considered I think the word inconsistent is a good descriptive for the three legal U.S. online gambling markets thus far.</p> <p>What was expected to be an industry that would see month-after-month of steady growth (with the occasional outlier of course) has proven to be extremely unpredictable in all three markets.</p> <p>Both Nevada and New Jersey saw their markets level off far sooner than anticipated for a variety of reasons --People have pointed to payment processing, the intrusive sign up process, geolocation hiccups, poor marketing, and over-regulation as reasons for the stunted growth in the U.S.</p> <p>But what is causing the inconsistency we see in the chart below? Where is the steady growth and market maturity?</p> <table style="width: 412px; height: 344px;" border="0"><tbody><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>Nevada</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>Delaware</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>New Jersey</strong></td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>April 2013</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;" rowspan="10"> $8.52 million*         </td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>May 2013</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>June 2013</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>July 2013</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>August 2013</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>September 2013</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>October 2013</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> </td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>November 2013</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $111k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $980k</td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>December 2013</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $140k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $7.39 million</td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>January 2014</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $146k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $9.46 million</td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>February 2014</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $824k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $167k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $10.31 million</td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>March 2014</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $926k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $207k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $11.88 million</td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>April 2014</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $792k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $241k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $11.43 million</td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>May 2014</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $862k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $175k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $10.47 million</td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>June 2014</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $1.04 million</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $187k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $9.51 million</td> </tr><tr><td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"><strong>July 2014</strong></td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $985k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $173k</td> <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;"> $10.07 million</td> </tr></tbody></table><p>*The Nevada Gaming Control Board only began releasing monthly revenue data in March.</p> <p>Seasonal trends certainly played a part, but in these nascent markets should they have been this impactful? Shouldn't the markets continuing maturation have offset these historical slumps?</p> <p>Furthermore, the peaks and valleys aren't consistent across the three markets.</p> <p>Delaware increased revenue by nearly 7% from May to June while New Jersey saw revenue decrease by more than 9% over the same time period.</p> <p>Nevada's biggest slump came in April of 2014, whereas Delaware had its best month in April 2014.</p> <p><strong>Nevada</strong></p> <p>There isn't much rhyme or reason to be gleaned from the little data we have from Nevada --which is why it's too bad we don't have the monthly breakdowns for the period from April 2013-January 2014.</p> <p>There was certainly a spike during the 2014 World Series of Poker, which ran from late-May to Mid-July, but perhaps not as much of a bump as expected, considering July's numbers (the WSOP ended July 14) only bettered March's revenue tally by about 6%, and July should have been the peak time for online poker play as players were in town by the thousands for the WSOP Main Event.</p> <p>Even June, the first month where Nevada broke the $1 million mark was only up about 10% from March's figures. A solid boost, but once again, perhaps not as large as expected.</p> <p>That said, if we eliminate the disappointing revenue figures from April, and remove the WSOP bump, the Nevada online poker industry looks pretty consistent, and seems to have settled into revenue of about $900k.</p> <p>You can view the Nevada revenue figures at <a href=""></a></p> <p><strong>Delaware</strong></p> <p>Delaware has been the most consistent of the three states in terms of sustaining growth (Delaware's online gambling industry grew for five consecutive months from November 2013 to April 2014) but has also seen some of the largest fluctuations month-to-month.</p> <p>These fluctuations can partially be blamed on the size of the market, but they are significant.</p> <p>From April 2014 to May 2014 Delaware's revenue declined 27%, and the state hasn't sniffed its previous revenue highs since.</p> <p>Additionally, Delaware has seen poker revenue plummet from a high of $88,000 in January to just $25,000 in June.</p> <p>You can see the complete Delaware revenue figures at <a href=""></a></p> <p><strong>New Jersey</strong></p> <p>New Jersey started off with slightly underwhelming revenue reports, and the state's slightly underwhelming performance has continued throughout, as has the state's inconsistency.</p> <p>Three months of gains was followed by three months of decline in revenue, with the state dropping to under $10 million in June for the first time since January. July did see a slight rebound, once again bringing New Jersey above the $10 million mark.</p> <p>The state does have the chance get a pretty strong boost when PokerStars enters the market, but whether or not Stars brings the consistent steady growth we expected from the outset is another question entirely.</p> <p>You can see the New Jersey revenue figures at <a href=""></a></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Steve Ruddock 3198 Judge Issues Ruling Blocking Live Poker Tournaments in Idaho <p>Live Texas Hold'em tournament poker is once again banned in <strong>Idaho</strong>, at least for now, after a United States District Court judge issued an injunction that will force the Coeur d'Alene casino in Worley, ID to cease running tournaments because they violate state law.</p> <p>U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill made the ruling Friday against the <strong>Coeur d' Alene Tribe</strong>, preventing the hosting of live tournaments at their casino in Worley, the <a href="">Spokesman-Review reported</a>. The tribe started offering tournaments back in May and the state filed for an injunction in June, claiming that the games fell under Idaho's state ban on gambling.</p> <p>Back in June, Judge Winmill agreed to stay the lawsuit after the tribe argued that both parties had agreed to arbitration. However, the ruling notes that the tribe changed their minds and decided to litigate for a dismissal. One of their primary arguments was that Texas Hold'em is a game of skill and does not apply to the state's ban on gambling.</p> <p><strong>Poker Is Gambling Due to Element of Chance</strong></p> <p>The judge ultimately denied the Tribe's request to dismiss because some elements of poker are subject to chance. Judge Winmill wrote:</p> <p><em>"The second problem with the Tribe’s assertion argument that poker is a game of skill is Idaho’s statutory definition of 'gambling.'</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>As already noted, this definition says gambling means to risk money 'in whole or in part . . . upon chance . . .' Idaho Code § 18 - 3801 (emphasis added). There is no dispute that in a game (or a series of games) of Texas Hold’em, players risk money at least partly upon chance. So even if the statute did not expressly refer to 'poker,'</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>Texas Hold ’em would fit the definition of gambling. But should there be any doubt on this point, the legislature expressly listed 'poker' as a form of gambling."</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p>Judge Winmill also went on to state that only three forms of gambling are legal in Idaho and Texas Hold'em is not one of them. Since poker involves an element of chance, it is illegal under the state's gambling ban and Texas Hold'em is poker.</p> <p><strong>Tribe Will Appeal</strong></p> <p>The Coeur d'Alene Tribe intends to appeal the judge's decision with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They claimed on Friday that they would file a motion to stay Judge Winmill's ruling.</p> <p>There is also some dispute whether the tribe backed out of arbitration. <em>“It appears there may be a misunderstanding by the court,"</em> tribal legislative affairs director Helo Hancock stated after the ruling.</p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>"Our compact is clear that it is the aggrieved party that is supposed to file or provide notice of their intent to arbitrate,"</em> Hancock added. <em>"And we’re not the aggrieved party. We don’t think we’re doing anything wrong. It was the state who sued us, and accordingly it would be the state’s responsibility as the aggrieved party to file notice of their intent to arbitrate."</em></p> <p>Idaho Governor Butch Otter was pleased with Winmill's ruling, stating, <em>“I appreciate the initial determination that the Coeur d’Alenes’ decision to conduct Texas Hold ’em games violates state law and the Idaho Constitution. The Legislature and the people of Idaho have made it clear what kind of gambling they will accept. That does not include poker. And no matter how much the Tribe insists otherwise, Texas Hold ’em is poker.”</em></p> <p><strong>Not First Time Poker Upheld as Gambling Under State Law</strong></p> <p>Judge Winmill's ruling does shine the light on the classic <em>"luck vs. skill"</em> argument in poker and her ruling is not the first time an <em>"element of chance"</em> made the game illegal.</p> <p>Back in November 2011, a Portsmouth, Virginia court declared that poker constituted illegal gambling under state laws. The Virginia statute declares illegal gambling as wagering something of value on a contest or something where the ultimate outcome is uncertain or a matter of chance. Judge Thomas Shadrick declared that while poker is skillful, the result of every hand is still uncertain.</p> <p>While most would agree that Texas Hold'em is a skill game, the game does have an element of luck involved. This element is sometimes highlighted late in tournaments when a player suffers a bad beat elimination or a less skillful player goes on an incredible run of cards to win an event.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 06 Sep 2014 23:00:37 +0000 James Guill 3197 Trump Taj Mahal to File for Bankruptcy and Close in November <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he news continues to get worse for <strong>Atlantic City</strong> casinos. Earlier in the week, reports surfaced that the <strong>Trump Taj Mahal</strong> could be headed into bankruptcy. Now it appears that the bankruptcy is happening and the casino will close.</p> <p><a href="">CBS Philly</a> reported Friday evening that the Trump Taj Mahal has already begun bankruptcy filing procedures and will close its doors sometime in November. According to a Press of Atlantic City report, the casino had missed terms on creditor loans and bankruptcy was the only option unless better terms could be negotiated.</p> <p><strong>Jobless to Exceed 10,000 After Taj Closing</strong></p> <p>At one point, the Trump Taj employed over 5,000 workers in the AC area. That number had shrunk to just 2,800 in August. The closing in November will push the jobless totals of casino workers in Atlantic City past 10,000, including the <strong>Atlantic Club</strong>, <strong>Showboat</strong>,<strong> Revel</strong> and the upcoming Sept. 16 shutdown of <strong>Trump Plaza</strong>.</p> <p>While local lawmakers are working to establish programs for the jobless in the area, those programs are only going to be viable for a small percentage of the unemployed. Odds are that workers will be forced out of Atlantic City to find work, further stressing the struggling local economy.</p> <p><strong>Closure Not Unexpected</strong></p> <p>A recent Deutsche Bank forecast predicted that the Atlantic City casino market would be cut in half by 2017 from the number of casinos operating at the start of 2014. Deutsche Bank expects only six casinos to remain in the city and specifically named the Trump Taj as one of two casinos to close. <strong>Resorts</strong> was the other.</p> <p><em>“By 2017, we foresee Atlantic City to have two center boardwalk casinos (Caesars and Bally’s), the Tropicana, and three casino hotels located in the Marina district (Borgata, Harrah’s, and Golden Nugget),"</em> the report said.</p> <p>With only six casinos, they predict 2017 casino revenue for AC of $1.8 billion. That would be a 36.5 percent drop from 2013 numbers.</p> <p><strong>Poker World to Lose a Historic Treasure</strong></p> <p>The closure of the Trump Taj will also have significance to the poker world. Many will remember that the property was featured prominently in the cult classic <em>"Rounders,"</em> including a memorable heads-up scene with <strong>Johnny Chan</strong>.</p> <p>The property also served as home for the now defunct United States Poker Championships. ESPN provided coverage for the Main Event for many years and the event became one of the most prestigious poker tournaments during the early years of the Poker Boom.</p> <p>The Taj also served as one of two places where Seven Card Stud pros could regularly find a game. Spreading limits of $1-$5 to $30-$60, it was a venue where serious Stud players often gathered.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 06 Sep 2014 17:25:56 +0000 James Guill 3196 Popular Las Vegas Dealer "Elvis Joe" Levine Shot and Killed <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span class="letter-big">J</span>oseph "Elvis Joe" Levine</strong> was one of the most popular and liked WSOP dealers. Sadly, his life ended at the age of 56 after he was shot in his Las Vegas home on Wednesday. According to the police report, the most likely culprit is <strong>Marjorie "Maggie" Fiora</strong>, a homeless woman who was arrested in the backyard of a nearby home not long after the shooting.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fiora, 30, was swimming with two of Levine’s brothers while Joseph was inside the residence. When they got out of the water, Fiora went inside, completely naked, and a few minutes later a gunshot was heard.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As she ran away, Fiora said, "I have to kill him" to the stunned brothers, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. When the police arrived at the scene, they found Levine with a gunshot wound to the chest and he passed away at the University Medical Center.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Many from within the poker community extended their condolences after this sad event, including WSOP officials and players like <strong>Robert Mizrachi</strong> and <strong>Victor Ramdin</strong>. Levine, who was famous for his Elivis-like appearance, will be missed by many.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The police detained Fiora and will continue investigating to shed some light on the facts pertaining to the alleged murder.</p> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 20:44:05 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3195 Legal Sports Betting Likely to Spread to Other States <p>In an article that appeared on <a href=""></a> on Thursday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made some very intriguing comments on the subject of sports betting.</p> <p><em>“It’s inevitable that, if all these states are broke, that there will be legalized sports betting in more states than Nevada and we will ultimately participate in that,”</em> Silver told Bloomberg.</p> <p>Silver compared the potential for legalized sports betting in the U.S. to the current situation in the United Kingdom, where sports betting is completely legal and seems to drive involvement in the matches.</p> <p><em>“If people are watching a game and clicking to bet on their smartphones, which is what people are doing in the United Kingdom right now, then it’s much more likely you’re going to stay tuned for a long time,”</em> Silver stated.</p> <p>These comments come as somewhat of a surprise, considering the league's longstanding stance on sports betting. The NBA, along with other professional and amateur sports leagues, have vehemently opposed sports betting to the point that the NBA was among the various leagues that sued New Jersey (and won) to prevent their 2011 sports betting law from being implemented.</p> <p>On the other hand, Silver is a new commissioner trying to make his mark, and at 52 years old, perhaps sees the value in change as opposed to maintaining the status quo.</p> <p>Exactly how Silver sees sports-betting expansion in the U.S. taking place is unclear, as New Jersey's attempts to have the federal PASPA law that bans sports betting ruled unconstitutional has failed. Although, it should be noted that New Jersey is now recalculating and seems to have found a reasonable workaround (more on this in a moment) to PASPA that could open the flood gates for other states.</p> <p><strong>What is PASPA?</strong></p> <p>The <a href=";context=glj">Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act</a> (PASPA) of 1992 bans sports betting across the country, except in Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. Interestingly, even though the other states have PASPA exemptions, Nevada is the only state that has comprehensive legal sports betting laws on the books.</p> <p>Even more interesting, New Jersey was offered a PASPA exemption back when the law was crafted in 1992, but the state legislature (which now so desperately wants sports betting) never acted and the exemption was rescinded after a year.</p> <p>The true power behind PASPA (the NCAA and professional sports leagues) can best be summed up by the fact that Delaware, which has a PASPA exemption, attempted to expand into sports betting in 2009 but was blocked by the Third Circuit Court. The state was allowed to offer three-team NFL parlays as something of a consolation prize.</p> <p>Delaware's denial (despite an exemption) shows how hard fought passing a sports betting law in another state would be… but this hasn't stopped New Jersey from trying.</p> <p><strong>New Jersey's PASPA fight and potential workaround</strong></p> <p>Silver's comments were most likely directed at the current situation unfolding in the Garden State.</p> <p>New Jersey has been fighting for sports betting since 2009, and after passing a bill, and the requisite ballot referendum, they found themselves taken to court by the NCAA and professional sports leagues challenging their new law.</p> <p>Unfortunately, New Jersey has been unable to convince the courts they are right (that PASPA violates state's rights and equal sovereignty, all states treated equally), and the state saw their attempts to institute legalized sports betting officially dashed by the Supreme Court when the <a href="">SCOTUS decided not to hear the case</a> in June of this year.</p> <p>Undeterred, New Jersey is now trying to circumvent PASPA sports betting laws.</p> <p>This latest attempt (an ingenious bill crafted by the state's online gambling architect, State Senator Raymond Lesniak) seeks to remove the PASPA hurdle by repealing older statutes that ban sports betting by private companies. In doing so, the state would have no hand in New Jersey's sports betting industry (the key component to PASPA) and PASPA wouldn't come into play --at least that's the theory Lesniak and others are working under; the courts may see it differently once again as it would likely be challenged.</p> <p>The new bill easily passed through the legislature (38-1 in the Senate and 63-6-2 in the Assembly) but met with Governor Chris Christie's veto pen in August. Even though Christie is a proponent of sports betting expansion, he felt that New Jersey had to adhere to the laws of the land, and that the courts had spoken.</p> <p>Now Lesniak and the legislature are attempting to override the governor's veto (which requires a two-thirds majority in both chambers), something that hasn't happened during Christie's entire time in office, but does have a chance on this issue, considering the legislature has already taken the difficult step of even scheduling an override vote.</p> <p>For one thing, this is Christie's final term in office, so Republicans who initially voted for the bill may vote for the override measure as well instead of toeing the party line. Additionally, several key Republicans are in districts that would greatly benefit from legalized sports betting.</p> <p>The override vote is scheduled for September 22nd.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><a href="">NJ Online poker</a> - Find the best poker sites in the garden state</strong></p> <p> </p> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 20:30:09 +0000 Steve Ruddock 3194 Trump Plaza to Retain iGaming License Despite Closure <p><strong>Trump Plaza</strong> will become the fourth <strong>Atlantic City</strong> casino to shut down this year once they close their doors on September 16.</p> <p>The casino submitted the necessary paperwork to cease operations after a three-year attempt to sell the property, the <a href="">Press of Atlantic City reported</a>. Trump Plaza's <a href="">petition to cease operations</a> was filed late last month with the <strong>New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement</strong> (DGE), who recently released the filing that details closing procedures to the public.</p> <p>The following items pertain to former patrons with vouchers, tokens, chips or with money on account with the property:</p> <p>Gaming vouchers can be redeemed at the <strong>Trump Taj Mahal</strong> for up to a year from the date of issuance at Trump Plaza; gaming chips and slot tokens can be redeemed at the Trump Taj Mahal for an unlimited amount of time; and player funds held on deposit by Trump Plaza will be available until September 16 and afterwards at the Trump Taj Mahal.</p> <p><strong>iGaming License to Be Retained</strong></p> <p>In an unusual move by the property, the Trump Plaza has requested that they retain their New Jersey iGaming license. The DGE has approved their request provided that the following conditions are met:</p> <p>Trump Plaza must provide an audit of their iGaming revenue to the Division's Revenue Certification Unit on September 8 and continue to do so weekly; they must provide the Division daily reports that their iGaming account has enough funds to ensure the safekeeping of player funds; and a list of safeguards and procedures used to guarantee player security and gaming system integrity must be submitted on or before September 8.</p> <p>Trump Plaza ranks fourth out of Atlantic City's six iGaming sites, having collected $4,343.925 in combined gaming win in 2014. Their poker room currently ranks dead last in AC, earning just $49 this year.</p> <p><strong>Property Failed to Sell Despite Being on the Market For Years</strong></p> <p>Trump Plaza had been attempting to sell the property since 2011. A deal looked to be in place in February 2013 when the Meruelo Group offered $20 million for the property, but the deal was killed by Carl Icahn, the primary mortgage holder.</p> <p>Trump Plaza will become the fourth Atlantic City casino to close in 2014. After a failed buyout attempt by <strong>PokerStars</strong>, the <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> was forced to close in January.</p> <p><strong>Revel</strong> and <strong>Showboat</strong> both closed earlier this week. Showboat was shut down by Caesars as they consolidate their AC holdings.</p> <p>Revel had been mired in problems since its initial conception. The property had been in bankruptcy multiple times and saw its value drop from $2 billion to around $400 million as of 2013.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:20:41 +0000 James Guill 3193 "The Cage" Tourney/Cash Hybrid Unveiled at WPN <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline poker players who clamor for new, innovative concepts will likely applaud the latest offering known as <em>"The Cage"</em> introduced by the<strong> Winning Poker Network</strong> (WPN).</p> <p>Seen as a hybrid of sorts that combines elements of both tournament and cash game action, The Cage is being heavily promoted by WPN flagship skin Americas Cardroom. The first Cage event is slated for October 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET.</p> <p><strong>$5,100 buy-in a bit steep for many</strong></p> <p>Here's how it works. Players register for the $5,100 multi-table tournament and must be prepared to play for three hours, as a clock is counting down from 3:00 once the event begins.</p> <p>All players will be armed with $5,000 in chips that retain their full value once the clock stops and the tournament ends. Play at the tables consists of a cash game format with three blind levels, one for each hour of play.</p> <p>The levels are $10/$20 blinds with $2 antes in hour one, $25/$50 blinds with $5 antes in the second hour, and $50/$100 blinds with $10 antes in the final hour. Each table will be 6-player max. No re-buys or add-ons permitted.</p> <p>Players who bust during the three hours are eliminated and those still standing after the clock hits 0:00 will have won whatever chips remain in their stack. In essence, it's a cash game with a beginning and an end. But players can not leave at anytime and must remain in The Cage for the full three hours, unless they lose their chips.</p> <p><blockquote>We’re creating something new that’s guaranteed to cause the blood to fly,” said Americas Cardroom spokesman Michael Harris. "We're raising the stakes with an unbelievable poker cash game that's designed for players who are in it to win it."</blockquote></p> <p><strong>Qualifiers available for low stakes players</strong></p> <p>Those players on a tight budget who would love to participate but perhaps don't have the $5,100 buy-in needn't worry. Qualifiers are running now at Americas Cardroom that start at a mere $1.50 on up.</p> <p>With the first Cage event more than a month away, there is ample time for lower stakes players to win their entry into the tourney/cash game hybrid that may revolutionize online poker. It certainly is an interesting concept that already has players talking.</p> <p>How many times have you played at an online cash game where a certain player wins a big pot or two and takes the money and runs? You want another shot at your cash but the winner may have already disappeared.</p> <p>That won't happen at The Cage, where the 3-hour time limit guarantees that each player must continue competing until the clock winds down to 0:00. Taking the money and running is not an option.</p> <p>It will be interesting to see the number of entries for the first Cage event on Oct. 8. Perhaps player demand will cause WPN to offer the game at lower stake levels. Perhaps, too, other poker rooms and networks are lining up to copy the concept.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 15:31:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3192 Virginia Top Cop Against Adelson Coalition <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he president of the <strong>Fraternal Order of Police in Virginia</strong> has come out against a possible federal ban on online gambling by expressing his views in a Letter to the Editor of his local newspaper.</p> <p>Published in the <a href="">Richmond Times-Dispatch</a> just a few days ago, Kevin Carroll took offense to the bills proposed in March by <strong>South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham</strong> and <strong>Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz</strong>. The Graham/Chaffetz measure seeks to overturn the 2011 DoJ ruling that found only sports betting to be unlawful under the 1961 Wire Act and allowed states to move forward with online gambling legislation.</p> <p>Entitled the <em>Restoration of America's Wire Act</em>, the Graham/Chaffetz proposal was introduced at the behest of <strong>Sheldon Adelson</strong>, the multi-billionaire casino owner on a mission to keep U.S. citizens from legally playing poker and gambling over the Internet. Carroll's letter blasts that effort as being <em>"ill-advised"</em> and one that would force Americans to gamble <em>"in unregulated, overseas black markets where there are no consumer protections"</em> as well as denying a source of revenue that benefits law enforcement and education.</p> <p><strong>Adelson argument disputed by law enforcement</strong></p> <p>Adelson and his <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong> have repeatedly asserted that legalized online gaming sites would permit criminals a new avenue to launder money. Carroll provides a solid rebuttal to that rubbish of an argument through a wealth of experience in fighting crime.</p> <p><blockquote>As a law enforcement officer, I am faced with crime and criminals every day," Carroll stated. "We need to do everything we can to shut unregulated sites, not give them more opportunities to thrive. Taking online gaming away from the states will do just that."</blockquote></p> <p>Carroll acknowledges that throughout the great history of the United States, the <em>"federal government had a strong role to play,"</em> but also rightly points out that <em>"so too did each state."</em> As a Virginian, the FOP president is extremely proud of his home state and its ability to govern itself, adding that <em>"there is no stronger example of a highly functioning, model state than the Old Dominion."</em></p> <p><strong>Let each state decide</strong></p> <p>Duplicating the sentiment of those in favor of online poker and gambling legislation, which includes the recent addition of the <a href="">National Conference of State Legislatures</a> and the <a href="">Georgia Lottery</a>, Carroll urges in his letter that individual states be allowed to decide whether or not igaming will be suited for each.</p> <p><blockquote>Virginia has an exemplary record of running its lottery." Carroll argues. "It is regulated in a strict fashion that ensures only those who are legally eligible can play. So does Congress think it knows better about what is good for our state?"</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 21:26:14 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3191 Dan Colman on Fire: One Drop Winner Takes Down Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>e can all still remember the day <strong>Daniel Colman</strong> won the <strong>Big One for One Drop </strong>tournament and all the controversy that followed as he refused to give the obligatory winner's interview and stated something along the lines that poker was making many people miserable. But this did not stop the young gun from plowing on and adding a few more awesome results to his score book, including the recently concluded Super High Roller Event at the EPT Barcelona.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Enjoying the Overlay</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">His latest achievement was a victory in the <strong>Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open</strong> Main Event and the first place prize added another $1,446,710 to his tournament winnings. The tourney itself featured a huge overlay, as 1,499 players who ponied up $5,300 for their seats failed to meet the guarantee of $10 million – by a lot ($2.5 million to be exact).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With three starting days, it took almost an entire week for this tournament to come full circle and for the final table to be played. But yesterday (September 3<sup>rd</sup>) the big moment finally arrived. Prior to that, the tournament bubble burst with 300 players remaining, sending <strong>Joe Weissman</strong> home in the unlucky 301<sup>st</sup> position.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Final Six</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Final table play was six-handed, and although Colman was the most accomplished player of the bunch, he still had to battle experienced players like <strong>Mike Leah, John Dolan, Shawn Cunix, Joseph Kuether </strong>and <strong>Martin Hanowski </strong>on his way to victory.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hanowski was the first one to fall, and his sixth place finish brought him $324,000. He was soon followed by Las Vegas resident Kuether, who earned $424,000 for his efforts. Dolan departed in fourth after making a strange call with only second pair against Colman, padding his pockets with just shy of $549,000 and triggering the three-handed phase.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Seven Figures Heads Up</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Shawn Cunix of Delaware fell in third, walking away with $748,000 and leaving the last two to play for seven-digit sums. Colman took quick advantage in the match and never gave it back. He struck the finishing blow to Leah when Colman’s #ah#kd held up against the #qc#jc of Leah.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Leah's runner-up finish was good for $1,047,000, while Colman became nearly $1.5 million richer and added a fourth $1 million+ cash to his already amazing year. Dan Colman may have issues with poker on a philosophical level, but that certainly does not stop him one little bit at the tables.</p> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 19:38:15 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3190 Trump Taj Mahal May File for Bankruptcy <p>Just a couple of days after <a href="">the closure of two Atlantic City casinos</a>, it appears yet another is headed towards bankruptcy.</p> <p>The <strong>Trump Taj Mahal</strong> could be facing Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a matter of days after the property was unable to meet the term on certain loans.</p> <p><strong>Can Bankruptcy Be Avoided?</strong></p> <p>Until recently, Trump Entertainment Resorts had been working on plans to avoid bankruptcy. Part of that plan centered on Carl Icahn converting some of the property's debt into equity. Ichan owns the majority of the company's debt. According to the <a href="">New York Post</a>, it appears those plans have fallen through.</p> <p>The company continues to work on a plan to stave off bankruptcy, currently working with restructuring adviser Houlihan Lokey. The Taj recently laid off employees as a cost-cutting move. Prior to the move, they had around 5,000 employees.</p> <p><strong>Future for AC Casinos Continues to Be Grim</strong></p> <p>By the middle of September, four Atlantic City casinos will have closed their doors in 2014 and others may be forced into bankruptcy reorganization. The <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> shut down in January and the property was split between <strong>Caesars</strong> and <strong>Tropicana</strong>. The hotel property was later sold to a non-gambling entity.</p> <p>Earlier this week, both the <strong>Revel</strong> and <strong>Showboat</strong> closed their doors. Revel had been in operation a mere two years and originally cost $2.4 billion to develop.</p> <p>Trump Entertainment's other casino, <strong>Trump Plaza</strong>, will close on September 16. Counting all four casino closures this year, over 8,000 people will have lost their jobs.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the news isn't getting any better. According to NY Post sources, unsecured debt for Caesars is now worth just 25 cents on the dollar as opposed to 50 cents at the beginning of summer.</p> <p>Caesars still operates three properties in the city following Showboat's closure. But a bankruptcy, whether Trump Taj Mahal or a Caesars casino, could be another major blow to the remaining Atlantic City gaming market.</p> <p><strong>Bankruptcy Doesn't Necessarily Mean the End</strong></p> <p>While bankruptcy is a dire circumstance considering recent activity in Atlantic City, it does not necessarily mean the end for the Trump Taj Mahal. The 24-year-old casino has been part of three bankruptcies in its lifetime, the last in 2009 when Avenue Capital bought the property.</p> <p>Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a company to restructure its debts and remain in operation. This is done in an attempt to return to profitability.</p> <p>Famous companies that have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the past include Chrysler, LLC, CIT Group, Washington Mutual, General Motors, Delta Air Lines and Texaco, Inc.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 16:39:47 +0000 James Guill 3186 Revel and Showboat Close; Trump Plaza to Follow <p>The recent Labor Day holiday paid its annual tribute to workers who help make the country strong and proud. That strength and pride took a hit in <strong>New Jersey</strong> where almost 5,000 workers were sent to the unemployment line following the closings of the <strong>Showboat Casino</strong> on Aug. 31 and the <strong>Revel Casino</strong> two days later on Sept. 2.</p> <p>Waiting in the on deck circle is <strong>Trump Plaza</strong> after receiving approval to shut down on Sept. 16 from the <strong>New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement</strong> last Friday. That will add roughly another 1,000 workers to the Garden State's unemployment totals when Trump Plaza turns away gamblers in two weeks.</p> <p><strong>Sept. 8 summit scheduled to discuss remedies</strong></p> <p><strong>Gov. Chris Christie</strong> is not standing idly by, as a summit has been called for Sept. 8 where officials from all levels of government and the gaming sector will convene to discuss a remedy, the Press of Atlantic City reported. The discussions will center upon how to revive an industry that took in $5.2 billion in 2006 before the bottom fell out and declines each subsequent year led to nearly only half as much in revenue in 2013.</p> <p>Online poker and gambling regulation was enacted and launched last year in New Jersey in an effort to boost the flagging revenue totals. The gaming sites collectively took in over $10 million in July, an improvement over June's total of $9.5 million.</p> <p><strong>2014 a bleak year for Atlantic City</strong></p> <p>But those totals, while likely to increase with the expected approval and entry of <strong>PokerStars</strong> into the <a href="">New Jersey online poker</a> market, are not enough to offset the revenue lost at brick and mortar gaming establishments from the peak of eight years ago. And the closing of four casinos since January that includes the <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> and the upcoming Trump Plaza shutdown means that 2014 will likely be the darkest year in <strong>Atlantic City</strong> history since casinos opened in 1978.</p> <p>Potential buyers for the Showboat, Revel and Trump Plaza continue to be welcomed. That topic is likely one of many that will be addressed by Gov. Chris Christie during next Monday's summit.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 17:39:13 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3185 Chris "Fox" Wallace on Poker Tells <p>For the first article in my series on tells, I thought it was appropriate to start with the first tell I ever spotted. I didn't know much about reading my opponents, and to be honest, I was terrible at reading body language and facial expressions. So it was a slow process that I had to work on when I started playing more live poker. I knew from martial arts classes that watching an opponent's eyes was usually the best way to discern their intentions quickly, so I was watching the eye movements of my opponents to see if I could spot anything.</p> <p>The game was $8/16 limit holdem and I was in the one seat, looking directly across the table at a young and fairly inexperienced player in his early twenties. While I didn't know much about tells yet, I was a reasonably good limit holdem player after reading up on the game and making part of my living playing the game online, so I knew how to gauge a player's skill level by the way they played their hands. This guy was just seeing flops and waiting to get lucky.</p> <p><strong>First tell spotted</strong></p> <p>I watched him play a hand where his eyes flashed down to his chips and back on the flop and then he bet out and I started to wonder if this was an indicator of the strength of his hand. He didn't bet unless he really had something, so even though the hand didn't go to showdown I knew that he had a hand. A few minutes later I saw the same tell again when he made a flush on the river. This hand was shown down, so I knew he had hit the hand on the river and was fairly certain I had just spotted my first tell.</p> <p>I continued to watch this player and within an hour I was certain that I had found an accurate tell and I was ever so pleased with myself. I was becoming a live poker player, someone who could read their opponents and crush them because I knew what they held at all times. I was incredibly far from the ideal of the poker wizard that I wanted to become, but I had finally taken the first step and spotted a tell.</p> <p><strong>Using the information correctly</strong></p> <p>After a few hours I was finally in a spot to use my new bit of knowledge. I raised the cutoff seat and Mr. Eye Flash called to defend his big blind. I had a pair of eights and the flop was 5-4-2 rainbow. He checked, I bet my overpair, and he called. The turn was an ace, and his eyes darted to his chips, back to the flop, and then he checked. After his check he looked at me, and I thought he looked eager for me to bet so that he could check raise me. This coupled with the eyes was more than enough for me to check behind.</p> <p>The river was a jack, no response from his eyes, and he bet out. I folded, showing my pair of eights and hoping that this would cause him to show his hand so I could confirm my tell. He showed Ace-Deuce for two pair, and I nodded my head and said "nice hand."</p> <p>This was great news. I had spotted a tell, confirmed it, and saved $16 in the process! I was so proud of myself. It was weeks before I spotted another tell, but the eye flash tell was the first feather in my cap and my confidence got a big boost. The eye flash tell has made me a lot of money over the years, and even ten years later when games are much tougher, I still see it often enough to make it worth watching for.</p> <p><strong>Watch out for fake tells</strong></p> <p>Now that you know about the tell, and how I first spotted it, let's talk about how you find it and determine whether it is a legitimate indicator. This tell is very common among new players and very weak or inexperienced players, but it is also very well-known among strong players, and easily faked. Telling the difference between the two usually involves knowing the player or at least knowing enough about them from their appearance to decide how much they know about the game.</p> <p>In future articles, we will talk more about reading your opponent from their appearance, but the guy in the 3bet hoodie who knows half the table and has a monster stack might be faking it. The kid who just started talking excitedly about the newest episode of the WSoP Main Event broadcast and asking if anyone has ever been to Vegas is probably not faking it.</p> <p><strong>Hat and sunglasses not a fashion statement</strong></p> <p>A real eye flash is not a conscious act. It happens instantly after seeing the flop and the person doing it is not self conscious in any way. They don't know they are being watched. This is a good reason to make sure they don't know they are being watched, which is why I wear a baseball hat and Blue Shark Optics at any major tournament that I play. People behave differently when they know they are being watched and tells become less reliable.</p> <p>An eye flash is a check for chips, a subconscious desire to bet those chips, a genuine excitement. It doesn't happen when a player makes third pair on the turn. It happens when they flop a real hand, something they are excited about, and it is even more reliable on the turn and river when there are draws on board.</p> <p><strong>Keep your eyes open and trust your instincts</strong></p> <p>Remember that this tell is sometimes faked, and that it only reveals a desire to bet, not always a huge hand. That fish who just sat down may be excited about his K-9 on a J-9-4 board because he thinks he has made a pretty good hand. As with all tells, as long as you keep your cool and don't reveal that you are interested in them, they will be repeated over and over and you can often get a read on what they mean for a particular player.</p> <p>If you are watching carefully, this can even help with the pros who fake it. If they consistently fake this tell when they want a free card or they are about to bluff, you can use that knowledge against them. Whether you are playing with a bunch of your donkey friends in a basement somewhere, or against the best in the world, you will make more money by keeping your eyes open, paying attention to the table, and trusting your gut.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 15:02:34 +0000 Chris Wallace 3184 Seminole Hard Luck Poker Open: An Overlay, a Holiday & Scott Seiver Gets His Way <p>Oh what a difference a year makes.</p> <p>Press rewind on the VHS of life and 2013 saw the emergence of a new heavyweight in the live tournament roster.</p> <p>Ding, ding.</p> <p>The <strong>2013 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open</strong> declared open war on the big three by announcing their intent to host a $5,300 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) Main Event.</p> <p>Drum roll please….</p> <p>With a $10m Guarantee!</p> <p>Would they make it?</p> <p>Would they fall flat on their faces?</p> <p>The event was a huge success.</p> <p>Entrants numbering 2,384 dwarfed the guarantee, and there was a talented final table to boot, with <strong>Blair Hinkle</strong> defeating <strong>Justin Bonomo</strong> in heads-up action to take the $1,745,245 first prize.</p> <p>If at first you succeed, let’s just do the whole thing all over again.</p> <p>One year later and the wheels seem to have fallen off the SHRPO bus. Only 1,499 entrants ponied up the $5,300 buy-in, representing a 37% dip in year-on-year heads, but more importantly, it left the SHRPO chiefs with a $2.5m overlay.</p> <p>$2.5m!</p> <p>By my reckoning, that’s the biggest mass of free money ever given out in the history of tournament poker.</p> <p><strong>It Get’s Worse</strong></p> <p>With the vig set at $2,500 per player, the $100,000 Super High Roller was a nice little money earner for the Seminoles. So how then did they also end up eating it after that event?</p> <p>I will try to explain.</p> <p>Reading through Twitter and various posts on 2+2, it seems that <strong>Scott Seiver</strong> asked a member of the floor how many places were going to be paid out when he realized that the field was going to be quite small.</p> <p>Seiver, and the rest of the table, received word that they would be paying two spots (65%-35%), as long as there were &lt;11 players, and three spots (50%-30%-20%) with a field size of &gt;11 players.</p> <p>When Day 1 action ends the players are handed their bags and the official tells the table that they have made a mistake and three places will be paid out and not two.</p> <p>This ruling sends Seiver into a spin and he demands to speak to the boss of all bosses as he is deeply upset that they are planning to change the payout structure midway through the tournament.</p> <p>Remarkably, Seiver is told that the Director of Poker Operations, William Mason, is on holiday. Yes, Mason’s boss actually allows him to take a vacation during their biggest event of the year.</p> <p>Go figure.</p> <p>Anyway, to cut a very long story short, Seiver eventually convinces the people in charge not to change their decision, which, by the way, abides by Tournament Rule No. 9 which states, <em>“Tournament Director decisions are final and without recourse,”</em> and everybody leaves for the day.</p> <p>When the rest of the players find out that only two places are being paid, there is a back and fore Twitter debate between <strong>Ryan Fees</strong>, <strong>Jason Mo</strong> and Scott Seiver, with Fees and Mo calling Seiver out for effectively changing the TD’s mind because he had the most chips, and therefore the most to gain from the decision.</p> <p>What Mo and Fees failed to understand is that Seiver didn’t change the TD’s mind. He successfully argued that they wouldn’t change their mind. The evidence is pretty clear that the officials stated that two places would be paid out, if fewer than 11 players entered, and this is what happened.</p> <p>A lot of arguing about nothing if you ask me.</p> <p>So how did the SHRPO lose out on money as well as losing their integrity?</p> <p>Oh yeah…I almost forgot.</p> <p>With the debacle promoted within the corridors of poker social media power within minutes, the SHRPO officials kindly offered to add an additional $50,000 to the prize pool so the player who finished third had a little something to take away from the whole sorry episode.</p> <p>On the bright side. The SHRPO did manage to blag <strong>Shannon Elizabeth</strong> to carry out the sideline reporting, and <strong>PokerStars</strong> did a sweet job with the coverage of the live stream.</p> <p>I can’t wait until next year.</p> <p>Wait.</p> <p>Will there be a next year?</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:44:44 +0000 Lee Davy 3182 Equity Poker Network Gaining Player Traffic <p>The <strong>Equity Poker Network</strong> (EPN) continues to attract players and climb the ladder of cash game player traffic rankings as tallied by <strong>PokerScout</strong>.</p> <p>The latest numbers show EPN, buoyed by flagship skin <strong>Full Flush Poker</strong>, in fourth place among non-regulated poker rooms and networks that service the U.S. market. EPN's seven-day cash game player average has reached 220, directly behind the 240 players typically found on the <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong> (WPN).</p> <p><strong>Bodog/Bovada</strong> continues to rule the roost in the U.S. market, proving that its innovative <strong>Recreational Poker Model</strong> implemented in late 2011 that removed screen names and left all players anonymous remains quite popular. Averaging an estimated 1,450 players and ranked fifth globally, Bodog/Bovada has a substantial lead over its next nearest U.S.-facing competitor, the <strong>Chico Poker Network</strong> and its 400 players.</p> <p><strong>EPN sees 10% spike in traffic</strong></p> <p>Just 10 days ago, EPN averaged 200 players. Its recent 10% boost in traffic is likely attributable to a number of promotions at Full Flush Poker such as the Rising Star Leaderboard coupled with generous deposit and reload bonuses. Full Flush's largest-ever prize pool tournament is also on tap for next Sunday when the Monster $50K GTD kicks off at 5:00 p.m. ET.</p> <p>EPN arrived on the scene on Nov. 8. 2013 with a real-money launch that was somewhat subdued because of all the hoopla surrounding the legal <a href="">online gambling launches in Delaware</a> and <a href="">New Jersey</a> in the same month. A lot of attention continues to be directed toward the regulated states and those such as <strong>California</strong> and <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> that are toying with joining the online poker party.</p> <p><strong>Non-regulated poker rooms a gamble</strong></p> <p>Considerable attention should be heaped upon the potential of certain states to regulate Internet poker because playing at the non-regulated U.S. poker rooms affords no safeguards to consumers. Despite fast-paced payouts that are currently enjoyed by players requesting cashouts at the likes of Bovada and WPN skins such as <strong>Americas Cardroom</strong>, one never knows when the DoJ may decide again to orchestrate a shutdown a la Black Friday in 2011.</p> <p>The future of <a href="">online poker in the U.S.</a> lies in regulation and the hope is that more states than not eventually see their way to passing the required legislation. Unfortunately, regulation is currently spreading at a snail's pace and it leaves U.S. players outside of the regulated states who want to play online poker no choice but to gamble and play at the U.S.-facing rooms and networks available such as Bovada, Chico, WPN, EPN and <strong>Merge</strong>.</p> <p><strong>But beware of the risk involved!</strong> Anybody who had money at <strong>Full Tilt</strong>, <strong>Absolute Poker</strong> and <strong>UltimateBet</strong> certainly doesn't want to relive that experience, even though U.S. Full Tilt players will have a happy ending when all is said and done.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:26:48 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3183 PokerStars Deflects Blame for California iPoker Failure <p><br/>Two bills that would have legalized <a href="">online poker for the state of California</a> were pulled last month after lawmakers felt that there was insufficient time to properly iron out details. Much of the blame for the failure of these bills has been laid at the feet of PokerStars and the bad actor clause that may prevent them from entering California. <br/><br/><a href=""></a> recently reached out to PokerStars regarding the matter and the company has a different take on the matter. They recently spoke with PokerStar's Director of Group Strategy and Business Development Guy Templer and he defended the company, stating that the bad actor clause was not the problem but rather a lack of universal support by California stakeholders that is preventing legislation from moving forward.<br/><br/></p> <h3>Where Does the Problem Lie?</h3> <p><br/>Templer mentioned in the article that there is more support for online poker currently than at any point in the state's history. Back in June, thirteen California Tribes led by the Pechanga sent a letter to the state legislature claiming that the tribes had reached a consensus on online poker. <br/><br/>This letter was significant because it represented a "meeting of the minds" of most of the major tribes in the state. The key word there is most. <br/><br/>The Morongo Band of Mission Indians is the one major tribe that has not chosen to join this consensus and rather entered into an agreement with PokerStars to allow the company to provide online poker services. This agreement has led to a bit of a stalemate as the Morongo has hinted at a Constitutional challenge to any bill that includes a bad actor clause. They believe that it is equal to a bill of attainder and therefore unconstitutional.<br/><br/>However, Tribes are not the only stakeholders at odds over online poker. As the previous bills were written, California racetracks would not be allowed to participate in the legalized marketplace. <br/><br/>In recent months there have been rumblings of racetracks potentially throwing up a potential court challenge should they not be included in the bill. <br/><br/></p> <h3>Consensus that Change is Needed</h3> <p><br/>Templer holds the opinion of many legal analysts in that a consensus is needed between all parties before any bill can move forward. The state has tried to get a bill passed for several years and the issue has never even reached a vote.<br/><br/>He is not alone in a belief that something needs to change in order to move forward. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer is currently working on a new online poker bill for the state but believes that language for the bad actor clause must be modified. He believes that it should be modified so that it is applied fairly across the board and closes the door on any potential legal challenges.<br/><br/>Jones-Sawyer will have several months to prepare his bill and to work towards a compromise on relevant issues. Realistically, some type of progress will need to be made in short order surrounding the lack of consensus between tribes before we can realistically expect any California poker bill to even come to a vote.</p> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:29:01 +0000 James Guill 3181 Poker Strategy with WSOP Champ Chris Wallace <p><a href="">Chris “Fox” Wallace</a> has been around poker for longer than many new players have known how to calculate pot odds. He recently <a href="">won his first WSOP gold bracelet</a> and he is the newest addition to the PokerUpdate team. Every week, Chris will share his knowledge and experience as a professional player and poker coach with readers of PokerUpdate.</p> <p><strong>The Fox's Den</strong></p> <p>This week we will be looking at a hand that I played in a $1,000 buy-in event at Running Aces poker room here in Minnesota. I had been raising quite a few hands and felt like I was playing very well, so I raised a pair of deuces under the gun. My opponent was a solid player who plays fairly tight, isn't super creative, and very rarely makes a big mistake or gets out of line. He is smart enough to run a big bluff, but I have not seen him do so in a big spot. We'll call my opponent Sam. <br/><br/>My raise was around 2.3 big blinds, a standard number for me late on day one when the blinds are starting to get big in relation to the stacks. Sam called on the button and everyone else folded. The flop was #Ad#7s#2s, and I bet my set of deuces. We both started the hand with a little over 60 big blinds, and I could see a big hand potentially developing if Sam had AK or AQ.<br/><br/>The pot was just over 7 big blinds, so I bet 4.5 big blinds and Sam called. He has very little expression when he is in a hand, so I wasn't able to get any feel for how strong his hand might be in this spot. Most of the time he has a suited ace here or two spades in this spot and is just calling to see what happens on the turn before he commits a significant portion of his stack. <br/><br/>The turn was the ace of spades, pairing the top card and bringing in the flush while giving me a full house. Gin! This looks like a chance for me to win a monster pot, but only by betting. If I check, it looks like I am either being sneaky with a monster or have nothing, and either way I limit the size of the pot I can win. <br/><br/>If Sam has a flush here he will definitely raise me since he will expect me to have an ace with a big kicker fairly often and his flush can beat any big ace. If he has an ace it is a big ace, so I am beating almost his entire range. He could have a suited ace that flopped two pair and have me drawing nearly dead, but I think he would fold a small suited ace preflop. I also think he would reraise preflop if he had aces, so quads are out as well. The only hand that can beat me is a set of sevens. <br/><br/>The pot was around 15 big blinds now, and Sam and I both had about 55 big blinds in our stacks. With such a perfect turn card I really expected to be raised. I bet 8 big blinds and Sam just called my bet. Once he calls I can narrow his range down with a little more certainty. If he has a flush it is a big one, almost certainly king high. With a smaller flush he would have to raise to punish me if I have a big spade. Sam might also call with an ace here, and he might also call with a full house which would have to be sevens full of aces. <br/><br/>The river was the queen of diamonds, so the final board was - <br/><br/>#Ad#7s#2s#As#Qd<br/><br/>I was a little worried about Ace-Queen, since it was a significant portion of his range, but Ace-King, Ace-Jack suited, and any two spades were also in that range. If I checked I believed he would check behind with everything except Ace-Queen and 77 and I would be missing value when most of his range was losing and could call my bet. <br/><br/>The pot was about 31 big blinds and I was worried that Sam might not call if I bet too much. He must be considering the possibility that I have Ace-Queen if he had a flush or an ace of his own, so I thought a small bet was much more likely to be called. I had 42 big blinds left and I bet 15 of them. Sam didn't think for long, just calmly pushed out a raise that would put me nearly all-in. <br/><br/>I thought for quite some time about what this might mean. Do yourself a favor and stop reading for a moment and think about what you would have done in this situation and why. <br/><br/>Sam is a sharp guy, could he be bluffing here? No, I didn't think so. He can't expect me to fold. If he isn't bluffing, what hands is he raising for value? I don't believe he raises with a flush. I don't believe he raises with an ace, not even Ace-King. That leaves a full house. He must have a full house. And I can't beat any full house. I have to fold here. <br/><br/>I know most intermediate players would call and then tell the bad beat story for a week, but an advanced player has to fold here. I almost always fold in this spot. The only time I don't fold is if I am running good, winning every pot, and on a sneaky form of tilt where I can't stand to see my chip stack drop. Unfortunately, after a minute or so, which is a long tank for me, I called. I knew it was wrong, but I called. <br/><br/>Sam rolled over 77, one of the two hands I knew he must have, and I was crippled with one or two big blinds left in my stack. I played great all day, I really did, and then punted off my stack near the end of day one because I couldn't make the play that I knew was right. So we have a lesson in hand reading, and another lesson on how important it is to be psychologically ready to make the right play at the right time every time. <br/><br/>Next week we'll cover a hand where I get raised on the river with three spades on the board and a set in my hand and I make the right play instead of blowing it!</p> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:27:58 +0000 Chris Wallace 3179 Bwin.Party 2014 Half-Year Results Show Revenue Decline <p><em>“We are on track with our current cost saving measures, however it is clear that a more fundamental approach is needed to turnaround our commercial and operational performance.”</em></p> <p>Those were the words of <strong> digital entertainment CEO, Norbert Teufelberger</strong>, after his baby had released their 2014 half-year results to the general public.</p> <p>Things are not ship-shape on the freighter, that’s for sure.</p> <p>The key performance indicators (KPIs) for the six months ending 30 June 2014 were showing more red than green with a series of bad news stories permeating through the paper.</p> <p><strong>Overall revenues decrease 7.5%</strong></p> <p>The biggest story is the news that total revenue is down 7.5% from a 2013 figure of €342.5m to €317.1m. The causations cited are a <em>"soft international poker market,"</em> and <em>"the loss of €11.9m of revenue from their withdrawal from the Greek market.</em>"</p> <p>It’s a sad story, particularly because it was <strong>World Cup</strong> year. The additional income from the World Cup came in at €127.4m, but sports betting handle actually declined 5% year-on-year to €1.35bn.</p> <p>Despite that decline, sports betting remained the only tranche that grew revenue with a 7% increase to €127.4m from €119m this time last year. New player sign-ups were up 7% overall and up 40% in nationally regulated and/or taxed markets, yield per active player day was up 8%, and 35% of gross gaming revenue came through mobile.</p> <p><strong>Poker revenue falls 37%</strong></p> <p>The other tributaries performed like dogs with casino &amp; games falling 8% from €112.2m to €103.3m, poker dropping 37% from €63.9m to €44.1m, and Bingo dropping 3% from €27.6m to €26.7m.</p> <p>Once again, the withdrawal from the Greek market was cited as the answer to most of the problems in all of these areas.</p> <p>To round off this dismal news, earnings were down 23% and they also made an operating loss of €100.4m (of which €95m came via non-cash impairment charge against its under performing poker assets).</p> <p><strong>New Jersey investment won't break even until 2016</strong></p> <p>It does have to be noted that there are start-up costs associated with the gaming and <a href="">poker sites operating in New Jersey</a>, which amounted to a €7.3m loss. are forecasting another €6m loss by the end of the year and CFO Martin Weigold believes that the New Jersey business won’t break even until sometime in 2016.</p> <p>With shares down by a third this year, and its market value seeing £660m vanish into thin air, what’s the plan?</p> <p><blockquote>This requires a major change: we are simplifying our structure to accelerate the execution of our plans to drive revenue growth, increase our focus on customers in nationally regulated and/or taxed markets, and further reduce infrastructure costs,” Teufelberger stated.</blockquote></p> <p>According to Reuters’s Keith Weir, Teufelberger and his team plan to focus on developing the Bwin brand in Europe whilst doing likewise with PartyPoker and World Poker Tour (WPT) stateside.</p> <p>There are also plans afoot to look at the potential of an initial public offering for their payment processing business, Kalixa, and a further €15m will be clawed back through cost cutting exercises (that’s in addition to the €30m it saved this year).</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:13:15 +0000 Lee Davy 3178 Online Gambling Expansion Most Likely on the East Coast <p>With the shelving of the Senate and the Assembly bills in <strong>California</strong>, the state's online poker expansion status has changed from <em>"clear frontrunner"</em> to the Facebook-esque <em>"it's complicated"</em> over the course of 2014.</p> <p>The unresolved issues in the state have also called into question the state's chances for expansion in 2015, leaving the door open for other states to leapfrog California and pass online gambling bills of their own. The chances of another state joining<strong> Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong>, and <strong>New Jersey</strong> as locales with <a href="">legal online gambling options</a> in 2015 are still somewhat of a long shot, but if one does, it may create a domino effect, since all of the non-Californian contenders (the serious ones anyway) come from the same general region.</p> <p>If California doesn't get their ducks in a row in 2015, all eyes are liable to turn east and it will be the <strong>East Coast that will act as the linchpin for iGaming expansion in the U.S.</strong> Among the potential 2015 candidates are several Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, and Maryland.</p> <p>Here is a quick look at why these are the top five contenders to pass an online poker bill.</p> <p><strong>Massachusetts</strong></p> <p>Massachusetts is one of the more interesting candidates as the state is currently fighting a very real ballot referendum looking to repeal the law passed in 2011 that allowed for brick &amp; mortar casino expansion. All the while current State Treasurer and Gubernatorial candidate Steve Grossman has been pushing the legislature for online gaming expansion, and speaking publicly about his desire for state-run expansion.</p> <p>If Massachusetts does repeal their casino expansion, and if Grossman wins the governorship, we could see a serious push to pass an online gambling bill in 2015 as something of a tit for tat measure. On the other hand, if the 2011 law is preserved, the state is likely to hold off on iGaming expansion until the brick &amp; mortar casinos are up and running (something several legislators have called for), regardless of who wins the governorship.</p> <p><strong>New York</strong></p> <p>A late, somewhat feeble push by outgoing State Senator John Bonacic and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow sparked the possibility of New York as a potential candidate for online gambling expansion in 2015. Much like Massachusetts, several New York legislators have stated their intention to have the brick &amp; mortar expansion that is currently underway in the Empire State fully setup before exploring online gambling.</p> <p>This could happen sooner than later though, as the process is moving along as planned. With the brick &amp; mortar licensing process going according to Hoyle, Gambling Compliance is reporting that one key legislator has indicated online gambling may be taken up in 2015.</p> <p><strong>Pennsylvania</strong></p> <p>On paper, <a href="">Pennsylvania is the most likely 2015 adopter of online poker.</a> The state legislature has held multiple hearings, commissioned internal and independent studies, and seems to have several legislators willing to sponsor iGaming bills.</p> <p>The question with Pennsylvania is how influential Sheldon Adelson will be if the legislature gets serious (Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corp. owns the Sands Bethlehem Casino in the state), and precisely where does the Parx Casino come down on this issue.</p> <p>Thus far, Parx has sent mixed messages, with Chairman Bob Green stating his concerns over online gambling (but begrudgingly willing to be a part of it), while Parx has teamed up with GameAccount Network and JOINGO to create freeplay and mobile online gaming sites that could be converted to a real-money site.</p> <p><strong>West Virginia</strong></p> <p>A late addition to the list, West Virginia's state lottery director John Musgrave recently stated his intentions to expand lottery sales to the Internet, and hasn't ruled out taking the next step: Comprehensive online gambling expansion. Last week, Musgrave told the Charleston Daily Mail the state was <em>"still exploring online gambling,"</em> adding, <em>"we feel that’s the way the industry’s moving, so we want to plan for it.”</em></p> <p>Musgrave also told the CDM he felt the state lottery had the power to offer online lottery ticket sales now, but more comprehensive online gambling (poker and casino games) would require the passage of a bill in the legislature along with the signature of the governor.</p> <p><strong>Maryland</strong></p> <p>Maryland isn't on many people's iGaming radars, but the state is certainly capable of passing an online gambling bill. The Director of the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, Stephen Martino, has already publicly stated they [Maryland] are <em>"mapping it out,"</em> when he spoke at a Massachusetts forum on online gambling back in March of 2014.</p> <p>Martino's comments during this hearing were a clear indication that even though the state hasn't publicly looked into online gambling, and no bills have been introduced in the legislature, there are a lot of behind the scenes talks taking place.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:36:13 +0000 Steve Ruddock 3175 PokerStars Considered Purchase of New Orleans Saints in '06 <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile most everyone is aware that <strong>PokerStars</strong> came to the rescue and purchased <strong>Full Tilt Poker</strong> in 2012, the industry giant toyed with the idea of playing the knight in shining armor role six years earlier in a possible purchase of the <strong>New Orleans Saints</strong>.</p> <p>In a <a href="">recent blog post</a> by poker writer and industry veteran<strong> Nolan Dalla</strong>, who at the time was PokerStars' Director of Communications, it was revealed that discussions had taken place and an offer sheet prepared to acquire the struggling Saints of the National Football League.</p> <p><strong>Louisiana</strong> was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, forcing the Saints to play their home games elsewhere due to extensive damage to the Superdome in New Orleans. Dalla explains that Saints owner <strong>Tom Benson</strong> considered selling the franchise in 2006 amid speculation that the city of New Orleans would not be able to support the football club despite a loyal fan base.</p> <p><strong>PokerStars no. 2 at the time</strong></p> <p>This was prior to enactment of the UIGEA and also before PokerStars ascended to claim the top spot in the online poker industry. <strong>PartyPoker</strong> was still leading the way, with PokerStars a distant second but trying hard to catch their main rival under the direction of owner <strong>Isai Scheinberg</strong>.</p> <p>Although the sale of an NFL franchise to an online poker site located offshore would likely not sit well with NFL honchos, the marketing team at PokerStars that included Dalla felt that the publicity attached to just submitting an offer would be worth millions of dollars.</p> <p><blockquote>PokerStars was about to be playing in the real major leagues of sports and business, and would be destined to get a whole lot of attention once the announcement went public," Dalla said of the offer. "Who knows — with some creative organization and structuring, anything might happen."</blockquote></p> <p><strong>Proposal to purchase Saints sent to Isai Scheinberg for approval</strong></p> <p>Dalla prepared a proposal and sent it off to Scheinberg. The proposal contained language stating that PokerStars would keep the Saints in New Orleans, which would surely create a tremendous amount of goodwill toward the poker site. At the time, rumors were circulating that potential new owners might move the team to a new city in another state.</p> <p>Even if the purchase were to be vetoed by NFL bigwigs worried about the league's image, PokerStars had nothing to lose and everything to gain by making an offer and generating positive publicity.</p> <p><blockquote>Our offer would be the lead story on ESPN’s SportsCenter — watched nightly by the coveted sweet spot consisting of 18-35 year old males," Dalla stated. "We’d make the talking heads shows. I suspect it would even make mainstream news and expose us to an audience that didn’t know online poker even existed. It certainly would have been a front page story in the Wall Street Journal."</blockquote></p> <p><strong>Scheinberg takes a pass</strong></p> <p>Scheinberg, however, decided against submitting the bid for a reported $600 million to acquire the New Orleans Saints. The reasons why are apparently known only by the poker site founder, with Dalla speculating that the exposure such an offer would receive perhaps amounting to too much publicity.</p> <p><em>"There was always the risk that with more scrutiny aimed our direction, we might become targets,"</em> Dalla said.</p> <p>That scrutiny did eventually find its way to PokerStars in the form of a shutdown orchestrated by the <strong>U.S. Department of Justice</strong> five years later on Black Friday in 2011.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 23:18:06 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3174 Credit Card Roulette: Its Origins and Advantages <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>s far as anyone can tell, <strong>Credit Card Roulette</strong> (CCR) can be traced back to 1960 when a gambler named Jerry Osip attempted to leave a restaurant without paying for his meal by playing a form of the game with his waiter.</p> <p>Osip reportedly cajoled a waiter into participating in CCR with him by tossing a few of his credit cards into a pile, including one that was no longer valid. Osip allegedly promised the waiter a big tip if he managed to select one of the credit cards that had not been previously cancelled. If the waiter happened to choose the invalid credit card, Osip would be allowed to walk away with a full belly and without a receipt in his pocket.</p> <p>Whether Osip won or lost remains a mystery, but CCR is by no means a mystery to poker pros who regularly engage in the practice more than 50 years later. Credit must be given where due and Osip deserves his share, although the way CCR is played nowadays is quite different.</p> <p>The basic parameters of the game as introduced by Osip remain the same. Making a game out of who must pay a restaurant or bar tab in hopes of letting someone other than yourself pay the bill.</p> <p>CCR's popularity has reportedly reached far and wide to include gambling types from all walks of life. It isn't only poker players who enjoy spinning the wheel of Credit Card Roulette. McDonald's ran a commercial on CCR about three years ago. But the game is custom-made for poker players to whom playing games and making bets for large sums of money is an everyday occurrence.</p> <p><strong>How Credit Card Roulette is Played</strong></p> <p>For those unfamiliar with CCR, the game is typically played at a restaurant among a group of people after the meal is finished and it's time to settle up and pay the bill. Each player or diner will give a credit card to the waiter or waitress, who then tosses and mixes the cards into a hat or in a pile for random selection.</p> <p>There are generally two ways of playing at this point, the first one being that the very first credit card selected randomly by the impartial wait staff employee ends up as the unlucky loser who has to foot the bill. However, that method of determining winners and a loser lacks suspense and brings a rather abrupt end to the game.</p> <p>The other way of playing CCR that is favored by a large majority of players, except perhaps the faint of heart who may be prone to anxiety, is to implement a reverse-order draw in which each credit card selected is given back to the owner. The last credit card to be chosen becomes the loser who gets the honor of paying for the entire meal or tab.</p> <p>The second method allows for an abundance of fun and excitement for the players whose credit cards are chosen early on in the game. Those players tend to revel in their good fortune, which generally includes good-natured ribbing of their fellow diners who may still be on the hook for paying the bill.</p> <p>It's a game of chance that is dependent upon the luck of the draw. However, those who play the game regularly often use <em>"lucky"</em> or favorite credit cards, insisting that such credit cards allow them to skate away without paying much more often than not, resulting in being ahead of the game overall.</p> <p><strong>The Advantages of Credit Card Roulette</strong></p> <p>The advantages of the game are fairly obvious. First of all, there is no unnecessary quibbling as to the amount owed in divvying up the bill. Whether your meal consisted of lobster or a cheeseburger, the bill will be paid by the loser whose credit card is selected either last or first, dependent on whatever way it was agreed upon to play the game.</p> <p>Regular players of CCR generally agree to play the game before ordering their meal. This sometimes leads to menu selections on the pricey side in order for players to <em>"get their money's worth."</em> Depending on how well you know your fellow diners, this behavior may be frowned upon. But to some CCR players who know each other quite well and whose incomes tend to come in the form of cashing in high stakes poker tournaments, over-consumption may be part of the game.</p> <p>Another benefit is that all but one of those playing CCR will walk away from the table with a full belly at no cost. Elation from winning at CCR is practically priceless. Added to that is the amusement of fun-spirited mocking of the player who gets stuck with the check, a mocking that is completely optional. Remember that the shoe could very well be on the other foot one day when your credit card gets selected.</p> <p>One more benefit pointed out by MMA fighter and former poker pro <strong>Terrence Chan</strong> on a <a href="">recent blog post</a> entitled <em>"Why You Should Play Credit Card Roulette, Even If You Don't 'Gamble'"</em> is that losing at CCR can actually be good for you. Chan tends to think outside the box, and his take on the game of CCR is a fine example:</p> <p><blockquote>To be an effective gambler, you have to embrace the sting of defeat," Chan stated. "It has to hurt a little. It shouldn't hurt so much that it seriously damages you, but constantly exposing yourself to small financial pain is beneficial, in exactly the same way that getting regular exercise makes your body healthy. Losing money is a stressor that makes you more emotionally prepared to lose money."</blockquote></p> <p><strong>Don't Play Credit Card Roulette if You Can't Afford to Lose</strong></p> <p>As alluded to by Chan, it should also be pointed out that those who cannot afford to lose at CCR should not be playing. The game is meant to be fun among friends and if a loss at CCR might hurt you financially, then you should opt out and agree to pay for your portion of the bill and not participate in the game.</p> <p>Osip probably did not know that his gambling spirit and desire to eat a meal for free would one day become such a popular game among diners, especially poker players. He was also likely unaware that someone would eventually dub the game Credit Card Roulette. Those who play and enjoy CCR regularly can thank him, while those who lose and get stuck with the bill can wish the game was never invented.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 18:35:40 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3173 A Realistic Outlook for Legal US Online Poker <p>From the moment the UIGEA cast its shadow over the United States back in 2006, the wheels had, albeit slowly, been set in motion towards the dawn of a new age of legal, regulated online poker in the country. As most fans who follow the poker scene already know, three states (<strong>Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware</strong>) have legalized online poker, and anyone is free to play at any of the many licensed online poker sites so long as you’re within the borders of any of those states. Though this is certainly progress from not having any<a href=""> legal online poker in the U.S.</a> whatsoever, we’re nowhere near approaching its heyday, which occurred before Black Friday, when PokerStars ruled the proverbial roost.</p> <p>There’s a general feeling amongst all fans of the game of wanting the new, legal online poker industry to succeed in the United States. Moreover, poker media outlets have been reporting practically every tidbit of new information released as relates to U.S. online poker, obviously doing their best to drum up buzz and notoriety <em>“for the cause.”</em> With that said, a distinction ought to be made between wishful thinking and <strong>the current reality of U.S. online poker.</strong></p> <p><strong>Misleading Projections Have Led to Disappointment</strong></p> <p>As earnings reports for online poker operators in all three states continue being published, there seems to exist a certain sense of disappointment, if not among the operators themselves then certainly among online poker advocates as well as the legislators in the aforementioned three states. This is because revenues – and thus tax revenues – have been way lower than initial projections. Unfortunately, however, those initial estimates had all been plagued not just by optimism, but by the existence of an alternate reality in which the online poker player pool was significantly larger.</p> <p>When trying to project how much money would be generated by <a href="">legal online poker in Nevada</a>, New Jersey, and Delaware, it made sense, on the one hand, to <em>“look to the past”</em> and cite figures from when citizens of those states were playing in the unregulated, unlicensed days of the game. What many of the projected revenue figures seemed to have failed to take into account, however, was that <strong>the figures of the past were generated, in part, due to highly increased liquidity</strong>. Players in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware used to be able to fire up their online poker software and find oodles of players from all around the world to play against 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently, only Nevada and Delaware share player pool liquidity, while <a href="">NJ online poker</a> still has yet to join forces with the other two states. Naturally, this leads to a scenario where there are far fewer game options – both in terms of how many tables are running, as well as what times of day these games are running – for everyone. Thus,<strong> far fewer players are active in those three states than in the past.</strong></p> <p><strong>The Only Real Potential Game-Changer is Increased Liquidity</strong></p> <p>Having enough players is the lifeblood of online poker. In live poker, if you’ve only got four or five people standing around, no matter how beautiful and well-serviced a poker room is there simply isn’t much good action to be had. The same holds true for online poker. While it may finally be legalized and regulated in a few states, <strong>there have to be enough players available to enable good action.</strong> So long as states cannot cooperate with one another and allow their player pools to be shared, the games will be <em>“bad”</em> for the players and operator revenues (and tax revenues) will mirror this.</p> <p>Online poker’s proponents are always on the lookout for additional U.S. states to join in the fray and legalize the game, with California and its 38 million+ residents being the<em> “big prize.”</em> But if the Golden State doesn’t partner up with the Silver State, the Garden State, and the First State, the benefits will be limited to Sacramento and Californians.</p> <p>Realistically, then, for online poker to once again thrive in the United States and reach its full potential,<strong> it’s not just that more states must legalize it, but they’ve got to agree to cooperate and share player pools.</strong> Should that happen – and it might, but it’ll take a lot of goodwill among political leaders – perhaps sights could then be set further afield towards international borders such that the magic of what online poker used to be like can be recaptured once again.</p> <p>For more stories covering legal us poker issues and other <a href="">online poker news</a> - make sure to join our newsletter</p> <p><strong><br/></strong></p> <p><a href=";"><strong>Get up to $888 welcome bonus in (available for NJ Players Only!) </strong></a></p> <p> </p> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:07:50 +0000 Robbie Strazynski 3172 Double Bubble Tournaments to Take Place During PCA <p><span class="letter-big">I</span>n a recent PokerStars blog post by Lee Jones, an interesting new format for tournament payout structures has been proposed – <strong>the double bubble.</strong> What this concept essentially entails is that 50% of the field will receive their buy-in back and the top 8% will share the remainder of the prize pool in more or less the traditional way. According to Jones, these tournaments should make their first appearance during the next <strong>PokerStars Caribbean Adventure</strong> (PCA).</p> <p>His blog entry explains the idea that paying out a greater number of people is essentially good for poker, as it ensures that more players will have a good day. That, combined with the fact that a winner in any big tournament will still receive a big, basically life-changing amount, makes this decision both reasonable and justified.</p> <p><strong>Bird in the Hand</strong></p> <p>Players often talk about how they don't enter tournaments for a min-cash. But as explained by Jones, once the bubble phase kicks-off, a lot of players with shorter stacks will resort to the <em>something is better than nothing</em> mentality and do whatever it takes to walk away with at least some money in their pockets.</p> <p><blockquote> My point is this: whatever people's plans and dreams are at the beginning of a tournament, for most folks, there comes a point where locking up some money right now is preferable to the possibility of more money later. Call it the "Bird in the hand" theory. <cite>Lee Jones, PokerStars Blog</cite></blockquote></p> <p><strong>PCA as the Perfect Testing Ground</strong></p> <p>Although this may not be a revolutionary idea, it certainly is an interesting one that may appeal to players whose primary reason for playing is to have a good time. And as is often the case with poker, it will probably attract a number of pros who believe they will have a significant edge in that kind of setup.</p> <p>PokerStars believe that a tournament like the Caribbean Adventure will be a perfect testing ground for this novel idea – it attracts a big enough number of recreational players and in general the atmosphere is more laid-back and relaxed in comparison to other similar poker festivals.</p> <p>There are certainly arguments to be made both for and against this concept, but probably the best thing to do is simply to wait and see what happens. PokerStars tend to do their research before coming out with these types of novelties. Since they have decided to give it a go, there is likely a good reason to do so that includes the numbers to support it.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 19:22:59 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3171 Launch Delayed Indefinitely <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline poker players in <strong>California</strong> have been anxiously awaiting the real-money launch of <strong></strong> that was scheduled for this week.</p> <p>Those players will have to wait a bit longer, as the poker site being readied by the <strong>Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel</strong> will be delayed. Customer care at informed PokerUpdate that a firm launch date has not been set in stone.</p> <p><blockquote>We are making the final preparations," said a site representative via email. "We are still double and triple checking everything and until that is all done we are not setting a date."</blockquote></p> <p><strong>Legal matters still being addressed?</strong></p> <p>Though not directly expressed, one can speculate that those multiple checks may center around the legality of going forward with a real-money launch without the legislative approval of <a href="">online poker in California</a>. Santa Ysabel Gaming Commission Chairman Dave Vialpando has insisted that the <strong>Indian Gaming Regulatory Act</strong> (IGRA) allows the site to proceed.</p> <p>However, California is the most populous state in the nation and likely the most lucrative. With the potential of billions of dollars in revenue to be realized, you can almost certainly bet your bottom dollar that the Golden State's cardrooms, racetracks and other Indian tribes are a bit miffed that Santa Ysabel appears poised to take the lead in the absence of online poker regulation.</p> <p><strong>Waiting is the hardest part</strong></p> <p>California lawmakers have been proposing ipoker bills for five years and <a href="">the calendar will turn to 2015</a> before legislators convene to discuss the matter again. Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer aims to have a new Internet poker bill ready for introduction in December for the 2015 legislative session.</p> <p>In the meantime, Californians can play online for play-money at until the real-money offering is launched. A site rep promised that an official announcement via press release will be forthcoming in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:41:18 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3170 What Raising for Effective Giving Can Teach us About Promoting Poker as a Sport <p>Poker changed my life.</p> <p>There are times when it drives me crazy. Times I wish I never met the damn game. But it really did change my life.</p> <p>There was a period of time when I had a nasty drink problem. My abuse of alcohol had become ingrained into my way of being. It affected all of my decisions, my relationships and my choice of career.</p> <p>I had no meaning, no purpose.</p> <p>I had no life.</p> <p>Then I quit drinking.</p> <p>During the transition it was important for me to have something else to focus on. I chose poker. I wanted to become the best poker player in the world. I played every day, read poker books, joined poker forums, joined online training sites and I even tried to teach others to play the game.</p> <p>I was happy when I won.</p> <p>I was unhappy when I lost.</p> <p>I lost more than I won.</p> <p>It became clear that poker was a hobby. Nothing more. To become a professional poker player was not my life purpose. That would not make me happy. But that phase allowed my mind and body to stabilize and become sober.</p> <p>My life purpose is to help people quit alcohol to make the world a better place.</p> <p>Poker helped me find my way.</p> <p>In a recent poll on Reddit, 460 people were asked to express their opinion on a series of 53 different ‘fringe sports.’</p> <p>Were these fringe sports actually sports or games?</p> <p>When the numbers were sorted, <strong>poker was at the bottom of that list with a little over 10% of people believing it was a sport</strong>. Competitive eating and cheerleading were considered more of a sport than poker.</p> <p>I think these types of polls are damaging.</p> <p>It diminishes the credibility I believe poker needs to create more of a global exposure. <strong>The more people that can see poker as a sport of skill, the more non-gambling affiliated companies will be interested in slapping their labels on our tins.</strong></p> <p>In a recent blog post called <em>"Sports Marketing: Poker is Mainstream, Legitimate and Bankable,"</em> the CEO of Zokay Sports &amp; Entertainment, <strong>Alexandre Dreyfus</strong>, looked at this Reddit report with a more positive outlook.</p> <p>Speaking to Dreyfus, he told me that 10% was a good start. But he also told me that it was <strong>more important to start promoting poker as a sport rather than arguing whether it actually is.</strong></p> <p>Dreyfus is a very knowledgeable businessman. He believes that big brand sponsorship is key. <strong>Dave Brannan</strong>, CEO, Living it Loving it &amp; Mindsports International concurs with him.</p> <p>Brannan’s worry is <strong>the big non-gambling brands will be too scared to be affiliated with poker because of our image</strong>. As Dreyfus once pointed out in another article, <em>“all we seem to be doing is writing about the latest robbery, cheating scandal or death.”</em></p> <p>Both of these incredibly influential members of the poker community believe that the players have a huge role to play in the brand appeal of poker. We need to tidy up the image. <strong>It will never be choirboys and angels, but there is no need to be all Quentin Tarantino.</strong></p> <p>Stand up and be counted.</p> <p>Shake the image of mistrust, deceit and shadows.</p> <p>Let me give you an example.</p> <p>According to popular belief, <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> is the greatest poker player on the planet. The poker community and the fans adore him. He is also embroiled in two multi-million dollar lawsuits for alleged cheating in the games of Baccarat and Punto Banco.</p> <p><strong>Ivey’s guilt or innocence is not the point.</strong></p> <p>He is tarnished.</p> <p>That great avenue for poker is tarnished.</p> <p>So what other options do we have?</p> <p>Let me tell you the tale of <strong>Philipp Gruissem</strong>. The man who inspired me to start this article with a little tale on life purpose.</p> <p>Like many people in the poker industry, Gruissem dropped out of college to travel the world and play poker because it seemed like a quick and easy way to make a lot of money. It was also fun, interesting and provided him with a sense of freedom.</p> <p>After a while he began to question what he was doing.</p> <p>What value was he gaining?</p> <p>He wasn’t happy.</p> <p>He deduced that to be happier he needed to be more successful.</p> <p>He started to play higher and started to win more. Titles, accolades and millions of dollars came his way.</p> <p>That still wasn’t enough.</p> <p>It was at this time that he learned that giving would make him happy. He tried it. He gave money here and there. Nothing changed.</p> <p>Then it clicked.</p> <p>He <strong>realized the power of the poker community.</strong></p> <p>If he could spread his wisdom and philosophy, to others like him, then he could change the lives of millions. Suddenly, folding his 10bb stack for the next four to five hours was not about him, it was about something much bigger.</p> <p>Philipp Gruissem had found his life purpose.</p> <p><strong>Raising for Effective Giving</strong> (REG) was launched.</p> <p>How to use science and rational decision-making to help as many people in need as possible.</p> <p>Gruissem is not alone. <strong>Igor Kurganov</strong>, <strong>Liv Boeree</strong> and <strong>Adriano Mannino</strong> are a few members of a band that will soon turn into a full-blown orchestra. They are hoping that their collective power will mean more people will listen, give, but more importantly, find meaning and purpose.</p> <p>They are also ready made ambassadors for poker. Philipp Gruissem is the <strong>David Beckham</strong> of poker. They both have balls made of gold. They can do no wrong. Their hearts are in the right place and they are an inspiration to the world.</p> <p><strong>What respected non-gambling brand wouldn’t want to be affiliated with someone like Gruissem?</strong> A young man who<strong> plays professional poker so he can earn as much money as possible to help young children in Africa </strong>go through a deworming program so they can receive a school education.</p> <p>Poker can be promoted as a sport.</p> <p>We have our ambassadors.</p> <p>Use them.</p> <p>Promote them.</p> <p>Tell the whole world about Raising for Effective Giving (REG) and start showing poker in a whole new light.</p> <p>One of give, and not of take.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:01:03 +0000 Lee Davy 3169 Nevada iPoker Revenue Down Slightly in July <p>After breaking the $1 million mark in June, revenue for <a href="">online poker in Nevada</a> saw a slight drop in July. Despite a five percent decline month-over-month, the state still saw its second best month since figures were released back in February.</p> <p><strong>Drop Was Expected Post-WSOP</strong></p> <p>According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Nevada online poker collected revenues of $985,000 in July versus $1,037,000 in June. The state benefited from the 45th annual World Series of Poker held at the Rio for six weeks but lost its seasonal players by mid-July.</p> <p>From late-May through mid-July, was completely integrated into the 2014 WSOP. Players were encouraged to play from the tables and rules were even changed to allow play from laptops and post-bubble play online.</p> <p>The event was tailor made to bump traffic at the site and helped move Nevada past the $1 million mark. Following the WSOP, seasonal players went home but the state still nearly hit the $1 million mark for the second month.</p> <p><strong>Numbers Up for Vegas Casino Industry</strong></p> <p>Despite fears that Las Vegas casinos would have a losing month in July, the state pulled out a 0.65 percent increase year-over-year. Nevada collected gaming win of $932 million for July 2014 versus $925.8 million in 2013's seventh month.</p> <p>July's win comes one month after the state reported a 14 percent increase year-over-year in June.</p> <p><strong>Tourism is the Key for Improving Casino Numbers</strong></p> <p>The two-month win streak is likely a direct result of the recent influx of tourism to the state. The Review Journal also reported that Vegas saw record tourism in both June and July with both months posting their best numbers in history.</p> <p>Through July, tourism in Las Vegas is up 2.2 percent over 2013 with 24.2 million tourists having already visited the city. By the end of the year, Vegas could see a record 40 million visitors.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:46:58 +0000 James Guill 3168 Heartland Poker Tour Arrives in California <p>The<strong> Heartland Poker Tour</strong> (HPT) begins its next tour stop today at the <strong>California-Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa</strong> in Rancho Mirage where 12 days of exciting poker action will conclude with the final table of the $1,650 Main Event on Monday, Sept. 8.</p> <p>Players who enjoy HPT events will be pleased to know that three other tour stops are on the schedule in the Golden State next month. On Thursday, Sept. 4, action will kick off at the <strong>Commerce Casino</strong> in Los Angeles and run through Monday, Sept. 22. The highlight is the $1,650 Main Event slated to begin with Flight 1A on Sept. 18.</p> <p>On Sept. 15-28, cards will be in the air at the <strong>Thunder Valley Casino &amp; Resort</strong> in Lincoln. There are tons of satellites and qualifiers on the docket allowing players to win their way into events at higher stakes at a fraction of the entry fee.</p> <p>The <strong>Club One Casino</strong> in Fresno will be HPT's next California destination. Live poker action gets underway with single table satellites on Sept. 24. Five events are scheduled with the last being the $300,000 guaranteed Main Event that begins Friday, Oct. 3. Final tablers should be prepared to have their play scrutinized by <strong>Mario Ho</strong> and<strong> Fred Bevill</strong> as the tourney action on Monday, Oct. 6 will be filmed for television.</p> <p><strong>Aaron Massey Victorious at East Chicago Event</strong></p> <p>HPT just finished a run at the <strong>Ameristar Casino</strong> in East Chicago, Indiana. <strong>Aaron Massey</strong> of Elmwood Park, Illinois took down the Main Event title and $177,502 in prize money. He managed to capture the chips of all 538 players when his two pair held up versus the straight draw of runner-up <strong>Stan Jablonski</strong> who earned $108,504 for his second-best performance.</p> <p><em>"I just kept firing away and firing away until I finally won,"</em> Massey said of his aggressive, winning play.</p> <p>The victory allowed Massey to take over fourth place on HPT's all-time winnings leaderboard with $278,942. He is looking up at only <strong>Craig Casino</strong> ($395,646),<strong> Greg "FossilMan" Raymer</strong> ($393,278) and <strong>Michael Harris</strong> ($352,657).</p> <p>The HPT leaderboard for 2014 finds <strong>Doug Milner</strong> of Salt Lake City, Utah on top with $230,582. Utah allows no legalized gambling whatsoever, forcing Milner to leave his home state to compete at live poker tournaments. Odds are that Milner can be found at the HPT poker tables in the adjoining state of California that begin today in Rancho Mirage and transition to various venues throughout the Golden State until Oct. 6.</p> <p><strong>Online Poker Regulation May Arrive in California</strong></p> <p>California has dozens of card rooms and is also getting serious about online poker legislation. The odds of Californians having the choice of playing live poker or on <a href="">regulated online poker sites in California</a> in 2015 are looking up, considering that <strong>Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer</strong> has stated his intention to <a href="">propose a new bill in December</a> that aims to address the issues that have stalled legislative progress in the past.</p> <p>In the meantime, California players can make their way over to Rancho Mirage, Los Angeles, Lincoln and Fresno and enjoy the live events hosted by the Heartland Poker Tour.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:37:40 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3167 Showboat and Revel Confirm Closings by Sept. 2 <p>Despite last minute tours and hopes for the best, two <strong>Atlantic City</strong> casinos will officially close their doors by Tuesday, Sept 2.</p> <p>The <strong>Showboat</strong> will turn away gamblers on Sunday, Aug. 31, and the failed <strong>Revel</strong> experiment will finally end two days later. <strong>Trump Plaza</strong> previously announced its shutdown for Sept. 16.</p> <p><strong>Last Minute Interest Couldn't Save Showboat</strong></p> <p>The buzz around Atlantic City on Tuesday was that Caesars Entertainment was giving tours of the Showboat to <em>"prospective buyers."</em> Unfortunately, these tours failed to produce an offer.</p> <p>According to, a Caesars spokesperson revealed on Wednesday that while there was indeed last minute interest from potential buyers, the casino would not be operating beyond 4 p.m. Sunday.</p> <p>Wednesday was the first time that the company would go on record publicly on a closing date. They did state that offers for the casino are still being accepted and they would sell the property if it made financial sense.</p> <p><strong>Revel to Close Sept. 2</strong></p> <p>The failed multi-billion dollar experiment known as Revel will finally conclude on Tuesday. The property is scheduled to officially close at 6 a.m. on Sept. 2, but Sunday is effectively its final full day of operation.</p> <p>In a statement from the company, it was revealed that a number of debtors will begin removing perishable goods, alcohol and equipment after certain internal establishments close at their normal business hours.</p> <p>If you have vouchers or casino chips and cannot make it to Revel by Tuesday, you will have up to two weeks to redeem them. Anyone failing to redeem chips or vouchers before Sept. 15 will be forced to petition the bankruptcy court for payment.</p> <p><strong>What's Next For Displaced Workers</strong></p> <p>Those hit hardest by this weekend's closings and the closing of Trump Plaza next month are the 8,000 employees who will find themselves unemployed.</p> <p>According to, Atlantic City will be offering assistance for former casino workers with the program slated to begin in October. Per the report, approximately 1,200 workers a year will be helped.</p> <p>Job training programs through the city and Atlantic Cape Community College will be available to former workers, but odds are that many will go outside the state to secure employment.</p> <p>According to AC Mayor Don Guardian, up to 30% of former AC casino workers could go to other states to seek jobs. <strong>Maryland Live!</strong> casinos are one viable possibility. The company has been recently conducting job fairs in the city in anticipation of casino closings.</p> <p>Even if 30% leave the state, that's still over 5,000 former employees looking for work. Approximately 1,300 new jobs will be created in the city soon, but that will still leave a solid number of workers unemployed. Unless one or more of the casinos are sold and reopened, many families could be facing some lean times in the upcoming months.</p> <p><strong>Which Casinos Might Reopen?</strong></p> <p>While each of the three closing properties is entertaining offers, one has to wonder which has the best chance of reopening as an actual casino.</p> <p>Revel is the newest property in Atlantic City, but has lost a ton of value since opening. Once valued at $2.4 billion, the property was worth just $450 million in 2013.</p> <p>While recent offers on the property have not been released, Revel will easily be the most expensive of the three properties. However, with that higher price tag comes a casino that could be ready to reopen in a short amount of time.</p> <p>Based on past behavior and rumored intentions, the Showboat may be the least likely property to reopen as a casino. When Caesars and Tropicana bought the Atlantic Club, they stripped the property and Caesars later sold the building to a non-casino entity.</p> <p>Considering that Caesars is looking to consolidate their own casino holdings, it doesn't make sense for them to sell to a competitor. When they say they may sell if the deal makes financial sense, they could mean if the entity isn't planning to use the property as a casino.</p> <p>Out of the three, Trump Plaza could be the best deal for someone looking to enter the AC market. The last time the property was on the market in 2013, it almost sold for $20 million. One has to assume the current asking price will come down, making it a potential steal.</p> <p>In the short-term, Trump Plaza is the best bet to reopen. Long-term, someone will likely gamble on Revel and with the right management, win big. Don't be surprised to see the Showboat still vacant two years from now or with a non-casino entity.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:05:33 +0000 James Guill 3166 Georgia Lottery Joins Fight Against Adelson Coalition <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline gambling lobbyists have recently gained an ally in an unexpected place. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Georgia Lottery has joined the fight against Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.</p> <p>The Lottery is specifically lobbying against HR 4301, the Resolution of America's Wire Act. The bill seeks to reverse a December 2011 memo from the Department of Justice that stated that the Wire Act was only applicable to sports betting. Should this bill pass, the Georgia Lottery and other states offering online lottery tickets will be forced to cease online sales.</p> <p>That blockbuster memo was actually in direct response to an inquiry from Illinois and New York on whether the sale of online lottery tickets fell under the Wire Act. While the Wire Act memo has been responsible for helping to usher in <a href="">legal online poker in the United States</a>, lotteries were the initial stakeholders in this memo and the ones that it would initially impact.</p> <p><strong>Bill Could Cost Georgia Schools Millions</strong></p> <p>The Georgia Lottery started their online ticket sales in November 2012 and online sales have generated more than $6.6 million. Of that $6.6 million, almost $2 million has been allocated to the HOPE scholarship program and to pre-K programs in the state.</p> <p>Georgia Lottery Director Debbie Dlugolenski Alford sent a pointed letter to a top U.S. House attorney in April, claiming that the passage of HR 4301 would put an end to a revenue stream that <em>"continues to be critical to our success and our ability to grow revenues for education."</em></p> <p>Crunching the numbers, lottery officials estimate that the passage of this bill would cost the state $39 million in potential funding. That is equal to about 7,000 HOPE scholarships or 11,000 pre-K students.</p> <p><strong>Georgia Muddies the "Ethical Waters"</strong></p> <p>Sheldon Adelson and his coalition have been attempting to take the <em>"moral high ground"</em> in respect to online gambling since declaring war on the industry. Part of his attacks have centered on fear campaigns that claim that online gambling targets children and serves as a clear and present danger to their development.</p> <p>The Georgia Lottery is pointing to the thousands of young people that they have been able to help because of online ticket sales. HR 4301 would make education much more difficult to many deserving youths, leading to potential lifelong deficits in education and reliance on government subsidies.</p> <p>We're intelligent enough to realize that online gambling carries risks. However, the Georgia Lottery is a prime example of how <strong>online gambling can be used for the greater good.</strong> Adelson paints the face of online gambling as a youth sadly losing on his iPad. Meanwhile, <strong>in Georgia, the face of online gambling is a student moving into their college dorm thanks to money donated to the HOPE scholarship program.</strong></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:48:01 +0000 James Guill 3165 Reginald Jones-Sawyer to Lead California Online Poker Efforts <p>The soft looking puppy dog eyes that are mounted below the hairline of the U.S. poker community are looking adoringly at Assembly member<strong> Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer Sr.</strong></p> <p>The baton has passed.</p> <p>Jones-Sawyer has taken it from former <strong>Senator Lou Correa</strong> and it seems he is ready to run with it.</p> <p>In a recent press release, Jones-Sawyer expressed his desire to author a new California online poker bill. The new bill will be submitted at the beginning of the 2015-16 legislative session.</p> <p>The decision comes a fortnight after his previous bill (AB 2291) was shelved because, <em>"the Department of Justice and the California Gaming Commission did not have enough time to review the language and make relevant recommendations on the regulatory structure of the bill."</em></p> <p><strong>Sen. Correa made three attempts</strong></p> <p>The decision to place AB 2291 back into the filing cabinet came days after Senator Lou Correa gave up hope of gaining a two-thirds agreement for his online poker bill (SB 1366). It was the third time Correa had failed in his attempt to legalize real-money <a href="">online poker in California</a>, but according to Jones-Sawyer, his work will not be in vain.</p> <p>There were only three weeks left in the legislative session when the two bills met mothballs, and with a full calendar ahead of him, you cannot believe there will not be some form of real-money online poker in California by the end of 2015.</p> <p>Jones-Sawyer proceeded to outline the tremendous headway that has been made behind the scenes when he said,<em> “Over the past seven months, we have seen tremendous progress regarding this issue. The California Native American Tribes, who have gaming compacts, and who presented language for AB 2291, are more united than ever before.”</em></p> <p>The Assemblyman also went on to state that the California card clubs and the horse racing industry have also indicated their desire to get involved.</p> <p><strong>Participation of horsemen and bad actor clause still to be resolved</strong></p> <p>It’s the involvement of the horse racing industry, along with the inclusion of the ‘bad actor’ clause, that many believe to have been the sticking point in previous discussions.</p> <p>One hopes that the acquisition of the Rational Group, by Amaya Gaming, and the decision by the Scheinberg family to jump ship, reduces the tension.</p> <p>Jones-Sawyer was keen to express his gratitude to Senators Rod Wright and Lou Correa for the work they had done on previous efforts and said, <em>"We have come a long way, but we have to be patient, so we can get this right. Setting a standard in California that will be an example for the entire nation is the ultimate goal.”</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:23:25 +0000 Lee Davy 3164 NCSL Approves Resolution Opposing Ban on iGaming <p>The <strong>National Conference of State Legislatures</strong> (NCSL) believes that individual states should have the freedom to choose whether or not to allow online gambling and have passed a resolution that opposes any such ban on the federal level.</p> <p>At a recent annual summit in Minneapolis, the NCSL discussed dozens of legislative topics including one that focused on the online gambling battle. That battle has found casino mogul Sheldon Adelson front and center as he pushes the agenda of the <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong> (CSIG), an organization that he founded late last year.</p> <p>Adelson is pulling the strings behind federal legislation proposed five months ago by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz. The measures introduced by Graham/Chaffetz seek to overturn a 2011 DoJ ruling that found online gambling to be permissible on the state level under the 1961 Wire Act, with the exception of sports betting.</p> <p><strong>Abboud called on again on behalf of Adelson</strong></p> <p>While the NCSL debated the resolution, Andy Abboud, Las Vegas Sands VP on Goverment Relations &amp; Community Development, again served as Adelson's minion to state the case for the anti-online gambling crowd. Abboud, many will recall, has made several such appearances in the past that included testimony before a Senate subcommittee in 2013.</p> <p>Since the resolution of the NCSL passed, it is apparent that <strong>Abboud once again came out on the losing end</strong>. The scorecards of most who have been following the debate over online poker and gambling regulation have shown that Abboud has not been very effective as Adelson's designated hitter, even once being called a hypocrite by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois).</p> <p><strong>Resolution all about the sovereignty of states</strong></p> <p>The approved resolution makes a request of Congress that the NCSL be involved <em>"in any federal efforts that seek to reform the regulation of online gaming."</em> Furthermore, the resolution states that the NCSL <em>"strongly opposes any effort by the federal government to overturn"</em> the 2011 DoJ ruling, which the Graham/Chaffetz proposal, entitled the <em>'Restoration of America's Wire Act,'</em> aims to do.</p> <p>There are quite a few states that seemingly have no intention of getting into the Internet gambling game. That is entirely fine with the NCSL, who <em>"also requests that federal lawmakers be respectful of state legislatures that prohibit online gaming or other forms of gaming within their state."</em> It's all about each state having the right to choose their own path, as the DoJ's 2011 interpretation and clarification of the Wire Act allows.</p> <p><strong>Online gambling battle rages on</strong></p> <p>The war between pro and con forces in the online gambling battle appears likely to be fought for some time. Some states, Pennsylvania and California in particular, made considerable strides this year toward joining the regulated states of New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. The future bodes well for one or both of those states to take the igaming regulation plunge in 2015.</p> <p>The NCSL is a good ally to have in the ongoing battle against the deep pockets of Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson. His attempts at banning online poker and gambling in the U.S. have been a thorn in the side of pro-Internet gambling forces. But those attempts have not been successful and the odds look good that such success will elude the 81-year-old billionaire.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:37:59 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3163 West Virginia Considers Online Gambling Expansion <p>Could online poker hit the Mountain State in 2015? According to a report in the <a href="">Charleston Daily Mail</a>, the West Virginia lottery is considering whether to expand into online gaming to combat competition from surrounding states.</p> <p>Preliminary discussions are already underway as revealed by state lottery director John Musgrave. He met with the state's Lottery Commission on Tuesday and revealed that a meeting was held last month between lottery officials and state casino executives to discuss the viability of online gambling expansion.</p> <p>Declining revenues are partially to blame for the sudden interest in iGaming expansion. According to Musgrave, <em>"We're still seeing a decline (in revenue). We still are experiencing competition as the new casinos are coming on in Maryland and some in Ohio. That hasn't plateaued."</em></p> <p>Moreover, declines are expected to escalate in one WV county. The Hancock County Board of Health passed an indoor smoking ban on Tuesday that will directly affect the Mountaineer Casino in Chester. According to casino executives, the new ban may result in revenue declines of up to 20%.</p> <p><strong>State May Be Able to Offer Some Online Gaming Without Legislation</strong></p> <p>If the WV Lottery wants to offer games such as poker or blackjack, then state gaming laws would have to be modified like those in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.</p> <p>However, the Lottery could move forward with putting certain lottery games online without the need for legislative approval.</p> <p>Musgrave believes that making Mega Millions, Hot Lotto and Powerball available through a smartphone app would not need legislative consent. Under the app, they could purchase tickets and collect their winnings online.</p> <p><strong>Still in the Planning Stages</strong></p> <p>Despite their interest to expand, don't expect online gambling this year. The next meeting between casino executives and the Lottery is not set until late October in Charleston.</p> <p>Musgrave shared after Tuesday's meeting,<em> “We’re still exploring (online gaming) because we feel that’s the way the industry’s moving, so we want to plan for it. We have not yet made any decision for how we’re going to implement it, but we are looking at it, studying it and seeing how our casinos in our jurisdiction can move in that direction.”</em></p> <p><strong>What Could iGaming in West Virginia Look Like?</strong></p> <p>The West Virginia Lottery released few details on their plans for iGaming in the state but one has to assume that we will see a similar setup as Delaware, including the potential for a single-provider setup.</p> <p>Should West Virginia elect to use a single-provider setup, <a href="">888 Poker</a> would immediately become a frontrunner due to their experience in operating <a href="">gaming sites in Delaware</a>. Using 888 would also help facilitate future online compacts with other states since the company has a footprint in every legalized market.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:55:24 +0000 James Guill 3155 America’s Dumbest Gambling Criminals <p>If you stole $200 from a casino, how much do you think you would be fined?</p> <p>If you live in Pennsylvania then the answer is ‘a lot.’</p> <p>A dealer, Matthew Eisenberg, 29, was charged with misdemeanor theft under the 2004 Gaming Act after sneaking $1 &amp; $2 chips off the table and into his tip box. He reportedly did this 108 times to the tune of $200 at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. The local court ordered him to pay $200 in restitution, sentenced him to one year probation, and handed a sledgehammer of a fine worth $75,000.</p> <p>To make matters worse, at the time of the penny-pinching, Eisenberg was a student and his girlfriend had a bun in the oven. His lawyer, Michael Santicola, called the ruling ‘draconian.’ It seems the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agrees, as they declared the mandatory $75,000 fine was ‘unconstitutional.’</p> <p><blockquote>The fine at issue here - both in an absolute sense and in a comparative sense - is strikingly disproportionate to the manner in which other crimes are punished in Pennsylvania,” said Chief Justice Ronald Castille.</blockquote></p> <p>The mandatory fine was handed out because an amendment to the 2004 Gaming Act - that came out in 2010 - stated that a mandatory fine of $75,000 would be handed out to anyone found guilty of theft inside a casino.</p> <p>Santicola argued that had his client stolen $200 anywhere other than a casino the minimum mandatory fine would have been $10,000. The young dealer pleaded guilty on July 19, 2011 and it’s taken three years for his appeal to be heard.</p> <p><strong>Don’t Ask a Croupier What Their Lucky Number is!</strong></p> <p>If you think the Eisenberg case is a tad excessive, then spare a thought for a former Roulette croupier at the Meadows Casino in Washington, Pennsylvania.</p> <p>Robert “Rudy” Valle is facing criminal charges of ‘conspiracy’ and ‘using illegal methods to win a bet’ after telling a customer that his {Valle’s} lucky number was four and he would try and hit it for him.</p> <p>The customer duly placed a bet on the croupier’s lucky number and of course it came in.</p> <p><strong>Jail Time For the Masterminds Behind Illegal Poker Room</strong></p> <p><em>“What are you in for?”</em></p> <p><em>“Running an illegal poker club.”</em></p> <p><em>“How much did you rake in?”</em></p> <p><em>“Around $26,000.”</em></p> <p>Not very sexy, is it?</p> <p>But that’s the conversation that’s going on between Thomas Rand and his fellow county convicts after being found guilty of running an illegal poker club out of the back of a Curves Health Club &amp; Gym.</p> <p>Rand, 43, of Williamstown, Pennsylvania, was one of six people to face charges. After pleading guilty, he received 270 days in county followed by probation. He was joined by Ryan Dion, of Blackwood, who faces 3 years probation and 364 days in county, and three dealers/cashiers also pleaded guilty with a sixth member yet to be charged.</p> <p>It’s believed the shady establishment had been in operation for eight years. Police seized $26,000 during the raid.</p> <p><strong>More Shenanigans in Minnesota</strong></p> <p>Forget the Great Train Robbery of 1963. Ronnie Biggs and the gang have nothing on the Minnesota Four!</p> <p>On July 4, 2013, four known gambling cheats made away with $200 in a mad 45-min flurry of activity at the Canterbury Park casino in Minnesota.</p> <p>The quartet won the money playing at a three-card poker table. One of the players would distract the dealer whilst two more switched cards, and the fourth man tried to block the view of the camera.</p> <p><em>“They just came in, made a quick hit and were gone,”</em> said casino spokesman Jeff Maday.</p> <p>Only one of the criminal masterminds has been caught. Duane L. Racle s being held in the Scott County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. Also charged, but at large, are James P. Mineham, Wildred Sanchez, and Nicholas R.Crowder.</p> <p>All four gamblers are in there seventies!</p> <p><blockquote>Integrity is important,” said Maday when questioned on the urgency of finding the septuagenarians. “It’s important if you are another one of the players. You want to know that the game is legit.”</blockquote></p> <p>If you do see three suspicious old men hustling with their Zimmer frames then contact the Canterbury Park casino.</p> <p><strong>Invisible Ink Cheat Banned From all Connecticut Casinos</strong></p> <p>Rounding off our rogue’s gallery is Bruce Koloshi.</p> <p>The serial casino cheat has been banned from all Connecticut casinos after pleading guilty to cheating in the New London Superior Court in Connecticut. Koloshi was facing charges pertaining to a night in September when he used invisible ink to mark cards in a game of Mississippi Stud Poker.</p> <p>Koloshi was wearing specially designed contact lenses so he could identify the ink, but unbeknownst to him, the security teams in the loft were watching the action on black and white footage and could also see the ink.</p> <p>It’s not the first time that Koloshi had used this scam. In Feb. 2013, Koloshi used his magic ink to win over $10k in the Delaware Park Casino, but he couldn’t collect the money because he would have to provide identification!</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:30:08 +0000 Lee Davy 3154 Poker Makes an Appearance at the Primetime Emmy Awards <p>Guess who made an appearance at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards last night?</p> <p>Our very own superstar: Poker.</p> <p>It didn’t have to don a tuxedo. There were no awards for it to pick up. There wasn’t even a walk down the red carpet. But we were there.</p> <p>Antonio Villard Premium Electronic Cigars took over the Kari Feinstein Style Lounge to offer the celebrities in waiting the opportunity to have a puff on their e-cigars whilst getting stuck into a game of tournament poker.</p> <p>The Celebrity Poker Challenge was organized by Antonio Villard’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Tristan McMurphy, who said: <em>“Our goal is not just give our e-cigars to the celebrities in attendance, but rather to do something unique that is fun and different. We want to give back, and to include our celebrity guests in doing so.”</em></p> <p><strong>Breaking Bad Stars Love Their Poker</strong></p> <p>Two celebrities who must have been interested in the poker were the <strong>Breaking Bad</strong> stars <strong>Bryan Cranston</strong> and <strong>Aaron Paul</strong>. Paul was recently snapped whilst railing a friend in a World Series of Poker (WSOP) Daily Deepstack event at the Rio All Suite Hotel &amp; Casino, and he was on hand to pick up the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.</p> <p>Cranston used to be a regular on Celebrity Poker Showdown. A celebrity game show that was aired on the Bravo channel and starred the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Jason Alexander and Kevin Pollak back in the early noughties.</p> <p>Breaking Bad won five awards in all, with Cranston picking up the award for Best Lead Actor, Moira Walley-Beckett picking up the award for Outstanding Writer for the ‘Ozymandias’ episode, and for the second year running, Anna Gunn picked up the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress.</p> <p>The night’s other big winners were the BBC mini-series Sherlock, with the show's stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman picking up awards, and Modern Family also picking up a raft of gold.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:15:15 +0000 Lee Davy 3153 Delaware Posts Gain in July Online Poker Revenue <p>The <strong>Delaware State Lottery</strong> released <a href="">revenue numbers for July</a> that show a gain of <em>$5,789.97</em> in online poker rake from totals reported the month before.</p> <p>Harrington Raceway, Delaware Park and Dover Downs took in a collective <em>$31,397.57</em> for the month, up from June's <em>$25,607.60</em>. While the figures generated in July by the<a href=""> online poker sites in Delaware</a> may seem paltry, keep in mind that the state's population is a mere 900,000 or so.</p> <p>Delaware state officials were well aware that revenue totals would not be overwhelming even before launching last November. The best month thus far in the nine months that The First State's online poker scheme has been up and running was December when poker rake and fees came to <em>$106,922.76</em>. The worst month was June.</p> <p>The poker site operated by Delaware Park continues to dominate the tiny market with more than 50% of the action. Harrington Raceway is the least favored by players among the three, pulling in only <em>$2,794.40</em> in July online poker revenue.</p> <p><strong>Online gambling revenue that includes casino games and video lottery tumbles</strong></p> <p>Delaware also hosts video lottery and online casino games for its residents. When adding the totals of that action with online poker, igaming revenue for July was a collective <em>$173,096.40</em>. June figures came in at <em>$187,332.18</em>, showing a month-to-month decrease of <em>$14,235.78</em>.</p> <p>For those who look for positive news while analyzing data, the overall revenue total for July was better than four of the nine months that igaming has been available. Also on the plus side were new player registrations, totaling 410 for the month. New sign-ups in July outpaced the totals in each of the last three months.</p> <p><strong>Regulatory success trumps low revenue totals</strong></p> <p>Anti-online gambling activists led by<strong> Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson</strong> relish the underwhelming igaming revenue numbers posted by Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey in recent months. The Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) tends to make a big deal out of the fact that revenue expectations in the regulated states have been falling short.</p> <p>But those naysayers are failing to take into consideration the fact that the regulated industry has only just begun, and with the exception of Nevada, is not yet one year old. Also left out of any propaganda spewed by CSIG is the regulatory success found in each of the three markets, providing safeguards for consumers in a regulated environment that is likely to add more states in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:39:14 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3152 PokerTracker and Hold’em Manager Join Forces <p>Are you a <strong>PokerTracker</strong> paramour, or has your heart been handed out to <strong>Hold’em Manager</strong>?</p> <p>Very soon your allegiance is not going to matter.</p> <p>PokerTracker and Hold’em Manager have been the George Foreman and Muhammad Ali of the poker analysis tools market for as long as I can remember. But the gloves have been racked after the pair announced plans to merge into a unified entity.</p> <p>According to information gleaned from the PokerTracker website, you soon understand that the decision to merge is one based on cost. Staff, management, intellectual property and any other resources the pair have on the books will be combined under one umbrella, and that will not be good news for some.</p> <p><strong>No Job Losses Reported…Yet</strong></p> <p>There are no official reports of any loss of jobs after the merger, but one assumes that will be standard par for the course.</p> <p>The two products will continue to be sold and supported separately, although there are plans in motion to cross-train support teams to understand both products, and this is a good example of where costs can be cut.</p> <p>The announcement came with the promise that players would see minimal changes and plans for the roll out of PokerTracker 5 and Hold’em Manager 3 continue as before.</p> <p><strong>Investment in Cloud Technology</strong></p> <p>It’s believed that the costs gained as a result of the merger will be used to invest into the cloud technology that is currently undergoing Alpha testing, and when complete will be available for both products.</p> <p>PokerTracker was the biggest name in the analytics business when it changed the face of online poker back in 2001, only for Hold’em Manager to eclipse them as the market leader after launching in 2007. The purists believe that you can flip a coin between the two modern day products.</p> <p>PokerTracker 4 signed a deal with PokerStars and the European Poker Tour (EPT) to be the “Official Poker Tracking Software” of choice for Seasons 10 &amp; 11, and both PT and HEM products are currently being used at <a href="">online poker sites in New Jersey.</a></p> <p>PT and HEM dominated the market place before the merger, but it now makes it extremely difficult for any competitor to cut a swathe through the poker analytics market.</p> <p> </p> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 23:45:24 +0000 Lee Davy 3151 Quickspin Inks Deal with Rational Group; FTP Remission Deadline Set for Sept. 3 <p>Ever since PokerStars paid $731 million to bring Full Tilt Poker (FTP) to life, it has failed to turn into the beautiful butterfly it once was.</p> <p>Things change.</p> <p>Time moves on.</p> <p>The businesses that can adapt to change grow stronger.</p> <p>The Full Tilt brand is in the midst of metamorphosis. The word ‘poker’ has been shed from the tail end, and slowly but surely, you can see the wings start to unfurl from their sodden slump.</p> <p><strong>Quickspin Join the Party</strong></p> <p>The Swedish outfit Quickspin has become the latest games developer to add their arsenal of amazing action to the Full Tilt Casino library, after the pair inked a recent multi-year deal.</p> <p>The Stockholm based team join Net Entertainment, Leander Games and Amaya Gaming as the fourth game development team to provide top class entertainment to the Full Tilt Casino product.</p> <p><blockquote>It is very exciting to take part in their casino journey at such an early stage, which I think proves the trust and confidence they have in our content,” said Quickspin CEO Daniel Lindberg.</blockquote></p> <p><strong>What a Year For the Swedish Outfit</strong></p> <p>It continues to be a very important year for Quickspin. They broke into the UK marketplace with quick handshakes, confirming partnerships with the likes of Gala Coral, William Hill &amp; Ladbrokes; and they walked away with awards for ‘Mobile Gaming Software of the Year’ and ’Social Gaming Supplier of the Year’ at the EGR B2B awards held in the Tower of London.</p> <p><blockquote>Their games have a proven track record of success and we are excited to offer them to our customer base,” stated Rational Group Director of Casino Sam Hobcraft.</blockquote></p> <p>The Rational Group - parent company of the Full Tilt branding - are set to roll out their casino product in both Italy and Spain, after its Reel Spain subsidiary was awarded licenses to operate real money roulette and blackjack table games in the market.</p> <p><strong>The Garden City Group Call Time on Full Tilt Poker Petitions for Remission</strong></p> <p>It’s been a long draw out process, but the legal administration team, Garden City Group (GCG), have issued the final date for any stragglers yet to submit their Full Tilt Poker petition for remission.</p> <p>The deadline for all petitioners is September 3, 2014, and that includes former red pros and friends of Full Tilt, who you remember were given the green light to start filing petitions at the beginning of the month.</p> <p>If you do not get your act together by Sept. 3, then your petition will not be accepted and you only have yourself to blame.</p> <p>The GCG managed process has already paid out over $90m to former US-based Full Tilt Poker players.</p> <p> </p> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:56:55 +0000 Lee Davy 3150 Real Gaming "Power Up" Promo Employs Social Media <p><strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> and <strong></strong> have been <a href="">fighting for market share</a> in <strong>Nevada</strong>, but the state's third regulated poker site is also aiming to be a player within the Silver State market.</p> <p><strong>Real Gaming</strong>, which launched softly six months ago, has increased its promotional efforts as of late with the goal of making its mark among the regulated <a href="">poker sites in Nevada</a>. A new promo entitled <em>"Power Up"</em> has been unveiled that allows players to earn a bit more cash by commenting on social media.</p> <p><strong>"Power Up" hooked to other valuable promos</strong></p> <p>The new promotional endeavor is tied in with previous promos at Real Gaming such as <em>"High Hand of the Hour"</em> and <em>"Quadzilla."</em> The former runs four times a day and awards players who obtain the highest hand during select times anywhere from $5-$100 depending upon the stake level played. The latter pays from $5-$50, also dependent on cash table stakes, to any player who hits four-of-a-kind.</p> <p>Players who win either the high hand or quads promo will receive a congratulatory email with instructions on how to earn more cash by giving a shout out on social media. A simple tweet on Twitter announcing your winnings coupled with a LIKE and comment on Facebook that tells others of your success will add even more cash to your account at Real Gaming.</p> <p>Real Gaming operates via the license of <strong>South Point Casino</strong> and developed brand new software before launching. Although a latecomer to the Nevada market, the site employs the latest technologies and was created with an eye toward players who enjoy online poker while mobile and on the go.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:52:51 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3149 EPT Barcelona Main Event: Record Field Down to 103 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>lthough it did not come as a huge surprise considering that all the indicators were pointing towards it, predictions were confirmed on Sunday when the EPT Barcelona Main Event set the record for the biggest EPT event to ever take place on European soil. With a total of 1,496 entries before the end of registration, the tournament blew away the previous record held by EPT at a stop in San Remo in season six.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Star-studded Field</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This huge field naturally contained a great number of big time pros, the likes of <strong>Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier</strong>, San Remo winner <strong>Liv Boeree</strong>, <strong>Ole Schemion</strong>, <strong>Mike 'Timex' McDonald, Martin Finger</strong>, and the list goes on and on. The top 239 players will walk away with at least a min-cash of €8,050.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When the players eventually came together to play Day 2, more than half of the field was still in contention as some 900 hopefuls took their seats. Although this somewhat complicated things for the EPT tournament staff, they quickly came up with the solution of spreading players across three different tournament rooms.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As Day 2 progressed, the pace quickened and numerous players made their way to the rail. At the end of six scheduled levels of play, only some 310 players still had chips to bag. Amongst those who would not be taking their seats at the start of play earlier today were <strong>Ivan Demidove, Liv Boeree, Daniel Negreanu, Ronnie Bardah, Jake Cody </strong>and many other big time pros.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Bubble Dilemma</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At the start of play for Day 3, the bubble was on the minds of players with shorter stacks. Although bubbling a tournament is usually a bad thing, on this particular occasion finishing in 240<sup>th</sup> would not hurt as much since the bubble boy is awarded a $5,300 entry to the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open featuring a $10,000,000 guaranteed prize pool and a wicked-looking guitar.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">However, tournament organizers were not ready for the situation when five players busted in the same hand and were faced with the dilemma about what to do with the bubble boy prize. The decision they came up with was that the five players would play a sit and go while being guaranteed €6,440 in cash. For the first time in a while, players were actually competing for a bubble boy title.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After about an hour of play, it was <strong>Charles Scapula </strong>who defeated the last obstacle in his way, Randal Flowers, and pocketed a bigger prize than the first thirty ITM finishers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>103 Players Returning Tomorrow</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As this unusual bubble situation was being resolved, the Main Event continued and more players were sent to the rail, including <strong>Ole Schemion, Dan Shak, Maxim Lykov, Kitty Kuo, </strong>PokerStars Team Pro <strong>Andre Akkari, </strong>Italian <strong>Max Pescatori, </strong>and<strong> Ludovic Riehl </strong>to mention just a few.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The player on the completely opposite side of the spectrum is Belarusian <strong>Andrei Konopelko</strong> with nearly 1.5 million in chips. Not far behind him are <strong>Piotr Sowinski </strong>with about 1.3 million and <strong>Davidi Kitai </strong>with precisely 1,200,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Martin Finger </strong>is also in the million club with 1,038,000 in chips. Other notables who are still in with a shot include <strong>Marko Neumann, Mike McDonald, Rumen Nanev </strong>and <strong>Emil Patel. </strong>All the remaining players now have their eyes set on a single goal – the final table that takes place on Wednesday and will award €1,261,000 to the winner. Combined with the fact that everybody wants to be the one who takes down the record-breaker, this should provide for some really entertaining moments on the green felt in the days to come.</p> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 22:59:42 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3148 Richard Roeper and "Poker Night at the Movies" Filmed at PNIA <p><strong>Richard Roeper</strong> is a well-known writer and film critic who has often expressed his love of poker and gambling through his writing. As the author of <em>"Bet the House: How I Gambled Over a Grand a Day for 30 Days on Sports, Poker, and Games of Chance,"</em> it seemed a natural fit that the crew at <strong>Poker Night in America</strong> (PNIA) would invite Roeper to participate in its high stakes cash game in front of the cameras.</p> <p>The 54-year-old fim critic and avid poker player was on hand for PNIA's most recent filming at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York. The cameras stopped rolling for that event a few days ago and fans of movies that pertain to poker will be happy to know that Roeper was part of a shoot entitled <em>"Poker Night at the Movies"</em> that will be aired at a later date.</p> <p>Roeper was joined by <strong>Jennifer Tilly</strong> and <strong>Phil Laak</strong> in discussing famous scenes in movies that centered around poker. The trio were shown various poker scenes and then engaged in discussions focused on the cinematic merits of the scenes shown.</p> <p>The Poker Night at the Movies segment will be broadcast at PNIA on an as yet unannounced future date. For those unaware, Poker Night in America can be seen on the CBS Sports Network every Sunday evening at least until the end of 2014.</p> <p>Roeper is no slouch when it comes to playing poker. Though much of his time is spent in dark movie theaters, his resume does include a 24th place finish in $3,000 NLHE at the WSOP in 2013 that was good for $7,384. The previous year, fellow players likely gave him a thumbs up when he final tabled a $1,080 buy-in event, finishing in 5th place for $3,594.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 23 Aug 2014 23:35:30 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3147 Matias Ruzzi Conquers Record-Breaking Estrellas Main Event <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he Main Event of Estrellas Poker Tour has done it. It broke the record and became the biggest ever live tournament organized by PokerStars. A total of 2,560 players paid the €1,100 buy in, creating a prize pool just shy of €2.5 million. <strong>Matias Ruzzi </strong>was able to outlast the other 2,559 players and claim the top spot worth €198,550.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Final Table of Eight</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When the final table started yesterday, there were eight hopefuls looking to seize that beautiful trophy and the huge first place prize money. But there could only be one winner and that honor went to Ruzzi. Although this was the first Estrellas tournament for Matias, he is not new to poker as he finished 16<sup>th</sup> in the EPT Grand Final earlier this year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Four-Way Chop</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The title went to Ruzzi, but he did not benefit the most from this tournament in terms of money. Players made a four-way chop that saw <strong>Vladislav Donchev </strong>from Russia take home the lion’s share of the prize pool in the form of €278,500. <strong>Nir Levy</strong>, who started the day as the chip leader, finished in third place but received €188,511 as a result of the deal. The fourth player that participated in the chopping festivities was Frenchman <strong>Hakim Guiton</strong>, who walked away €178,500 richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The only female player, <strong>Corrine Baucher</strong>, also from France, exited just before the deal was made. With her departure, dreams of the first lady winner of the Estrellas Main Event were gone. <strong>Andrew Chan</strong>, with three EPT final tables to his name, could not close the deal once again and finished in 6<sup>th</sup> place, earning €73,826.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Seventh and eighth places went to Spaniard <strong>Daniel Barriocanal</strong> (€56,639) and Hungarian <strong>Bela Toth </strong>(€40,849), respectively. All the players at the final table received a big return on their €1K investment due to a really huge field that gathered in Barcelona.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Breaking Records</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The big turnout was expected, so this does not come as a surprise. But it is still a proud moment to break records pertaining to the number of entrants and it is always good for poker. A big number of players means bigger prize pools and it creates a more positive environment for participating players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The EPT Barcelona Main Event is also very likely to be a record breaker. Confirmation of the final number of players has not yet been released, but judging by the great interest for this event, another record seems likely.</p> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:29:24 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3146 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - August 22, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">L</span>ast week, cash game player traffic fell a collective 1% following two straight weeks of positive gains. The loss was experienced despite industry giant <strong>PokerStars</strong> gaining 1.3% and reaching an average of 20,000 players after falling below that threshold in recent weeks.</p> <p><strong>PokerScout</strong> believes that PokerStars' Summer Daily Challenge promotion may be behind the uptick in traffic on the site. The promo requires missions to be completed and is set to give away a total of $500,000 upon its conclusion.</p> <p><strong>Traffic down in New Jersey and PokerStars' entry blasted</strong></p> <p>While PokerStars' players are being challenged on the cash tables, PokerStars' entry into the New Jersey market is being challenged by a state lawmaker. A <a href="">scathing op-ed</a> published by Assemblyman Ralph R. Caputo shows that PokerStars continues to have its detractors despite the overwhelming likelihood that state gaming regulators have already moistened the ink pad and purchased a new 'PokerStars Approved' stamp.</p> <p>The New Jersey online poker market lost players last week, as the <strong>All American Poker Network</strong> and <strong>Party Borgata</strong> saw less action on the cash tables. <strong></strong> showed a gain and now averages 130 players, but it wasn't big enough to offset the losses at the other <a href="">New Jersey poker sites</a>. Many expect big gains to be realized when PokerStars makes its entry, while others have opined that the industry giant may not be a dominant force considering that the other sites have already established customers to a certain degree.</p> <p><strong>Ultimate Poker, EPN and Seals With Clubs see gains</strong></p> <p>At <a href="">poker sites within the Nevada market</a>, <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> has been closing the gap on Just a few months ago prior to the start of the 45th annual World Series of Poker, doubled UP's traffic by averaging 110 players to the 55 of its rival. At present, the divide is 95 to 65.</p> <p>While UP is gaining ground in Nevada, other upward movers in the global market include <strong>Seals With Clubs</strong> and the <strong>Equity Poker Network</strong> (EPN). The Bitcoin-friendly SWC is back up over 100 players after spending quite some time below the three-figure threshold, now averaging 110 ring game players.</p> <p>EPN has reached an all-time high of 200 cash players in a seven-day average. The network launched in November at roughly the same time that New Jersey and <a href="">Delaware poker sites</a> began accepting real-money wagers. EPN has its eye on catching the nearest non-regulated U.S.-friendly network, the <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong>.</p> <p><strong> to launch in California next week</strong></p> <p>Player traffic may see a boost next week when <strong></strong> is <a href="">expected to launch for real-money in California</a>. Despite Internet poker legislative efforts falling short again in the Golden State this year, the <strong>Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel</strong> are of the mind that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) allows them to proceed.</p> <p> will be the first real-money offering among <a href="">California poker sites</a>. However, don't be surprised if the state's other gaming interests seek to block the launch with a temporary restraining order in a court of law. With billions of dollars at stake in a regulated market, odds are that a legal challenge is on the horizon.</p> <p><strong>Full Tilt gains among top ten while 2014 market still trails 2013</strong></p> <p>Jostling among the top ten poker rooms and networks finds<strong> Full Tilt</strong> in a tie for 6th place with <strong>Bodog/Bovada</strong> at 1,450 cash players. That's a mild improvement from <a href="">one week ago when Full Tilt occupied 7th place</a> with 1,400 players.</p> <p>The global Internet poker market remains 7% off the pace set at this time in 2013. The decrease would have been substantially greater if the launches in New Jersey and at EPN had not been added to the mix last November.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:01:13 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3145 PokerStars not Welcomed by All in New Jersey <p>While PokerStars' suitability to operate a <a href="">poker site in New Jersey</a> under the ownership of Amaya is likely welcomed by a large number of state officials who are hoping to see a boost in revenue as a result, the welcome mat has not been laid out by all New Jersey lawmakers.</p> <p>Assemblyman Ralph R. Caputo recently <a href="">posted an op-ed in</a> that detailed his objections to PokerStars' likely entry into New Jersey's igaming market. Caputo held back no punches in tossing around phrases like <em>"disgraced online gambling giant"</em> with a <em>"history of bad behavior"</em> in reference to PokerStars.</p> <p><strong>Getting license too easy for PokerStars</strong></p> <p>Representing the 28th legislative district, Caputo also chairs the Tourism, Gaming and Arts Committee. He is quite perturbed that despite the shady past of PokerStars that includes a federal indictment of the site's founder that has gone unanswered, a public hearing will not be held in advance of the likely favorable decision expected from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).</p> <p>PokerStars' online gaming license, when granted, will be that of vendor. The vetting process to hold such a license is nowhere near as stringent as that of hopeful casino operators, who have quite a few more hoops to jump through to win approval. The reason for this, as pointed out by Caputo, is to keep <em>"unsavory characters"</em> out.</p> <p><em>"Poker­Stars’ hands may be the dirtiest,"</em> Caputo added, when taking into account all of the companies seeking to be part of the state's igaming scheme. The Assemblyman finds fault with PokerStars attempting to clean its hands through its sale to Amaya, but insisted that the $4.9 billion transaction cannot <em>"negate the company's checkered history."</em></p> <p><strong>Clean hands outside of U.S.</strong></p> <p>Though not in direct response to Caputo, PokerStars officials have repeatedly pointed out that no other company holds as many online poker licenses in jurisdictions throughout the world. That number is now near a dozen, which shows the strength, suitability, and perhaps respect that PokerStars has achieved on a global scale.</p> <p>Except, of course, in the U.S., where it may take years to shed the bad actor status completely. While much of New Jersey has rolled out the red carpet for PokerStars as evidenced by previous comments made by the likes of Sen. Ray Lesniak and even DGE regulators, there are those such as Caputo who have yet to be swayed.</p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>"New Jersey officials, through the DGE, owe it to the residents to fully vet Poker­Stars, taking into account its past as well as its present, and not rush to usher in a firm with a tainted past simply to bolster the faltering online gambling experiment,"</em> Caputo said. Failing to do so <em>"would be an insult to everyone who has gone under scrutiny to work or do business in the casino industry over the past 30 years."</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:38:48 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3144 How Sheldon Adelson Helped me Become a Gambling Addict <p>Have you read, ‘Poker Face - How Washington Opened the Floodgates to Online Gambling. Ok, Who’s in?’</p> <p>As soon as I saw the front page I knew had I read it I would lose a valuable 10-minutes of my life. There is a picture of a child - looking no older than 7-8 years of age – who is holding an iPad exposing a Royal Flush.</p> <p>He looks like he has just been ordered to eat all of his vegetables.</p> <p>It’s a royal flush?</p> <p>The kid should have a smile like the Joker.</p> <p>I eventually got around to reading it, and it is as one-sided as everyone has told me. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that the piece stands very proud at the top of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) website: home of Sheldon Adelson and the Hypocrites (what a great name for a band).</p> <p>But aren’t all of these articles biased?</p> <p>Aren’t they always more Leaning Tower of Pisa than Eiffel Tower?</p> <p>I’m a gambling addict.</p> <p>The germination of my addiction started when my father asked me to choose a horse in the Grand National. I was one of four children and so I never had much pocket money.</p> <p>A win on the horses would put that right.</p> <p>If I did win any money I would spend it on chocolates or the slot machines. I find it quite amusing to read a piece on the evil addictive properties of slot machines, and how they can turn our children into maniacs, and those same vigilantes allow their children to eat processed garbage at a dinner table that houses a fine bottle of vintage ruin my life.</p> <p>I used to steal money from my father’s trousers so I could play those slot machines. I didn’t play because I wanted to win more money, because every penny went back into the machine.</p> <p>It was that unexplainable buzz.</p> <p>So it was the brick and mortar slot machine that pushed me along the gambling road - those same machines that have turned Sheldon Adelson into one of the richest men in the world. That’s right. The money I stole from my father’s trousers is now a speck of dirt in the Venetian Hotel &amp; Casino.</p> <p>Now let’s imagine that there was no brick and mortar slot machine. Instead, I could only gamble online. As an 8-9 year old child, how exactly was I going to do that?</p> <p>One of my annoyances, as an adult, is the rigmarole I have to go through to prove my identity when I first join an online gambling site. Three forms of identification, proof of address, copies of passports.</p> <p>It’s enough to put anybody off even opening an account.</p> <p>Yet according to the information that Leah McGrath Goodman gleaned from her ‘reliable’ sources, it’s as easy as just nicking your parent’s credit card.</p> <p>It might not be a bad idea for people like Sheldon Adelson, Jason Chaffetz, or Leah McGrath Goodman to try and open an online account the next time they are in one of the three states grown up enough to allow their citizens the freedom of choice when it comes to gambling.</p> <p>Where are all of these children who are stealing credit cards, opening online bank accounts and spending up to $20,000 playing poker in just one month?</p> <p>I am going out on a limb here when I say, if a child is willing to go through all of that trouble to gamble online, then don’t you think they will do likewise in unregulated states, and that allowing them to try in a regulated market is a much better option?</p> <p>Just stick to stealing from your father’s trousers, it’s so much easier.</p> <p>My addiction really kicked in after a visit to Las Vegas. One of the venues where I spent my time playing Craps, Baccarat and Roulette was The Venetian.</p> <p>I came back from Vegas a slight winner. I thought I could make a living at it. I dived straight into it and it all went downhill from there.</p> <p>Sheldon Adelson helped make me a gambling addict.</p> <p>The anti-gambling argument that online gambling is a more dangerous place than brick and mortar is an argument that I support. The form of gambling that eventually killed my bank account (and my marriage) was the online ‘in-play’ sports betting market.</p> <p>Had ‘in-play’ only been introduced in the brick and mortar establishments, I would never have been able to blow as much money as I did. Online gambling made it so quick and easy that I didn’t know whether I was coming or going.</p> <p>I ran up £30,000 worth of debt through the ‘in play’ markets, so I understand the risks. I fell for every single one of them. At the height of my problem I would have found a way to gamble no matter what. What eventually helped me recover was the ability to ban myself from the online sites. Once again, this was done with the click of a button.</p> <p>Gambling is no different to pornography, alcohol, cigarettes and processed killer foods. They are all habits that can spin our pain/pleasure axis around like a bottle in that game where nobody ever wanted to kiss me.</p> <p>Banning it is not the answer.</p> <p>Regulating it is.</p> <p>Parents also need to stand up and be counted. There needs to be a greater awareness of what’s going on in our children’s lives.</p> <p>Would we ever consider banning EA Sports FIFA14?</p> <p>A few years ago a copy of that game would cost me £30…these days you are talking hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.</p> <p>The FIFA Ultimate Team model turned my 13-year old boy into an addict. There is no better way to explain it. The need to buy packets of players, like we used to buy Panini stickers, was insatiable for him.</p> <p>But he couldn’t rob me?</p> <p>He couldn’t steal my credit cards.</p> <p>Even if he did I would receive an e-mail telling me that the transaction had taken place, in the same way that I receive e-mail from PokerStars each time I deposit or withdraw.</p> <p>I have to trust my son that he won’t allow this FIFA14 addiction to go too far. This is mixed with my education and discussion on the matter as well as a severe reduction on the amount of money I will allow him to spend on it (which he must earn).</p> <p>Will this turn him into a gambling addict?</p> <p>No.</p> <p>I will turn him into a gambling addict.</p> <p>It’s a strong suit that he is likely to pick up after copying my traits, beliefs and values as he grows up.</p> <p>In the great book Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol, by Ann Dowsett Johnston, she says that the alcohol industry doesn’t have to advertise to children because the adults do such a great job for them.</p> <p>It’s the same for gambling.</p> <p>My son is more likely to gamble because I gamble. And I want him to gamble, because it is a fun pastime that also contains a whole host of lessons in life.</p> <p>Gambling is an education.</p> <p>There is a reason that PokerStars has over 85 million users. People love to bloody gamble, and to be told you can’t just seems so archaic.</p> <p>And why do we have so many concerned Americans all scratching their Abraham Lincoln style beards wondering how much damage online gambling is going to cause to children?</p> <p>HELLO!</p> <p>There are other countries in the world you know. Other places that exist that have a regulated gambling industry, and I am pretty sure they contain children. Just ask them what the figures are like for young 7-8 year old cyber hackers who are now destitute and in ruins.</p> <p>I can tell you that nearly 4,000 children were hospitalized due to alcohol poisoning in the UK last year, including 52 aged under 11. But I can’t tell you how many children blew their parents fortunes gambling online.</p> <p>Now does that mean we are going to ban alcohol in the UK?</p> <p>A freedom that exists that kills millions of people worldwide?</p> <p>Of course not.</p> <p>Do you remember what happened when you tried to ban it in America?</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:39:12 +0000 Lee Davy 3143 Olivier Busquet Wins EPT Barcelona Super High Roller <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he first event of the anniversary 100<sup>th</sup> European Poker Tour has concluded. The €50K Super High Roller trophy and first place prize money in the amount of €896,434 are now safely in the hands of <strong>Olivier Busquet. </strong>He was able to outlast <strong>Daniel Colman </strong>in a grueling heads up match. This comes as no surprise, as before his victory in the Big One for One Drop, Colman was best known as a heads-up specialist. This time, however, he was stopped by an also very experienced Busquet and had to settle for second place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This did not hurt Colman financially too much. The final two combatants reached a deal and second place was good for €843,066. It was more a matter of pride between the two good friends, both of whom were able to prevail over the field of 58 elite players and get in position to play for the glory.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tough Final Table</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The final table was reached today, on the third day of play, and seats were occupied by players such as <strong>Dan Shak, Sam Trickett </strong>and <strong>Scott Seiver – </strong>all experienced professionals who have been around for a while and have, pretty much, seen it all.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first player to depart was <strong>Mustapha Kanit</strong>. The Italian got his money in the  middle with #ac#qd against German <strong>Sven Reichardt</strong>’s #as#8c, but could not hold his preflop advantage and was sent to the rail in ninth with €105,455 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Not Over Until It's Over</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One particular hand that happened soon after Kanit’s departure did not see any players hit the rail, but it was certainly the hand of the tournament. It left everybody at the table stunned, especially the down-on-his-luck Reichardt. He moved in with his #kd#ks against Busquet’s #as#2s and his decent preflop advantage turned into a near lock after the flop came #8h#8c#kc. But alas, &lt;1% is still not 0%. When the dealer turned #ah, there was some commotion, but it still looked more like a tease. Lo and behold, the #ah showed up on the river, sending the pot to Busquet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite losing that pot that appeared firmly his, Reichardt was not the next one out. Instead, it was Shak, who ran his #as#8s into the pocket Aces of Busquet. After the earlier hand, no one really expected any different development than to see Shak go in 8<sup>th</sup> with €138,600 to his name. <strong>Morten Klein </strong>met the same fate when his #as#qs went up against Busquet’s rockets. Sometimes it is just meant to be.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Reichardt<strong> </strong>hung on for a while, but it was eventually his time to go as well. His pocket Tens were no match for Colman’s pocket Kings and sixth place and a €225,000 reward simply had to be enough. After Colamn took that hand, Busquet took the role of executioner for the next hand that saw Trickett<strong> </strong>meet his doom. Sam’s #as#kc failed to improve against the American’s pocket Eights. Trickett earned €288,400 for his performance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was then Colman’s turn to add some chips and crush the dreams of another player. The short-stacked Seiver had the best hand going in, but Colman was able to outflop him and send him to an observers’ spot, albeit €364,200 richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Before the stage was set for heads-up action, <strong>Vladimir Troyanovskiy </strong>had to go as well. Once again, Busquet took care of that after yet another flip went his way. Troyanovskiy earned €437,200 and in so doing passed the $2.5 million mark in career earnings.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Playing for the Glory</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After Vlad's departure, the two colleagues agreed to split most of the remaining money, leaving just €30,000 to play for. That relatively small amount (in high roller terms) went to Busquet after he was able to outplay Colman in a long battle.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Super High Roller Event is history but by no means is it the end of the festivities. The Main Event starts tomorrow in Barcelona and players will continue their battle for big money, trophies, and glory.</p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:24:34 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3142 Amaya's Future Looks Blindingly Bright <p>What does the acquisition of the Rational Group, and all of their toys, mean to Amaya Gaming Group Inc.?</p> <p>For the remainder of the financial year you can confidently say about three times as much as they were expecting to pull in prior to the deal of the online poker century.</p> <p>The most talked about online gambling company in the world has just announced its financial results for the three to six month period ending June 30, 2014, and they also included a revised forecast that takes into consideration five months of consolidated Rational Group’s results.</p> <p><blockquote>The second quarter was a transformative period for Amaya,” stated Amaya CEO David Baazov.</blockquote></p> <p>The understatement of the year.</p> <p><strong>Acquisition shocks iGaming industry</strong></p> <p>Amaya Gaming’s $4.9 billion acquisition of The Rational Group not only made Isai Scheinberg one of the youngest billionaires in the world, but sent shockwaves through the entire online gambling industry.</p> <p>It’s still shaking today.</p> <p>The figures were a vast improvement on 2013 with a reported $2.9m net loss compared to the $11.4m that was lost this time last year. Revenue for the three months ending June 30 was up, though, with $42.5m representing a 14% increase year-on-year.</p> <p>The rise in revenue was due to an increase in gaming machines sold outright, and consolidating revenue from Diamond Game Enterprises, which was acquired in Feb 2014.</p> <p>Revenue for the six-month period ending June 30, 2014 was $83.65m, a decent climb from the $75.31m it earned last year. In even better news, revenue is set to triple in the remainder of 2014 with a revised forecast of between $669m - $715m expected to hit the books, and not the $193m - $203m that was forecast prior to the acquisition.</p> <p><strong>Amaya poised for further growth</strong></p> <p>In the commentary supporting the results, Baazov made it very clear that the acquisition of the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands gives them a decisive edge for growth in the sports book and online casino market.</p> <p><blockquote>The worldwide recognition of the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands, bolstered by being the largest producer of live poker tours and events across the globe and producer of televised and online poker programming, also provides Rational with an enormous opportunity to take advantage of adjacency opportunities in online casino and sports book, in jurisdictions where they can be offered -while growing in new geographies," Baazov continued. "Amaya is committed to supporting these growth initiatives. However, with respect to the new verticals, we are determined that they not provide any disruption to the core poker offering and that the new vertical offerings are as robust and enjoyable as Rational's online poker.”</blockquote></p> <p>The acquisition of The Rational Group stole the thunder from Amaya’s subsidiary, Cadillac Jack. The games and systems provider received approval from New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) to utilize its Genesis DV1 slot machine platform in the state, obtained transactional waivers to ship machines over to Atlantic City, and also obtained approval to do business in Wisconsin and Louisiana.</p> <p>Lastly, Amaya also pointed to the integration of its Casino Gaming System as another crucial reason the numbers were up. With deals inked with’s European websites, Cherry AB’s websites, Ultimate Gaming in New Jersey, and Rational Group’s Full Tilt Poker.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:24:41 +0000 Lee Davy 3140 Readies Real-Money Launch in California <p>Online poker regulation has been <a href="">put on hold in<strong> </strong>California until 2015</a>, but the <strong>Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel</strong> believe the time is now to bring real-money online poker to residents of the Golden State.</p> <p>The tribe is preparing a real-money launch on its website at the end of this month and appears fully prepared to defend itself against any legal challenges that may arise. Citing the <strong>Indian Gaming Regulatory Act</strong> (IGRA) that permits Class II gaming such as bingo and poker but not house-banked games on Indian land, PrivateTable will begin a real-money roll out sometime around August 26-28.</p> <p><strong>Full speed ahead</strong></p> <p>That announcement came from Santa Ysabel Gaming Commission Chairman Dave Vialpando in a recent interview with Cardplayer. Vialpando was very forthright during the interview and indicated that all systems are go for the small tribe to blaze a trail regarding the legality of offering real-money <a href="">online poker in California</a> despite legislation to that effect having missed the mark for yet another year.</p> <p><blockquote>Our authority to offer class II gaming from our reservation is not prohibited by any statute," Vialpando said. "In fact, we believe it is covered by IGRA. Most of our regulations are public documents, so it’s pretty much full disclosure for us. We are moving full speed ahead."</blockquote></p> <p>Whether that full speed will be achieved or halted remains to be seen. Gaming interests throughout California that includes other tribes, cardrooms and racetracks will likely not take too kindly to any one tribe getting a head start in the nation's largest and potentially most lucrative state for online poker.</p> <p><strong>Other tribes may jump aboard</strong></p> <p>While Santa Ysabel is preparing to test the legal waters and go first, the tribe is certainly not aiming to be the only player in town for long. Vialpando expressed an attitude of 'the more the merrier' with regard to fellow tribes also getting in on the game and indicated that the tribe he belongs to is <em>"more than willing to assist others."</em></p> <p><blockquote>"We are encouraging other tribes to follow us because we feel our product is solid and economically viable," Vialpando added. "After two years of developing our enterprise, we have some knowledge to share with the state. It could be a model adopted by others."</blockquote></p> <p>That real money launch is now just a week or so away. Stay tuned, as however this plays out will certainly be interesting.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:14:33 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3139 EPT Barcelona Kicks Off – Stage is Set for 100th EPT Event <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter Season 10 of the EPT had finished, we talked a bit about the 100<sup>th</sup> EPT event that was scheduled to take place in Barcelona. But then other things took the front seat and the European Poker Tour was somewhat forgotten. However, starting today, it will once again claim center stage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Earlier today, Barcelona kicked off with the Super High Roller Event. It has become traditional for EPT events to start with Super High Rollers that naturally attract big name players. The buy-in of €50,000 with unlimited reentries guarantees a nice first place prize, but extremely deep pockets are a requirement of participants.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Ryan Fee takes early chip lead</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The likes of <strong>Jason Mercier </strong>and <strong>Daniel Negreanu </strong>are already there, together with <strong>Vanessa Selbst </strong>and a proud member of the November Nine, <strong>Martin Jacobson. </strong>In fact, Day 1 has just concluded and <strong>Ryan Fee </strong>grabbed the chip lead with 919,000. It's too early to speak of eliminations, since buy-ins and reentries are available until the start of Day 2 tomorrow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A great turnout is expected in Barcelona. The first reason for that is the fact that it's the anniversary event. But this belief is only reinforced by the number of players participating in the preceding Estrellas Main Event. With Day 1C still underway, it has already eclipsed the 2,600-player mark. That means that the €1,100 buy-in event will have approximately the same prize pool as the €50K High Roller.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Plenty to do in Barcelona</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of course, Barcelona is a big European city with a lot of things to offer. Those players eliminated from tournaments or waiting for the start of another will not be at a loss for entertainment. There are beaches, boats, and a great selection of food and drinks, so busting out of an event may hurt a bit less in Spain.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It being the anniversary and all, PokerStars is offering a lot of free stuff to participating players. That ensures great fun and enjoyment for all for the entire duration of the event. There are numerous tournaments and satellites scattered throughout the schedule, so there won’t be a shortage of activity on the poker front either. The Main Event starts on <strong>Thursday, August 21<sup>st</sup></strong> and the final table will take place on <strong>Wednesday, August 27<sup>th</sup></strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We at PokerUpdate will keep you posted on all important developments and all the big winners that emerge from this festival of poker!</p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:29:51 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3138 Full Tilt Offering Rush Week Promo <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline poker players who enjoy the quick action of fast-fold poker have an entire week devoted to their game of choice at Full Tilt's Rush Poker tables where a <strong>Rush Week</strong> promo kicked off today.</p> <p>Running from August 18-24, Rush Week offers up to <em>$250</em> in bonus money to fast-folders who opt in at 'My Promotions' in their individual online accounts. The last day to opt in is Thursday, August 21.</p> <p>Full Tilt has run Rush Week promos on previous occasions and the typical result is a spike in player traffic. PokerStars' sister site <a href="">dropped to 7th</a> in PokerScout's worldwide traffic rankings recently and the Rush Week offering may be an aim toward ascending back into the top five.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:35:45 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3137 Saudi Heiress Gambling Addict Loses Court Battle <p><span class="letter-big">A</span> wealthy gambler with a penchant for losing huge sums of money found no relief in a court of law upon arguing that the casino should have prevented her from continuing her downward spiral while playing punto banco.</p> <p>The Ritz casino in London prevailed in a lawsuit involving <strong>Noora Abdullah Mahawish Al-Daher</strong> after the woman lost £2 million one evening in 2012 and refused to pay half that amount. Al-Daher, who is married to Omani foreign minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al-Busaidi, was ordered by Judge Anthony Seys Llewellyn to pay the casino the remaining £1 million with interest, the Daily Mail reported.</p> <p>The judge found Al-Daher's claim that casino staff <em>"took advantage of her gambling addiction"</em> ludicrous, noting that just two months after the debacle in London, Al-Daher and her family dumped £3 million more gambling in Las Vegas. The Saudi heiress claims the Ritz was at fault for extending her £1.7 million credit limit tied to paying by cheque and encouraged her to continue.</p> <p><em>"Mrs Al-Daher is a person of wealth unimaginable to the ordinary person and, I suspect, to many of moderate or substantial wealth,"</em> the High Court judge said. <em>"The enormous sums she gambled and the enormous losses she sustained were within her means."</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:50:27 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3136 New Jersey Online Gambling Revenue Trends North in July; Equity Poker Network and Gear Poker Part Ways <p>So how are things doing in the New Jersey online gambling market?</p> <p>I would say ‘fair to middling’ is about right.</p> <p>But as the 1980s UK pop princess Yazz used to bellow from the top of her lungs, <em>“The only way is up,”</em> after Gov. Chris Christie’s expectations of a $180m tax windfall gave everybody completely unrealistic expectations.</p> <p>But things are starting to head in the right direction.</p> <p>Until July’s online gambling revenue figures were released, the state had experienced three months of downward spiral after revenue peaked at $11.9m in March.</p> <p>That’s since changed.</p> <p>In July, the six New Jersey online gambling partnerships managed to earn $10.1m in revenue - $600,000 more than in June - but still the second lowest tally since action began at the beginning of the year.</p> <p>Taking a knife to that $10.1m reveals that $7.9m (+5%) of it was taken from the online casino games, and $2.2m (+10%) of it came from the virtual poker tables. Total online accounts increased nicely with a 7.1% rise to 405,000.</p> <p>The ‘Hart Foundation’ of Atlantic City continues to be the Borgata/ tag team, whilst ‘The Bushwhackers’ are the Trump Taj Mahal/Ultimate Gaming effort.</p> <p>Borgata/ saw their earnings come in at just under $3.2m (-8.5%), with $2.1m (-12.5%) coming from the casino arm, and $1.1m (+3%) coming from poker.</p> <p>August is expected to be another lull, with players tanning those pasty white bedroom bodies on the beaches, but Borgata/ are expected to bounce back in a big way in Sept., with the launch of their inaugural Garden State Super Series (GSSS). The promise of $1m in guarantees, at the same time the World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Poker Open is running, is sure to bring in the numbers.</p> <p>Gaining market share was Caesars Interactive New Jersey. July revenue numbers saw a $2.7m spike in total revenue (+4%), with $1.7m (+3%) coming from the casino business and $1m (+6%) coming from poker. + signs all round for the team.</p> <p>The Tropicana/Gamesys online casino only product continues to shine in third with a smidgen under $2m (+13%) going into the coffers, and then you have the casino only Golden Nugget option with $945k (+25%), Trump Plaza/Betfair with $676k earned through casino (+35%) and just a single dollar earned through poker!</p> <p>Finally, you have Trump Taj Mahal/Ultimate Gaming earnings at $587k (+18%) and the vast majority of that revenue came from the casino tables, with the poker outlet earning just $26k.</p> <p>Six partnerships are soon to be eight, according to NJPokerOnline’s Jennifer Newell, who reported that the Amaya Gaming owned PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker would be wading into the playground of<a href=""> NJ poker sites</a> on Oct 1st. She later retracted that statement but it’s widely assumed that the big guns will come out sometime during Q4.</p> <p><strong>Equity Poker and Gear Poker Divorce</strong></p> <p>One outfit that is not providing any revenue numbers to the New Jersey balance sheet is the Equity Poker Network (EPN). The network opened a real money poker offering back in Nov 2013, but left the regulated online poker markets created in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware back in May.</p> <p>Not that the changes have done any harm to the EPN. According to the data-tracking site PokerScout, the cash game traffic on the EPN hit their highest level in Aug. since the inception back in Nov.</p> <p>Great news, but one skin that won’t be breaking open the champagne is Gear Poker, who have agreed to part ways with their landlords with immediate effect.</p> <p>Gear Poker were one of the original five skins after emigrating from the Chico Poker Network back in Nov., but has left citing a realization that both outfits had ‘different ways of doing business.’</p> <p>An EPN spokesperson confirmed that Gear Poker funds are safe, secure and will be returned to players, and players will be informed once Gear Poker finds a new home.</p> <p> </p> <p>Get $10 FREE + Up to $888 welcome Bonus now at <a href="">888 Poker</a> (for NJ Players only)</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 17:28:21 +0000 Lee Davy 3133 The Poker World Increases ALS Awareness by the Bucketful <p>Almost two weeks since its inception, <a href="" target="_blank">the ice bucket campaign to increase ALS awareness</a> has gone beyond viral.</p> <p>Millions upon millions of dollars have been raised thus far to further research towards treatments, and hopefully a cure, for the illness also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. The campaign’s virality has been spurred on most impressively via social media, where by searching for the hashtag #IceBucketChallenge on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks, you’ll undoubtedly come across some of the biggest celebrities in the world taking part. Thus, countless millions of people have witnessed well-known athletes, movie stars, and notables pouring ice cold buckets of water over their heads.</p> <p>Make no mistake though; as much as this might be considered a publicity stunt, the motives of every person taking part in the campaign are genuinely noble – to get the word out about ALS and get monies donated toward the cause. The trend has certainly not bypassed the poker world either, with many of poker’s biggest names taking part and doing what they can to spur others towards making a difference. This is great on many fronts, as it also de facto helps to improve poker’s image in the mainstream media.</p> <p>Some of the bigger names in the poker industry to have taken part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge thus far include World Poker Tour President Adam Pliska, World Series of Poker Media Director Nolan Dalla, and Poker Night in America’s Todd Anderson. Player-wise, as one might expect, Phil Hellmuth [pictured] was among the first of the big-name poker players to also douse himself for the cause after Dalla issued a direct challenge to the 13-time WSOP champ. Check out the video at the bottom of this page.</p> <p>Strictly speaking, the rules of the challenge stipulate that one must either accept and pour a bucket of ice over one’s head or, alternatively donate to the ALS Association. In the event that one accepts the challenge, they are then to pass the challenge on to others. That said, many of those public figures who we’ve witnessed dousing themselves with buckets of ice water have ALSO taken it upon themselves to donate towards the very worthy cause.</p> <p>It stands to reason that the more the Ice Bucket Challenge takes hold in the poker world, the more poker celebrities we’ll see taking part. One would reasonably expect other extrovert big name poker pros like Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari to accept the challenge, so those videos would probably pop up in the near future.</p> <p>To all those poker players and fans who’ve made donations, good on you. Here’s hoping countless others follow in your footsteps and support the ALS Association. …and if we’re selfishly wishing to see any couple poker players take up the challenge, here’s hoping Phil Ivey and Doyle Brunson see this article.</p> <p> </p> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 16:36:59 +0000 Robbie Strazynski 3132 Newsweek Writer Defends Biased Online Poker Article <p>As most are undoubtedly aware, <em>Newsweek</em> writer Leah McGrath Goodman kicked up quite a controversy recently by publishing an article about online poker and gambling that many advocates of the industry have labeled as one-sided and lacking in factual accuracy.</p> <p>Those who have yet to read <a href="">"How Washington Opened the Floodgates to Online Poker, Dealing Parents a Bad Hand"</a> can click on the link and do so. The piece is seemingly the latest salvo fired by Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, as the slant in that direction is quite obvious.</p> <p><strong>Where is the balance?</strong></p> <p><em>Newsweek</em> is viewed by many as being devoted to responsible journalism and a good number of those on the pro-online gambling side who read the article took offense in that it failed to achieve proper balance. The piece neglected to offer insight from those whose views are in support of Internet gambling regulation.</p> <p>Goodman recently defended her writing in response to a Letter to the Editors at <em>Newsweek</em> from Parry Aftab, the Founder and Director of WiredSafety. Aftab, many will recall, testified before Congress in a previous online gambling hearing. She, like many others, disagreed with Goodman's conclusions in the article and pointed out that the best way to protect children from gambling online is regulation.</p> <p><strong>Writer claims no politics or bias involved</strong></p> <p>In defense of her article, Goodman stated that the piece was neither politically motivated, nor biased against Internet gambling. She claims to have spoken <em>"with a wide range of experts, some named in the story and others not."</em></p> <p>Goodman goes on to state that her research <em>"represented all sides of the discussion and included the White House, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, gaming regulators, industry advocates, youth-gambling experts, gaming companies, politicians, lawyers and scientists."</em></p> <p>The writer continued to stand by her story and her next statement was rather incredulous to most everyone who read the article: <em>"No view was unwelcome and there was no bias for or against online gambling. The focus was simply on getting the best information possible."</em></p> <p><strong>Goal of obtaining best information misses mark</strong></p> <p>It's obvious by the response and attention that the article is getting from members of the industry who were not asked to contribute their views and/or wisdom that Goodman failed miserably in <em>"getting the best information possible."</em> If she did actually speak to representatives from <em>"all sides of the discussion"</em> as is claimed, she was way off in giving equal time to those on the other side of the fence.</p> <p><em>Newsweek</em> makes the claim of being <em>"a staple of American media for over 80 years, bringing high-quality journalism to millions of readers around the globe."</em> That high quality certainly wasn't evident in Goodman's article, despite her statements to the contrary.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 16 Aug 2014 23:10:14 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3131 World Poker Tour Headed to the Philippines <p style="text-align: justify;">Poker is an ever growing creature that seeks new places it can call home. The Asian market may have been somewhat neglected for a period of time, but as of late things have really been changing and there has been a very strong shift toward Asia as a rich and relatively untapped market. In light of that, the World Poker Tour has decided to create the first ever WPT event to take place in the Philippines.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The event will be held at the <strong>Solaire Resort and Casino</strong> in Manila from October 18–28. During a press conference on August 13<sup>th</sup>, WPT president<strong> Adam Pliska</strong> explained that the Philippines represents everything required from a venue. That includes a very warm and welcoming atmosphere, with Solaire certain to make sure that players feel at home.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Philippines has long been known as a favorite tourist destination of many and the decision to host a major poker tournament there comes naturally. Both <strong>Thomas Arasi</strong>,<strong> </strong>CEO and President of Solaire, and <strong>Mike Kim</strong>, promoter of the event, agree wholeheartedly on that matter.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">WPT events have evolved into spectacles over the years and they represent an enjoyable experience for players and fans alike. With recognizable faces like <strong>Matt Savage </strong>and <strong>Mike Sexton</strong>, together with the beautiful <strong>Royal Flush Girls</strong>, WPT stops do not only attract professional players but also many amateurs who come for the whole experience.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tourney buy-ins start at $100 and include the $2,200 Main Event</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Main Event is scheduled for October 25<sup>th</sup> and features a buy-in of $2,200. Organizers expect to attract anywhere between 600–800 players. That said, events in Asia have provided some surprisingly big turnouts in the recent past, so the projected field might be a bit on the conservative side. Apart from the Main Event, there is also a $25,000 High Roller on the schedule, as well as numerous other smaller buy-in tournaments ranging from $100 - $1,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although the games offered will be restricted to No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha, there is still plenty of variation with tournaments such as the <strong>Celebrity Event </strong>or <strong>Head Hunter</strong>. Local players in the Philippines are naturally very excited about the WPT's decision to make a tour stop in the "Pearl of the Orient Seas."</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A full schedule of the events, including starting times and buy-ins, can be found at the <a href="">WPT website</a>.</p> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 20:02:43 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3130 NJ Gov. Christie Schedules Summit on AC's Future <p>With July revenue down 6.6% and three casinos preparing to close up shop by mid-September,<strong> New Jersey Governor Chris Christie</strong> has called for a meeting of minds to discuss the future of <strong>Atlantic City</strong>.</p> <p>Policymakers from city, county and state levels of government are expected to attend the summit scheduled by Christie for Sept. 8. Also invited to the roundtable discussion are casino industry executives and labor representatives.</p> <p>The latter are concerned that about 6,000 casino employees will soon be hitting the pavement in hopes of landing new positions following the scheduled closings of Trump Plaza, Revel and the Showboat casinos. While buyers for all three gaming establishments are still being sought, each has set a closing date that will reduce the number of operating casinos in the state to eight by Sept. 16.</p> <p><blockquote>There is no doubt that Atlantic City faces real challenges as the city undergoes revitalization, which is why this summit of key policymakers, local leaders and stakeholders is needed to be an active part of the conversation as to how we can best address these issues that have a broader impact on the broader region and our state as a whole,” Christie told the Press of Atlantic City.</blockquote></p> <p><strong>Casino expansion on East Coast to blame</strong></p> <p>Atlantic City's financial problems are blamed mostly on casino expansion in neighboring states. Last year, Pennsylvania and its 12 casinos knocked New Jersey from its long-held no. 2 position in gaming revenue among the 50 states. The Keystone State now trails only no. 1 Nevada.</p> <p>With more casino expansion in the works in nearby New York, the situation may get worse. Which is why Christie has scheduled a sit-down in order to get a better hold on the direction to be taken in Atlantic City.</p> <p>The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released revenue figures for July that found the state's 11 casinos to be off last year's pace by 6.6%. The casinos set to be shuttered showed even larger declines as Revel (36%), Trump Plaza (34%) and Showboat (19%) all posted significant decreases.</p> <p><strong>Positive news from some casinos and online gambling</strong></p> <p>The dark cloud hovering over Atlantic City does have a silver lining for those who seek to find it. Positivity comes from the fact that revenue was up substantially at Golden Nugget (40%) and Tropicana (34%) when compared to 2013 revenue totals.</p> <p>Another bright spot was online gambling revenue that increased to over $10 million in July from about $9.5 million the month before. <a href="">Internet poker and gambling was enacted and launched in New Jersey</a> partly to offset poor land-based gaming revenue numbers in recent years and in that regard has been a success.</p> <p>September's summit will likely be followed by suggestions from the New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment Advisory Commission on how best to proceed to improve the situation in Atlantic City and the state in general. One option may be to locate casinos in the state's northern end to attract residents who may be crossing the border to gamble in competing states.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 16:10:10 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3129 Sponsored Poker Pros: Do You Know The Metrics? <p>Is your job safe?</p> <p>When I worked in the railway I used to think it was. I was told that it was a job for life and the terms and conditions I inherited made it extremely difficult for the company to get rid of me.</p> <p>But ultimately, I had no control.</p> <p>It took me a long time to figure that out, and when I did, I left, and created my own business. Now it’s up to me. My hard work, intelligence and luck will bring me the work that I need. Any dips in the levels of those three could result in destitution, but I know what is needed to survive. I understand what my clients need and I produce.</p> <p>Do sponsored poker players understand their clients? Do they know what to produce?</p> <p>That question has bothered me for a long time, and the itch has started to develop once more, after the news this week that both the PokerStars Latin American Team and Ultimate Poker have cut their rosters by half.</p> <p>The South American trio of Jose ‘Nacho’ Barbero, Angel Guillen and Humberto Brenes will not be having their contracts renewed by PokerStars, and their Regional Manager has been brave enough to give us the real reason why.</p> <p>During an interview with CardPlayer Latin America, PokerStars Regional Manager Juan Carreno said that the ties were severed because of budget cuts. It seems Stars are no longer able/willing to support multiple Team Pros in Argentina and Mexico.</p> <p>But why?</p> <p>It must boil down to the metrics. I am sure if Barbero and Guillen were hitting their metrics then Stars could afford to have multiple Team Pros in those particular countries.</p> <p>I reached out to PokerStars to ask how they measured the success criteria of their Team Pros, but they were reluctant to provide me with that information. So, I have licked my finger, raised it into the air and this is what I think.</p> <p>It has to be player numbers.</p> <p>If I am paying good money for a sponsored pro then I want to know that my money is being well spent. The only way that you can do this is to track player numbers in the region that the pro has been hired to represent.</p> <p>Taking Argentina as an example, you would imagine that Barbero and Leo Fernandez would be given the task of working their magic to ensure player retention is ‘x’ and player growth is ‘y.’</p> <p>Otherwise what’s the point in hiring them?</p> <p>As far as I can tell, and I am no business mastermind, the revenue comes from the players. The more players who join the site, and play, the more revenue the site makes.</p> <p>I’m not sure when Fernandez’s contract expires, but I will be amazed if it’s renewed, because the Team Pro magic has lost some of its sparkle in the land of great beef, sexy senioritas' and hands of God.</p> <p>I also wonder if the budgets for Team Pros are regionalized or centralized? I would bet a night with my wife that Rafael Nadal is getting paid a small fortune for his affiliation with PokerStars.</p> <p>Were the South American triumvirate axed to generate more income to keep paying Nadal?</p> <p>And what are Nadal’s metrics?</p> <p>How does PokerStars know if their affiliation with one of the greatest sportsmen in the world brings more players to the table? Everyone knows that you cannot manage what you cannot measure.</p> <p>It wouldn’t surprise me if the signing of Nadal runs at a huge loss. Think about it. Within poker circles the signing was huge. But outside of poker? I just had dinner with an old friend and he had no idea that people played poker for a living.</p> <p>Does Nadal have the PokerStars label on his pearly whites when he graces the Center Court at Wimbledon? Is the Red Spade sewn into his rackets? Does he mention them during his press conferences? Do the mainstream press even know that a poker company sponsors him?</p> <p>No, no, no and no.</p> <p>It’s the same with Luis Suarez.</p> <p>When he signed for <a href=";"></a> it was big news, but there was no way on earth that the Liverpool Press Team was ever going to allow their star cannibal to talk about his affiliation with an online gambling company.</p> <p>It just wasn’t going to happen.</p> <p>When the Uruguayan tripped and accidentally bit that Italian defender with the really difficult name to type, got very lucky. That dent in the shoulder saved them a fortune.</p> <p>I remember when IveyPoker was born and they started hiring pros left, right and center. The excitement from the team could be heard in Gavin Smith’s home in Alaska.</p> <p>Then they realized there was no money.</p> <p>They wore the patch that was mailed to them, went to their ATM and withdrew the buy-in before sitting at the game. As it turned out, the only way to get paid was to make training videos.</p> <p>What!</p> <p>That’s work!</p> <p>Check out the site and compare the number of videos against the number of pros and you will see the hard workers and the lazy shirkers.</p> <p>Des Duffy, Director at BetClic Everest Group, told me that he would want a player to be hungry enough to represent his brand for free, before considering hiring her/him as an ambassador.</p> <p>This reminded me of the early days of Roberto Romanello when he was so desperate to be affiliated with Full Tilt Poker (FTP) that he would have gladly wore their patch for free. It was the site where he learned to play poker and it was his dream to represent them.</p> <p>Back in those days Romanello would put a lot of time and effort into getting sponsored by FTP, and I don’t mean playing good poker. I’m talking about working hard at creating relationships with the people that matter, and making a good impression.</p> <p>Speaking to James Sudworth, who was one of the earliest members of Team PKR, he had this to say about sponsorship, <em>“I was already representing the brand before being sponsored as I loved the site. I see so many players getting sponsored by sites they have had nothing to do with before the sponsorship deal. To be an ambassador for a site, you really have to love the site and everything it stands for.”</em></p> <p>This reminds me of the relationship that I saw develop between Scott Baumstein and PartyPoker. When Baumstein traveled to the European WPT events he built up great relationships within the WPT/Party fraternity. He was always available to get involved in videos, and then got into the commentary booth.</p> <p>Baumstein wasn’t getting paid for his time. He did it because he enjoyed it, and he had a longer-term view; one that was realized when PartyPoker signed him up as a Team Pro when they joined the New Jersey party.</p> <p>I like that approach.</p> <p>But that’s not to say that people can’t join a site they have no affiliation with, and not work hard to promote them (I am thinking Sam Trickett and Everest here as a successful example).</p> <p>The times of ‘just wearing a patch’ are long gone.</p> <p>Sponsored players have a role to play in making the organization a success, and one suspects from the recent changes at Ultimate Poker (UP), and PokerStars, that in some cases this isn’t happening.</p> <p>Sponsorship isn’t for everyone though. Although I guess this has much to do with earnings than anything else. I can’t imagine a grinder who is up and down like a yo-yo refusing a deal, whereas someone who has other successful business outlets can afford to be pickier.</p> <p>Towing the corporate line can be boooooring. This is particularly difficult if you don’t love the site and have the same values (going back to Sudworth’s point). Selling a lie can sometimes feel like selling your soul to the devil and this can be a bitter pill for some people to swallow.</p> <p>I wonder if <a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche"></a> are watching all the departures with interest. They have stood solid in their opinion that an ambassador is not needed, but there has been a lot of recent press suggesting they may break the mold and sign up Greg Merson.</p> <p>Once again it all depends on the numbers. Can Merson make a difference, and attract more players, or will he be just another great poker player wearing a patch?</p> <p>That depends on whether the will track the numbers?</p> <p>Perhaps, it’s just too complicated.</p> <p>When Victoria Coren won her second EPT title she was splashed over every major newspaper in the UK, but does that really matter unless thousands of UK players opened online accounts? And how do you track that kind of information?</p> <p>Perhaps, like me, they just lick their finger, stick it in the air and hope for the best?</p> <p> </p> <p>Go to our <a href="">US poker sites</a> page for a detailed overview of legal online poker operators in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware</p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:40:42 +0000 Lee Davy 3128 Phil Ivey's Accomplice in Edge Sorting Case Sues Foxwoods <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">I</span>t has been some time since any new developments have emerged in Borgata's lawsuit accusing <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> of cheating the casino out of nearly $10 million. That lawsuit mentions that Ivey and his partner, <strong>Cheng Yin Sun</strong>, used a technique known as edge sorting to give them an unnatural advantage in the game.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">According to recent information published by <strong>The Day Connecticut</strong>, Sun, together with <strong>Long Mei Fang </strong>and <strong>Zong Yang</strong>, have filed a case against <strong>Foxwoods Resort Casino</strong>, claiming that the casino owes them more than $1.1 million that they won playing mini baccarat in 2011, as well as $1.6 million that they deposited with the casino as collateral.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In total, the plaintiffs are requesting more than $3 million in damages. That sum includes $100,000 per plaintiff for violation of their civil rights, as well as punitive damages and interest. The trio admit to having employed <em>edge sorting</em> practices when they played in December of 2011, but they also claim that such a technique is not illegal in Connecticut.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>Basically, edge-sorting is possible because some brands of playing cards are not cut symmetrically across their backs and some players are gifted with eyesight keen enough to tell the difference," the lawsuit stated. <cite>The Day Connecticut</cite></blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As explained in previous articles regarding the lawsuits involving Ivey, players aware of small imperfections on the back of playing cards can use such knowledge to their advantage and gain a mathematical edge in a game in which the casino has the upper hand.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Asian plaintiffs claim that they were not trying to disguise the fact that they were edge sorting, as they openly asked the dealers to turn certain cards around. The trio stated that if Foxwoods was aware of this, the casino was committing fraud due to the intent of keeping any money that the players might have won.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Mashantucket gaming commission’s Inspection Division ruled against the three in February 2012 and doled out a warning that a return to the Foxwoods would result in arrest. Now, represented by <strong>Sebastian DeSantis</strong>, a new lawsuit has been filed.</p> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 19:51:34 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3127 Online Poker Regulation Successful in Protecting Consumers <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>ne of Sheldon Adelson's chief complaints against the legalization of online poker and gambling is his belief that consumers cannot be protected. His distorted stance follows a line of thinking that claims that the proliferation of online gambling regulation will allow the Internet to become a gigantic casino in which gambling among minors and problem gamblers would be rampant and out of control.</p> <p><em>"Click your mouse and lose your house"</em> was a clever phrase devised by Adelson's<strong> Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong>. While points should be given to the anti-online gambling coalition in the area of promoting its cause in rhyming rap fashion, the facts of the matter point to the realization that online poker regulation successfully protects consumers and no houses have been lost.</p> <p><strong>Regulatory success accomplished</strong> <strong>despite revenue totals</strong></p> <p><strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> executive director John Pappas made mention of that fact in an op-ed piece<a href=""> recently published in</a>. The PPA honcho took pen to paper (or keyboard to monitor) and pointed out rather succinctly that legalized online poker in the U.S. has achieved <em>"tremendous regulatory success"</em> despite the efforts of Adelson and others to thwart its progress.</p> <p>Pappas correctly stated that the media seem to zero in on the revenue totals derived from the three states that have launched online poker and gambling, and in so doing have perhaps failed to emphasize that regulation is accomplishing the huge goal of protecting consumers. Despite what Adelson wants the public to believe, there have been no reported incidents of underaged gamblers running amok online with Daddy's credit card.</p> <p>With regard to online poker revenue and the somewhat disappointing numbers realized thus far, it should be stressed that regulation in the U.S. is still in its infancy and real revenue success likely won't be realized until more states climb aboard and offer online poker under an interstate format. It can certainly be argued that the three states operating regulated Internet poker at present are actually doing quite well considering that their respective ipoker schemes have been restricted to players within the boundaries of each state.</p> <p><strong>Regulation in U.S. expected to spread in future</strong></p> <p>Regulated Internet poker in the U.S. will most likely look quite different a few years from now than it does today. Other states are paying close attention to the regulatory success found in the regimes of <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong>. Pappas mentions <strong>Iowa</strong>, <strong>Hawaii</strong>, <strong>Illinois</strong>, <strong>Colorado</strong> and <strong>Massachusetts</strong>, in addition to the frontrunners of <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> and <strong>California</strong>. After a few more states join the online poker party, even more are expected to approach the matter of legalization a bit more seriously.</p> <p>The success established by the three states that have broken ground and paved the way for regulated online poker to flourish should be commended. Those states are going through the growing pains that others may avoid down the road. Perhaps, as Pappas suggests, more mention should be made of the success in regulation established in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware thus far, instead of focusing on revenue totals. Those revenue numbers are expected to get better as time moves on.</p> <p> </p> <p>Until Online Poker is Legalised throughout all US states you can play in New Jersesy today! -<a href=";"> Get $10 FREE no deposit needed</a> + <a href=";">Up to $888 Welcome Bonus</a> at 888 Poker</p> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:04:25 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3126 Full Tilt Falls to 7th in Player Traffic <p><strong>Full Tilt Poker</strong> has dropped another notch in the cash player traffic rankings, landing in 7th place among online poker rooms and networks throughout the industry.</p> <p>The fall to seventh place worldwide follows a one-notch drop the previous week, according to figures compiled by PokerScout. Full Tilt now averages 1,400 ring game players, trailing the estimated 1,450 of 6th place <strong>Bodog/Bovada</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Jackpot Sit &amp; Gos the likely cause</strong></p> <p>It appears that loyal Full Tilt players continue to find their way to the site's Jackpot Sit &amp; Go tables where a massive $100,000 prize pool was split by three Australians a little more than one week ago. The new jackpot game kicked off in late June with buy-ins between $1-$10, but a $50 buy-in was added recently that has likely led to increased participation among Full Tilt faithful who normally play ring games.</p> <p>Jackpot-style sit &amp; gos, in which prize pools in hyper-turbo, three-player games are randomly increased, was created by <strong></strong> and later copied by other sites. Full Tilt's version offers prize pools as high as 2,000 times a single buy-in three of every 100,000 games hosted. The offerings at other sites cap the max payout at 1,000x.</p> <p>The game has apparently found a following despite the fact that the prize pool among three players will only be equal to the buy-in of two players in more than 71,000 of every 100,000 games hosted. In other words, those players who buy-in with hopes of being randomly selected to play for an increased prize pool will be disappointed more than 70% of the time.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:00:36 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3125 Revel Casino to Close Sept. 10 <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>lthough a number of bids to purchase the <strong>Revel Casino</strong> had been received by the Aug. 4 deadline, the latest reports from Atlantic City indicate that the casino will close on Sept. 10 as none of those bids have been deemed acceptable.</p> <p>The promise of a new buyer for the struggling casino heightened last week when a scheduled auction was postponed so that the bids received could be evaluated further. That extended analysis has not found a qualified bidder, the Press of Atlantic City reported.</p> <p>The Revel announced earlier this year that a September shutdown was looming if a buyer failed to emerge through bankruptcy proceedings. Those plans have now been put in motion, leaving the two-year-old casino with just one more month to accept wagers from gamblers.</p> <p><blockquote>While we continue to hope for a sale of Revel, in some form, through the pending bankruptcy process, Revel cannot avoid an orderly wind down of the business at this time," said a company statement.</blockquote></p> <p>A five-year Atlantic City revitalization plan was implemented in 2011 and the Revel opened to considerable fanfare in spring the following year. That plan is not making any progress considering that shutdowns of both the Trump Plaza and Showboat casinos are also scheduled within the next five weeks.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:55:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3124 Pennsylvania Takes Lead in 2015 Internet Poker Race <p>While <strong>California</strong> and <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> appear to be the most serious states with regard to enacting online poker legislation, the recent announcement that lawmakers in the Golden State have pulled ipoker bills from consideration for 2014 changes the odds somewhat on who will be next in line to join <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong>.</p> <p>Both states made considerable progress this year toward the legalization of online poker and some felt that California had a slight edge considering several years of attempts and a feel-good online gambling hearing that had many believing that passage of a bill was imminent. Pennsylvania held a hearing of their own earlier this year that also showcased the advantages of regulation, which was preceded by the release of a study that found revenue at land-based casinos would not be cannibalized by legalized Internet play.</p> <p>With two bills pending in California prior to the start of last week and the legislative session set to conclude at the end of August, California held better cards with regard to the chances of ipoker regulation being approved in 2014. Those cards were mucked toward the end of last week, putting Pennsylvania in the lead and a slight favorite in becoming state no. 4 in the online poker parade.</p> <p><strong>Issues remain in California</strong></p> <p>California must still sort out the same issues that have dogged it for some time, namely, who gets to be a player in the ipoker scheme and who does not. Tribes within the state and their insistence on keeping certain parties out - <strong>PokerStars</strong> and racetracks - continues to stymie progress and pushes possible passage of a bill to each subsequent new year as a result.</p> <p>On the bright side, PokerStars has become a better actor with the sale of <strong>Rational Group</strong> to <strong>Amaya</strong>. California's powerful tribes would still like to keep PokerStars from getting a starring role in any ipoker scheme, but may likely be forced to acquiesce or continue to be denied the huge amount of revenue that the nation's most populous state is expected to reap from Internet poker.</p> <p>Horse racing interests, too, would like a piece of the online poker pie and their continued exclusion will likely keep any <a href="">ipoker bill in California</a> from reaching the finish line. Again, the tribes may need to re-think their position and be less steadfast in their resolve.</p> <p><strong>Pennsylvania's main problem named Adelson</strong></p> <p>Pennsylvania does not face the same sort of problems and for that reason the Keystone State gets the nod as the state with the greatest chance of being next to pass ipoker legislation in 2015. Perhaps the most serious hurdle in Pennsylvania is the fact that Sheldon Adelson's Bethlehem Sands is located there.</p> <p>The founder of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling remains a force to be reckoned with and his voice will certainly be heard in Pennsylvania due to his money and clout. But the state's other casinos appear ready to move forward with <a href="">Pennsylvania online poker</a> regulation and may do so in 2015.</p> <p>A new Internet poker proposal will reportedly be introduced in California in December. Should that bill happen to incorporate some of the compromises needed with regard to more inclusion than exclusion among the state's gaming interests, then California can regain the lead as best bet for state no. 4.</p> <p>Until that happens, it appears that Pennsylvania has the lead and may be next to allow its citizens to be afforded the safeguards and protections that come with playing regulated online poker. But hope still remains that California won't be far behind in doing the same.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:21:49 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3123 Daniel 'jungleman12' Cates Hits $10 Million Mark on Full Tilt <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">P</span>eople may say (and some do) different things about <strong>Daniel 'jungleman12' Cates</strong> concerning his antics at the table or social skills, but there is one thing that cannot be realistically disputed – Cates is very good at playing poker, and that is the only important thing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Cates' most recent achievement confirms this completely. After enjoying a very successful week on the high stakes tables at Full Tilt, ‘jungleman’ reached <strong>$10 million</strong> in profits at PokerStars' sister site.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Marathon playing session</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A big chunk of last week’s winnings came from No-Limit Hold’em heads-up encounters with a player known as <strong>‘Denoking.’</strong> Cates managed to come out some $600,000 richer, mostly at Denoking's expense.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But that alone was still not enough to take him over the $10,000,000 threshold. That sum was reached during Saturday’s <em>session</em> that saw Cates play for 26 hours straight with only one short break, according to HighstakesDB. When all was said and done, his profit for the day capped at $677,000, although he lost some of that later during the night.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Cates' new milestone confirmed that when it comes to online high stakes games, very few out there can measure up. Although he sits down with all the regulars, ‘Jungleman’ manages to constantly come out ahead and that tells a lot about his qualities as a player.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Profits near $2.7 million in 2014</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This year alone, HighstakesDB has him up just shy of <strong>$2.7 million</strong> over the course of 66,000 hands. It seems Cates only plays when he decides the time is right and so far that has worked out really well for him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">History shows that Cates has played nearly 367K hands and apart from long periods of inactivity demonstrated by a flat line, his graph shows predominantly an upward trend. As of this moment, Cates is credited with <strong>$10.07 million</strong> in Full Tilt cash game winnings. If the past is any indication, that number will only continue to grow as his number of hands played increases.</p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 18:32:30 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3122 PokerStars Video Provides a Behind the Scenes Look <p>Almost 15 years old and boasting well over 100 billion hands dealt, PokerStars is undoubtedly far and away the world leader when it comes to online poker rooms.</p> <p>Synonymous with excellence – and perhaps even with the term “online poker” itself – there’s still quite a bit about the company that’s shrouded in secrecy. Indeed, as much as people may be aware of the PokerStars brand name, the company has legendarily guarded what goes on behind the closed doors of its Isle of Man fortress headquarters.</p> <p>The video, which is embedded below, features two of the company’s most prominent figureheads, Head of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser and Head of Poker Communications Lee Jones, as well as a number of other employees. Approximately five minutes in length, we’re also treated to a mini-tour of their on-site server farm (they’ve got over 800 of them!), led by none other than the company’s Director of IT Operations. He even provides a description of how their top-secret Random Number Generator works!</p> <p>While the more cynical among us poker fans might’ve thought such a video would be produced using avatars and computer software, in effect it’s a refreshing, open look at a company that showcases, pretty much for the first time, the real faces working behind the scenes.</p> <p><strong>Going Public… Sort of…</strong></p> <p>Founded by the Scheinberg family, PokerStars had long been a privately held entity. Recently, its parent company, Rational Group, was acquired by the publicly-traded Amaya Gaming Group in a $4.9 billion megadeal. As such, one can’t help but make note of the interesting timing of this video release.</p> <p>Beyond the snapshot facilities tour, we also bear witness to the testimonies of those employees responsible for handling cases of fraud as well as player funds. Clearly, their efforts have borne fruit as, from the looks of things, they run one hell of a tight ship.</p> <p>It’s no secret that the company wishes to be a part of the newly emerging legal online poker landscape in the United States, from which it is currently shut out. To do so, it would need to make the strongest possible case about being a “good actor” to legislative authorities in the individual states that currently allow online poker, namely Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. Perhaps they had this in mind when making the decision to produce and subsequently release the fascinating video, which details (as much as possible) the security measures they’ve got in place.</p> <p><strong>Overall Impression</strong></p> <p>I definitely came away from the video with a positive impression. As should be expected, the video itself is impeccably produced. The overall message it’s sending is clearly one of “you can trust us.” Over and over again the personalities starring in the video stress themes of:</p> <p>· Excellent customer service</p> <p>· The importance of communicating with players</p> <p>· Transparency about their product</p> <p>Though there’s an obvious bias to the video’s message (it WAS produced by the company it’s meant to serve after all), it’s hard to argue against its effectiveness.</p> <p>Bottom line, PokerStars has done a great job lifting the veil of its operations and giving people more of a look at what goes on behind-the-scenes. This holds true regardless of whether their target audience in the video is the same as their player base or, alternatively, U.S. state regulators.</p> <p> </p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:00:24 +0000 Robbie Strazynski 3120 Connor Drinan Bad Beat Reveals Public's Ignorance Toward Poker <p>Many poker players are aware of the horrendous bad beat suffered by <strong>Connor Drinan</strong> during the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop when his #ad#ac lost to the flush of <strong>Cary Katz</strong>, who was holding #ah#as.</p> <p>The hand was shown on television during an ESPN broadcast of the tournament. A video of the sick bad beat was also uploaded to YouTube on July 29 and has gone completely viral with more than<em> 6.4 million</em> views as of this writing. For those who have yet to see it, <a href="">click here</a> for an entertaining three minutes and 49 seconds.</p> <p><strong>Poker misunderstood by public</strong></p> <p>While poker generally takes a backseat to other sports in terms of popularity and recognition worldwide, the massive amount of viewers does show that people are paying attention to poker. But a brief scan of the comments section in response to the video reveals that there remains a lack of education among the masses regarding the game of poker.</p> <p>A poster identified as 'POCKIEtime' wondered, <em>"wait...who won? lol im dumb. i dont play poker that much but who lost 1 million? the guys with the hat or the shades???"</em></p> <p>Also requesting clarification was 'chase morley,' who asked fellow YouTubers, <em>"what does chop mean? when the guy at the end told him do you still want to chop and he said not anymore."</em></p> <p>'Bill Meador' attempted to answer the question of 'chase morley,' but completely missed the mark. <em>"In a cash game, there are options to split the pot if everyone still in the hand agrees to it. It is not allowed in a tournament,"</em> he wrongly stated.</p> <p>You get the main idea. Similar comments go on and on, with many centered around the belief that poker is a game of luck and not skill. They point to Drinan's bad beat as proof that luck will win out. A sampling:</p> <p><blockquote>While I don't mind watching people play poker I wish people would stop calling it a sport or saying it takes skill," posted 'Blake Belladonna.' "It's a luck-based card game which is entertaining and interesting to watch but it is NOT a skill based sport because all the training in the world can't save you from shit luck!"</blockquote></p> <p><strong>Many lawmakers also don't understand</strong></p> <p>While such a video does wonders to promote the game of poker, it remains questionable whether it actually does more harm than good with regard to proposed legislation. Unfortunately, a lot of lawmakers seem to also be unfamiliar with the nuances of the game just like the commenters who watched the video. Many hold the erroneous belief that the amount of skill involved is minimal, if any is involved at all.</p> <p>They will view the Drinan bad beat video and have no clue as to the analysis of risk and reward required by players on every single hand. They won't grasp the fact that a hand's value must be assessed and compared to the size of the pot, in addition to having a read on the tendencies or play of one's opponents.</p> <p>Instead, they will merely point to a hand like the bad beat experienced by Drinan and assume that poker should be lumped in with the other games of chance offered in casinos. While strides have been made in educating the public about the skill required in poker thanks to a number of rulings by judges admitting as much, there is still a long way to go as the game remains misunderstood by many.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 18:57:56 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3118 California Eyes 2015 for Online Poker Regulation <p><span class="letter-big">G</span>aming interests in California have come to grips with the fact that the legalization of online poker will not become a reality in 2014 and have set their sights on next year.</p> <p>Following the announcement by Sen. Lou Correa mid-week that he was pulling <strong>SB 1366</strong> from consideration due to the lack of time remaining in the current legislative session, Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer told PokerNews later in the week that his <strong>AB 2291</strong> has also landed in the muck for 2014. Both pending bills are now dead and attempts at legislation will move to a sixth year - 2015.</p> <p><strong>New bill to be introduced in December</strong></p> <p>On a bright note, plans are apparently already in the works for a new bill by Jones-Sawyer to be introduced in December. The issues holding up the advancement of ipoker legislation will be worked on from now until then and hopefully the new proposal will incorporate compromises that all interested parties can agree to and live with.</p> <p>No such bill will be coming from Correa's camp, as the Santa Ana senator will bow out of further attempts to push for Internet poker regulation due to the expiration of his final term in office. He can now join other lawmakers such as Sen. Rod Wright who have laid the initial groundwork for online poker legislation with repeated attempts at passage, but failed to find acceptance.</p> <p><strong>Eyes are on New Jersey and PokerStars</strong></p> <p>The goings-on in New Jersey with regard to PokerStars obtaining an online gambling license in that state under Amaya ownership may come into play in California to some extent. Without a doubt, interested parties in the Golden State will be watching closely the decision and ruling that is coming soon by New Jersey gaming regulators.</p> <p>That decision is expected to include rubber-stamped approval and PokerStars fully anticipates getting the OK in California as well. Its partnership with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Bicycle Casino, Hawaiian Gardens Casino, and Commerce Club provides some powerful allies within the state whose collective voice will be heard before the outcome of Internet poker regulation is reached.</p> <p><blockquote>PokerStars has a great history with regulators and governments all over the world, and we look forward to working with lawmakers and regulators in California to help structure a market that provides robust competition and strong regulatory oversight," said Rational Group's Director of Strategy and Business Development Guy Templer following the announcement that California will have to try again for ipoker approval in 2015.</blockquote></p> <p><strong>Compromise needed for success in 2015</strong></p> <p>The inclusion of PokerStars in an ipoker scheme does not sit well with a consortium of California tribes that have joined forces in order to strengthen their already strong position. But with PokerStars now controlled by Amaya and with entry into the New Jersey market virtually guaranteed under that new ownership, perhaps the tribes will be more amenable to compromise so that <a href="">online poker can be approved and launched in California in 2015</a>.</p> <p>Relaxing their position on excluding horse racing interests may also be required on the part of the tribes. Any bill that keeps horsemen out is likely to delay progress, as the racetracks have vowed to be part of any online poker scheme and are prepared to state their case in a legal forum if need be.</p> <p>The coalition headed by the Morongo Tribe issued their take on the previous two ipoker bills that are no longer pending, saying that the proposals <em>"sought to unconstitutionally limit competition, place prohibitions on race tracks, and rewrite longstanding, successful state policy regarding California's oversight of gaming."</em></p> <p>The state's gaming interests now have five months in which to resolve those issues before a new bill is proposed. Let's hope that compromise is the order of the day and that a satisfactory solution can be found so that the nation's largest state can launch regulated online poker in 2015.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 09 Aug 2014 23:22:06 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3117 Latvia's Gambling Blacklist Bans PokerStars and Full Tilt <p style="text-align: justify;">Latvian authorities have published a list of illegal gambling sites for their country. Compiled by the Latvia Lotteries and Gambling Supervision Inspection, the infamous <strong>blacklist</strong> encompasses 44 sites that will no longer be able to offer their services in the Baltic country.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Numerous well-known sites have found their names on the list, including <strong>PokerStars </strong>and <strong>Full Tilt. </strong>Some other highly recognizable names in the industry that have been blacklisted are <strong>PartyPoker, 888, Unibet </strong>and <strong>William Hill.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>An Issue of Control</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The decision came about as the result of Latvian authorities’ efforts to get better control over online gambling. It will, in all likelihood, have severe consequences for Latvian players and will make it impossible for them to access and/or deposit on the biggest poker and gambling sites in the world.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><blockquote>On the base of Section 65 of Credit institutions Law and Section 44.2 Payment services and electronic money Law, financial transactions to and from illegal online gambling operators are prohibited from August 1, 2014.</blockquote></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Based on this paragraph from the official note on the Inspection pages, any transactions involving blacklisted operators are being outlawed. Without the possibility of transacting money, players will be prevented from using the sites. Furthermore, Internet providers have an obligation to block access to the aforementioned sites.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Protecting or Harming Players?</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although the decision was reached with the goal of customer protection and better regulation in mind, many see it as restrictive and a huge setback. What comes next is that certain rooms will probably try to comply with Latvian regulations and obtain operating licenses if they see it as a worthwhile investment. However, due to complicated laws regarding regulation, this might not be an option even for the giants like PokerStars and their sister site, Full Tilt.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">From the players’ perspective, this is certainly another sad day for online poker.</p> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 20:06:13 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3116 Full Tilt Remission Filing Deadline Set for Sept. 3 <p>The claims administrator in the Full Tilt remission process, Garden City Group (GCG), has announced that Sept. 3, 2014 will be the last day for all petitioners, <em>"including Affiliates and Pros,"</em> to file a claim.</p> <p>A notice posted on the website dedicated toward reuniting former U.S. Full Tilt players with their account balances informs that after the 3rd of September,<em> "the filing portion of this website will no longer be available and Petitions will no longer be accepted."</em> The latest posting is dated today and comes just <a href="">four days following a post</a> announcing that all Full Tilt pros, except for <em>"Team Full Tilt Players,"</em> are eligible to file Petitions for Remission.</p> <p>Those pros found to be eligible are the last batch to file claims and must follow instructions sent in a notice from GCG. All U.S. players with outstanding account balances on FTP have now been afforded ample time to submit Petitions for Remission during a filing period that began Sept. 16, 2003 and will have lasted almost one full year when the deadline arrives next month.</p> <p><strong>$95 Million Paid and More on the Way</strong></p> <p>To date, about 33,000 U.S. players have received roughly $95 million in funds that were tied up for almost three years until payments began landing in bank accounts of petitioners in February. The payments were dispensed in rounds and there appears to be one, possibly two, rounds of payment yet to come.</p> <p>Still waiting for their cash in addition to the pros who have until Sept. 3 to file are players whose account balances and petitions do not jibe with the balance on record with the DoJ and GCG. Whether the disputed balance crowd and the pros will be reimbursed together or separately has yet to be announced.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 19:53:26 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3115 Multiple Bids Received for Revel Casino <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>tlantic City's floundering gaming industry has renewed hope after several potential suitors have submitted bids to acquire the Revel Casino Hotel.</p> <p>A bankruptcy auction that was due to take place yesterday, Aug. 7, has been put off until Aug. 14 so that the bids received could be evaluated and analyzed to a greater extent. Confidentiality agreements have caused the number and identities of bidders to be shrouded in secrecy, but Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian told last month that a half-dozen potential buyers have stepped up.</p> <p>All bids for the casino were due on Aug. 4. Had none been submitted, Revel owners suggested that no options remained other than closing.</p> <p><strong>Hope for Showboat and Trump Plaza too</strong></p> <p>That shutdown threat mirrored announcements earlier this year that the Showboat Casino would close its doors on Aug. 31, followed by Trump Plaza on Sept. 16. While prospects for the Revel's revival have arrived, lawmakers and employees of the pair of casinos already scheduled to close are holding out hope that the Trump and Showboat can stay open as well.</p> <p><strong>Sen. Jim Whelan</strong> and fellow lawmakers have asked gaming regulators to delay closing the two casinos until buyers are located. Employees affected by the announced closings have demonstrated on the Atlantic City boardwalk in an effort to call attention to their plight.</p> <p><strong>$2.4 Billion Invested in Revel</strong></p> <p>The Revel's grand opening in 2012 was much-ballyhooed after an investment of $2.4 billion was spent to open its doors to gamblers. The casino's staying power has been less than grand, with two bankruptcy filings on its resume in as many years. The bids received are likely but a fraction of the initial investment.</p> <p>The largest bid offered may not be the leading candidate, as a number of considerations will likely be debated in choosing a new owner. The ability to gain license approval from state gaming regulators, among other factors, will also play a role.</p> <p>A plan to revitalize Atlantic City that has seen revenue decreases eight years running was put in place in 2011 by <strong>Gov. Chris Christie</strong>. That plan was boosted when online poker and gambling was enacted and launched last year, but took a hit this year when the Atlantic Club closed and the three other casinos threatened to follow.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 16:15:20 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3114 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - August 7, 2014 <p>A<em> 3%</em> rise in cash game player traffic last week was welcome news for an industry that could use lots more of the same in the future.</p> <p>Unfortunately, good news continues to be hard to come by in <strong>California</strong> where one of two online poker bills was withdrawn from consideration. That leaves one ipoker bill pending in the Golden State, but the current legislative session ends Aug. 31 and the likelihood of the remaining proposal finding approval among lawmakers is quite slim.</p> <p>It appears that online poker players in California who crave regulation will have to make due with a refrain all too familiar to Chicago Cubs fans - Wait til next year.</p> <p><strong>Go Fast a Boon for Winamax</strong></p> <p>Waiting is not on the agenda for players at <strong></strong>, who have been fast-folding at a decent clip since the arrival of <em>"Go Fast."</em> PokerScout reported that <em>28%</em> of cash game action at the site on Sunday was on the fast-fold tables.</p> <p>The new offering may be party responsible for Winamax bolting into eighth place in worldwide player traffic after falling out of the top ten in last week's update. Let's see if Go Fast continues to attract Frenchmen (and women) and if Winamax can remain within the top ten for an extended period.</p> <p><strong>Full Tilt Falls but Gains at Jackpot Tables</strong></p> <p>In other movement among top ten poker rooms and networks, <strong>Full Tilt</strong> has again fallen to sixth place globally. There's a strong possibility that the decline in cash action at FTP is attributable to a number of players preferring the site's Jackpot Sit &amp; Go tables.</p> <p>I know of at least three Australians who are singing the praises of the FTP jackpot tables. 'FdotFloss,' 'SirSion' and 'gismoR1' recently split <em>$100,000</em> after each ponying up <em>$50</em> at Jackpot Sit &amp; Go. The entry fee option was increased to <em>$50</em> from between <em>$1-$10</em> just one day earlier due to popular demand.</p> <p>When word spread regarding the huge jackpot payout on Aug. 2, it's likely that players at FTP began heading to the lottery-style Sit &amp; Go tables in hopes of being the next big winners. Action at the cash tables has undoubtedly dropped as a result, but you will likely hear no complaints from the site's new owners,<strong> Amaya Inc</strong>.</p> <p><strong>New Jersey Market Awaits PokerStars</strong></p> <p>Amaya's purchase of <strong>Rational Group</strong> has been finalized well ahead of schedule and may allow <strong>PokerStars</strong> to enter the <strong>New Jersey</strong> market a bit quicker than originally anticipated. Once that happens and PokerStars launches legally in the U.S., player traffic is destined to boost as a result.</p> <p>Leading the regulated market in New Jersey is the<strong> Party Borgata Network</strong> once again. The previous update found <strong></strong> in a tie with Borgata, but Caesars' offering in New Jersey fell back to runner-up status after Party Borgata gained <em>7%</em> in player action last week.</p> <p>The overall online poker market continues to perform at levels below years past. Cash game action in early August of 2013 was <em>8%</em> better than it is now. It appears that 2014 numbers will continue to be lower than those from a year before. There is a strong likelihood that positive percentages will not be realized until online poker regulation is approved by a number of states within the U.S.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 17:04:13 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3112 California Online Poker Bill Shelved <p>Online poker regulation in <strong>California</strong> appears destined for failure this year after Senator Lou Correa made the decision to withdraw his online poker bill (SB 1366) from consideration for the remainder of the 2014 legislative session.</p> <p>The Los Angeles Times broke the news that Correa withdrew his little baby because he doesn’t believe there is enough time left to refine it in readiness for a vote. As a result, Californians will likely not be joining <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong> as the fourth state to incorporate a legalized iGaming framework this side of 2014.</p> <p>Correa is not only the author of one of two online poker bills to emerge within the state, but he also heads the Senate Governmental Organization Committee, who are responsible for giving these sorts of gambling measures the taste test.</p> <p><strong>Setback for Online Poker</strong></p> <p>The news is a major setback, not only in California, but also the entire poker community in general. This is Correa’s third bill in three years, so you can’t fault the man for trying, but it certainly sounds the death knell for a fourth state joining the online poker fray in 2014. That's a bitter disappointment after Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey emerged as the pioneers back in 2013.</p> <p>It seems the problem is one of democracy. Correa knows that in order for his bill to pass it has to be approved by all parties, and when you consider that California is bigger than most countries, and has the eighth largest economy in the world, there are a lot of people to please.</p> <p><strong>Sticking Points Remain</strong></p> <p>The two main sticking points seem to be gaining the approval of the Indian tribes as well as a general debate over the inclusion of a ‘Bad Actor’ clause in Correa’s legislation. California is home to 108 Indian tribes and 88 of them have gaming interests. Now that’s a lot of ducks to line up in a row.</p> <p>With SB 1366 back in the dusty draw, that leaves Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer Sr.’s AB 2291 as the one remaining hope. But it isn’t much of a hope as the bill hasn’t moved through the committee process and no hearing date has been set.</p> <p>That leaves Californian poker enthusiasts with only one glimmer of light if they want to play real money online poker this side of 2014. The Lipay Nation of Santa Ysabel declared their intention to move forward with their plans to introduce real money games on, irrespective of the beating hearts of SB 1366 and AB 2291. At the moment, the site is still only offering play money action.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:50:20 +0000 Lee Davy 3108 Nevada's Real Gaming Giving Away $100,000 <p><strong>Real Gaming</strong>, which entered the <a href=""><strong>online poker market in Nevada</strong></a> in mid-February under a soft launch, has quietly been running a promotion that will award <em>$100,000</em> to top players over the course of one year.</p> <p>The promo is entitled <em>"The Real 50"</em> and requires only a <em>$50</em> deposit. A total of <em>$7,000</em> will be doled out each month for 12 months, with the remaining <em>$16,000</em> earmarked for three top players in each of two stake levels in a competition lasting the entire 12 months.</p> <p>The top 50 players in both small stakes and medium stakes cash games are in line to cash in monthly, meaning that grinders who play at both of those stake levels can conceivably land within both leaderboards. Small stakes are anywhere from 10c/20c to 50c/$1, while medium stakes are defined as $1/$2 to $5/$10.</p> <p><strong>Loyalty Score to Determine Player of the Year</strong></p> <p>The competition is based on points accrued according to a Loyalty Score determined by a specific formula. Loyalty Score is calculated by considering the number of flops seen, hands played, and overall contribution to rake. Online grinders who multi-table for large amounts of time will benefit the most in The Real 50 competition.</p> <p>The year-long leaderboard race seeks to crown a Player of the Year in both the small stakes and medium stakes categories. Medium stakes winners can lay claim to <em>$10,000</em>, with payout splits set at as 50%, 30% and 20% for the top three finishers. A full <em>$6,000</em> is reserved for the three best small stakes players under the same distribution percentages.</p> <p>Other novel promos at Real Gaming include winning anywhere from <em>$5</em> to <em>$100</em> in cash for players who make the highest hand during select hours of the day. A <em>"Quadzilla"</em> promotion also awards from <em>$5</em> to <em>$50</em> to players that are dealt quads provided that minimum pot totals are reached.</p> <p><strong>Real Gaming Set to Grab Market Share</strong></p> <p>Real Gaming is aiming to establish itself in Nevada's online poker market but has a tough road to hoe considering that <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> and <strong></strong> got a lengthy head start. The newest player in the Silver State's ipoker scheme is leaning on its newly-developed software that requires no downloads or installation and was designed with an eye toward the mobile market.</p> <p>The online poker market in Nevada currently averages 165 cash players, down from the more than 200 who were logging on regularly while the WSOP was in town during June and part of July. Nevada players can likely land in-the-money in Real Gaming's monthly Real 50 competition with a minimum amount of effort considering the market's small size.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>If you're in Nevada you can make your first deposit with <a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche" target="_blank"></a> even better with 100% up to $400 welcome bonus</strong></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 18:33:53 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3107 2014 WSOP Raises Over $5 Million for One Drop <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>lthough professional poker may be dedicated toward large personal gains, the world's top pros have been known to be quite generous regarding charitable contributions and the money collected at the <strong>WSOP</strong> this year to benefit <strong>One Drop</strong> is no exception.</p> <p>The WSOP raised a total of $5.2 million over two tournaments for the One Drop foundation, with the USA's <strong>Daniel Colman</strong> winning the Big One for One Drop and Ukrainian <strong>Igor Dubinsky</strong> victorious in the Little One for One Drop. It was the third straight year that the WSOP and One Drop partnered to raise funds in order to provide clean drinking water in poor communities across the globe.</p> <p><strong>Setting New Benchmarks</strong></p> <p>Despite being in its third year of collaboration, the 2014 edition of One Drop and WSOP eclipsed many of the records set since 2012. This year, a total of $5,273,047 was raised from both One Drop events, making up a staggering 43% of the entire $12,205,089 donated since the two sides joined forces.</p> <p>The Big One for One Drop raised $4.6 million before another $500,000 was donated from the entry fees of the Little One for One Drop. Having broken all previous records, One Drop founder Guy Laliberté was quick to announce how successful the tournaments had been.</p> <p><strong>Winners Worldwide</strong></p> <p><blockquote>This year’s results are once again outstanding," Laliberté said. "We can really say that everyone has come out a winner, not just the players, but all the communities who will benefit from the generous amount raised."</blockquote></p> <p>Big One for One Drop winner Daniel Colman netted $15.3 million in prize money. Colman had an opportunity to further promote both poker and One Drop, but instead chose not to submit to interviews.</p> <p>Colman later made some disparaging remarks on social media about the game of poker, infuriating some who felt that the outspoken pro was, in a sense, biting the hand that fed him. Despite Colman's perhaps hypocritical views, One Drop prospered immensely this year.</p> <p>Igor Dubinsky earned $637,539 for winning the Little One for One Drop. It appears that the WSOP and One Drop will be a valuable partnership for years to come.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 16:08:35 +0000 Andrew Roach 3106 Donald Trump Disgraced by Trump Casinos in NJ <p>Donald Trump, billionaire real estate investor and star of reality TV, has filed a lawsuit in an effort to remove his personal brand from the two <strong>Atlantic City</strong> casinos that bear his name.</p> <p>Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal belong to Trump Entertainment, a company in which Donald Trump possesses only a 10% share. But his involvement allows the Trump name to be used for licensing purposes. The 68-year-old has asked a state judge to permit his name to be removed, citing the disrepair and lack of <em>"high standards"</em> attributed to the pair of casinos.</p> <p><blockquote>I want it off both of them," Trump told the Press of Atlantic City. "I've been away from Atlantic City for many years. People think we operate (the company), and we don't. It's not us. It's not me."</blockquote></p> <p><strong>Trump Plaza to Close Next Month</strong></p> <p>Trump Plaza is set to close on Sept. 16. Trump was apparently angered over that announcement and further infuriated that employees of the casino were duly notified of the shutdown as required by law, yet the same notification was never sent his way.</p> <p><blockquote>Not only does the issuance of these WARN notices further harm the Trump name and brand, but it also underscores the (company's) inability to remedy the appalling conditions that gave rise to the defaults under the licensing agreement in the first place," read the lawsuit.</blockquote></p> <p>The scheduled closing of Trump Plaza is in line to follow the same fate of the Showboat Casino on Aug. 31. The Revel Casino may soon turn away gamblers as well unless a buyer comes forward during a bankruptcy auction tomorrow, Aug. 7. The Atlantic Club closed Jan. 13.</p> <p><strong>Donald Trump Made for TV</strong></p> <p>Trump has been a well-recognized name for decades. The 68-year-old followed in his father's footsteps in building a real estate empire, eventually establishing a worth said to be in the billions.</p> <p>His success landed Trump several gigs on television, the star of <em>"The Apprentice"</em> and later <em>"The Celebrity Apprentice."</em> Trump made the catchphrase <em>"You're fired"</em> quite popular, as he eliminated contestants from the programs who were vying for a position within his companies.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 15:08:50 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3105 John Drikakis Claims HPT Title in Michigan <p style="text-align: justify;">The Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) may not be the most famous poker tour out there, but it has certainly gained a lot of exposure after signing the well-known and attractive poker pro <strong>Maria Ho </strong>as an expert commentator. Her presence has undoubtedly brought in numerous new followers and fans.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Just yesterday, one of the HPT events reached its culmination in Michigan when <strong>John Drikakis </strong>walked away $137,000 richer. Although a six-figure score is always impressive, even more impressive is the fact that Drikakis earned his seat from a $360 satellite and proceeded to top the field of 407 players. The victory was by far the biggest cash of his career. Drikakis landed at the final table in the same event last year, finishing in 6<sup>th</sup> place and pocketing $25,800.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Local Boys Compete Heads-Up</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The last obstacle standing between him and a six-figure payday was <strong>Anthony Mastraieni</strong>. Both players were competing on their home turf and Drikakis was able to best his opponent after turning a flush on the final hand and picking off Mastraieni's bluff. The runner-up still walked away $84,500 richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There were quite a few notable names in the field as well, the likes of <strong>Joe Cada, David Williams, Dutch Boyd </strong>and <strong>Allan Kessler. </strong>However, none of them made it all the way, and Cada and Boyd left empty-handed but still spared some time to offer live commentary from the booth.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Theodore Tober </strong>finished in third place, worth $55,400, which was a nice boost to his live tournament winnings of $6,500 prior to this event. Fourth place finisher <strong>Gus Vergos </strong>also booked his biggest live cash and earned $38,500, bringing his career total to $55,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>HPT Popular Among Non-Pros</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While the HPT may not be one of the poker tours everybody is talking about, the players seem to really enjoy playing these events. The tourneys offer a great chance for more casual players to hit a really big score for a small investment if they manage to go through qualifiers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Millard Hale </strong>and <strong>Nicholas Pupillo </strong>were probably the most famous players at the final table, both with six figures earned from live tournaments. The pair finished in 9<sup>th</sup> and 8<sup>th</sup> places, respectively. Pupillo even started the day second in chips, but the cards would not come his way and he was eventually eliminated by second place finisher Mastraieni.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">HPT is now headed for the <strong>Ameristar</strong> <strong>Casino Hotel</strong> in East Chicago, Indiana. Preliminary and qualifying events start on Thursday, August 7<sup>th</sup> and the Main Event, with the standard buy-in of $1,650, will see cards in the air a week later on August 14<sup>th</sup>.</p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 21:07:01 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3104 Full Tilt Pros Eligible for Remission <p><span class="letter-big">F</span>ormer U.S. <strong>Full Tilt</strong> players who had been labeled by the site as <em>"professionals"</em> are eligible to file Petitions for Remission and stake their claims to funds from FTP account balances that have been unpaid for almost 3 and 1/2 years.</p> <p>That announcement was made by the appointed claims administrator in the Full Tilt remission process, <strong>Garden City Group</strong> (GCG), on the official website. The latest update was posted yesterday and advised that pros, other than those who were part of Team Full Tilt, have been cleared by the<strong> DoJ</strong> to receive outstanding funds.</p> <p>Those eligible, according to the website, <em>"includes Red Pros, Friends of Full Tilt and other players."</em> Eligible players were sent notices yesterday that provide the information required to file a petition. Said petition must be received by Sept. 3, 2014.</p> <p><strong>Rakeback can be Included in Claim</strong></p> <p>The GCG also made a determination pertaining to rakeback, revealing that rakeback payments were deemed to not be in the same category as professional funding or affiliate payments. As such, rakeback is recoverable.</p> <p>If certain players happen to believe that FTP labeled rakeback incorrectly as an affiliate payment on their accounts,<em> "it is the player's responsibility to dispute the account balance and provide an explanation differentiating rakeback from Affiliate revenue."</em> The explanation may include anything from bank statements and screen shots to emails and written correspondence.</p> <p><strong>No Word Yet on Disputed Account Balances</strong></p> <p>Full Tilt pros who filed a claim previously but are part of the batch who were sent notices on August 4 must refile and follow the instructions on the notice received. Those pros who meet the criteria of eligibility will be able to obtain reimbursement <em>"that relates to poker transactions."</em></p> <p>Players who have disputed the account balances that the DoJ and GCG have on file apparently are last in line in the Full Tilt remission process. No date has yet been announced for review and/or payment of those claims. However, reimbursement is rolling along quite nicely at this point with some <em>33,000</em> U.S. players having received about <em>$95 million</em> since Green Friday in February.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 18:28:05 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3103 Zimcosky Edges Kaufman at MSPT Majestic Star <p><strong>Brian Zimcosky</strong> underlined his status as one of the most promising poker talents in the US after emerging victorious at the latest round of the <strong>Mid-States Poker Tour</strong> at the <strong>Majestic Star Casino</strong> in Gary, Indiana.</p> <p>Zimcosky played a smart game to edge out runner-up <strong>Alex Kaufman</strong> in Sunday's final to net himself a prize of <em>$61,870</em> - the highest amount that Zimcosky has claimed in his career to date. It was a big win for the man from Michigan who topped 227 other players over two days of competition to win the title at the latest stop in the fifth season of the MSPT tour.</p> <p><strong>Bold Tactics Pave Path to Success</strong></p> <p>It was hardly an easy ride for Zimcosky heading into the second day of competition, having started the final table in a rather lowly seventh place. However, an early all-in call following a raise from <strong>Mike Mustafa</strong> put Zimcosky in control with his #ad#4h, leaving his opponent on the verge of elimination.</p> <p>Maintaining a high-stakes game, the Michigan native eventually took over the lead while other players such as <strong>Gerald Siemienas</strong> and <strong>Bob Chow</strong> were eliminated. Firmly in the lead, Zimcosky lowered the risks somewhat as he dueled Kaufman before <strong>Brad Sailor</strong> was sent to the rail and left just two players remaining at the table.</p> <p><strong>Tough Match Ends in Victory</strong></p> <p>With Sailor out of the picture, both Zimcosky and Kaufman battled back and forth as they both pushed hard for the overall victory. It was the former who would raise the stakes just thirty minutes later, moving all-in on a pair of nines that saw Kaufman check his #kc#10c before the flop.</p> <p>Kaufman held the advantage with a straight draw and overcards postflop when the board read #ac#4d#jh. But Zimcosky's nines held when sevens appeared on the turn and river, giving him two pair and the victory. The win was no doubt a big moment for Zimcosky, who finished third at the previous event held at the casino back in March. The winner revealed that his style of play paid off, telling the press, <em>"I got in three big flips, and I won all three."</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 17:25:03 +0000 Andrew Roach 3102 Poker, Pot, Pistols and Porn Among California's Pending Bills <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile the online poker industry anxiously awaits the fate of pending bills legalising <a href="">online poker in California</a> during the final month of this year's legislative session, those ipoker measures are among more than 1,000 proposals that lawmakers may consider during the next four weeks.</p> <p>Gun control and the regulation of medical marijuana top the list of key issues that legislators will likely debate during a busy final session that is set to conclude on Aug. 31. Also in the queue is a bill that would require the state's actors who specialize in pornography to wear condoms, the LA Times reported.</p> <p><strong>Bad Actor Debate Looms</strong></p> <p>The work of a lawmaker apparently never gets dull with such a wide of assortment of legislation to consider. And with so many bills in the hopper, can we expect movement on the Internet poker bills that have been introduced? It's a good bet that the issues that stand in the way will not be resolved in time for either <strong>AB 2291</strong> or <strong>SB 1366</strong> to receive the required majority of approval for passage.</p> <p>Still to be hashed out are the details surrounding the bad actor clause. The fact that <strong>Amaya</strong> has now taken control of <strong>PokerStars</strong> puts somewhat of a different spin on the situation. But it's an issue that hasn't been resolved and will likely require compromise to do so. Who will bend and how far in order for common ground to be reached?</p> <p><strong>Racetracks Want In</strong></p> <p>Also preventing online poker legislation from reaching the finish line in California is the exclusion of the state's racetracks in the overall scheme. Both pending bills have scratched horsemen from the program and horse racing interests have promised to continue to fight to be included.</p> <p>This is another matter that likely needs compromise and the state's powerful tribes have not shown a willingness to concede. From an observer's standpoint, it appears that time will run out in 2014 before all hurdles can be cleared in order for Gov. Jerry Brown to affix his signature on ipoker legislation in California.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:28:42 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3101 Bitcoin ATM Debuts on Las Vegas Strip <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile online poker has been legal in <strong>Nevada</strong> for over 15 months, the Silver State took another step forward in embracing the Internet by locating a bitcoin ATM on the Las Vegas Strip.</p> <p>The new bitcoin ATM can be found at 3735 S. Las Vegas Blvd, which is a tad south of Harmon Ave. Those wishing to use the ATM must have a bitcoin account, but a new account can be established at that location.</p> <p>Las Vegas casinos do not accept bitcoin, but players can access the bitcoin ATM and convert bitcoins to cash. The virtual currency remains somewhat controversial in that no countries have yet passed legislation to fully recognize bitcoin as a currency, VegasInc reported.</p> <p>The bitcoin ATM is likely to be welcomed by tourists visiting Las Vegas. While worldwide use of the cryptocurrency remains a work in progress, the fact that an ATM can now be found on the Strip shows that acceptance is growing.</p> <p>There may come a day when bitcoin ATMs will be available directly inside casinos. In the meantime, virtual currency traders on the Strip will need to use the new bitcoin ATM near the Travelodge and across the street from CityCenter.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 18:52:09 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3100 Daniel Negreanu Big Earner Among Individual Sports Stars <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>ver the past decade, <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong> has been one of poker's biggest breakout stars. But a new report suggests that <em>"KidPoker"</em> earns more annually than sporting icons such as <strong>David Beckham</strong> and <strong>Roger Federer</strong>.</p> <p>A report in The Daily Mirror revealed that Negreanu earned $7 million so far in 2014, eclipsing the annual salary of stars who are seen as modern icons in their own sporting codes and who regularly grace our TV screens each and every week. The findings looked at what players earned through professional competition only and didn't take into account sponsorships or other commercial deals.</p> <p><strong>Richer than global megastars</strong></p> <p>One of the astounding things about the earnings report is that Negreanu received more than some of the most established names in the world of sport. For instance, former England soccer great David Beckham earned $5 million following his decision to retire from regular competition, while tennis legend Roger Federer won $7 million - just lower than the $7.3 million that Negreanu netted so far in 2014.</p> <p>It's quite an overwhelming achievement for a poker player to achieve considering that poker has not advanced to mainstream status as sports such as tennis and soccer. Negreanu wasn't shy about his performance this year, telling the world through a Twitter post exactly how much he has won so far. According to his post, Negreanu collected $10.2 million from 44 events, while spending $3 million in tournament buy-ins.</p> <p><strong>Still not quite at the top</strong></p> <p>Despite overtaking the likes of Beckham and Federer, Negreanu is still a ways behind some other leading lights in the world of sport. One example is<strong> Tiger Woods</strong>, as the golfing great returned to some of his best form in 2013 and raked in $13 million last year. He subsequently became one of the world's most successful sportsmen on prize money alone.</p> <p>Aside from Negreanu, many of the world's top poker players are still not quite earning as much as players who are ranked in the top ten in other major individual sports. A quick look at 2013 figures shows that the top ten in poker's GPI rankings earned a combined total of $47.8 million, which is lower than both tennis and golf.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the PGA led the way by paying out $52.75 million to the world's top ten golfers, while those in the ATP top ten won a combined total of $48.5 million at the end of last year. Even though poker is yet to topple some of its more established sport rivals, it may be on its way to the top of the sporting world and the emergence of more icons such as Negreanu could help it become one of the most lucrative sports on the planet.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 15:45:19 +0000 Andrew Roach 3099 Paddy Power Poker Informs Customers of 2010 Data Breach <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">I</span>n a press release dated July 31<sup>st</sup>, <strong>Paddy Power Poker</strong> revealed information about a data breach that occurred back in 2010. Following the release, the room started contacting certain customers who owned an account back in 2010 and informed them that sensitive information such as passwords and financial data was not stolen in this isolated incident.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Paddy Power became aware of the full extent of the breach recently when the company took legal action in Canada and cooperated with the police in retrieving the stolen dataset. According to the release, contained within the breached information were names and user names of certain customers, their birthdates, e-mail and physical addresses, and phone numbers. No financial data or customers’ passwords were compromised, Paddy Power said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Following the discovery, Paddy Power contacted 649,055 affected users on this issue. Customers were advised to check other sites where they could potentially use the same secret questions and answers, as this info was also contained in the stolen data package.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><blockquote>We sincerely regret that this breach occurred and we apologise to people who have been inconvenienced as a result. We take our responsibilities regarding customer data extremely seriously and have conducted an extensive investigation into the breach and the recovered data. That investigation shows that there is no evidence that any customer accounts have been adversely impacted by this breach. We are communicating with all of the people whose details have been compromised to tell them what has happened.</em>"<em> <cite>Peter O’Donovan, MD Online, Paddy Power</cite></blockquote></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">O'Donovan emphasized that Paddy Power actively invest in improvement of their security systems and that they always work hard to counter the latest security threats.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This particular breach was discovered in May of 2014 and the stolen dataset was connected to an individual in Canada. Following the investigation, a Canadian court issued an order to seize the individual's IT equipment. After the seizure, the dataset was retreived and then deleted from the IT systems. Forensic examination of the information obtained discovered the exact number of customers affected who were contacted and notified by Paddy Power.</p> Sun, 03 Aug 2014 12:28:32 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3098 Amaya Finalizes Deal for PokerStars <p>Amaya's $4.9 billion acquisition of Rational Group has been finalized, nearly a full two months ahead of the projected completion date of Sept. 30.</p> <p>A press release was issued by Amaya heralding the done deal, with Amaya chairman and CEO David Baazov expressing his delight at wrapping up the purchase in seemingly record time.</p> <p><blockquote>We are extremely pleased to have completed this Acquisition,” Baazov said. “Through PokerStars, Full Tilt and its multiple live poker tours and events, Rational’s brands comprise the world’s largest poker business, generating diversified and recurring revenues across the globe from its extremely loyal customer base."</blockquote></p> <p>That customer base is expected to grow in coming months, with New Jersey the likely first market to be added. Gaming regulators in the Garden State are currently scrutinizing PokerStars' suitability under Amaya ownership and the rapid finalization of the purchase may allow an online gambling license to be issued sooner rather than later.</p> <p>Projections bandied about among industry observers and the media lean toward online poker players in New Jersey looking at hole cards on a regulated PokerStars site as early as this fall. Whether that possibility is more wishful thinking than reality remains to be seen.</p> <p>Amaya's public affairs office was busy working overtime this past week. The latest press release issued by the Canada-based company was its third in four days. The first of the three announced regulatory approval of the purchase in the jurisdictions where Rational Group is licensed. The next press release trumpeted Amaya shareholder approval of the deal.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 02 Aug 2014 19:35:08 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3097 Full Tilt Adds $50 Buy-in Jackpot Sit & Gos <p><span class="letter-big">J</span>ust one month after launching <strong>Jackpot Sit &amp; Gos</strong> at buy-ins between $1-$10, <strong>Full Tilt Poker</strong> has upped the ante by offering the game at a buy-in of $50.</p> <p>The demand for such jackpot games at higher stakes must obviously be there or Full Tilt wouldn't have added the new offering. Jackpot-style poker is typically more appealing to recreational players who tend to operate with smaller bankrolls than hardcore online grinders. Perhaps those grinders are finding easy pickings on the jackpot tables and have requested larger buy-ins to maximize profits.</p> <p>Full Tilt's Jackpot Sit &amp; Go copies a concept first made popular by <strong>Expresso Poker</strong> at <strong>Winamax</strong> and later by <strong>Twister Poker</strong> at the<strong> iPoker Network</strong>. <strong></strong> rolled out a version called <strong>Spin &amp; Go</strong> just a few days after Full Tilt.</p> <p>Jackpot Sit &amp; Gos at Full Tilt differ from the others by offering a possible prize pool up to <em>2,000 times</em> a single buy-in. The other variants currently cap their highest prizes at <em>1,000x</em> a buy-in.</p> <p>The $50 buy-in at Full Tilt has a slightly different random payout structure than that found at the Jackpot Sit &amp; Go games with entries between $1-$10. Although the odds of being seated at a 2,000x jackpot table are still three out of 100,000, the odds are weighted slightly differently and favor a greater likelihood of being seated at mid-level prize pool multipliers as opposed to the lowest prize of 2x a buy-in.</p> <p>The differences in distribution can be found <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 18:05:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3096 Revel Bankruptcy Auction Slated for Aug. 7 <p>Final bids to acquire the <strong>Revel Casino</strong> in <strong>Atlantic City</strong> must be submitted by Aug. 4, with a bankruptcy auction scheduled three days later.</p> <p>That auction will only take place if more than one acceptable bidder tosses his name into the hat. If no qualified bids are received, it appears that yet another <strong>New Jersey</strong> casino will bite the dust.</p> <p>This year has not been kind to the Atlantic City gaming industry. The <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> closed in January following bankruptcy proceedings. Next in line are the <strong>Showboat</strong> and <strong>Trump Plaza</strong>, both slated to close within the next month and a half.</p> <p>Should the Revel follow suit, that would make 1/3 of the land-based industry gone within a span of nine months. Lawmakers have requested that state gaming regulators delay the closings of Trump Plaza and Showboat to allow more time for buyers to be found.</p> <p>It's purely speculation on my part, but perhaps one of those buyers may be <strong>Amaya Inc</strong>. Following the purchase of <strong>Rational Group</strong> that includes <strong>PokerStars</strong> and <strong>Full Tilt</strong> that is scheduled for completion next month, Amaya appears poised to gain licensed approval to operate online poker and gambling in the Garden State.</p> <p>What better way to establish a greater presence in Atlantic City both live and online than to own and operate a land-based casino? That was the intent of PokerStars last year when an agreement to buy the Atlantic Club was snuffed due to a legal loophole.</p> <p>But with Amaya expected to assume control of PokerStars shortly and the Scheinbergs ready to sail off into the sunset, the scenario is completely different and ripe for Amaya to pluck one of those casinos from the muck of the Atlantic City gaming industry. What's a few million more for a shuttered casino after acquiring Rational Group for $4.9 billion?</p> <p>Anyway, that's an area of high finance that is perhaps better left to those who deal with all those zeros on a regular basis. But it is fun to speculate what might happen in the future considering the state of the gaming industry in Atlantic City. That speculation includes the likely arrival of PokerStars with the label of bad actor no longer attached (at least in New Jersey) thanks to Amaya's purchase.</p> <p>Atlantic City is in the midst of a revitalization plan that was given five years to succeed by<strong> Gov. Chris Christie</strong> in 2011. With the threat of a handful of casino closings looming, it appears that plan is regressing rather than progressing after three years time. Can Amaya come to the rescue?</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:12:34 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3095 Sheldon Adelson a Featured Speaker at Gaming Expo <p>Online gambling's staunchest opponent, <strong>Sheldon Adelson</strong>, is scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the <strong>Global Gaming Expo</strong> (G2E) in <strong>Las Vegas</strong> on Sept. 30-Oct. 2.</p> <p>While the majority of attendees will likely be made up of online poker and gambling advocates, it is anticipated that Adelson will spew more rhetoric on behalf of his anti-online gambling crusade. That crusade is led by the <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong> that the billionaire casino mogul established late last year, an organization that has been a thorn in the side of those striving to promote the spread of igaming legislation throughout the U.S.</p> <p>Adelson usually sends one of his minions to address gatherings at such events, with<strong> Senior VP Andy Abboud</strong> stepping to the plate a number of times previously. But Adelson, who turns 81 in a few days, has decided to get in front of the microphone himself on his home court. The G2E will be held at the Las Vegas Sands Expo and Convention Center and Adelson's speech is slated before seminar delegates on Oct. 2.</p> <p>A number of other heavy hitters that include <strong>Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn</strong> are set to take to the podium during the three-day affair. Wynn has apparently been influenced by Adelson regarding opposition to online gambling.</p> <p>Several years ago, Wynn had a deal in place to partner with <strong>PokerStars</strong>. But Black Friday and the ramblings of Adelson have seemingly soured the casino honcho on legalized wagering via the Internet. Wynn will speak on Sept. 30.</p> <p>Speaking of PokerStars,<strong> Amaya CEO David Baazov</strong> will also make his presence felt at the expo, LV R-J reported. Amaya is on track to complete its purchase of <strong>Rational Group</strong> in September, which means that the transition may already be in place when Baazov participates in a seminar on manufacturers within the gaming industry set for Oct 1.</p> <p>Speakers lined up for that session include <strong>Aristocrat Leisure CEO Jamie Odell</strong>, <strong>International Game Technology CEO Patti Hart</strong>, and <strong>Multimedia Games CEO Pat Ramsey.</strong></p> <p><strong>Seminole Gaming CEO and Hard Rock International Chairman James Allen</strong>, as well as his counterpart at <strong>MGM Resorts International</strong>,<strong> Jim Murren</strong>, have also been tapped by the <strong>American Gaming Association</strong> to delve into gaming topics before expo attendees, according to the G2E website. The two Jims will step to the dais on Sept. 30.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 15:50:28 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3094 Paul Phua Finally Released After $2.5 Million Bail is Met <p>After a number setbacks, Malaysian poker veteran <strong>Paul Phua</strong> has been released from US custody after several of the sport's legends joined together and met the amount needed to secure his freedom.</p> <p>Phua had been arrested over the weekend in connection with an illegal World Cup betting ring, but 10-time WSOP champion <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> and high-stakes veteran <strong>Andrew Robl</strong> paid a total of $2.5 million to allow him to walk out of jail. It seemed that Ivey and Robl's efforts may have been unsuccessful, but immigration officers decided against deporting Phua and his son Darren and the pair finally earned their freedom.</p> <p><strong>A difficult challenge for Phua and co.</strong></p> <p>It had looked unlikely that Phua was going to be freed after being arrested earlier in the week even though bail had already been met. There were concerns within the FBI that Phua had ties to several Asian crime syndicates and was a flight risk due to having already been arrested in similar circumstances in Macau on June 14.</p> <p>However, many of poker's biggest names rallied for his release, with Robl going as far as signing an official statement questioning the actions of the officers involved in the actual arrest as well as donating $1.5 million towards the overall costs.</p> <p><strong>Not the end of the road</strong></p> <p>Although Phua and his son are free men for the time being, senior officials involved in the case have stated that the investigation is still ongoing. Both members of the Phua family will also still have to give their accounts in a trial further down the line but both men are reportedly keen to do so in order to clear their names.</p> <p>This was highlighted by their defense attorney, David Chesnoff, who told reporters: <em>"We are gratified that our clients are free, and they’re looking forward to telling their side of the story in court."</em> Ivey may not be finished in helping out some of those affected by the case with reports that he could be ready to bail out another person arrested in the scandal.</p> <p>Ivey is reportedly ready to pay $500,000 for the release of Malaysian poker player <strong>Wai King Yong</strong>, who was arrested in San Diego last week. It's not clear whether Yong will be as fortunate as the Phuas were with authorities, although poker's best and brightest are doing whatever they can to ensure that none of their fellow players are left high and dry in the ongoing saga.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 06:56:22 +0000 Poker Update 3093 Amaya Shareholders OK Acquisition of PokerStars <p><strong>Amaya Gaming</strong> moved closer to completing the <em>$4.9 billion</em> acquisition of <strong>Rational Group</strong> following a shareholders' meeting Wednesday that saw all proposed resolutions approved.</p> <p>The greenlight from shareholders was expected and allows Amaya to continue on the road to transfer of ownership that will likely be finalized in September. The announcement came via press release that was issued just days after an earlier release heralded the fact that gaming regulators in all jurisdictions where <strong>PokerStars</strong> operates also found favor with the new ownership.</p> <p><blockquote>On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to extend my appreciation to Shareholders for their overwhelming support of the acquisition of Rational Group,” Amaya CEO and Chairman David Baazov said.</blockquote></p> <p>Also approved was a change to <em>"Amaya Inc,"</em> as the company elected to drop <em>"Gaming"</em> from its name. The name change was effectuated <em>"for reasons of simplicity and to reflect the actual name by which the Corporation is routinely identified by the greater public."</em></p> <p>What has not dropped are the company's stock prices that have been shooting through the roof since word of the acquisition of PokerStars and <strong>Full Tilt</strong> began making the rounds. Amaya shares are currently trading at a value more than <em>300%</em> higher than one year ago. Analysts are predicting company stock to increase even further following the <em>"aye"</em> votes tabulated at yesterday's meeting.</p> <p>Another factor that will undoubtedly cause Amaya's value to rise would be approval of PokerStars' online gaming license application in <strong>New Jersey</strong>. Division of Gaming Enforcement regulators are currently analyzing the company's suitability, with rubber-stamped approval anticipated in due course.</p> <p>While online poker in the U.S. has experienced some hard times in recent years that began with the shutdowns of the major sites operating in the country on Black Friday, things have taken a turn for the better in recent months. The reimbursement of U.S. Full Tilt players continues, as does the legislative efforts of individual states to enact online poker regulation.</p> <p>Amaya's purchase of Rational Group assets can also be listed on the positive side of the ledger. PokerStars eventual entry into the U.S. online gambling marketplace is expected to strengthen the industry and will perhaps one day lead to an online poker environment in <strong>America</strong> where players in a majority of states are safeguarded from the unknowns of playing at unregulated sites.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:17:52 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3092 Victory for Chen Quin in Record-Breaking Beijing Millions <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>e have become somewhat accustomed to poker tournaments in Europe that constantly break all sorts of records, but poker is a favorite pastime and profession of many people around the globe. The recently concluded Pokerstars-sponsored <strong>Beijing Millions</strong> tournament stands as proof of this.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Featuring a buy-in of approximately $480, the Beijing Millions (July 18-27) event gathered the outstanding number of 2,732 players. This turnout made the event the biggest-ever tournament to take place outside of the United States. This goes to show that the Asian poker market is growing by the day and is becoming increasingly more significant in the global poker economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The big turnout naturally resulted in a big prize pool with the winner set to walk away with more than $100,000 – not a bad return on an investment less than $500. It took six Day 1 flights to cater to all the interested players who wanted to have a shot at the championship. Of the huge number of entrants, only 188 of them returned for Day 2 and included three Team PokerStars Pros - <strong>Celina Lin, Bryan Huang </strong>and <strong>Vivian Im. </strong>None of them made it to the final table, but Lin did go quite deep, finishing in 24<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Danny McDonagh</strong>, the APPT President who oversaw the event, expressed his delight with how everything went down. He stated that a big turnout was anticipated, but no one really expected the field to reach 2,732 players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Probably just as amazed was <strong>Chen Quin</strong>, who not only found himself at the final table after outlasting more than 2,700 players, but was able to close the deal and claim the title in the record-breaking tournament. He started heads-up play with more than a 2 to 1 chip advantage over second place finisher <strong>Yang Zhang. </strong>He was able to turn that lead into a victory after connecting on a full house against Zhang’s two pair.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">However, it was Zhang who walked away with the most money in his pocket. The players made a deal when only four remained. The deal guaranteed Zhang ¥700,000 (around $113,000), while Quin got ¥675,000 ($109,000). <strong>Tong Shen</strong>, who finished in third, walked away with ¥650,000 ($105,000), while fourth place finisher <strong>Feng Bai </strong>received ¥587,000 ($95,000) for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Should poker continue to develop in this direction in Asia, we will be seeing many more tournaments with big fields. This will likely attract more and more players due to desirable prize pools and the challenge involved in besting a the huge field. And as there is nothing better for poker than the massive assembly of players in one venue, this will only help grow and strengthen the industry as a whole.</p> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:38:59 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3091 Greg Merson Defends His Views on WPT500 <p><strong>Greg Merson</strong> recently took to his Facebook page to clear the air about comments he made previously regarding the <strong>World Poker Tour</strong> holding a $500 buy-in tournament at the Aria earlier this month just down the street from the <strong>WSOP</strong> Main Event that was getting underway at the Rio.</p> <p>The 2012 WSOP Main Event champ's Facebook posting was in reference to statements he made several weeks ago in which he felt that the WPT was <em>"trying to step on the toes"</em> of WSOP's most prestigious tournament. Merson used terms such as <em>"money grab"</em> and <em>"desperate attempt"</em> in describing the WPT's staging of a much cheaper buy-in event perhaps in an effort to siphon some players from the ME.</p> <p>That led to WPT Tournament Director Matt Savage apologizing, but clearly stating that the intent was not to steal players nor the spotlight from the WSOP. Savage pointed out that the start of the inaugural WPT500 was changed <em>"out of respect for the Little One for Orop,"</em> a WSOP event with a $1,000 entry fee, <em>"as a $1K buy-in is too close to $500."</em></p> <p>A number of pro players disagreed with Merson and stood up for the WPT. Merson apparently felt compelled to address the issue once more and did so just a few days ago on social media.</p> <p><blockquote>Matt Savage is an incredible TD and we are lucky to have him in the industry," Merson said. "Basically I think it's very unlikely I would have fallen into poker without the boom in 2003 (or several of you) which was caused predominately by the main event. The main event blew up poker to another level and keeping the numbers strong for the main event is important for the industry as it continues to struggle without federal legalized online poker in the states."</blockquote></p> <p>Merson, who just a little over a week ago confirmed the signing of a sponsorship deal with <strong></strong>, went on to say that WPT scheduling could have been done a bit differently so that conflicts such as the one that occurred during the start of the WSOP Main Event don't happen. He suggested that the three major poker tours work together in order to better serve the poker community.</p> <p><blockquote>To poach the traffic for the biggest event of the year was a little grimy," Merson opined. "Lets see how they would feel about WSOP putting a $500 bracelet event the same days and in same city as there WPT championship. How come WPT couldn't just start this tournament on day 2 of the main?"</blockquote></p> <p>Merson estimated that the issue may be over only about 20 or so players who may have skipped the WSOP Main Event. While that is not a significant amount considering the thousands who enter the ME, it still comes to $200,000 in prize money, he reasoned.</p> <p><blockquote>We can't have tours fighting over the same players," the 26-year-old stated. "We need them to work together to not schedule stuff on the same dates so that fields are large which helps promote the game. OF COURSE competition is important for any industry to thrive and I liked the idea of the WPT 500. It was a great price point for players that can't play a 10k to get in there and have a chance at a major title and a nice six figure score."</blockquote></p> <p>The two-time WSOP bracelet winner said that he will continue to play in WPT events and already has the Borgata in September on his radar. Merson wanted an opportunity to <em>"explain the reasoning"</em> that led to his admonishment of the WPT and used his Facebook page to better explain his views, which, he said, <em>"represent my thoughts and mine only."</em></p> <p>Merson won more than $8.5 million in WSOP's Main Event in 2012. That followed a $1.1 million prize and his first gold bracelet just days before in another WSOP event featuring a $10,000 entry fee.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 22:48:31 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3090 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - July 30, 2014 <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he online poker industry saw a 1% decline in player traffic last week, the second week in a row that cash game action failed to reach levels of the week before.</p> <p>One poker room that stands out among the rest in the latest tabulations is the <a href="">New Jersey</a> offering provided by Caesars. <a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche"></a> in the Garden State managed to grab a share of the top position among poker sites and networks in the regulated states of <a href=""><strong>Nevada</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Delaware</strong> </a>and New Jersey.</p> <p>WSOP-NJ gained 5% in ring game action last week and is now virtually deadlocked with the <strong>Party Borgata Network</strong> at 130 players in a seven-day average, PokerScout reported. Party Borgata experienced a 7% decrease for the week, which allowed its main rival to gain both momentum and market share.</p> <p>The momentum is riding in New Jersey has gone in the opposite direction for its Nevada site. WSOP-NV enjoyed a huge traffic increase last month, an average of 160 players at its peak, while the <strong>World Series of Poker</strong> was being played in the Sin City. The boost allowed in Nevada to take over the player traffic lead among regulated sites for a time, but has now returned to its pre-WSOP level of 110 players.</p> <p>The top five regulated poker rooms and networks in the U.S. currently are, Party Borgata,, the <strong>All American Poker Network</strong>, and <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> in Nevada. AAPN averages 70 ring game players, while UP-NV is close behind at 60. Incidentally, that 60 is five more than its pre-WSOP total, meaning that UP-NV gained a handful of players while chief rival WSOP-NV has fallen back to its late May level.</p> <p>In the global market, <strong>Bodog/Bovada</strong> managed to creep into sixth place. That knocked <strong></strong> down to seventh. Movement in and around the top ten saw <strong></strong> fall two places and out of the top ten to 11th place. Two ring-fenced <strong>PokerStars</strong> rooms, the offerings in <strong>Spain</strong> and <strong>France</strong>, moved up to ninth and 10th places, respectively, as a result.</p> <p>Winamax is aiming to get back into the top ten and hopes the launch of its own version of fast-fold poker will do the trick. Running out of names for its quick-paced product since the likes of <strong>Rush Poker</strong>, <strong>Speed Poker</strong> and <strong>Zoom Poker</strong> are already in use, Winamax settled on <em>"Go Fast."</em></p> <p>To make the fast-fold playing experience truly built for speed, Winamax has included audible and visual effects that simulate race car quickness. Also, a dozen radio stations are available for players to tune in and listen to while seated (and reseated) on the Go Fast tables.</p> <p>Unfortunately, as of this writing, Go Fast has been stopped by a red light in the form of software bugs and glitches. The computer pit crew is currently busily working to repair the problems and hopes that players will be back on the road and fast-folding in due course.</p> <p>The online poker market in France is down some 18% in comparison to last year's numbers, ARJEL reported. The huge decline is somewhat troubling considering that the global market is 10% off the pace of late July 2013. With an average of 1,000 cash players, <strong></strong> enjoys a larger piece of the French market over Winamax. But not much larger, as Winamax ring game players total 950.</p> <p>For those looking for bright spots and a possible increase in online poker player traffic in the future, the recent announcement that <strong>Amaya Gaming</strong>'s purchase of <strong>Rational Group</strong> has met regulatory approval in a dozen jurisdictions worldwide is encouraging. Even more encouraging would be an OK regarding PokerStars' application for an online gambling license from the <strong>New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement</strong>.</p> <p>That approval from Garden State gaming regulators is anticipated and will likely buoy player traffic numbers, at least in New Jersey initially. U.S. online poker players continue to hold out hope that PokerStars will also spread its reach to <strong>Pennsylvania</strong>, <a href=""><strong>California</strong> </a>and any number of states that decide to enact online poker regulation further down the road.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>BONUS TIME - For NJ Players only!!! You can make your first deposit even better with a 100% up to $400 welcome bonus from <a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche"><strong>WSOP.COM </strong></a></strong></p> <p> </p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 18:26:38 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3089 A Look at 2014 Poker Hall of Fame Candidates <p>The nomination process for the <strong>2014 Poker Hall of Fame</strong> is currently underway. Fans can login to <strong></strong> through August 15 and nominate the player they think meets the hall's stringent guidelines for induction.</p> <p>The following are the primary criteria for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame:</p> <p>A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition</p> <p>Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination</p> <p>Played for high stakes</p> <p>Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers</p> <p>Stood the test of time</p> <p>Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.</p> <p>Each year, several key players rise to the top during the nomination process. Below are three players whom we believe will be at the forefront of any Hall of Fame discussions in the upcoming weeks.</p> <p><strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong></p> <p>The <em>"big name pro"</em> that became eligible for the first time in 2014 is six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu. When looking at potential candidates for election in 2014, there are few with a stronger resume than Negreanu.</p> <p>Since 1997, Negreanu has been a fixture on the tournament circuit. He is #1 on poker's All-Time Money List with $29.79 million in earnings and has eight years with earnings of $1 million or more.</p> <p>In addition, Negreanu has won six World Series of Poker bracelets including the 2013 WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event. He is also a two-time World Poker Tour Champion.</p> <p>Negreanu's success has not been limited to the tournament arena. He is also a feared cash game player and has never been afraid to exhibit his skills on televised high stakes games. Several shows either have been built around Negreanu or have relied on his outgoing personality to draw viewers.</p> <p>Despite his success at the table, Negreanu's greatest contribution to the game may be his role as ambassador. He is the one pro you can count on for an interview, a sound bite or a TV appearance. In addition, he has always generously given his time to fans and is one of the most popular pro players in the world.</p> <p>Negreanu is a virtual lock for a nomination this year and could be inducted in his first year of eligibility.</p> <p><strong>Chad Brown</strong></p> <p>The poker world suffered a tragic loss earlier this month when Chad Brown lost his battle with cancer. Prior to his passing, he was awarded an honorary World Series of Poker bracelet for his contributions to the game. Following the conclusion of the series, there has been some talk that Brown may receive consideration for the Hall of Fame.</p> <p>Most of Brown's success in the game came in the tournament arena. He cashed 38 times at the World Series of Poker, making nine final tables and earning over $1.22 million in prize money. Brown also finished runner-up in the 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Championship.</p> <p>Despite his illness, Brown remained competitive until the end. He finished second in a preliminary event of the WPT Borgata Poker Open in January and followed that up with a 26th place finish in that series' Main Event. Brown finished his career with $3.6 million in tournament earnings.</p> <p>It is understandable that Brown will receive votes towards the Poker Hall of Fame this year, but one has to wonder if his nomination will come because people feel that he is deserving or if their nominations are emotional tributes.</p> <p>There's nothing wrong with providing a tribute to Brown for his accomplishments. That was part of what the WSOP was hoping to accomplish with the awarding of the honorary bracelet. However, a spot in the Hall of Fame may not be appropriate when looking at his total body of work.</p> <p>The best thing to do this year is remember Brown for his contributions to the game and his love for playing. Once the pain of his passing has lessened, we can then look at his career objectively and determine whether he truly deserves a spot in the hall.</p> <p><strong>Jennifer Harman</strong></p> <p>Jennifer Harman is the perfect candidate for the Poker Hall of Fame, yet she has fallen short of the required votes the last few years.</p> <p>Harman is part of the <em>"old guard"</em> of poker. Her career began in the mid-1990's during a time where the number of dominant female players could be counted on one hand. She established herself as a force in the tournament world at the 2000 World Series of Poker when she won the $5,000 NL 2-7 Lowball Event.</p> <p>Two years later, she won her second career bracelet in the $5,000 Limit Hold'em Event. At the time, she was the only woman in history with two open-field bracelets. That record stood until this year when <strong>Vanessa Selbst</strong> won her third career open-field event.</p> <p>The bulk of Harman's tournament success came post-Boom. She has over $1 million in WSOP earnings and has appeared at ten final tables. She also has two World Poker Tour final tables and over $950,000 in earnings.</p> <p>Harman is also one of the most feared high stakes players in history, regularly competing against and beating the best competition in the world. She's been regularly featured on High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark and other televised events.</p> <p>At present, only two women have been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. While <strong>Barbara Enright</strong> and<strong> Linda Johnson</strong> are certainly deserving of nomination, one could argue that Harman has a stronger poker resume.</p> <p>In addition to her contributions at the table, Harman has served as an inspiration to females around the world looking to get into poker. She proved that women could be successful in poker at a high level and helped usher in the modern era that has produced players such as Vanessa Selbst, <strong>Liv Boeree</strong> and <strong>Melissa Burr</strong>.</p> <p>Nominations for the Poker Hall of Fame will be accepted through August 15. At that time, the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee will narrow the nominees down to a final list of eligible candidates.</p> <p>The final list of nominees will be announced in September and then forwarded to the panel of voters. The panel consists of the 21 living Hall-of-Famers and select members of the poker media.</p> <p>The two finalists who receive the most votes will then be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Enshrinement will occur at the November Nine final table of the WSOP Main Event.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:28:46 +0000 Poker Update 3076 IveyPoker Teams with Global Poker Index <p>The <strong>Global Poker Index (GPI)</strong> has announced a pairing with <strong>IveyPoker</strong> in which the duo will jointly promote poker players in addition to strategic marketing of the entire poker industry.</p> <p>The GPI, in conjunction with <strong>The Hendon Mob</strong>, remain the foremost authority on live tournament results and the profiles of poker players the world over. The wealth of information provided also includes poker-related news.</p> <p>IveyPoker is the coaching and training website established by 10-time <strong>WSOP</strong> champion and edge-sorting aficionado <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>. Regarded by many as the world's best all-around poker player, Ivey's alliance with the GPI seems a natural fit considering their respective excellence within the industry.</p> <p><blockquote>We look forward to working with the Global Poker Index as they are a leader in promoting poker as a sport/skill game," Ivey said. “Our goal is to provide the tools necessary to increase the skill level of every poker player and to win,” he added, with regard to his hand-picked Team Ivey Pros who make up the Ivey League.</blockquote></p> <p>Players can expect a number of benefits borne out of the new partnership that includes informative Q&amp;A sessions with Ivey Leaguers via The Hendon Mob Forum. Also on tap are a number of promotions avaliable to subscribers at IveyPoker.</p> <p><blockquote>We are elated to be working with the biggest name in the game of poker,” said GPI CEO Alexandre Dreyfus. “We hope that this team will further highlight the game of poker and promote its players.”</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:12:42 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3075 Full Flush Poker Kicks Off Leaderboard Race Aug. 1 <p>The <strong>Equity Poker Network</strong> (EPN) has slowly gained a loyal following since launching in November with flagship skin <strong>Full Flush Poker</strong> leading the way.</p> <p>A solid customer base at EPN that has reached a seven-day average of 180 cash players as tallied by PokerScout has prompted Full Flush to offer a<strong> Rising Star Leaderboard Race</strong> that begins on Aug. 1 and runs through the end of 2014. A prize of $10,000 awaits the winner who accumulates the most points in the competition during the next five months.</p> <p>Full Flush will also be awarding prizes in monthly leaderboard races, with the top five finishers each month in line to receive goodies. Points are won at both cash and tournament tables, and are also collected by knocking out the resident pros and the current leaderboard leaders during select tournaments and ring game action.</p> <p>Full Flush hopes the new promotion will attract new players and allow EPN to gain some ground among unregulated U.S.-friendly poker rooms. Currently, EPN is fifth in that player traffic category, looking up at top dog <strong>Bovada</strong> and the <strong>Merge</strong>, <strong>Chico</strong>, and <strong>Winning</strong> poker networks.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:08:05 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3074 Dan Smith Holds onto Top Spot in GPI Rankings <p>New Jersey's <strong>Dan Smith</strong> has held onto the top spot in the latest edition of the <strong>Global Poker Index 300</strong> rankings, which has seen some major changes in the world's top 20 players.</p> <p>Despite his 20th place finish in the last <strong>World Series of Poker</strong> event on July 5, Smith is still on top of the pile although he is now just one point ahead of Germany's <strong>Ole Schemion</strong>. Although Smith sits on top of the rankings, it was some of his fellow Americans who have stolen the headlines as both <strong>Paul Volpe</strong> and <strong>Jacob Schindler</strong> made strides back into the global top 10.</p> <p>After finishing fourth in the Deepstack Extravaganza tournament a fortnight ago, Paul <em>"Main Event"</em> Volpe has re-entered the top 5 at the expense of Russia's <strong>Alex Bilokur</strong>, who dropped two places to seventh. However, the biggest winner has been Jacob Schindler, as the Pennsylvanian climbed into ninth after finishing inside the top three of his last four events.</p> <p>Schindler's hot streak has made him one of the top players of 2014 so far and his latest run includes a victory in the fifth round of the Summer High Roller Series as well as a third place finish at the Independence Day Super High Roller tournament.</p> <p>Elsewhere, many of the world's best players have remained where they are in the standings with veteran<strong> Daniel Negreanu</strong> staying in the third spot while <strong>Byron Kaverman</strong> also remains in the top 5. Further down the table, Pennsylvania's <strong>Benjamin Hamnett</strong> was the biggest mover of the week as he climbed a staggering 139 places to re-enter the GPI 300 in 265th place.</p> <p>The hardest hit by the new rankings was Frenchman<strong> Phillipe Ktorza</strong>, as <em>"Ace-Man"</em> dropped 39 places to just stay within the top 250. With there being several big fluctuations in the latest edition of the world rankings, many observers will undoubtedly be keeping an eye on the likes of Smith, Volpe and Schindler to see whether America's top stars can continue to dominate the top of the rankings.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:51:35 +0000 Poker Update 3073 Amaya's Acquisition of PokerStars Approved by Regulators <p><strong>Amaya Gaming</strong>'s acquisition of <strong>Rational Group</strong> assets that include <strong>PokerStars</strong> and <strong>Full Tilt Poker</strong> received regulatory approval in all jurisdictions where the company is licensed, it was announced via press release.</p> <p>The <em>$4.9 billion</em> deal can now continue to move forward as planned, with finalization of the transaction expected in September. While most of the 'i's have been dotted and 't's crossed, a shareholders meeting set for July 30 will likely facilitate the transfer to a greater degree in hopes of staying true to the autumn timetable of changing ownership.</p> <p>Rational Group is licensed in a dozen jurisdictions worldwide, priding itself on holding <em>"more online poker licenses than any e-gaming company."</em> While the company is well-respected in those rest-of-world locations, its major aim at this point seems to be a focus on receiving online gambling license approval within the U.S.</p> <p>Currently, Rational's suitability under Amaya ownership is under review by the <strong>New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement</strong>. The sale to Amaya and the removal of the father-son duo of Isai and Mark Scheinberg from holding a controlling interest in the company apparently has New Jersey gaming regulators poised to stamp <em>"Approved"</em> on Rational's igaming license application.</p> <p>Such approval remains a bit more complex in other states such as <strong>California</strong>, where the inclusion of PokerStars in any ipoker scheme has and will meet considerable resistance from a number of gaming interests led by a consortium of Indian tribes. Prior to the announced sale to Amaya, PokerStars partnered with an influential tribe and a triumverate of major cardrooms in hopes of joining the online poker party, but that alliance further muddied an already contentious situation among land-based gaming licensees within the Golden State.</p> <p>Therefore, approval in New Jersey appears to be PokerStars' first step in re-entering the U.S. market, a jurisdiction where they have not had a presence for more than three years since their domain was seized by U.S. authorities on Black Friday. But Garden State officials are readying the red carpet and most U.S. online poker players are in a forgiving and welcoming mood toward the industry giant as well.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:51:45 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3072 Racetracks Vital for Online Poker in California <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>here has been a lot of talk about the ongoing quest to legalize online poker in <strong>California</strong>, with two bills having been introduced by lawmakers in the Golden State.</p> <p>Officials have yet to make any decision on Internet poker's legality, but one senior figure believes that changes will need to be made to the bills in order for real money online poker to be accepted. In an appearance at the iExpo summit over the weekend, <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> director John Pappas revealed that racecourses throughout the state will need to be included if there is any hope of either one of the bills finding favor.</p> <p><strong>Racetracks left out in the cold</strong></p> <p>At the moment, both bills have barred racetracks from opening online poker rooms if it was to be legalized, with only licensed Native American venues and a handful of casinos allowed to host the game of skill. Horsemen were specifically left out at the request of Native American tribes who feel that the increased competition in the sector could potentially disrupt the businesses of those backing both bills.</p> <p>Having been excluded, many racetracks are currently quite bitter over the matter. Pappas stated that a representative for the racetracks at iExpo said that they would use whatever influence they have with state senators to help block the bills in their current form. Tribal figures appearing at the conference also stood their ground, with Pappas commenting that they felt it was <em>"unacceptable"</em> for racetracks to be included in the proposals.</p> <p><strong>Yet another setback</strong></p> <p>This issue is just the latest hurdle for the legalization of <a href="">online poker in California</a> following years of trying to get the game accepted in the state. There also continue to be major concerns over <em>"bad actors"</em> being included in the ipoker scheme. Tribes are loathe to allow participation from sites such as<strong> PokerStars</strong> that have been annointed with the bad actor label.</p> <p>With the debate over the involvement of racetracks now coming to a boil, it seems that online poker will need to overcome yet more obstacles for it to become legalized within the country's largest state.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:33:12 +0000 Poker Update 3071 Fabian Ortiz Wins in Panama to Capture His Second LAPT Title <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hen the final table of the LAPT7 Panama Main Event started, all players were naturally looking for the win. But for one player, the victory held even bigger significance. It was <strong>Fabian Ortiz </strong>who was looking to capture his second LAPT title, the first one coming in 2009 in Vina del Mar, Chile.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ortiz started the day as the chip leader, although both second place <strong>Hugo Suarez </strong>and third place <strong>Nick Russo </strong>were not that far behind. Although he had the required experience, Ortiz did not have an easy road ahead of him due to added pressure and the top three stacks being so close together.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The journey began last night with seven players standing between him and the coveted title. The first player to leave the house was <strong>Hugo Laimer </strong>of Malta. He started the day as one of the shortest stacks and could never get things going.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Soon after his departure, the entire table went into berserk mode and saw four eliminations in the span of just a few minutes. First, a huge three-way hand came about between chip leader Ortiz, <strong>Antonio Hogaza</strong>, and <strong>Javier Rios</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The three went to the flop of #3h#7c#ad. Ortiz continued his preflop aggression postflop, but was once again called in two spots. The turn brought #ah and as Hogaza checked again, Ortiz bet out a hefty sum. Rios made the call and Hogaza moved all-in. Ortiz moved in over the top and Rios was forced to let go of his hand. Hogaza turned over Ace-King but quickly got the bad news when Fabian revealed a set of Aces that had Hogaza drawing dead and leaving the table in seventh place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although Rios was able to dodge a bullet in that hand, he did not last long. After losing some more chips, he finally moved in with #8c#6c but had the bad luck to run into <strong>Guillermo Olvera</strong>’s pocket Eights. That was it for Rios, as he was sent to the rail in sixth place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ortiz took out another player as he claimed the very short stack of Suarez despite his #ac#8c being dominated by Suarez’ #ah#qs. A fifth place finish earned Suarez a nice payday of $43,580. Not long after, <strong>Nick Russo </strong>moved all-in and he would also fall victim to Ortiz, who was simply on fire. Russo's #kd#2c was in horrible shape looking at the pocket Aces of Ortiz. Russo had to settle for a fourth place finish and a prize of $55,560.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Standing between Ortiz and a heads-up match for his second LAPT Main Event title was <strong>Alexander Huber</strong>, who managed to hold onto his short stack for some time. When push came to shove, Huber jammed in his stack with Ace-Seven, but like tablemates before him, he was dominated by Ortiz. Huber's Panama adventure was good for $71,280.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ortiz started heads-up play with about a 4-1 chip advantage, but Olvera<strong> </strong>was able to double up and close the gap somewhat. At this point the players struck a deal and split most of the money, leaving $15,000 to play for. Although Ortiz was able to eliminate most of his competition in quick fashion, Olvera proved to be a tough cookie by doubling up several times. This tournament simply had Fabian’s name written all over it and he was finally able to take down Olvera’s defenses with #kc#7h despite being dominated by Guillermo’s #ad#7d. A King fell on the turn to seal the deal, rewarding Olvera’s valiant effort with a runner-up finish and $114,115.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ortiz<strong> </strong>managed to capture a second coveted LAPT title and he did it in style, eliminating most of the final table on his own. Aside from the all-important championship, he also earned just shy of $144,000 for his great and memorable performance in Panama.</p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:13:40 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3070 Online Gambling Bill Proposed in Philippines <p><span class="letter-big">C</span>oncerned that minors may be finding their way to online gambling websites, a lawmaker in the <strong>Philippines</strong> has proposed igaming regulations that would levy stiff fines against those found to be permitting the underaged to gain access to such sites.</p> <p><strong>Rep. Samuel Pagdilao</strong>, an Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) member, has introduced the measure in the House of Representatives. His proposal calls for a five to 10-year jail term or fines of up to 10 million pesos ($230,000) for licensees who knowingly allow those underaged to gamble online.</p> <p>Under the plan, Bill 4540, operators within the Philippine islands intent on offering online gambling would need to be licensed through the <strong>Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)</strong>. That agency would assume control of regulation, the Philippine Star reported.</p> <p>Made up of roughly 7,100 islands, the Philippines is dotted with an extraordinarily large number of Internet cafes that are quite popular among children. While some of the gaming offered is of the non-gambling variety, there are currently no safeguards or penalties in place to prevent cafe operators from restricting those under the age of 18 from accessing online gambling websites.</p> <p>Presumably, the proposal drawn up by Pagdilao would hold the cafe operators who permit underaged patrons to log onto the Internet gambling sites responsible.</p> <p>The Philippines boasts 100 million citizens, having reached that population milestone over the weekend with the birth of a baby girl named Chonalyn in <strong>Manila</strong>. One of the fastest growing countries in Asia, the Philippines now ranks as the 12th most populous country.</p> <p>In November, <strong>Typhoon Haiyan</strong> wreaked havoc on much of the Philippines, causing extensive damage in a number of regions. The online poker community showed their charitable side by donating $560,078 toward relief efforts, the PokerStars blog reported. Parent company Rational Group matched the $280,039 that poker players donated from their own bankrolls.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:57:21 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3069 Poker Site Deemed Legal <p>The Iipay tribe of Santa Ysabel, <strong>California</strong> have come under a lot of scrutiny in the past week or so following the launch of the first online poker room exclusive to residents of California.</p> <p>Despite the large debates surrounding the launch of <strong></strong>, the site has been backed by several leading legal gambling authorities who believe that the site is operating completely within state law. Comments from attorney <strong>Martin Owens</strong> suggest that the site has done nothing to breach gambling laws and marks a step forward into bringing in some regulated gambling practices across the state.</p> <p>California has long been targeted as a key state for the online poker industry, but efforts have long been hampered by many Native American casinos that have been reluctant to accept it as part of the gambling industry. However, the arrival of has marked a significant shift towards embracing online poker, with Owens highlighting that there is nothing wrong with the Santa Ysabel nation's new venture.</p> <p>The issues were swept aside by Owens, who made a statement declaring that <em>“If an Indian tribe has land of its own and wants to offer Class 2 gambling, they don’t have to consult state law at all.”</em> A Class 2 license allows native tribes to operate basic gambling services such as poker on their lands and the Santa Ysabel nation currently holds a Class 3 license, giving them full rights to operate banked gaming services.</p> <p>So if the tribes are fully qualified to host services such as online poker, why has the launch of caused so much discussion across California? Well, it seems that the answer could come down to competition and money, with many different casinos and operators all trying to get a foothold in a potentially lucrative area.</p> <p>After all, there are at least 110 different Native American tribes who hold federal gambling licenses while there are about 90 businesses across the state that rely on the industry for much of their income. Owens believes that the fierce nature of this competition has led to businesses attempting to undermine any opposition in any way possible to minimise the effect on their overall profits.</p> <p><em>"There are some really deep-seated rivalries,"</em> Owens said. <em>"There are too many people whose main interest is making sure that someone else doesn’t get a chance.”</em></p> <p>With that in mind, it's not too surprising to see other competitors questioning the legality of new sites such as However, the furor isn’t going to be enough to stop groups such as the Santa Ysabel Nation from trying new methods to crack such a lucrative industry, especially if they conform to all local laws and legislations.</p> <p> </p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:49:35 +0000 Poker Update 3068 Poll Finds South Carolina Voters Opposed to Online Gambling <p>A recent survey taken of 1,000 <em>"likely voters"</em> in <strong>South Carolina</strong> found that <em>68%</em> oppose the legalization of online gambling.</p> <p>The Palmetto Politics poll commissioned by the Post and Courier further revealed that <em>17%</em> support Internet gambling regulation while <em>15%</em> remained undecided. The results are not at all surprising considering the conservative leanings typically found among South Carolina residents.</p> <p><blockquote>Gambling doesn't sit well with a large percentage of the people in South Carolina for moral and religious reasons," said Gibbs Knotts, a political science professor at the College of Charleston.</blockquote></p> <p>As with the large majority of surveys of this nature, results must be analyzed with an eye toward the phrasing in which the questions are asked. The South Carolina voters were queried in seemingly straightforward fashion with <em>"Do you support or oppose legalizing online gambling?"</em></p> <p>However, results of the survey may have been somewhat different had those polled also been told that online gambling revenue could benefit the state in other ways such as earmarking some of the proceeds toward education programs. Also, dedicating some of the igaming revenue toward maintenance or tax relief efforts may also sway some South Carolina residents among the apparent majority who voted in opposition.</p> <p>The state's Department of Transportation has estimated that more than <em>$20 billion</em> may be required in order to repair deteriorating highways and bridges, previously reported. South Carolina officials are looking at ways to raise the funds needed for the project and gambling expansion, both land-based and online, has been mentioned as a possible option.</p> <p>There are a number of states that are viewed as unlikely candidates to be joining <strong>Nevada</strong>, <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong>New Jersey</strong> in approving regulated online gambling. South Carolina does appear to be one such state unless voters eventually decide that the state's revenue shortcomings could perhaps be offset by permitting online poker and gambling.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 18:43:47 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3067 LAPT7 Panama: Fabian Ortiz Leads Final Table <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he final table is now set for the LAPT Main Event in Panama. The field of 550 entries dwindled down to just eight remaining players, all in the hunt for the title and the first place prize of $158,485. The man currently looking the best to achieve this feat is <strong>Fabian Ortiz</strong>, who bagged slightly over two million in chips and is coming back as the chip leader. Ortiz, in fact, is chasing his second LAPT title after a victory in Chile back in ’09.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Hugo Suarez </strong>and <strong>Nick Russo </strong>will be starting tonight second and third in chips and both of them could easily turn the tables on Ortiz as their stacks are over 1.9 million. The official short stack belongs to Mexican <strong>Antonio Hogaza</strong>, who bagged just shy of 500,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As 47 players returned to play yesterday, it took over ten hours before the eight-handed final table was reached. No one seemed eager to bust so close to reaching the final table, so it naturally took some time. But sure enough, one by one, players were sent to the rail. The only remaining PokerStars Pro in the field, <strong>Leo Fernandez</strong>, was eliminated in 35<sup>th</sup>, followed by <strong>Carter Gill </strong>in 31<sup>st</sup>, former LAPT winner <strong>Alex Manzano </strong>in 20<sup>th</sup>, as well as the chip leader to start the day, <strong>Derek Ecenarro</strong>, in 12<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When players finally merged into a single nine-handed table and it was just one more player to go before calling it a night and forming the official final table of eight, play really tightened up. In fact, it took nearly three hours to lose the ninth place finisher.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was the eventual chip leader, Ortiz, who made the best use of those three hours. He started nine-handed play as the short stack. Ortiz slowly built up that stack, punctuated by knocking out <strong>Ariel Scarparro </strong>in ninth place while holding #8h#8s. Scarparro had #as#10h and was racing for his tournament life, but he couldn’t get across the finish line. The pocket pair of Ortiz held up, sending Scarparro to the rail as the final table bubble – a finish worth just a couple dollars shy of $14,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So tonight, Ortiz is going in with everything he could possibly need for the win. He’s got a previous title, experience, the chip lead, and momentum on his side. All he needs is a bit of luck for his hands to hold up and he’ll be home free. Not that everyone else will be disinterested bystanders, of course. It may well be a dream of Ortiz to capture a second LAPT title, but every single player at the table will be trying their hardest to crush that dream.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Whose dream will come true? Who will walk away disappointed? We will find out soon enough, as the final table starts in a couple of hours and the name of the champion will be revealed!</p> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 13:04:36 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3066 Lock Poker Rep Promises Payment <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>n a Saturday afternoon with some free time on my hands, I decided to see if I could get some answers from <strong>Lock Poker</strong> regarding the almost <em>$1 million</em> owed to players.</p> <p>As most are aware, 2 + 2 poster <strong>'IHasTehNutz'</strong> has dutifully compiled a list of 392 players who are owed <em>$978,228.69</em> from Lock, with most having waited over a year for their money. The delay in payment prompted the <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> to get involved some three months ago by sending a letter to Lock representatives in hopes of establishing a dialogue and getting player funds returned.</p> <p>Lock has apparently remained mum on the PPA request, not at all surprising to the players who have been trying for months to get truthful answers from Lock by various means. Answers have come in the form of promises of payment, yet the almost 400 players waiting for funds can attest to the fact that the promises have come up empty.</p> <p>Although I have no money on Lock, (mine is tied up at <strong>Absolute Poker</strong>) I hoped to get some answers for those that do and felt the best way would be as a prospective depositor. Of course, I have no plans to actually make a deposit at Lock, as getting burned by AP is quite enough for me.</p> <p>Anyway, I managed to get through to<strong> 'Mary'</strong> at Lock customer support and informed her that I would like to deposit. I expressed concern that payment may be slow according to what I had heard and was told that <em>"cashouts are processed within 8-10 weeks."</em></p> <p>I then stated that I was aware that some players had been subjected to a year-long wait on their withdrawal requests, to which Mary informed me that <em>"our main focus at present is withdrawals and you will notice changes for the better in the upcoming weeks."</em> I attempted to confirm that payment will be forthcoming for those waiting and was told that, <em>"yes all withdrawals will be honored."</em></p> <p>Mary then abruptly chose to end our conversation before I could make further inquiries regarding matters such as the unanswered letter sent by the PPA. The promises that I received from Mary are apparently the same sort that countless others who have inquired as of late have heard. A sampling from 2 + 2 poster <strong>'bales'</strong> from a few days ago:</p> <p><blockquote>I had a chat recently with dear old 'Mary',whoever the f she is, anyway, she fed me a new line of BS when I asked 'when will I get my money?' Her response was 'you are near the end of the 2nd of 3 stages' that's the first reference anyone (Shane, Mary, etc.) has made about any stage shet in the last 11 months that I've now been waiting."</blockquote></p> <p>The promises of payment continue, with various plans of action mentioned, yet players owed nearly <em>$1 million</em> continue to wait for funds that many have written off as a lost cause. Meanwhile, it's apparently business as usual at Lock where the site home page continues promoting the benefits of playing there.</p> <p>Ironically enough, one of the features promoted at Lock is a <em>"Vault"</em> where players will find added protection for their funds. Per the Lock website:</p> <p><blockquote>Keep your bankroll safe and secure in your Vault. Protected with an additional PIN and security question, the Vault adds an additional layer of security to protect your money."</blockquote></p> <p>Considering the documented amount of money owed to players and the time that has elapsed without payment, this Lock feature is laughable. But it is certainly not funny to the players who are waiting for funds.</p> <p>It is obvious that the only individuals who have access to the Lock vault are the owners who continue to make promises of payment that go unfulfilled. It is important to stress that any new players who are considering depositing on Lock must be made aware that it is a terrible idea to do so at this time. Just ask almost 400 players who haven't been paid.</p> <p>For those who are interested, here is my chat with Mary:</p> <p>info - Please wait while we connect you to a support representative.</p> <p>info - You are now chatting with 'Mary'</p> <p>you - Hi Mary</p> <p>Mary - how can I help today?</p> <p>you - im interested in the deposit bonus offered</p> <p>you - how long do i have to clear the funds</p> <p>you - clear the bonus i shud say</p> <p>Mary - Please provide us with your email address so we can bring up your account.</p> <p>you - i dont have an account yet. but im thinking of depositing</p> <p>you - but i had some questions first</p> <p>Mary - go here to view the promos:</p> <p>Mary -</p> <p>you - ok thanks.</p> <p>Mary - and for casino go here:</p> <p>you - but ive also heard that payout have been slow. can i expect quick cashouts if i win?</p> <p>Mary -</p> <p>Mary - cashouts are processed within 8-10 weeks</p> <p>you - ok, great!</p> <p>you - but i read somewhere that players have been waiting like a year for payouts</p> <p>Mary - our main focus at present is withdrawals and you will notice changes for the better in the upcoming weeks</p> <p>you - ah ok. so the players who are owed money will be receiving it soon?</p> <p>Mary - yes all withdrawals will be honored</p> <p>Mary - have a great day</p> <p>you - thanks mary</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:50:46 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3065 Nevada Online Poker Revenue Reaches New High in June <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hile most of the monthly online poker revenue reports from the three regulated states tend to often be disappointing, <strong>Nevada</strong> managed to buck the trend in June by reporting its highest take since launching 15 months ago.</p> <p>Figures released by the <strong>Nevada Gaming Commission</strong> show that Internet Poker revenue from <strong></strong>, <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> and <strong>Real Gaming</strong> collectively totaled <em>$1,037,000</em>. That's up from <em>$862,000</em> in May and marks the first time that the $1 million mark has been eclipsed.</p> <p>Action at the Silver State's regulated online poker tables was buoyed by the running of the <strong>World Series of Poker</strong> from late May to mid-July. The prestigious festival was held for a 45th consecutive year, attracting both pros and amateur poker players the world over.</p> <p>Those players were logging on and competing online when not navigating live tournament fields in more than five dozen scheduled events during the six-week festival. PokerScout reported huge online player traffic increases during June at, which resulted in the record-setting revenue totals.</p> <p>Now that the WSOP has ended until November when the final tablists of the Main Event are set to play for a <em>$10 million</em> first place prize, monthly online poker revenue numbers in Nevada will undoubtedly return to pre-WSOP levels. However, state officials remain excited about the upcoming launch of the first interstate compact that was brokered with <strong>Delaware</strong> in February.</p> <p>Nevada made history with the first regulated ipoker launch in September 2013 and will do so once again by sharing online poker player pools with Delaware. A firm roll out date has yet to be announced, but hopes are that the pair of states will be ready sometime this year.</p> <p>Given the rather small populations of both states, the immediate effect of increased liquidity will not be very substantial. But the idea is to welcome larger states that eventually approve online poker regulation in the future, thereby creating a viable Internet poker scheme that extends beyond individual state borders.</p> <p><em>“In the future, multi-state poker compacts could be a more impactful revenue event given a larger base of players, and due to the liquidity dynamic,”</em> gaming analyst Robert Shore told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 18:16:16 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3064 PokerStars to Set the Bar High in New Jersey <p>The suitability of <strong>PokerStars</strong> to receive an online gambling license in <strong>New Jersey</strong> under its new ownership via <strong>Amaya Gaming</strong> remains under review by state regulators, with approval expected in due course.</p> <p>With that approval will naturally come a completely different online gambling environment in the Garden State, one that will require the state's current gaming operators to improve in order to keep up with the industry giant. One of the areas of improvement will likely be in marketing, an arena in which many believe the current crop of New Jersey gambling sites have fallen short.</p> <p>Criticism of the marketing efforts of New Jersey gaming sites have come from many different directions that include the media, legislators, and even site operators who have admitted their shortcomings in promoting the newly-regulated industry. New Jersey <strong>State Sen. Raymond Lesniak</strong>, who was responsible for lighting the torch that brought online gambling to the state, told the Wall Street Journal a short time ago that the casinos have done a poor job of reaching the right audience.</p> <p>The arrival of PokerStars is likely to change all that. Quite adept at both attracting and retaining a solid customer base, PokerStars knows the players it wants to reach and there is every reason to believe that that knowledge and ability will be put to use once the red carpet is rolled out by the <strong>New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement </strong>(DGE).</p> <p>It has been plain for all to see that PokerStars does a great job of appealing to hardcore online poker grinders with a player loyalty program that rewards the multi-tabling crowd more than satisfactorily. Recreational players have not been left out either, enticed by periodic milestone hand promotions that boost player traffic numbers substantially.</p> <p>While we can likely expect more of the same once PokerStars arrives in New Jersey, perhaps of greater importance is getting the word out that players can legally gamble online. Believe it or not, there are some state residents who have yet to be made aware of that fact.</p> <p>The name recognition that PokerStars brings, along with an anticipated marketing push to herald its entry into the market, will probably do more to spread the word than the companies who launched eight months ago have done up until now. That's not to say that the likes of <strong></strong>, <strong>Caesars</strong>, <strong>888</strong>, and <strong>Ultimate Gaming</strong> have necessarily failed. It's just that PokerStars has shown the ability to elevate its game to a new level and expectations are that the same high standards will be brought to the table in New Jersey.</p> <p>The other aforementioned companies who got a head start by launching in November reportedly curbed marketing spend to some degree after PokerStars' application to offer online gambling in New Jersey was suspended by DGE regulators in December. Apparently, the thinking was that with PokerStars out of the picture, marketing budgets could safely be reduced.</p> <p>Well, PokerStars is back in the picture and those budgets will need to be increased in order to play the game. While some of the other companies may continue to cry foul that the alleged <em>"bad actor"</em> is allowed in, a dose of reality suggests that the entire New Jersey market will be changed for the better. That improvement includes the other gaming operators as well, as long as they strive to aim as high as PokerStars.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:05:43 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3063 LAPT Panama: 179 Returning for Day 2 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter the first flight of LAPT Panama saw a turnout of 174 entries, that number more than doubled yesterday when a total of 367 players bought in. The 58 survivors from Day 1A will combine with 121 still standing after Day 1B, leaving a <strong>total of 179 players</strong> to take their seats.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The man returning with the overall chip lead is Columbia’s<strong> Farid Jattin</strong>, who ended the night with a stack of 183,400. Jattin took over the lead from Day 1A leader <strong>Gullermo Olvera</strong>. Another player who was able to pass Olvera was Brazilian <strong>Rubens Bontempo</strong>, bagging 151,600.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As expected, Day 1B saw quite a few repeat performers who were eliminated during the first flight. That’s the biggest reason why the field for the second starting flight was so much bigger than Day 1A. That and the natural tendency of players to play the last of the first flights as often as possible.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some of the notables in the field included a few members of Team PokerStars. <strong>Leo Fernandez </strong>and <strong>Humberto Brenes</strong> both made it through to Day 2. Although Brenes was eliminated on Day 1A, he was back for more with better luck the second time around. <strong>Andre Akkari</strong>, another PokerStars-sponsored pro, failed to move forward and his Panama Main Event experience is over.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Two more names that rang the proverbial bell were <strong>Scott Montgomery </strong>and <strong>Badih ‘Bob’ Bounahra</strong>, both former members of the WSOP November Nine. Montgomery, who was in fact a part of the original November Nine back in ’08, was able to finish strong yesterday and bagged around 110,000. Bounahra, who made it to the WSOP Main Event final table in November of 2011, had worse luck and was eliminated shortly after the dinner break. Like Bounahra, <strong>Johann Ibanez </strong>and <strong>Bruno Kawuti </strong>had their hopes of deep runs crushed as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Remaining players will be taking their seats later today and the option for second and third chances will no longer be available. The tournament is now in the knockout phase and today it should play through the bubble. The field should whittle down significantly in preparation for the big final table taking place on Sunday. Joining the Day 1A survivors in that final table quest will be the likes of <strong>Victor Sbrissa </strong>and <strong>Nicolau Villa-Lobos</strong>, so we should be all set for an entertaining end game!</p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:26:01 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3062 New Jersey Lawmakers Request Reprieve on Casino Closures <p>Expressing concern for soon-to-be unemployed casino workers and the resultant effect on the state's economy, <strong>New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan</strong> and two colleagues have requested that the <strong>Casino Control Commission</strong> delay the shutdowns of two casinos.</p> <p>Whelan, along with <strong>Assemblymen Chris Brown and Vince Mazzeo</strong>, wrote the commission a letter and asked for a reprieve regarding the scheduled Aug. 31 closing of the <strong>Showboat Casino</strong>, as well as the shutdown of <strong>Trump Plaza</strong> on Sept. 16, the Press of Atlantic City reported. The lawmakers asked for a four-month delay, but will likely take whatever they can get in an effort to keep thousands of workers drawing paychecks for as long as possible.</p> <p>The commission is headed by chairman Matthew Levinson, who promised to consider the request while acting under the limitations afforded his agency under the Casino Control Act.</p> <p><blockquote>I certainly share the very serious concerns they raised about the welfare of workers and all of the businesses that will suffer if casino properties close their doors,” Levinson said.</blockquote></p> <p>While a reprieve would permit casino workers to remain employed a bit longer, it would also serve the purpose of allowing companies interested in acquiring the casinos more time to possibly offer up bids. Lawmakers would like to see new owners step in and keep the casino doors open, if possible.</p> <p>That was not the case when the <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> closed in January. Owned by <strong>Caesars</strong> in a joint purchase with <strong>Trump Entertainment</strong> following a bankruptcy auction late last year, Caesars has since flipped the property but included deed restrictions in the sale forbidding the buyers from opening as a casino.</p> <p>That angered Assemblyman Brown, who plans to introduce legislation shortly that will prevent casinos that close from including such limitations on buyers. Caesars owns the Showboat and has promised not to prevent any new owners from operating a casino on the property.</p> <p>There are 11 open casinos in <strong>Atlantic City</strong> at the moment. Should the commission fail to approve the request as outlined in the letter penned by Whelan and his associates, that number could be reduced to eight by autumn. The <strong>Revel Casino</strong> is also facing a possible shutdown after its second bankruptcy filing in as many years.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:59:49 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3061 LAPT7 Panama Gets Underway <p style="text-align: justify;">Following a short break after the World Series of Poker, the live tournament scene is slowly picking up momentum. Yesterday saw Day 1A of the Latin American Poker Tour event in Panama – a $1,650 tournament with unlimited re-entries for the duration of the first six levels.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first of two starting flights gathered a <strong>total of 174 entries</strong>, 58 of whom will be advancing through to Day 2 scheduled for tomorrow, July 25<sup>th</sup>. It was Mexican <strong>Guillermo Olvera </strong>who bagged the chip lead after the last river of the nigh was dealt. Olvera will be returning with a stack of 147,400. Finishing on his heels was Argentinean <strong>Juan Martin Pastor</strong>, who bagged 143,400.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The other 56 survivors include <strong>Angelina Rich</strong>, the fashion design student and blogger who qualified for the Panama Main Event via online satellites on PokerStars, <strong>Francis Cruz </strong>and his stack of around 71,000, as well as <strong>Carter Gill</strong>, who finished the night with about 55,000 in chipa. Team PokerStars Pro <strong>Nacho Barbero </strong>will also be coming back on Friday with 65,000 in his arsenal.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Things clearly did not work out so well for 116 players who were sent to the rail. One of the most famous among those eliminated was Team PokerStars Pro <strong>Humberto ‘The Shark’ Brenes</strong>. His pocket Nines fell short against the pocket Jacks of Cruz and Brenes will have to try his luck again today if he wants any chance of final tabling the Main Event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Like Brenes, things did not go as hoped for online grinder <strong>Joel ‘JMPRODIGY’ Mika</strong>, who played a long session of tournament poker only to be eliminated as the night was coming to an end. <strong>Justin ‘JWPRODIGY’ Westmorland, Scott Mongomery, Barbara Friedl </strong>and <strong>Fred Volpe </strong>all encountered the same fate as Brenes and Mika.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The good news for all those whose luck ran out yesterday is that it is not game over. Everyone has the option to re-enter today during the first six levels and can fire as many bullets as desired. Like yesterday, this is guaranteed to create action as players will be doing their best to build up a stack of chips that will put them in a good spot at the start of play tomorrow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It may not be the WSOP Main Event, but the LAPT Panama Main Event certainly gathered some household names. Once registration closes, the amount to play for will be anything but insignificant. We will be keeping our eyes peeled on Panama as the rest of the summer poker action plays out.</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:22:34 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3060 Delaware-Nevada Compact a Likely Game-Changer <p>In February, <strong>Nevada</strong> and <strong>Delaware</strong> reached an agreement to share Internet poker player pools via an interstate compact.</p> <p>Both states are on the small side when comparing population totals to those of other states. In that regard, the effect of the alliance will likely be minimal on the two states involved who hope to make their historic launch later this year.</p> <p>But the effect of the <strong>Multi-State Internet Gaming Association</strong> (MSIGA) formed by the pair five months ago could one day prove to be a game-changer for the rest of the country. The success of the endeavor in which player liquidity will be shared across state borders could possibly prompt states currently undecided with regard to Internet poker regulation to join the party.</p> <p>Players throughout the U.S. would like nothing more than to compete in a regulated online poker environment against their fellow Americans in other states, whether those players are located in Nevada, <strong>Pennsylvania</strong>, Delaware, <strong>Florida</strong> or <strong>New Jersey</strong>. And that is undoubtedly the plan as envisioned by officials among the trio of states that were first to take the plunge into ipoker legalization.</p> <p>Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval admitted as much when he personally extended an invite to his counterparts in other states to climb aboard. Sandoval informed the masses that the MSIGA has vacancies available and those who care to sign on will find the open arms of both Delaware and Nevada.</p> <p>New Jersey is the top candidate to join at this time as the only other state currently regulated. Preliminary discussions with Nevada have already taken place and there is a good chance that such talks will become more serious in time. Especially considering the recent lackluster online poker revenue totals posted by each of the three states.</p> <p>New Jersey ranks 11th on the list of most populous states and the Garden State's inclusion in the MSIGA would be a big deal. Also huge would be sixth-ranked Pennsylvania and its more than 12 million residents. The Keystone State made considerable strides in advancing online poker legislation this year and many insiders expect ipoker regulation to find approval among Pennsylvania lawmakers at some time in the future.</p> <p><strong>California</strong> has also progressed toward regulation in 2014 after several attempts in past years have fallen far short. Unfortunately, California seems destined to restrict its eventual online poker scheme to an intrastate model among its 38 million residents. The ipoker bills currently pending in the legislature of the nation's most populous state do not include the rest of the country.</p> <p>However, destinies are sometimes rewritten and a successful MSIGA that includes many states in the future may prompt state officials in California to abandon their leanings toward exclusivity. If greater revenue can be realized by joining a consortium of states, the powers that be in California will no doubt follow the money.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:04:49 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3059 Parx Casino in Pennsylvania Betting on Online Gambling Regulation <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline gambling proponents looking for signs that a new state will eventually join the trio that have already launched online poker and gambling regimes can find encouragement in the recent announcement that <strong>Pennsylvania's Parx Casino</strong> is preparing to launch a free-play gaming website.</p> <p>In collaboration with <strong>GameAccount Network</strong>, Parx expects to go live with its free-play offering in the final quarter of 2014. In a press release issued yesterday, the casino cited an online gambling study released two months ago by Econsult Solutions in which it was <em>"recommended that the Pennsylvania legislature pursue the authorization of intrastate Internet gaming."</em></p> <p>While the likelihood of Pennsylvania legislators approving regulated online gambling in 2014 grows shorter each day, it seems a good bet that Keystone State lawmakers will do so eventually. Parx Casino is moving aggressively on that eventuality by launching a free-play gaming site in advance of regulation with the intent of making a transition to real-money play once legal authorization is granted.</p> <p>Parx Casino, owned and operated by <strong>Greenwood Racing</strong>, boasts of leading Pennsylvania's land-based gambling market with 150 table games and more than 3,200 slot machines. Greenwood CTO John Dixon expressed his excitement at joining forces with GameAccount Network and becoming <em>"well-prepared in the event regulation of real money Internet gaming emerges in the State of Pennsylvania.”</em></p> <p>GameAccount Network has established a number of partnerships in the U.S. led by an alliance with <strong>Betfair</strong> to operate regulated real-money online gambling via <strong>Trump Plaza</strong>'s license in <strong>New Jersey</strong>. The other pairings that GameAccount is involved in include the <strong>Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation</strong> and <strong>Foxwoods Casino</strong> in <strong>Connecticut</strong>, <strong>Osage Casinos</strong> in<strong> Oklahoma</strong>, and the <strong>Empire City Casino</strong> in <strong>New York</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:01:53 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3058 Delaware Posts All-Time Low in June Online Poker Revenue <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>nline poker revenue in<strong> Delaware</strong> for the month of June descended to an all-time low, which will likely provide additional fodder for the anti-online gambling crowd.</p> <p>As <a href="">reported by the Delaware Lottery</a>, only <em>$25,607</em> was earned in Internet poker rake and fees collectively by the state's three gaming sites in June. That's quite a steep drop from the previous low posted in May of <em>$57,468</em>.</p> <p>June marks the beginning of summer and typically means that players tend to spend more time enjoying outdoor activities rather than playing poker online. It must also be stressed that regular Delaware online poker players likely made a sojourn to <strong>Nevada</strong> during the month for the 45th running of the <strong>WSOP</strong>.</p> <p>The <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong> is no doubt relishing June's ipoker revenue totals from Delaware. But before Sheldon Adelson gets too excited, a look at the revenue collected in all online action that includes video lottery and casino games increased when compared to May totals.</p> <p>The sum of <em>$187,944</em> was gleaned from all online gambling action in June, outperforming the <em>$175,410</em> from the month before. Delaware's online gambling regime had been improving each month since its November launch until reporting a decrease in May. The fact that June numbers are up bodes well for the future.</p> <p>Also boding well is the number of new player sign-ups. New online gaming accounts were created by <em>399</em> Delawareans in June, which bettered the <em>342</em> who registered in May. New player accounts had been on the decrease each month since November, so the first player account increase in The First State's history can only be seen as a positive.</p> <p>When searching for more positive news, one need look no further than the upcoming launch of the interstate online poker compact with Nevada. The increased liquidity of that alliance is bound to prompt more Delaware players to hit the virtual felt.</p> <p>As it stands now, Delaware's population is much too tiny for a viable online poker scheme on its own. State officials have been well aware of that from the start. But the <strong>Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement</strong> that currently includes Nevada and will likely add newer states in the future will allow Delaware's online poker revenue numbers to improve substantially as time marches on.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:35:09 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3057 PokerStars Makes Change in Satellite Policy <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he 2 + 2 community has been on their feet for the past ten days because of changes in PokerStars policy regarding satellite tournaments. On July 10<sup>th</sup>, a thread appeared informing players that it was not possible to unregister from the target tournament after winning a seat via satellite.</p> <p>Satellites have been a favorite choice for grinders to turn their FPPs into T$ (tournament dollars), which could basically be turned into real money at close to face value. This is particularly convenient for cash and SNG grinders because converting points this way gives way better value than exchange rates in the VIP store for everyone but the top VIP tiers.</p> <p>The change that caused dissatisfaction with many players mandated that players would have to play out their first entry and receive T$ for subsequent entries. Numerous members of the forum chimed in to express their opinion that the change was not fair and that they failed to see the reasoning behind it.</p> <p>The policy stayed in place for a few days and it seemed that players would not be getting their way. However, PokerStars eventually relented and confirmed that the change would be reversed by Monday, July 21<sup>st</sup>, which is today.</p> <p>In their statement, PokerStars named two reasons for reversing the change. One was a software bug on mobile devices, while the other actually acknowledged the fact that the recent change failed to consider a number of players who took a hit on the value of their FPPs.</p> <p><blockquote>The goal of this change is to ensure that satellites are achieving their intended purpose to help players qualify for tournaments that they might not otherwise play. However, the change had an additional substantial, but unintended, negative impact on the value of VIP rewards for a subset of players."</blockquote></p> <p>This once again caused joy among players as those who use their FPPs for T$ can now revert to the old policy. PokerStars did say that they are definitely planning to reinstate the change once the proper conditions are met. However, before this can happen, they will need to solve the bug with the mobile app and also make sure that the value of FPPs is not impacted in such a significant way.</p> <p>So for now, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief as all important FPPs will not be losing their value for the time being. It will be interesting to see what the future brings, as Stars are clearly intent on changing their approach in certain matters.</p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:40:00 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3056 Party Borgata Regains Player Traffic Lead in U.S. Regulated Market <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>s expected, player traffic at <strong></strong> in <strong>Nevada</strong> has decreased following the conclusion of the 45th annual WSOP, allowing the <strong>Party Borgata Network</strong> in <strong>New Jersey</strong> to once again achieve top dog status among U.S. regulated poker sites.</p> <p>PokerScout's latest tallies show Party Borgata with 150 cash players in a seven-day average, while in the Silver State clocks in with 140. Just two weeks ago when the WSOP festival at the <strong>Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino</strong> was in full swing,'s Nevada offering averaged 160 players while 140 cash grinders were looking at hole cards on Party Borgata.</p> <p>Player traffic at is likely to tumble further in coming weeks now that the pros who don't reside in <strong>Las Vegas</strong> have likely caught their flights home. Cash player traffic at in Nevada averaged 110 prior to the play of more than five dozen scheduled live tournament events of the WSOP and it would not be a surprise to see player traffic numbers once again reach that level.</p> <p>However, traffic numbers may wind up being slightly higher than pre-WSOP levels considering that <strong>Bovada</strong>, the top unregulated U.S.-friendly site, has withdrawn from the regulated Nevada market and no longer allows new player sign-ups. That move was made by Bovada while the WSOP was taking place and will likely cause a ripple in cash traffic numbers since new Nevada players have less online options and must choose between, <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong>, or <strong>Real Gaming</strong> following the conclusion of the latter's soft launch.</p> <p>Bovada followed the lead of the <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong> and <strong>Equity Poker Network</strong>, who both withdrew from the regulated markets in Nevada, <strong>Delaware</strong> and New Jersey just prior to the start of the 2014 WSOP. Bovada also prohibits new players in all three states, but apparently allows players who already have established accounts to continue accessing the site.</p> <p>In the New Jersey market, Party Borgata's main rival is's Garden State offering. averages 130 ring game players, 20 off the pace of <strong></strong>'s lead. Next in line in New Jersey is the <strong>All American Poker Network</strong>, averaging less than half that of Party Borgata with 70 players in a seven-day average.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:38:28 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3055 Online Poker Tourney Fields "Softer" During WSOP <p>The <strong>WSOP</strong> recently concluded its 45th annual run in <strong>Las Vegas</strong> when the Main Event field was reduced to the November Nine who will play for a <em>$10 million</em> first place prize following a four-month hiatus.</p> <p>Non-U.S. online poker players who did not make it to the WSOP and stayed home to compete on the virtual felt are likely sorry that the WSOP is over. According to posters at various online poker forums, the competition at top online sites such as <strong>PokerStars</strong> and <strong>Full Tilt</strong> was noticeably much <em>"softer"</em> while many of the top players were in Las Vegas from late May to mid-July.</p> <p>Those players within <strong>Nevada</strong> for the world's most prestigious festival of poker were precluded from accessing the industry's top sites while in town. Instead, when wishing to play online they had to choose between Nevada's regulated poker rooms of or Ultimate Poker where the fields and prize pools pale significantly in comparison to the offerings at the likes of PokerStars.</p> <p>Now that the WSOP has run its course and players throughout the world have presumably gone home, Internet grinders can expect online competition at the largest sites to once again return to the pre-WSOP level. While some online players enjoy the challenge of matching their skills against the best in the business and welcome the return of those who competed at the WSOP, a number of players would much rather take advantage of the value found in competing against a <em>"weaker"</em> field.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:49:24 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3054 Death of Johannes Strassman may be Drug-Related <p>German poker pro <strong>Johannes Strassman</strong> had reportedly ingested a mind-altering, hallucinogenic drug on the night he disappeared, which may have played a role in his death.</p> <p>According to <strong></strong>, Strassman and three Slovenians took <em>"mushrooms"</em> on June 21, a drug known for its propensity to stimulate and alter perceptions related to the senses. The drug's hallucinogenic effects vary among users, a subjectivity that can cause both positive and negative experiences dependent upon a number of factors.</p> <p>Toxicology reports revealed an illicit drug within Strassman's system, while an eyewitness confirmed the 29-year-old and three cohorts ate the mushrooms. While one of the Slovenians was Strassman's friend, the other two were not identified as such, with one allegedly known to deal drugs.</p> <p>Reports indicate that the four were seated at a table in a pub when Strassman suddenly got up and left, leaving his cell phone on the table. The others attempted to track him down and eventually alerted the authorities when their efforts proved futile. A search that consisted of bloodhounds and helicopters ensued, to no avail.</p> <p>Family and friends came to Slovenia to continue searching with the assistance of a private investigator. The search was apparently made more difficult by recent storms. A reward offer and social media were also employed in an effort to gather more information.</p> <p>Those attempts at locating the poker pro were put to rest when his body was recovered more than a week after his disappearance on June 29. Strassman was found near the Ljublianica River in <strong>Ljubljana</strong>, an apparent victim of drowning.</p> <p>Strassman's poker resume included live tournament earnings in excess of <em>$1.5 million</em>. He was spoken of highly within the poker community and his death remains a tragedy that asks more questions than it provides answers despite the new information released by the German website.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:04:43 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3053 Betfair's Presence in New Jersey at Risk <p><strong>Betfair</strong> made a splash in the U.S. online gambling market last October by proudly proclaiming <em>"Betfair is Coming to New Jersey"</em> even before its entry was approved by state gaming regulators. While the <strong>New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement</strong> (DGE) did eventually give the OK, Betfair may now be in need of a new marketing strategy just nine months later following the recent announcement that its casino partner, <strong>Trump Plaza</strong>, will be closing in September.</p> <p>State statutes require gaming site operators to be allied with a casino, which puts at risk considering that Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino will lock its doors in two months. Other options of partnering with an <strong>Atlantic City</strong> gaming establishment have also diminished greatly this year, as the <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> closed in January and the <strong>Showboat Casino</strong> is scheduled to shutdown on Aug. 31.</p> <p>Also presumably not an option for partnership at this time is the <strong>Revel Casino</strong> following its second bankruptcy filing in as many years. An autumn closure looms on the horizon for Revel if a buyer is not found.</p> <p>On the bright side, the DGE recently relaxed restrictions on the number of platforms that a casino with an online gambling permit can operate. A handful of platforms are now allowed as opposed to the previous limit of one, improving Betfair's odds of striking a deal with one of the the eight casinos that appear poised to remain in operation.</p> <p>Some industry insiders believe that Betfair may already have a contingency plan in place. With the Atlantic City gaming industry showing declines for seven years running, it would have been most prudent to prepare for a possible casino closure ahead of time.</p> <p><blockquote>Many bricks and mortar casinos in Atlantic City have been in financial distress for some time now," Goodbody gaming analyst Gavin Kelleher told eGR. "It was one of the reasons they were prepared to offer online gambling. So I think the likes of Betfair, 888 and will have had this in mind when deals were being signed last year.”</blockquote></p> <p>Betfair has elected not to respond on the matter as of yet, allowing for rampant speculation within the industry. One train of thought leads to a partnership via the <strong>Trump Taj Mahal</strong>, the second of two casinos operated by Betfair's current partner, <strong>Trump Entertainment</strong>.</p> <p>Trump Taj Mahal is already partnered with Ultimate Poker's parent company, <strong>Ultimate Gaming</strong>. Betfair could perhaps make a deal via that casino, provided that no previous stipulations with Ultimate Gaming are breached in the process.</p> <p>The gross gaming revenue collected by Betfair year-to-date in New Jersey has been an underwhelming $3.7 million, well off the pace of its competitors. But an exit from the U.S. market does not seem likely considering the investment already made and the lucrative possibilities that may lie ahead in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:30:36 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3052 The "End" of Lock Poker Welcomed by Players <p><strong>Lock Poker</strong> was recently offline for 12 hours or so due to a <em>"data centre outage in Curaçao"</em> that also affected a number of other sites whose servers are located in the same jurisdiction.</p> <p>But prior to a Lock representative named Emily informing concerned players of the outage and promising that there was <em>"Nothing to worry about"</em> and <em>"We (Lock) will be online soon,"</em> several posters at 2 + 2 thought that Lock had finally shutdown for good. Those players are fully expecting the demise of Lock Poker to happen eventually, with some who have unpaid funds at the site actually welcoming a shutdown.</p> <p>Some samplings from 2 + 2 posters:</p> <p><blockquote>It looks like the 'game' is finally over," wrote 'RandyCodd.' "Actually, in a weird way it is a relief for me. I grew tired months ago of chasing $$$ I knew in my heart (from experience) I would never see. To be honest, it turned my stomach that unsuspecting new depositors were being ripped off. Every chance I had at lock tables I informed players of the situation. When I wasn't barred (or at least warned) I knew there was no hope to see a penny of the $$$ I was owed. Seriously, the whole thing stinks to me. I'm just glad this Lock Poker thing is finally over. They were nothing but crooks IMO and I hope karma comes back to bite them in the azz!"</blockquote></p> <p>'Worm1111' chimed in with <em>"def gotta be the end the webpage wont even load... the nightmare is over... looks like im going back to facebook poker lol..."</em></p> <p><em>"It has been 'the end' for lock poker for many months now,"</em> added 'jackpot_1mil.'</p> <p>It apparently is not the end as of yet. The site is again up and running and there are <em>"11 players at Lock cash tables,"</em> stated a recent post by 'IHasTehNutz.' <em>"Yep, I'd say everything's back to normal."</em></p> <p>That normal includes a list of 392 players compiled by 'IHasTehNutz' who are<a href=""> owed a grand total of <em>$978,228.69</em></a> as of July 13, 2014. The majority of those players have been waiting over a year for their funds.</p> <p>Some of those players continue to hold out hope that payment will be forthcoming. Others, as recent posts suggest, just want the whole mess to be over with and Lock Poker to go away.</p> <p>The <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> stepped in about three months ago and sent a letter to Lock representatives requesting an open dialogue and transparency with regard to payment processing procedures or, more succinctly, the lack thereof. Lock has thus far chosen not to respond and past history lends one to believe that an answer to the PPA inquiry is likely not a priority.</p> <p>That has led the PPA to issue the following <em>"Warning on Lock Poker"</em> in its Weekly Update:</p> <p><blockquote>Due to continued nonpayment of player funds by Lock Poker, along with their refusal to respond to inquires by PPA, PPA has shared with the Department of Justice player concerns regarding this site. We did this in person during regular meetings on ongoing Full Tilt Poker remission. In the meantime, we warn extreme caution when depositing on Lock Poker. We also strongly warn affiliates to remove Lock Poker ads and positive reviews."</blockquote></p> <p>As I wrote a couple of days ago, cash player traffic at Lock has decreased from a seven-day average of 55 players in late April to 35 at present, according to <strong>PokerScout</strong> estimates. That's still too many players considering the site is in arrears nearly $1 million, with the likelihood that the total is well over that amount due to some players choosing not to be included on the list of 'IHasTehNutz.'</p> <p>I can understand that some players with money on Lock don't want to believe that their funds will be lost and continue patronizing the site. But all the warnings are there, chronicled meticulously by 'IHasTehNutz' and confirmed by the PPA.</p> <p>Logging on and playing at Lock Poker at this point appears to be a futile waste of time and money. Yet action at the cash tables continues. The <em>"end"</em> would likely come much sooner if those players heeded the warnings issued.</p> <p>The most recent post at 2 + 2, as of this writing, on the Lock Poker payout scam:</p> <p><blockquote>Lock poker is 100% functional again," stated 'nowitsover.' "Looks like they have no plan to stop milking unsuspecting players. Truly sickening..."</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 16:11:25 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3051 Full Tilt Rebrands, Mucks 'Poker' <p><strong>Full Tilt Poker</strong>, which has perhaps the most storied past among online poker sites due to its mismanagement and eventual acquisition by <strong>Rational Group</strong>, added a new chapter to its saga by mucking <em>"Poker"</em> in order to broaden its offerings to include online casino games.</p> <p>The rebranding was completed last week and included a URL change that was the first step in being recognized as a site that provides more than just Internet poker.</p> <p><blockquote>This year our gaming portfolio on Full Tilt expanded to offer a range of single and multi-player variations of casino games," a Full Tilt representative told eGR. "Therefore, we have now moved the domain from and to and”</blockquote></p> <p>Parent company Rational Group is reportedly in the process of expanding Full Tilt's reach into new markets., and will apparently soon be accessible by players in <strong>Italy</strong>, <strong>Spain</strong> and <strong>Sweden</strong>, respectively.</p> <p>Another new market being targeted is that of the U.S. <strong>Amaya Gaming</strong>'s $4.9 billion acquisition of Rational and all of its assets will likely be finalized in September. <strong>New Jersey</strong> gaming regulators are currently scrutinizing Amaya's suitability, with rubber-stamped approval expected that would permit <strong>PokerStars</strong> and Full Tilt to make their regulated foray into the <strong>U.S.</strong> marketplace via the Garden State.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:17:54 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3050 WSOP Main Event Final Table Set for November <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hat started ten days ago with 6,683 players has now come down to the final nine. The famous November Nine for the 2014 Main Event of the World Series of Poker was determined last night in Las Vegas after a fourteen-hour elimination process that saw eighteen of the last 27 players hit the rail.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When play started it was Swede <strong>Martin Jacobson </strong>leading the final three tables into the night, followed by <strong>Dan Sindelar. </strong>On the other side of the spectrum was <strong>Scott</strong> ‘urnotindanger2’ <strong>Palmer</strong>, who was the only player with under a million in chips.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The eliminations started with <strong>Sean Dempsey, </strong>who busted in 27<sup>th</sup>, and continued with <strong>Brian Roberts </strong>and <strong>Bryan Devonshire</strong> all the way to <strong>Andrey Zaichenko</strong>, the last player to fall before the dinner break. That left 16 players with a lot to think about during their 90-minute break.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Upon returning to the felt, <strong>Eddy Sabat </strong>was the first one shown the door when his #10h#jh proved to be no good on a board reading #9h#jc#5s#7h#4h as <strong>Jorryt</strong> <strong>van Hoof</strong> turned over #ah#8h for the nuts. Then <strong>Thomas Sarra Jr.</strong> fell at the hands of <strong>Felix Stephensen</strong> when his #kd#qh was no match for Stephensen’s #as#ks.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Oscar Kemps </strong>ran his King-Jack into pocket the Aces of van Hoof and the Dutchman, who was clearly on a great run, scored yet another knockout. Following his example, <strong>Craig McCorkell </strong>gave up the last of his chips to <strong>Mark Newhouse</strong>, who is no stranger to the pressure of the situation as he was looking to make back-to-back Main Event final tables.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Christopher Greaves </strong>surrendered the last of his very short stack to Jacobson, followed by <strong>Maximilian Senft </strong>losing a race for his tournament life with #kd#qd to the pocket Treys of Newhouse. Last year's November Niner flopped a set and sent Senft packing, which resulted in the remaining players merging into a single table of ten. They were one elimination away from making the 2014 November Nine.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ten-handed play started with two short stacks that were at risk of busting and several bigger stacks that looked pretty much set to make it. But once again, poker proved that there are no guarantees and that anything is possible once the cards are dealt and the community cards are revealed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Luis Velador </strong>had over 22 million in chips when they started and was sitting in a comfortable fourth position. However, his stack took a severe blow after he called off the shorter stack shove of<strong> Andoni Larrabe</strong>. Velador held Ace-King and was not shocked to see Larrabe turn over #as#ac. Despite hitting a King on the flop, Velador could not find any further help and his stack was cut in half.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some hands later, he moved in holding #4h#4d over a raise from <strong>Bruno Politano</strong> and a call from Newhouse. That got rid of Politano but Newhouse gave it a long thought and eventually made the correct call with #5s#5h to put Velador at risk. The board brought no miracles and it was all over for Velador, who just couldn’t get things going last night when it mattered most. Everybody else could breathe a sigh of relief. They made it!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>The November Nine</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Every player who made it through to the final table is now guaranteed a minimum of $730,725, while the winner will take home $10,000,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When play resumes in four months it will be Jorryt van Hoof<strong> </strong>leading the way with more than 38 million in chips. The Dutchman has about $358,000 in live earnings and  has never cashed in the Main Event before, but he is guaranteed to walk away with big money no matter what happens from here on out.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Sitting in second place is Felix Stephensen<strong> </strong>of Norway. With nearly 33 million in chips, Stephensen will be looking to add the maximum to his previous $22,000 in live earnings. Only 23 years old, this is a great opportunity for Stephensen to make money and a name for himself.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The player currently third in chips is no doubt the story of this Main Event and possibly many more to come. American<strong> </strong>Mark Newhouse successfully pulled off back-to-back Main Event final tables. The last time anyone achieved such a feat was in 2003-2004 when <strong>Dan Harrington</strong> was able to do so, but the field sizes in those years combined together are about the half of the 2014 field. Newhouse finished 9<sup>th</sup> last year, but with 26 million in chips, he is in great shape to improve on that result.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Spaniard Andoni Larrabe<strong> </strong>will start in fourth position chip-wise. The 22-year-old pro has live earnings of $341,000 and this marks his first 2014 WSOP cash. This is the second time he has participated in the Main Event and he will be starting in November with 22.5 million in chips.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dan Sindelar<strong> </strong>is another American at the final table. He is 30 years old and has more than $500,000 in live cashes. Although he has played in six Main Events so far, this represents Sindelar's first cash and he bagged 21 million in chips for the final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">American <strong>William Pappaconstantinou </strong>is a colorful character. The 29-year-old is a world foosball champion, better known amongst his friends and rivals as “Billy Pappas.” While widely recognized in the world of foosball, Pappas is looking to become recognized in the poker community as well. With a stack of 17.5 million and a seat at the final table, that goal has been achieved.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>William Tonking </strong>is the last of the American players. He will be starting with 15 million in chips. Tonking is 27 years of age and has $93,000 in live tournament earnings. His bread and butter before the 2014 Main Event has come from grinding online cash games.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Martin Jacobson<strong> </strong>will be starting as the second shortest stack with 14.9 million. Despite his lack of chips, the 27-year old Swede does not lack experience as his total live earnings amount to $4.8 million – by far the most of all the remaining players. Regardless of his stack, Jacobson will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Brazilian Bruno Politano<strong> </strong>is the official short stack with 12.1 million. Although he plays poker as a hobby, the 31-year-old has more than $110,000 in live tournament cashes and this is his first Main Event cash. Bruno will certainly be looking to make the best use of his chips when play resumes, as the Brazilian certainly does not lack heart.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">All of the remaining players received 9<sup>th</sup> place prize money in the amount of $730,725, while the rest is being kept in an interest-bearing account until November. We may not know who the new champion is yet, but the list of potential candidates has definitely been shortened!</p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:25:37 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3049 Ultimate Poker Joins Forces With El Cortez Casino <p>In an effort to capture a larger share of the <strong>Nevada</strong> Internet poker market, <strong>Ultimate Poker</strong> (UP) has entered into a partnership with the <strong>El Cortez Hotel and Casino</strong>.</p> <p>Similar to a previous agreement brokered between UP parent company <strong>Ultimate Gaming</strong> and <strong>Peppermill Resorts</strong> in northern Nevada, players at El Cortez can deposit and withdraw funds for UP at the casino cashier. El Cortez will also promote UP, extolling the advantages of playing online to its live casino customers, the Las Vegas Sun reported.</p> <p>The El Cortez was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places with its origins traced back to 1941. With mob bosses such as Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel on a list of former owners and the casino's architecture continuing to hold onto that of a bygone era, the El Cortez has a certain antiquated flair that is arguably lacking in modern gaming establishments.</p> <p>UP trails <strong></strong> by a 3 to 1 margin in cash game player traffic and is hoping to make up some ground by aligning with various casinos, a collaboration that has now reached more than 20 when counting its own <strong>Station Casinos</strong>. The margin had been 2 to 1 prior to the 45th annual WSOP and thousands of players rolling into town on May 27, PokerScout reported.</p> <p>The WSOP has reached its conclusion for now as the Main Event final table formed yesterday. The nine final tablists will break and prepare for a showdown in November to declare a winner. Online player traffic within the Nevada market will likely pull closer together between UP and now that the pros (and amateurs) have headed home.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:23:07 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3048 Lock Poker Losing More Players <p>The latest player traffic numbers posted by <strong>PokerScout</strong> show that <strong>Lock Poker</strong> has lost roughly <em>36%</em> of its cash game action since late April when the <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> (PPA) requested the site provide an open dialogue with regard to unpaid player funds.</p> <p>As many will recall, the PPA sent a letter to Lock representatives almost three months ago at the behest of players who are owed nearly <em>$1 million</em>. In the letter, the PPA cited Lock's propensity of <em>"taking an unreasonable time in fulfilling its customers’ requests for return of their funds"</em> in addition to mentioning that such payment requests have <em>"languished over a year with no progress."</em></p> <p>The lack of progress has apparently continued, as has Lock Poker's silence in the matter. What has not continued is cash game action at the site, as PokerScout estimates a current seven-day average of 35 players. That's down from the average of 55 players who frequented the site prior to the letter from the PPA in April. That letter was apparently filed by Lock representatives in the same trash bin as requests from individual players.</p> <p>While the PPA letter may not have achieved its ultimate goal of payment to players, it seemingly has accomplished a secondary goal of alerting players and affiliates to the lack of payment issue and to avoid playing at the site. Hopefully, word will spread further to players who continue to patronize Lock Poker until that number is reduced even more.</p> <p>In the meantime, Lock continues to tout promos such as rake chases, bad beat jackpots and guaranteed tournaments. Ask anyone still owed money from Lock and they will likely tell you that the only guarantee the site provides is that of a bad beat in the form of non-payment of funds.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:59:03 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3047 New Jersey Online Poker Revenue Down in June <p><span class="letter-big">F</span>or the third consecutive month, online poker revenue in New Jersey failed to reach the amount collected in the previous month.</p> <p>The<strong> New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement</strong> (DGE) released revenue totals for June that showed almost a <em>10%</em> decrease for Internet poker in comparison to May tabulations. Summer months typically find less players logging on at online poker sites industry-wide. Another reason for the decline may be the recently concluded <strong>WSOP in Las Vegas</strong>, which likely attracted a number of New Jersey online players.</p> <p>The Party Borgata Network led the way among the state's poker sites and networks, collecting <em>$1,075,293</em> in ipoker revenue. That comes to almost 11% less than May.</p> <p>Caesars Interactive and its partners were next in line, earning roughly <em>$50,000</em> shy of <em>$1 million</em>. The decrease from the previous month amounted to slightly more than<em> 8%</em>. Ultimate Poker experienced an Internet poker revenue decline of <em>24%</em>. Its take was only <em>$30,420</em> in June.</p> <p>Online gambling that includes casino games also posted lesser totals from May, roughly<em> 9%</em> for all gaming sites combined. Party Borgata's decrease was <em>15%</em>, while Caesars and 888 Holdings lost about <em>$200,000</em> in all online gambling action when compared to the previous month. The other igaming sites showed mixed results, with Golden Nugget reporting an increase of <em>16%</em> without operating a real-money poker site.</p> <p>On the bright side, new player accounts created in New Jersey were up almost <em>8%</em> in June. Thus far, <em>378,564</em> online gaming accounts have been opened since the November launch, more than <em>27,000</em> of those coming in June. However, players may have opened several accounts at the different sites available, making it hard to decipher exactly how many gamblers are located in the state.</p> <p>In early July, the DGE changed its restrictions on the number of sites that licensed entities can operate, allowing up to five for each, eGR reported. Should operators take advantage of the modification, the market may become over-saturated.</p> <p>The change and its effect will be closely monitored, with necessary adjustments made as situations warrant. Keep in mind that online gambling regulation within the U.S. remains in its early stages and may require tweaking from time to time. In that regard, New Jersey is acting as somewhat of a model or litmus test for other states that may be contemplating getting in on the game in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><a href="">Learn more about NJ online poker sites</a></strong></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:45:50 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3046 Swede Martin Jacobson Leads Final 27 in WSOP Main Event <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">I</span>f you happen to be one of those who have been keeping an eye on the Main Event since the start, then you will remember the name <strong>Martin Jacobson</strong>. The Swede actually finished as the chip leader after the first flight of Day 1 and somehow managed to convert that into the chip lead heading into the final day of the series for the summer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">That’s right, tonight is the big night that the November Nine will be announced. The remaining 79 players played through a long day yesterday until they were finally able to reach the final three tables and a couple of minutes ago they started their chase for one of the nine seats at the final table of the biggest poker tournament in the world.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For quite a few, that dream was crushed last night when their chips ended up in another player's stack due to a bad beat, a bad decision, or anything else. Whatever the reason, the result was the same – the dream of earning ten million dollars – gone in thin air!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some who had to deal with that experience included the last woman standing, <strong>Maria Ho</strong>, who was unable to make anything happen with her short stack. <strong>Brian Hastings </strong>was another who had a really solid run but his luck simply ran out. <strong>Vitaly Lunkin </strong>and <strong>Matthew Haugen </strong>also won't be playing further.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Jacobson currently has a pile of chips exceeding 22 million, about six million in front of second place <strong>Luis Velador</strong>, with <strong>Dan Sindelar </strong>not far behind<strong> </strong>in third place. There are only a few blinds separating Velador and Sindelar. <strong>Dan Smith </strong>also starts the day with a big stack of over 10,000,000, good for seventh place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are also three players still in with previous deeper runs in the Main Event, but <strong>Mark Newhouse </strong>leads in that category. He was able to reach the November Nine last year, eventually riding his short stack to an eighth place finish. Newhouse has a very workable stack of 6.8 million to start the day and there is nothing stopping him from besting last year’s performance other than 26 players just as eager and hungry to get there.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The action is now underway for the ultimate day of the summer and two players have already been sent to the rail - <strong>Brian Roberts </strong>and <strong>Sean Dempsey. </strong>Both of them get to enjoy a nice payday of nearly $287,000 as they lament the missed opportunity of truly life changing money.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In a couple hours, the cards will have their final say and we will know who gets to fly back home with their mind set on just one thing for the next few months: outlasting the other eight players and running away with the huge $10 million prize and title of World Champion of Poker!</p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:00:31 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3045 WSOP Main Event Down to 79 Players <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he penultimate day of the 2014 WSOP Main Event is scheduled to start with the number of players down to two-digits. What started as a field of 6,683 players has now been reduced to just 79. These 79 survived the longest day of the tournament so far, as some extra time was added to make up for time lost in all the bubble shenanigans.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There were 291 players with chips at the start of play yesterday, but more than 200 of them hit the rail before the evening came to an end. The bustouts included billionaire <strong>David Einhorn</strong>, who was fighting a tough battle to stay alive until his luck eventually ran out and he was unable to match his 18<sup>th</sup> place finish from 2006. Keeping him company on the rail are many other big names, perhaps most notably <strong>Griffin Benger</strong>, who had been among the top stacks at the dinner break yesterday but finished in 90<sup>th</sup> place. <strong>Jeff Madsen, Jared Bleznick, Mukul Pahuja </strong>and <strong>Brian Townsend </strong>also failed to make it to the chip bagging stage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The title of 'man of the day' easily went to <strong>Mark Newhouse. </strong>A November Niner last year, Newhouse entered the final table as the short stack but couldn't progress past 8<sup>th</sup> place. This year he is clearly looking to improve on that run. Although not the chip leader currently, Newhouse's stack of 7.4 million is slightly more than what he had going into the final table last year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Keeping him company at the top are <strong>Kyle Keranen, Scott Palmer, Bruno Politano </strong>and <strong>Dan Smith. </strong>Others still in the mix include <strong>Martin Jacobson, Isaac Baron, Brian Hastings </strong>and <strong>Bryan Devonshire. </strong>If Newhouse is to improve on last year’s success, he will have to get past some very serious competition to do so.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When play finished yesterday, one woman remained in the field. That young lady was none other than <strong>Maria Ho. </strong>Sadly, the Heartland Poker Tour commentator will not be taking a seat at the final table, as she was eliminated shortly after play began today.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Tonight, players will play for either five and a half levels or until just 24 remain. It is hard to predict which will come first, as anything can happen. Generally speaking, this Main Event has been played at a relatively fast pace so far, but that also means that it should slow down at some point. Either way, by the last river we will have a short list of names that will be coming back tomorrow to fight for their seat at the final table.</p> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 19:56:15 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3044 Trump Plaza in New Jersey Announces Shutdown <p>The <strong>New Jersey</strong> gaming industry got rocked yet again with the announcement that <strong>Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino</strong> is planning to close in September.</p> <p>It's becoming more difficult to count the number of New Jersey casinos closing than it is counting revenue dollars that the land-based gaming operations are taking in. To recap, 2014 started with a dozen casinos on the <strong>Atlantic City</strong> boardwalk, but that number is dwindling with greater speed than an Aroldis Chapman fastball.</p> <p>The <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> closed in January, <strong>Caesars</strong> is set to close the <strong>Showboat Casino</strong> on Aug. 31, <strong>Trump Plaza</strong> will cease operations on Sept. 16, and the <strong>Revel Casino</strong> will likely also lock its doors unless a buyer with deep pockets emerges. In the span of a few months, Atlantic City may lose 1/3 of its casinos, creating a blight on the Eastern Seaboard rivaling that of the devastation felt by Hurricane Sandy.</p> <p><blockquote>It’s a disaster,” state Sen. Jim Whelan told the Press of Atlantic City. “This is going to impact all sectors of the economy, from big stores to real estate values and on and on.”</blockquote></p> <p>All told, the four casinos employ roughly 7,800 workers. Two months ago, Atlantic City unemployment rates were just shy of 15%. With the addition of more casino closures, that number will swell significantly.</p> <p>While the reasons for the closures are likely numerous, the increased number of casinos along the East Coast is typically seen as the main problem. Neighboring states such as <strong>Pennsylvania</strong>, which now boasts 12 casinos, have created too many options for gamblers in the region. The result is less gamblers visiting Atlantic City, creating a dilemma that may require some restructuring of New Jersey's gaming industry.</p> <p>That restructuring may come in the form of casino expansion outside of Atlantic City in the northern end of the state in an effort to win back some gamblers currently making wagers in other states. State officials have already listened to a pitch from a venture capitalist that would put a 95-story hotel casino in <strong>Jersey City</strong>, reported.</p> <p>That project, said to be worth $5 billion and 25,000 new jobs, includes a proposal to erect the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world, a sports stadium, and residential housing in addition to casino and hotel operations. Such an undertaking would require the approval of voters, who may storm the voting booths in an effort to cast <em>"aye"</em> votes considering the number of jobs being axed in Atlantic City.</p> <p><strong>Gov. Chris Christie</strong> previously vowed to revitalize Atlantic City and has put the idea of casinos elsewhere in the state on hold until 2016. However, losing four casinos in the span of nine months or so may force the governor to play his cards differently. With a handful of casinos landing in the muck, it may be time for a new deck.</p> <p>Atlantic City was a robust gambling and tourist destination prior to 2006, long enjoying the rank of second place in U.S. gaming revenue behind <strong>Nevada</strong>. But nearby states also wanted a piece of the action and got it, resulting in New Jersey losing both its runner-up status and billions of dollars in revenue.</p> <p>An attempt to recoup some of those losses by legalizing online gambling has helped to some degree, although initial revenue projections have fallen short of the mark in the eight months that New Jersey's igaming regime has been in place. Something else must clearly be done to right the ship. Casino expansion beyond Atlantic City may be a solution and will likely be looked at with greater intensity by Garden State officials following news of the Trump Plaza closure.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 19:24:47 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3043 WSOP Main Event: Bubble Bursts, Under 300 Advance to Day 5 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">P</span>layers still alive in the WSOP Main Event returned yesterday with the bubble looming over their heads. With 693 players set to receive money, the remaining 750 knew it would be a short but stressful ride to securing a payday after four days of play.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It took about 90 minutes to reach the hand-for-hand stage. During this period, the last Main Event champion still standing, <strong>Huck Seed</strong>, was eliminated. His ouster meant that the Main Event winner would not be a former champion. The hand-for-hand started when the field was whittled down to 695 players, leaving two eliminations to go before everyone else would be certain to walk away as winners.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although all still involved were looking to land in the money, there was no prolonged bubble. In the very first hand, not one, not two, but three players were eliminated.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">That ended the bubble stage in quick fashion, but created a small issue. All three players got to split the $18,400 min-cash, but they had to determine who would get the free seat for next year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The decision was made to draw cards, with the highest card winning an entry for the 2015 WSOP ME. Luck smiled upon <strong>Zhen Cai </strong>when he drew a King, while <strong>John Dwyer </strong>and <strong>Kori Hunter </strong>both found Sixes. The matter was settled as each walked away with over $6,000 and Cai can begin preparing for a deeper finish next year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Once the bubble issue had been resolved, play continued and many short stacks could now happily put their chips in the middle, knowing that it was safely time to go busto or robusto. This, naturally, led to numerous exits. By the time the last river card was dealt, only 291 players had some chips to bag for the night.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of the most notable players falling in the heat of battle was ten-time bracelet winner <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>. The Tiger Woods of Poker was going strong in the Main Event as he started with the chip lead on Day 3. Ivey grabbed some momentum on Day 4, but was eventually eliminated yesterday just after the dinner break. <strong>Olivier Busquet, Ben Yu, Faraz Jaka </strong>and <strong>Abe Mosseri </strong>were also in the group of players whose run in the biggest tournament of the year ended.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While some were struggling, others were thriving. One of those thriving players was <strong>Dan Smith</strong>. Well-known in the poker world, Smith was able to capture the chip lead early in the day. Although he did not finish as the chip leader, he still accumulated a very respectable stack of nearly 2.3 million, good for sixth position overall. It is worth noting that this is Smith’s first Main Event cash, but it could turn into much more than that.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other big names with decent stacks include <strong>Griffin Benger </strong>with<strong> </strong>around 2.3 million, <strong>Brian Hastings </strong>with nearly 2.1 million, <strong>Martin Jacobson </strong>on 1.6 million, and <strong>Jared Bleznick </strong>just under a million. The first position, however, belongs to <strong>Matthew Haugen</strong> with 2.8 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Action is underway tonight and we will see the already small remaining field shrink even more as players get closer to forming the final table of nine on Monday.</p> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 21:59:45 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3042 Full Tilt Losing Ground in Player Traffic <p><strong>Full Tilt Poker</strong>'s worldwide ranking of fifth place in cash game player traffic is in jeopardy as recent tabulations find that both <strong></strong> and <strong>Bodog</strong> have pulled into a tie with the Rational Group offering.</p> <p>The latest numbers released by PokerScout indicate that 1,400 ring game players can be found at each of the three poker rooms in a seven-day average. Full Tilt had been firmly entrenched in the no. 5 slot for quite some time.</p> <p>The reason Full Tilt is losing ground may be tied to its recent roll out of <strong>Jackpot SitnGos</strong>. Players are likely abandoning the cash tables to participate in three-handed Jackpot SitnGo tables in hopes of being seated at a table where the randomly selected prize pool may reach 2,000 times a single buy-in.</p> <p>The concept was first introduced by <strong></strong> last year with <strong>Expresso Poker</strong> and has since been rolled out at the <strong>iPoker Network</strong> under the name <strong>Twister Poker </strong>and most recently at <strong></strong> as <strong>Spin &amp; Go</strong>. Only Full Tilt offers prize pools at 2,000x, while the other three have capped the top prize at 1,000 times a buy-in.</p> <p>When Winamax first released the innovative three-handed, winner-take-all, hyper-turbo Expresso Poker, play at its cash tables waned considerably. Odds are that Full Tilt ring games are experiencing a similar decrease and will likely do so at least until the novelty of playing a new game wears off.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:11:34 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3041 Bubble of Main Event Looming as Andrew Liporace Leads the Way <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">Y</span>esterday’s Day 3 marked perhaps the most important few levels in the Main Event as players still alive in the tourney got closer to the money bubble. Action was fast and furious as the day's starting field of 1,871 dwindled down to around 1,000 by the dinner break and the pace continued thereafter until just 746 players were left with chips in front of them.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The WSOP staff decided to stop play for the day as players were getting dangerously close to the bubble. A total of 693 will be cashing this year and with about an hour of play left on the clock it was a real possibility that that number would be reached before the end of the day. The reason for quitting early was simple: the organizers want to have ESPN cameras present for the epic moment that is going to take place early tonight when play resumes.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When it was announced that it was time to bag and tag, two players were over the one million chip mark. Current chip leader <strong>Andrew Liporace </strong>has 1,128,000 in his stack while a close second place belongs to <strong>Mehrdad Zousefzadeh </strong>with 1,124,000. <strong>Raul Mestre </strong>is in third place just short of a million with 988,500.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The chip leader to start the day, ten-time bracelet winner <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>, failed to hold onto his lead but successfully managed to get through the day with a very respectable stack. He will return tonight to continue his chase for the elusive Main Event title.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As for former champions, they did not fare so well. <strong>Ryan Riess, Chris Moneymaker, Johnny Chan </strong>and <strong>Robert Varkonyi </strong>were all sent to the rail, leaving only <strong>Huck Seed </strong>to defend the colors of the winners. However, as Day 4 started, he too has recently been eliminated without making the money and there are now no former Main Event champions left in the field.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other big names who also fell short yesterday include <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>, who still had an amazing summer, as well as <strong>Erik Seidel </strong>and<strong> Antonio Esfandiari</strong>. Players with title dreams still alive are <strong>Dan Smith</strong>, who ended the day with a great stack, <strong>Griffin Benger, Ali Eslami, </strong>and<strong> Jared Bleznick</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With players on the first break now, the bubble is just ten eliminations away. Short stacks are holding on firmly to their chips and chairs, big stacks are comfortably applying pressure. Everybody participating and sharing in the excitement hopes to finish in the money of the Main Event!</p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:31:56 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3040 Day 3 of 2014 WSOP Main Event Underway: Ivey Leading the Pack <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">I</span>t took three Day 1 flights and two Day 2 flights for players to finally come together on the same day, but eventually they got there and Day 3 of the Main Event got underway. And it wasn’t that big of a surprise to see <strong>Phil Ivey </strong>steal the show as he has done in so many tournaments before.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ivey finished Day 1C among the chip leaders, but yesterday he was on an absolute tear and finished the day with 505,000 in chips. That chip total is big enough to grab the overall lead heading into today when 822 of Tuesday's survivors combine with 1,049 still standing after yesterday. Coming back in second place is Tuesday’s chip leader <strong>Timothy Stansifer </strong>with 481,500, followed by<strong> Raul Mestre </strong>and his chip count that is just shy of 478,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Amongst other big names to survive yesterday was <strong>John Henningan</strong>, winner of this year’s Players Championship. Hennigan has had a great series so far as he booked another runner-up finish and starts tonight with about 343,000 in chips. <strong>Jason Koon </strong>and <strong>Nick Schulman </strong>made it through as well, together with <strong>Kory Killpatrick</strong>. <strong>Daniel Negreanu </strong>also made it through, albeit with a short stack. KidPoker started the day strong, doubling up soon after the cards were in the air and improved his chances for a deep run.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Former champions in the field did not do so well yesterday. <strong>Phil Hellmuth </strong>returned with a workable stack, but wasn’t able to get things going and was sent to the rail. <strong>Joe Cada </strong>and <strong>Joe Hachem </strong>experienced the same fate and lost their chance for a repeat performance. <strong>Jonathan Duhamel </strong>did not fare any better when he ran his Ace-King into the set of Eights of his opponent on an Ace-high board.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Reigning champion <strong>Ryan Riess</strong>, however, earned his seat yesterday and returns today with an above average stack. His hopes of successfully defending his title remain alive. Unlike Riess, many other notables had their dreams of winning the big one crushed including <strong>JC Tran</strong>, <strong>Gus Hansen</strong>, <strong>Matt Stout</strong>, <strong>Scotty Nguyen</strong> and <strong>Sylvain Loosli</strong>. Tran stated after his elimination that he would pay $30,000 to have his starting stack back.</p> <p><strong> </strong> </p><p style="text-align: justify;">The field of 1,870 players continue their efforts tonight as the money bubble slowly approaches. Finishing in the money is more than a thousand eliminations away, but every new bust out allows those still in to get one step closer to cashing. With the Main Event being the tournament that attracts so many amateurs and poker fans from across the globe, making money is way more important than in the other $10k events that take place year-round. </p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 20:22:42 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3039 Sheldon Adelson Adds New Player to Anti-Online Gambling Team <p>Las Vegas Sands CEO <strong>Sheldon Adelson</strong> has continued his anti-online gambling crusade by hiring former GOP congressman <strong>Connie Mack</strong> of Mack Strategies to lobby against Internet gambling legislation.</p> <p>As promised, Adelson is sparing no expense in his efforts to wipe out igaming endeavors in America. He has been busily assembling a dream team of sorts, well-known lobbyists with many years of experience in pushing their agendas in the nation's capital.</p> <p>Mack will go to bat for Adelson and his <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong> (CSIG) and will be tasked with lobbying in support of the <strong>Restoration of America’s Wire Act</strong>, the federal bill introduced by <strong>Sen. Lindsey Graham</strong> (R-S.C.) and <strong>Rep. Jason Chaffetz</strong> (R-Utah) over three months ago. Mack joins a lobbying lineup that includes <strong>Steptoe &amp; Johnson</strong>, <strong>Capitol Counsel</strong>, <strong>The Keelen Group</strong> and the <strong>Lincoln Policy Group</strong>.</p> <p>Whether Adelson is winning the battle to eradicate online gambling or igaming proponents are in the lead can certainly be speculated. On the one hand, three states have regulated Internet gambling and more are contemplating doing so. On the other hand, Adelson is known to carry influence with some heavy hitters on the Republican team and has succeeded in forcing the <strong>American Gaming Association</strong> to take a seat on the bench and watch the contest from the sidelines.</p> <p>It appears that the battle led on one side by the <strong>Poker Players Alliance</strong> and the <strong>Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection</strong> (C4COP) versus the organization founded by Adelson is still in the early innings. CSIG was formed in December and C4COP shortly thereafter to counter the efforts of the 80-year-old casino mogul. No new states have enacted online gambling legislation since Adelson announced his intentions to restrict legalized gambling to land-based casinos.</p> <p><strong>Politco</strong> reports that Adelson paid over <em>$200,000</em> to lobbying firms in the first three months of 2014 in his quest to rid the U.S. of regulated online gambling. That's a mere drop in the bucket for the billionaire, who dumped way more than that supporting Republican hopefuls in the last election.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:34:42 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3038 Nevada Gaming Regulators OK Intrastate Poker Networks <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) has issued a recommendation to permit online poker sites operating within the state to combine player pools.</p> <p>Approval was granted at the behest of 888 Holdings, who plans to soon launch a poker room and will also be involved in the roll out of another site in conjunction with a partnership agreement previously brokered with Treasure Island. Representatives from 888 told the GCB that those two sites plan to also share liquidity with, the offering from Caesars Interactive that currently enjoys the bulk of the Internet poker market in the Silver State.</p> <p>GCB honchos OK'd the plan, but official approval must first be granted by the Nevada Gaming Commission, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Regulators from that agency will likely rubber-stamp the recommendation made by the GCB at the commission's next scheduled meeting on July 24.</p> <p>Shared liquidity will not be restricted among only the sites mentioned, as other poker rooms that eventually launch in Nevada may also be included in the intrastate network. Thus far, Nevada's online poker regime consists of Ultimate Poker,, and Real Gaming. The latter continues operating under a soft launch testing phase.</p> <p>While commission approval for intrastate partnerships is expected in two weeks, Nevada is also preparing to roll out its interstate launch with its online partner on the east coast - Delaware. The two regulated states forged a Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) in February that will permit shared liquidity, the first such alliance in the nation.</p> <p>The player pools in both Nevada and Delaware are restricted by rather low populations in comparison to some of the larger states. The MSIGA makes perfect sense for both. The launch of that scheme does not have a firm date, but sometime in 2014 has been mentioned as a possibility.</p> <p>Delaware and Nevada hope that other states eventually sign on to the MSIGA. A welcome has already been extended to New Jersey, but the Garden State has yet to accept. However, preliminary discussions to that effect have taken place.</p> <p>Revenue from Nevada's Internet poker regime has been lackluster at best, failing to meet expectations since the launch of UP in April, 2013 followed by some four months later. Sharing liquidity via interstate and intrastate agreements may go a long way toward reaching revenue goals. Combining player pools internationally may also one day enter the picture.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:17:11 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3037 Main Event Report: Day 2A Ends with 822 Players <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he first of two Day 2 flights of the WSOP Main Event is in the books and the second flight is underway. The action yesterday was fast and furious, so much so that some were joking that the day would play down to the winner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It did not reach the winner, of course, but the field has dwindled down to 822 players from the 1,933 who started the day. Well over a thousand players were shown to the rail before the last card of the night hit the felt.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The surviving players will join those who retain chips after tonight's play to compete together tomorrow and for the very first time this year, all the Main Event participants will be playing at the same time. Day 1C started with 2,571 players and if yesterday’s trend continues, a great number of them will not live to fight another day.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Seven previous Main Event winners were in the field last night and four of them will be taking seats tomorrow. <strong>Greg Merson, Tom McEvoy </strong>and <strong>Dan Harrington </strong>were sent to the rail and will have to wait until another year for a new chance to claim the WSOP Main Event Poker Champion of the World title. Defending champ <strong>Ryan Riess </strong>made his way through, together with <strong>Chris Moneymaker, Huck Seed </strong>and <strong>Johnny Chan.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Martin Jacobsen </strong>started the day as the chip leader with 200,100 and continued his good run by ending the day with a stack just shy of 343,000. Although Jacobsen will start Day 3 in great shape, he couldn’t maintain the lead. That honor goes to <strong>Tim Stansifer</strong>, who bagged 481,500 at the end of the last level. He is followed by <strong>Thomas Cannuli </strong>(407,800) and <strong>Tony Ruberto </strong>(402,700).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other players making it to Day 3 include <strong>Antonio Esfandiari, Ole Schemion, ‘Mad’ Marvin Rettenmaier </strong>and <strong>Matthew Ashton</strong>. On the other side, those less fortunate included <strong>Liv Boeree, Annette Obrestad, Mike Matusow</strong>, <strong>Brandon Shack-Harris</strong>, and <strong>George Danzer</strong>. The latter two players are first and second in the WSOP POY race, while Matusow proclaimed his elimination as marking the end of a horrible summer.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After five levels are completed in tonight’s Day 2B, we will have the final number of players returning for Day 3 and some 2,000 players will continue their walk toward the biggest final table of the year, keeping their eyes on the huge first place prize of $10,000,000.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p> </p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:49:16 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3036 Showboat Closing Prompts NJ Lawmaker to Propose Changes <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>ngered by the fact that Caesars Entertainment will close the profitable Showboat Casino, a New Jersey legislator is preparing proposals that would restrict the way that the state's casino owners conduct business.</p> <p>New Jersey Assemblyman Chris Brown intends to introduce legislation that would preclude any one company from operating more than two casinos in the state, require that the sale of any casinos not include language that would prevent the new owners from reopening as a casino, and force casinos that elect to close to reimburse the state for any economic incentives they may have received.</p> <p><blockquote>This is unacceptable, and it’s time to stand up for the working middle class,” Brown told a group of about eight dozen concerned casino employees, residents, and fellow lawmakers.</blockquote></p> <p>Caesars, which also owns Bally's, Harrah's and Caesars Atlantic City, will close the Showboat Aug. 31 despite reporting profits. About 2,100 employees face the challenge of finding new employment. That's on top of the roughly 1,600 workers sent to the unemployment line in January when the Atlantic Club closed its doors.</p> <p>The Atlantic Club was purchased jointly by Caesars and Trump Entertainment in a bankruptcy auction in December. Caesars has since sold the casino hotel to a Florida developer with a stipulation that the property not reopen as a casino. Caesars made the same stipulation when negotiating the sale of the Claridge Hotel and Casino in February.</p> <p>Trump currently owns two Atlantic City casinos, while all other casinos in the state besides Caesars' holdings are operated individually. Brown's proposal aims to keep the state's gaming industry from being too dependent upon any one company. Some will argue that it already is too reliant on Caesars considering that the company will still have a 30% stake in the industry even after the Showboat closes and reduces the number of thriving casinos to 10.</p> <p>While hoping to stifle any competition by ensuring that the Claridge and Atlantic Club no longer accept wagers, Caesars representatives have indicated that no such restrictions will be placed on new owners of the Showboat. Caesars spokesperson Gary Thompson told the Press of Atlantic City that a number of inquiries have been received regarding purchasing the casino and Caesars is not planning to include deed restrictions as it did in previous sales.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:47:13 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3035 Nevada Tops in Player Traffic Among U.S. Regulated Poker Sites <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>s players compete at the Main Event of the 45th annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, the influx of players has resulted in <strong><a href="">'s Nevada site</a></strong> becoming the most heavily-trafficked in cash game action in the three regulated states that includes <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong><a href="">New Jersey</a></strong>.</p> <p>The latest numbers from PokerScout show WSOP-NV with 160 players in a seven-day average. The top position had been New Jersey's Party Borgata Network, who has now slipped down to second place at 140 ring game players. As recently as a couple weeks ago, Party Borgata enjoyed a 150-140 edge in average cash players over WSOP in Nevada, PokerScout reported.</p> <p>It's evident that the poker players in town for the WSOP have been visiting while not playing in live tournaments. But with the Main Event scheduled to arrive at its final nine players in a matter of days, expect WSOP-NV to gradually lose action at the online tables as more and more pros are eliminated from the $10,000 buy-in tournament and leave town.</p> <p>Also noteworthy is the fact that in New Jersey has gained some of the Garden State's online poker market share. As of this writing, WSOP-NJ averages 130 players, just 10 off the pace of Party Borgata.</p> <p>Player traffic numbers are of substantial significance to officials of states that are currently considering online poker and gambling regulations. Some of those states remain in a holding pattern while they study both the advances and pitfalls experienced by the regulated states that are acting as a litmus test for potential legislation.</p> <p>Also analyzed by the states sitting on the sidelines are the marketing strategies used by the regulated sites and whether or not such marketing efforts have been successful. The advertising and marketing techniques employed by in Nevada have been effective in allowing the site to grab the top spot in player traffic. One could argue that it would be difficult to be ineffective considering that the Rio is plastered with reminders about the availability of while players are in town.</p> <p>Party Borgata may again regain the title in coming weeks of the U.S. online poker room with the most cash game action among sites that are regulated due to the conclusion of the WSOP. But it may not hold that distinction over the long haul once other states with larger populations eventually regulate online poker.</p> <p>Both <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> and <a href=""><strong>California</strong> </a>are seemingly next in line to some day pass ipoker legislation. Both have larger populations to draw from, over 38 million in California and more than 12 million in Pennsylvania. Both also have the benefit of learning from the mistakes of the trio of regulated states that took the plunge last year, which may turn out to be a significant advantage over time.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Make <a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche"></a> your home for online poker this summer with 100% Up to $1,000 first deposit bonus</strong></p> <p> </p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 22:02:37 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3034 WSOP 2014 Main Event: Registration Closes with Record Breaking Day <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">Y</span>esterday was the last day to register for the 2014 WSOP Main Event and take part in the hunt for the $10 million first place prize. Those waiting for the last moment to register could not postpone it any more and the number of players taking part on Day 1C swelled to a record-breaking 3,968. It became the biggest ever number of players to start a day in the history of the Main Event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Combined with players from the other two starting days, the total number of entries climbed to 6,683. For the first time since 2010, the player field of the Main Event increased after shrinking from 2011-2013. The promise of a huge payday for the winner certainly has something to do with the greater number of entries.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The overall prize pool for the tournament now stands at $62,820,200 and 693 players will finish in the money. While the minimum amount anybody who makes it past the bubble will be walking away with is $18,400, the real big money is reserved for the final table. There is a big discrepancy between first and second place, as the runner-up will be taking home $5,146,000. It will likely be a tense heads-up, especially if two amateur players happen to face off in a poker match worth nearly $5 million more to the winner. Making the November Nine guarantees a payout of $730,000, while 2nd to 7th place finishers will become millionaires (if they aren't already).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not surprisingly, many former Main Event winners made it through Day 1 and will be taking their seats tonight and tomorrow to continue the journey toward Day 3. A couple of them, however, made an early exit. Those who definitely won't be repeating as champions include 2004 winner <strong>Greg Raymer</strong>, 2006 champ <strong>Jamie Gold</strong>, and the title holder from 2007, <strong>Jerry Yang.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Eric Tracy </strong>will be returning as the overall chip leader for Day 2 with a stack of 206,175. Tracy takes over the first position from <strong>Martin Jacobsen</strong>, who bagged 200,100 at the end of Day 1A. Although Day 1A was the smallest starting field, Jacobsen’s stack is still good enough for the second overall position. Some of the big names who ended their first day with a lot of chips in front of them include <strong>Phil Ivey </strong>(187,000), <strong>Eric Seidel </strong>(134,000), and <strong>Jared Bleznick </strong>(165,000).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As play gets underway for tonight’s action of the first of two Day 2 flights, we are certain to see some more exits and many of the nearly 2,000 players who start tonight will not be bagging chips for Thursday. On the other side of the spectrum are those who will continue to accumulate chips and build their stacks, coming one step closer to the biggest final table in all of poker taking place in November.</p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 20:16:47 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3033 Big Win in the Little One for One Drop for Igor Dubinskyy <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">L</span>ast night, the World Series of Poker awarded its last title for the summer. The Main Event, which is now in Day 1C, will not be crowning a winner before November. That means that the bracelet-fest is officially over. Just one more reason for <strong>Igor Dubinskyy </strong>to celebrate his victory over a big field for a huge payday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although the tournament was named the Little One for One Drop, the turnout was anything but little. Just shy of 4,500 players gathered to play and they battled for three full days before the final table was set. The sum of $111 from every buy-in went toward the One Drop Foundation, the charity of <strong>Guy Laliberte</strong> that aims to provide access to clean water for everyone. Nearly $500,000 was gathered to help this worthy cause.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The final nine players came back to battle on Day 4, led by <strong>Jackduyph Duong</strong> and <strong>Eric Baldwin</strong>. Dubinskyy was the second shortest stack of the players remaining and the future did not look so bright for him. However, he didn't give up and was able to double up soon after the start of play. <strong>Bao Nguyen</strong>, who started as the shortest stack, could not do the same and was the first casualty of the final table, taking home $52,400.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Vimy Ha </strong>was the eight place finisher. He was eliminated after getting it in on the flop against two opponents with draws. But <strong>Brandon Eisen</strong> caught a bigger pair on the river, sending Ha to the rail $68,000 richer. Eisen continued his strong run as he knocked out another player. This time it was <strong>Matthew Lapossie </strong>who lost a flip with pocket Fours against Eisen’s #ad#7d. Lapossie earned $89,000 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dubinskyy added to his stack after eliminating Duong<strong> </strong>in sixth place. Duong failed to win a coin flip with his #as#jc against Dubinskyy’s pocket Fours and was sent to the rail banking $117,507. Then Eisen took over once again and this time his victim was Baldwin, who moved his chips in the middle with pocket Deuces. Baldwin was crushed by the pocket Queens of Eisen and headed for the exit, pocketing $156,352.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Shai Zurr </strong>also fell to the play of Eisen. He moved his chips in the middle from the small blind with #10c#7c but was quickly called by Eisen and his #ac#jd. The best hand held up and Zurr was eliminated, earning $209,805 in the process.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although it seemed that nothing could stop Eisen,<strong> </strong>his run came to an end in third place. The hand that saw him out the door was one of the sickest we have witnessed in a long time, considering the amount of money on the line.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The board read #jd#3d#qd#9s. <strong>Theodore Driscoll</strong> bet out for 550,000 and Eisen moved all in. Driscoll tanked for quite a while, but eventually decided to make the call with #kd#2h. Eisen was somewhat shell-shocked to see his #ad#7c was the best hand after hearing the call and he only needed to fade a couple outs to double up in a huge pot. However, it clearly wasn’t meant to be when the dealer found one of the few cards needed to send Eisen to the rail in the form of #2s on the river. Eisen was clearly disappointed, but had to be satisfied with $283,895 in third place prize money.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With that elimination, Driscoll<strong> </strong>and Dubinskyy began their heads-up battle. Dubinskyy had quite a lead in chips and never let go of it. He kept grinding his opponent down until the final hand took place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">All of Driscoll’s chips went in the middle on the river with the board reading #4h#3c#3h#kd#7c. He was convinced his #js#3d was ahead. However, Dubinskyy’s #5h#6h caught lightning on the river, completing his straight and sending Driscoll out in second place with a $394,281 consolation prize.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ukrainian Igor Dubinskyy<strong> </strong>has thus claimed the last bracelet of the summer, coupled with $637,539 first place prize money. It marked only the second WSOP cash for Dubinskyy, as most of his cashes have been recorded in Europe. Winning a bracelet is always special for players, but Dubinskyy was particularly satisfied to have done so in a charitable event.</p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 20:48:42 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3032 Expected U.S. Internet Poker Boom Delayed <p><span class="letter-big">W</span>hen <strong>Delaware</strong> and <strong><a href="">New Jersey</a></strong> joined <a href=""><strong>Nevada</strong> </a>and launched online gambling regimes in November, many hoped and thought that other states would soon follow suit.</p> <p>Predictions of a <em>"domino effect"</em> in 2014 were rampant, as states struggling with revenue shortfalls were expected to embrace Internet poker and gambling legislation in order to provide a new source of funds via regulation and taxation. The new year has now passed the halfway mark and not one state has joined the first three in the online poker party, leaving the dominoes standing.</p> <p>The reasons for the delay in the anticipated U.S. online <em>"poker boom"</em> are many, with disappointing revenue numbers coming from the three regulated states perhaps the biggest reason of them all. The result has prompted some states to take a <em>"wait and see"</em> approach, hoping that in time the potential for success will become clearer in the process.</p> <p>Also a factor in the delay of the spread of ipoker regulation throughout the U.S. is the <strong>Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling</strong>. The efforts of<strong> Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson</strong> have played a part, as officials from states considering online gambling have taken pause to wonder if federal lawmakers will be influenced by the billionaire casino mogul and his money.</p> <p>Adelson's view is that online gambling is a pox on society and will corrupt youth in ways that his casinos somehow will not. His stance, although often cited by igaming proponents as misguided, hypocritical, and out-of-touch with the times in failing to embrace technological advancements such as the Internet, has helped to delay progress.</p> <p>But progress delayed is not progress denied. Both <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> and <a href=""><strong>California</strong> </a>have taken huge steps in 2014 toward passing online poker legislation. Both remain quite a distance from the finish line at present, but are closer than ever before.</p> <p>The odds are that 2014 will pass without another state rolling out an online poker scheme. Back in November, those odds appeared quite different. Many would have bet that at least one or two states would have joined Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey this year.</p> <p>The key to more rapid ipoker expansion in the U.S. is likely California. As the country's most populous state, and despite the fact that its Internet poker scheme is destined to be intrastate only, other states may be more willing to take the plunge once the Golden State does so.</p> <p>Still to be hashed out in California are the differences among Indian tribes, mainly the one that finds <strong>PokerStars</strong> in bed with the <strong>Morongo Band of Mission Indians</strong> and three prominent card clubs. It's not yet clear how that issue will be resolved, but the encouraging word from the latest online gambling hearing held in the state was that the approval of Internet poker legislation is more a matter of <em>"when"</em> than <em>"if."</em></p> <p>The U.S. online poker boom that many had envisioned about eight months ago when Delaware and New Jersey began launching may yet come to fruition. It has been delayed and progress is turning out to be much slower than online poker players in the U.S. would have liked. But when California eventually overcomes its hurdles and passes Internet poker regulations, the dominoes may fall after all.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:10:31 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3031 WSOP 2014: The Main Event Report <p style="text-align: justify;">Day 1A of the Main Event is in the books and Day 1B is drawing to an end as well. Registration has closed and players are slowly getting ready to start the last 2-hour level of the night. This is a good time to look at what has happened so far and what the numbers look like.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Day 1A finished with only 771 registered players and when the last hand of the day was dealt, 505 of them were bagging chips for Day 2 on Tuesday. It was Swede <strong>Martin Jacobson </strong>with the biggest smile on his face as he bagged the chip lead - just over 200,000 in chips. Second and third place went to <strong>Aaron Wilt </strong>and <strong>Seamus Cahill</strong>, respectively, although Jacobson ended up holding a pretty big lead over them and the rest of the field.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We mentioned yesterday some of those whose Main Event adventure was cut short. Those who will be returning on Wednesday include <strong>Kenny Tran, Mukul Pahuja, </strong>reigning champion <strong>Ryan Riess, </strong>and 2012 winner <strong>Greg Merson</strong>, who has only about 7,000 in chips. Other previous winners <strong>Chris Moneymaker </strong>and <strong>Johnny Chan</strong> are also still alive.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Yesterday was certainly a slow day for the Main Event and it even started some rumors that the turnout for the entire tournament could be significantly smaller than expected, but perhaps players were getting ahead of themselves. When registration closed for today, the tournament clock showed 2,144 players, which is nearly three-times bigger than yesterday’s field.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some big names were able to build big stacks for themselves, including <strong>Brian Hastings</strong>, who is currently sitting near the top of the chip counts. <strong>Erik Seidel</strong> is also one of the top stacks. Other players still in include current leader in the Player of the Year race <strong>Brandon Shack-Harris</strong>, <strong>Sorel Mizzi</strong>, and <strong>Lex Weldhaus</strong>. Of course, there is still some play left, so anything can happen, but they are looking good to make it through to Day 2.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the other hand, quite a few players had to take early leave and they will not have a shot at the title this year. Some of them are <strong>Chris Moorman</strong>, <strong>Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier</strong>, <strong>Max Silver</strong> and <strong>Philipp Gruissem</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Information coming from the Rio indicates that there are already close to 3,000 registered players for Day 1C, which is more than yesterday and today combined (2,915). With registration scheduled to last the entire day today and through Level 6 tomorrow, anything can happen. There are still satellites running as well, so it is almost certain that we will see a bigger turnout than last year when 6,352 players took their seats. However, to break the 2012 record of 8,773 players, the tournament would need well above 2,500 more entries. That will probably not happen, but no reason not to keep our fingers crossed to see this series break yet another record!</p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 05:04:06 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3030 Pat Walsh Seizes Bracelet in Prestigious PLO Championship <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">I</span>t was the last scheduled event before the start of the Main Event, although it won’t be the last bracelet to be awarded this summer. The Little One for One Drop will be crowning its winner tonight. But <strong>Pat Walsh </strong>managed to grab his first WSOP bracelet just before the 45th annual WSOP comes to an end.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Considering the fact that it was the $10k Pot Limit Omaha Championship, this tournament attracted all the top notch players. <strong>Sam Trickett </strong>was one of those players and he had a good run, but UK's golden boy busted before reaching the final table. <strong>JC Tran</strong>, <strong>David Williams </strong>and <strong>Alex Kravchenko </strong>also hit the rail before the final table of nine was formed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Walsh started the final table with the chip lead and a couple hours later he was able to turn that lead into his first bracelet. <strong>Jonas Entin </strong>($73,358) was the first to leave the final table after surrendering his chips to <strong>Isaac Baron</strong>. <strong>Michal Maryska </strong>($95,361) got entangled in a hand with with <strong>Javed Abrahams</strong> and by the river, it was his time to visit the rail as Abrahams’ straight held up against numerous outs for Maryska.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Michael Shkover </strong>was ousted next as his top pair was not good enough against the Queens of Abrahams and he failed to improve after the flop, leaving the game $125,233 richer. That left <strong>Matt Marafioti </strong>as one of the short stacks at the table and he busted in sixth place to <strong>Miltiadis Kyriakides</strong>, earning $166,087 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another short stack was that of <strong>Marko Neumann </strong>($222,549), whose run was done in fifth place. Once again, a pocket pair held up as Walsh’s Kings beat the middle pair and gutshot draw of Neumann. Baron<strong> </strong>got his chips in the middle with #qh#jd#10c#9d against the #ah#kd#jc#4c of Kyriakides, but as the board brought no help to either, the Ace-high of Kyriakides actually held up and eliminated Baron in 4<sup>th</sup> place worth $301,369.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although things were going good for Kyriakides<strong> </strong>for a while, he met his match eventually as well. He got his chips in the middle holding two pair and a gutshut against the set of Walsh and couldn’t find the help he needed to avoid being sent to the rail in 3<sup>rd</sup> place. He still earned $412,408 for his great performance in the tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Finally it was down to two, with Walsh holding a significant lead over Abrahams. His near 3:1 chip advantage was annihilated at one point, however, as Abrahams was able to seize the lead. Walsh got back in control after winning a big pot when his straight was able to stand up against the numerous outs of Abrahams, seriously crippling his stack. After some more back and forth, the two got involved in what was the final hand of the tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With the board reading #js#4c#3h, all the chips found their way into the middle and Abrahams was most at risk. He held #10s#7h#6c#5c against Walsh’s #jc#10h#4h#3c and needed to improve to beat the two pair of his opponent. He failed to do so when the board ran #8h and #8c, sending him to the rail as the second place finisher with a payday of $570,284.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The victory for Pat Walsh earned him not only the gold bracelet, but also $923,379 in cold, hard cash. It was a great success for Walsh, who is primarily a cash game player. This is the only tournament he has played so far and the only other event he intends to play is the Main Event. Walsh will be walking away a really big winner this summer no matter what happens in the Main Event.</p> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 21:00:16 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3029 WSOP 2014: The Main Event Gets Underway <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he big moment of every World Series of Poker is always the start of the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship, better known as the <strong>Main Event</strong>. It was no different for this 45<sup>th</sup> series either, as cards were in the air to start the path toward crowning a new poker champion.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was <strong>Joe Hachem</strong>, the 2005 Main Event winner, who was given the honor of opening the biggest and most important tournament of not only the series, but of the whole year. As far as poker tournaments go, none can compete with the Main Event in terms of number of participants and prestige, as no other tournament of the year with a $10k buy-in can attract even close to these numbers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is an important year for the WSOP as it celebrates its 10<sup>th</sup> anniversary since moving to the Rio from Binion’s Horseshoe, which was its home for 35 years. To celebrate this occasion, WSOP organizers decided to guarantee a $10,000,000 prize for the winner, which should result in a big turnout.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Play will be spread across three starting days. Day 2 will take place on Tuesday for players from Day 1A and Day 1B. Players from Day 1C, which traditionally gets the biggest turnout, will compete in their Day 2 on Wednesday. Finally, all players will take their seats together on Thursday and play down until the final table of nine is formed. The concept of November Nine still stands, however, so the winner of at least $10 million will be known after play on November 10<sup>th</sup> and 11<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The number of participants in some of the previous events provide a clue that the Main Event will likely gather a huge field. The Monster Stack Event, for example, took down a couple records and the Millionaire Maker event certainly did not fall far behind. However, we will just have to wait and see how things develop as Day 1A did not produce such a huge number of entries – just 771.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The defending champion, <strong>Ryan Riess</strong>, is one of those who decided to try their luck today. As the day is coming to an end, his stack is looking very healthy. If he wants to have any shot at defending the title, making Day 2 is an obligatory step. Riess is looking good to do it as things stand right now.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other notable names who are also still in the mix with the end of the day looming include <strong>Antonio Esfandiari, Annette Obrestad, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Merson</strong>,<strong> </strong>and many others. <strong>Jason Mercier </strong>was eliminated, so the series is over for him. The same goes for <strong>Phil Laak, Jeff Gross</strong>,<strong> </strong>and <strong>Jean-Robert Bellande</strong>. The latter<strong> </strong>decided to register to play super late and it did not help his cause of surviving the day.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We are at the start of the biggest yearly poker event and there is a lot ahead to look forward to. One thing that might disappoint some fans is <strong>Doyle Brunson</strong>’s announcement via Twitter that he would not be playing the Main Event this year. Let's hope the ten-time WSOP champ and poker legend changes his mind.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Are you ready to play for real money at <a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche">Download and Play Now!</a><br/></strong></p> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 07:35:50 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3028 Ten Game Mix Turns into Gold for Bryn Kenney <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>inning a bracelet in any particular event is usually quite an endeavor. But winning a bracelet in a tournament that takes ten games and mixes them together is especially hard. That’s why <strong>Bryn Kenney </strong>has multiple reasons to be excited and proud of his victory.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kenney outlasted the field of 445 players in the $1,500 Ten Game Mix Event, one of the last tournaments to have started before the Main Event. The final day started with nine players, so we would see three of them go before the official six-handed final table was formed. Those three were <strong>David Blatte, Haresh Thaker </strong>and <strong>Michael Mixer.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first casualty of the final six was <strong>Randy Ohel </strong>($18,923), whose rivered full house in a PLO hand was no good against <strong>Daniel Zack</strong>’s flopped quad Fives. After that, play slowed down significantly and it would take some time before the fifth place finisher was determined. Eventually, the honor went to <strong>Andrey Zaichenko </strong>($27,033)<strong>, </strong>whose #ac#2d fell victim to the pocket Kings of <strong>Fabio Coppola</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Zack was eliminated in a game that we didn’t get to see a whole lot during the series, namely Badugi. He got his chips in the middle against <strong>Jan Suchanek</strong> and failed to get the cards he needed to complete his four-card Badugi. Suchanek hit a #js on his last draw, completing his four-color combination and eliminating Zack in 4<sup>th</sup> place with $40,550.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For Coppola, third place was as far as he would go after he got involved in a 2-7 single draw hand against Kenney. Coppola called off Kenney’s all-in to put himself at risk and drew one card after Kenney stood pat. Coppola drew a King to end up with <strong>Kx 10x 8x 7x 6x</strong>, which was not good enough against Kenney’s <strong>Jx 10x 9x 7x 5x</strong>. Coppola left the tournament $153,220 richer for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kenney entered heads-up action about a 3:1 chip favorite and was able to ride his lead all the way to the bracelet. Although Suchanek<strong> </strong>was close to getting even at one point during the match, he couldn’t quite get there before the two played their last hand.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kenney and Suchanek saw the flop come #qh#9s#2h in a raised pot and Kenney check-called a bet from Suchanek. The turn came #4d and once again Kenney proceeded to check-call. The final card was #9c. Once again, Kenney checked and his opponent moved all-in. Kenney snap-called him with #10s#9h and rivered trips, while Suchanek could only turn over #kc#2c for a sole pair of Deuces. Second place was good for $94,618 for Suchanek.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For Bryn Kenney, this was his third final table appearance of the series and he was able to improve on his previous 4<sup>th</sup> and 5<sup>th</sup> place finishes. Taking down the bracelet in this one together with $153,220 first place prize money meant a lot to Kenney, especially in such a tough field that included the likes of <strong>Jeremy Ausmus</strong>, <strong>Scott Clements</strong>, <strong>Phil Laak</strong>, <strong>Justin Bonomo</strong>, and many other top-notch players.</p> Sat, 05 Jul 2014 21:07:41 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3027 Last $1,500 NLHE Event Brings the First Bracelet for Salman Jaddi <p style="text-align: justify;">When the WSOP started a bit over a month ago, there were 65 tournaments in the series for players to look forward to. Last night, we witnessed the conclusion of Event #60, clearly indicating that we are running out of events. Whether players are looking for their first bracelet or trying to add another one to a collection, there are very few shots left as the last tournament of the series, the Main Event, starts tonight.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Salman Jaddi </strong>is one of those lucky ones who managed to get their hands on a bracelet just as the tournament schedule was becoming small enough to fit comfortably on a post-it note. The last $1,500 event attracted a big field of 2,563 players, thus promising the winner a monster prize of $614,248.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But as is always the case, there could only be one winner while everyone else would be left to regret a decision or a play made at a certain point. The remaining nine players who gathered at the final table of Event #60 all knew that.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It wasn’t a star-studded final table by any standard, but Jaddi had some work to do if he was going to come out on top. He began the final table in the middle of the pack in chip counts, with quite limited playing experience. But the amateur went on a heater and everything went his way for the first half of the final table as he proceeded to eliminate five players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First he took out <strong>Kurt Jewell </strong>($45,603), winning a standard flip. Then he crushed the hopes of the only bracelet winner at the table, <strong>Steve Sung </strong>($59,547), after making the best hand with his #kc#10d to Sung’s #ac#10h. Also sent to the rail was <strong>Thomas Dietl </strong>($78,681) after yet another flip.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Jaddi didn't stop there as he proceeded to take the chips of the short-stacked <strong>David Bravin </strong>($105,185) and <strong>Cherish Andrews </strong>($142,346), whose pocket Queens were only the second best hand to Jaddi’s Kings.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After his strong performance, Sam took a step back. He left the rest of the work to <strong>Brandon Hall</strong>, who took the chips of <strong>Guillauma Marechal </strong>($194,939) and <strong>Zachary Gruneberg </strong>($270,299), who was at his third final table of the series. With those knockouts, Hall<strong> </strong>entered the heads-up with about a 2.5:1 chip lead over Jaddi, but they were in for a long haul.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although an amateur, Jaddi was not ready to give up that easily. He pulled all the tricks he could, including the “I am not sure what I’m doing” one, to end the night with the chip lead. And as the game dragged into the night, the clock was stopped and the players were scheduled to return tomorrow for the big finale.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Once they returned tonight, however, it was all over in something over an hour. Jaddi was able to turn his relatively small lead into a big gap and very quickly had Hall holding on for his tournament life. Hall took his last stand by shoving #ah#2d and received a call from his opponent who was holding #qh#10h.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The flop looked good for Hall, as it came #kh#ac#9s, leaving Jaddi with the gutshot and backdoor outs. However, the #2h turn was a scary card, as although it gave Hall two pair, it opened the possibility of a heart flush for Jaddi. The dealer turned over the final card of the tournament, the #6h, to eliminate Hall in second place with a $381,885 prize.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Salman Jaddi<strong> </strong>became an unlikely winner, even admitting it himself in an interview after the event. “I’m a business owner. I love playing the game poker. Anyone has a shot to win this thing.” And it may well be true – anyone has a shot, but it was Jaddi who put his to good use, earning $614,248 for his efforts and a gold WSOP bracelet as well.</p> Sat, 05 Jul 2014 07:23:28 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3026 Matt Grapenthien Denies Todd Brunson a Stud Championship Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he $10k Stud Championship may have gathered only 102 players, but many of those who entered undoubtedly belong to a group of elite poker players. The likes of <strong>Barry Greenstein, Jesse Martin</strong>, <strong>George Danzer, Matthew Ashton,</strong> <strong>Phil Hellmuth </strong>and<strong> Todd Brunson</strong> all participated.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The day started with nine players looking to seize the bracelet, and those nine included both Hellmuth and Brunson. Also among the finalists was hole card cam inventor and Poker Hall of Famer, <strong>Henry Orenstein. </strong> Orenstein was after his second bracelet, the first one coming in a 1996 $5k Stud event. Brunson was chasing his #2 as well, while Hellmuth was looking to capture his fourteenth and once again widen the gap between him and Phil Ivey, who won his 10<sup>th</sup> just a few days ago.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The only one not to make the official final table of eight was Jesse Martin, but his finish pushed him over $2 million in tournament winnings. Orenstein was the next casualty, as he couldn’t make it past 8<sup>th</sup> place. It was still a great run from the 90-year-old who’s been around poker for a long time and has not only seen but also helped poker grow and become what it is today.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Henrick Heklen </strong>committed his chips against Todd Brunson and his timing proved to be off. By seventh street, Brunson was raking in his chips while Heklen finished seventh.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hellmuth<strong> </strong>really had high hopes that this event would bring him a bracelet, as there are no more events to look for the gold. The very last event before the Main Event started tonight, and if the Poker Brat was going to get #14, it was going to be tonight. It didn’t happen, though, as he was stopped by <strong>James Obst</strong> who took the last of his chips and sent him to the rail in 6<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Steve Landfish </strong>actually finished as runner-up in this event in 2011 and was looking to go one better this time, but was denied the opportunity as <strong>Matt Grapenthien</strong> first severly crippled his stack and then proceeded to take the little Landfish had left, eliminating him in 5<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another tough opponent in the mix was <strong>Ben Yu. </strong>Although Yu does not have any bracelets to his name, this was his third career WSOP final table and he was certainly a tough opponent. The threat was eliminated when Yu, who started the final table in strong fashion but had troubles holding on to his chips as the tournament progressed, had a run-in with Grapenthien. All of his chips went in on fourth street and despite announcing his intention to double up, Grapenthien caught two pair on seventh street to send him to the rail with earnings of $75,227.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For Obst, this was his very first WSOP final table and he was looking to turn it into his first bracelet. It wouldn’t happen for him this time, though, as he was stopped in third place. In Obst's very last hand of the tournament, Grapenthien ended up with quads to send him home with $103,895.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was time for the bracelet winner to be determined and Todd Brunson<strong> </strong>held about a 2:1 lead over Grapenthien.<strong> </strong>It turned into a long battle but despite starting ahead, the cards wouldn’t fall Brunson’s way. A hand that cost Todd most of his chips came when Grapenthien made trip Kings and got Brunson to call several barrels. Some hands later, it was all over as Grapenthien’s pair of Eights held over Brunson’s pair of Fives. Todd had to be satisfied with second place, which earned him $165,891.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With this victory Grapenthien booked his 11<sup>th</sup> WSOP cash and improved on his previous best cash, which was 7<sup>th</sup> place in 2010. This was an emotional moment for Grapenthien as the bracelet was on his mind for the better part of the final table, especially during heads-up play. After last night, he gets to enjoy looking at it whenever he feels like it!</p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 19:34:18 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3025 Phil Ivey Claims Edge Sorting Requires Skill <p>With 10 <strong>WSOP</strong> titles to his name, no one is disputing the skill of <strong>Phil Ivey</strong> when it comes to playing poker. But his lawyers are asking a <strong>New Jersey</strong> court to also consider edge sorting at baccarat as another skill attributable to the poker pro.</p> <p>The latest court filing in the <strong>Borgata</strong> Casino's case against Ivey in which the casino claims that Ivey used an unfair advantage to win <em>$9.6 million</em> at the baccarat tables was a Motion to Dismiss filed by his attorneys, AP reported. Ivey's counsel found fault with Plaintiff's claims in three distinct ways.</p> <p>The motion for dismissal contends that Ivey did nothing that would fall under the definition of cheating, that time has run out for the casino to recoup lost money beyond a six-month window, and that alleged violations of New Jersey's casino regulations must be made by state regulators and not casinos.</p> <p><blockquote>Each and every penny of defendants' winnings was the result of sheer skill," stated the motion.</blockquote></p> <p>The legal dispute centers around Ivey's nearly <em>$10 million</em> in winnings collected while playing baccarat four times at Atlantic City Borgata in 2012. Ivey and a female associate persuaded baccarat dealers to flip various desirable cards a certain way and place them back into the deck after noticing defective patterns on the back of the playing cards.</p> <p>The dealers were also instructed to use a machine to shuffle the cards to ensure that once the card denominations were known and returned to the deck, Ivey and his companion could easily determine the approximate value of the cards merely by looking at the defects on the back.</p> <p>The Borgata filed a lawsuit in April aiming to recoup the money it paid Ivey under the belief that he and his cohort were using an unfair advantage and cheating. Ivey is also at legal loggerheads with a <strong>London</strong> casino in a similar case where the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner filed suit as the plaintiff. In the latter legal fracas, the casino refused to pay Ivey almost <em>$12 million</em> in winnings after determining how he managed to win.</p> <p>Motions to Dismiss are standard filings in civil matters in which the defense aims to have the case thrown out without progressing further. The plaintiff has a specific period of time to respond to the motion and generally attacks the claims made by the defendant in asking the court for dismissal.</p> <p>Ivey, of course, is currently in Las Vegas for the 45th running of the World Series of Poker. He recently won the WSOP $1,500 Eight Game Mix event for <em>$167,332</em>, putting him in elite company among four players who have at least ten WSOP titles.<strong> Phil Hellmuth</strong> leads the pack with 13, while <strong>Doyle Brunson</strong>, <strong>Johnny Chan</strong> and Ivey all have 10.</p> <p> </p> <p>Download the wsop software and take advntage of great welcome bouses - <a href=";utm_source=95&amp;utm_campaign=431&amp;utm_medium=niche">Click here to download</a></p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 16:19:46 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3024 Phillip Hui Seizes WSOP Gold after Unlikely Comeback <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>hen play got down to the unofficial final table of ten, <strong>Phillip Hui </strong>was as far away from the bracelet as anyone could be at that point. With only 23,000 in his stack, he did not even have a big bet left. Hui tweeted that it was time for a comeback, although probably half-jokingly. But a couple hours later, it was no longer half a joke as he did manage to come back and find his way to the top.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hui started his road to eventual victory soon after the start of 10-handed play. He put the last of his chips at risk against two players and his #js#jc#10s#10c held up  for the high while the board provided no possibility for low. It was game on.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He soon made another double up through <strong>David Williams</strong> and although it did not give him a very big stack, it was enough to give him a decent fighting chance. And while Hui was trying to grow his stack, players started to hit the rail. First to go was <strong>Don Zewin</strong>, who gave the last of his chips to <strong>Zach Milchman</strong>, and the official final table was formed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Joe Mitchell</strong> fell next as he surrendered what little chips he had to Hui, who managed to grow his stack in the process. Hui’s good run continued as soon he eliminated two players in the same hand, sending both <strong>Jordan Morgan </strong>(8<sup>th</sup>) and <strong>Matt Glantz </strong>(7<sup>th</sup>) to the rail.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Williams<strong> </strong>came into the day with high hopes, but his dreams were crushed by <strong>Ismael Bojang</strong>, who sent him out in 6<sup>th</sup> place. Then Hui continued to gather chips by eliminating <strong>John D’Agostino </strong>in 5<sup>th</sup> place, good for $65,736.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Boajang<strong> </strong>ran good for the first half of the final table, but then his luck started running out and a series of crippling blows saw his stack disappear. It ended with a finishing strike from <strong>Michael Bees</strong>, who sent Boajang to the rail to pick up $87,594. Milchman proceeded to eliminate Bees<strong> </strong>($118,036) and the remaining two players were ready to proceed heads-up.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hui found himself once again as the underdog, with Milchman enjoying a 4:1 chip advantage. Things were looking even worse for Hui when Milchman proceeded to grind his stack down and seize an 18:1 advantage. It seemed that Hui was poised for second place, but he had yet another comeback in him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hui managed two double ups in a row to get back in the game. Soon after, Hui held the lead and he wouldn’t let it slip from under his fingers. It was now Hui who was grinding Milchman’s stack. On the final hand, Milchman was holding #kc#qc#jd#3s against Hui’s #jc#10h#9d#7s. Hui hit a pair of tens on the #ah#10s#2c flop and managed to bring it home after the #4s turn and #8c river.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hui eliminated Milchman<strong> </strong>in second place and sent him home with $177,609 for his efforts. Hui earned his first WSOP bracelet and first place prize money of $286,976. He was ecstatic about his victory, not only because of winning his first bracelet but also because the WSOP had been going really bad for him until this point. It was a relief to finally book a sizable win just as time was running out on the number of tournaments left to play.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 23:05:23 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3023 Jared Jaffee Mixes Up a WSOP Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">M</span>ixed-max events seem to belong in the favorites category for many players. The changing pace of the game as the tournament progresses makes for interesting dynamics and creates new challenges as tables get shorter.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Event #58 of this year’s WSOP attracted quite a number of players, as 1,475 of them gathered to play on the first day of action. It started with nine-handed tables and transitioned to six and four-handed phases before eventually getting down to two heads-up matches to determine the two finalists.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Mike Watson </strong>squared off against <strong>Mark Herm</strong>, while <strong>Jared Jaffee </strong>played <strong>Joseph Alban. </strong>Jaffee made short work of Alban, as their match ended after only two hands. Alban moved all-in from the button and Jaffee made the call with #9h#9d. Alban’s #qs#8c was in trouble, but the turn gave him both straight and flush draws to go with his Queen. However, a brick on the river forced his elimination, albeit $126,882 richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Watson and Herm took a bit longer to determine the winner, as their stacks were much closer with Herm holding a slight lead at the start. Eventually, however, Watson found a way to get ahead and managed to strike the finishing blow when his #kd#2h held against Herm's #jh#8h, sending him to the rail with winnings equal to that of Alban.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After a break, Watson and Jaffee were ready to start what turned out to be a long heads-up battle for the title, with Jaffee holding a nearly 2:1 chip lead over Watson. Watson fought with all he had and was able to capture the lead at one point in the match, leading many to believe that he might be able to turn it around.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But things took a turn for the worse once again and Watson’s stack started dwindling. This time, he could not find a way to recuperate and soon found himself all-in for his tournament life. Watson was well ahead with his #jh#jd facing the #ac#6c of Jaffee. Fading an Ace would get him right back in the match. The bullet did not appear, but a straight did on fifth street when the board ran #10c#8h#5h#7c#4h. Watson's pocket Jacks were second best, resulting in a runner-up finish and a $246,000 prize.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Jaffee<strong> </strong>binked the Mixed-Max event, claiming $405,428 and his first gold bracelet. His previous best WSOP finish was 3<sup>rd</sup> place in last year’s four-handed event. The results further solidified Jaffee’s claim that short-handed play is his forte. Going into the last day of play, Jaffee had a good feeling about this tourney and that feeling proved to be right as he finally claimed a bracelet in his 11<sup>th</sup> WSOP cash.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 20:16:02 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3022 17 Bids Received for 4 New York Casinos <p>New York is inching closer to expanding land-based casino gambling after 17 bids were received by state gaming regulators for four new casinos.</p> <p>The <strong>New York State Gaming Commission</strong> is now carefully scrutinizing the proposals and will announce the winners sometime this fall. The list of applicants includes <strong>Hard Rock International</strong>, <strong>Caesars Entertainment</strong>, <strong>Penn National</strong>, and the <strong>Saratoga Casino and Raceway</strong>, among others.</p> <p>That list was originally populated by 22 bidders, but five have since not pursued the matter further, WSJ reported.</p> <p>The remaining 17 applicants have been welcomed to give oral presentations as to why they should be chosen on July 21. The <strong>Gaming Facility Location Board</strong> will hear their pleas. Those pleas for licensing will be restricted to three regions previously chosen by state officials in which the new casinos will be constructed.</p> <p>New York's gaming expansion plan was made possible by a November referendum that found New Yorkers in favor of commercial brick and mortar casinos. New York residents will be able to remain in-state to gamble, which will likely cause a drop in revenue in surrounding states. <strong>New Jersey</strong> has already experienced revenue decreases for that reason, with <strong>Pennsylvania</strong> mostly to blame.</p> <p>While blueprints are in place for expanded live casino gambling in the Empire State, expansion may also reach the Internet in the future. A survey taken in March found New Yorkers in favor of online poker, with <em>87%</em> stating that legalized Internet gambling would not preclude them from visiting casinos.</p> <p>The survey was commissioned by <strong>Caesars</strong> and<strong> MGM</strong> shortly after New York <strong>Sen. John Bonacic</strong> proposed an online poker bill. Bonacic's measure, S 6913, would permit poker-only while excluding games of chance from being wagered on online. Some 19 million residents call New York home, making it the third most populous state in the nation.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:34:34 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3011 Mike Kachan Breaks Through to Win WSOP $1K NLHE Title <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>he 2014 World Series of Poker is slowly winding down. There are only a couple events left before the start of the Main Event and that will be the last chance for those seeking bracelets this summer. <strong>Mike Kachan </strong>managed to catch one of the last trains leaving for bracelet-ville and claimed victory in Event #56, a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kachan outlived 2,524 opponents who took their seats at the start of Day 1 and by the time the last hand was dealt on Day 3, he improved on his now second-best WSOP finish in 2008 when he took 9<sup>th</sup> place in a $1,500 Limit Hold’em event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When 16 final players returned for Day 3, Kachan was sitting in the middle of the pack with his stack. Although he certainly was hoping, his expectations were probably not too high all things considered. By the time <strong>Matt Salsberg </strong>was eliminated in 10<sup>th</sup> place and the final table was set, Kachan was still in the middle of the pack. He gathered some chips to maintain his position, but he was well behind the chip leader and the only bracelet winner at the table, <strong>Steve Gross.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was a slow final table and every elimination took a while. The first three to eventually leave the game were <strong>Raymond Henson, Richard Milne </strong>and <strong>Steve Gross</strong>, the chip leader at the start of 9-handed play. Then <strong>Viktor Skoldstedt </strong>eliminated <strong>Neo Hoang </strong>in sixth place when his #as#js held over Hoang’s #kh#10s.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Skoldstedt was the next one to go out. He made his move with #ah#4s and was dominated by the #ac#js of <strong>Jeff Blenkarn</strong>. Skoldstedt earned $93,490 for his great run in this really big field, but could not go all the way.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kechan added some chips to his stack when he first crippled and then proceeded to eliminate <strong>Andrew Egan </strong>a couple of hands later, sending him to the rail in fourth place with $128,000. Then Blenkarn proceeded to bust <strong>Eric Shanks </strong>in third place ($177,527) and the stage was set for heads-up play.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kechan started with a slight lead over Shanks and was able to build on that lead during the next couple of hours to claim the victory. The last hand saw Blenkarn<strong> </strong>call an open from Kechan. Following the flop of #9s#jd#5h, Blenkarn proceeded to raise Kechan’s bet and the #6h hit the turn. Blenkarn moved all-in and wasn’t happy to see Kechan beat him to the pot.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Kechan turned two pair with #jh#6d and was well ahead of Blenkarn’s #qd#9d. The #10c on the river did nothing to change this fact and Jeff Blenkarn was eliminated in second place, earning $250,815.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first place prize of $403,483 and the gold bracelet went to Mike Kechan. Playing in this tournament was a last-minute decision for the new champ, who came to Vegas to play the Main Event. But on this occasion, it worked out quite well for him!</p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:05:43 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3010 Latin Series of Poker Changes Name to Appease WSOP <p>The<strong> Latin Series of Poker</strong> (LSOP) has announced a rebranding to the <strong>Latin Poker Series</strong> (LPS) following a claim of copyright infringement made by the <strong>World Series of Poker</strong> (WSOP).</p> <p>The WSOP took offense to the LSOP acronym, believing that confusion might occur in the minds of consumers due to the similarity in brands centered around <em>'Series of Poker.'</em> The WSOP is undoubtedly the most recognized of poker tournaments, currently in its 45th year. The LPS has been around (as LSOP) since 2008.</p> <p><blockquote>We are honored that the most respected poker tournament circuit has laid eyes on us," stated LPS President Diego Chan in a press release. "Being under the microscope means that our tournament series is really making a name for itself on the world stage, and it confirms that we are doing things right in taking our events to the poker world."</blockquote></p> <p>All LPS tournaments previously scheduled will go forth as planned, albeit reflecting the name change that has already commenced at the website. That site will also soon be posting results of a leaderboard competition among participants in live LPS events.</p> <p>The 45th running of the WSOP is currently underway in<strong> Las Vegas</strong>. The festival will continue through mid-July, culminating in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event that will reduce the field to nine players before going on hiatus for a few months.</p> <p>The LPS Millions II and its guaranteed $1 million prize pool is slated to begin in September in Panama with Day 1 tables set to be played in locations around the world. Also on the docket are the LPS Chile (Aug. 20-24) and the Punta Cana Poker Classic (Nov. 4-9).</p> <p>The LPS is sponsored by the <strong>Winning Poker Network</strong>. Players can compete for a chance to win live tournament poker packages at WPN skins such as <strong>Black Chip Poker</strong> and <strong>Americas Cardroom</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 16:05:34 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3008 Daniel vs. Daniel: Colman Beats Negreanu to Conquer WSOP Big One for One Drop <p style="text-align: justify;">It may have been only a 42-player ‘sit and go,’ as some players jokingly named it, but the <strong>Big One for One Drop </strong>tournament has easily outdone any other event that has taken place during this WSOP in terms of prize pools. A fee of $111,111 was taken from every $1 million buy-in, generating more than <strong>$4.6 million charity money</strong> for the One Drop Foundation. Players were left to compete for the prize pool of more than <strong>$33 million</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Nearly half of that money, $15.3 million, was reserved for the winner of the event. And that’s what the remaining nine players had their eyes fixed upon when they returned tonight for the last day of play. After about 4 hours of play, it was <strong>Daniel Colman</strong> who became $15.4 million richer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Only eight players were guaranteed to walk away with money, meaning that one of those coming back today would go home $1 million lighter just like the 42<sup>nd</sup> place finisher. Although it was a huge bubble, it burst within a few hands of play. Many players did not have too many big blinds in their stacks. The extremely unpleasant honor went to <strong>Tom Hall</strong>, who had his ups and downs throughout the tournament. His luck finally ran out completely and he lost a flip to finish in 9<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not even ten hands later, it was <strong>Cary Katz </strong>sent to the rail when his pocket Eights fell victim to <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>’s pocket Jacks. Katz still made a nice profit on the tournament, as he walked away with $1.3 million. Following him out the door not too long after was <strong>Paul Newey</strong>, who got it in good preflop with #ac#jh versus <strong>Rick</strong> <strong>Salomon</strong>’s #ah#4h. But Salomon turned the nut flush and sent Newey on his way to pick up more than $1.4 million for his seventh place finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Scott Seiver </strong>got his last 10 or so million in chips in the middle against Negreanu while holding the middle pair and a flush draw. But despite Seiver's many outs, Negreanu’s top pair held up through the turn and river to eliminate Seiver in 6<sup>th</sup> place ($1,680,000).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tobias Reinkemeier </strong>perhaps was not having his best day today, as he made what many deemed a questionable fold with pocket Aces on the turn and was shown a bluff by Seiver. But he managed to finish in fifth place and bank $2,053,000. His luck eventually ran out when he moved all-in with #js#8s and got called by Negreanu and his holding of #qd#10d. The flop could hardly hit KidPoker any harder, as it came #7d#8d#9d, and Reinkemeier was sent on his way.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Salomon and his remaining sixteen big blinds was next to go only a couple minutes later.  He open shoved holding pocket Eights and was called by Colman with #ac#10h. Colman hit not one but two Tens on the flop and that was more than enough to send Salomon out with $2.8 million to his name.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The two Daniels and <strong>Christoph Vogelsang </strong>started three-handed play with Vogelsang looking to double up to have a shot at the $15 million first place prize. Although Vogelsang gave it his best, he kept bleeding chips and was eventually reduced to under four big blinds. Negreanu eventually put him away, allowing he and Colman to play for even bigger bucks than the $4,480,000 that Vogelsang took home.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The difference between first and second place was quite significant, so naturally, heads-up action took some time. Negreanu and Colman exchanged chip leads, with both players determined to claim victory.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the final hand of the match, Negreanu limped his button, Colman raised, and Negreanu moved all-in. Colman wasted little time making the call with #kd#qh and Negreanu turned over #ad#4c for a slight preflop advantage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The flop further extended KidPoker’s lead, as it came #js#ah#4s, giving him two pair. Colman was left looking for a ten to complete his Broadway. He did not have to sweat too much, however, as the dealer burned and turned the #10s. All of a sudden, Negreanu was way behind and looking for help on the river. That help never came as #7s peeled off, and KidPoker was eliminated in second place despite putting up a great fight against a player many describe as a heads-up specialist. His efforts were not in vain, however, as Negreanu banked<strong> $8,288,001</strong> for his second place finish. This score puts him in first place on the <strong>All Time Money List</strong>, an honor held by <strong>Antonio Esfandiari</strong> until tonight.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The huge first place prize of <strong>$15,306,668</strong> went to Colman. It's the very first WSOP bracelet for the 23-year-old and he is no doubt thrilled that it came from such a big event. And to top it off, Colman’s "gold" bracelet will be a one-of-a-kind, custom made, platinum bracelet. You can call that a good day at the office.</p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 06:01:25 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3007 No Gold for Massey – Asi Moshe Captures His First Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">C</span>oming into the final table of Event #55, there was one player who probably wanted to win a bracelet more than all of the other eight players – <strong>Aaron Massey</strong>. But in poker, as in life, desires and reality often do not correspond. Massey finished in 3<sup>rd</sup> place, while it was <strong>Asi Moshe </strong>who captured his first bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For Moshe, this was his fourth ever WSOP event. Of the four tournaments played, he cashed in two. His resume now includes a fifth place finish in 2013 and the gold bracelet and $582,000 win from last night. Moshe is a computer programmer and semi-professional poker player who plays most of his games in the online environment, but that will probably change now as his live cashes are in excess of $700,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Massey, on the other hand, has two WSOP circuit rings and a total of 32 circuit cashes. Combined with his nine WSOP cashes, Massey’s total WSOP earnings amount to $623,000. That includes last night’s third place worth $255,000. For Massey, the dream of winning a bracelet has long eluded him and last night he came so close to finally capturing it. Good vibes were coming to his Twitter from all over the place, but he ran out of luck after he pushed his pocket Tens into the pocket Queens of Moshe. Despite hitting a ten on the flop, it was not enough when his opponent also found a queen and Massey’s run at the bracelet ended.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This left Moshe to play heads-up for the bracelet against <strong>Michael Ferrer, </strong>holding about a 2.5:1 chip lead over his opponent. However, Ferrer wasn’t going away easily and managed to grind his stack back to even. After some more back and forth, it was a cooler-type hand that determined the winner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The board was reading #qs#5d#2c#3h#4c and after Ferrer moved all-in over a bet from Moshe, he snap-called. Ferrer was holding #ac#qd for the wheel, but his hand was only second-best. Moshe made a six-high straight with his #5c#6c, sending Ferrer to the cage to pick up his $361,207.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Moshe earned not only his first bracelet but also the hefty sum of $582,321. He admitted in an interview with that it was “maybe the best feeling of his life.” He said that winning the bracelet was one of his dreams, but he never really believed it was going to come true. But dreams sometimes do come true for some, and Moshe can count himself lucky to be one of those people who turned their dreams into reality.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Other final table players included 4<sup>th</sup> place finisher<strong> David Jackson </strong>($183,500), <strong>Bobby Poe</strong> in fifth worth $133,686, <strong>Henrik Hecklen </strong>(6<sup>th</sup>), <strong>Marc-Etienne McLaughlin </strong>(7<sup>th</sup>), <strong>Tim West </strong>(8<sup>th</sup>) and <strong>Brian Kennedy </strong>(9<sup>th</sup>).</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 22:13:11 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3006 Monster Prize for Hugo Pingray as He Wins WSOP Event #51 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>SOP Event #51 – the Monster Stack<strong> – </strong>was one event that most players were eager to play. With a small buy-in, good structure, and expected big turnout, there was very little reason not to play this one. And that was the conclusion of the 7,862 players that entered, creating a staggering prize pool in excess of $10.5 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It took four full days for 7,861 of those players to lose all of their chips and the one player who ended up with the huge stack of 117,800,000 was <strong>Hugo Pingray</strong>. Although his cash reward was not as big as the amount of betting discs in front of him, it was still the second biggest cash of this year’s series and was outmatched only by the first prize of the $50k Poker Players Championship.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Pingray, however, only had to pay $1,500 to get his seat in this tournament and he got to walk away with a mind-numbing <strong>$1,327,000</strong> or nearly 900 times the amount of his buyin! Before getting his hands on this pile of money, Hugo had to fight a long heads-up battle with <strong>Joseph McKeehan. </strong>It was a grueling four hours of chips exchanging hands and the combatants trying their best to outsmart each other before Pingray was able to deliver the finishing blow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The long grind finally came to an end when McKeehan shoved over Pingray’s button open and Pingray made an easy call with #ac#kd. McKeehan was behind with his #js#10c and the flop of #ad#5h#2s did not help his cause in any way. The #9s on the turn meant he was drawing dead and he would have to be content with a "measly" $820,863 for his runner-up finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This final table did not feature many big names, as the only bracelet winner in the bunch was 2011 Casino Employees Event winner <strong>Sean Drake</strong>. But even Drake's presence at the final table guaranteed more than what he picked up for that win. Drake went on to finish in third position, claiming $619,521 for his efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Two other players with previous final table experience were <strong>Thayer Rasmussen </strong>and <strong>Zachary Gruneberg</strong>, and they finished in 5<sup>th</sup> and 8<sup>th</sup>, respectively. Rasmussen took home $356,620 while Gruneberg cashed in for $163,238.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Joshua Hillock </strong>was the unluckiest of the lucky, as he was the first one to leave his final table seat. But Hillock still scored a five-figure payday in the amount of $127,364. <strong>Bobby Byram </strong>finished in seventh place, banking $210,469. <strong>Lynne Beaumont </strong>took 6<sup>th</sup> worth $273,000, while the 4<sup>th</sup> place finish of <strong>Claas Sagebrecht </strong>was good for $468,594.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This event was the third largest live tournament in history and the biggest without reentries and a single starting day. This reflected on payouts, as despite the small buyin of $1,500, all the players at the final table were guaranteed a five-figure payday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This victory was truly huge for Pingray, as up to this point his lifetime earnings were close to $46,000. The 23-year-old, who is taking time away from college to pursue his poker dreams, was exhausted but thrilled when all was said and done. As far as poker goes, when you win your very first WSOP bracelet in a field of this size and pick up well over a million for your efforts, it doesn’t get much better than that.</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 20:34:13 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2997 California Takes Aim at Internet 'Sweepstakes Cafes' <p>While the California legislature continues to ponder a couple of online poker bills that would allow state residents to compete against one another on the virtual felt, another bill has been proposed that would prohibit "sweepstakes cafes" from offering casino-type games that offer cash and prizes to winners.</p> <p>The cafes have been operating in the Golden State and use computers that simulate games of chance and slot machines that are common to casino gamblers. However, the winners are not selected randomly in the fashion that games of chance normally do. The results are already predetermined and it is that difference that operators of the sweepstakes cafes point to when claiming their customers are not actually gambling.</p> <p>Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) is not buying it, however, and has proposed AB 1438. Salas' measure would allow state officials to sue operators who continue to offer such gaming at sweepstakes cafes and could result in civil penalties for those found to be non-compliant, USA Today reported.</p> <p><blockquote>This is a prolific problem that we're seeing in our neighborhoods up and down the state, where we're seeing these illegal gaming sweepstakes cafes opening up with a myriad of problems and issues ... of drugs, of prostitution, impacts to local legitimate businesses in these strip malls where these things are occurring," Salas said.</blockquote></p> <p>Earlier this month, authorities raided one such sweepstakes cafe believed to be an illegal gambling den in a run-down area south of Sacramento. That marked the second time this year such a raid occured. Agents with the California Bureau of Gambling Control have reported that the number of businesses investigated for illegal gambling have doubled in just two years.</p> <p>More than three dozen groups that represent government and law enforcement interests are supporting Salas' proposal. Also on board are 15 more groups that represent the state's powerful card rooms and Indian tribes. The latter organizations, who operate legal land-based gaming operations, claim to be losing revenue to the sweepstakes cafes.</p> <p>The problem is not specific to California, as the American Gaming Association has released statistics showing that sweepstakes cafes can be found in 19 states. The AGA has estimated the market to be worth $10 billion per year throughout the nation. A couple of states, Georgia and New York in particular, have already advanced legislative efforts to ban such operations.</p> <p>In California, Salas' bill is currently before the Senate. But the California Supreme Court is also involved, as the justices have agreed to hear a case that centers around whether or not predetermined results of the casino-type games can be constituted as gambling.</p> <p><blockquote>On the surface, it looks like it's illegal," said Philip Walker, a Bakersfield Internet cafe owner and founder of the Internet Cafe Association of California. "But once you get down to the meat inside, it really isn't."</blockquote></p> <p>The 5th District Court of Appeals in California ruled a few months ago that the computers in use at sweepstakes cafes are against the law despite the predetermined results argument. The state Supreme Court will now have a final say in the matter.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 23:45:45 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3020 Florian Langmann Wins Title in $3K PLO8 Hi-Lo <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span class="letter-big">F</span>lorian Langmann </strong>has been a regular participant in WSOP tournaments for several years, making number of deeper runs and cashes in different events, but the final table appearance has eluded him. His best WSOP finish coming into this event was 24<sup>th</sup> place, but it all changed last night, when Langamann managed to turn his first final table appearance into a gold bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Langmann outlasted 474-strong field in the $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event to claim this coveted piece of poker jewelry and the first prize money of $297,650. The last obstacle standing between him and this achievement was the eventual runner-up finisher <strong>Zach Freeman, </strong>but Langmann started with better than 3:1 chip advantage and he did not have too much trouble parlaying that advantage into the victory. Freeman had to be content with the $184,216 that he earned for his second place finish.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The final day of the event started with 20 players, but after rather quick series of elimination, Langmann found himself sitting at the final table with the chip lead and, for a change, the one who started with the most of chips ended up with all of them.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Play at the final table took a much slower pace than the first couple levels, but the other seven players were being sent to the rail in their respectful order. First to leave the final nine was <strong>Shiva Dudani</strong>, followed by <strong>Jonathan Depa </strong>and <strong>Woody Deck</strong>. <strong>Antony Lellouche </strong>was then eliminated in 6<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>TJ Eisenmann </strong>gave last of his chips to Freeman finishing in 5<sup>th</sup> place and banking $68,181. Freeman took another bounty after eliminating <strong>Doug Baughman </strong>($90,853) in fourth place and coming close to Langmann’s chip count. However, Langmann pulled ahead again as he sent <strong>Dylan Wilkerson </strong>to the rail, to claim his $122,427.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After defeating Freeman heads-up, <strong>Florian Langmann </strong>has not only earned his first WSOP bracelet but also added to Germany’s score for the summer, and their total now stands at five golden trinkets. Although PLO8 is not Langmann’s game of choice, as he much prefers regular Pot Limit Omaha, he decided to take a crack at this event, and he is no doubt glad he did so.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are still couple events left for German players to further establish their dominance at this year’s World Series of Poker, and perhaps there is still time for Langmann to join his colleagues <strong>George Danzer </strong>and <strong>Dominik Nitsche </strong>in winning his second bracelet for the summer.</p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 22:39:53 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3019 Haixia Zhang Storms the Final Table of Ladies Championship to Seize the Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter she busted the Monster Stack, <strong>Haixia Zhang </strong>was probably disappointed and did not see things exactly going her way. Regardless, she decided to give a shot to the Ladies Championship, and three days later, she outlived and outplayed the field of 793 players to book not only her first WSOP bracelet, but also her first major tournament final table.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Play stopped yesterday when the final table of nine was formed and these nine returned today to find out who will be taking home the coveted WSOP bracelet. Zhang started the day third in chips, behind <strong>Meikat Siu </strong>and the dominant chipleader <strong>Mikiyo Aoki</strong>. This was already a big achievement for the lady who defines herself primarily as “a business owner and a mom”, who doesn’t play that much poker, but things were about to get even better for her.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First one to go from the final table was <strong>Patricia Cahill</strong>, who was basically tied for the official short-stack of the table with the eight place finisher <strong>Stacey Sullivan. </strong>After their departure, Zhang claim the chips of <strong>Kendra Wray, </strong>after pulling of a win with her #ah#9h against Wray’s #ac#jd and sending her to the rail in 7<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Persia Bonella </strong>finished in 6<sup>th</sup> place after her flop raising war with Meikat Siu ended up with all her chips in the middle. Bonella had #ac#4c and with the boar reading #4h#6c#6d she was ahead of #ks#qs of Siu, but Siu caught a Queen on the turn and King on the river to send her packing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Patty Landis </strong>probably had the biggest rail today, including the virtual one on the Twitter. Landis is well known as Daniel Negreanu’s personal assistant and KidPoker was rooting for her to win this one. It wouldn’t happen however, as her tournament was cut short when she jammed her pocket Sixes into pocket Tens of Aoki. Fifth place finish earned Patty $33,279.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Zhang managed to eliminate another player after her #ad#2d caught up against pocket Treys of <strong>Elizabeth Montizanti </strong>who was sent to the rail in 4<sup>th</sup> place, picking up $44,770 for her efforts. However, Aoki made sure not to fall to far behind, as she took claim on <strong>Meikat Siu’s </strong>chips, getting her to commit her chips drawing dead on the turn. Siu’s third place finish was worth $61,114.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So the two ladies started their bracelet battle nearly even in chips, with Zhang holding only a slight advantage. But about an hour and a half later, after raking in a big pot with the made straight against <strong>Mikiyo Aoki’s </strong>two pair, Zhang had her opponent all in and ahead.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Aoki shoved from the button, holding #jd#7d and Zhang made the call with #as#6s and five cards later, neither of them caught anything. This meant that the best hand held up and Mikiyo Aoki was the runner up, earning $94,800.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Haixia Zhang </strong>was the winner, claiming not only the bracelet but very respectable $153,470 first place money to go with it. Another Ladies Championship was in the books and another lady claimed her WSOP bracelet!</p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 22:34:11 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3000 Delaware Posts Lowest Online Poker Revenue Since Launch <p>Delaware's online poker scheme experienced a huge decline in revenue for the month of May, generating the least amount of any month since launching in November.</p> <p>The dismal results for May were released by the Delaware Lottery and show that poker rake for the sites operated by Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway and Delaware Park came to $57,469. That's a decrease of more than 22% from the $74,078 taken in during April.</p> <p>The best month for online poker revenue in the smallest state among the three who have thus far legalized forms of online gambling was December when poker rake totalled $106,922. From that high point five months ago, poker revenue has decreased 46.25%.</p> <p>In revenue that encompasses all online casino games as well as video lottery and poker, Delaware netted $175,601 for May. That marks the first month since launch that The First State posted an overall decrease. Previously, each subsequent month since November was better than the one before until May ruined the streak.</p> <p>All online gaming took in a profit of $240,496 in April, with the lowest month being that of November at $111,387. From April to May, net igaming proceeds fell off just shy of 27%.</p> <p>Declining revenue is not restricted to Delaware among regulated online gambling states. Both Nevada and New Jersey have had their troubles since launching, as revenue figures projected prior to launch have not met the high expectations of state officials in any of the states.</p> <p>That may be part of the reason why no other states have launched Internet gambling regimes since the trio all did so last year. As time marches on, it appears that none will be joining the three in 2014.</p> <p>New signups hit an all-time low in Delaware for May. Only 342 Delawareans created new online gaming accounts in the month. New players have decreased each and every month since November.</p> <p>The declining signup figures are not surprising considering the limited amount of residents who call Delaware home. The 2010 census found a population of 897,934, good for only 46th place among 56 U.S. states and territories. Of those almost 900,000, just 7,077 have created online gambling accounts in the tiny state.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 15:16:23 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3001 'Downtown' Chad Brown Receives Honorary WSOP Bracelet <p>Following several near misses of a WSOP title throughout a prolific poker career that began more than two decades ago, Chad Brown was awarded an honorary WSOP bracelet on Saturday.</p> <p>A ceremony conducted by WSOP tournament director Jack Effel bestowed on Brown the coveted jewelry for his contributions to poker throughout the years. Brown was unfortunately not in attendance to receive his award, having been stricken with liposarcoma several years ago.</p> <p>The rare form of cancer has kept Brown away from the poker action that he loves as he currently is undergoing hospice care for his illness. Though his appearance at live tournaments has been lacking due to being ill, Brown has been missed and has not been forgotten by the poker community.</p> <p>Citing the strong likelihood that Brown would have eventually captured a WSOP tournament victory had his health not been an issue, Effel announced that an honorary WSOP bracelet is well-deserved for the likeable pro who is both admired and well-respected by his peers. This marks the first time in history that the WSOP has given such an award to a player.</p> <p>Brown's lifetime earnings eclipsed $3.5 million and included his biggest cash of almost $325,000 for a runner-up finish at the 2007 WSOP in $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw. That was one of three second place finishes in WSOP events for Brown during his career, as the affable pro continued knocking on the door of a title.</p> <p>The Hendon Mob database lists over 100 cashes at live poker tourneys for Brown in more than 20 years of play. Over half a dozen were first place victories, but the championship finishes were in events outside of those sponsored by the WSOP.</p> <p>A Team PokerStars Pro, Brown posted a health update via the PokerStars blog last February. He held nothing back in sharing his situation with those concerned about his well-being, taking time to count his blessings instead of falling into self-pity.</p> <p>Congratulations to Chad Brown on receiving an honorary gold bracelet from the WSOP!</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 03:22:48 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3018 WSOP 2014: Big One for One Drop is Underway <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span> long awaited Event #57, <strong>Big One for One Drop </strong>tournament has started couple hours ago. With $1 million buy in, this is without a shadow of a doubt, the most expensive poker tournament in the world. Envisioned by Guy Laliberte, philanthropic owner of the famous <em>Circe de Soleil</em>, the tournament takes out $111,111 from the every entry as a donation for the One Drop Foundation that strives to provide clean water for those in need.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The event is capped at 56 players, and when cards were finally in the air tonight, after the opening ceremony, 43 players were registered, including two satellite winners from the last night, <strong>Connor Drinnan </strong>and <strong>Erick Lindgren</strong>, who got their seats through the $25,000 satellite.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We’ve written about the One Drop already on several occasions, getting into the spirit of things, but now the wheels are finally in motion. <strong>Antonio Esfandiari, </strong>last year’s winner,<strong> </strong>is there, looking for a repeat performance. <strong>Phil Ivey </strong>is coming fresh from his tenth bracelet win and <strong>Daniel Negreanu </strong>is maybe not fully focused, as he follows the progress of his personal assistant, Patty Landis, on the final table of the Ladies Championship.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Players have started with three million in chips in their stacks, and with blinds of 3,000 / 6,000, meaning they start off playing 500 blinds deep. This should guarantee a more cautious and slower play during the early levels. That said, the event already had one elimination, as <strong>David Einhorn </strong>fell victim to <strong>Sam Trickett</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although everyone was in shock to see a player leave within the first hour of the action, that’s exactly what happened after Einhorn and Trickett saw the flop of #2h#jc#6d. Trickett called the bet from Einhorn, holding #4c#5c and they saw the turn come #3s, making Trickett the absolute and well concealed nuts. This spelled trouble for Einhorn, who flopped a top set with his #jd#js. More chips went in on the turn, but last raise came from Einhorn, as Trickett decided to just call. After river came #qc, changing nothing, David Einhron led out, Trickett moved all in, his opponent made the call and was shocked to see that the one million dollars worth of chips has just gone into the flames.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Late registration will remain open for this event for the standard six levels and we should see couple more players taking their seats. One player has already used the benefits of late registration, and that player is <strong>Gabe Kaplan </strong>who was wondering last night whether to “1 drop or not to 1 drop”, and apparently decided to <em>drop</em>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Couple fun and exciting days of poker is ahead of us ending with one of the players walking away with the huge amount of money (how much money exactly is yet to be determined). But the One Drop Foundation will also be receiving a hefty donation of several million dollars, so there will be a lot of happy faces. But before that, there will be a lot of disappointed faces who, like Einhorn, will be sent to the rail wondering if they should have done something different and what got into them to pay $1,000,000 to play a single tournament.</p> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 22:28:59 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3017 David Olson Breaks the Limit and Claims his First WSOP Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">T</span>here were numerous tournaments starting in Vegas last couple days, so the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship did not attract a great number of players. But the field of 122 contained many big names like Antonio Esfandiari, George Danzer, Jeff Shulman and Scott Seiver. This is all the more reason for <strong>David Olson </strong>to be happy that his very first gold bracelet would come after outlasting such a formidable field.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The final day started with only 10 players remaining and Olson was near the bottom of the chip counts to start the things. But things were going to turn around for the 27-year old from Detroit in the levels to come.  </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Robert Como </strong>was the first player to leave and that same hand cause <strong>Gabriel Nassif </strong>most of his chips. Soon after, it was Nassif heading for the rail in 9<sup>th</sup> place. Greg Debora was still firmly holding the lead, while Olson was waiting his chance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Brian Tate eliminated <strong>Jan Sjavik </strong>in 8<sup>th</sup> place, as short stacked Sjavik ran his #5c#4s into pocket Jacks of Tate. <strong>Tate </strong>himself was eliminated some hands later as he got all his chips in the middle before the flop with #ad#jh but could not outrun #as#kd of Samuel Golbuff.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Bill Chen</strong>, the only bracelet winner at the table was denied the shot at another bracelet, as Paul Mannoni eliminated him in sixth place. Hunter became the hunted some hands later as the last of <strong>Mannoni’s </strong>chips ended up in the stack of Samuel Golbuff. Mannoni got it in well, with middle pair against Golbuff’s flush draw, but club on the turn sealed his fate and sent him to the cage to claim his $75,470.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Following the patter, <strong>Samuel Golbuff </strong>found himself out of the tournament next. He surrendered the last of his chips to Mikai Tulchinskiy to finish in 4<sup>th</sup> place and claim slightly over $100,000. In the meantime, David Olson picked up some momentum and it was him leading the pack when the three handed phase began.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">On the other hand<strong>, Greg Debora, </strong>who started the day as the chipleader, would go no further than the third place. Debora got involved in a big pot against Tulchinskiy with his pocket Sevens, but when the last of chips went in the middle on the flop, he got the bad news as Mikail held #ah#ad. Debora could not find help on either turn or river, and was eliminated, claiming $136,000 for his effort.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Heads up between <strong>Mikail Tulchinskiy </strong>and David Olson started the heads up battle and Olson held the lead. That lead would turn into victory some two hours later. There was some back and forth in chips between the two and Tulchinskiy made one comeback when it seemed all but over. After that he managed to get to even stacks at one point, but Olson turned things in his favor once again and set the stage for the finishing strike.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Tulchinskiy was all in preflop for his last 230,000 and turned over #kc#6c. He was up against #9h#9d of Olson and looking to improve to stay in contention. However, Olson flopped a set on the board of #9s#7h#5d, nearly locking the hand. Turn #qh confirmed him drawing dead, and after inconsequential #2s peeled on the river, Mikail was sent to the rail as the runner-up, banking $187,811.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>David Olson </strong>claimed his first gold bracelet and $303,909 in cash for his efforts. Olson did not really have plans to play this tournament, as he is primarily cash player and was only here to play the Monster Stack, but the way things turned out, he is most certainly not sorry his friend made him change his mind! </p> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 22:17:15 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3005 Las Vegas Sands Files Trademark Action Vs. 35 Websites <p>The Las Vegas Sands Corp. initiated trademark infringement proceedings versus 35 website domains in a Nevada federal court on Friday alleging that the Asian sites are using the Sands' registered trademark as well as Chinese characters that spell out the trademark.</p> <p>The lawsuit claims that the websites are falsely leading Internet gamblers to believe that the sites are affiliated with Sands. The Plaintiff alleges that the offending sites clearly show <em>"a skyline view of Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore."</em></p> <p>Thirty-five separate domains are listed in the legal action, with Sands referring to them as <em>"a network of Chinese language Internet websites"</em> that are also available to U.S. gamblers, reported. Most of the sites apparently funnel players to two online casinos.</p> <p>The owners of the websites are unknown due to their registrations falling under a protection of privacy service provided by the likes of or The lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District Of Nevada seeks to prevent the sites from the continued use of Sands' trademark in addition to compensation for court costs, fees and damages.</p> <p>Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson is behind an effort to wipe out the legalization of online wagering in the U.S. via the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, which he organized late last year. The lawsuit makes mention of that by stating that <em>"the Defendants’ use of the SANDS Marks on the homepages of online casinos, even though unauthorized by Las Vegas Sands Corp., threatens to dilute and detract from Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s message and its efforts to stop the proliferation of online gambling."</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 21:44:32 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3004 Florida Casino Bends Rules for Jackpot Winner <p>A casino gambler whose name was announced as the jackpot winner of a 2014 Fiat at a Florida casino was initially denied the right to claim her prize when she could produce only photocopies of her identification.</p> <p>Mardi Gras Casino representatives told Rachel Marom that the rules required her to have valid photo IDs. Marom typically carries only copies of her identification after a robbery several years ago created a hassle in going through the proper channels to re-obtain a green card and driver's license.</p> <p>Marom pleaded with jackpot organizers to allow her to go to her nearby home to get the original IDs, NBC6 reported. Her pleas fell on deaf ears as casino reps refused, citing the rules of the promotion that stated winners must be present with valid and original identification.</p> <p><blockquote>You cannot be so cruel," Marom insisted. "I won a car. You told me I won a car, and now you want to take it away from me?”</blockquote></p> <p>The casino did. Another name was called and a lady with proper ID drove off in the 2014 red Fiat. Marom was incensed. She claimed to be a three-times-a-week regular at the casino and threatened legal action.</p> <p>Lawyering up turned out to be the right call, as the Hallandale Beach casino relented within 24 hours and decided to give Marom her prize after all. She received a check for $14,000, the value of the car. The winner had the option of accepting the car or cash and Marom took the money.</p> <p><blockquote>I will travel a little bit and pay my debts a little bit and uh, you know, enjoy the money and enjoy the peace of mind," said a happy Marom.</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 04:38:31 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3016 Bracelet for David Miscikowski in the $5K NLHE WSOP Event <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">E</span>vent #49, $5,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament, was scheduled as a 4-day event, and this time it took four days to complete it, even if the Day 4 only staged the heads up battle between <strong>David Miscikowski </strong>and <strong>Norbert Szecsi. </strong>Two hours into that battle, it was Miscikowski claiming the final pot of the tournament and securing his very first WSOP bracelet, denying Szecsi his second career bracelet and the opportunity to become the first Hungarian player to boast of this honor.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When it all started, four days ago, 696 players started their chase for the bracelet but midway through the Day 3, final table of nine players was set, all of them looking at the first prize of <strong>$719,707</strong> and, of course, the coveted bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Miscikowski was certainly in a good company at this final table as apart from Szecsi, there was also <strong>Manig Loeser</strong>, who finished in 3<sup>rd</sup> place and earned $288,912, <strong>Oliver Price</strong>, whose fifth place finish earned him $158,064 and <strong>Kevin MacPhee </strong>who pocketed<strong> </strong>$119,267 after finishing in 6<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The only lady at the table was <strong>Margareta Morris</strong> and her finish in 4<sup>th</sup> place secured her a payday of $212,202, which was more than her entire live winnings up to date, and her WSOP earnings until yesterday were only $2,606.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Blake Bohn </strong>was first one out and his consolation prize for the ninth place finish came in form of $54,792. <strong>John Dolan </strong>earned $70,265 for his 8<sup>th</sup> place, while the seventh place finisher <strong>Jean Gaspard </strong>earned $91,037.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After Loeser was eliminated, Szecsi and Miscikowski played for a while, but winner could not be determined. Eventually they ran out of time and they bagged and tagged to return today and finish what they have started. At that point, they were nearly even in chips, with Miscikowski holding a slight lead.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When they returned today, however, David Miscikowski found a way to turn that slight lead into the final victory over his opponent after roughly two hours of play. Although Miscikowski was struggling at some points during the match, he never lost his head and continued to play calmly, waiting his opportunity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It came soon after he managed to double through Szecsi and was in position to eliminate him from the tournament. <strong>Norbert Szecsi </strong>shoved from the button, holding #4h#4c but ran into #7s#7h of Miscikowski, who made the call. Szecsi needed some serious help to survive this one, but dealer failed to deliver as board ran #qd#8d#5c #5s #3s, and he was eliminated in second place, banking $444,425.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>David Miscikowski </strong>thus became the proud bracelet owner as well as the winner of one of the biggest first prizes of this year’s WSOP. Doing it in a tough competition and this being his first WSOP final table in his career made the victory all that sweeter, and Miscikowski did not try to hide his satisfaction. “It feels great. This is one of the biggest sweats I’ve ever had”, admitted Miscikowski in his interview for</p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 22:15:21 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3015 Phil Ivey Wins Bracelet #10 and Locks the Win for the Prop-bet <p><strong><span class="letter-big">P</span>hil Ivey </strong>certainly had numerous big moments throughout his poker career, but last night probably belongs amongst the most important ones. After defeating 485-strong field in the $1,500 Eight Game Mix Event, Ivey made the history, winning his tenth WSOP bracelet and joining the short list of players with ten or more bracelets – Phil Hellmuth (13), Johnny Chan (10) and Doyle Brunson (10).</p> <p>It is no surprise that the win came in the 8-game mix, as Ivey is one of the selected few who are true masters of not only No Limit Hold’em but the whole spectrum of different poker variations. And last night, it wasn’t just the bracelet at the stake for Mr. Ivey.</p> <p><strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong> and Ivey offered the prop-bet before the series started that one of them would win a bracelet and were taking bets at even money. As time was running out and number of tournaments they had in front of them was dwindling, it felt like this tournament was the one that would determine the fate of the bet.</p> <p>This was especially true since both him and KidPoker made it through to Day 3 of the Event with 14 players remaining, giving them a great chance to finally lock up a bracelet. It would be an epic ending if the two ended up playing heads-up for the title, but it wasn’t meant to be, as Negreanu was eliminated in 9<sup>th</sup> place, leaving Ivey alone to stand for their cause.</p> <p><strong>Tiger Woods</strong> of poker took this role very seriously and the remaining seven players stood very little chance against the menace that Ivey was at the felt last night. He would outlast every single player standing between him and the bracelet, starting with <strong>Alex Rocha</strong>. Rocha was eliminated in 8<sup>th</sup> place at hands of Dan Heimiller in a Razz hand. Next to fall was <strong>Christopher Haller </strong>who lost a coin flip to Bruce Yamron, when his pocket Nines could not hold against Yamrons #ah#kc.</p> <p><strong>Yuebin Gou </strong>was eliminated in 6<sup>th</sup> place in a Stud 8 hand, when his two pair was no good against Aces and Kings of Heimiller. Following his exit was <strong>Stephen Chidwick </strong>whose chips went to Ivey in 2-7 triple draw hand, where Ivey’s Eighty-Five was more than enough to beat Chidwick’s Jack-low. <strong>Aaron Steury </strong>finished in fourth place, when his #ad#qh was outrun by Heimiller’s #ac#jh.</p> <p>One more needed to go before the heads up would start, and that man was <strong>Dan Heimiller </strong>who shoved from the button with #kh#4h and Ivey made the call with #ah#6h and flopped Heimiller nearly dead in the water. Turn card locked it up, and Heimiller was on his way to the rail, picking up $66,246 for his efforts.</p> <p>After his departure, an epic heads up started between Phil Ivey and <strong>Bruce Yamron. </strong>But while it was epic in its significance, it was far less epic in its length, as Ivey took all of Yamron’s chips in about thirty minutes of play. The game that ended it all was Omaha 8, when Yamron put himself at risk on the board reading #as#7c#5c #kd. Yamron held #ah#js#8s#7h and had two pair but was behind Ivey’s #ac#ks#9c#8s and better two pair. There were some low outs that Yamron could catch to stay in play as well, but as rivercame #qd he was eliminated in second place, earning $103,375.</p> <p><strong>Phil Ivey </strong>shook the hand of his opponent respectfully, but he was the ultimate winner. Not only because he won this one and earned $167,000, but because he claimed his tenth bracelet and without any doubt crushed the hopes of many who took the bet against him and Negreanu.</p> <p>Ivey remained calm and true to his image, but expressed the sentiment that it was very satisfying to tie for the bracelet with the poker legend that is Doyle Brunson. Although Phil admitted it wasn’t that fair of the race as Doyle doesn’t play that many tournaments nowadays, he said that he played with Doyle the other day for 12 hours straight and that he is still as sharp as he can be.</p> <p>Great achievement for a great player, no doubt. With this, Phil Ivey confirmed once again that his legendary status in the poker community will not be overshadowed for years to come, and if anyone was to try it, they have their work cut out for them.</p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 21:52:57 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3003 Nevada Posts Gain in Gaming Revenue for May <p>Nevada casinos showed a revenue increase of 8.1% for the month of May in comparison to 2013 numbers.</p> <p>The Nevada Gaming Control Board released results for 2014's fifth month and statistics indicate that the Silver State's baccarat tables saw heavy action from gamblers. More than $172 million of the $970.2 million that Nevada casinos won in May was received from punters wagering on "Player or "Banker."</p> <p><blockquote>It was a baccarat month,” the board's senior research analyst, Michael Lawton, told the Las Vegas Sun.</blockquote></p> <p>A welterweight prize fight at the MGM Grand during the month between Marcos Maidana and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is believed to be responsible for attracting a large number of high rollers to the Sin City. The Chinese Labour Day holiday during the month that saw Asian vacationers making the trek to Las Vegas casinos was also a factor in increased revenue totals.</p> <p>Nevada's online poker regime, which is expected to see growth later this year when an interstate partnership with Delaware launches, increased almost 9% over the previous month., Ultimate Poker and Real Gaming combined to collect $862,000.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 19:34:13 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3002 Body of German Poker Pro Johannes Strassmann Recovered <p>Johannes Strassman, a poker pro from Germany with over $1.5 million in career earnings, was found dead on a riverbank in Slovenia.</p> <p>The 29-year-old had been missing for a week after traveling to the country to meet fellow poker players, Sporting News reported. A massive search that included helicopters and bloodhounds had been undertaken that led to the recovery of his body yesterday near the Ljublianica River in Ljubljana.</p> <p>DNA testing of the decomposed remains confirmed the deceased to be Strassmann. An investigation continues into the events leading up to the poker pro's disappearance, as well as the cause of death. An act of violence has been preliminarily ruled out.</p> <p>Strassman made his first appearances in live tournament action in 2007 when four cashes spread out over Prague, Monte Carlo and the WSOP in Las Vegas resulted in more than $110,000 in prize money, according to the Hendon Mob database. He followed that up the following year with half a dozen scores that included 6th and 7th place finishes at EPT events for a combined $444,133.</p> <p>Strassman's largest cash was recorded last year at the EPT/UKIPT Super High Roller in London where 5th place was good for $363,842. His resume includes only one in-the-money finish this year in April at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo where 50th place in the €10,600 Main Event resulted in a €24,400 payday.</p> <p>More details regarding the untimely demise of Strassman will be released once the information is made available by investigators.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 15:28:19 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3014 No Triple Crown for Clements - First WSOP Gold for Tyler Patterson <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span class="letter-big">T</span>yler Patterson </strong>will, no doubt, keep the World Series of Poker 2014 in his good-memories box. Just couple hours ago, he outlasted a field of 990 players, becoming that special one – the one that gets to take home the bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was Event #48, Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Low, and by the time the final day of the tournament was about to start, there were ten players standing between Patterson and the bracelet and first place money of $270,992. Two more players were quickly eliminated, and Patterson found himself on the final table containing four previous bracelet winners, and only one of them had just one.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Patterson had his work cut out for him in a tough competition and with about averages chip-stack, but wasn’t going to go without fight for sure. He was looking for his spots, as one by one, players were sent to the rail. First two to go were the two without bracelet honors to their names, <strong>Dylan Wilkerson </strong>in 9<sup>th</sup> and <strong>J. R. Flournoy </strong>in 8<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Derek Raymond </strong>was looking for his second career bracelet on this final table, but it wasn’t meant to be for him, as he was eliminated in 7<sup>th</sup> place as Jeff Madsen and Tom Schneider ended up chopping his last pot for the high and the low end, sending Raymond to the rail in the process.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tom Schneider </strong>was actually the one with most trophies in the mix, with four bracelets and 2007 POY title, but despite of it all, he was the next one out, as his #as#ad#kh#7d failed to hold against Madsen, who turned two pair to send him to the rail.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was time for Patterson to score a knockout and he did, as his pocket Aces flopped <strong>Garry Kosakowski </strong>dead for the high, and turn ensured there would be no low either. Fifth place finish was worth $56,000 and change for Kosakowski. Petterson did not stop at one elimination, however, as he proceeded to send <strong>Jeff Madsen </strong>($76,150) to the rail as well, after his hand stood up against Madsen’s on both high and low end, denying Madsen his fourth career bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Scott Clements took care of the last opponent before facing Patterson for the bracelet, as he sent <strong>Cody Crawford </strong>to the rail after his set of Fours held up against Crawford’s nut flush draw. Crawford would earn $104,914 for his third place finish and the two would start heads up nearly even in chips.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Patterson probably got the worst possible opponent for the final confrontation, as Scott Clements was in the hunt for his third bracelet, and his previous two came from the Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo events. This did not confuse Patterson, however, as he started grinding his opponent down right from the get go. Clements made couple attempts to get back in it and take control, but couldn’t find the right way to do it. And then the final hand came about.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After <strong>Scott Clements </strong>limped the button, Patterson raised from the big blind and he received a call. They saw the flop of #kc#10d#2h and it was checked through. #7c on the turn put a stop to peaceful approach, as Patterson check-raised Clements’ bet, and eventually all the chips went into the middle.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Clements was ahead for the time being, with #kd#7d#6c#3c against Patterson’s #as#8c#9c#3s, but the #2c on the river completed the clubs-flush for both players. Patterson’s was higher, though, and Scott Clements was denied his third Omaha bracelet and sent to the rail as the second place finisher, claiming $167,686.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tyler Patterson </strong>binked his flush on the river and with that deuce of clubs came his first WSOP bracelet as well – a fact that made him very happy. Although he admitted that bracelet did not mean more than the money ($271,000), it was still a very big and important recognition for him, as he’s been around for a while and finally got to claim one of the most coveted poker trophies.</p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 21:45:53 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2999 Showboat Casino in Atlantic City to Close Aug. 31 <p>The Showboat Casino Hotel in New Jersey will close its doors on August 31, reducing the number of casinos on the Atlantic City boardwalk to 10.</p> <p>The announcement came from owners Caesars Entertainment just one month after company executives had hinted that a closing may be imminent. Caesars currently operates four Atlantic City casinos and decided to give the axe to the gaming establishment with the poorest performance record. The other three are Bally's, Harrah's and Caesars Atlantic City.</p> <p><blockquote>Since 2006, revenue in Atlantic City has declined by more than $3 billion and competition in the city has increased," said Caesars CEO Gary Loveman. "The dynamic in Atlantic City has led us to the difficult but necessary decision to close Showboat. While we regret the impact that this decision will have on our Showboat associates, we believe this is a necessary step to help stabilize our business in Atlantic City and support the viability of our remaining operations in the vicinity."</blockquote></p> <p>That marks the second New Jersey casino closing in 2014 after the Atlantic Club locked its doors in January. Court proceedings late last year and a subsequent bankruptcy auction saw the Tropicana and Caesars submit a successful bid for the Atlantic Club, which has since been sold to a Florida real estate investment firm who will likely convert the former casino into residential housing.</p> <p>Just a couple of days ago, the Revel Casino filed for bankruptcy and a shutdown is also looming unless a buyer with plans to turn the struggling business around emerges. The Revel is only two years old and ran into financial difficulties right off the bat as this is the second time in the casino's short history that Revel lawyers will be making appearances before bankruptcy judges.</p> <p>Some 2,100 workers are employed at the Showboat and Caesars executives told AP that every effort will be made to place at least some of them in positions elsewhere at Caesars locations. About 1,600 workers at the Atlantic Club were not afforded the same possibilities earler this year, with most landing in the unemployment line and seeking work without the assistance of a huge company such as Caesars. Should the Revel also fall victim to a shutdown, another 3,200 or so workers would also become statistics in the the state's unemployment rate.</p> <p>The culprit behind New Jersey's struggling gaming industry are surrounding states who have opened casinos of their own, poaching the gamblers who had previously been visiting Atlantic City casinos. Pennsylvania is the neighbor most responsible for New Jersey's decreasing revenue numbers, as the Keystone State is now home to 12 casinos and has taken over second place in land-based revenue among states throughout the U.S.</p> <p>The situation may get worse before it gets better for New Jersey, as New York has also blueprinted a gaming expansion plan that may siphon even more Atlantic City customers in the future. The activity of nearby states is one of the reasons that prompted New Jersey officials to legalize online gambling last year. While revenue from igaming has offset some of the brick and mortar losses, it has not met initial projections.</p> <p>Help may be on the way with regard to Internet gambling revenue in the form of PokerStars, who will likely soon be licensed to operate within the Garden State. The Amaya Gaming Group recently purchased parent company Rational Group for $4.9 billion and state gaming regulators are busy analyzing PokerStars' suitability.</p> <p>The Showboat recorded almost $2 million in operating profits for the first quarter of 2014. While that may sound like a healthy number to some, $8.5 million in profits were posted in the same quarter in 2013. Showboat ranks seventh in profitability among the state's 11 casinos in 2014, but the numbers are 16% off of last year's pace.</p> <p>The soon-to-be closed Showboat Casino will operate as normal until Aug. 31.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:11:18 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 3013 WSOP 2014 Daily Report: Final Table Set for Players Championship <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>orld Series of Poker 2014 is slowly entering its final stage. One of the biggest events of the Series, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship has reached its unofficial final table of eight players and by the end of the night, one of these eight will walk away with one of the most coveted bracelets of the WSOP.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">What is even more special about this final table, apart from its star-studded line up and $1.5 million first place is the fact that for the first time in the history of the event, there is a lady in the mix. Her name is <strong>Melissa Burr</strong>, a mixed game specialist whose forte are high-stakes cash games, but she’s been having a very good Series this year as well. Melissa will be starting today as the second shortest stack, only in front of <strong>Allen Kessler, </strong>but she was down in chips several times throughout the tournament and made the comeback, so it is way too early to count her out just yet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Starting day as the chip leader will be <strong>Brandon Shack-Harris </strong>with <strong>Abe Mosseri </strong>on his heels. Players making up the middle of the field are <strong>Frank Kassela, John Hennigan, Chun Lei Zhou</strong>, better known under his online alias “samrostan”<strong> </strong>and <strong>Jesse Martin. </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The current chip leader, Shack-Harris, has already had very successful series with one bracelet and second and third place finish, and potential victory tonight could help him catch up with <strong>George Danzer </strong>in the Player of the Year race.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Elior Sion </strong>was likely the unluckiest player to start the play in the Championship yesterday, as he finished in 15<sup>th</sup> place, becoming the official bubble and missing out on the payday of at least $99,388. <strong>Jason Mercier</strong>, who has been going strong for the most of the tournament, ended up not cashing as well, as he was eliminated in 17<sup>th</sup> place. <strong>Todd Brunson </strong>had better luck, as he made the money, but we will not be seeing him on the final table either, as he was ousted in 11<sup>th</sup> place, raking in $115,000. Finally, <strong>Scott Seiver </strong>got felted in 9<sup>th</sup>, to fall just short of the final table.<strong> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When the remaining eight resume the play tonight, their fellow players and fans alike will be watching closely, as apart from the big payday for the winner and Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, there are many side bets going on, and if rumors are to be believed, there is a hefty amount of money on the line!</p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:32:10 +0000 Ivan Potocki 3012 Ante Up for the Bracelet: Jesse McEuen Wins WSOP Event #47 <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>nd now for something completely different.  Ante Only Event of 2014 World Series got really good “reviews” from the players, as everyone seemed to be enjoying their time at the tables. Total of 714 players took their seats and for three days they were anteing it up, until eventually all the antes ended up in the stack of <strong>Jesse McEuen</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Players were trying to find their way through the structure they were unaccustomed to with small bring ins and big antes, causing many pots to go multi way. And although it was a different tournament in many aspects, it came to the same finale – last nine players sitting at the final table, looking to capture the bracelet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bulgarian<strong> Simeon Naydenov </strong>was the only player at the final table with a WSOP bracelet to his name, couple others had previous final table experience, including McEuen who finished third last year in a $1,000 event, coming ever so close to capturing a bracelet of his own.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">First to go was <strong>Arthur Pro, </strong>who fell to <strong>Rhys Jones. </strong>Following him in eighth place was <strong>Jeremy Jospeh, </strong>and then <strong>Herbert Yarbrough </strong>met his doom as well, as he finished in 7<sup>th</sup>. <strong>Ryan D’Angelo </strong>got his stack in the middle against Naydenov and his #jc#10c could not outrun Naydenov’s #ad#kh, and it was down to five players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At this point, it was Naydenov and German <strong>Jonas Lacuk </strong>in the chip lead, while the others were looking to catch up. First victim of that chase was <strong>Adam Levy </strong>who got his chips in well, with top two against flush draw of Jones, but Jones caught up on the turn and sent Levy to the rail with a consolation prize of $46,500.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although Simeon Naydenov held a big stack at one point, his luck started to run out and he was all out of it when he ran his #as#qh into #ac#ks of Rhys Jones and the board failed to provide any help. The fourth place finish was good for $62,500.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Three handed phase lasted for a while before Jones got unlucky for his last 175,000 against McEuen. Despite having #as#9h to McEuen’s #10h#8h, Jones couldn’t hold as McEuen flopped bottom two pair to send him to the rail with $85,000 to his name.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite his last elimination, McEuen still started a heads-up as about 3:2 underdog to Jonas Lauck and had some work to do if he was going to win this one. That was exactly what he did over the next twenty hands, taking over the chip lead and putting himself in the spot to win the tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the hand to determine the winner, Lauck opened his button, faced a three-bet from McEuen and decided to shove his #ah#10d. Lauck probably expected to receive bad news when McEuen made the quick call, but on this occasion it couldn’t get any worse, as his opponent was holding #ad#ac.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Board ran #2c#h#2s #3s #5h, never really giving much hope to Lauck, and German finished his performance in second place, banking just couple bucks shy of $131,000. <strong>Jessey McEuen, </strong>however, will take home $212,000 and a gold WSOP bracelet that slipped from under his fingers a year ago. By defeating Lauck, McEuen has also denied Germany its fifth bracelet for this Series, at least for the time being. </p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:27:47 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2998 New Jersey Regulators Review Suitability of Pokerstars <p>With Amaya Gaming now in control of PokerStars following the $4.9 billion purchase of Rational Group, New Jersey gaming regulators are busy poring over new documents submitted by Amaya in support of obtaining an online gambling license.</p> <p>Three key areas under scrutiny by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) are the technology used to power PokerStars' software, the personnel listed under management and executive positions, and Amaya's corporate structure, AP reported. Should those areas find approval by the DGE following intense analysis, players within the Garden State could be logging on at a PokerStars offering by the time the calendar turns to fall.</p> <p>Amaya honchos met with DGE officials last week and were likely instructed to submit the new documentation post-haste in order to get up and running ASAP and provide a jump start to New Jersey's online gambling regime. That regime has not lived up to initial revenue estimates, causing state officials to put some of the blame on unregulated sites that continued accepting New Jersey players.</p> <p>Most of the major unregulated sites operating in New Jersey (as well as Nevada and Delaware) have now buckled under the demands put forth by state bigwigs and have withdrawn from the regulated markets. Withdrawing from the market was not the option chosen by PokerStars back in 2006 following enactment of the UIGEA, which resulted in the site both dominating the worldwide market while eventually achieving "bad actor" status and a heap of trouble within the U.S.</p> <p>The company has since been attempting to repair its reputation in the American market, first by settling Black Friday allegations with the DoJ and bailing out Full Tilt Poker. That wasn't enough, however, to appease those in charge of creating legislation and issuing igaming licenses under a state-by-state format made possible by a 2011 DoJ ruling that redefined the antiquated Wire Act.</p> <p>Attempts to enter the New Jersey Internet gambling marketplace via casino ownership fell short for PokerStars, as did its application for an online gaming license as long as certain company executives failed to face the music with regard to unanswered charges in the Black Friday indictments. That resulted in the sale to Canadian-based Amaya Gaming, whose credibility in the industry seemingly wipes out the bad actor label (at least in New Jersey) that has saddled PokerStars.</p> <p>PokerStars' suitability for licensing under the charge of Amaya Gaming ownership appears now to be practically a foregone conclusion, as gaming officials appear eager to welcome the company into the fold of the Garden State online gambling scheme. The benefits of allowing the world's most widely-recognized and popular site to become a player in the market could be enormous, especially with the possibility looming of branching out and allowing international partnership agreements in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 14:53:00 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2996 Online Poker Player Traffic Update - June 25, 2014 <p>A 2% decline in player traffic last week was half as much as the decrease recorded the week before.</p> <p>That's at least one positive way of looking at cash game player traffic results that are a full 14% behind last year's end of June pace. Another positive is that player numbers could have been a lot worse considering that scores of football fans the world over are focusing their eyes on the 2014 FIFA World Cup instead of logging on to poker sites.</p> <p>PokerScout reported that when soccer matches involving countries such as Russia and Germany are being played, ring game player traffic tends to drop off dramatically. It is likely that the online poker industry overall will continue to post decreasing player traffic numbers at least through mid-July until the World Cup reaches its conclusion.</p> <p>Within the industry's top ten poker rooms and networks, seven sites saw less traffic while three gained. Among the gainers was the iPoker Network, who moved into a second place tie with 888poker at 1,900 cash players in a seven-day average.</p> <p>Also moving up was Bodog/Bovada, as the all-anonymous site now registers in sixth place with an estimated average of 1,350 players. Right behind in a tie for seventh are two offerings from PokerStars, both just 50 players behind Bodog's player totals. Before settling into a seventh place tie, was in sixth in last week's update while was eighth.</p> <p>Another PokerStars site moved in ranking in the past week, as fell out of the top ten. As of this writing, Adjarabet and are deadlocked in a ninth place tie.</p> <p>MPN, once a mainstay within the top ten before the defections of Ladbrokes and Unibet, now finds itself in 14th place averaging 650 ring game players. The network has been treading on new ground lately by warning players that its Double-Up SitNGos require advanced strategy to be successful, as well as eliminating the long-held rule that all chat must be English-only in an effort to avoid collusion.</p> <p>Kudos to MPN for thinking outside of the chat box on the latter issue. Online poker is more international than ever before and I would imagine that recreational players enjoy speaking in their native tongues. Players attempting to collude can use other methods such as instant messaging anyway.</p> <p>With regard to the practically unheard of practice of spotlighting the difficulty of a particular game, hats off to Microgaming on that matter as well. It's small stuff like that that could go a long way in coaxing players hesitant about depositing to gain more trust toward online poker rooms.</p> <p>The Party Borgata Network in New Jersey regained top dog status in terms of cash player traffic among regulated poker sites in <a href="">New Jersey</a>, <a href="">Nevada </a>and Delaware. After being tied with in Nevada at 140 players in last week's update, Party Borgata now clocks in at 150.</p> <p>The 45th annual WSOP in Las Vegas continues to drive players to when they are not competing at live events. And some are apparently also finding their way to Ultimate Poker. UP-Nevada gained 9% more players than the week before as the curiosity factor likely came into play among the pros in town.</p> <p>Curiosity may also run rampant at Full Tilt in coming days, where PokerStars' sister site has unveiled Jackpot SNGs. The concept was made popular by Expresso Poker at Winamax and later copied by Twister Poker at the iPoker Network. The Full Tilt version is offering some random prizes at 2,000 times the buy-in, double the amount at the other two sites. Cash game traffic at Full Tilt may be affected as players check out the new SNG jackpot game.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 14:41:37 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2987 Will Givens Makes a ‘Deja Vu’ Run for the Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">W</span>SOP Event #45 may have started with 1841 runners, but the number of players returning today for the conclusion was only eleven. One of them was <strong>Will Givens, </strong>who had his shot at the bracelet in nearly the same $1,000 event a week ago, but his luck ran out on him during the final table and he eventually finished in fourth. This time, however, he made it all the way.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first two players were eliminated rather quickly and the stage was set for the official final table of nine. Falling just short of that goal was one of the two ladies remaining in the field, <strong>Kim Ng</strong>. Kim was eliminated by Givens in the all-time cooler spot where her pocket Kings were only the second best hand to Givens’ pocket Aces.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Givens would eliminate the next player as well, when his turned flush sent <strong>Loren Klein </strong>to the rail in 9<sup>th</sup> place. Following him in short succession was <strong>Ivan Saul </strong>who got his very short stack in against two players and as Patrick Curzio’s #ad#qs held all the way as the best hand, Saul was ousted in eighth place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After Saul’s exit, another lady at the table took things in her hands as she eliminated next two players, <strong>Dmitrii Shchepkin </strong>in seventh and <strong>Duy Ho </strong>in sixth place. This gave a real boost to her stack and she seized quite a significant chip lead over the remaining four players.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Givens claimed the next knockout as he and <strong>Patrick Curzio </strong>got it all in on the flop of #10h#3s#ah and Givens’ advantage with #as#qd over Curzio’s #ac#6s held through the turn and river, to send Curzio out in 5<sup>th</sup> place, $69,000 richer. After this, Prada-Moed took control once again and sent <strong>David Hass </strong>($94,559) to the rail after her pocket Fives held up against #ah#8c of Hass.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Paul Sokoloff </strong>fought long and hard and actually managed to take over the chip lead from Angela for a while, but his chips eventually found a way to Givens’ stack. When Will Givens finally took the last of it after winning a flip with #7d#7h against Sokoloff’s #ah9h and sent him to the rail to claim his $131,110, Givens would enter the heads-up with more than 3:1 advantage over Prada-Moed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Angela Prada-Moed </strong>started off well, and it seemed like she might actually even the odds, but never really picked up momentum after that, as Givens continued to win pots. In the last hand of the tournament, the two saw the flop peel #jd#ac#8c and Prada-Moed moved all in. After some deliberation, Givens made the call with #ks#jc and got the good news, as his opponent turned over #qc#4c for a flush draw.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Board ran #ad and #6h, not helping Prada-Moed and her bracelet dream vanished into the thin air, as she was the official runner up, eligible to receive the prize of $189,632. <strong>Will Givens </strong>could finally start celebrating. What eluded him a week ago was now his – his first gold bracelet and another $306,600 to add to his summer winnings.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Givens felt good about this tournament, especially after returning for Day 3 to the same table and the same seat he was in when they were down to two tables last week. For him, in many ways it felt like the destiny, he admitted in the interview for the after the tournament.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Destiny or not, Will Givens is certainly having a great Series this summer, with more than $400,000 in winnings, and he has just booked his first six-figure score. What is in store for him next?</p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 06:34:48 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2985 Jordan Morgan Outlasts Evan McNiff to Seize His First WSOP Bracelet <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter long 32 levels of play in the Event #44 of this year’s World Series of Poker, <strong>Jordan Morgan </strong>has finally claimed the title! The heads up battle between him and <strong>Evan McNiff </strong>started last night,<a href=""> <em>after other seven players have been eliminated</em></a>, and with Morgan holding nearly 4:1 chip advantage over his opponent, it seemed like it could be a short battle.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But the appearance was deceiving. McNiff wouldn’t give up for one second and he was slowly building his stack up to eventually seize the lead and then give it back over to Morgan. By the time they’ve reached the end of Level 31 they’ve played 200 hands of heads up poker (more than double of what it took to reach the heads up stage) and 10 long levels, and decided they had enough. Morgan and McNiff agreed to return today to end their important battle, and their stacks were nearly identical, with Morgan bagging approximately one big blind more.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When they returned today for a fresh start, it was basically anyone’s game as it was anyone’s guess how long it would take before crowning the winner. As it turned out, it took about an hour before the decisive hand of the tournament was played.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">McNiff opened his button and Morgan, who had him covered, announced he was all in. Evan McNiff made the quick call with #ac#kd to put his tournament life and bracelets hopes on the line, but with what figures to be the best hand most of the time. However, Morgan held #6d#6c and it was a simple race, a race that could award the bracelet to Morgan on the finish-line.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">And as the board ran #jc#3s#4s #4c #9c, that’s exactly what happened, as McNiff’s Big Slick failed to improve and he became the official runner up of the Event #44, taking home $295,727. As for <strong>Jordan Morgan</strong>, after that lost pot was pushed his way, he became the most recent WSOP bracelet winner. Together with his very first bracelet, he received quite a prize for $1,500 tournament – total of $478,102.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Morgan admitted after it was all over that the break in play helped him refocus and rethink his strategy, as at one point during the match he had the feeling McNiff was outplaying him. As he further explained in his interview for, he wasn’t in a great poker shape, as this was the first tournament of the summer for him. This certainly gives a whole new meaning to the phrase <em>off to a good start</em>! </p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 03:36:34 +0000 Ivan Potocki 2984 Interview with Chris "Fox" Wallace, WSOP $10K H.O.R.S.E. Champion <p><strong>Chris Wallace</strong> recently won his first <strong>WSOP</strong> gold bracelet along with <em>$507,614</em> in <strong>Event #22, $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.</strong> The poker pro, coach and writer has been cashing in live tournaments since 2008, collecting more than <em>$265,000</em> in winnings before besting a field of 200 to nab his first six-figure payday at the 2014 WSOP.</p> <p>A former blackjack card counter and guitar builder, Wallace was introduced to poker by a friend and started playing online. He commenced to crush the competition mostly in cash games online, but ran into a roadblock along with thousands of other U.S. players when <strong>Black Friday</strong> hit in 2011.</p> <p>Wallace turned much of his attention to live tournament action where he showed a proficiency in a variety of game types. Admittedly, Wallace gets bored if he plays one game too often and is able to excel best when mixing up his play among many variants.</p> <p>With a background in coaching poker at sites such as <strong>Real Poker Training</strong> and <strong>Poker X Factor</strong>, Wallace has also shared his poker exploits and knowledge via a blog at <strong></strong>. His writing and coaching talents were again put to good use by writing <em>“No Limits: The Fundamentals of No Limit Hold’em"</em> and <em>"The Tournament Rules"</em> along with co-author and friend, <strong>Adam Stemple</strong>.</p> <p>I was able to ask a few questions of Wallace following his WSOP victory and the newly-crowned bracelet champ admitted that he has never been more excited to aim for more gold at the WSOP.</p> <p>Congratulations on winning your first WSOP title in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event! How does it feel to finally have a gold bracelet after seven or so years of live tournament action?</p> <p><blockquote>I think everyone wants a bracelet from the time they first learn about them, which was almost twelve years ago for me. It's a great feeling to know that you have accomplished something and written your name in the history books, but I don't feel like I can sit back and relax now. I want the next one so much more than I wanted the first one. I have bracelet fever now."</blockquote></p> <p>Can you describe a pivotal hand or a time during the course of the tournament when you started to really believe and have confidence that 1st place was within your grasp?</p> <p><blockquote>I didn't think about that at all until we got all the chips in on fifth street and I knew I had the best hand. I just wanted to play as well as I could and make sure that if I didn't win I would at least go out knowing that I did my best."</blockquote></p> <p>Other than a big pile of money, how has your life changed since becoming a WSOP champ?</p> <p><blockquote>Everybody wants to talk to me in the hallways of The Rio now! I'm not bothered by it at all, but everyone from Minnesota, everyone I've played with in the past, anyone I've met before, wants to congratulate me. It's actually very nice, though keeping up with the facebook and twitter messages was a lot of work the first two days."</blockquote></p> <p>At over half a million dollars, this was by far your biggest cash ever and the first time you earned a six-digit sum. You mentioned in your most recent blog post that a significant portion of your action was sold. Care to share how much was staked by others?</p> <p><blockquote>More than half. It was part of an investment package I put together for the summer and promoted on my website ( and twitter. I came away with a nice chunk of money for myself, but it's nice to have made about twenty other people a significant sum of money too."</blockquote></p> <p>You seem to be running good by following up that WSOP H.O.R.S.E. title with a 16th place finish in the Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo event. Are players reacting to your play any differently now that you're a WSOP bracelet winner?</p> <p><blockquote>I didn't see any differences in that event. Most people just play their hand anyway, they don't think about who they are playing against, so I don't think it will change much in big events. In smaller buy-in stuff, especially in Minnesota, I imagine people will play a little differently, but there are so many bracelet winners at the WSoP that I don't expect things to change much."</blockquote></p> <p>Your success over the years has been in tournaments with buy-ins considerably less than the $10,000 entry fee required for your H.O.R.S.E. title. Are you looking forward to playing the larger buy-in events now that finding backers will come much easier?</p> <p><blockquote>I am looking forward to that. I have always searched for the best values, so I won't play every $10k and waste money that people have invested in me playing in fields where I am not a favorite, but I will be playing a few more of the larger events now."</blockquote></p> <p>You're well-established as a poker coach and your services will likely be in greater demand. Do you enjoy and plan on continuing teaching others the game of poker or will you perhaps concentrate more on playing?</p> <p><blockquote>I started coaching because playing full time can be a grind, and I still feel that way. Coaching is a way to break up the monotony of the grind and it also helps my game. When you have taught something to someone else a few times you have a much better understanding of it, and coaching has helped me a lot."</blockquote></p> <p>You're a mixed game specialist, which is viewed as being extremely difficult considering the expertise required for each separate game type. Can you share any wisdom with other players who hope to learn more games to avoid the sometimes boring task of playing the same game over and over?</p> <p><blockquote>If you are fascinated by a game, then it's easy to learn it. There are books that cover the basics of each game pretty well, and once you are really good at one game it makes it easier to learn the others. After you learn the basic strategies in a game, don't be afraid to jump in a very small game and start playing. The first few weeks in a new game is so much fun!"</blockquote></p> <p>I understand you're planning a well-deserved vacation to New Zealand after the WSOP. What else is on the agenda for Chris Wallace in 2014? More poker? Less poker? More buying action of other pros?</p> <p><blockquote>I'll be at The Borgata in July supporting an event there for, and I have lessons booked heavily for the first few weeks after I get home. I don't have any plans after that except to throw a party and work on some long term planning. For now I'm just focused on playing well until the end of the WSoP and I'll figure everything else out after."</blockquote></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 19:49:25 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2983 Revel Casino Again Files for Bankruptcy <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he<strong> Revel Casino Hotel</strong> in <strong>Atlantic City</strong> initiated bankruptcy proceedings late last week and is seeking a buyer with deep pockets in order to remain open.</p> <p>Following a grand opening a little over two years ago, the Revel now finds itself in bankruptcy court for the second time in as many years with a shutdown looming if a buyer cannot be found. With roughly 3,200 employees, the <strong>New Jersey</strong> economy would take a serious hit if the Revel is forced to close its doors.</p> <p>That possibility was announced to Revel workers via a notice from the casino's president, who informed his employees that the company is <em>“seeking to sell Revel to a new owner who we anticipate would have the ability to provide the funding and long-term commitment to help Revel reach its full potential,”</em> the <strong>Press of Atlantic City</strong> reported.</p> <p><blockquote>It’s not a good day for Atlantic City,” said New Jersey<strong> Sen. Jim Whelan</strong>. "It (the much-ballyhooed Revel opening) has not worked out the way all of us have hoped.”</blockquote></p> <p>Atlantic City casinos as a whole have experienced seven consecutive years of declining revenue, the result of casino expansion in neighboring states. It is one reason why online gambling legislation has been enacted in New Jersey, but like the Revel, those igaming expectations have fallen way short of the mark.</p> <p>The first Revel bankruptcy filing came in March of last year, with legal proceedings completed two months later. The latest filing looks even more grim, as the threat of a shutdown could reduce the state's operating casinos to 10.</p> <p>That number was reduced from 12 to 11 earlier this year when the <strong>Atlantic Club</strong> closed after a bankruptcy auction. <strong>Tropicana</strong> and <strong>Caesars</strong> made a successful $23.4 million joint bid with the former gaining the gaming equipment. Caesars retained the property but has since sold the property to a Florida-based developer known for refurbishing such holdings into senior-friendly housing.</p> <p>Caesars is also said to be considering closing one of its four Atlantic City casinos due to lack of revenue and mounting operating costs. Among its holdings of <strong>Caesars Atlantic City</strong>, <strong>Harrah's</strong>, <strong>Bally's</strong> and <strong>Showboat</strong>, chances are that the latter may lock its doors and turn away gamblers if Caesars chooses to go that route.</p> <p>The Revel will operate per usual during the bankruptcy action. Short-term financing has been secured until a new buyer (savior) emerges.</p> <p> </p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 15:51:01 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2982 WSOP Daily Report: Poker Players’ Championship Down To 55, Ole Schemion Makes His First Appearance <p><em>“You want to hear a fun hand?”</em> <strong>Richard Ashby</strong> asked a PokerNews reporter on the scene. It was the end of Day 2 of the prestigious $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship and Ashby wanted to share with the poker world how he managed to fold the third best possible Hold’Em hand – quads.</p> <p><em>“I just had sevens in Limit Hold’Em in a hand against Lyle Berman. The flop was 3-3-3 and on the turn a 7 hit so I made a bigger full house. The river however was another 3, so I couldn’t even call a bet.”</em></p> <p><strong>Lyle Berman </strong>eventually showed the ace for the best possible kicker, making Ashby proud of his timely fold.</p> <p>With that kind of discipline, Ashby managed to build a decent stack of almost 220,000 chips and he will head to Day 3 with the utmost confidence in his reading abilities. However, he will have to do a lot more than fold in order to catch the chip leader of the remaining 55, two-time bracelet winner <strong>Jason Mercier</strong>. Mercier has 802,600 in tournament chips while second-place<strong> Jonathan Duhamel</strong> sits with 783,000 chips in front of him after the second day of the event.</p> <p>A day with 17 more registrations <a href="" target="_blank">compared to Day 1</a>. <strong>Alex Bilokur</strong>, Berman, <strong>Dan Kelly</strong>, <strong>John Juanda</strong>, <strong>Scotty Nguyen</strong>, and of course, <strong>Doyle Brunson</strong> and <strong>Gus Hansen</strong> got into the mix with the hope of winning the million-dollar top prize and a World Series of Poker bracelet.</p> <p>Brunson survived to see Day 3 but he will need all the luck he can get as he currently holds a tiny 11,000-chip stack. On the other hand, Hansen busted out, mumbling on a #jh#7c#7h board. <em>“If you have that, it’s good. If you have that, it’s bad,”</em> he said before calling for his tournament life. His opponent had “that,” which was actually pretty bad for him:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Very sad - Quick exit of the 50K - played a 460K pot with the nut flush draw vs QQ - No Heart No Ace :-(</p> — Gus Hansen (@GusHansen) <a href="">June 24, 2014</a></blockquote> <p>Other worthy eliminations include 2014 WSOP Player of the Year leader <strong>George Danzer</strong>, two-time WSOP PoY <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>, all-time best in WSOP wins <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>, Event #43 winner <strong>Dan Kelly</strong>, and former $50K winners <strong>Michael Mizrachi</strong>, <strong>Matthew Ashton</strong>, <strong>Scotty Nguyen</strong>, and <strong>Brian Rast</strong>.</p> <p>Some of those losers didn’t have any time for whining, though, rushing to register for Event #47: $1,500 Ante Only NLHE. Kelly, for example, finished the first day strong and won most of his 98,500-chip stack near the end, while Negreanu, Danzer, and Hellmuth have average stacks before the start of Day 2.</p> <p>German wunderkind <strong>Ole Schemion</strong> (photo) was also present in this event, playing the WSOP for the first time in his already outstanding poker career. He couldn’t get anything going and was eliminated shortly after his late registration.</p> <p>But the 28th day of the WSOP was not only about big names, it was also about unknowns flying under the radar like <strong>Angela Prada-Moed</strong>. Prada-Moed won a couple of key pots late on Day 2 of Event #45: $1,000 NLHE to climb to the top of the chip leaderboard. She first eliminated <strong>Nicolas Faure</strong> in 18th place with her cowboys and maintained the pace by sending <strong>Jan Suchanek</strong> home in 17th place with her bullets.</p> <p>To win the event, she will have to survive another ten eliminations later today. Can she do it? Like always, we at PokerUpdate will provide the answer with lengthy updates about the daily WSOP final tables.</p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:32:52 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2981 The Heads-up Marathon Continues! Jordan Morgan and Evan McNiff Take It To Overtime <p><em>“It’s been a long day man,”</em> <strong>Jordan Morgan</strong> (photo) said to the tournament director with 20 minutes remaining in Level 31 of Event #44: $1,500 No Limit Hold’Em.</p> <p>Both he and his opponent, <strong>Evan McNiff</strong>, decided to bag their chips and fight for their first World Series of Poker bracelet in overtime, in a totally unexpected fourth day of the NLHE event.</p> <p>Why was it unexpected? Mainly because of the final table's fast pace. The official nine-handed final table was set after the first three hours of what should have been the final day of the tournament. From that point on, it took two hours to cut it down to just two final competitors.</p> <p><strong>Michael Anselm</strong> was the first eliminated from the final table. He open-shoved his stack from early position with #ah#9h.<strong> Bryan Dillon</strong> re-shoved over the top from the next position with #ad#kc, pairing his king and winning the hand.</p> <p><strong>Ryan Spittles</strong> followed Anselm two hands later by going all-in with #ah#kh. Although he had the big advantage preflop against <strong>Jason Johnson</strong>’s #ad#10h, postflop action changed the situation dramatically. Johnson spiked a ten to send Spittles to the rail in eighth place.</p> <p>The next elimination was made by McNiff, who gathered momentum and increased his already big stack. The victim was<strong> Joseph Iarussi</strong>, who must have thought he was in front after a check-shove by his opponent on the #2d#7s#7d#4h board. Iarussi had #9h#9d and called for his tournament life, only to see his hand dominated by #6h#7h.</p> <p>Immediately after that, <strong>Robert Chorlian</strong> packed his things and got out of the way of the five remaining, while Morgan and McNiff had their first big clash of the event. On the #2s#6d#4h#6h#5d board, Morgan led out and McNiff pushed all-in. His opponent quickly called with #5s#5h and the boat, crushing Morgan’s smaller boat built with his #2h#2d.</p> <p>Bryan Dillon couldn’t do much on hand #57 of the final table after moving all-in with #8d#8c and losing a race against Johnson, while <strong>Ryan Foley</strong> tried to steal Morgan’s blind a little while later to finish in fourth place.</p> <p>Johnson was the other victim of Jordan Morgan, calling an all-in on the river with made two pairs only to see his opponent holding a set.</p> <p>At that point, Morgan went on a tear having a big 4-to-1 chip advantage over the last opponent standing in his way, Evan McNiff. Nevertheless, McNiff didn’t back down and fought for another six long hours before agreeing to go into overtime.</p> <p>The momentum shifted as Morgan couldn’t finish off his opponent. McNiff won a key pot on hand #175 when he value-bet his flush on the river and was ready to celebrate on hand #199 when he put his opponent at risk with his #kc#kd. Morgan had #as#kh and was hopeless looking at the #10d#jh#2c#8c board. The river, however, saved him by bringing the #ac.</p> <p>So the fight continued until they agreed to take a much-needed rest.</p> <p>The play will resume at 1 PM Pacific Time with the two remaining players having almost even stacks:</p> <ol><li><em>Jordan Morgan – 4,445,000</em></li> <li><em>Evan McNiff – 4,170,000</em></li> </ol><p>Who will win the heads-up marathon?</p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:07:49 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2980 Phil Ivey Team Pros Earn Over $1 Million at 2014 WSOP Thus Far <p><strong>Phil Ivey</strong> fans have noticed that their hero has recorded only a modest $5,030 cash for 22nd place in a PLO event at the 2014 WSOP to date, but his hand-picked <strong>Team Ivey</strong> pros have earned over $1 million.</p> <p>The Ivey Leaguers who have been performing well at the WSOP include <strong>Dan Smith</strong>, <strong>Mike Leah</strong>, <strong>Andrew Lichtenberger</strong>, <strong>Dan Shak</strong>, <strong>David Peters</strong>, <strong>Aaron Jones</strong> and <strong>Alex Bolotin</strong>. The latter scored his first WSOP title in a $1,500 NL Hold’em Shootout for a $259,211 payday. Bolotin cashed in one other event, a 12th place finish in another NLHE Shootout a few days after his victory in Event #5.</p> <p>Smith has landed at two final tables thus far. Ninth place in $1,500 NL Hold’em was good for $28,986, while finishing sixth in 8-Handed $5,000 NLHE earned him $95,515. Two other modest cashes in Pot Limit Omaha and Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball are making this a summer to remember for Smith.</p> <p>While Smith finished 21st in the Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball event, his teammate Leah managed to land ten places higher in 11th for $6,586. Leah most recently finished in-the-money in another 2-7 Draw Lowball tourney, a $1,500 No Limit affair where he earned $2,837 for 22nd place, the <strong>Hendon Mob</strong> database reported. Leah's other cash at the 45th WSOP thus far was seventh place in $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo for $31,115.</p> <p>Lichtenberger is second in money earned among the Ivey Pros this summer with his biggest score a third place prize of $242,827 in $5,000 No Limit Hold'em - Six Handed. <em>"LuckyChewy"</em> has three other cashes to his name at the Rio in NLHE events in 2014, winning more than $19,000 combined.</p> <p>Shak just missed the final table in $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em, earning $30,516 in the process. Unfortunately, those profits are now gone as the <em>"amateur"</em> was one of the earliest players eliminated in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. But with a $1,178,980 score for second place in the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PCA in January, $50k is chump change for the "<em>Shak attack."</em></p> <p>Peters has made five trips to the cashier's cage thus far, the most among Ivey's pro team with almost two dozen events yet to be played. Four in-the-money finishes in NLHE and one in Pot Limit Hold'em were good for more than $51,000 for Peters, minus the total buy-ins of $10,000 for the five events.</p> <p>Last but not least is Jones, who cashed four times and is one of three Team Ivey stars to reach that many paydays at the WSOP this summer. His deepest run among the four was eighth place in Event #2, $25,000 No Limit Hold'em - Mixed Max. The <strong>LeggoPoker</strong> founder took home $112,752 for that effort and more than $130,000 in all his 2014 WSOP cashes combined.</p> <p>All eyes are now on Ivey as he finally broke away from the lucrative cash game action to enter the $50k Poker Players Championship. The legend is aiming for WSOP title no. 10 and to do his part in adding to the running total of money won by the Ivey Pro Team.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 18:38:20 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2979 Poker Night in America Debut Set for June 29 <p><span class="letter-big">A</span>fter initially promising to air in early 2014, <strong>Poker Night in America</strong> experienced a slight delay and has announced that its first broadcast will commence next Sunday, June 29 at 10:00 p.m. ET.</p> <p>A new agreement with the <strong>CBS Sports Network</strong> will bring the poker-themed reality show into the living rooms of over 99 million households every Sunday for the next 26 weeks. That will give poker players and fans an opportunity to watch revolutionary new poker programming from now until Christmas.</p> <p><blockquote>We’re making poker fun again – that’s our real goal,” said PNIA president and creator Todd Anderson. “We think poker players and fans have been looking for something new and fresh for a long time. We believe ‘Poker Night in America’ will soon become must-see television for all serious players and fans."</blockquote></p> <p>That fun will include tournament action from four tour stops in the U.S. that began last August. Film footage from the Turning Stone Casino in <strong>New York</strong>, Peppermill Casino in <strong>Nevada</strong>, Rivers Casino in <strong>Pennsylvania</strong>, and the <strong>Maryland</strong> Live! Casino will be broadcast on a weekly basis.</p> <p>But Poker Night in America promises more than just the standard tournament poker fare. The cameras were also rolling for invite-only high-stakes cash games with participants such as<strong> Mike</strong> "the Mouth" <strong>Matusow</strong>, <strong>Matt Glantz</strong>, <strong>Shaun Deeb</strong> and <strong>Gavin Smith</strong>. Action away from the felt will be included in the broadcasts, adding to the entertainment by giving fans a peek at some of the things players do while not navigating tournament fields or seated at ring games that require $20,000 bankrolls.</p> <p><blockquote>Our tag-line says it all, 'bringing personality back to poker,'” Anderson said.</blockquote></p> <p>While pro players will certainly be under the spotlight, amateurs who competed amongst the pros will also be included in the mix. Recreational poker players sitting at home who dream of one day doing the same will be able to relate with the plight of amateurs who hope to make a name for themselves within the world of poker while making a deep run and scoring a big payday.</p> <p>The recent tour stops have provided enough footage that viewers can expect something new and different each week. An ever-changing cast of players will be highlighted, with announcements expected soon regarding the dates of appearances of well-known poker stars.</p> <p>A new tour stop is on the agenda for next month. Poker Night in America will once again be filming at the Maryland Live! Casino from July 26-29. Players with large bankrolls and colorful personalities who would like to play in high-stakes ring games in front of the PNIA cameras can apply at</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:15:55 +0000 Charles Rettmuller 2978 WSOP Daily Report: $50K Poker Players’ Championship Kicks Off <p><span class="letter-big">G</span>et your popcorn ready, it’s show time in Las Vegas! Yes, we know that Vegas and show times are, in fact, synonymous, especially if the World Series of Poker is running. But in every WSOP there are only a handful of events that really get the poker community’s attention.</p> <p>One of them is, of course, the Main Event, the prestigious $10,000 No Limit Hold’Em Championship. Another one is the million-dollar buy-in BIG ONE for ONE DROP. But both of those tournaments test players’ skills at only one game: the ‘Cadillac’ of Poker, NLHE.</p> <p>What if we want to know who is the best all-around poker player in the world? Poker is not just about NLHE, it’s also about Omaha, Stud, Razz, and Draw. And since 2006, the organizers have decided to create a unique event specially reserved for the high rollers that mixes all of those games. That is how the $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship was born.</p> <p>It all started as a H.O.R.S.E competition, but now it’s all about 8-Game: Limit Hold’Em, Omaha Hi-Low, Razz, Stud, Stud Hi-Low, NLHE, Pot Limit Omaha, and 2-7 Triple Draw.</p> <p>The first ever Poker Players’ Championship attracted 143 entrants with <strong>David </strong>“Chip” <strong>Reese </strong>emerging victorious. Eight years later, 85 of the best poker pros in the world gathered at the start, with late registration still going on.</p> <p>And after Day 1, 80 survived including chip leader<strong> Matt Glantz</strong> (photo), who has made the final table twice in this event. Others like <strong>Melissa Burr</strong>, <strong>Michael </strong>“The Grinder” <strong>Mizrachi</strong>, and <strong>Andy Bloch</strong> have their eyes set on the record books. If she enters the money zone, Burr will become the first lady ever to cash in this tourney. Mizrachi is the only player who won the 50K competition twice, while Bloch is looking for a record fifth cash in the event.</p> <p>Of course, the legends made sure that they don’t pass up this opportunity and are still in the hunt, including the man with the most gold bracelets, <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>, nine-time WSOP winner <strong>Phil Ivey</strong>, and two-time WSOP Player of the Year, <strong>Daniel Negreanu</strong>.</p> <p>And we can’t move on without mentioning the new generation that made a living out of playing online poker. We’re talking about the nosebleeds players <strong>Elior </strong>“Crazy Elior” <strong>Sion</strong>, <strong>Alexander </strong>“Alexonmoon” <strong>Luneau</strong>, <strong>Ola </strong>“Odd_Oddsen” <strong>Amundsgaard</strong>, <strong>Brian Hastings</strong>, and also <strong>Chun Lei</strong> “samrostan” <strong>Zhou</strong>.</p> <p>But who were the five eliminated? One of them was <strong>Vanessa Selbst</strong>, who tried to bluff Glantz out of the pot on a #ks#8s#js#10s NLHE board. The next to fall was WSOP Europe Main Event runner-up <strong>Sergii Baranov</strong>, who failed to complete his draws in a PLO hand.<strong> Dan Shak</strong>, <strong>Michael Glick</strong>, and <strong>Phil </strong>“OMGClayAiken” <strong>Galfond</strong> complete the elimination board of Day 1.</p> <p>Day 2 will start later today at 2 P.M. Pacific Time and according to PokerNews Live Reporting, we might see even more legends at the tables like <strong>Doyle</strong> “Texas Dolly” <strong>Brunson</strong> and all-time biggest online cash loser<strong> Gus Hansen</strong>.</p> <p>Be sure to check PokerUpdate tomorrow to find out if the rumors are confirmed.</p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 14:57:50 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2977 Michael Drummond Wins WSOP $5K Pot Limit Omaha Six-Handed Event <p><span class="letter-big">O</span>ne shot, one gold bracelet. California-based player <strong>Michael Drummond</strong> came to Las Vegas to concentrate on the cash games. The World Series of Poker was not a priority for him but when he heard there was a Pot Limit Omaha Six-Handed event on the docket, he rushed to the cage to register.</p> <p>It was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. Drummond is a PLO cash game specialist and the short-handed format is his favorite. So he paid the $5,000 buy-in and took a seat at one of the tables of Event #42. From that point on, he never looked back, topping the 452-player field in a three-day stretch.</p> <p>The PLO pro started the final day sixth in chips behind big stack <strong>Phil Laak</strong> and 2009 $5,000 PLO event runner-up <strong>Sorel Mizzi</strong>.</p> <p>Drummond kicked things off by doubling up in a battle against <strong>David </strong>“Bakes” <strong>Baker</strong>, who was the first player eliminated on Day 3. Drummond's stack, however, suffered some big blows afterwards, as he helped <strong>Brandon Crawford</strong> to double up and slipped away to the bottom of the chip leaderboard as a result.</p> <p>But a shallow stack didn’t take Drummond out of his comfort zone as he managed to eliminate <strong>Joseph Leung</strong> in tenth place and Crawford in eighth spot to climb back to the top. And with <strong>Richard Ashby</strong> out in seventh place, it was time for the official final table to take the spotlight.</p> <p>Laak was the first to leave the six-handed affair after going all-in with #ac#8c#8d#ks. <strong>Brant Hale</strong> called him with a bigger pair in #as#ad#5d#4c to take down the pot.</p> <p>Twenty-nine hands later, Hale was in the same spot as Laak, praying for a lucky river to complete his flush or straight. His prayers were not answered and he finished the event in fifth place.</p> <p>Not long after that, <strong>Ryan Schmidt</strong> followed to the rail. He had a slight advantage on the #ks#10d#7s flop with his #ad#kc#9d#2s, but the turn and river favored his opponent, 3K Shootout winner <strong>Kory Kilpatrick</strong>, who caught a king-high straight.</p> <p>In spite of the elimination, Kilpatrick was still the shortest stack of the remaining three. He couldn’t get out of the danger zone and paid for it with a third place elimination at the hands of the future winner. Both players were all-in preflop #kd#kc#jc#4d &gt; #ac#ks#qd#4s.</p> <p>The heads-up play was short and lasted only 12 hands mainly because Drummond had a huge 3-to-1 chip advantage over his opponent, <strong>Darius Studdard</strong>. In the last play of the event, Studdard and Drummond caught a set on a low draw-heavy flop, but it was Drummond who had the overset.</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Michael Drummond - $541,747</em></li> <li><em>Darius Studdard - $334,593</em></li> <li><em>Kory Kilpatrick - $217,113</em></li> <li><em>Ryan Schmidt - $143,397</em></li> <li><em>Brant Hale - $95,598</em></li> <li><em>Phil Laak - $66,918</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Michael Drummond on winning the first gold bracelet of his career. The title did indeed change his mind and besides the cash games, he will also concentrate on a couple of other events in this year’s WSOP: the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship, and of course, the $10,000 No Limit Hold'Em Main Event.</p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:23:10 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2976 Dan Kelly Wins The WSOP $1,500 Limit Hold’Em Event <p><span class="letter-big">N</span>othing compares to a World Series of Poker bracelet. No matter how many deep runs you have or how many big cashes you earn, you will always feel frustrated if you can’t win a gold bracelet. And <strong>Dan Kelly</strong> knows that better than anyone.</p> <p>The 25-year-old player took the poker world by storm four years ago when he won his first WSOP title at just 21 years of age. Prior to that, he crushed the online games and surged to the top of the tournament leaderboards on both PokerStars and Full Tilt. He won FTOPS Event #14 in 2008 and four years later, he got into the record books by being the only player with four World Championship of Online Poker titles.</p> <p>On the live stage he is also a force to be reckoned with, managing multiple deep runs, including at least one final table in every WSOP from 2011 to 2013. He also finished fifth in the 2012 WPT L.A. Poker Classic, eighth in the 2013 Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour Sydney Main Event, and 11th in the 2013 Asian Poker Tour Philippines.</p> <p>Last year, he had no less than ten (yes as in 10) WSOP cashes and qualified for two final tables including the first-ever Millionaire Maker but couldn’t put his hands on his second gold bracelet.</p> <p>He did it this year though. After four more cashes, Kelly finally managed to win his second title in Las Vegas in Event #43: $1,500 Limit Hold’Em. <em>“It feels better,”</em> the two-time bracelet winner told <em>“It’s always nice to win. It’s frustrating getting sixth and fifth.”</em></p> <p>The Maryland-based wizkid started the final day of the LHE event as the big stack bully. Other big names like <strong>Jeff </strong>“Iceman” <strong>Lisandro</strong>, red-hot <strong>Brandon Shack-Harris</strong>, and Limit specialist <strong>Ron Burke</strong> were still in the mix and ready to take advantage of every mistake Kelly made.</p> <p>Burke had eight WSOP cashes prior to this event, all of them being earned in Limit Hold’Em events. He was the first to leave the official final table after moving all-in preflop with #9h#9c. Two players called him, <strong>Jesse Katz</strong>, and <strong>Sean Berrios</strong>, and both of them made a flush. Burke didn’t improve his starting hand and cashed in a prize of $14,856 for ninth place.</p> <p><strong>Bryce Landier</strong> was next, going all-in on a #qd#jh#5d flop with #ac#kh. His opponent, Katz, caught a set with his #js#jd and rivered a boat to send Landier home with $19,051 in his pockets.</p> <p>The next elimination came almost 100 hands later with five-time WSOP winner Lisandro failing to win number six. He moved his last chips in with hopes of making a straight, but by the turn he was drawing dead as <strong>Yegor Tsurikov</strong> completed his flush. For his seventh place finish, Lisandro earned a decent cash prize of $24,683.</p> <p><strong>David Chiu</strong> followed him in sixth for $32,338, while Katz ($42,857) decided to gamble 19 hands later with his #8c#8h. Berrios called him with #ah#qc and caught a full house by the river.</p> <p>But when his tournament life was on the line, Berrios wasn’t that lucky. On hand #241 of the final table, he check-raised all-in on #8s#6d#2s#10s with second pair, a gutshot, and a flush draw. The river was a brick that forced him to leave the final table in fourth place with a $57,536 cash prize.</p> <p>Third place was reserved for Shack-Harris, who couldn’t double-up in 2014 bracelets and left Tsurikov and Kelly to fight for the title. He did cash $78,335 for his effort, though.</p> <p>The heads-up play was dominated by Kelly from one end to the other. Eventually, Tsurikov gambled with his last chips and a mediocre #10s#6c hand. Kelly called him with a dominating #js#10d that got even better on the #7c#8h#7d#qd#9h board, eliminating Tsurikov in second place for $120,501.</p> <p>Congratulations to Dan Kelly on winning his second WSOP gold bracelet and the first place prize consisting of $195,167. This was his fifth WSOP cash of 2014 and his 27th overall for over $2 million. Is he up for yet another 2014 deep run and why not another gold bracelet?</p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 10:28:01 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2975 Robert Mizrachi Makes Huge Comeback To Win Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed Event <p>After three days, several controversies, and a brawl, Event #41: Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed is finally over.</p> <p>A total of 419 players gathered at the start of this unique tournament and every single one of them needed to know 16 variations of poker including some newer awkward-named games like Badeucey and Badacey. Not to mention that the reading abilities of all the participants were put to the test.</p> <p><em>“It’s a very skilled event. You not only have to know all the games, but you have to pick up the games that your opponent don’t play as well,”</em> the winner of the first ever Dealer’s Choice, <strong>Robert Mizrachi</strong>, told</p> <p>Mizrachi went into Day 3 with the largest stack of the last ten but started slipping as the two tables turned into one. <strong>Marco Johnson</strong> was the unlucky final table bubble boy, finishing in seventh place after a 2-7 Triple Draw hand played against Mizrachi.</p> <p>And with the official final table under way, it was <strong>Aaron Schaff</strong>’s time to seize control of his competition. Schaff had double the chips compared to second place Mizrachi entering the six-handed play. He further increased that lead when he eliminated two-time bracelet winner <strong>Frank Kassela </strong>in sixth place in his favorite game, Pot Limit Omaha.</p> <p>Schaff also killed two birds with one stone by sending <strong>Daniel Idema</strong> and<strong> Bill Chen </strong>home in fifth and fourth places, respectively. The double elimination was made after another big PLO hand with the turn giving Schaff the advantage. At this point, the bully had a dominating 1.28-million-chip stack while Mizrachi’s stack was only about 400,000.</p> <p>The shortest stack of the three, <strong>Shane Abbott</strong>, was eliminated several minutes later in a No Limit Hold’Em hand. Mizrachi took his chips by having the absolute nuts both preflop and postflop.</p> <p>The heads-up match lasted over three hours with the future winner coming from behind and taking the lead. Schaff decided to play on his own turf, choosing PLO time and time again, but Mizrachi also had a lot of experience playing this game. His first WSOP gold bracelet was won in the 2007 PLO Championship.</p> <p>However, Schaff ignored that fact, a decision that brought him his doom. Mizrachi chipped away pot after pot to deliver his final blow in an A-5 Triple Draw hand,</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Robert Mizrachi - $147,092</em></li> <li><em>Aaron Schaff - $90,854</em></li> <li><em>Shane Abbott - $58,414</em></li> <li><em>Bill Chen - $38,735</em></li> <li><em>Daniel Idema - $26,444</em></li> <li><em>Frank Kassela - $18,575</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Robert Mizrachi on winning his second gold bracelet. He definitely enjoyed playing such a unique format and wants more of the same in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship.</p> <p><blockquote>It would be nice if the $50K was exactly the same way as this, because you can guarantee all the players would still play it, and the skill really shows. I think this would be good for a $10,000 buy-in, or maybe a $25,000 buy-in, but we should still keep this one because you want to introduce players to the game.</blockquote></p> <p>Even Frank Kassela agrees, according to a PokerNews interview:</p> <p><blockquote>I think this particular tournament structure should be the way we play the $50K. We’re dealing with not just your ability to react and play 16 different games of poker, but on top of that being able to identify weaknesses in the players you’re playing against, picking the appropriate games to give you an advantage in that way also.</blockquote></p> <p>What do you think? Should WSOP take a step forward and introduce this format to the higher buy-in events?</p> Sun, 22 Jun 2014 11:28:57 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2974 What’s Up Doc? Sean Dempsey Wins The WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold’Em Event <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>rivia Question: What is<strong> </strong>the main game of<strong> Sean Dempsey</strong> – this year’s winner of Event #39: $3,000 No Limit Hold’Em?</p> <p>If you answered NLHE, well, you would actually be wrong. No, Dempsey isn’t a Hold’Em specialist; he describes himself as a Pot Limit Omaha expert and his World Series of Poker results show it. Prior to Event #93, he cashed four times and three of those cashes were collected after playing Omaha events.</p> <p>Furthermore, he bragged to that he taught <strong>Tom </strong>“durrrr” <strong>Dwan </strong>how to play PLO.</p> <p>But how did he come up with a NLHE win then?<em> “Last minute fluke,”</em> he said in a PokerNews interview. He arrived late in Day 3 and still managed to stay on course to win his first ever gold bracelet. <em>“Everything kind of fell into place for me luckily,”</em> Dempsey explained.</p> <p>Trivia Question: Why did Sean Dempsey move to Las Vegas ten years ago?</p> <p>If you answered to play poker full-time, well, you would be wrong again. The 40-year-old player isn’t a full time poker pro, he is a physician, and playing in the WSOP is a kind of vacation, a well-deserved period of relaxation and fun for the doctor.</p> <p>Nevertheless, Dempsey still wanted to win a bracelet. Last year’s $10,000 PLO Championship final table set the stage for 2014 and the biggest score of his poker career so far.</p> <p>To achieve that, he needed some lucky hands, but eventually he did it.</p> <p>The doctor was one of <a href="" target="_blank">three remaining after Day 3</a> and possessed the shortest stack at the table. Since all the stacks were shallow, he only needed one double-up to threaten the top and that’s what he did eight hands after the start of overtime. He moved all-in from the button with #kd#10h and was called by<strong> Jacob Schindler</strong>’s #ac#jh. The board paired his king and propelled him right to the top of the chip leaderboard. ‘</p> <p>From that point on, Dempsey started being more active by putting Schindler in a lot of tough spots. Schindler eventually was eliminated in third place after calling with #ah#jh. His opponent, <strong>Ryan Jaconetti</strong>, had #ac#qs for the upper hand.</p> <p>The heads-up play was a true grind and lasted over three hours. Jaconetti started strong but Dempsey fought back with some timely shoves. The future winner needed two double-ups including a lucky river to seal the deal. And with his stack getting shorter and shorter, Jaconetti made a move on hand #284 of the official final table, going all-in with #qs#10h. Dempsey called immediately with #jd#jc, caught a set, and dodged Jaconetti’s open-ended straight draw to win the bracelet.</p> <p>Here are the final table payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Sean Dempsey - $548,460</em></li> <li><em>Ryan Jaconetti - $339,440</em></li> <li><em>Jacob Schindler - $212,373</em></li> <li><em>Ryan Olisar - $154,148</em></li> <li><em>Ryan Laplante - $113,796</em></li> <li><em>Nam Le - $85,307</em></li> <li><em>Layne Flack - $64,887</em></li> <li><em>Takashi Yagura - $50,019</em></li> <li><em>Andrew Becker - $39,078</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Sean Dempsey on finally winning gold. He also plans to play the PLO Championship and the Main Event before going back to his old job. Can he go for yet another (bracelet) double-up?</p> Sun, 22 Jun 2014 09:46:17 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2973 Davide Suriano Wins the WSOP $10,000 Heads-Up Championship <p><span class="letter-big">S</span>mall stakes player no more! After playing low and mid buy-in events all his life and cashing five-figure prizes, <strong>Davide Suriano</strong> decided to take a shot at a World Series of Poker bracelet by playing Event #40: the $10,000 Heads-up No Limit Hold’Em Championship. The Italian wasn’t a stranger at all to one-on-one success, winning the WPT Venice Grand Prix Heads-up event in 2012, plus a heads-up side event in last year’s EPT London.</p> <p>Now Suriano has many reasons to smile because he won a big six-figure prize that will allow him to play the higher stakes in the near future. <em>“This victory is going to change my life,”</em> the winner said after taking down his last opponent in experienced American <strong>Sam Stein</strong>.</p> <p>Unknown player no more! Coming into the final round of the $10,000 Heads-up Championship, the Italian was virtually an unknown compared to his foe. Stein had one gold bracelet, 18 WSOP cashes, plus several other big results in the EPT, NAPT and WPT. Suriano had only three WSOP cashes and a number of small prizes won in Europe along with a bankroll built in the online world.</p> <p>Now the unknown can brag after winning his first gold bracelet and Italy’s seventh overall. Moreover, his six-figure cash will add up nicely to Italy’s total earnings in WSOP history of over $15 million.</p> <p><em>“This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me,”</em> Suriano told</p> <p>But how did he manage to win against such an experienced opponent? Simple, <a href="" target="_blank">he just did the same thing as in previous eliminations</a>: he was aggressive, he fought for every pot, and he mixed it up with a number of limps, raises, and three-bets.</p> <p>The Italian won the first two hands of the final round and took the chip lead early. He also made a flush on hand #8 and with the blinds increasing, he picked up his aggression even more by winning a lot of non-showdown pots. After just 36 hands, Stein decided to fight back with his last 20 big blinds and shoved over the top of Suriano’s raise with #kd#7d. His opponent made the call with #as#10d and Stein had to improve in order to stay alive.</p> <p>That didn’t happen as the board showed #3d#10s#jh#ac#5s, giving Suriano two pair and the most coveted piece of jewelry in poker.</p> <p>Here are the final four payouts:</p> <ol><li><em>Davide Suriano - $335,553</em></li> <li><em>Sam Stein - $207,347</em></li> <li><em>Daniel Colman - $111,942</em></li> <li><em>Scott Davies -$111,942</em></li> </ol><p>Congratulations to Davide Suriano on his impressive shootout win. If he sustains his level of play, we will definitely hear a lot more about him in the next major events. Can he take his bankroll to the next level?</p> Sun, 22 Jun 2014 08:20:05 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2972 WSOP Daily Report: Best Card Protector Ever, Table Controversies Adding Up <p><span class="letter-big">D</span>on’t be scared to mix things up, many poker players say, and that’s what <strong>Kenna James</strong> (photo) did yesterday in Event #43: $1,500 Limit Hold’Em. Along with his beverage and his glasses, James sat at the poker table with a special card protector.</p> <p><em>“Don’t try to steal my big blind,”</em> he said, picking up <strong>Tank </strong>and putting her in his arms. According to PokerNews Live Reporting, Tank is a four-year old Terrier-Chihuahua mix and most probably the best card protector in this year’s WSOP, if not ever. Unfortunately though, Tank didn’t help James much as he was eliminated late in the tournament.</p> <p>Meanwhile, at another Limit table, <strong>Antonio</strong> “The Magician” <strong>Esfandiari</strong> tried to pick up the pace and play a game of<em> “Lodden Thinks.”</em> For those who don’t know what that game is all about, in <em>“Lodden Thinks”</em> two players place bets on trying to guess a third player’s answer to a given question. For example, one of the questions in which Esfandiari was involved sounded like this:<em> “How long does it take for a specific player at the table to do his hair in the morning?”</em> Another more interesting question involved <strong>Barry Greenstein</strong>: <em>“How long could Greenstein last in a small, square room with just a toilet, bed, and light?”</em></p> <p>We don’t know if Esfandiari won the bets but what we do know is that “The Magician” was able to survive Day 1 even though he is short-stacked. Other big names are in the same boat including Event #3 winner <strong>Brandon Shack-Harris</strong>, five-time bracelet winner <strong>Jeff Lisandro</strong>, and <strong>Daniel</strong> “Kid Poker” <strong>Negreanu</strong>. The leader of this particular pack is <strong>Paul Mannoni</strong>.</p> <p>In the other two non-no-limit events of the day, new table controversies emerged <a href="" target="_blank">after the brawl in the Amazon Room</a>. Again, <strong>Brandon Cantu</strong> was center-stage and called the floor during a hand. Cantu won the dispute and his opponent, <strong>Maria Mayrinck, </strong>had to stay pat for a round. But this didn’t stop a player from mentioning the already notorious “angle-shooting” expression.<em> “I thought you said yesterday you didn’t angle. There’s no scenario in which she would change her draw,”</em> an opponent told Cantu.</p> <p>And this was not the only controversy in Event #41: $1,500 Dealer’s choice six-handed. A No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw hand had to be reconstructed after <strong>Senovio Ramirez</strong> received the same card that he put out after a draw. The staff had a hard time in reconstructing the hand as players couldn't precisely recall their cards and their suits. Eventually, all the cards were in place and play resumed only to stop again with ten players left.</p> <p><strong>Robert Mizrachi</strong> leads the field but he’ll have to watch out for the two ladies remaining: two-time bracelet winner <strong>Jennifer Harman </strong>and mixed-game cash specialist<strong> Melissa Burr</strong>.</p> <p>Last but not least, Event #42: $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Handed kicked off yesterday and Belgian<strong> Davidi Kitai</strong> is in the hunt for his second 2014 gold bracelet. Kitai is the chip leader with a massive 250+ big-blind stack followed by <strong>Brandon Crawford</strong> and 3k shootout winner <strong>Kory Kilpatrick</strong>. Also in the race are <strong>Michael Mizrachi</strong>, <strong>Scotty Nguyen</strong>, <strong>Ashton Griffin</strong>,<strong> Jonathan Little</strong>, <strong>Phil Galfond</strong>, <strong>JC Tran</strong>, <strong>Phil Hellmuth</strong>, <strong>Richard Ashby</strong>, <strong>Calvin Anderson</strong>, <strong>Jason Somerville</strong>, and <strong>Eli Elezra</strong>.</p> <p>Check out PokerUpdate tomorrow to find out more about these events.</p> Sat, 21 Jun 2014 13:38:44 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2971 Event #39 Set For Overtime, Jacob Schindler Still Leading The Way <p><span class="letter-big">T</span>he rail asked for an extra level, instead they received a whole day worth of overtime play. <em>“One more level,”</em> the rail chanted with minutes to go until the end of the tenth level of the day.</p> <p>But to have the extra level, one more player had to be eliminated, and both finalists had to agree to it. That didn’t happen as <strong>Ryan Jaconetti</strong> doubled up right at the death and is closer than ever to winning his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet. So is chip leader <strong>Jacob Schindler</strong>, while the shortstack, <strong>Sean Dempsey</strong>, isn’t that far behind.</p> <p>All three played ten long hours, hoping to put their hands on the Las Vegas gold; instead they will have to return later today and play some more.</p> <p>Day 3 of Event #39: $3,000 No Limit Hold’Em started with 26 players returning to the poker felt. The field shrank quickly and in a matter of four hours, ten remained.</p> <p>The official final table bubble, however, lasted over two hours and signaled the shape of things to come. <strong>Clyde Walters</strong> was the unlucky bubble boy; he shoved over two people with #jc#jh and was at risk when Sean Dempsey called with #ah#ad. The board played the percentages and sent Walters home.</p> <p>After that, Schindler began his domination. He first doubled-up big on a #ad#kc#as#2h#9s board while holding #ah#ks. And with <strong>Andrew Becker </strong>eliminated in ninth place, he sent the next four players to the rail. <strong>Takashi Yagura</strong> raised all-in with #10d#10s and was called by Schindler’s #ad#qh. The community cards flushed Yagura away from the tourney.</p> <p>Six-time bracelet winner <strong>Layne Flack</strong> was next, putting his last chips in the middle with #jc#8c. Prior to the elimination hand, Flack was crippled in a #ac#kd &gt; #as#9s battle against Jaconetti.</p> <p><strong>Nam Le</strong> and <strong>Ryan Laplante</strong> were the other Schindler victims. Le lost a flip preflop to finish in sixth place while Laplante took a severe hit on the river that sent him packing in fifth place.</p> <p>The last elimination of the day was made by Dempsey. He snap-called <strong>Ryan Olisar</strong>’s all-in with the absolute nuts preflop: #ad#ah. Jaconetti had the same hand in the very last play of Day 3 when he moved all-in from the big blind. Schindler, who was in the small blind, called with #as#4s hoping for a light steal and some extra time. But it wasn’t meant to be as Jaconetti had #ad#ac for the big double-up.</p> <p>Here is the official chip count with hours left until the big showdown:</p> <ol><li><em>Jacob Schindler: 3,860,000 (38.6 BB)</em></li> <li><em>Ryan Jaconetti: 3,410,000 (34.1 BB)</em></li> <li><em>Sean Dempsey: 1,660,000 (16.6 BB)</em></li> </ol><p>Who will prevail in the fourth-day overtime?</p> Sat, 21 Jun 2014 11:06:09 +0000 Florian Gheorghe 2970 Sam Stein And Davide Suriano Battle For The Heads-Up Crown <p>Seven rounds are history and one more is needed to crown a champion.</p> <p>Event #40: $10,000 Heads-up No Limit Hold’Em kicked off with 136 players ready to duel for their tournament lives and after two days, only two remain: an experienced American with almost $4 million in tournament earnings and a very aggressive Italian with just a quarter of million cashed in his live poker career, according to Hendon Mob Poker DB.</p> <p><strong>Sam Stein</strong> (photo) is a successful