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It’s time to look into the crystal ball for 2017. What can we look forward to in the poker world for 2017?

I’ve taken a look into the future, and trust me; you don’t want to see what Daniel Negreanu was wearing. Instead, I’ll share 9 poker predictions for 2017.

Fedor Holz Stays Away from Poker – Until January 2nd

The running gag following the 2016 World Series of Poker was that Fedor Holz was effectively “retired” from poker. Of course, I don’t know of too many retired poker players that win $3 million after “walking away.”

I firmly believe that Holz will keep his word and walk away from the game starting January 1st. After the New Year’s hangover wears off on January 2nd, he will “return” and win somewhere between $8 and $10 million on a part-time basis.

Read More: What Does it Mean to Be Retired from Poker?

Gus Hansen Wins or Earns Huge High Roller Score

Gus Hansen told PokerNews recently he would return to tournament circuit in 2017, possibly sooner. Hansen played in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December but finished well short of the money.

In 2017, I predict that Hansen will have several deep runs with at least one victory or a large score in a High Roller event. I estimate his 2017 earnings between $2 and $3 million.

Three Women Win Major Poker Titles in 2017 – Outside of the WSOP

At different points over the years, we have talked about the “Year of the Woman” in poker but I have a sneaky feeling that 2017 will be a year that we see at least three women take down major live poker events outside of the World Series of Poker.

If I were to make a guess, I see one woman becoming the first World Poker Tour champion, one winning a PokerStars Live Main Event and then one taking down a high profile tournament elsewhere.

I’m not counting High Roller events in this prediction with the exception of the Aussie Million High Roller events and the Super High Roller Bowl.

Phil Ivey Plays More Poker in 2016

Phil Ivey is eligible for the Poker Hall of Fame in 2017 and as such, I feel we will see him at the tables a bit more. He naturally already has the resume to earn induction on the first ballot but it doesn’t hurt to remind folks that he’s Phil F***ing Ivey.

I wouldn’t be shocked to see Ivey win bracelet #11 in 2017 but I’ll hold off on that prediction until I see him play in a couple of events pre-WSOP.

DevilFish Doesn’t Get Inducted and May Not Make List of Finalists

Has the window closed to get David “DevilFish” Ulliott into the Poker Hall of Fame? I think so. While many will argue, and rightly so, that he is deserving of induction, I don’t see fans putting him on the finalists list for a third straight year.

When he died in 2015, everyone figured he would get on the list. The same being the case in 2016. However, when he didn’t get in last year, I think the window on his induction closed.

Knowing the short-term memory of many casual poker fans, I will be surprised if DevilFish gets on the finalist list in 2017. I’d love to be proven wrong though.

Cue the Parrot – California Doesn’t Regulate Online Poker in 2017

Do we really need to go deep into this discussion? As long as there’s an issue regarding bad actors, specifically PokerStars, online poker in California will not be regulated. Unless PokerStars shocks the world and agrees to take a ban, I don’t see the tribes coming to a consensus in 2017.

Care to make that bet double or nothing Jennifer?

WSOP Expands Online Bracelet Events

Ok, so we might throw this one in the “Captain Obvious” column. After the success of the online bracelet events of the last couple of years, I believe that the World Series of Poker will expand their offerings and hold up to three online bracelet events in 2017.

My guess is that they will either hold three different buy-in points or have two events at $1,000 and a second one at a higher buy-in that will serve as the “Online High Roller.”

RAWA Shenanigans Endanger Online Poker Industry

This is one I know most of you don’t want to read, but I firmly believe something will develop regarding RAWA in 2017. Furthermore, I can see something developing directly from the desk of the President-Elect rather than VP-Elect Pence.

Read More: States Push VP-Elect Pence for Online Gambling Ban

We could see this take a couple of forms. The first being a new bill that is favored heavily by the Trump administration and then pushed through Congress.

Next is an amendment to a piece of must-pass legislation and RAWA gets passed in the way the UIGEA did.

A third option could be Trump attempting to influence policy through Executive Order. Could we see Trump sign an EO that states the Wire Act applies to all forms of gambling and not just sports betting?

Such an EO wouldn’t outlaw online gambling regulation in the United States but it would slow it down as states debate their rights in the matter.

Regardless of which form it takes, I think we see something develop and it will at minimum be a huge sweat for the industry. More so than another other time since 2011.

Global Poker League Folds After End of Season 2

Allen Kessler posted a video about the Global Poker League on his Facebook the other day and simply said, “No one cares.” While Alex Dreyfus will argue that there are many that care, the outcry of support for the league isn’t matching said argument.


Opponents of the league like Doug Polk will argue that people don’t care about the product because there’s nothing at stake until the end. Others will argue that the product did not come close to what was promised by Dreyfus from the beginning.

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From everything that I have seen, the league just hasn’t caught on and outside of those participating in the league; I see very little excitement for a Season 2.

Would there even be a Season 2 if PokerStars didn’t jump on board? I personally don’t see it.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.