Tuesday October 10, 2017 at 4:46 pm

The state of Pennsylvania, the sixth most populated state in America, missed the deadline to set a budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which in turn has created a short-term cash flow fiasco and ugly political feud between the governor and state legislators. Without a budget in place, an integral piece of gaming reform legislation is currently in limbo. The new gaming reform would legalize online casino, online poker, and daily fantasy sports. However, that was on contingent on the budget passing. Will Governor Tom Wolf and opposing state legislators figure out a solution to balance the budget and plug a $2.2 billion gap before Pennsylvania sinks deeper into debt? As of now, the future of online poker in Pennsylvania is a big fat question mark, with more pressing matters garnering the attention of politicos.

Budget Rocky

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is in the middle of a three-month nasty political feud among its local state politicians. The budget for the fiscal year 2017-18 has not been passed yet. Legislators from both sides of the political spectrum are in the middle of a political quagmire. The budget deadline came and went, and now the state is forced to borrow money to pay for daily operating costs. Governor Tom Wolf (Democrat) has been at odds with predominately Republican state legislature. Gov. Wolf been trying to figure out ways to plug the massive $2 billion budget gap.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Wolf and the Republican-controlled legislature have been struggling for months to agree on a revenue package to fund the state's $32 billion budget and close the deficit. GOP House members have been the holdouts on several key proposals to balance the budget, while Wolf has banded together with the Republicans who control the Senate."

In the past, governors had borrowed money from the state treasury, but the Republican treasurer would not extend a line of credit because the current budget is not balances. Gov. Wolf wanted to install a tax on natural gas extraction, but state house Republicans failed to get enough support. As a result, Governor Wolf scrambled to find funds and his current plan is to borrow $1 billion via Pennsylvania's liquor revenues.

"Too many Republicans in the legislature are focused on the 2018 elections — they'd rather see me fail than Pennsylvania succeed," said Governor Wolf during a press conference. "I'm not going to play their games anymore."

Meanwhile, the future of online poker is in serious limbo. Without a budget in place, an integral piece of gaming reform legislation is currently in limbo. The new reform would legalize online casino, online poker, and daily fantasy sports. However, the gaming reform was contingent on the budget passing. This new gaming reform included a "kitchen sink expansion" of online gaming that would legalize online poker rooms, online casinos, daily fantasy sports, and online lottery.

With nearly 13 million residents, the state of Pennsylvania is the sixth most populous state in the USA. If/when Pennsylvania legalizes online poker, it will become the largest existing market in America. Legal poker is available in Nevada and New Jersey, but those two states combined make up roughly 12 million residents, so Pennsylvania will have a significant impact as far as becoming the largest legal online poker market in America.

Of course, we're not quite there yet. The last mile is always the longest, especially when it comes to American politics.

Read Gov. Wolf's thoughts on the 2017-18 budget here.

Latest news
Sunday December 17, 2017 at 11:30 pm
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PokerStars Championship Prague: France's Kalidou Sow leads Main Event final table

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Friday December 15, 2017 at 6:17 pm
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PokerStars launches Players Championship and the return of the EPT, LAPT, and APPT

Say hello to the newly launched PokerStars Players No-Limit Championship a.k.a. PSPC to commence in the Bahamas in 2019. And welcome back to the mix to the EPT, LAPT, and APPT. The regional tournament series got shelved after the introduction of the PokerStars Championship brand. But the old-school tours will return! The PCA returns in January 2018 and the other tours will soon recapture its old glory, especially the EPT. It's been a busy day of announcements for PokerStars and they also began pushing a themed-hashtag #AreYouPlaying.

Wednesday December 13, 2017 at 6:06 pm
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2018 WSOP Schedule officially released

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Tuesday December 12, 2017 at 9:38 pm
SCOOP
Cryptocurrencies

What are cryptocurrencies? Why is half of my Twitter timeline clogged up with poker pros going nuts about Bitcoin? Why is the other half of Twitter whining about pros bragging about Bitcoin? And what the heck are CryptoKitties? Luckily, we have Doug Polk to get everyone up to speed on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The poker pro, popular YouTuber, and "crypto enthusiast" launched a CoinCentral.com, a news site for all things cryptocurrency. In addition, Polk launched a second YouTube channel to specifically discuss cryptos.

Friday December 8, 2017 at 5:01 pm
Telex
WPT Bellagio: 90 remain in Five Diamond Classic Main Event

The WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic Main Event at the Bellagio Casino is down to 90 players out of the record-snapping field of 812 entrants. First place pays out $1,958,065 and second place gets $1.1M. The top 81 places get paid, so the bubble will pop early on Day 4. Blake Bohn is the chip leader with 871K. Among the former champs in the hunt for another WPT title... Chino Rheem, Daniel Strelitz, Matt Gianetti, Jared Jaffee. Anthony Gregg, Darren Elias, Mike Del Vecchio, and Ben Zamani. Other notables still alive on the bubble... Sylvian Loosli, Cate Hall, Steve Gross, Chip Jett, Amit Makhija, Ben Yu, The Dragon, Ralph Perry, Clayton Maguire, Jim Collopy, Eddy Sabat, Billy Baxter, Ashton Griffin, Danny Wong, Alex Foxen, Dan Colman, Lauren Roberts, Mike Gagliano, Farid Jatten, Chance Kornuth, Sean Perry, Matt Moss, and Steffen Sontheimer. For updates, follow along with the WPT reporting crew.

Thursday December 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm
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2018 WSOP schedule leaked?

Yesterday, there may or may not have been a leaked schedule for the 2018 World Series of Poker. Was it a sloppy intern? Or rogue hackers? A couple of forum members on our parent site Club Poker snapped a couple of screencaps before the 77-event schedule was taken down. No one knows for sure if it is the 2018 final schedule, or a preliminary schedule. We can only confirm the date of the return of the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, which will occur on July 15, 2018.

Wednesday December 6, 2017 at 6:57 pm
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Doug Polk: Truth on how your country plays poker?

And now for something completely different! Doug Polk posted a hysterical video breaking down the truth on how different countries played poker differently. The American pro (with a British mother) explained how Americans were super nitty and how they played differently from Brits, Scandis, Russians, French, Germans, and Brazilians. A nice light-hearted take on the varied styles in the poker universe.

Tuesday December 5, 2017 at 8:12 pm
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Kristen Bicknell wins Bellagio 5K and Marius Conan wins WSOP Circuit Paris

A couple of big tournament results of note. Canadian pro Kristen Bicknell won the 5K event at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. Bicknell won $228K and moved into the Top 25 for most money won by a female player. At the WSOP International Circuit in Paris, Marius Conan faded a field of 811 entrants to win the Main Event. Conan won a circuit ring and €200K in cash.

Monday December 4, 2017 at 4:51 pm
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Dan Smith wins Bellagio $100K Super High Roller

The Bellagio poker room in Las Vegas has been very active this week. Not only was it the scene of a daylight robbery, but the annual Five Diamond Classic is underway. The staff added a high roller event to the series and the $100,000 buy-in event attracted 39 runners. Dan Smith defeated Daniel Negreanu heads-up for the victory. Smith won $1.4 million and Kid Poker banked $936K. Negreanu re-took first place on the All Time Money list with the runner-up finish.

Saturday December 2, 2017 at 11:11 pm
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Molly Bloom interview with Fortune

Molly Bloom, author of Molly's Game, appeared for an interview at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in California. A decade ago, Bloom ran some of the biggest high stakes games in New York City and Hollywood that featured A-list stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, and Tobey Maguire. "Players were winning and losing a million dollars a week," explained Molly Bloom. Watch/listen to the interview here.

Friday December 1, 2017 at 4:23 pm
Telex
Viral Videos: Negreanu and the freezing Kevin Hart/Usain Bolt ice bath

Everyone at PokerStars HQ is having a field day over the viral video that Daniel Negreanu posted on his Facebook page. Negreanu has been tutoring the fastest man in the world Usain Bolt and comedian Kevin Hart for their heads-up showdown in the Bahamas at the 2018 PCA in January. A video captured their hijinks that included an ice bath challenge. The viral video passed 1M view and both Hart and Bolt. You can view the video over on Negreanu's FB page.

Wednesday November 29, 2017 at 3:18 am
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Bellagio poker room robbed

The poker room at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas got robbed… in broad daylight… without anyone getting injured. At 3:50pm PT, an armed and masked gunman robbed the cage in the back of the poker room. He quickly exited out the North Valet. The suspect is still on the loose. This incident occurred nearly seven years after the Biker Bandit robbed a craps table at 4am for a $1.5 million haul. The Bellagio Biker Bandit was eventually caught.

Monday November 27, 2017 at 5:31 pm
Sam Greenwood wins Millions Main Event

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Wednesday November 22, 2017 at 6:43 pm
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Phil Ivey joins poker crypto site Virtue Poker

Cryptocurrencies are all the rage right now. Bitcoin passed the $8K barrier and if you're an avid follower of the poker community on social media, then you know many well-known pros went all-in on various cryptocurrencies. A couple of online poker rooms supported by cryptocurrencies have popped up. Virtue Poker, a new site with a launch date for the tail end of 2018, added Phil Ivey as an advisor.

Wednesday November 22, 2017 at 5:47 pm
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2017 WSOP Circuit Paris coverage

The World Series of Poker Circuit is in full swing at Cercle Clichy-Montmartre in Paris, France through December 4. You can follow along with kick-ass live coverage (in French, of course) from @venustyle. Follow along here and find out who is winning a WSOP Circuit ring!

Wednesday November 22, 2017 at 5:42 pm
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New Power Up Poker strategy site

Have you taken your shot at the newest tweak in online poker? PokerStars launched Power Up Poker, which they hope will revolutionize poker and entice video gamers to take the leap into real money gaming. The learning curve is evolving as we speak. Luckily, some folks launched a specific site dedicated to Power Up Strategy. In short, they are… "Developing winning strategies since day one! Op-poker is working to bring you the first dedicated platform for all your strategy needs so you can be the first to capitalize on the new Power Up poker format." Check out Op-Poker here.

Tuesday November 21, 2017 at 5:26 pm
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Watch live stream $25K Millions Super High Roller

Six players are still alive at the $25K Millions Super High Roller at the 2017 Caribbean Poker Party Festival. The $1M guarantee event (via partypoker Live) attracted 43 runners and the final six are vying for the crown and $400K in cash. Sam Trickett is the chip leader with 11M. Among the other five still alive... Steffen Sontheimer, Chris Hunchien, Rafael Morares, Adrian Mateos, and Sam Greenwood. Watch the final table live stream here starting at 2:30pm ET, or 11:30am Vegas time.

Saturday November 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm
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Watch the live stream for 2017 Twitch $100,000 Charity Invitational

Poker pros and well-known Twitch streamers Lex Veldhuis and Jason 'jcarverpoker' Somerville will be joining other popular Twitch streamers for a special $100,000 Charity Invitational. Saturday's action live from the Aria Casino in Las Vegas will begin at 1:30pm PT on a 30-minute delay. On Friday, popular streamers such as Reckful, PMSProxy, Jeff Gross, OnScreen, itsHafu, MitchJones, Timmac, and Andy Milonakis. Check out $100,000 Charity Invitational via Somerville's Twitch feed, starting at 1:30 pm PT or 10:30pm CET.

Free tournaments and added prizes

The Club Poker organizes freerolls and special tournaments with added prizes.
To qualify for free, register on our poker partners websites:

Tournaments Club Poker
6-MAX
$2.20
Wednesday December 20, 2017 at 8:04 pm
$125 added
6-MAX
$2.20
Wednesday December 27, 2017 at 8:04 pm
$125 added