Friday September 29, 2017 at 5:08 pm
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The city of Portland is battling with the state of Oregon over the legality of its poker rooms. The city allowed “cover charges” for poker rooms who skirted around the no-rake laws. The Oregon Lottery, which handles all gaming in the state of Oregon, stated that the largest room in Portland, the Portland Meadows, has until end of October to cease operations, or figure out a legal alternative. Otherwise, poker rooms in Portland are only a month away from closing its doors.

Portlandia1

Portland, Oregon is a sleepy city in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle blew up during the 1990s due to the grunge music explosion and then the city experienced another upshot during the tech boom in the 00s. However, Portland, approximately 2.5 hours south of Seattle, remained under the radar until most recently. The migration of hipsters from NoCal seeking cheaper rents and a better quality of life boosted the city's bougie vibe over the last decade. The popular TV program Portlandia repeatedly poked fun at the hipster capital of America.

All hipsters aside, I bet you didn't know that Portland and the state of Oregon has a poker battle heating up. The city of Portland had dozen or so poker rooms that were categorized as social gaming clubs, but that number dipped to 5 or 6 due to pressure from the state's gaming authority otherwise knowns as the Oregon Lottery. So long as these card rooms didn't take a rake, they could remain in operation. The city of Portland was cool with poker, but the state thru the Lottery said otherwise. The Portland Meadows race track is facing a tough dilemma. Their 22-table room, the largest in the city and state, is under fire. The gaming authorities at the Oregon Lottery are giving the Meadows until October 30th to figure out this sketchy grey area.

The current laws prohibit any card rooms from making a profit through rake, so many poker rooms in Portland did an end around the issue by charging a flat-fee or “cover charge” to enter the establishment. These rooms claim their income is derived mostly from food and beverages. There's also a weird law about prohibiting dealers from actually pitching cards for a salary, so dealers can only earn a wage via tips. The Oregon Lottery, which overseas gaming in the state, said that the establishments in Portland are violating state laws. As a punitive measure, the State Lottery canceled their contract and pulled 10 lottery machines from Portland Meadows in July. Apparently, those lottery machines generated $350,000 in income during the 2016 fiscal year.

According to Willamette Week, "The cancellation came after Oregon State Police investigators found Meadows' poker games appeared to violate state and local gambling laws." Simply put, the state is calling out the city on its angleshooting and re-interpretation of existing state gaming laws.

The Meadows asked the state to reinstate their lottery machines, but not only did the Oregon Lottery stick with their original decision, but they also issued the Meadows a deadline to cease all poker operations. The state still stands by their assertion that the Meadows' poker room violates state gaming laws, so the Meadows has until the end of October to fix the issue. To me that means… shut your doors, or figure out some fancy legal maneuvering.

The Portland Meadows is a widely popular hotbed for poker with a 22-table room, which was the largest in the city and the entire state. The Meadows charged players a $15 daily membership fee instead of a rake. The Meadows also host daily tournaments (with 100% of prize pool going to players) and $1/$2 NL and $2/$5 NL cash games with a $100 min buy-in and no max. The room was not 24 hours, but operated from noon to 2AM.

The state of Oregon licensed several casinos on Native American reservations. Those poker rooms are in compliance, but none of them are located within Portland city limits. Those rooms also have anywhere from 2 to 7 tables.

In 2013, a bill got introduced that would outlaw all poker rooms in the state of Oregon, but it never gained any traction. The bulk of support of the bill came from casinos in neighboring Washington state. Alas, it never materialized.

The Portland Meadows racetrack opened in 1946. In the last decade or so, income generate from the horse racing industry has seriously diminished as that generation of horseracing enthusiasts die off. Like many other racetracks in America, the Meadows had to look to other streams of gambling to make up for lost income. The lottery machines and poker room were viable financial avenues for the Meadows until the Oregon Lottery stepped in. Stay tuned for more developments.

In the meantime, here's some Portlandia schtick…

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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SCOOP
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
Breaking News
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
Breaking News
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
Telex
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
Breaking News
HOT !
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
Breaking News
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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
Telex
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
Telex
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