Thursday December 10, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Three random news items of note: Congressional hearing on RAWA (bill trying to ban online gambling) failed miserably, PokerStars announced four special $1 million freerolls in the wake of their VIP program controversy, and Portuguese politicians decided to segregate its (small) online poker players base from the (vast) global market.

Quickie news dump. Three poker and gambling-related stories of note…

1. RAWA Busto?

RAWA Busto
Greedheads posing as fear-mongering moralists in order to get online poker banned

Greedheads posing as fear-mongering moralists exposed!

 

The Restoration of the Wire Act (RAWA) is a bill, introduced by OGR Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz, which sought to ban different forms of online gambling in America on the federal level. RAWA finally got a congressional hearing named “A Casino in Every smartphone: Law Enforcement Implications.” Even the panelists on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were wondering WTF they were doing there, while Chaffetz and other opponents of online gambling (sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson) got caught with their pants down.

 

The RAWA Hearing fell flat on its face. Excellent analysis by Dustin Gouker with his article Did We Just Witness The Death Of RAWA In A Congressional Hearing?

 

Yes, one of the many preposterous arguments against the evils of online gambling include online sites help terrorists fund their Jihads against America. Joseph Campbell, Assistant Director FBI Criminal Investigative Division, provided testimony on any potential criminal activity that could blossom from online gambling. Despite the outrageous claims of terror financing and online gaming, the FBI never found any link.

 

Watch the complete RAWA hearing (the action starts at the 37-minute mark)...

2. PokerStars VIP Battle: $4 Million in Free Money

Ansky
Dani "Ansky" Stern rallied high-stakes players for a three-day boycott

PokerStars went from a family-run company to an international corporate entity after Amaya acquired PokerStars. Philosophical fiduciary differences are the crux of this ongoing battle between high-ranking suits and high-stakes grinders.

 

PokerStars implemented an overhaul of their VIP program and high-volume high-stakes players, particularly Super Nova Elite players got caught up in the corporate bottom line.

 

Pros quickly rallied together and formed a three-day boycott at the start of December. Dani “Ansky” Stern appeared on the 2+2 Pokercast podcast to discuss the boycott he initiated. Ansky and other Super Nova Elites are now on the verge of extinction.

 

The first-wave of op-eds are popping up in the poker ether. “Did the boycott work?” wondered Dan Katz in his column.

 

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu shared his thoughts on the matter in a recent blog post.

 

PokerStars responded to the recent controversy by announcing a series of four different $1 million freerolls (open to all players) and a tad bit of shade…

The recent three-day boycott by some players that disagree with our announced VIP changes did not have a significant impact on PokerStars, as traffic actually spiked through the period as a result of the start of our long-planned holiday promotion. Of course, that doesn't mean it went unnoticed by us. We care very deeply about what players say and what they expect of us. And we strive to live up to their expectations.

3. Portugal Solo

Portugal Chips
Despite being one of the smallest countries in Europe, short-stacked Portugal is entering the online poker realm as a solo player

Portugal is going solo with its online gambling following in the footsteps of France and Italy. Portugal is a rather small market, so the news was certainly surprising.

 

Last week, Portuguese officials stunned the gaming world when they announced intentions to segregate Portugal's online poker players away from the global player pool.

 

Portugal is awaiting the EU's approval of their licensing, which is expected to happen any day now. Once Portugal gets the greenlight from the EU, they can roll out their first Portugal-only sites as early as February.

 

The partitioned online casinos might thrive for Portugal and generate them more revenue, but online poker rooms are going to struggle. Expect a mass exodus of any serious Portuguese online grinders.

Latest news
Friday June 5, 2020 at 5:59 pm
Mike Postle cheating case dismissed against Stones Gambling Hall

Judge William B. Shubb of the Eastern District of California released a 24-page opinion to dismiss the charges against a trio of defendants in the Mike Postle cheating case. Postle got caught winning $250,000 on live streams at the Stones Gambling Hall when Veronica Brill tipped off the poker community, who in turn did their due diligence and got to the bottom of the cheating scandal. Brill filed a lawsuit against Postle, poker rom manager Justin Kuraitis, and the Stones Gambling Hall (outside of Sacramento, California).

Thursday June 4, 2020 at 4:05 pm
Las Vegas reopens amidst excitement and caution

All eyes were on Las Vegas at Midnight as several casino reopened for the first time in 78 days since Governor Sisolak shuttered all casinos in the state of Nevada at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March. Casinos on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas were among the first to open, along with locals' casinos in the burbs. The Bellagio reopened, and any more Strip casinos will open on Friday.

Wednesday June 3, 2020 at 8:32 pm
Viktor Blom ships 2, Artur Martirosian wins Super High Roller Bowl Online

Russia's Artur Martirosian cashed eight times for nearly $1.8 million to secure the leaderboard title at the 2020 Super High Roller Bowl Online. Martirosian edged out Vitkor Blom, who won two titles down the stretch and finished second overall. Martirosian won Event #16 $10K NL 6-Max and finished second a couple other times to top the leaderboard.

Tuesday May 26, 2020 at 4:35 pm
Stanley Ho, the King of Macau gambling, passes away at 98

Stanley Ho, one of the wealthiest men in China, passed away at age 98 according to a statement from his daughter, Pansy. Ho had become the King of Gambling in Asia after he envisioned a gambling mecca in the Pearl River Delta to rival Las Vegas. Ho's company, SJM Holdings, owned 20 casinos in Macau and even one in North Korea. At the time of Ho's death, SJM Holdings had an estimated value at $6 billion.

Friday May 22, 2020 at 3:56 pm
Breaking News
PokerStars postpones 2020 PSPC in Barcelona until 2021

No shocker here, but PokerStars officially postponed their second installment of the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC). The $25K buy-in 2020 PSPC had been originally scheduled to coincide with the EPT Barcelona at the Barcelona Casino in late August. The PSPC will take place sometime in 2021 in Barcelona with a date yet to be determined. Platinum Passes are valid for the new dates and they will be running 80 additional chances to win one of the 400 passes.

Thursday May 21, 2020 at 12:00 am
2020 SCOOP: alexgirs wins Main Event for $920K in 3-way chop

The "high" version of the $10,300 buy-in 2020 SCOOP Main Event came to an end with Belarus' alexgirs outlasting 609 players to win the title and $920,595. The final three chopped including Pablo 'pabritz' Brito in second place and Alex 'dynoalot' Difelice in third. Also, at the final table were Pieter 'XMorphineX' Aerts, Daniel 'Oxota' Dvoress, Michael 'imluckbox' Addamo, Max 'goodeh99' Silver, and Benjamin 'bencb789' Rolle. PokerStars ambassador Lex Veldhuis went deep and set Twitch stream records along the way, but the Dutch pro busted in 15th place.

Tuesday May 19, 2020 at 2:58 pm
Three Florida poker rooms to reopen this week

Poker returns to the sunshine state this week. A trio of poker rooms in Florida are set to open this week. Derby Lane in Tampa Bay, Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, and Bestbet Jacksonville in Jacksonville will all reopen under strict post-pandemic guidelines. Last week, casinos reopened in Deadwood, South Dakota. And now more states will slowly return to action, including tribal casinos in California.

Tuesday May 19, 2020 at 2:14 pm
Big Online Winners: Elio Fox, Charlie Carrel, 800-522-4700

Over the weekend, pandemic poker series were in full swing. 2-time WSOP bracelet winner, Elio Fox, won a 25K WPT Online Super High Roller for $565K and outlasted a tough final table that also included Tim Adams and Chris Hunichen. British pro Charlie Carrel, who won the 2017 SCOOP Main Event, binked his third SCOOP title with a victory in Event #70 Hight $530 NLHE PKO. Meanwhile over at GGPoker, a player under the screenname '800-522-4700' faded a field of 505 hopefuls to ship the WSOP Super Circuit $25K High Roller Championship for nearly $2.2 million and a coveted WSOP Circuit ring.

Saturday May 16, 2020 at 4:37 pm
2020 SCOOP: Steve O'Dwyer Ships 25K, More SCOOP

PokerStars will extend 2020 SCOOP because it has been such a huge success while the gaming world is under lockdown and quarantine. SCOOP is now 124 events that will run through the end of May, with an additional $50 million in guaranteed prize pools. Meanwhile, Steve O'Dwyer took down a 25K High Roller for his first SCOOP title and outlasted a final table that included Fedor Holz, Talal Shakerchi, and Ole Schemion.

Thursday May 14, 2020 at 2:44 pm
Venetian and Palazzo and Las Vegas Strip Casinos Eye Reopen in June

Over 20 casinos are currently open in the United States of America with a handful more expected to open this weekend and next week. Several Las Vegas casinos, such as Venetian and Palazzo, are planning on reopening in June despite the fact that the USA leads the world in COVID-19 and COVID-related deaths. Casinos in Arizona and Louisiana are set to reopen by next week, with many other casinos rushing to get ready for a June return.

Monday May 11, 2020 at 5:32 pm
David Costabile (Billions) wins Stars Call for Action celebrity charity tourney

PokerStars hosted the Stars CALL for Action celebrity tournament with $1 million donated to CARE International and various coronavirus charities. David Costabile, an actor most-known for his work on "Billions" and "The Wire", took down the tournament and won $100,000 for his chosen charity: World Central Kitchen. Also, at the final table were Douglas Costa, Jen Shahade, Casey Affleck, Chris Moneymaker, and Mike Tindall.

Friday May 8, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Stars CALL for Action celebrity poker tournament with Don Draper and Costanza

PokerStars is hosting a star-studded charity poker tournament to assist coronavirus relief. The 'Stars CALL for Action' takes place on Saturday, May 9 starting at 2pm ET and it will be available to watch on multiple platforms including Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube. There will be over $1 million (to charity) up for grabs. Some of the stars slated to play are 'Rounders' screenplay co-writer, Brian Koppleman, and a well-known Hollywood stars such as Don Cheadle, Jon Hamm, Jason Alexander, and the guy who played Ross from 'Friends'.

Friday May 8, 2020 at 3:26 am
Deadwood, South Dakota casinos reopen, Derby Lane poker room changes mind

Three casinos in the USA will reopen to gamblers in Deadwood, South Dakota. Meanwhile, Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, Florida decided to hold off on reopening their poker room this week. They will reopen the greyhound racetrack without any live spectators but decided against hosting poker games. Heading into the second weekend of May, all major casinos are closed in North America, especially in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and none of their casinos planning on opening before Memorial Day.

Wednesday May 6, 2020 at 3:50 am
King's Casino in RozVegas to Reopen on May 11

With the coronavirus pandemic shuttering casinos across the globe, some casino operators are rolling the dice and reopening amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Three casinos in the Czech Republic will reopen their doors on Monday, May 11, including the King's Resort Rozvadov, Admiral Casino Rozvadov, and the King's Casino Prague.

Tuesday May 5, 2020 at 9:01 pm
Fedor Holz signs deal with GGPoker

Even though he's "retired" Fedor Holz and his training site, Poker Code, signed a deal with GGPoker as the online poker site continues to sign high-profile online players like Elky and Felipe Ramos and big-time ambassadors such as Daniel Negreanu.

Monday May 4, 2020 at 3:13 pm
World Poker Tour heads to partypoker with WPT Online Series

The World Poker Tour and partypoker teamed up to create the first-ever WPT Online Series, which will include 40 events and $35 million in guaranteed prize pools. Plus, there's the $5 million guaranteed Main Event that has a $3,200 buy-in and four starting flights. The Main Event champ also wins a seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. The series is already underway and runs from May 3 to May 30 only at partypoker.

Thursday April 30, 2020 at 4:06 pm
PokerStars introduces La Course in France

PokerStars.FR released a special format for their French players called La Course. This cycling-themed event features a 4-person progressive knockout SNG and Shootout format with randomized PKO bounty prizes. Players can start this race for a modest entry fee of €1, with various buy-in levels (sprint levels) up to €60. You win the sprint race by reaching a specific monetary number of bounties and can earn up to €100K in bonus prizes.

Thursday April 30, 2020 at 2:46 pm
Telex
Ready for 2020 SCOOP on PokerStars?

2020 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) is upon us! PokerStars will host 80 events for a total of 240 tournaments starting today and running through May 19. There will be over $85 million in guaranteed prize pools. Click here for more info.

Tuesday April 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Galfond Challenge: Next up ActionFreak, five days a week

Phil Galfond will take on ActionFreak in the next installment of the Galfond Challenge over at Run It Once Poker. This heads-up PLO series, the third overall, will take place at €150/€300 stakes for only 15,000 hands. The two have an even money side bet worth €150,000. The first day of action lasted a brief time whole ActionFreak experienced technical difficulties. Action between Galfond and ActionFreak will resume on Tuesday.

Tuesday April 28, 2020 at 2:34 am
Alexandros Kolonias wins Poker Masters Online and purple jacket

At the first-ever Poker Masters Online, hosted at partypoker, Alexandros Kolonias cashed in 11 out of 30 events to win nearly $1.3 million and earn the prestigious Purple Jacket for finishing in first place on the PMO Championship Leader Board. Kolonias, the top Greek pro in the world who also won the 2019 WSOP Europe Main Event, locked up the purple jacket with a victory in Event #30 $10K 6-Max.

Sunday April 26, 2020 at 6:55 pm
High Stakes Poker: Gus Hansen vs Daniel Negreanu in $575K Pot

Flashbacks are always fun, especially monsterpottens involving two well-known pros clashing during an episode of the classic TV Series "High Stakes Poker". In this classic hand, Gus Hansen and Daniel Negreanu squared off in a $575,000 pot for the ages, which was the biggest pot in the history of televised poker (at the time). They both flopped sets, but Gus turned quads with pocket fives and fireworks ensued on the river.

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Tournaments Club Poker
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Saturday June 13, 2020 at 7:04 pm
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