North America has not reached the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and as a result, Nevada will continue to close all casino properties for the month of April. In mid-March, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak closed all casinos for 30 days. At the start of April, Gov Sisolak extended closures through the end of April. He will make a decision to re-open the end of the month, but the outlook seems grim. As of March 31, there were 1,279 COVID-19 cases in Nevada with 26 fatalities.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced that all non-essential business will be shut down due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak. That decree particularly included shutting down all casinos including adjacent shops and restaurants for 30 days. Social distancing is the most effective way to slow down the spread of the virus, much to the dismay of gambling enthusiasts. At least Nevada residents have online options, but nothing in the virtual world can ever compare to the glitz and glamour of Sin City.
Coronavirus has officially shut down the Wynn and MGM properties in Las Vegas after Sin City saw their infection rate spike over the weekend. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the major casinos and card rooms closed including Commerce and the Bike. Not all casinos in America or around the world are closed, but major ones on the West Coast took drastic measures during the pandemic.
Daniel Negreanu tweeted his thoughts on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that has hit the US. He wants all poker rooms to close to help prevent the spread of the virus that the WHO upgraded to a pandemic. Meanwhile, earlier in the week PokerStars announced they were suspending tournaments in Europe through April due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
Poker returns to the historic Sahara Casino after a nine-year hiatus. The Sahara branding returned to the property in August 2019 after five years as the SLS. Six months after the Sahara reboot, the new seven-table poker room opened with a soft launch on February 14. The swanky poker room will cater to locals with a better overall poker experience, plus free parking with less than a five-minute walk to the newest room on the Strip in almost a decade.
On February 5, announced they were shutting down all casinos for two weeks during an outbreak of coronavirus that killed at least 500 people in mainland China. Hong Kong and Macau reported their first cases of coronavirus, including a casino worked in Macau. Hong Kong also reported its first death from coronavirus. Macau's decision to shut down gambling operations for two weeks could not come at a worst time. Casinos in Macau saw a huge downturn in profits over the last year, including four consecutive months of declining revenue.
We're quickly approaching the end of 2019 and the end of the decade. So much happened in 2019, we have a special two-part series highlighting the best and most interesting stories of 2019. In the first half of 2019, some of the big stories involved Chino Rheem winning the 2019 PCA and Spain's Roman Colillas taking down the inaugural PSPC in the Bahamas for $5.1 million. Bryn Kenney shipped the largest Aussie Millions in history. Just before the WSOP, Daniel Negreanu stepped down after 12 years as a sponsored pro and ambassador for PokerStars. Gianluca 'Tankanza' Speranza won the SCOOP Main Event in back-to-back years.
Two more well-known pros are no longer sponsored players and members of Team PokerStars. Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree are no longer with PokerStars as the online poker giants shifts away from traditional sponsored pros. Meanwhile, PokerStars is also pulling the plug on Power Up Poker, one of the many new formats they introduced in the last few years that was more like a video game than old school poker.
Pennsylvania, now the fifth largest state in America after edging out Illinois with 12.8 million residents, officially has online poker again when PokerStars PA went online during a soft launch on Monday. The official launch will be Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
Ten days after the Mike Postle alleged cheating scandal hit, new evidence in coming in every day and the story has hit the mainstream media like ESPN and The Ringer. In his latest daily video, Joey Ingram shared intel from a member of the gaming community who pinpointed the date in July when Postle began manipulating his phone to gain an advantage on his opponents. Since then, Ingram estimated Postle won over $330,000 playing low-stakes poker on the stream.
Imperial Companies, a real estate company based out of New York City, purchased the Rio for $516.3 million from Caesars Entertainment. Imperial will lease back the Rio to Caesars for the next two years. Meanwhile, the Rio will continue to host the World Series of Poker through 2021.
World Series of Poker vice president of communications Seth Palansky confirmed that the 2020 WSOP is planned to take place at the Rio Casino and Convention Center in the summer of 2020 despite numerous rumors that Caesar's is selling the Rio and the WSOP would migrate to a new convention center off The Strip.
When Phil Ivey finished in 8th place in the2019 WSOP 50K PPC, his winnings were garnished by the Borgata as part of the $10 million he owes to Casino after the edge sorting baccarat scandal. The Rio withheld Ivey's score worth $124,410. His backers, Jungleman and Illya Trincher, are seeking their half of Ivey's score per their staking arrangement.
Daria 'Scarlett_D' Feshchenko, a 26-year old poker pro from Russia, is the newest ambassador for 888poker. Feshchenko plays high-stakes cash games in Russia, but you can find her online playing $50/$100 NL under the moniker Scarlett_D.
In an unexpected move, six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu announced on Twitter that he stepped down as an ambassador with PokerStars. Kid Poker, who is second on the all-time money list with $39.8 million, ended his 12-year relationship with PokerStars as a pitchman and consultant. This abrupt news comes one week before the start of the 2019 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
The poker industry got a little love in the mainstream media with a 22-minute video piece by CNBC titled "Who Makes Money from Professional Poker?" The piece goes deeper into the business side of being a professional including staking and included interview bites with Ryan LaPlante, Derek Wolters, and Jeff Gross.
The Rio Casino in Las Vegas has been on the block for a while now. The latest rumor coming out of Sin City suggests that Virgin Trains bought the Rio and will turn the site into a train station for the express train running Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The previous rumor suggested that the Rio would be leveled to build a baseball stadium for a future expansion team. If either of these rumors are true, then the 50th anniversary of the WSOP might be the last to be played out at the Rio Casino.
Over the weekend, someone walked into the Bellagio poker room and pulled off a brazen Friday night robbery without anyone even noticing. The thief fled out the Bellagio's side entrance by the north valet and four Las Vegas cops confronted the suspect when he failed to carjack a vehicle in the valet. The robber pulled out a gun and shot at the police, who instantly returned fire and struck him. The suspect was taken to the hospital and later died from his wounds.
At the start of January, Ramon Colillas was one of a couple hundred fortunate winners of a Platinum Pass to the Bahamas. A month later, he's now a Team PokerStars Pro after binking the largest tournament in the history of poker tournaments. PokerStars tapped the Spanish Chris Moneymaker to join Chris Moneymaker and help promote PokerStars throughout Spain, Europe, and the rest of the world.
Popular online streamers Jeff Gross and Jaime Staples are no longer sponsored players by PokerStars. Both pros announced their departures via their channels on YouTube. Staples ended his four-year run with Stars, while Gross spent nearly two years with them. Both pros will continue to stream on their personal channels, while looking forward to new opportunities.
Thor Hansen passed away at the age of 71 after a prolonged battle with terminal cancer. The Olso-born Hansen is regarded as both the Godfather of Norwegian Poker as well as the Godfather of Scandinavian Poker. Hansen won two WSOP bracelets with his first occurring back in 1988 in Seven-card Stud. Hansen finished his illustrious career as third on the all time Norwegian money list.
Virtual reality and poker have intersected thanks to PokerStars. The news out of PokerStars HQ today is glowing news about PokerStars VR. Coming soon! Get those head sets ready. By the way... supposedly there will be pet donkeys.
Poker is a not a competitive sport or mind sport in China. As a result, many popular poker sites and apps are being shut down by Chinese authorities. Tencent Gaming will be shutting down their popular poker app, Everyday Hold'em, on September 25. Players will be compensated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, one of the founders of Full Tilt Poker, posted a 42-second video in which he apologies to the poker community. Ferguson won his 6th bracelet last year at the WSOP Europe on RozVegas, and locked up 2017 WSOP Player of the Year, much to the dismay of the majority of the American online poker community. Jesus Ferguson's video created an instant tsunami of ire on social media, with the start of the 2018 WSOP right around the corner.
The dispute: $692,460. The crux: America or Canada? 2016 WSOP Main Event Runner-Up Gordon Vayo provided proof he was in Montreal, Canada during the duration of his SCOOP victory last year. The security squad claimed he violated TOS by connecting to the site using a VPN. Vayo responded with a lawsuit against the biggest online poker operator on the planet.
Eleven women were nominated this year for induction into the Women Poker Hall of Fame. The nominees include Shirley Rosario, Jennifer Tilly, Kara Scott, Maria Ho, Haley Hintze, Angelica Hael, Terry King, Karina Jett, Lupe Soto, Hermance Blum, and Mandy Glogow. The current Women Poker Hall of Fame has 19 members.
The house always wins, eh? Bettors and gamblers dropped $1 billion in Nevada during the first month of 2018. That's the 36th time since March 2005 that casinos in Nevada won $1 billion in a single month. January 2018's haul is the best month for Nevada since last March.