Wednesday October 2, 2019 at 8:43 am
Breaking News

On Wednesday morning, new broke in Dublin about Flutter Entertainment acquiring The Stars Group. Flutter is a Euro-gaming conglomerate that includes Paddy Power, Betfair and Fan Duel. The merger will make Flutter the largest online gaming entity in the world.

TSG.Fluffer.SOLD.PS

It's never a dull day in the online gaming world. Word is out that PokerStars got bought by Flutter. Flutter Entertainment will acquire 54.6% of The Stars Group, while TSG retains 45.4% of the company. This sudden union creates a Frankenstein of online gambling joints with Paddy Power/Betfair/PokerStars. Combined revenues from 2018 were £3.8 billion or $4.6 billion USD. But it's not the poker that the Flutters seek, it's really about the prospective sportsbetting opportunities in the good ole US of A.

Make sure you spell that right... Flutter... and it's not Fluffer, like I initially thought and got redirected to a porn site and I thought, wow, this is kinda cool but then realized the error. I never heard of Flutter before... but I knew about Paddy Power and Betfair's merger. A couple of years ago, online sportsbooks were gobbling each other up. On one side you had GVR and on the other was the newly birthed Flutter.

In 2016, Paddy Power and Betfair merged, which birthed Flutter Entertainment. Paddy Power acquired FanDuel in 2018. Fan Duel started out as a daily fantasy site that pivoted into sportsbooks. Flutter now added The Stars Group to their conglomerate of gaming giants. There's a vote in the 2Q of 2020 with estimates of a full merger by 3Q of 2020.

Also somewhere in this ginormous umbrella corp there' TVG, which Betfair acquired over ten years ago. TVG is known as the Television Games Network, which focuses on horse racing and greyhound racing.

The Stars Group, originally Amaya, acquired PokerStars in 2014 for $4.9 billion. Since then, TSG intended to spin off into the sports world after they easily conquered the casino vertical. TSG acquired a small daily fantasy sports operation in Austin, Texas and spun off StarsDraft for a hot minute. STSG acquired Sky Bet, then cut a deal with FoxSport to create FoxBet.

The merger with Flutter and TSG gives Flutter another valuable in road to the US sportsbetting market via Fox Bet. In addition, Fox Bet has the opportunity to acquire 18.5% of FanDuel.

Flutter's chief executive Peter Jackson said, "The combination represents a great opportunity to deliver a step-change in our presence in international markets and ensure we are ideally positioned to take advantage of the exciting opportunity in the US through a media relationship with FOX Sports as well as our development of US sports betting through Flutter's FanDuel and TSG's FOX Bet brands. We are committed to these two high-quality brands to drive the growth of the combined group in the US."

Lachlan Murdoch, FOX CEO of Fox Corporation summed it up, "We're excited to be able to expand our partnership into FanDuel, which together with FOX Bet, will be a leader in sports wagering in the US."

Even the new boss knows online poker is still a big question mark in the so-called "land of the brave and free" but sportsbetting is blowing up in the USA. You can place a bet in more than 20% of the states and that number is quickly growing. There's no shortage of donks and degens in America and we have multiple sports running year round plus college sports, and the Flutter folks want a piece of that juicy pie.

Meanwhile, what does this means for PokerStars? They recently said goodbye to the PCA in the Bahamas to focus on the 2020 PSPC in Barcelona. You should've known something was going down.

I hope the new British overlords allows Stars do their own thing while the big wigs focus on global domination in the sportsbetting world. They could give PokerStars a chance to get back in touch with their roots and focus more on the poker experience instead of making sure they raked in enough cash to keep the suits and shareholders happy at the next quarterly meeting.

The lucrative future of online gambling in the US is sportsbetting and not online poker. It's been a slow and arduous road to legal online poker in the few states that have them. Just when you thought the small states with online poker were about to share player pools to create a unified pool, the Man came down on hard on them. At this rate, it will be 2049 before there's any online poker worth a damn in America. In the meantime, recreational marijuana and sportsbetting are flourishing. Who woulda thunk the weed and Monday Night Football bets would be legalized before online poker?

It's been a wild couple of weeks with the confirmation of the sale of the Rio to a NYC real estate group and the reassurance from Seth Palansky that the 2020 WSOP will take place at the Rio's convention center as planned. And now it's PokerStars on the block.

What next? Will partypoker/bwin (GVC) and William Hill join forces?

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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Saturday June 13, 2020 at 7:04 pm
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Big Poker League
Saturday June 20, 2020 at 7:04 pm
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6-MAX
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Big Poker League
Saturday June 27, 2020 at 7:04 pm
$125 added