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
Thursday January 23, 2020 at 1:24 am
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Wednesday January 22, 2020 at 1:33 am
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Sunday January 19, 2020 at 12:30 am
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PokerStars Half Price Sunday Million

This Sunday will include special half-price tournaments at PokerStars. That's right the Half Price Sunday Million is only $54.50 this week for half the usual buy-in, plus the usual guaranteed prize pool of $1 million is still in play. There's also a half-price version of Sunday Warm-Up which will cost $107.50. The Half Price Sunday Storm will be just $5.50. Click here for more details.

Friday January 17, 2020 at 9:38 pm
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Thursday January 16, 2020 at 2:00 am
WSOP announces 'Value Menu' bracelet events for 2020 WSOP

The World Series of Poker announced a special round of value menu events at the 2020 WSOP that include buy-ins of $1,000 or less. A total of 25 bracelet events will be hosted at the Rio Casino this summer that have a modest and affordable buy-in. A baker's dozen of events, 13 in total, at the 2020 WSOP will have buy-ins $888 or less including the $400 Colossus and numerous $500 buy-in deepstacked bracelet events.

Wednesday January 15, 2020 at 3:53 am
Dustin Schoonover wins WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant and first ring

The World Series of Poker Circuit's latest stop hit up the Oklahoma/Dallas area for the 2020 WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant. Dustin Schoonover outlasted 1,065 runners in the $1,700 buy-in Main Event to win $272,846. The Choctaw Durant final table also included John Skrovan, Brant Jolly, Mark Newton, Christopher Staats, Allen Brivic, Montana Bills, Austin Lewis, and Trung Pham.

Tuesday January 14, 2020 at 4:48 am
Chance Kornuth leads final table at 2020 WPT Gardens Poker Championship

Season XVIII of the World Poker Tour continued with the 2020 WPT Gardens Poker Championship that attracted 257 runners for their annual big tournament every January at the Hawaiian Gardens just outside Los Angeles. The 2020 WPT Gardens final table of six is set to resume on March 31, 2020 at the HyperX eSports Arena at the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas. Chance Kornuth bagged up the lead at the final table that also included Tuan Phan, Qing Liu, Straton Wilhelm, Jonathan Cohen, and Markus Gonsalves.

Friday January 10, 2020 at 2:09 pm
Interview: Martin Harris, Author of Poker and Pop Culture

D and B Poker published "Poker and Pop Culture: Telling the Story of America's Favorite Card Game" by Martin Harris. During the poker boom, Harris authored a popular blog titled Hard-Boiled Poker. Harris quit his job as an English professor and went to Las Vegas to cover the World Series of Poker for numerous outlets. Over the last 15 years, Harris compiled a collection of essays that became the genesis of Poker and Pop Culture. We're fortunate that Harris sat down with us for a fun interview.

Friday January 10, 2020 at 3:00 am
2020 WSOP releases $10,000 Championship events schedule

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Thursday January 2, 2020 at 2:15 pm
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Friday December 27, 2019 at 10:36 pm
2019: The Big Stories, Part 2

The year in review for 2019 continues with the second part that covers June through December. The World Series of Poker celebrated its 50th anniversary with a blowout at the Rio in Las Vegas. Hossein Ensan from Germany won the second-largest Main Event in WSOP history and he banked $10 million. PokerStars also announced the 2020 PSPC, which will take place in Barcelona in August 2020. PokerStars was also sold to Flutter (aka Paddy Power/Betfair). The Mike Postle cheating scandal also broke after he got caught cheating on the Stones Gambling Hall live stream.

Thursday December 26, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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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.

Wednesday December 25, 2019 at 1:28 pm
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidaze!

From everyone here at Club Poker, we want to wish you a joyful and bountiful holiday season. Merry Christmas and do not forget that the Winter Series kicks off today on PokerStars with 242 tournaments and $50 million in guaranteed prize pools. The new year is just around the corner, so start thinking about your 2020 poker resolutions.

Tuesday December 24, 2019 at 10:32 pm
Oklahoma Johnny Hale passes away at 92

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