History of the Irish Open

by , Apr 3, 2014 | 2:37 am

We’re certain that you’re no stranger to Europe’s longest established poker tournament, The Irish Open.

Terry Rogers had become hooked on No Limit Holdem during a trip to Vegas, and upon Returning to Ireland, Terry established the Irish Open which became the catalyst in spreading this variation of the game throughout Ireland, and then across Europe.

Paddy Power Poker, proud sponsors of the Irish Open for almost 10 years, have put together this brief history of the tournament, which we are pleased to be able to share with you today.

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How Canada will regulate bitcoin

New federal regime for cryptocurrencies comes into further focus

by , Mar 29, 2014 | 2:00 pm

This past week, two sources of information became available indicating how the Canadian government will increase its regulation and oversight of virtual currencies, including bitcoin. Through a combination of legislative and regulatory changes, Parliament and the Financial Reports Analysis Centre of Canada—Canada’s financial intelligence unit—will wrap “dealers” in virtual currencies into the current money services business regime. Conceptually, this is somewhat similar to the approach taken to exchange functions by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in the United States. The federal government has clarified things somewhat but, at the same time, left us with many unanswered questions. We will have to wait for further regulatory guidance to see how the whole regime in Canada plays out, but I think things are looking very positive for FIU regulation of cryptocurrencies in Canada.

The Current Structure & Canada’s Economic Action Plan

FinTRAC is an independent agency that acts as Canada’s FIU to enforce the Financial Action Task Force’s 40 Recommendations. It does this primarily through the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (the PCMLTFA) and Regulations (the Regulations). I have previously written about FinTRAC, its FATF-mandated role, and the PCMLTFA and the Regulations. As explained in the earlier post, FinTRAC has thus far taken the view that bitcoins are not “funds” within the meaning of the PCMLTFA and the Regulations. That means that FinTRAC will not regulate many bitcoin exchange functions under the MSB rules in Canada.

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New Ontario class action against Mt Gox

Plaintiffs keep rolling against defunct bitcoin exchange

by , Mar 24, 2014 | 6:27 am

On March 14th, lawyers for four plaintiffs filed suit in Toronto against Mt Gox, the bitcoin exchange embroiled in ongoing scandal. Defendants include several corporations in the Mt Gox Group of companies and Mark Karpeles, a majority shareholder in those companies and Mt Gox’s CEO.

The notice of action for the lawsuit is here.

Among other relief, the plaintiffs are seeking certification of the action as a class action under the Ontario Class Proceedings Act, 1992; their appointment as representative plaintiffs for the class; and, C$500M in damages. The proposed class in the proceeding includes all persons in Canada that paid a fee to Mt Gox to buy, sell, or trade bitcoins and all persons in Canada that had bitcoins or fiat money stored on Mt Gox on February 7th of this year. The plaintiffs thus far claim that they’re owed anywhere from a few thousand dollars to 100 bitcoins (close to C$70,000 at today’s exchange rate).

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Top 10 Female Poker Players in the World

by , Mar 20, 2014 | 3:05 pm

With each passing year, more and more women are achieving notable success in the poker world. Many talented female players have broken through the glass ceiling of the once male-dominated game to win prestigious tournaments and become household names in the world of poker. This probably explains why the game of poker is becoming more and more popular among women both online, at rooms like Titan Poker, and in live poker venues.

Just who are the high profile women poker players who’ve risen to prominence in the game? Let’s take a look at this list (in random order) of some of the world’s best female poker players.

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Poker’s 1% by Ed Miller

by , Mar 19, 2014 | 12:45 am

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Ed Miller’s latest book, Poker’s 1% reveals the secret of poker’s most elite players.  The book exposes this secret in one word: frequency. Ed states that the biggest winners in no-limit hold ‘em know that winning play requires playing each hand with the proper frequency. He demonstrates how playing hands correctly and applying this knowledge makes your opponents effectively beat themselves.

While the book touches on which hands to bet, raise, and fold in different scenarios, this isn’t a typical poker strategy book. It’s a book about poker thinking and poker learning. You will gain a fair amount of knowledge just from reading it, but the book is really designed to teach you how to go about determining for yourself what these frequencies should be. Don’t expect to read this book and magically win every chip on the table each time you play.  To get the most out of Poker’s 1% you must be prepared to do a lot of work away from the table.

The first five sessions of $1-$3 no limit that I played immediately after reading the book were some of the most profitable and enjoyable sessions I have ever had. If you have the desire to improve your game and the willingness to do the work that is required, this book is for you. Ed presents the necessary steps in an easy to understand manner and it’s a great resource for anyone wanting to improve their game. Learn more about it at Ed’s website notedpokerauthority.com or on Amazon.


Canada increasing its bitcoin oversight

Federal Budget contemplates introduction of new regulations

by , Feb 27, 2014 | 7:57 am

The Canadian finance minister, Jim Flaherty, presented the federal government’s 2014 budget plan to Parliament on February 11th. Cryptocurrencies played a small part in the budget, though still an important one for Canadian businesses in the sector.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are addressed under the heading “Strengthening Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Regime.” The relevant budget extracts are here. (The entire budget can be downloaded here.) The federal government has indicated that “virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin,” are “emerging risks” in the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing world. Specifically, the government is proposing to introduce anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulations for virtual currencies, including bitcoin.

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FinTRAC continues bitcoin review

Undated internal FIU document looks at the issues and ideas around cryptocurrency

by , Feb 13, 2014 | 7:39 pm

On February 11th, David George-Cosh broke the story of the release of an undated internal document produced by FinTRAC addressing the challenges of cryptocurrencies, primarily bitcoin. FinTRAC is Canada’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing watchdog. The document is a slide deck that was produced further to an Access to Information Act request. The WSJ blog post on the release is here.

A copy of the deck that was released to the public under Access to Information is here.

It’s important to remember that most of what is in this deck does not represent a normative policy position being taken by FinTRAC on cryptocurrencies. (Though note that pages 24-25 of the .pdf document fairly characterizes how FinTRAC views bitcoin vis-a-vis money services businesses under the current Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and Regulations.) I think the bulk of it represents an earnest and honest attempt to canvass available resources and learn about bitcoin. Many bitcoin aficionados might take issue with how some points are set out and the substance of others. However, I think it’s a decent overview and a good start at fairly covering a lot of ground. Over the coming months, we may see how FinTRAC uses this knowledge as they work with the Department of Finance to introduce anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulations for cryptocurrencies, as promised in the recent federal budget.


Drones Are the New Poker?

Unlicensed and unregulated at the dawn of a tech-fueled boom era

by , Feb 11, 2014 | 11:02 am

drone-coverCall it lo-tech, but I bought an actual paper magazine on the way home from Christmas, Popular Science, which lured me with its cover story, “Predictions for 2014″.

Semi-fascinating stuff regarding 3-D printing, a looming crackdown on opiate painkillers, and a right-around-the-corner future filled with bots — the good kind, apparently, not ones that threaten security of the human race and sanctity of Full Tilt Poker. Anyhow, one item that was nifty-neato featured some rhetoric that sounded kinda familiar. Supposedly, according to one of the PS predictions, the drone industry is ready to boom right about now. All they need, say drone profiteers pioneers, is to attach hole-card cams CyberChris Moneymaker a little government oversight to make sure you don’t go attaching laser death beams to go through your neighbor’s underwear drawer.

“We’re one of very few industries that is actually begging for government regulations,” says Ben Gielow, government relations manager at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. FAA rules could potentially lead to a drone registry to help punish reckless piloting.

Exciting stuff … sounds kinda like a drone-age Pocket 5s, no? Let’s just hope (for the sake of the drone pros) that they have more success with that line than the PPA and AGA have had. Meanwhile, the government seems to be making sure this boom doesn’t get out of hand too early … starting by targeting media operations who may or may not be currently benefiting from unregulated drone piloting.


Bitcoin sails on

Charlie Shrem & Robert Faiella face federal charges; markets shrug it off

by , Jan 27, 2014 | 1:38 pm

Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, today announced the unsealing of a federal criminal complaint against Robert Faiella and Charlie Shrem. It’s alleged that Faiella ran an underground bitcoin exchange on Silk Road. Shrem is well-known in the bitcoin community as the CEO of BitInstant and the Vice Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation.

A copy of the criminal complaint against both men is here.

The complaint alleges that both Shrem and Faiella operated an unlicensed money transmitting and that Shrem specifically facilitated that business through BitInstant. Further to those allegations, Shrem is also charged with violations of the Bank Secrecy Act because of his purported wilfull failure to file reports with the Treasury Department. Finally, both men are charged with money laundering conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. 1956.

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Top Five Moments in WSOP History

by , Jan 17, 2014 | 2:29 pm

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has made poker history, providing some of the most memorable moments to ever unfold on the green velvet. The sport has become truly captivating for audiences and participants alike, with the tournament witnessing such euphoric highs and crashing lows all at a single table.

Here are some of the best moments in the history of the WSOP event.

Annette Obrestad Becomes WSOP Youngest Winner

At the tender age of 18, Norwegian poker player Annette Obrestad became the youngest-ever person to win a WSOP bracelet. Her victory came at the inaugural WSOPE £10,000 Main Event in 2007 at the Empire Casino in London.

Obrestad defeated Welshman John Tabatabai for a first place prize of £1 million and a place in the history books, just one day before her nineteenth birthday. She went on to impress in the online world as well, when she won against 180 people in an online tournament in July 2007, having only looked at her hole cards once the entire time.

Daniel Negreanu is Named WSOP Player of the Year Twice

Last year’s race to be named WSOP Player of the Year saw Canadian pro Daniel Negreanu come up against Matt Ashton, who held the lead after cashing in the first event of the series.

Negreanu wasn’t about to give up his title to the young Brit, and he overcame a huge player pool of 80 players to scoop the €25,600 High Roller event in the 2013 WSOPE in Paris. This victory won him his second bracelet of the season and cemented him as the first player to win WSOP Player of the Year twice.

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Going to California?

Online gaming legislation has to eventually get there

by , Jan 14, 2014 | 6:50 am

PokerStars, the biggest most legitimate online poker site in the world, which got that way by thumbing its nose at the US government for their stupid laws, has gotten the big X in Nevada, and in New Jersey … so where to next? According to my personal Linked In recommended jobs feed, the less pokery-sounding Stars/Tilt parent Rational Group seem to be setting up shop in California, with a new open position(s?) to beef up their “social” gaming presence. Seems to make sense, with Cali kinda a holy grail as the only state, along with Texas, that could supply a profitably massive player pool. Or it could just be a play to recruit some Bay area tech talent …

Rational Job

Meanwhile, to catch up those of us who may have checked out for a semester, gaming law expert I. Nelson Rose explains rather succinctly the other day, in an appearance on Fox Business, where things currently stand with Obamapoker the slow rollout of American online gambling. And, he explains, why California online poker doesn’t really stand a chance this year (even though politicians are still happy to take your donations for giving it the good-ole college try) — go 2014!


Stuff’s goin’ on …


Why Casino Resorts Make for Good Places to Spend Your Holidays

Winter specials galore

by , Jan 10, 2014 | 7:51 pm

p2-veniceGone are the days when going to casino resorts with the family meant endless days spent at buffets and boring nights spent cooped up in cold hotel rooms with cranky kids and a dissatisfied spouse. These days, besides playing hosts to venerable World Series of Poker players, casinos are pretty family-centric now and gambling enthusiasts can easily planned an enjoyable vacation at their favorite gaming spots. And guess what, the wife and kids would actually be excited to go!

Check out these exciting activities you and your family to consider next year:

Winter in Venice – Las Vegas
If you’re bored of the same old Christmas spent at your mother-in-law’s place, you could have revisited Las Vegas and saw how it transformed into a totally different realm. The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas hosted a celebration called Winter in Venice from November through January 5, 2014.

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Accommodation and packages
Because it’s peak season, you won’t be at fault for balking at rates that are seemingly higher than normal, but if you stayed at least one night at The Venetian or The Palazzo, you and your family members could have received a Passaporto di Winter in Venice, which gave you access to discounted offers worth over $1,000. This passport of sorts allowed you to wine and dine, be pampered at spas, enjoy exciting retail therapy sessions and be entertained like never before – all within your ideal budget.

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Soccer players who play poker – Teddy Sheringham

by , | 3:14 am

teddy-sheringhamTeddy Sheringham is one of the most successful soccer players of the last half a century. His professional career lasted twenty-four years, making him one of the game’s survivors. His quality as a player earned him an MBE, presented to him by Prince Charles for services to soccer on the 20th of November 2007.

He is also father to Charlie Sheringham, who has had a successful league and non-league career, and now plays for AFC Wimbledon as a striker. Teddy too played mainly as a second striker, first for Millwall between 1983 and 1991, before moving on to Tottenham Hotspur and then Manchester United – it was whilst playing for MU that he was named PFA Player of the Year in 20001.

He retired in 2007/08, at the age of 4, spending his time improving his poker game. He is now a frequent on the world poker scene, and has racked up over $300,000 in live tournament winnings, including two World Series of Poker (WSOP) cashes. He also has a final table finish at a leg of the European Poker Tour under his belt, which netted him a cool €93,000.

Two final table appearances in the Palm Beach Big Game and a final table finish at The Ritz Club mean that he is no rookie – he has been playing seriously for the last six years, but has been playing poker throughout his adult life.

He learned to play poker in dens, hotels and on coaches, and says that he really learned to play poker by losing money. He has a tendency, like a lot of new players, to go for big hands and pairs, to be flash and cool. Now he says “it’s more about trying to figure out what other people have got, using real skill, and whether they’re bluffing. You have to think ahead.”

Luckily, since bwin started up, you don’t need to lose money to learn to play poker well. For beginners, Texas hold’em is usually considered the best starting point, you can find all the details here: poker.bwin.be/nl/texas-holdem.

You can practice hands and enter freeroll tournaments with bwin without spending anything at all – and according to most pros out there, the new guys who learn online are the best players out there. Start with free tournaments, learn the ropes, and then build up to cash games with the free bwin poker school.


Caesars Palace Poker Room 2014-Q1 Promo FYIs

Megabeat says what?

by , Jan 3, 2014 | 1:22 pm

All good things must come to an end, right? And if you remember Vegas Grinders, you know we were big fans of the MegaBeat Jackpot, a progressive multi-property payout. Though none of us cashed in, the promotion was enough to draw each of us (and many of you) to various Caesars property poker rooms on repeat occasion. Anyhow, promotions naturally change, and it’s been about a year that the MB was in play, but there does seem to be some decentralization going on at Caesars- and WSOP-branded poker rooms in Las Vegas — or maybe it’s more of a recentralization? — which may or may not have anything to do with different rooms getting autonomy while others prepare for the axe. Wild speculation, but we do know that email addresses have changed recently, with a promo list like the one below coming from @caesarspalace.com instead of @caesars.com … and these sorts of changes seldom happen for no good or apparent reason.

Caesars Palace January poker room promo info below:

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For Immediate Release: Autism Speaks Poker

6th annual Ante 4 Autism event set for Golden Nugget, Sunday, Jan. 26

by , | 11:23 am

Event to be held opening night of the Winter furniture market

Co-Hosts hope to exceed last year’s total of $35,226!

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LAS VEGAS — The Ante4Autism Co-Hosts will continue their mission to raise awareness of the disability and raise money to help fund research into the cause and cure for Autism.  The 6th Annual Ante4Autism poker tournament will be held at the Golden Nugget in the “Grand” event center on Sunday, January 26th at 7 PM.   

The buy-in for the Texas Hold’em poker event is only $125, with $40 re-buys available!  All players will receive an Autism Speaks pin for playing!  All final table players will receive great merchandise prizes for being top finishers.  The winner will also receive the Grand Champion winner’s plaque!   The complete details of the event are available at www.Ante4autism.com.


 

Ante4Autism 2013 Co-Champions Poker Pro Chip Jett (left) and James Baker (right), look forward to defending their crown next year.     Ante4Autism 2013 with Allen Parvizian, Karina Jett, and Chip Jett

(L) Ante4Autism 2013 Co-Champions Poker Pro Chip Jett and James Baker look forward to defending their crown.

(R) Co-Host Allen Parvizian, with poker pros Karina and Chip Jett, welcome all to play in or sponsor the 6th Annual Ante4Autism poker tournament.


Co-Host Mike McQuiston mentioned:  “The prevalence of Autism continues to rise and we must figure out why.”

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