Justice, Nobility, CEOs, and French People.
This is the bleakest time of year. When festivities have faded, but the bitter cold maintains its grip. A time when you are forced to chain yourself to the grindstone for another 12 months, as fresh-faced resolutions are crushed under the weight of your own inescapable weakness. Sorry about that. Maybe I can cheer you up with some news from poker’s farthest shores. This week we’ve got tales of resignation, government crackdowns, robbery, and assault. Feeling better yet?
It’s a good time to be in European online poker, so long as you’re on the list. France have been running a strictly regulated market since May 2010, but have this month enacted laws which require ISPs to proactively prevent French players from accessing unlicensed sites. This follows similar action taken by the Belgian government. Meanwhile, Spain – one of the big EU countries without a regulated market – has elected to delay its online gambling plans until June 30th. [Poker News]
John Duthie has left PokerStars. You might be thinking, “Who cares about John Duthie! So long as they still have Liv Boeree, it’s all good. She’s so hot, ship it holla check-raise.” Oh you and your staggering ignorance. The wiser heads in the audience will know that Duthie is lauded among the poker community thanks to his founding of the European Poker Tour. John spearheaded the tour to great success, but as part of his resignation, has also decided to step down as EPT CEO. Although he may not be as high profile as some of his former team mates, John is a highly respected member of the industry and you can be sure that the game’s movers and shakers have taken note of his departure. [Poker News Report]
The founder of Bet365, Denise Coates, has been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the UK’s New Year’s Honours list. Now that our empire has shrunk to size of a tiny thimble, this title has become a purely symbolic ‘well done’ from the monarchy. For your reference, a CBE is one rank below Knight and Dame-hood in Britain’s chivalric hierarchy. As part of the ceremony, Denise gets to meet the Queen and listen to her say things like, “What do you do?” “Oh that’s nice,” and “I have this special badge for you.” [BBC]
In Canada, which is mostly empty, four men and one woman will have to locate the Longueuil courthouse. They are summoned to hear charges that include aggravated assault and armed robbery, all accrued while breaking into the home of former World Champion, Jonathan Duhamel. Although their cases are yet to be heard, it seems that the nexus of the robbery may have been Duhamel’s former girlfriend, Bianca Rojas-Latraverse. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. [CTV]
Cheer up mate! Things are looking good for poker after all. I mean, barring some sort of Even Blacker Friday, 2012 has got to be an improvement over last year. If that much-analysed DoJ opinion bears the fruit we’re all desperately hoping it does, perhaps this will prove to be one of the industry’s finest hours. Hope springs eternal.