Two helpings of danish, a departing Aussie, and PokerStars' latest series
Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? Seriously, it’s getting pretty close. I don’t think your mother is going to appreciate that pack of novelty playing cards you found in some old jeans or a clay poker chip stolen from the Pokerati game. Now that I’ve worked you up into a lather, your brain should be in a fit state for having poker news pressed into it. Forget all that Americo-centric nonsense you’ve been hearing about, read on for the skinny from further afield.
We begin in Denmark, with a former WSOP champion once again demonstrating the sort of unhinged character required to succeed at poker’s most toppest level. Despite already earning enough money to cover Phil Ivey’s divorce settlement, Eastgate couldn’t resist putting his health on the line for an extra $6k. His fellow Danish degenerates bet he couldn’t jump into a freezing river, leap out, and then run to the home of fellow pro Kasper Cordes. Once again, however, Eastgate bested all comers (and hypothermia) to complete the challenge in a mere 20 minutes. [Poker Nyhederne]
Just like every WSOP champion since the poker boom erupted, Eastgate is a member of the PokerStars stable of sponsored players. An illustrious club that included Joe Hachem, until he announced his resignation this week. The second post-Moneymaker World Series winner, Hachem is still Australia’s most recognisable player, even if he hasn’t made any major waves since winning a WPT title in 2005. Hachem claims he is leaving in order to, “pursue other career opportunities,” but the spectre of Black Friday is likely to have factored into his decision. [Card Player]
If you find long sessions of poker excessively dull, you’re probably already an ardent proponent of turbo tables. With levels that last less time than it’s taken me to type this sentence, players can be in and out of a tournament in minutes. This week, PokerStars announced plans to string a whole bunch of them together into what will undoubtedly be the fastest online poker series in history. The TCOOP is scheduled to run from Jan. 19th – 29th and will feature tournaments with buy-ins and prizes and things. [Poker News]
Having given Peter Eastgate some time to dry off, we’re back to Denmark for our final story of the week. Following in the footsteps of France and Italy, the Danish have activated their new online gaming legislation, which seeks to operate the kind of regulated market that will have U.S. grinders staring lustily across the ocean. After jiggling all their knobs into place, the government have just handed out their first batch of gambling licenses to companies including PokerStars, PKR, and bwin.party. [Gambling Kingz]
Time for me to curl up into a Christmas coma and absorb rich food, presents, and relentless good cheer. I hope you all have a similarly indulgent Christmas and a New Year’s Eve so excellent you are unable to remember all but the barest details. If not, at least have some good luck. Ho, ho, ho!