Posts Tagged ‘Full Tilt’

Wider World of Poker

Bodog in Asia, Frenchmen in profit, PokerStars in Macau, Full Tilt is rewarding & replenished, and a new European partnership.

by , Oct 20, 2012 | 3:21 am

After very literally emerging from a Soviet bunker over the past week, I’m finding it difficult to integrate myself back into sublime British capitalism. Having a Russian man dispassionately tell you that, “now vee are in nuclear war,” as an alarming red light flashes in an underground corridor will do things to a man. Luckily there’s a whole warhead’s worth of worldwide poker news to help me readjust to society. Read on, you snivelling imperialist dogs. Oh, sorry.

Bodog Shifts Priorities

Making good on last week’s threats, Bodog have undertaken a daring raid into Asia. After abandoning their poker products throughout Europe, the copmany have welcomed TLC88.com onto their network, in an attempt to shift the focus of their business from West to East. [CardPlayer]

Possibly, but probably not, coincidentally, on the same day as Bodog confirmed their new parternship Sunderland A.F.C. – a mid-table team in the highest echelon of English football – announced TCL88.com as their official betting and gaming partner. [SAFC.com]

France Masters Tournaments

There’s a distinctly Gallic feel to the big tournament results this week. Firstly the France Poker Series event in Mazagan, Morocco reached a dénouement. The victor was Karim El Rharbaoui, who picked up around €44,000 for his efforts. [Poker777]

Meanwhile, down in the boot of Europe, the EPT San Remo was grinding its way to a finale, with the French-sounding Canadian Jason Lavallee and actual French person Ludovic Lacay engaging in a swift heads up battle. Real France beat out psuedo-France to take the title. [Poker News Daily]

PokerStars Macau Announcement

I don’t often include tournament announcements in this roundup, but I think that news of anything new coming out of Macau is particularly interesting, given how under exploited it is. In fact, only PokerStars seem to have really grasped the bull by the horns (dragon by the ears?) so far as tournaments are concerned. To stand alongside the likes of the Macau Poker Cup, Stars have announced the Asian Championship of Poker – a $13k NLHE event that kicks off in just over a week. [Tight Poker]

Full Tilt Reward System Teased

If you were fond of building up Ironman streaks and cashing in 27% rakeback deals on your Full Tilt account then you’ll have to carry on pining. Full Tilt’s new reward system, details of which have been dribbled out onto 2+2, is a totally different animal. There does appear to be the possibility of earning a decent internal rakeback, but a move to the Weighted Contribution method will reward the aggressive player more than the tight. [Poker News Daily]

Dwan and Isildur on Tilt Again

Speaking of aggressive poker, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Tom “durrrr” Dwan will be reuniting on the virtual felt of Full Tilt as paid up members of the site’s new roster. Respectively the most exciting names in high stakes cash games for the last few years, Blom and Dwan join Gus Hansen in Full Tilt’s reformed team of sponsored pros. [PokerNews]

France and Spain Cosy Up

No doubt hastened by the news of massive contractions in the Italian gaming market, Spain and France have agreed a deal to share regulatory data. A deal which many see as a precursor to a shared player pool. The French have been running their own insular market for a while now, but newly regulated Spain will likely have some legitimate concerns about their ability to support their own isolationist economy. [PokerFuse]

 

 

 


Wider World of Poker

Hellmuth triumphs, Bodog stutter, Italy contracts, Full Tilt relocate and recruit, and Ivey is owed big.

by , Oct 12, 2012 | 3:28 am

Huddle close comrades. I come to you this week from a small apartment bunker deep within Russian territory. There are Muscovites on all sides. So far at least two people have asked me for directions in a language I didn’t understand. It was harrowing. Meanwhile it’s been a busy old time for poker news, so strap on your ushanka, down a bowl of borshch and join me for this week’s roundup.

Hellmuth Conquers Europe

The Poker Brat confirmed that this week that he is back among the game’s elite by taking down his 13th bracelet in the WSOPE Main Event. By his own admission, Phil was caught up in his own travelling carnival during 2009 and 2010, but after a period of self-reflection his skills on the felt appear to be back in full bloom. [Poker News]

Bodog Abandons Europe

The wheels are not so much coming off Bodog Poker’s European operation as they are careening over a cliff as the car does somersaults on the asphalt. Its last remaining bastion – Bodog.co.uk – has now officially closed its doors to poker customers, focussing instead on casino games. The company are moving on the relatively underexploited Asian market. [OnlinePoker.net]

Italy is in Europe

Italy was one of the first European nations to enact a regime of tight intranational online poker regulations. While early signs were positive, recent financial figures raise fears about the future for other isolationist licensing systems. Gaming revenues have fallen over 40% since January of this year, with the decline chalked up to a very limited player pool and high taxes. [PokerFuse]

Full Tilt’s New Island Home

Full Tilt’s rebirth is another contraction closer as they are granted a license by the Isle of Man, a short hop around the UK from their old home on Alderney. It is my considered opinion that a very large factor in ensuring that PokerStars emerged so positively from Black Friday was down to their license in the Isle of Man. Specifically the clause that requires licensees to keep a segregated fund equal to player deposits. [BBC]

Hansen on Board

Full Tilt built their reputation on having the biggest and most star-studded stable of pro players and while those pros mostly fled the paddock after Black Friday, at least one will be returning. Gus Hansen has been unveiled as Full Tilt’s primary brand ambassador. The Dane was long associated with the old site and has declared that he is “coming home.” [Gambling Kingz]

High Stakes Intrigue in The Big Smoke

A notorious high roller enters London’s oldest casino with a mysterious Asian beauty on his arm. He sits in a private room and wins $11.7 million, but the house won’t pay. Turns out his date has a chequered past and the British Gambling Commission are called in to investigate. No, not James Bond; Phil Ivey. [CNN]

And with that I’m off to take refuge. There’s this colourful fort in the centre of town that looks pretty safe, I think I’ll start there.


Wider World of Poker

Euro bracelets, WCOOP freerollers, Full Tilt monies, Dane's conquer England, and finally India.

by , Sep 27, 2012 | 1:03 pm

Discussing the weather is a national past time for the British. Entire friendships can blossom from the comparison of one year’s inclement summer with the previous year’s inclement summer. Weather is a pervading social lubricant that unites all classes, creeds, and religions. Simpy describe the current climate and you’ll be instantly engulfed by a torrent of meteorological exhortations. What I’m trying to say is, it’s become a bit colder lately. On with the news.

Esfandiari et al

Not so cold, both actually and figuratively, is everyone’s favourite magician-turned-poker player, Antonio Esfandiari. Fresh from his $18 million score in the WSOP’s One Drop event, the all-time leader in tournament winnings picked up his second bracelet in Event #2 at the WSOPE in Cannes, France. [Wicked Chops Poker]

The World Series also crowned its very first Tunisian tournament winner in the form of Ben Mahmoud. He picked up €147,099 for first place in WSOPE Event #1, a €2,700 six-handed NLHE contest.[ESPN]

Meanwhile Frenchmen all along the Croisette were tossing their berets in the air with joy as Gallic poker stalwart Roger Hairabedian picked up a bracelet of his own in Event #3. [ESPN]

WCOOP Main Event

If the WCOOP were a televised event this might have been another Moneymaker moment. A Russian player known as maratik battled his way to a $1 million score from beginnings so humble they make Oliver Twist look like a oiled-up oligarch. Despite typically sticking to buy-ins around the $1.50 mark, maratic managed to freeroll his way into the $5,000 main event and on to victory. [PokerNews]

PokerStars Announce Full Tilt Launch

Along with the announcement that PokerStars are preparing to re-launch Full Tilt in the first week of November the company also revealed their plans to reimburse every player whose money was locked away following Black Friday. Users from France, Spain, Denmark, Estonia, and Belgium will have to access their cash through PokerStars itself, while the rest of the world should be able to jump back into Full Tilt and see things just as they left them. That just leaves Italy, where the details are still a little hazy, and the U.S. – who need to have their reimbursements processed through the Department of Justice. [PokerStars]

Mickey Peterson Wins EPO

I first met Mickey Peterson two years ago when he was sleeping on a coach at my friends’ place. Since that day Mickey has gone on to win EPT Copenhagen and, most recently, the English Poker Open for a cool £78,660. Coincidence? You decide. [PokerPlayer]

Mixed News from India

Good news everyone! The Indian government has officially declared that poker is a skill game. Bad news everyone! They still won’t let you play it for money. This following a tentative enquiry by university graduates planning to start a website that allowed wagers on poker and other skill games, including chess. [India]

Now you’ll have to excuse me while I stare at some pegs and try to decide which thickness of coat to wear. It’s dangerously temperate out there and the wrong choice could cost me everything. If I survive exposure to London’s mild Autumn, I’ll be back next week with another sack full of poker news.


Full Tilt’s PR Maven Taking on the Real World

8 Tips for Doing Business Globally?

by , Jul 22, 2012 | 4:20 pm

You get a sense that something Full Tilty is coming to a close, officially, for good. Not only has Ray Bitar surrendered to authorities in the United States, but now Michele Clayborne, longtime gatekeeper to Team Full Tilt pros and poker industry dominatrix circa 2004-2011, is apparently looking for work. According to her LinkedIn profile, all dealings with FTP are in the past (as of January 2012).

Choose your own irony in the effort to take skills honed at Full Tilt and apply them to the non-poker world in: 8 PR Tips for Conducting Business Globally. (Published in June.) Perhaps surprisingly, blacklisting certain blog sites isn’t one of them, nor is posting falsehoods on internet forums that can be used against your former boss in US federal court.

But good on Michele for turning lemons into lemonade. There’s almost a reality show in it — Online Poker Industry Exiles or something — when the world you helped create comes crashing down, who will come out unscathed, and who still has something to hide!? (Bumpbuh buh!) OK, gotta workshop that concept, obv. But for various reasons different people who made livings in poker off the table are dropping out and/or moving on. And for Full Tilt’s primary spinstress, putting the past behind her means not having to admit (yet) to various Full Tilt shenanigans, which at some point would’ve became her job, as “Head of International PR for Full Tilt Poker.net,” to cover up.


Ray Bitar, William Hill, and More Action in Nevada

APCW Perspectives

by , Jul 14, 2012 | 1:22 pm

This week we look at two additional companies taking the next step to get licensed for internet gambling in the state of Nevada. Plus, Ray Bitar is out on bail, and William Hill wants social gaming regulated.


Return of Ivey

Former Full Tilter makes WSOP final table, but ...

by , Jun 9, 2012 | 10:36 am

Phil Ivey quietly returned to the World Series of Poker this month after spending a year out of the limelight.

His comeback Friday night was anything but understated.

Ivey, who owns eight World Series of Poker individual event championship bracelets, was in position to win his ninth Friday night at the Rio, reaching the final table of the Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better event.

However, Ivey fell short, finishing seventh and earning $34,595.

More…


Wider World of Poker

Poker Parties, Holdem with Holden, Manila Millions, Euro Manifesto, and a new Full Tilt Hearing.

by , Apr 20, 2012 | 8:54 am

This week I’ve been living under a fluorescent cloud of disease. My ragged immune system fights off the invading malady with slow, but inevitable success, yet despite my ailing health the poker world has rudely continued to turn. I’ve done everything I can to ensure that this news isn’t infectious, but you might want to wash your hands after reading.

Party Poker Premier League Crowns Seiver

An elite gaggle of poker’s most elite players gathered to play in the elite Party Poker Premier League V. An elite tournament featuring an elite $1.6 million prize pool and a $500,000 elite first place prize. The winner was avuncular American Scott Seiver, who bested a final table including Tom Dwan, Sam Trickett, and Patrik Antonius.

After busting out in 7th, record breaking endurance crazy-man Phil Laak hot-footed it over to the Big Game – a 48 hour cash table also organized by those rascals at Party Poker. The Unabomber maintained his reputation for extreme stamina by emerging as the game’s biggest winner with a profit of €160,000. [Poker News]

Sam Holden Existentialism

Just like the rest of you, I’ve spent many sleepless nights wondering what it must be like to be Irish November Niner Sam Holden. Well you need wonder no more. A documentary entitled ‘Being Sam Holden’ is due to air May 2nd in the UK and Ireland, with screenings in the rest of the world scheduled for later in the year. It follows Sam’s trials and tribulations at last year’s World Series where he finished 9th for over $700k. [IFTN]

Manila Millions

Right now in the Philippines, a group of players are battling for the Manila Millions title. A HKD$1,000,000 ($129,000) tournament organized by the Asian Poker Tour. Supposedly among the locals are the likes of Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Johnny Chan, and Sam Trickett.

If you’re lucky, you could catch a glimpse of these pros on the “live stream” airing right now. The feed currently features a group of asian men sitting around a table, with an asian lady commentating in a language I don’t understand. People who’ve been watching it longer than me insist that it’s repeated itself at least once, calling the whole ‘live’ thing into question. I can tell you that they are definitely playing poker, but that’s about as far as I’m willing to go. [WPT Mag]

Stars Beat Table Ratings in Poker Battle

The war against datamining took a big swing in favour of PokerStars this week as they successfully forced tracking site Poker Table Ratings to remove all information scraped from their poker client. For years, players had used PTR to gain information on potential opponents by accessing graphs formed from thousands upon thousands of hands. However, after receiving a cease and desist letter from Stars, PTR have been forced to eradicate a huge chunk of their service. [Part Time Poker]

EGBA Publish EU Manifesto

The European Union is a confusing beast at the best of times. Sometimes a united whole, but more often a loose alliance of countries with wildly conflicting agendas. The approach taken by various EU states to online gambling is an excellent example of the varying philosophies present across the continent. After months of consultation and debate, the European Commission will release an online gaming ‘communication and action plan’ this summer. A trade group for European operators – the European Gaming and Betting Association – have weighed in with their own manifesto, which they no doubt hope will influence the EC’s final decision. [InterGame Online]

AGCC Full Tilt Hearing Scheduledalderney map

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission have announced their plans to hold a public hearing into Full Tilt’s application for a new license. Excuse me if I don’t get overly excited about this one, but the last time I turned up for a public AGCC hearing on an FTP license, I spent a day sitting in a hotel lobby while teams of lawyers debated behind closed doors. Odds are pretty low on Full Tilt’s council once again attempting to argue for a session that takes place ‘in camera’. [Poker News Report]


Flashbacks, Memories, and Lessons Learned

Black Friday anniversary link dump

by , Apr 16, 2012 | 5:35 am

Yesterday marked the anniversary of online poker’s Black Friday. Anyone who ever clicked a raise button remembers the fateful day, and many are reminiscing about how their world changed on April 15, 2011.

Here’s a best-of list of links, tweets and general brooding from over the weekend:

The cold anniversary was, of course, trending on Twitter Twitter hashtag #BlackFriday … From Ben Lamb wondering if anyone would tweet about it to Dan Fleyshman posting this sad picture http://instagr.am/p/JcjU9BJT1C/

The legal landscape

Reminding people they really do represent the players (especially since Black Friday) the PPA urged them to continue to contact their political representatives. http://www.lvrj.com/business/poker-lobbying-group-marks-black-friday-anniversary-147424325.html

As legislators grapple with the future of online poker, Nevada officials want to host the first legal sites. http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-news/13127-black-friday-the-day-that-changed-online-poker

Poker affiliates reflected on lessons learned since being forced to admit that the whims of authorities are a legitimate risk for anyone doing business in a legally gray world. http://www.casinoaffiliateprograms.com/blog/black-friday-lessons-learned/

On the casino side, Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, pushed for amendments to the Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that would “unambiguously eliminate illegal Internet gambling.” http://www.americangaming.org/newsroom/press-releases/statement-on-the-anniversary-of-black-friday

And FairPlay USA has Greg Raymer reminding you to sign their petition while former FBI Director Louis Freeh cites the anniversary of Black Friday as a call for federal action and continue the fine worl of the DOJ. http://fairplayusa.com/blog/fairplayusa%E2%80%99s-judge-louis-freeh-statement-black-friday-anniversary

Meanwhile, lawyers of all stripes took note, with a new class-action lawsuit filed against Full Tilt filed just before any anniversary parties. 
http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/13/45602.htm

Thanks for the memories, DOJ

QuadJacks.com did a special anniversary live podcast, which included “original Black Friday audio.” Ah, the memories.
http://quadjacks.com/poker-radio/

Short-stacked Shamus gives a thorough write-up of the drama to that would befall so many in different ways. http://betting.betfair.com/poker/poker-news/black-friday-one-year-later-130412.html

The folks at Poker News compiled tweets from the dreadful day, including Doyle Brunson’s best tweet: “Now maybe we will see if these online ‘superstars’ can play real poker. Ante up suckers!”  http://www.pokernews.com/news/2012/04/black-friday-chronicles-twitter-reactions-12451.htm

Wicked Chops Insider talked with poker industry leaders about where they were when they heard the news for an oral history of that fateful day (worthy of free distribution). http://insider.wickedchopspoker.com/543/an-oral-history-of-black-friday/

Many pros, like Shane Schleger here, had to share their thoughts and perspective from a day they won’t forget. http://shaniaconline.blogspot.com/2012/04/black-friday-one-year-later.html

Like a moment frozen in time, here’s the original 2+2 Black Friday thread, which received more than 6,000 replies in the first 3 days: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29/news-views-gossip/reuters-full-tilt-poker-pokerstars-absolute-poker-charged-illegal-gambling-1020606/#post26050483

The guys at pokerfuse.com produced a bomb-ass timeline, tracking all the major events since that dark day, including their own birth. http://pokerfuse.com/features/in-depth/one-month-black-friday-timeline/

Michael Gentile, a former online pro, interviewed Poker Players Alliance board member Patrick Fleming to (re)assess the online poker legal landscape in the US. http://pokerfuse.com/features/in-depth/us-legal-landscape-one-year-after-black-friday/

Here’s another sharp timeline at PokerStrategy.com. http://www.pokerstrategy.com/news/world-of-poker/One-Year-Since-Black-Friday:-The-Complete-Timeline_58551/

And another by-the-minute timeline at PokerNews.com. http://www.pokernews.com/news/2012/04/the-black-friday-timeline-one-year-without-online-poker-12445.htm

Poker still has a future

A bunch of pros, like Matt Waxman, told PokerStrategy.com that this year’s WSOP Main Event should hold steady. “It’s like so prestigious and like world renowned, you know, so everybody’s gonna just make it out cause this is the one tournament that like if you’re the guy who plays the nightly home game for 100 bucks, you’re gonna splurge your 10k just so you can play in the main event,” he said. Like riiiight. http://www.pokerstrategy.com/news/world-of-poker/Daily-Rewind-Black-Friday-Anniversary,-New-Gambling-Film,-WSOP-2012-Thoughts_58570/

CalvinAyre.com looked at the companies “making noise” about bringing online poker back to the United States. http://calvinayre.com/2012/04/15/poker/how-to-make-it-in-america/

QuadJacks put out a new music video by Sonny Caine and Dennis Rybaczewski (DRybes) to inspire a little hope for the future.

And our own Dan Michalski summarizes it all as simply a “big, industry changing day” in All In – The Poker Movie, which is available April 24, 2012, on iTunes. http://mashable.com/2012/04/13/online-poker-black-friday/


Wider World of Poker

Jobs at Full Tilt, Isildur's Winnings, Nordica Dies, LIVE in Ireland, and Russian Politics.

by , Apr 10, 2012 | 7:10 am

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. Whether or not you believe in the divinity of Nazareth’s most famous failed carpenter, there’s nothing like a holiday. For other people, that is. While everyone else was outside enjoying the sunshine I remained chained to my laptop, rearranging this jumble of letters until they coalesced into a streamlined summary of last week’s worldwide poker news.

Jobs Posted at Full Tilt Poker

Brace yourselves, everyone. Full Tilt Poker is poised to re-emerge from the ashes like a suspiciously French-looking phoenix. Parent company Pocket Kings are advertising for a handful of new jobs, suggesting that the tarnished online poker site is preparing for a re-launch. At the very least, they must have acquired the money to pay these new employees. Here’s hoping that their budget stretches to refunding jilted players. [Bill Rini]

Isildur Defeats His Nemesis for $1 million

Ever since Viktor Blom began taking on all comers in his SuperStar Showdowns, no one has put up more stubborn resistance than Isaac Haxton. The American had won both of their previous heads-up encounters, so for their third battle the duo decided to add a little extra spice. Both would buy in for $500,000 and nobody would be allowed to leave until one player held all the money. After three days and over 5,000 hands, it was the maniacal Swede who took home the prize. [Poker News]

Russian Gambler Turns to Politics

This is quite a peculiar one, made all the stranger by the language barrier. Online poker player Max Katz has been elected to a position on the municipal council of his hometown. He reportedly funded his campaign with money made from online poker. Katz has yet to record any major live scores and seems to be known as much for staking as for any online prowess. There’s also the small matter of him allegedly providing “ghosting” services to fellow players that spawned one of the many pocket controversies on 2+2. [Telegraph]

Poker Nordica is No More

Poker sites come and go, but it’s never a happy occurrence. The latest to bow out is Poker Nordica, a solid member of the Merge network. Players began receiving messages on March 30th announcing the imminent closure of the site and, in the wake of Full Tilt, will have be worried about getting their money back. Nordica are paying out only in cheques, which means that withdrawals under $100 cannot be processed. You can, however, move your money to one of the many other Merge Network sites. Any cash left floating around in Nordica’s coffers after May 1st will be lost forever [Poker News Daily]

Successful Start for iSeriesLIVE

After a well-hyped build up, the iSeriesLIVE finally made its debut on Thursday night. For the uninformed, it was a live-streamed single table tournament with visible hole-cards, which allowed players to bet on the action as it played out. I watched the whole show and thought it went down pretty well. It’s impossible to say exactly how profitable it was from a business perspective, but a mix of noisy old-guard and interesting new-players made for an entertaining spectator sport. The eventual victor was James Dempsey, who already has WSOP and WPT titles to his name. [Poker News]

Irish Open Pays Out to Belgium

The iSeries took place in Dublin, which just so happened to be the venue for the 2012 Irish Open. As host to one of the oldest series in the world, Ireland has a good track record of attracting the poker establishment. Also there’s lots of Guinness, which helps. The main event was won by Beligian pro Kevin Vandersmissen, who pulled the old ‘chip and a chair’ routine at the final table. [Poker News Report]

With that, I’m off to drown myself in the huge piles of chocolate which have mysteriously appeared in my apartment. A significantly heavier version of me will be back next week with another Wider World of Poker.


Wider World of Poker

Spain and Bulgaria get legal, Italians play, Haxton triumphs, Partouche expands, and Full Tilt negotiate.

by , Mar 16, 2012 | 5:59 am

Isn’t the media weird? This week, my Prime Minister was left to wander the United States being posh. Luckily Barack caught up with him before he ensnared any commoners and the pair seem to have had a jolly old time. Most notably, watching basketball games while manoeuvring disturbingly yellow hot dogs into their faces.

In fact, the trip has been so void of substance that the BBC ran a report detailing how the U.S. press have had nothing to report. I expect the New York Times to respond with an even more self-reflexive story about the BBC and so on, until every media outlet only runs articles that detail what other outlets are not saying about what isn’t going on. Don’t fret, however. This faithful journalist will stick purely to the finest cuts of poker news, as this opening paragraph surely indicates.

Full Tilt and Tapie To Tie Up Tryst?

The rumour mill informs us that Full Tilt and Group Bernard Tapie have nearly finished thrashing out a deal to relaunch the tarnished site. We’ve experienced plenty of false dawns before, so don’t get out your party hats just yet. That said, Gaming Intelligence are reporting a deadline of today (March 16th) is in place, so we should know pretty soon whether or not to start laying out the celebratory buffet. [Part Time Poker]

Haxton Wins Again

The much anticipated rematch between Isaac Haxton and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom stumbled its way to completion earlier this week. As part of the PokerStars SuperStar Showdown the famously volatile Swede has been taking on, and beating, all comers. Haxton was one of the few to have bested him and proved the victor once again as they reunited. After 2500 hands, Isaac’s margin of victory was a slender $5,093. [Card Player]

Partouche Invasion

Typical! The Prime Minister leaves the country and the next thing you know, the French are invading our sovereign internet. Partouche – one of the big players in France’s insular gaming market – have got themselves a license from Malta and are planning to launch themselves on a handful of foreign countries, including the UK. Online sportsbook France-Pari are also getting in on the act. [Gambling Kingz]

Bulgaria & Online Gambling’s Love/Hate Relationship

Regulated online gambling is on its way to Bulgaria, with the local government hammering out the details of the country’s first Gambling Bill. Great news for Martenitsa-wearing poker players everywhere. However, the Bulgarian government clearly believe in maintaining a cosmic equilibrium, having first introduced legislation requiring ISPs to block all unlicensed sites. Given that it is not yet possible to acquire licenses, that black list would include just about everyone. [Novinite]

Spain Deny Early Licences

While we’re talking about licenses that don’t exist, let’s hop over to the other side of Europe for some tapas. With regulated online gambling almost upon the Spanish, there are rumours that some companies have had their license applications secretly pre-approved. Gaming regulator Enrique Alejo denies it. “Good progress had been made,” he told a journalist, before adding “oh look, a Spanish Imperial Eagle,” while stuffing large quantities of paper into a briefcase*. [Poker Fuse]

Italy a Hotbed of Euro-Poker 

If you’re looking for lots of online poker games in Europe, your best bet is to seek out the country shaped most like a piece of footwear. No other nation on the continent draws in as much cash from online poker, although the practice still pails in comparison to the buzzing, flashing gaming machines that pepper non-digital Italy. [Market Watch]

*Some of that last sentence may not be 100% factually accurate.


Wider World of Poker

Worldwide money, Asian money, Full Tilt money, Isildur's money, ShuffleMaster's money, and the WSOPE

by , Mar 9, 2012 | 8:03 am

Money money money. It makes the world go round. Without it there would be no trees or air, all pigs would immediately expire, and tomatoes would turn blue. I think that’s right. Anyway, if you’re a fan of money, keep your eyes glued to this webpage because there’s a lot it floating about.

Worldwide Gambling Bonanza

Every click, stick, twist, and spin from last year has been totalled up and the results are in. The planet Earth generated $419 billion in gambling revenue, according to Global Betting and Gaming Consultants. Poker, in particular the online variety, makes up a very small component of that figure, but I don’t think it would be going out on a limb to suggest that the U.S. getting their regulatory act together might nudge it further up the list. [OnlinePoker.net]

UK Investors in for Full Tilt

After riding into the breach on a white stallion, Groupe Bernard Tapie appear to have stopped for a picnic. In case they decide to stay where they are and play Frisbee for a while, a UK private equity firm is poised to purchase Full Tilt’s old poker software. Please note, that means only the software and nothing else. They have no interest in reopening Full Tilt and are very unlikely to cover the site’s debts. That said, you would hope that the $35 million estimated price for the client would filter back into the pockets of jilted Full Tilt customers. I’m sure we can totally trust them, right? [Gaming Awards]

WSOPE 2012 Unveils Itself

I am still seething from when Caesars’ cruelly ripped the World Series of Poker Europe from my beloved London and gave it to the French, of all people. As difficult as it is to believe, the Gauls apparently did a good job last year. At any rate, the event is heading back to Cannes from September 21 to October 4 at the Casino Barrière de Cannes Croisette and the Hôtel Majestic Barrière. There will be seven bracelet events in total, including the €10,450 Main Event. [ESPN]

Haxton vs. Isildur

I think these SuperStar Showdown things are really good fun. For the most part, internet sensation Viktor “Isildur1” Blom has outmatched the gamut of famous grinders laid before him, but this weekend’s re-match features one of his few failures. Isaac Haxton, him of the stylish glasses and funny voice, will be sitting down to play four tables of $50/$100 NLHE this Sunday. [Card Player]

Shuffle Master Buys OnGame

Failed Transformer ShuffleMaster has decided to dip his toe into the world of online gambling by purchasing the vacant OnGame network. What? Oh, apparently Shuffle Master make card shuffling machines. Anyway, since forming their unholy union last year, bwin.party have been trying hard to offload their spare network. They’ve finally managed to shift it in a deal worth €19.5 million, plus an extra €10 million if online gambling is legalized in the U.S. within 5 years. [Poker News]

Keeping it Illegal in Asia

China is well on its way to becoming the world’s largest economy and even if gambling isn’t an explicit part of their financial system, it has built itself a huge underground following. Global Betting and Gaming Consultants estimate that illegal gambling in the country is worth $15bn to $18bn. [Intergame Online]

Meanwhile in Indonesia, gambling online means risking a lot more than your bankroll. Under the infamously harsh Sharia law, those caught wagering can be whipped up to 100 times. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Mafia bosses, accustomed to taking a big cut of all illicit gambling in the country, are putting pressure on online sites to shut down their operations. [Gaming Zion]

Phew, that was a big one. I’m going to lie down until next week.


PPA on Full Tilt-Tapie Deal, DOJ Reminder about Player Funds

Update from Rich Muny, VP of Player Relations

by , Oct 11, 2011 | 12:56 am

The big news last week, of course, was the signing of the acquisition agreement between Groupe Bernard Tapie and Full Tilt Poker. Player repayment is being promised by the parties involved. Here is a quote from a Washington Post article on the matter:

Full Tilt said the agreement includes a plan to repay balances of players worldwide who haven’t had access to their gambling funds since April.

Needless to say, it is my hope that we all get repaid in full as soon as possible. More specifically, it is my hope that the Justice Department will, once obtaining iron-clad guarantees of repayment from any party wishing to purchase Full Tilt Poker, work to fast-track settlement of all outstanding issues. As the DoJ has identified players as the victims in all of this, I expect they will welcome a settlement that addresses player restitution.

For more on this issue:





Where is the Collective Outrage?

When I looked at the numbers, I had to re-evaluate

by , Oct 3, 2011 | 8:00 am

tom schneider political humor

Tom Schneider


OP-ED

Ed. Note:  Shortly after Tom wrote this piece, the AGCC revealed that some $330 million had been seized pre-Black Friday. I sent an email asking if this changed the math, to which Tom replied, “That’s almost all that they owed to players, just short $60 million which is purportedly what they had in the bank.  Makes my case even stronger.”


Just yesterday, I heard the news that the Department of Justice accused Full Tilt Poker of running a Ponzi scheme.  A Ponzi scheme is defined as a pyramid investment swindle in which supposed profits are paid to early investors from money actually invested by later participants.

I object your honor.  Taking money I deposit and distributing it to owners is no Ponzi scheme.  But wait, let’s look at some facts/guesses.

Had our politicians not passed a law that restricted financial institutions from transferring money to and from poker sites, all players would still have their money. 

In reviewing the DOJ complaint and other sources, the following information jumped out at me:

Money owed to players  ($390 million)
Cash on Hand, Seized or Frozen Cash, Deposits not Received From Players
Money seized by US Government $115 million
Deposits not received from players* $180 million
Money frozen by banks $42 million
Money in Full Tilt bank accounts $60 million
$397 million
Shortfall to pay account holders None/Zip/No Shortfall

More…


DOJ Adds Lederer, Ferguson, Furst to Online Poker Civil Complaint

Feds call FTP a ponzi scheme, may or may not be listening to QuadJacks

by , Sep 20, 2011 | 5:05 pm

So much to say on this latest development … which has two former “heroes” of poker on the front page of CNN for their involvement with criminal activity. About to go on QuadJacks to discuss it live.

full tilt doj chris ferguson howard lederer cnn

In the meantime, and while you’re listening, here’s the DOJ press release that calls Full Tilt Poker a $440 million Ponzi scheme.

And here’s the actual crime novel of the DOJ-SDNY’s proposed amendment to the complaint.

And read below for a statement from the PPA, calling on the DOJ not to forget about the players as they continue to shut it all down.

More…


LOL: Poker-ishy Domain Name Expiring

by , Sep 3, 2011 | 5:45 am

A lot of you know the addictive nature of buying web domains. It’s a phase young web-maestros go through when we realize, heck, it’s just $8 … but then, after buying several dozen we realize, shit, unless we wanna get in on Dutch Boyd’s action, there’s not exactly much value in squatting on web domains with no plan for development. Then we go a year forgetting to click off the auto-renew before eventually we say “enough!” and decide to take our chance on life without possession of yet another (incredibly clever) URL.

godaddy domain renewal
GoDaddy has been a strong supporter of poker and poker bloggers with not-so-inexpensive domain-buying habits for years.

So I’m lettin this one go — WSOPolitics.com — it’s expired and I’m not gonna renew. It was a brilliant idea ahead of its time Not sure what I was thinking, duh … so let the bidding war begin? In lieu of an option to “buy-it-now”, I’ll consider trading the web property for up to $50k on Full Tilt or the magic green dice on Zynga.

UPDATE: Ooh, pokerishy.com is available, too! Who wants it?