Posts Tagged ‘poker economy’

2 Months, 250 Million*

Pokerati datamine: 722 summer tournaments bring biggish bucks to Vegas

by , Sep 17, 2013 | 2:08 am

Summer poker tournaments in Las Vegas generate nearly a quarter-billion dollars worth of prize money, Pokerati data crunchers have found. (Thanks Thea in the Philippines!)

It really is about more than just the World Series. Sure the tournament brand proudly owned by Caesars Interactive may have started it all, but now you’ve got Venetian Deep Stacks, the Wynn Classic, Binion’s Classic, Aria Classic, Rio Deep Stacks, Caesars Megastacks, Bellagio Cup … the list goes on … but all are competing for players, and apparently all you need is a casino property and a poker cliche … and maybe 110-degree weather outside, and voila — tournament success awaits!

LOLs notwithstanding, to better understand the impact of live events on the poker economy, and to assess the scope of WSOP and non-WSOP summertime Vegas action, we looked at 13 different series(es?) held at 10 different casino properties from mid-May through mid July … accounting for 722 tournaments total, nearly 230,000 entries (not to be confused with number of players) … making for more than 1,000 tournament days (whoa, that’s a lotta staff somebody’s gotta manage) in just one city.

And upon looking a little deeper (scroll horizontally) we found how:

  • Caesars clearly dominates across low, middle, and high stakes tournament levels — with the 312 tournaments they operate accounting for 43 percent of the action we looked at, but 88 percent of the available prize pools
  • Bellagio tourneys may be in a different league of high-dollar play, but even with WPT-branded events, total prize pools under MGM Resorts’ umbrella tally a relatively paltry $10 million
  • Venetian held 212 tournaments, with some 32,000 entries generating about $14 million in prize money (after raking about 14 percent)
  • With an average buy-in of $185, Rio Deepstacks accounted for 70,000 tournament entries, and $12 million in prize money
  • The Hollywood Poker Open was notable, but probably also an outlier; still, might this one-off just before the WSOP main event reveal a possible a soft spot in the tournament economy at the $2,500 level in late June?

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Strip Casinos See Revenue Bump

Wall Street analysts still not impressed

by , Jul 17, 2013 | 6:53 am

What seemed like a positive sign — a 6.39 percent increase in Strip gaming revenues during May — was downplayed by Wall Street Thursday.

After delving deep into the results, several analysts termed the month a disappointment.

“This is a decent headline number for the Strip, in our view, but driven by a mostly favorable table game hold results versus a year ago, and not volumes,” JP Morgan gaming analyst Joe Greff told investors.

Nevada gaming revenues grew 1.37 percent in May, to $897.2 million, the Gaming Control Board said Thursday. The increase followed a flat revenue month in April and two straight monthly increases in February and March.

On the Strip, gaming revenues hit $505.4 million.

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History of Nevada Poker Revenues

[Graph] UNLV research reveals timeline for boom and recession of game

by , Mar 27, 2013 | 4:26 pm

UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research put out some data collected from NGCB’s Gaming Revenue Reports that paints a rather interesting picture of the poker world over the past 20 years. The chart you can see here — showing the number of poker rooms, the number of tables, and total rake — pretty much tells the story of poker … and I couldn’t help but want to graph it!

History of NV poker revs

What I’m not sure of is whether or not these numbers include tournament entry fees or represent only cash game collections. But either way, even with the WSOP finding creative ways to report definitive growth year over year, I’m fairly certain the shape of both graphs would look pretty much the same.


Let Texans Answer Our Own Gambling Question

Oklahoma has been outplaying the Lone Star State for too long

by , Oct 14, 2012 | 6:05 am


John T. Montford


OP-ED

Our state was founded by men and women who exhibited fierce independence and self-determination. These values are manifested in our limited approach to state government and the belief that if you have a dream or an idea, Texas’ friendly business climate will provide the fertile ground to grow it. Over the past few years, Texas has been the national leader in job growth and economic development. Folks are flocking to Texas from other states with their dreams in tow. Unfortunately, there is one issue where we’re being outsmarted by our neighbors.

Anyone who has read the Austin American-Statesman lately knows illegal gaming has become a big industry in Texas. We have closed our eyes and allowed illegal “eight-liners” to run rampant across Texas – some within just a few miles of our Capitol. The issue is not whether Texans are gambling — they are — but whether we will reap the economic benefits of it.

Expanded gaming is by no means a cure-all fix, and no one is proposing a casino on every corner, but it’s a private enterprise with proven economic results without the need for government subsidies or handouts.

Each year our fellow Texans spend more than $2.5 billion in strategically placed, just-across-the-border gaming facilities in Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico. That includes $1 billion in Oklahoma, alone. Simply put, Texans are creating jobs and paying for schools, firefighters and other infrastructure needs across our borders. Texas is getting fleeced by our neighbors. I firmly believe that bringing back the billions of dollars that are leaving Texas and going to our neighbor states is a service to our state. The Legislature should let us vote to stop it.

I’m not alone in this belief. Poll after poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Texas voters, regardless of political party or geographic region, believe that Texans are smart enough to decide this issue. For those who believe that gambling is morally wrong, I respectfully ask: Doesn’t it make more sense to regulate an activity that good Texans are already doing in huge numbers?

Our willful blindness on this issue has also devastated the homegrown Texas horse industry. Texas should be the national epicenter of ranching and agriculture but the thoroughbred and quarter horse breeders have all but left the state for greener pastures in states where purses are enhanced with gaming proceeds. We can’t even play Texas Hold ’em at our racetracks, while a once proud part of our ranching and agricultural heritage crumbles.

The potential benefits to our economy are huge. Depending on the specifics, expanded gaming could create 75,000 permanent jobs in 40 different sectors of the economy, and it would bring several billion dollars in economic development to Texas. Gaming can be a profitable industry no different than manufacturing, agriculture, energy or technology, that will allow Texas to expand its tax base and contribute toward our needs — whether it is schools, water resources or property tax relief. Expanded gaming is by no means a cure-all fix, and no one is proposing a casino on every corner, but it’s a private enterprise with proven economic results without the need for government subsidies or handouts.

The numbers appeal to the part of me that spent many sleepless nights at the Capitol wrangling and squeezing the state budget for every last dollar and wondering how to grow our economy without raising taxes. But guess what? The gaming interests in our neighboring states are shrewd. They have gone to financial extremes to protect their Texas revenue stream. Since 2008, gaming interests in neighboring states (mostly Oklahoma) have poured about $2 million in political contributions into Texas trying to influence our state politics. They will stop at nothing to defeat the issue at the ballot box.

Texans are smart enough to decide this issue in a statewide referendum and the Legislature has the power to make that happen. For me, this issue comes down to a pretty simple question: Are you for Texas, or are you for Oklahoma?

It’s time to Let Texans Decide.


John T. Montford is a former marine, district attorney, state senator, and chancellor to Texas Tech University. This op-ed originally appeared in the Austin American-Statesmen.


Zynga Watch: Poker Economy Fertilizer?

Re: World Series of Farmville?

by , Oct 8, 2012 | 1:43 pm

Zynga’s stock may be continuing to tank, but I still tend to believe the company is likely to be a major player in the future of online gaming — if only because of the number of poker media with whom I regularly play Scramble with Friends.

But while still reserving my right to make a complete 180 on the above assessment, I’ve been seeing some new pimpage lately (by the #1 purveyors of digital gaming for anyone age 13 or older) that suggests we may have been on to something when passing off a cheap joke about the convergence of online poker and virtual farming.

poker farmville world series zynga

What do you think? Is Zynga more interested in redistributing poker monies to Farmville in an effort to keep their once glorious game of agribusiness alive and well, or vice versa — more interested in using their newest Farmville release to grow a new generation of future gamblers real-money social gaming players?


Re: The Ultimate Who’s Who of Poker

Who'd be playing One Drop pre-Black Friday?

by , Jul 1, 2012 | 8:03 pm

We’ve gotta move on from all this talk of Black Friday, I know … it was nearly a year and a half ago, and we’ll be hearing about its cases moving forward in various capacities probably for another 2+ years.n But if the million-dollar buy-in tournament without certain people does indeed kick off a new era in poker — a hypothesis I’m currently formulating from the mothership — then consider this a farewell to economic powerhouses in the industry who suddenly aren’t, as you can tell by their absence.

The question’s in the subhed … Who would probably be playing in a million-dollar buy-in tournament (who currently is not) were this tournament being held in 2010? I’ll start off with whom I’d put on my list … we’re gonna presume the cap wouldn’t be at 48 either … 64 maybe, or 72 or even 96, but we can start there — on assumption without fact that the WSOP woulda made this thing a little bigger had they counted on the likes of:

Howard Lederer
Andy Bloch
Chris Ferguson
Full Tilt Qualifier and/or PokerStars Qualifier
Tony G
Doyle Brunson
Scott Tom (?)

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One Drop Investor Edition: Volume Two

Dan Shak and Bob Bright

by , | 5:42 pm

The million dollar One Drop event has attracted its fair share of professional poker players. But it has also attracted some notable professionals from the investment world. In our One Drop Investor Edition: Volume One, we profiled David Einhorn. In Volume Two, we profile two more investors — with strong poker credentials.

Dan Shak after winning the 2010 Aussie Millions High-Roller event (picture via PokerNews)

Dan Shak
Investment Style: Go Big or Go Home

Dan Shak’s hedge fund SHK Asset Management doesn’t play small ball. According to the Wall Street Journal, at one point Shak owned gold futures contracts valued at $850 million or the equivalent to South Africa’s entire gold production for a year.

But in January 2011, the market turned on a dime, and Shak was forced to liquidate his position for a $7 million loss. Although lately, Shak has made the news for reasons other than investing and poker.

As Dan noted recently, Shak is now suing his ex-wife Beth over her million dollar shoe collection. Since he had no trouble coughing up the $1 million buy-in for One Drop, I suspect Shak’s lawsuit has more to do with publicizing Beth’s new shoe venture than getting a piece of her Christian Louboutins.

Of all the investors taking the One Drop field, Shak clearly has the most WSOP experience. He’s cashed 15 times in WSOP events, five of them occurring in this year’s series. He also took out Phil Ivey heads-up to win the 2010 High Roller event at the Aussie Millions.

Bob Bright during the 2006 WSOP $2000 NLHE event

Bob Bright
Investment Style: Small Ball

Day traders are the grinders of the investment world. They don’t swing for the fences. Instead, they try to reduce day-to-day market risk with trading techniques that let them advance just one base at a time. Pushing this baseball metaphor, Bob Bright is a day trading coach and manager.

Bright Trading has more than 40 locations where day traders are coached and mentored in proprietary risk reducing techniques. In the solitary world of trading, Bright Trading offers them a supportive community as they navigate their game of inches.

Bright Trading and Bob Bright are based in Las Vegas. And Bob Bright has always loved poker. His earliest cashes date back to 1990, when he cashed in both low ball and razz at the Hall of Fame Poker Classic. His biggest score was a third place finish in the 2006 WSOP $2,000 no limit event.

More Bright poker trivia: In 2008, Bright allowed professional poker player Brandon Adams to trade at Bright in exchange for poker coaching.  As this 2+2 thread details, Adams dropped a hefty bankroll on some speculative trades. Hopefully Bright got more out of the poker lessons.


The Ultimate Who’s Who of Poker

List of players in One Drop million-dollar tournament

by , | 4:10 pm

Here’s the cut-and-pasteable list everybody cares about — who’s playing, and where on earth their money could’ve come from. Is it racist of me to automatically be scared of the Russian businessman without even Googling him? And is it racist of the WSOP to refer to anyone as just an “Asian Businessman”? I’m guessing not really when both words are technically accurate and reveal the only things that really matter to a guy like Black American Professional Poker Gambler Phil Ivey …

1. Bobby Baldwin — Chief Design and Construction Officer, MGM Resorts Intl. (Las Vegas, NV)
2. Frederic Banjout — CEO, Eden Shoes (Paris, France)
3. Bob Bright — CEO, Bright Trading, LLC (Las Vegas, NV)
4. Ilya Bulchev — Businessman (Moscow, Russia)
5. Roland De Wolfe — Professional Poker Player (London, England)
6. Tom Dwan — Professional Poker Player (Edison, NJ)
7. Jonathan Duhamel — Professional Poker Player (Montreal, QC, Canada)
8. David Einhorn — U.S. Hedge Fund Manager (Rye, New York)
9. Antonio Esfandiari — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
10. Phil Galfond — Professional Poker Player (Potomac, MD)
11. Bertrand Grospellier — Professional Poker Player (Paris France)
12. Philipp Gruissem — Professional Poker Player (Germany)
13. Giovanni Guarascio — Businessman (Montreal, Canada)
14. Phil Ivey — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
15. Eugene Katchalov — Professional Poker Player (New York, NY)
16. Cary Katz — CEO, College Loan Corporation (Las Vegas, NV)
17. Jens Kyllönen — Professional Poker Player (Finland)
18. Guy Laliberté — Founder, Cirque du Soleil (Montreal, QC, Canada)
19. Ben Lamb — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
20. Tom Marchese — Professional Poker Player (Parsippanny, NJ)
21. Jason Mercier — Professional Poker Player (Davie, FL)
22. Michael Mizrachi — Professional Poker Player (Miami, FL)
23. John Morgan — CEO, Winmark Corporation (Minneapolis, MN)
24. Daniel Negreanu — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
25. Paul Newey — Chairman, New Wave Ventures (Dorset, United Kingdom)
26. Chamath Palihapitiya — Venture Capitalist (Burlingame, CA)
27. Bill Perkins — Owner, Small Ventures (Private Equity), (Houston, TX)
28. Paul Phua — Asian Businessman (Miri, Malaysia)
29. Brian Rast — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
30. Vivek Rajkumar — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
31. Tobias Reinkemeier — Professional Poker Player (Brighton, Germany)
32. Andrew Robl — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
33. Phil Ruffin — Owner, Treasure Island Resort (Las Vegas, NV)
34. Rick Salomon — Film Producer (Los Angeles, CA)
35. Nick Schulman — Professional Poker Player (New York, NY)
36. Noah Schwartz — Professional Poker Player (Miami, FL)
37. Erik Seidel — Professional Poker Player (Las Vegas, NV)
38. Mike Sexton — Professional Poker Player/Commentator (Las Vegas, NV)
39. Dan Shak — Founder, SHK Asset Management (Philadelphia, PA)
40. Talal Shakerchi — European Hedge Fund Manager (Surrey, England)
41. Mikhail Smirnov — Businessman/Poker Player (Moscow, Russia)
42. Justin Smith — Professional Poker Player (Los Angeles, CA)
43. Brandon Steven — Businessman/Car Dealer Owner (Wichita, KS)
44. Sam Trickett — Professional Poker Player (East Retford, England)
45. Haralabos Voulgaris — Professional Sports Handicapper (Winnipeg, Canada), (Lotto seat)
46. Richard Yong — Asian Businessman (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
47. Gus Hansen — $25,300 Mega Satellite – June 30 at Rio — Professional Poker Player, Denmark
48. Phil Hellmuth — MGM Resorts International VIP winner — June 30, Palo Alto, CA


Nevada Gaming Revenues Continue Shaky Rise

by , Jun 13, 2012 | 6:38 pm

Nevada gambling revenues rose more than 6.1 percent in April, to $855.7 million, compared with the same month last year, the state Gaming Control Board announced Tuesday.

The single-digit increase was a return to the plus side after a 10.8 percent decline in March.

The state posted revenue increases of 5.7 percent in February and 18.4 percent in January, according to figures compiled by Nevada gaming regulators.

Analysts described the results as mixed, with high-end games returning strong results while table games and slots that appeal to a mass market were down for the month.

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New New Jersey Poker

Sneak peek at new Revel poker room in AC

by , Mar 25, 2012 | 11:23 pm

Every once in a while we remember there are poker room developments of note in places other than Vegas and that New Jersey still has poker. The Golden Nugget opened their AC joint last month to Jersey-ish fanfare … but the room that really has people buzzing is at the new Revel Casino, which best I can tell is a $2.4 billion knockoff of Aria (and maybe all of City Center) — and the new hope for Atlantic City casino industry recovery.

They’re having a soft opening April 2. Special thanks to Pokeratizen Darren in Millville for pics the entire Eastern time zone has apparently been clamoring to see:

Revel Poker Atlantic City Poker Atlantic City Revel

click to enlarge


Sports Booking a Win

Nevada sees uptick in Super Bowl action

by , Feb 8, 2012 | 12:33 pm

Not so pokery but when you think about kinda-sorta it really is … Nevada Gaming put out their latest sports betting data on Super Bowl wagers, showing $94 million bet in Nevada’s 184 sportsbooks — significant growth over previous year(s) … with the house actually finishing $5 million on the upside (suckers) this go-round. Though GOPers who just rolled through Las Vegas might want to believe otherwise … some economists (aka my old roommate Sang, who happens to be uber-conservative but otherwise really smart) believe this could be yet another indicator of Vegas recovery, fortuitous for a national economy likely to follow.

Though I’m sure plenty will disagree with the above analysis, I’ll take the upward Super Bowl trend for Nevada sports books as a win.

Meanwhile, semi-related but not really, Delaware is looking into how the new DOJ Wire Act interpretation (heralded by online poker types) could actually help the state offer more-better sports betting options to the masses via the internet.


Trump Forms Partnership in Preparation for US Online Gambling

Could his brand really be bigger than the WSOP?

by , Oct 24, 2011 | 12:26 pm

joan rivers donald trump

Joan Rivers’ nemesis’ brother’s online poker company could learn a lot from Trump about how to run a company into the ground and still be rich.

Oh yeah, and now Donald Trump wants in on online poker … should the Feds re-legalize it anytime soon. He’s apparently partnered with New York hedge fund manager Marc Lasry with the intent of entering into the online gambling space as soon as the US opens the hatch.

Not a surprise. Trump got in, then out, of poker early in the boom (remember the US Poker Championships in Atlantic City?). That was a few years before Joan Rivers beat Annie Duke heads-up on Celebrity Apprentice. Trump’s 29-year-old daughter, Ivanka, explains the partnership as Trump Entertainment contributing the gambling licenses, Lasry putting up the capital, and The Donald offering his name and likeness to recruit future players.

“In terms of the Internet, brand is essential toward attracting players,” Ivanka told Business Week. “The Trump brand would be the most powerful one in this space.”

(h/t @TheWookieWay. NOTE: DonaldPoker.com is available should anyone wanna gamble $8 that such a URL might become the most powerful domain in poker.)


The Future of Online Poker (as per the AGA)

Pokerati: Unpublished

by , Sep 28, 2011 | 4:59 pm

The 11th annual Global Gaming Expo kicks off next week in a new location, the Sands Convention Center, in Las Vegas. Of all the gaming expos worldwide (there seem to be about two a month these days) G2E is one of the big ones (if not THE big one) … not just for vendors hawking comfortable casino seats and slot-machine rides, but also for the sessions in which casino industry leaders gather to chat about everything from gaming technology to online regulation to Indian nations to rewards programs.

Check out the lineup for G2E ’11 here.

Just got the press release about what AGA/G2E chief Frank Fahrenkopf plans to speak on in his media address: (Yay. Looking forward to it.)

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE CASINO INDUSTRY, ONLINE POKER TO BE
KEY TOPICS AT FAHRENKOPF’S ANNUAL G2E MEDIA BRIEFING

Preliminary Topline Results of Major Economic Impact Study to be Unveiled

Also got word that this year G2E has very clear “no audio or video recording” rules for their extra-informative sessions. (Crap, there go Pokerati’s plans for recording as many as possible and sharing them with you and others who didn’t pay to attend.)

Either that wasn’t policy last year or I mighta missed the memo. (Oops?)

From Pokerati’s vast archive of yet-to-be-seen-or-heard content … have a listen to Fahrenkop’s 2010 G2E media pow-wow. And hear, now with the benefit of hindsight, what the AGA leader had to say about how some wanted to work with (or against) online poker sites such as Full Tilt and PokerStars … and what the vision was (and presumably still is) for a combination of state and federal regulations being the future path for legalized online gambling in the US.

AGA’s “new reality” (circa 2010): 1. Doing the Macau-rena; 2. “Hey Harry, pull my finger!”; 3. Poker (only) face.

MEDIA BRIEFING: Frank Fahrenkopf at 2010 G2E
40:22

[audio:http://pokerati.com/av/Fahrenkopf-G2E-X.mp3]

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Doyle Brunson to Skip Main Event

by , Jul 4, 2011 | 5:17 am

He said it on Twitter so it’s gotta be true …

Doyle Brunson@TexDolly
No main event for me.maybe the DOJ will stake me.
1:10 AM Jul 4th via Twitter for iPhone

Less than a half hour earlier Brunson tweeted:

Doyle Brunson@TexDolly
Busted… Total nightmare… Goodbye WSOP
12:42 AM Jul 4th via Twitter for iPhone

… which seems about as long as it might take to come up with such a jab at the DOJ.

UPDATE: He changed his mind.

Still looking to get confirmation on how many main events Brunson has missed before. Many seem to recall his sitting out for a few years in the ’80s — as do I — but have yet to find any definitive source on where he stands in the record books for total number of WSOP main events, consecutive or otherwise.

Brunson joins a growing list of prominent big-money pros who have publicly declared their intent to sit out the 2011 WSOP, along with big-money Full Tilters who have gone silent amid severe legal and financial difficulties and thus are expected to be no-shows.

Doyle Brunson
Phil Ivey
Tony G
Howard Lederer
Chris Ferguson

Am I missing anyone? I mean other than Russ Hamilton …


OP-ED: ZyngaPoker Pro or Con

Assessing the impact of a Facebook game’s arrival in Las Vegas

by , Mar 27, 2011 | 5:19 pm

Jon Katkin


The Poker Economy


A lot of things have changed in the poker world since the Zynga PokerCon ended here in Las Vegas last Saturday. Partnerships have been approved (Caesars/888), announced (PokerStars/Wynn) and speculated upon (Full Tilt/Station Casinos). Legislation surrounding the legalization of online poker has been introduced and debated in various jurisdictions around the country and, I’m pretty sure that Erik Seidel won another high-stakes tournament somewhere in the world.

In short, it’s been a pretty busy week. And yet, with everything going on – or perhaps, because of it – I still find myself puzzling over Zynga’s potential role as a player in the post-regulation poker economy.

For those of you still unfamiliar with Zynga, they bill themselves as the largest online poker room in the world with a database of approximately 38 million players who compete for chips and tokens that have value only within the confines of Zynga’s proprietary system. In other words, Zynga is a play money site in the truest definition of the word. And yet, they came to Las Vegas last weekend to hold a live event for their fans and players.

Zynga has something every major real money site is looking for: players who have yet to make an initial deposit online. Would Zynga really stay out of real money gaming if someone came along with a partnership offer they couldn’t refuse? I don’t think so.

Populated by attendees who either won or bought their way into the event through Zynga’s site, the two-day conference was an interesting mix of Zynga players and industry insiders who were looking for information on this most mysterious of potential competitors or, perhaps, partners. I can’t speak for anyone else at the conference, but I have to admit that I walked away from the event with no clear answers.

As a fan event, I have to say the PokerCon was a success. For the cost of a $125 entry, Zynga’s players received professional instruction from Annie Duke and a plethora of other name pros, the chance to meet legends like Doyle Brunson and Mike Sexton, free food and drink at a Zynga-sponsored party, and a seat in a $100K tournament with a guaranteed payout of $26,000 to the winner. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

As a “coming out party” for Zynga Poker, however, I can’t say I was as impressed.

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