A wise person once said, “money is very important in poker.” That was me. I said that. You might have thought, with your steam-powered brain, that this nugget concerned only towers of plastic chips being shuffled around in a million simultaneous cash games. Simpleton! Even away from the felt, fiscal forces buffet the poker industry, as we shall shortly see in this week’s Wider World of Poker.
Spanish Money Grab
I imagine that many of you have spent hours telling various friends why it would be a good idea for the U.S. government to legalize online poker. So fish out that tattered sheet of arguments and remind yourself of example 3.5: tax revenue.
The equation simply goes, if you allow online poker companies to operate in your country, you can generate piles of money and make a lot people happy. A manoeuvre hitherto considered impossible.
Cash-strapped Spain have taken this a step further. In anticipation of granting their first official licenses, Iberian authorities have suddenly decided to demand back taxes from all companies who were operating in the country from January 2009 to May 2011. The legal bedrock for these demands come from repurposing two old laws, created in the 60s and 70s. [Tax News]
Aussies Get Legal
With a glacial pace that befits government, country after country are laying the groundwork for their own regulated online gambling industry. Latest to fall into line are our friendly cousins from downstairs, the Australians. It’s all still rumour at the moment, but important people with fancy job titles are suggesting that regulations for online poker and in-play sports betting could become a reality in 6-12 months. [Daily Telegraph (AU)]
Grippo Grabs SCOOP Title
The Spring Championship of Online Poker is over, a tradition used to mark the beginning of Summer since the ancient Egyptians invented multitabling. The victor of victors was Nick “GripsDsNutz” Grippo. He took down the $10,000 Main Event – the most expensive selection from three different buy-in tiers. His prize was around $800,000, earned not only by great play, but also a savvy piece of negotiation. Rich Ryan over at PokerNews has a great breakdown of how Grippo managed to walk away from a three-way deal with $100,000 in bonus equity. [Poker News]
40K Sit & Go Challenge
When sites like PokerStars announce that they’ve passed their seventy twentieth billionthty hand, it’s difficult to process just how vast that volume really is. With data collected over such a large spread of time that’s to be expected, but I never thought I’d have trouble comprehending the amount of poker one man plans plays in a single month.
Nevertheless that’s how I felt while hearing about Martin “phasE89” Balaz’s decision to play 40,000 Sit & Go tournaments in 30 days. The Czech pro has form in this seemingly insane arena, have previously completed a 24,000 SnG prop bet. I’m definitely pulling for him, if only thanks to the brilliantly grandiose trailer that he and a friend put together to advertise the challenge. That, and when PokerNews asked why he was doing it, he said, “I like popularity.” I can get behind that kind of honesty. [Poker News]
PokerStars a Fine Place to Work
It’s easy to be (often justifiably) cynical about the behemoths of online poker and their occasionally dubious activities, but hats off to PokerStars. Even amid the tumult of Black Friday, a survey of their employees by Great Place to Work have named them one of the UK’s finest workplaces. [Gaming Intelligence]
After that uncharacteristic burst of positivity, I need a rest. The sun has launched a surprise assault on my beloved London, so I’m going to do my part for the nation and lie down on the grass in an attempt to deflect the fiery orb’s attack rays back into space. If this glorious struggle doesn’t cost me my life, I’ll see you again next week for another Wider World of Poker.