Posts Tagged ‘Zynga’

July 16, 2013

Caesars Surpasses Zynga in “Social” Casino Space

@HowardStutz's Inside Gaming

zyngawars1
With WSOP.com in play and in more poker players’ pockets, Zynga finds it tougher to bring players to their tables.

The Empire put a hit on the Mafia and buried the farm.

Two years after Caesars Entertainment Corp. perplexed Wall Street by acquiring social gaming operation Playtika, the casino giant has moved past rival Zynga Inc. to the top of the business model.

Social casino games are free to play on the Internet, through Facebook and other platforms. Customers have the option of paying a nominal fee — often less than $1 — to acquire thousands of gaming tokens to increase their virtual bankroll.

Apparently, those pennies add up.

One Wall Street analyst estimated social gaming is now worth $1.2 billion worldwide in annual revenues.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment, a subsidiary of the casino company that controls Playtika and the World Series of Poker, now owns a large chunk of that market.

Playtika’s Slotomania brand — slot machine and bingo-like games — is fueling the effort, which sent Zynga, owners of Farmville, Mafia Wars, Words with Friends, and a platform of casino games, including Zynga Poker, into second place.

“Social casino gaming has essentially gone from being a nonexistent sector a few years ago to one of the most popular gaming genres on desktop and mobile (devices),” Adam Krejcik, managing director of Eilers Research, recently wrote.

More…


March 15, 2013

Instapoker

Tournament results and the greatest poker trophy ever

Joseph Mckeehen Photo: WSOP.com

Joseph Mckeehen
Photo: WSOP.com


Today’s Boxscore

Joseph Mckeehen $174,147 – WSOP-C Caesars AC Main Event
Teresa Hemingway $226,463 – HPT Golden Gates Casino


It was a good weekend for the mid-stakes, local friendly Heartland Poker Tour. Their Golden Gates Casino event in Black Hawk CO ran at the same time as a World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event, then proceeded to outdraw them despite bad weather and the fact it was located in Black Hawk CO.

The HPT event was hampered by severe winter weather and drew less entrants than the same event a year earlier but still managed to create a 7-digit prizepool. The WSOP-C Main Event was probably hampered by it’s location in Atlantic City and the number of entrees was down to 540 from 635 in 2012.

Teresa Hemingway became just the 3rd woman to win a title on the Heartland Poker Tour but she picked up one of their biggest prizes after getting in the event on a $360 satellite seat. Next stop for the HPT is somewhere in the middle of Iowa while the WSOP-C takes their turn in Black Hawk, CO at the Lodge Casino. Let’s see if they can match the HPT success in the area.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Negreanu still having fun with the whole joining a cult by accident thing.

DOJ Appoints Administrator to Assess Individual Full Tilt Poker Claims – One step closer to US-based Full Tilt players getting their money back. Check out Full Tilt Poker Claims Administration for details.

Online gambling deals boost Zynga, Glu – Online gambling is getting a little more attention from the mainstream medai, this time from CNN in their Money section.

Losing-hand progressive poker jackpot hits, paying out $600,000 – After two months of running their multi-casino, bad beat jackpot, Caeasars finally had to pay out. Nearly $700,000 was chopped up between the winner, loser, and other players around their poker rooms.

Winamax Poker Tour : les résultats complets – My knowledge of the French language is limited to what I remember from that high school French class and what dirty words Benjo taught me. The important take away from this link is the World’s Greatest Poker Trophy in the Entire History of Poker. Also, god bless hyperbole.

Posted by at 3:00 pm

February 18, 2013

Instapoker

WSOP schedule released, Ladies Championship discount, GPI has standards

Men "The Master' Nguyen Photo: WhoJedi / LAPC

Men “The Master’ Nguyen
Photo: WhoJedi / LAPC


Today’s Boxscore

Men Nguyen $21,255 – 2013 LAPC $125 No Limit Hold’em Rebuy
Jon Seaman $10,080 – 2013 LAPC 2-7 Triple Draw/No Limit SD
Ryan Wince $29,010 – 2013 LAPC NLHE Doublestack


The big news over the last few days, unless you are Jean-Paul Pasqualini or Cedric Rossi, was the World Series of Poker finally releasing their summer schedule. Some players were getting ansy, now they are all settled down and able to make their plans to invade Las Vegas for the 2013 WSOP, whether they are a small ball newbie or an “every event” grinder.

The series will feature 62 bracelet events along with the standard non-stop non-bracelet side tournaments and their crazy draw. The WSOP always likes to throw something new at their customers (2009 Stimulus Event anyone?) and this year around is The Millionaire Maker on the opening weekend. This tournament will be a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em with two starting flights on the same day and players can re-enter 1B if eliminated in 1A. The big twist is the guaranteed 1st place prize money of $1,000,000 to the winner. Guarantee should be in quotes since the payout structure will be adjusted to make this work, not money added to the standard structure.

Last year’s Big One for One Drop was so successful they will have two smaller versions this summer. The $111,111 One Drop High Roller and $1,111 Little One for One Drop which will feature unlimited re-entries through 4 levels. There is also some pretty decent buzz around for an event which won’t even award a bracelet. The WSOP will run a trial $5,000 Open Face Chinese poker tournament during the Main Event. This is the newest, latest, greatest big thing for the youngns.

Perhaps the biggest change this year is to the Ladies Championship, where now it’s technically a $10,000 event but women will receive a hugely discounted price of $1,000. It’s probably the best way to severely discourage men from entering the tournament as their EV is ridiculous. Poker legend Linda Johnson expects that any man in the event would need to make the final table just to have a positive ROI.

I am interested to see how they handle any issues which arise with post- or pre-operative transgender players trying to enter the tournament. If they’ve made a comment about it, I haven’t seen it.

Back later this week with a more detailed 2013 WSOP schedule rundown later.

Tweet of the Day – Uber Limit guro Matt Matros with his take on the 2013 WSOP schedule.

Don’t get cheated on the Open-Face Chinese app – Huge news for those playing on the popular Open-Face Chinese Poker app and wagering on the side (as opposed to through the app itself, for now). There is obviously a HUGE security hole, so buyer beware. I’m surprised this hasn’t made a bigger splash but maybe most people already know who they’re playing against and trust them. Barry Greenstein is not one of those people.

Global Poker Index “suspends” two players from the system – GPI savior and guru Alex Dreyfus announced last week they were “suspending” Jean-Paul Pasqualini and Cedric Rossi after some very shady behavior at the 2009 Partouche Poker Tour final table. Seemingly well earned but does this restart the “Standards and Conduct Committee” discussion? Please say no.

Newsjacking and Poker Marketing – Speaking of the GPI, Barry Carter with a look at the trend of “newsjacking” to market a poker product. Not that uncommon or remotely new.

Tech Industry Sets Its Sights on Gambling – Another mainstream media article, this time by the NY Times discussing how online gaming companies are positioning themselves for onling gambling.

Posted by at 10:00 am

February 14, 2013

2013 WSOP Schedule is Here

And how will you be marking your calendar?

Here’s the link to what you care about — the official schedule for the 44th World Series of Poker.

And here’s the link to the WSOP Command Center online, which the WSOP seems pretty intent on making sure doesn’t end up anywhere else.

We’ve got two One Drop events … the Little One for One Drop — for players thirsty for charity action in a small four-figure range … and the Medium One for One Drop, aka the High Rollers event for a $111,111 buy-in.

Other than that, on quick scan it seems to be a lot more big-field no-limit hold’em … maybe with a few gimmick Savage Tournament knock-off events (ante-only, re-entry, etc.) thrown in for good measure. But lest you accuse Caesars Interactive of not being able to jump on a trend du’jour … there’s also an Open Face Chinese Poker exhibition event.

62 bracelets (I can’t remember, is that a lot or a little?) over 48 days, May 29-June 15. Final nine resuming in November.

You can expect at least 50,000 poker players to end up with broken dreams … and probably a few dozen shattered marriages to boot! But hey, so long as Caesers keeps it fun, players keep coming back for more … and it’s like every year you have a whole new crop of 21-year-olds coming of age!

(Of course there the battle is with Zynga, which has a unique advantage of being able to market their soon-to-be gambling Texas Hold’em social poker game — and slot machines — to 13-year-olds. Seriously, give it 5 more years …? NGCB stamp of approval pending.)

You probably can also expect continued Cold War with PokerStars. Because for all the positive spin that goes along with an official tournament schedule announcement, and for all the hype of rags-to-riches jackpot dreams — they’re calling one $1,500 event “The Millionaire Maker” … the press release makes 0 (zero) mention of Chris Moneymaker on the 10th anniversary of his historic WSOP run. But hey, with or without the marketing power of PokerStars’ World Champion Everyday Joe Pro, the WSOP has done a good job over the years of keeping their brand at center of the poker universe burning bright — almost like a supernova! — particularly during the dead heat of Las Vegas summers.

Posted by at 11:55 am

February 4, 2013

Status Update:

Do online slots hold the (room) key to internet poker's future?

We’ve long believed around these parts it’s all about slots. Not that we play the no-armed bandits, but more and more often it seems like we won’t get fully legalized online poker in the United States until we have legalized online slots.

While play-for-free slots are nothing new in our gaming space — Zynga’s been getting 13-year-old kids to learn the gambling foundation that is slot play for more than a year now — what is new is attaching your pulls to casino comp points, which effectively serve as a casino corporation’s own private currency. And you can see that advancement in some of the ads Facebook is serving up to at least a few of us.

facebook slots bellagio comps

Posted by at 10:18 am

January 8, 2013

Instapoker

2013 PCA underway, online gambling will cripple the world ecomony

Photo: PokerStarsBlog.com

Scott Seiver
Photo: PokerStarsBlog.com


Today’s Boxscore

Scott Seiver $2,003,480 – 2013 PCA Super High Roller
Peter Jetten $52,380 – 2013 PCA Open-Face Chinese
Mike Telker $96,750 – 2013 $5,000 Turbo 8-handed
Simon Deadman €67,500 – WPT National Dublin


The poker tournament circuit is back underway with the launch of the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and a lot of noise coming from the Bahamas already. Big money, first run tournaments, and a few tweets about the silly amount of money it costs to stay at the Atlantis.

PokerStars changed their PCA schedule a few years ago, to the better, by putting the Main Event near the beginning of the festival. This leaves plenty of side events for those who bust out of the Main and still want to hang around the Bahamas instead of heading somewhere much colder. Scott Seiver was the big winner right out of the gate when he defeated the understandably talented Super High Roller final table which included David “Doc” Sands, Nick Schulman, and Philipp Gruissem. A nice payday for Seiver as he added a mere $2,000,000 to his bankroll.

The PCA also introduced the first Open-Face Chinese Poker tournament ever. This game is the latest big buzz among the young, high-rolling, twitter-happy professionals and PokerStars decided to feature the game with a unique tournament (check the link for some of the rules). They drew an impressive 59 players with 18 reentries and Peter Jetten can now call himself the first ever Open-Face Chinese Poker champion.


# Everything you always wanted to know about online gambling but were afraid to ask! #


Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Dane Cook played this off later as a joke. The only problem with Dane Cook, it’s impossible to tell the difference between when he’s being serious and when he’s joking. I’m sure online poker players responded with their well known restraint.

Kindt: Internet Gambling Will Cripple World’s Economic, Financial Systems – Well here’s an op.ed piece that doesn’t beat around the bush at all. Online gambling would cripple (cripple I tell you!) the economy of the entire world. I don’t suppose he could be overstating his case in the least.

Broken: The Erick Lindgren Story – The Lindgren saga has been playing out over the last year and Lance Bradley at Bluff was able to get a sitdown with the man as he sits in rehab for his gambling addiction. Interesting that it’s only recognized as an addiction after defaulting on a boat load of bets. The article is worth the read if you haven’t already.

There’s little TLC for ‘Sin City Rules’ – There was a little buzz around the poker world when it Jennifer Harman announced she would be involved in a “reality” show on TLC. That buzz died quickly once people realized the show was unwatchable and now it looks to be buried in the Nevada desert. A show that bad deserved a heavy handed Las Vegas cliche.

Zynga’s Online Gambling Ambitions Bolstered by its Patent Portfolio – You have to give them credit, Zynga hasn’t given up on their ambition to enter the online gambling market in force.

PCA 2013: Maria Ho Comes to Bahamas After Party in Vegas – Maria Ho, Kristy Arnett, the Bahamas, and talk of parties in Las Vegas.

Posted by at 4:00 pm

December 17, 2012

Zynga Seeks Stamp of Approval from Nevada Gaming Regulators

Preparing for Texas Hold'em's real-money future

ZyngaSocial gaming giant Zynga Inc. filed an application for a preliminary finding of suitability with Nevada gaming regulators [last] week as the San Francisco-based company looks to break into real money online gambling.

The company, which makes free-play social games such as Words with Friends, FarmVille and Mafia Wars, has been hinting at finding a way to jump into the potential U.S. regulated online gaming industry. The company operates the free-play Zynga Poker.

Zynga Chief Revenue Officer Barry Cottle said in a statement that his company is looking beyond Nevada. Zynga recently signed a partnership agreement with European online gaming giant Bwin.party to provide games that can be played for real money online by the company’s customers in the United Kingdom. The first games are expected to launch next year.

More…


October 8, 2012

Zynga Watch: Poker Economy Fertilizer?

Re: World Series of Farmville?

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?

Posted by at 1:43 pm

September 7, 2012

Instapoker

Partouche drama, Partouche fix, and Zynga new hire

Aaron Massey
Photo: PokerNews.com


Today’s Boxscore

Aaron Massey $651,559 – WinStar River Poker Main Event
Justin Ouimette C$66,000 – Canadian Poker Classic Main
Samad Razavi A$326,125 – ANZPT IV Grand Final


It’s been a crazy time over in Cannes this week at the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event. There was a much publicized €5,000,000 guarantee which wasn’t reached, the founder coming out to deny the evidence of a guarantee and then set his blasters on the “young ego-driven players” who had the stones to call him out. And then Patrick Partouche picked up his ball and went home, saying this would be the last PPT event after a 5 year run.

In the end it might have just turned out to be a misunderstanding/language barrier/marketing strategy gone awry as cooler heads prevailed overnight. Partouche came back Friday morning saying they would add more than €700,000 to cover the “guaranteed” prizepool but still saying this would be the final event of the tour.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day 1 – Because the first thing I consider when determining who gets my vote for POTUS is the opinion of non-American poker players. I wonder if Negreanu has an opinion. At least we know half the U.S. population will be moving out of the country after the election, we just don’t know who those people will be yet.

Tweet of the Day 2 – It seems golden Olympian Michael Phelps had a little something to say about TMZ’s reporting he won $100k playing poker.

A.C.’s Golden Nugget in legal war with $1.5 million winners – The story has been going around the last few week’s about the gamblers at the Atlantic City Golden Nugget who noticed a pattern and took advantage of their edge and then had the casino come after them. A judge ordered the casino to pay, at which time the casino owner said “hey, we’re going to be the good guys and pay” not at all because the judge told them.

Will Zynga’s New Hire Exploit Gambling or Consumers? – Online gaming company (and stock market boat anchor) Zynga recently hired former 888 Holdings VP Maytal Ginzburg and that has the financial world wondering how this will steer them as they expand into online gaming.

Game Theory Pilot Episode – A new web based series about poker that I only know about because Tatjana keeps telling the world about it. Hint: give her a role.

Posted by at 4:00 pm

August 22, 2012

Wider World of Poker

Big money in Barca & Cannes, Lock Poker misstep, Bwin stumble, and Poker on Nokia

Let me tell you, a party isn’t a party unless the night ends with two male revellers waxing intimate parts of their bodies. At least, that’s what I am forced to conclude after an initially civil gathering at my place devolved into a test of hairless endurance. Consider this column my rehabilitation.

Catalan Poker

London might have a poker festival just around the corner, but right now Barcelona is the place to be if you’re the sort of person who likes levels and prize pools. A few days ago a man known as the “Ox of Rome” avoided being murdered by Hercules to take down the Estrallas Poker Tour for €200,000. [OnlinePoker.net]

And with barely time to draw breath, we’re straight into EPT Barcelona, with the €50,000 Super High Roller event already completed. The victor was rising star Dan Smith, who cut a deal at the final table to walk away with €962,925. [PokerStars Blog]

High Rollers en Cannes

Speaking of High Roller events, the World Series of Poker Europe – which kicks off at the end of next month – has announced its own big buy-in tournament. A €50,000 Re-Entry tournament starts on October 2nd and, while it will have a large prize pool, it sadly won’t award any of those shiny bracelets everyone seems to be so keen on. [PokerNews]

Lock Poker Accused of Misleading Users

What with government intervention, bank fraud, and trojan viruses to worry about, people don’t seem to complain about rigged shufflers anymore. That said, having an independently certified random number generator is a vital part of any reputable operation. Which is why organizations like eCOGRA give out special badges to companies they deem to have fair and balanced software. It’s also why 2+2 users are in an uproar over Lock Poker neglecting to remove their old certification, despite having left the Merge Network 6 months ago. [4Flush]

Bwin Fails in South America

Continuing their crusade to make more money fight for the rights of online gambling, Bwin have been going mano-a-government in Argentina. In a frankly un-shocking result, the courts decided to uphold the rights of the country’s gambling monopoly. [Online-Casinos.com]

Nokia Calls on Zynga

I feel a bit weird reporting on non-gambling Zynga news, but I guess they’re a relevant force in our industry these days. Plus, we all know that Dan is one of the biggest Facebook sharks of all time. Maybe he’ll be buying a Nokia Asha Touch, now that Zynga Poker has been announced as launch software. [Card Player]

I feel like I should have made it clear up there that I am not one of the unfortunate souls now in possession of a streamlined undercarriage. Not nearly enough alcohol had passed my lips to make that seem like a good idea. Which means I’ll be fighting fit for next week’s column, provided I don’t accidentally throw any more parties in the next seven days. Wish me luck.

Posted by at 9:57 am

August 8, 2012

Instapoker

Real money games, AP exec avoids hard time, Bodog says goodbye

Maxx Dansky
Photo: CardPlayer.com


Today’s Boxscore

Galen Kester $165,000 – Gold Strike World Poker Open
Maxx Dansky $152,008 – Card Player Choctaw Main Event


It’s not poker and it’s not in the States, but there are now a few games on Facebook where you can gamble with honest-to-god cash money. For now there’s just Bingo and Slots available for wagers and only if you are of legal age in the United Kingdom. The door is now open for people to lose their money while posting inane drivel for the rest of the world to see.

Still no word from the big C-level suits at Facebook or Zynga concerning their entry into the market though the latter has shown interest in the past and could use all the good news they can get. Zynga has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons including their stock taking a nosedive and getting sued by EA for copyright infringement.

Link Dump

Colorado Club Fed for Absolute Poker’s Brent Beckley – Haley Hintze reports AP vice president Brent Beckley is scheduled to enter a minimum security prison in Colorado after his plea deal with the DoJ. Most disturbing part for me was finding out Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were held in a Club Fed during their trial for killing 168 people.

Bodog Poker to Exit 20 Countries by September 2012 – Per PokerNews, Bodog is saying goodbye, la revedere, ardievas, zbogom, ???????, and ?? ???????? (thank you Google Translate) to 20 countries by the end of the month per an email sent out to customers.

Zokay Entertainment Acquires Global Poker Index – Another part of the Epic mess put to rest with the fire sale of the GPI. No one thought Pinnacle was going to give a crap about a poker ranking system and they sold it off.

WPT Merit Cyprus Classic kicks off WPT Season XI in style – Lynn Gilmartin seems to be having a horrible time in Cyprus, can’t image why anyone would want to go there. Besides the perfect weather, lovely views, and bottomless bottles of booze.


Be sure to check out our new sponsors at Face Up Gaming. Legal, subscription-based online poker with plenty of great prizes including cash, WSOP seats, and poker trips. Sign up with Bonus Code pokerati.

Posted by at 7:24 am

August 2, 2012

Wider World of Poker

Bwin moan, blazing up, Asia alive, Zynga's confirmation, and Bond, James Bond.

Today the world reels from the shocking news that I will be getting my $20 back from Full Tilt. For too long I have lived under the tyranny of not having $20 and it comes as a great relief to me and my family to know that this money will soon be returned. All hail PokerStars, unimpeachable bastions of justice and buying your way out of trouble.

Bwin’s Woes

Not everyone is super-stoked about PokerStars riding in on their white horse. Specifically Bwin’s stock holders, who expect the company’s already shaky online poker numbers to become even more shook-up by the return of Full Tilt. Many shareholders had also been uncharitably hoping that Stars’ legal troubles would also see European legislators bringing down the hammer, but a clean bill of health from the U.S. has seen that possibility swept firmly off the table. [Proactive Investors]

A Whole New World

Look out guys, the universe is about to be turned on its head by “a whole new way to play poker.” Ladbrokes have unveiled Blaze Poker, which is pretty much the same as PokerStars’ Zoom Poker, which is in turn almost identical to Full Tilt’s Rush Poker. Look for the groundbreaking ‘Going Really Fast Poker’ announcement to hit next week. [Poker News]

Asian Victory

With the WSOP on pause, the high-profile tournament lens has switched its focus to Asia-Pacific. Two big events to slalomed to the finish line this week, the first of which was the (deep breath) Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Queenstown Snowfest. Aussie David Allan took home the NZD$110,600 ($89,697) first place prize. [PokerNews]

If you had travelled north from that point you might have bumped into the Carlos Chang, who would have looked quite pleased with himself, having just won the Asian Pacific Poker Tour in Macau. The title was worth HKD1,913,100 ($246,692), or just about enough to buy your way into Tom Dwan’s Macau cash game. [Card Player]

Zynga Makes it Official

It’s seemed likely for a long time, but it wasn’t until last week that Zynga CEO Mark Pincus came out and confirmed his company are preparing to launch a suite of online gambling games. Following the runaway success of their play money Texas Holdem Game on Facebook – and a brief dalliance with live poker – Zynga have plans to, “release [their online gambling games] in markets that are regulated and open, subject to our getting licensing.” [Games.com]

Bond Heading Stateside

Very much an “…and finally” story, but also an excellent catch from Brian Pempus at CardPlayer. A cute TV ad featuring former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan has been airing in Italy for the VegasClub casino. The group that owns the site are looking to get involved with Nevada’s new online poker market and one wonders if the Irish smoothy might not make an appearance in Las Vegas in the near future. [Card Player]

I’m off to celebrate my returned $20 by purchasing $400 worth of tickets to Olympic handball matches. Join me next week for more news-based celebration and a countdown of my top 100 handball goalkeepers.

Posted by at 2:16 pm

August 1, 2012

Zynga and Native American Gaming Considering Moves

APCW Perspectives Weekly

J Todd is back in the saddle with online gambling news from Zynga and tribal gaming. Plus, new audits and returning members!

Posted by at 10:13 am

June 24, 2012

American Companies Preparing for Online Gambling Industry

APCW Perspectives

This week we discuss more American companies preparing for the coming online gambling industry, including news on social gaming leader Zynga. Plus, should gambling advertisements be held to a higher standard than other ads?

Posted by at 2:02 pm

June 22, 2012

Wider World of Poker

Trains run on time, Italians break the bank, French people at Wembley, Zynga & co. under analysis, Playtech's nepotism, and PokerStars serve an ace.

We are in the midst of the World Series of Poker, which makes it silly season for gambling news from the rest of the world. Expect next week’s column to feature a giraffe that won a razz tournament and Epic Poker’s zeppelin-based relaunch. Right now you’ll have to settle for stories about trains, Italians, and reality TV.

Run on Time

Let’s start with the trains. Australian website Sportsbet.au.com have been politely asked by Melbourne locomotion provider, Metro Trains, to stop taking bets on whether their services will run on time. There were fears that enterprising degenerates might take it upon themselves to sabotage the lines in order to guarantee a payout. [The Age]

Italian Stallion

This story, while fairly ludicrous, raises some interesting moral questions. Bruno Venturi, an everyday Italian man who works in a pet shop, is fighting to claim a £650,000 jackpot he won from Eurobet. They are refusing to cough up the cash on the grounds that a software error caused Venturi to pay for only one in every six bets. The dispute began in 2009 and has now made it all the way up the chain to Britain’s High Court. [Telegraph]

Reality TV Sparks British Dust-Up

This could have been a nice story about a young poker player raising his profile in the media by doing a good deed, but Andrew Feldman’s upcoming appearance on the UK reality show Secret Millionaire has devolved into scandal. Last month British pro Sam Trickett claimed he would out a fellow player who had “stolen” a large amount of his cash. Since then he’s remained silent, but it seems that Feldman’s pending TV fame has sparked Trickett and co. to more or less publicly accuse Andrew of borrowing €25,000 from Trickett, then refusing to pay him back on the grounds that he is quitting poker. [Poker News]

Tapie’s Wembley Tourney

He might have lost the race to buy Full Tilt Poker, but Frenchman Bernard Tapie has not lost his ambition. This week he announced the first venue for the International Stadiums Poker Tour, a series of events which will cram 30,000 poker players into the world’s largest sporting arenas. The series kicks off at Wembley Stadium – the more or less sacred home of English football – during May 2013. For the first two days 30,000 players will sit in the stands and compete online, from which 3,000 will win their way onto the turf to play in a €4,500 buy-in tournament with a guarantee of €2 million. [ISPT]

Social Gaming Under Scrutiny

Over the past couple of years Zynga have slowly edged their way onto the poker radar thanks to their immensely popular Facebook version of Texas Hold’em. They also managed to avoided any kind of legislation by pointing at the tables and shouting, “look, no money!” The UK Gambling Commission aren’t so sure, however. Zynga make their (not inconsiderable) profits from users who purchase extra stacks of worthless chips with real cash. The Commission are now working on a investigation into social gambling in an attempt to discover if the industry needs to be licensed and regulated. [Online Casino Archives]

Playtech’s Unsettling Dealings

Playtech have long been the kings of third party gambling software, but their financial antics are making people with briefcases and stock portfolios very nervous. The company have purchased a large bundle of stuff from their largest shareholder, Teddy Sagi – the company’s founder and owner of 48pc of Playtech stock. His new venture, Skywind, have sealed a €6 million deal with Playtech, who are also renting a London office from their former chief at £750,000 per year. [Telegraph]

Nadal Joins PokerStars

Stop the presses! While nobody was looking, some real news has snuck in at the back door. Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has joined Team PokerStars. Undoubtedly one of the greatest players ever to hit a furry ball over a net, Nadal will represent Stars in the freshly minted Spanish market. I can’t recall a bigger sports star than Nadal being paid to represent poker in any capacity. Certainly not one with such worldwide pull. [PokerStars]

Well that was quite a shock. What’s more we’re only three days away from the start of Wimbledon. The centre-piece of professional tennis and the pride of upper-middle class British people who like things that happen on lawns. What with Rafa, some positive news out of Nevada, and Ivey’s return at the WSOP, I dare say that things are looking quite positive for poker. I think I need to lie down.

Posted by at 3:41 am