Posts Tagged ‘Betfair’

Return of Online Poker (Jersey Style)

Adverts driving normalization (and re-normalisation) of American game

by , Dec 16, 2013 | 1:38 pm

All three of these companies’ ads are in heavy rotation on the Trenton, NJ, transit station video displays like they belong. (Take that Bill Frist!)

Georges St. Pierre pimpin' for 888.

Georges St. Pierre pimpin’ for 888.

betfair casino nj transit Betfair in New Jersey offering more than just poker.

Betfair Casino in New Jersey offering more than just poker.

Ahh, Dear Old Party Poker, welcome home.
Ahh, dear old PartyPoker, welcome home.


Wider World of Poker

New shirts, a Norwegian lady, the absent-minded Irish, Party's ecosystem, and some bad news.

by , Jul 25, 2012 | 11:37 am

Here in London, I’ve been doing warm-up stretches for over a month just in case I’m called up to the Olympic poker team at the last minute. People keep telling me that poker isn’t in the Olympics, but I know they’re only testing my bluffing reflexes. I’ve got their number, let me tell you. Just for now, however, I’ve suspended my gruelling training regime in order to put together this collection of worldwide pokery news. I hope you appreciate my sacrifice.

Bwin United

Taking pride of place this week are my beloved Manchester United, who I have supported through thick and slightly less thick since I arbitrarily picked them as my team at the age of 7. They’ve sidled their way into the column by virtue of new shirt sponsor, Bwin. The Austrian half of Bwin.Party already have a big name sponsorship on their books, as the primary sponsors of Spanish giants Real Madrid. Although that contract expires at the end of the 12/13 season. Forbes recently rated United the world’s most valuable sports team, so it should generate Bwin, and online gambling in general, a lot of of exposure. [Online Casino Reports]

Norway’s Maiden Fair

For a few days we all held our breath, hoping that at least one of the two (extremely marketable) women would make it to the final table of the World Series of Poker. Alas, it wasn’t to be, but that hasn’t prevented 11th place finished Elizabeth Hille from reportedly picking up a sponsorship deal with Betfair. Hille is expected to join former champ Peter Eastgate and former WSOPE runner-up John Tabatabai on the Betfair squad. [WPT Magazine]

The Irish Omission

The details of new online gambling bills are always big news, but it’s what’s missing from proposed tax laws in Ireland that’s most interesting. The mooted legislation makes no mention of poker, which is particularly strange for a country that formerly cradled the headquarters of Full Tilt Poker in its Guinness soaked arms. [PokerNews]

‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here’

Disgruntled users have taken to the internet to report serious poker troubles at BetOnline. There have been frequent server outages and, most worryingly, players have been told that they will be unable to cash out any money before September at the earliest. [4Flush]

Meanwhile Poker 5050 are delisting themselves from the Swedish Stock Exchange after being dumped by software provider Microgaming. The company are on their way into liquidation, with a paltry 15% of player funds the best they can offer their shafted user-base. [Compatible Poker]

Party Poker Lower the Stakes

There are no more nosebleeds at Party Poker following the closure of their highest high-stakes tables. Party chiefs claims it has to do with improving their “poker ecology” which roughly translates as: Forcing the fish with big bankrolls to dump their cash at lower limit tables. [Card Player]

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to fine tune my soul-staring muscle in time for the opening ceremony. I’ll see you again next week when we call admire my shiny gold medal.


Wider World of Poker

International Poker Tournaments, Fair Game for German Betting, Sorel's Health Contest, and Cake!

by , May 9, 2012 | 2:47 am

While we’re all on tenterhooks over the mooted Stars/Tilt deal, the poker world refused to wait quietly. The felt globe kept on spinning and all sorts of interesting goings on have been flung into the ether. From my secret moon base, I have collected the facts and figures in a giant space-net, filtering out all the Americo-centric sludge you’ve been hearing so much about. Here’s the skinny from the rest of the world.

Lots of Tournaments

Be aware, some big international poker tournaments are on the horizon. In July, the World Poker Tour beings its 11th season in the island nation of Cyprus. I went to Cyprus once. I spend most of my time playing tennis on an army base. It was very hot, so if you’re looking to take part in the $4,000 + $400 main event take some sunscreen with you and maybe a tennis racquet. [Poker News Report]

It will probably be just as hot at the Palm Beach Casino in Cannes, where the Partouche Poker Tour Season 5 finale is scheduled to occur. You can read about all the events in French here. An English version of the schedule doesn’t appear to exist just yet.

The Isle of Man Gets Gaming 

There aren’t any live tournaments taking place on the Isle of Man – a tiny island off the coast of Britain – but there might be soon. A bill which would permit non-casino venues access to temporary gambling licenses is making its way through the island’s legislative bodies. This might not seem like the most newsworthy piece of information, until you accept two facts. Firstly, the Isle of Man is the home of PokerStars, who know a thing or two about running poker tournaments. Secondly, the island is well known for housing exceptionally rich people who would rather not pay as much tax as everyone else. I’ll let you do the math on those two pieces of information. [Card Player]

Betfair in Germany

British bookmakers Betfair have become the first overseas gambling company to acquire a shiny new German gambling license. The German state of Schleswig Holstein dissented from the other 15 principalities by enacting liberalised gaming laws. Licenses may now be granted to any company which is already established within the European Union. Betfair will be required to pay 20% tax to the local government on all profits made in Schleswig Holstein. [Reuters]

Mizzi’s Health KickSorel Mizzi

It should hopefully not come as a shock to learn that the sedentary lifestyle of a poker player is not conducive physical fitness. After Black Friday bumped him from his computer, Canadian pro Sorel Mizzi committed himself to a regimen of healthy living. He is now extending the same challenge to every gelatinous lump with a fondness for rivered straights. Players who undergo the most successful fitness regimes will receive in depth personal tutoring from Sorel. Check out his lengthy blog post for the full judging criteria and all sorts of other nonsense. [Sorel Mizzi]

Lock Poker Loves Cake

I like the idea of a cake revolution. It sounds delicious! Sadly, this story is only about the Cake Poker Network relaunching itself as Revolution Gaming. All under the aegis of Lock Poker, who announced this week that they are buying Cake and leaving their former home on the Merge Network. The new Lock-Cake combo is set to launch on June 1st. [Poker News]

All I can think about now are delicious baked goods, so the news will have to end here while go off in search of a revolutionary Battenberg. Keep your eyes peeled for any other dissident bakery produce and I’ll be back next week with another Wider World of Poker.


Horses at the Gates

Racetracks jockeying for position with online play

by , Apr 30, 2012 | 12:42 pm

We are all looking for the Big Casinos to benefit from online gamining legislation. But the parimutuel race tracks are also setting themselves up to be players.

Kentucky-based Churchill Downs, now owner of Bluff Magazine, operates TwinSpires, one of the country’s only legal online gambling sites (thanks to the UIGEA carve out for horse racing).

UK-based Betfair, owner of  TVG, another legal online horse wagering site operating in the US, just completed a five-year naming rights deal with California’s Hollywood Park.  

And now Las Vegas-based casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment bought a 75.5% stake in Retama Park in Texas for $22.8 million. Since Texas is one of the few states that hasn’t legalized gambling, Retama is an unlikely racino conversion. Pinnacle could, however, augment its revenues with an online wagering site.   

In the not too distant past, parimutuel racing was a stagnant enterprise. But the industry’s UIGEA exemption has made it a gateway to online gaming revenues, initially from horse racing, and perhaps ultimately from poker.


Wider World of Poker

Americans Down Under, Portuguese Blockades, Airport Blackjack, and Brits Team Up

by , Jan 26, 2012 | 4:30 am

Oh, hello. Fancy meeting you here. Have you been sitting patiently, waiting for this wandering reporter to return from his new year sabbatical? What’s that? You’ve been reading all the other posts on Pokerati. This site has other writers!? Well, while I’m recovering from that bombshell, why not take a good long look at this selection of worldwide poker news and see what you can make of it.

Millions of Aussies

Stereotyping Alert! I’m sorry about this. As an Englishman, I am legally required to bring up barbies, funny accents, and convicts any time anything Australian comes with 4 feet of me. It’s a bother, but what can you do. Those British pros down at the Aussie Millions must be having a torrid time, the place is crawling with them. Even the Canadian Daniel Negreanu is obsessed with their the eccentricities.

Thankfully the Aussie Millions Main Event is currently providing an excellent distraction. For example, despite the fact than an antipodean gentleman currently sits atop the Day 2 standings, the world’s loudest nation has been characteristically hogging the limelight. First up, American Dan Smith won the 22-man $100k High Roller event for $1,000,000. Then Phil Ivey, who can make headlines by just turning up, went and put himself second in the chip count at the end of Day 2. [Poker News Report]

Bwin Bust-Up in Porto

Enough of that Southern Hemisphere nonsense, time to head back to Europe. More specifically to Portugal, the land of cocks. Their government has bowed to pressure from local casino operators and decreed that Bwin’s sponsorship of Portuguese football is illegal. The ruling stems from the fact that, as an external operator, bwin.party are subject to no regulations and pay no taxes in Portugal.

Bwin claim that the ruling contravenes EU free-trade laws, but have agreed to acquiesce to the command for now. As lucrative as Portuguese sports sponsorship is, panic may break out if the same idea occurs across the border in Spain. Bwin are the shirt-sponsors of Real Madrid, arguably the most popular soccer team in the world. [Card Player]

Bet Fairly at London 2012

If I leave my flat, wander out on to the street, and look to the North East, I can see the Olympic Stadium glowering above the rooftops. I’ve spent the last two years watching it progress through various stages of construction and with the big event just a few months away, other spheres of Olympic influence are making their final preparations. In the online gambling world, Betfair have teamed up with the International Olympic Committee to monitor suspicious betting activity which might indicate a rigged event. [USA Today]

South Korean Supercasino

The unfurling success story that is Macau is bound to inspire many imitators. First in line are South Korea, who plan to build a $3 billion dollar casino resort right next to their busiest airport. The Incheon International Airport Corp. hopes to shamelessly pray upon frazzled businessmen staggering out of long haul flights, by ushering them into land of flashing lights, comfy beds, and empty wallets. Hey, if it worked for China, it can work for you! [Yahoo]

Team Poker at the Pleasure Beach

And finally, a British city most famous for its tower is hosting a cool team poker event. With backing from lovely poker gent Neil Channing, the Team Poker Tour UK allows Brits to compete in small teams, with the top 3 aggregate squads taking the biggest chunk of the prize pool. It’s worth noting that Dan emailed me to specifically to flag this up and I really can’t figure out why he’s so interested. [Team Poker Tour UK]

I’m going to do my best to stay put from now on, so look forward to your regular dose of Wider World next week. Until then, do whatever the nurse tells you to and everything will be just fine.


Sports Betting Mobilized, Full Tilt Downsized & iPoker in Congress

@PokerScar's iGaming Hotlist

by , Oct 24, 2011 | 2:38 pm

Readit

Watchit

  • Livefeed @ Congress | “iGaming: Is There A Safe Bet?” | http://energycommerce.house.gov/
    The House Energy and Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing Oct. 25 called “iGaming: Is There A Safe Bet?” at 10:30AM EST in the Rayburn House Building RM 2123. Details of this hearing (and witness list – ty to @WriterJen for pointing this out) may be found on the Committee website -> here.
  • @AGAupdate posted this testimony from Frank Fahrenkopf for tomorrow’s congressional hearing.

Witness List:

  • Parry Aftab | Member, Board of Advisors Chairman | FairPlayUSA
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Ernest L. Stevens | Chairman | National Indian Gaming Association
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Keith Whyte |Executive Director | National Council on Problem Gambling
    —> Witness Testimony
  • The Honorable Alphonse D’Amato | Chairman | Poker Players Alliance
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Kurt Eggert | Professor of Law| Chapman University School of Law
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Dr. Dan Romer | Director, Adolescent Communication Institute
    —> Witness Testimony

Ivey’s White Knight Deal Almost Done + Full Tilt Poker

Wicked Chops Podcast

by , Jul 1, 2011 | 8:51 am

We recorded our first Wicked Chops Podcast yesterday with some friends from across the pond–Ben Fried, who launched Betfair’s poker room–and Kim Lund, who did the same for Poker Room. While some of the content is already dated (a lot of it is speculation about Tilt’s future in light of the AGCC license revocation), still some interesting European perspective on the Tilt situation and their international market perception.

Listen, and read more here.


Online Gambling Raids in Costa Rica

APCW Perspectives Weekly for May 7-13, 2011

by , May 16, 2011 | 7:48 am

Raids at the Absolute Poker offices in Costa Rica, and big Las Vegas casinos are now in favor of regulating online gambling? Also, J Todd interviews Betfair about the future of online gambling!


GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

by , Oct 26, 2010 | 1:22 am

Here’s @GamingCounsel‘s look at the important legal developments in gaming over the past ten days or so:

  1. Crespo v. Online Poker – Interesting complaint filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division filed on October 12th. In a nutshell: A resident of Florida named Scott Crespo, who may or may not play poker online (there’s no indication from the complaint that he does or not), is suing residents of Illinois under an Illinois statute for money they purportedly won from other online poker players who may or may not be residents of Illinois. Oh, and Crespo apparently didn’t lose any money. He wants triple the amount of the unclaimed “losses” of others accruing to the defendants. Illinois was chosen because it’s one of a handful of states that have third party recovery statutes. As a gaming attorney I know in the US put it: We have way too many lawyers with nothing productive to do. [US District Court]
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  3. Betfair IPO Numbers – The Betfair IPO seemed to hit the top end of what analysts were predicting as the company’s market capitalization. Betfair was valued at £1.4 billion on flotation. Fully £200 million was raised on the IPO. [Herald Scotland]
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  5. Harrah’s IPO Imminent – More news from the public markets: Harrah’s is heading back to the public marketplace with an estimated $575 million offering. The money is likely to be used for new casino projects in Las Vegas and Ohio, not to pay down debt. We’ll have to wait and see how this offering fares, but there are definitely challenges ahead. [Wall Street Journal]
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  7. Canadian I-Gaming Split – While certain provinces are keen to enter the interactive gaming market, others are throwing cold water on the idea. Ontario and Quebec have announced that they’re coming out with online offerings; British Columbia already offers an online experience at www.playnow.com. However, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island recently announced that they’re not comfortable with participating in Internet gambling at this point. These latter three provinces are small – PEI is the smallest province in Canada, both geographically and in terms of population – but, interestingly, they’re part of the Atlantic Lotteries Corporation, which is working with BC and Quebec on sharing liquidity on a common Internet poker platform. [Globe and Mail; CBC]
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  9. IMGL Conference in Madrid – The International Masters of Gaming Law is the pre-eminent organization for gaming attorneys and other gaming experts. Their Fall conference is on from October 24th-26th in Madrid and, as usual, it’s an interesting lineup and series of sessions. I’ll be tweeting on different panels and speakers throughout the conference; check out my tweet stream if you’re interested. [Gaming Law Masters]

GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

Dutch Liberalizers, Nova Scotia Opt-Out, Betfair Moving (?), Station Casinos Cybersquat Spat, Party-Venezuela

by , Oct 16, 2010 | 10:32 am

Time for some of the major legal developments in gaming over the past week, as selected by @GamingCounsel:

    #

  1. Netherlands I-Gaming Attitudes – Probably the most interesting international story of the past week is the ruminations from the Netherlands that the new government may be interested in liberalizing the country’s Internet gambling laws. It’s not clear how far this process would go and what games or betting would be included, but a lot could happen in what has been a very restricted online market in the EU thus far. [eGaming Review]
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  3. Nova Scotia Says No (That’s in Canada, Folks) – Another international piece is the recent pronouncement of the premier of Nova Scotia that that province will not pursue a government-sanctioned Internet gaming offering. Nova Scotia’s finance minister added that any estimate of the revenues associated with Internet gaming would be “a wild guess.”(That’s an interesting comment given that the province of Ontario has publicly estimated that it could turn a profit of at least C$100 million/year; many have questioned the basis for such a projection.) The CEO of the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. (rightly) pointed out recently that Internet gambling will continue to grow whether the government is involved or not. [Globe and Mail]
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  5. Betfair Move – Hot on the heels of the Betfair IPO announcement, there is speculation that Betfair may move out of the UK to a jurisdiction with a lower tax rate. William Hill and Ladbrokes recently moved to Gibraltar because they perceived that UK taxes were too high. Some are saying Betfair may make a similar play. With competition increasing among Internet gaming jurisdictions, more and more operators are paying attention to applicable taxes. [CasinoGamblingWeb]
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  7. Station Casinos Trademark Infringement/Cybersquatting Suit – Station Casinos Inc. has sued two website operators in Federal Court in Nevada: SL Enterprises (www.vegasstationcasino.com) and Ryan Murphy (www.stationcasinos.org). If the Station marks have sufficient rights attached to them through use and/or registration, they should have a good case. This kind of thing happens in i-gaming all the time and it’s a big problem for operators; it’s tremendously time-consuming and potentially expensive to vigilantly prosecute misappropriation of property rights. [Las Vegas Sun]
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  9. PartyGaming in Venezuela – PartyGaming plc has set up an online poker offering in Venezuela. This continues two trends: Party’s continuing march around the world into new markets and the increased interest in South America as a lucrative and growing market for interactive gaming. [Gambling Zion]

Washington Pullout, Lame-duck 2267, Stars Int’l Licensing, Betfair IPO, Penn National Vegas

GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

by , Oct 9, 2010 | 5:47 pm

Hello good people of Pokerati. Here’s what I hope to make a weekly digest of what I think are the most interesting and/or relevant stories (not necessarily the same thing) happening online and around the world:

  1. PokerStars turns off Washington players – This is the first US state to be turned off by PokerStars. Major Stars competitors have not responded in-kind. This was not prompted by any change in state law in Washington (the ostensible reason was the result in the Rousso v. Washington judgment handed down on September 23rd). This may signal that Stars is not going to be as aggressive as others in maintaining a presence in all jurisdictions in the US. [Casino City Times]
  2.  

  3. HR 2267 – People continue to try to read the tea leaves to determine what’s going to happen with the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act. Every utterance from Reps. Frank or McDermott or from Senator Reid sends the online forums and poker press into overdrive. The House is now adjourned until after the November elections. If HR 2267 is to pass, it must be done during the lame-duck session starting after the mid-terms and ending before the start of the 112th Congress in early January. I continue to believe that it’s more likely than not that the current version (as amended) will not pass before the start of the next session, but remember that a lot can happen in a few days. [GovTrack.us]
  4.  

  5. Betfair IPO – This is one of the biggest public offerings in gaming in some time, so it’s no surprise that it’s getting quite a lot of attention. Betfair is apparently not raising new money on the float; shareholders are selling off approximately 10% of their holdings before over-allotment. Initial media reports had suggested a valuation of as high as £1.5B, but this appears to have been discounted. [Wall Street Journal]
  6.  

  7. Penn National coming to Vegas – Penn National Gaming purchased the outstanding debt of the M Resort in Las Vegas for $230.5M. This is seen as Penn’s way of eventually owning the asset, giving it its first Las Vegas property. The M was built at a cost of $1B, so most appear to be congratulating Penn for effectively purchasing a nice asset at a fraction of cost. [LVRJ]
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  9. PokerStars Licensure – Stars continues to build up gaming licences in various jurisdictions; it now has operating licences in France, Italy, and Estonia, as well as its ‘main’ international licence from the Isle of Man. This may be a sign of the kind of regulatory fragmentation that owners will face in future (especially in Europe) as different countries open up their markets to licensure and operations. [Gaming Zion]

Gaming attorney and expert Stu Hoegner follows the poker and casino industries from a tax- and law-minded perspective @GamingCounsel.


RE: 2010 WSOP-Europe Schedule

Old partners, new attentions, online satellites via WSOP.com

by , Jun 7, 2010 | 1:09 pm

Below is the PR announcement about the WSOP-Europe schedule. As many know, I’m not too hot these days on just posting press releases (without handsome pay) … but beyond the typically easy-to-cut-and-paste keywords these often contain, this mass-mailed announcement  has a bunch of stuff in it that I figure I might personally want to look at down the line.

Specifically, what jumped out was:

No Betfair. Nothing scandalous or controversial here. Harrah’s and Betfair simply finished out their three-year contract (’07-’09). Pokerati lost its deal with Betfair, too, around the same time. Bummer, but all good. The peeps we worked with at Betfair were some of the finest we’ve encountered in the industry … and we were happy to create the “WSOP World Standings” with them — a year before anyone else — even though it inevitably would get co-opted WSOP.com. (Just meant less work for me!) Harrah’s reports a similarly pleasant and positive relationship. Suppose all Betfair’s absence really means is that we might be seeing fewer emails about a Queen made of Legos or Buckingham Palaces of cards.

Online satellites / WSOP.com. Hmm, you’d think this might be the most important component — the first ever official online satellites for WSOP bracelet events on WSOP.com — but I almost missed it down in paragraf #10:

For the first time since WSOPE was formed, real money poker is available online to UK residents at WSOP.com.  Unique and exciting offers will be tied to WSOP Europe participation for UK residents including satellites.  If you are a UK resident, check out WSOP.com for the latest details on how to qualify for the 2010 WSOP Europe.

I guess it only makes sense now, why the new HIE wouldn’t try to extend a relationship with one of their most cooperative, non-litigious table-felt sponsors … at a time when any additional sponsorship money might seem extra-desirable. I suppose there’s only so much space around the final table with Harrah’s self-sponsoring this year — with WSOP-E officially presented by WSOP.com, CaesarsCasino.com, and CaesarsBingo.com.

Those are the real “sponsors” in London this year; Harrah’s officials told me as much  — even though we haven’t yet gotten press releases championing the landmark signage possibilities.

More…


Isildur Playing at Betfair (as Omlphalotus)?

by , Feb 3, 2010 | 5:40 am

Though Isildur1 player names have popped up on the microstakes tables at PokerStars, Absolute, and PartyPoker … there’s one new player over at Betfair — Omlphalotus — that looks possibly to be the real Isildur attempting to work on his game / shore up his bankroll.

From our friends at the Betfair blog:

Firstly, the player in question is Swedish – the same nationality as Isildur1 – and is certainly playing the type of nosebleeds stakes expected from the most talked about online player for years.. A railbird told me he was seen recently with just under 400k at the tables waiting for action at some 250/500 and 100/200 NL HU tables.

[…]

Other factors that have stoked this rumour include railbirds noticing Omlphalotus playing a similar style to Isildur1 as well as enjoying long sessions multi-tabling.

More details here from a site with an arguably less-compromised interest in pimping high-stakes games on Betfair.

Also: a $27k Omlphalotus suckout.

NOTE: Omphalotus (without the extra 1/l) is a funky-looking but poisonous mushroom.


Caesar’s Cup Underway

Gus Hansen added to Euro squad; Greenstein, Seed to Americas

by , Sep 25, 2009 | 6:46 am

The final teams have been picked … Annette Obrestad and Daniel Negreanu did the equivalent of a coin flip when they drew for high-card … and now action is underway.

The WSOPE’s made-for-TV special event:

Team Europe is comprised of – Annette Obrestad, Peter Eastgate, Dario Minieri, Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, Ilari Sahamies, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, and John Harvey – Betfair Qualifier.

Team Americas in comprised of – Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Huck Seed, John Juanda, Jennifer Harman, and Barry Greenstein.

Caesars Cup began at 1 pm on Friday, 25 September at the Empire Casino in London. Play is expected to last until Friday evening, when one team wins four match victories and wins poker’s ultimate bragging rights.

You can follow American coverage here. And for a European perspective, our friends at Betfair have it here.

Aww, sad for Annette_15: The European captain is the only player without a sponsorship patch, and it’s her site’s event!

Click below for a closer look at the trophy that Fake Phil Ivey is just dying to win. Says Fake Phil: “Winning this will be the pinnacle of my career. My patriotism is on the line. I’m doing it for America. I’m doing it for Barack Obama … oh and Jesus, of course, but I’m always doing it for Jesus. Big ups!”

More…


2009 WSOPE Event 1 round-up: £1,000 No-limit Hold’em

by , Sep 22, 2009 | 3:12 am

JP Kelly.jpg

John Paul Kelly 2009: 2 bracelets, 2 continents.

The first event of the 2009 World Series of Poker Europe is completed and we have crowned the first champion. He ended Day 1 as the chipleader and finished the tournament in the same vein, step forward Mr JP Kelly.

The £1,000 entry-fee appealed to pros and amateurs alike, with Day 1a attracting 295 runners including the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Roland de Wolfe and Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot with the former being eliminated very early on into proceedings.

After raising preflop, then calling a re-raise from Eddie Hearn, Hellmuth somehow managed to get all his chips in the middle holding 5h6h which gave him an open-ended straight draw. He definitely needed to hit as Hearn held pocket kings, but a 9s turn followed by a Qc river saw ‘The Poker Brat’ heading for the rail.

The action was thick and fast due to the shallow starting stacks and hour long blinds and by the end of play only 41 players still had chips remaining!

Day 1b showed no signs of slowing down either, despite it been a more pro-heavy day with Phil Ivey, Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson, Annette Obrestad and 2008 WSOPE Main Event winner John Juanda taking to the tables. Out of the 313 that started, only 58 would return for Day 2.

JP Kelly was the overnight chipleader with 99,000 chips but Richard Kellet, Ian Frazer andFabian Dunlop were all hot on his heels with stacks around the 65,000 mark. Of the 89 remaining players, only 63 would make the money, meaning 26 unlucky players would be going home empty handed.

More…