Posts Tagged ‘PokerStars’

DOJ Appoints Administrator to Assess Individual Full Tilt Poker Claims

by , Mar 15, 2013 | 10:00 am

The Department of Justice has brought in a third-party claims administrator to help eligible American online poker players reclaim funds that were lost to Full Tilt Poker after the companys access to the United States was cut off in April 2011.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara said Wednesday that bringing aboard Garden City Group was a significant step forward in the process of compensating victims of the Full Tilt Poker scheme.

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AGA, Rational Group Slug It out before New Jersey Regulators

by , Mar 14, 2013 | 3:00 pm

Attorneys for online gaming giant PokerStars said an attempt by the American Gaming Association to block the company from buying a failing Atlantic City casino was a thinly veiled anti-competitive campaign to keep new ownership out of the market.

In a lengthy letter to New Jersey gaming regulators, attorneys for PokerStars ownership, The Rational Group, said the American Gaming Association lacks standing in the matter.

Attorneys also raised a reported offer by Caesars Entertainment Corp. to sell the Rio to PokerStars. According to the letter, Caesars offered to sell the off-Strip casino to PokerStars because it would better the two companies relationship and would help PokerStars earn a Nevada gaming license.

PokerStars declined the offer because it had no plans to acquire another casino in the near term, according to a letter dated March 10 from Washington, D.C., attorneys Jeff Ifrah and David Deitch. Within weeks the AGA submitted its petition to the (New Jersey Casino Control) Commission.

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Intrastate of War?

by , Mar 12, 2013 | 7:20 am

From OnlinePokerReport.com for the week of March 11th …

3 STORIES TO WATCH THIS WEEK

#1. PokerStars and the AGA  threw first punches last week in what could develop into an extended and mutually bruising battle. Are they interested in cooling down, or escalating further? This week should provide some clues. Also: It turns out PokerStars’ NJ application could drag out well into summer.

#2. IL and PA could both take legislative steps toward regulation. PA State Rep Tina Davis “might” introduce her bill mid-week (20% gross tax, no compacts, licenses to existing operators only). As for IL, look for clarification on the next step for online gambling after a planned Senate vote on the combined live/online gambling expansion bill was scuttled late last week. Seems like some IL Dems didn’t like what they saw?

#3. New Jersey was supposed to finish up a first draft of online gambling regulations last week. No word on what shape they’re taking, but with the pace to date I would expect more details – and more launch projections – as we move into the middle of March.

+ THE WEEK THAT WAS

RECENTLY FROM OPR

I offered my quick take on the Illinois gambling bill . And on the timing of the AGA’s petition to bar PokerStars from NJ, which I also discussed on last week’s TwoPlusTwo Pokercast.

PICKS

@Follow – It’s tax time, and U.S. poker players with questions would do well to follow both @QuantPoker and@taxdood.

#GoodRead –  …and to check out their respective blogs: quantitativepoker.com and taxdood.com


Instapoker

by , Mar 11, 2013 | 10:00 am

Kai Chang Photo: Bay101News/WhoJedi

Shooting Star Champion Kai Chang
Photo: Bay101News/WhoJedi


Today’s Boxscore

Kai Chang $1,138,350 – Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event
Nick Schulman $270,480 – Bay 101 Shooting Star High Roller


Another big WPT event finished up, this time in North Cali at the Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament. The price reduction from $10,000 buyin to $7,500 had a double positive impact with both an increased field and prizepool. Paul “paulgees81” Volpe (West Chester, PA represent) continued his hot streak with his 2nd straight WPT final table and 3rd place finish for $435,610. That puts him just over $1,000,000 in tournament earnings for $17,500 worth of buyins for the last two WPT events, not a bad ROI.

Kai Chang won the tournament for $1,138,350 plus a seat in the WPT Championship for topping the 643 entrants. No word on how many bounties he collected during the event but it probably was a decent addition as well.

Some big results expected in the next few days from the Heartland Poker Tour and WSOP-C. The HPT had another successful event at Black Hawk with over a $1,000,000 prizepool and the WSOP-C Caeasers Atlantic City Main Event will give away another ring within days.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Euro-Schecky tweets from the completely spontaneous, not-at-all corporate set up, Full Tilt Poker versus PokerStars Heads Up competition. Rumor has it PokerStars stars won the day.

My Choice Center Experience – Daniel Negreanu responds to the article from Bryan Micon about the Choice Center. It’s totally not a cult and completely legit, guys, because he said so. I was finally convinced after he also told me I inherited a million dollars from some guy in Nigerian.

Illinois Bill Would Legalize Online Poker – Another state trying to get into the online poker business. Keep expanding and maybe we’ll all be back in business before too long.

As States Embrace Online Gambling, Questions Arise – But somebody has to be Chicken Little during the online poker discussion and NPR presents their “questions” in a short, relatively benign article.

Dusk Till Dawn to Guarantee €1 Million to the Winner of ISPT Wembley! – More news from the International Stadiums Poker Tour, now with a €1,000,000 guarantee for first place. Points taken away from PokerNews by our impartial judges for using @#$^@$ exclamation point in a headline.

Poker Terms IRL-London Edition – PokerNews and Sarah Grant with a fun video from the EPT London.


Did Caesars Really Just Try to Unload the Rio and the WSOP?

by , Mar 7, 2013 | 10:00 am

CaesarsLogoCaesars Entertainment Corp. reportedly offered to sell the off-Strip Rio and the World Series of Poker to PokerStars, a spokesman for the owner of the online gaming business claimed in an email Tuesday.

The statement by Eric Hollreiser, head of corporate communications for The Rational Group, came a day after attorneys for the American Gaming Association wrote in a legal brief that PokerStars had been a “criminal enterprise for many years.”

The Washington, D.C.-based trade organization wants New Jersey gaming regulators to reject PokerStars’ application to operate the failing Atlantic Club Casino in Atlantic City.

Caesars representatives declined to comment on any “assertions” made by PokerStars.

Hollreiser, who is based at The Rational Group’s corporate offices in the Isle of Man, said PokerStars “declined the offer because we had no plans to acquire another casino in the near term.”

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Inside Gaming: PokerStars on a Hot Streak

by , Mar 6, 2013 | 10:00 am

pokerstars logoOnline gaming giant PokerStars folded its hand last summer after a 15-month legal battle with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Since that time the company has been on a heater.

It was the right call for PokerStars to accept a $731 million forfeiture to the federal government and shed a nine-count indictment. The settlement also absolved PokerStars of any wrongdoing in accepting Internet wagers from American customers.

PokerStars, through its Isle of Man-based parent The Rational Group, said in January it was buying a casino in Atlantic City. On Feb. 21, it announced plans to open a live-play poker room at the City of Dreams in Macau, while its online business grew to more than 50 million registered customers through legal Internet gaming markets.

The only place PokerStars can’t earn a seat at the table is Nevada.

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Instapoker

by , Mar 5, 2013 | 1:00 pm

Chris Reslock Photo: WSOP

Chris Reslock
Photo: WSOP


Today’s Boxscore

Chris Reslock $25,480 – WSOP-C Caesars NLHE Prelim
Martin Bader £56,000 – GUKPT London Main Event


There were less than 200 entrees into the WSOP Circuit $580 NLHE event at Caesars in Atlantic City, but the final results were worth notice. AC and east coast legend Chris Reslock joined a very small club when he won the tournament and captured his 5th WSOP-C ring. He joins Ari Engel, Kyle Cartwright, Mark Smith, and Kurt Jewel in the 5 ring club and just one victory behind Alexandru Masek. Reslock has one WSOP bracelet as well, in the 2010 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, and over $1,000,000 in career tournament earnings.

Also underway this week is the price-reduced WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament, the buy-in reduced from $10,000 to $7,500. It looks like the discount is producing similar results as seen at the Borgata when they dropped their price to draw in more people yet still end up with a larger prizepool. Moon Kim is the defending champion.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Tournament Director extraordinaire Matt Savage made it “official” with this tweet, the Bay 101 Shooting Star will top attendance and prizepool numbers from last year’s event.

Casino Industry Opposes PokerStars’ Bid for New Jersey License – The American Gaming Association doesn’t seem too thrilled with the idea of PokerStars buying the Atlantic Club Casino in AC. The AGA sited PokerStar’s troubles with the DOJ and thinks this should prevent them from buying the old haunt.

PokerStars responds to AGA protest of bid to buy Atlantic Club casino – And PokerStars responds.

Daniel Negreanu & Antonio Esfandiari For Choice Center Las Vegas Scam-Cult – Say it ain’t so Daniel! Someone who uses all his might to shout down all the evil people in the world can’t possibly be a shill for a Las Vegas scam company. It’s just not possible, unless it is. Bryan Micon attempts to piece it all together.

2013 WSOP Registration is open – Avoid those crazy, small buyin, weekend registration lines at this summer’s WSOP by registering for your events early and online. Registration is now open.


Instapoker

by , Mar 1, 2013 | 9:00 am

Paul Klann

Paul Klann, WPT LAPC Champion
Photo: LAPCNews.com/WhoJedi


Today’s Boxscore

Paul Klann $1,004,090 – 2013 WPT LA Poker Classic
Jonathan Tamayo $206,020 – WSOPC Palm Beach Kennel Club
Rodger Johnson $182,315 – 2013 LAPC High Roller
Jon Turner $27,750 – 2013 LAPC 6-Handed PLO with rebuys


The 2013 LA Poker Classic wrapped up it’s Main Event last night with Paul Klann overcoming a big chip deficit against Paul Vople. The WPT LAPC drew 517 entrants this year which is another annual drop, from 549 a year ago, at one of the biggest stops on the tour. Klann collected over $1,000,000 for the win which includes the WPT Championship buyin, but 7-digits is much prettier than 6.

Next big tournaments on the schedule include the popular WTP Bay101 Shooting Stars event, the WSOP-C series at Caesars in Atlantic City, and the always huge Heartland Poker Tour in Blackhawk, Colorado.

Link Dump

Tweet(s) of the Day – Not everybody is in love with the Commerce Casino, David Bach is isn’t the first or last player to comment on some of the shadier aspects of playing there. I still standby the breakfast burritos at the Cafe.

Epic Anniversary – One year ago FS+G filed for bankruptcy killing Epic Poker along the way with a bunch of unpaid invoices (yours truly included). It’s still a touchy subject with some of us but Short-stacked Shamus has a nice recap. Check back to his site later for some of his article I published on the Epic website

A Look at Poker’s Falling Fortune in Las Vegas – The sky is falling, the sky is falling! It’s either that or the Vegas poker rooms are feeling the crunch of the online poker crackdown. We’ll see what happens when new players can be pulled in via online poker when it returns.

Team PokerStars v Team Full Tilt: Don’t Believe the Hype – Daniel Negreanu “called out” Gus Hansen, now there will be a HU battle in London. Not nearly the big brouhaha as it would have been prior to Black Friday and the PS/FTP buyout.

Pretty Broad Podcast – Three favorites from PokerNews (Kristy Arnett, Lynn Gilmartin, and Sarah Grant) started their own website PrettyBroad.com. It’s a fun concept from a fun group who get to travel to great places around the globe. Give them a look and listen to their first full podcast.


Ferguson Forfeits Additional $2.5mm to Settle with Feds

by , Feb 25, 2013 | 1:00 pm

Chris Ferguson bannerFormer World Series of Poker champion Chris Ferguson, whose career has been derailed for almost three years following the U.S. government’s crackdown on Internet poker, has settled with federal prosecutors.

According to court documents, Ferguson agreed to forfeit millions of dollars he earned as a founder and principal in Full Tilt Poker, one of three online gambling businesses whose access to American customers was cut off in April 2011 following a slew of criminal indictments.

The eight-page settlement was signed by Ferguson and his attorneys and federal prosecutors on Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood of New York City approved the agreement Thursday.

The case stems from a civil lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department in September 2011, which alleged Ferguson, fellow poker player Howard Lederer and other Full Tilt owners defrauded online customers out of $443.8 million.

Government prosecutors labeled Full Tilt Poker nothing more than a giant Ponzi scheme. The website’s owners and operators were accused of diverting funds from gamblers into their own pockets.

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2013 WSOP Schedule is Here

by , Feb 14, 2013 | 11:55 am

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.


Inside Gaming: Wall Street Likes PokerStars Deal to Buy Atlantic Club

by , Jan 20, 2013 | 1:00 pm

Wall Street is sold on the parent company of online gaming giant PokerStars taking ownership of a downtrodden casino in Atlantic City.

The question that remains is whether or not New Jersey gaming regulators will sign off on the deal.

On Tuesday, Isle of Man-based The Rational Group, which owns PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, filed papers with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, seeking approval to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel from Resorts International Holdings.

There is now a 90-day period in which the Division of Gaming Enforcement will conduct an investigation and then report its findings to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. The casino commission will then have 30 days to hold hearings and ultimately make a determination on suitability.

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Inside Gaming: Atlantic City in for Economic Storm

by , Dec 21, 2012 | 10:00 am

Atlantic CityIt can’t get any worse for Atlantic City.

Can it?

Last week’s news that November gaming revenues at Atlantic City’s 12 casinos suffered their worst single-month decline in the New Jersey community’s 34-year history of legalized gaming had to be the low point.

Or was it?

Granted, Superstorm Sandy, which hit the region in late October, caused most of Atlantic City’s casinos to stay closed between Oct. 28 and Nov. 5.

Infrastructure impairments hindered travel from key feeder markets while residents of the Atlantic City – many of whom are employed in the casinos – were dealing with their own property damages.

In November, casino revenues fell 27.9 percent, which followed a 19.9 percent drop in October.

Not all the declines can be attributed to the storm.

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PokerStars Provides Warmth to Hurricane Sandy Victims

by , Dec 20, 2012 | 7:05 am

The cold weather is bearing down on the East Coast, and sadly there are still thousands of residents who are without power or even warm homes due to the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. This past weekend, PPA Grassroots Director Drew Lesofski hand delivered hundreds of fleeces, hoodies, and other winter-weather clothing to communities in need. The items were made available thanks to a very generous donation of clothing from PokerStars to help those in need.

Upon receiving the boxes of fleeces and hoodies from PokerStars, PPA connected with local charities in New Jersey to distribute these items. Drew met with hundreds of families who stood in line at a local American Legion Hall in Keansburg, NJ to distribute the PokerStars items and other donated goods. “Warm clothing is a cherished item for those affected by the storm and the community was so grateful for the donations. I am proud that we could help, even in a small way, those who have literally been left with nothing due to Sandy’s devastation,” said Drew.


New Poker World Order [Maps]

by , Dec 17, 2012 | 5:44 am

The World Poker Tour made its Chinese debut this weekend at the MGM Grand in Sanya. That’s some 400 miles down shore from Macau, where PokerStars recently hosted the inaugural “Asia Championship of Poker”, and next month will hold something similar called the Red Dragon. These events come just as Caesars, unable to get properly licensed in China, is officially retreating from the Communist gamblers’ promised land.

Meanwhile, Stars is apparently trying to  get (back?) into North America by buying a distressed brick-and-mortar casino in storm-ravaged New Jersey — this according to an announcement that may or may not have been conveniently timed to steal buzz from a WSOP circuit event going on in Atlantic City.

Game of Risk: Live Poker in an Online Age
Redrawing the Battle Lines

Game of Risk: Live Poker at the Dawn of the 21st Century

Check out how the three biggest brands in poker (and the online gaming sites behind them) stack up against each other. I make no claims of these maps being to scale nor anything more than “pretty accurate, I think,” but look past my amateur cartography to see how three Poker World superpowers — the biggest American casino corporation, the biggest European internet gaming company, and the biggest “offshore” online poker operator — have been competing fiercely to corner your neighborhood tournament market.

 WSOP / Caesars / 888
 WPT / BwinParty / MGM Resorts
 PokerStars.net / PokerStars.com

See below to for some historical perspective on how the current live-tourney landscape took shape over the first decade of the 21st century.

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Welcome (Back?) to America

by , Dec 12, 2012 | 1:00 pm

The idea that online gaming giant PokerStars would buy the struggling Atlantic Club Hotel-Casino in Atlantic City brings additional intrigue into the ongoing Internet gambling legalization debate.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that PokerStars is negotiating to purchase the Boardwalk property from private equity group Colony Capital for less than $50 million.

This part is not a surprise. For that price, acquiring the casino originally built by Steve Wynn in the 1980s as the Golden Nugget and most recently operated as the Atlantic City Hilton is practically a steal.

One question, however, supersedes all others. Can PokerStars which agreed to pay $731 million to the federal government in August to settle a nine-count criminal indictment actually gain licensing approval from the ultra-strict New Jersey gaming regulators?

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