Ivey Still Stands

September 28, 2013

After Phil Ivey had a few rough years, he’s back and better than ever. He had a recent come up with $900K, giving him an upswing since May, though he is still down seven figures for 2013. Upon Ivey’s return to Full Tilt Poker, he changed his name to “Polarizing” and had in the past won more than $19 million on Full Tilt Poker over a five year-span, making him the biggest poker pro in the world both on and offline and even made the final table at the WSOP Main Event in 2009. With nine gold bracelets, Ivey faces a more challenging battle in court.

A London casino reportedly refused to pay Ivey the $12.1 million in winnings he was owed from last year. He was apparently betting large amounts at a baccarat game after recently admitting that due to a manufacturing defect in the deck, he was able to read the cards. Ivey stands firm that he was not cheating because he never touched the cards, and the casino allowed him to exploit the situation.

New Jersey Sportsbetting Proponents Appeal to the State Supreme Court

September 26, 2013

New Jersey state took action to challenge the federal government’s ban on sportsbetting, only to be rejected by a federal appeals court when the issue came up for review this month. New Jersey argues that the restrictions on sports gambling put forth by the Professional Amateur sports Protection Act of 1992 is unconstitutional and violates the state’s sovereignty rights.

But Jersey lawmakers are still hopeful. The attorney who led the campaign to reform the sports betting laws in Jersey, a partner from the Princeton Public Affairs Group Inc. based out of Trenton, New Jersey, Bill Pascrell, says, “We had a mission to pass Internet gaming, exchange wagering and sports betting…I’m very excited … about what New Jersey represents in this space. With the issue of sports betting, it’s not a question of if, but when.”

Pascrell explained that the bill was approved two years ago by 67% of voters. Furthermore, in the NJ Legislature overwhelmingly passed an enabling law shortly thereafter.

According to Pascrell, the NFL went to court to block the NJ sportsbetting law and succeeded. However, Pascrell believes that the US Supreme Court will ultimately rule in favor of the state. He is ready though for a fight, as he says, “I know I’m in the minority; expect … some very smart attorneys.”

In addition to the NFL, the NBA, the MLB, NHL, and the NCAA, all agree that any law that enables sportsbetting essentially undermines the integrity of pro sports. However, many believe that New Jersey has what it takes to regulate gambling in any aspect, since the state has passed regulated online poker legislature.

New Jersey Online Poker Set for Late November

September 24, 2013

New Jersey has been readily preparing for the launch of regulated online poker, and it seems that by the end of November it may actually happen when at least one of its licensees is expected to make a debut.

Online gambling and online poker was legalized in New Jersey this year after a long fight with Governor Chris Christie and the legislature. Once there was a light at the end of the tunnel, the Garden State began writing the terms that will govern the untapped market within the state.

A spokeswoman told the Associated Press, “The division can confirm that it has received a significant amount of additional materials from the casino licensees on behalf of their Internet gaming applicants. The Division remains committed to meeting the statutory deadline of November 26.”

While around 35 online gambling firms applied to be a part of Jersey online gambling, nearly all of the land-based casinos in Atlantic City have partnered with an online conglomerate to be able to operate online games from within New Jersey state lines. Only Revel Casino Hotel and the Atlantic Club have not yet forged deals with an online partner. The Atlantic Club was in talks with PokerStars, but it didn’t work out, and rumors were abound that Steve Wynn was actually interested in purchasing the property, which he built in 1980 and sold in 1987.

Anthony Zinno Wins Borgata Poker Open

September 23, 2013

The 2013 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open $3,500 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event saw a total of 1,189 entries building to a $3,805,989 prize pool. This was way over the $3 million guarantee of the event. By the sixth day of the event, 31-year-old Anthony Zinno had beaten Vanessa Selbst in a heads-up to be the only player remaining.

Zinno, who hails from Cranston, Rhode Island, earned the 825,099 first-place prize, his first WPT title, and 1,440 Card Player Player of the Year points.

This event marked Zinno’s fifth final table in 2013. He had previously finished fourth place in the Card Player Poker Tour Venetian $5,000 Main Event and received a $86,964 payout. The consistency he has displayed this year has gotten him to 19th place in the Player of the Year overall standings with 2,192 points and $935,842 in year-to-date earnings.

To capture this title, Zinno not only had to outlast a huge field but also contend with several top pros who made deep runs. These included Vanessa Selbst who finished runner-up for $492,569 and 1,200 POY points, Cliff Josephy (9th – $69,528), and Dan Heimiller (13th – $30,312).

This was Selbst’s third final table, having made two high buy-in event final tables including the title in the Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 high roller for $1,424,420. Her Player of the Year ranking has moved up to 7th place with 2,922 POY points and $2,297,645 in year-to-date earnings. She is also 35th on the list of career live tournament earnings with her career earnings now being $7,883,301.

Selbst had the lead in the heads-up play and she extended it handing Zinno a crucial double up that overturned the lead to nearly 2-to-1. Zinno won in the final hand and Selbst lost her chance for 12th career title.

The final table payouts and POY points for this event are as follows:

  1. Anthony Zinno – $825,099 in earnings and 1440 POY points.
  2. Vanessa Selbst – $492,569 in earnings and 1200 POY points.
  3. Cong Pham – $301,225 in earnings and 960 POY points.
  4. Jeremy Kottler – $251,968 in earnings and 720 POY points.
  5. David Randall – $208,394 in earnings and 600 POY points.
  6. Eric Fields – $168,610 in earnings and 480 POY points.

November Niner Sells His WSOP Final Table Shares

September 20, 2013

Lehavot is looking for investors for 30 percent of his final table action. He said his parents have 10 percent, his good friend/investor has 10 percent, and he wants to keep 50 percent.

“I’m selling at ICM; this works out to be $29,248 per one percent,” he wrote on his Twitter, which links to a poker forum post. “This is with ninth-place money already subtracted out, so for each one percent invested the investor would get one percent of my prize money minus ninth-place money.”

Lehavot is a finalist for the 2013 Main Event and sits second in chips. The pro has put the minimum investment at $10,000. He plans to be done with all this by Oct. 21 as the final table starts in early Nov. He said he will publish the investors list and their stakes.
David Benefield, also a final table finisher, contributed to the thread saying he would buy some of Lehavot as long as it wasn’t a “conflict of interest.”

Lehavot will have to finish third so that his investors can break even. As he elaborated on the deal they are getting, he wrote, “Clearly I believe I have a skill edge. My finish distribution is better than ICM and hence this is a +EV investment for investors. I’m effectively selling at no markup.”

“I’m fortunate enough where selling this action isn’t a high priority for me,” Lehavot wrote. “Obviously I prefer to sell and believe it’s a +EV investment for investors, or I wouldn’t have posted. But if I keep my entire 80 percent, that’s OK. I don’t intend to change the price I’m selling at,” he added.

The November final table will award an $8.3 million first-place prize.

Global Poker Index September 2013

September 19, 2013

The Global Poker Index (GPI) rankings for this month have been released. GPI is the system used to rank the 300 best live tournament poker players in the world. Players who finish in cash positions in qualifying tournaments are ranked on a weekly basis putting into consideration their performance over a period of 36 months. Usually, this is the top 10% or 20% of player pool in an event.

Qualifying events are those events that are open to the public, have at least 21 players and a buy-in of at least $1,500 or other currency equivalent, and are not exclusive or selected events like satellites, charity, seniors, employee, and team events.

In a given event, the score of each player is derived from their buy-in, finishing place percentage, and aging factor.
The GPI is updated every week on GlobalPokerIndex.com. The top 10 in the rankings follow. Bertrand Grospellier is ranked number 13, while Justin Bonomo is 16.

Rank GPI Score Player Name Last Week Rank Change from Last Week

1 3254.38 Marvin Rettenmaier 1 0
2 3187.66 Daniel Negreanu 2 0
3 3149.04 Jason Mercier 3 0
4 3070.49 Philipp Gruissem 4 0
5 3040.17 Joseph Cheong 5 0
6 3031.88 Ole Schemion 6 0
7 3011.55 Stephen O’Dwyer 8 1
8 2986.75 David Sands 11 3
9 2973.16 Michael Watson 7 -2
10 2906.90 Igor Kurganov 9 -1

Some Full Tilt Accounts Won’t Be Paid

September 19, 2013

On Monday and Tuesday, Garden City Group, Inc. (GCG) sent email notices to all Full Tilt Poker players who are potentially eligible for the Full Tilt Poker funds that were seized to file petitions for remission. GCG is the company tasked with redistribution of these funds. It identified these petitioners using data from Full Tilt Poker.

The company said that any emails that “bounced back” will be resent. Full Tilt Poker users who have been expecting the emails but are yet to receive them have been asked to give it a couple of days. “Please allow 2-3 additional days, as GCG attempts to resend emails, and then you may file a new Petition for Remission.”

Players who received the emails are requested to log on to the GCG website to get the petition process started. As from Wednesday going up to Nov. 16, 2013, GCG will be accepting Petitions for Remission. On the website is a tab that has been included on the left menu to allow for this.

As for anybody who registered on the FullTiltPokerClaims.com website but failed to be selected as a potentially eligible petitioner, they will not be receiving any emails from GCG with log on credentials.

WSOP Poker Site Debuts to Nevada Residents

September 18, 2013

The World Series of Poker is set to debut its real-money online poker site in Nevada this month. Only poker players who reside in Nevada will have access to this site.

Nevada adopted the regulations of online gaming in December, 2011, having legalized online poker earlier that year. At the beginning of this year, state compacts aimed at creating greater liquidity for online poker sites became legalized. It is now expected that sometime in 2014 the state will partner with New Jersey for an interstate network.

In the Monday morning conference call, WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said, “It is a gratifying and exciting day to see the WSOP online launch… from Fremont to any street in Nevada in less than a decade.”

On licensing and testing processes, the firm said that the Nevada Gaming Control Board will be in charge.

The WSOP had originally planned to launch the site early in summer but the date was moved forward. Now the firm looks to joining the other poker site already benefiting from the online gambling market. Station Casinos has so far been the only provider of real-money online poker in Nevada. This past spring saw Station’s Ultimate Poker launch a Nevada-based online poker room and it has been holding out remarkably strongly ever since.

The WSOP poker site will be Windows and Max compatible, and its game suite at the time of launch will constitute Texas Hold’em, Omaha High, Seven Card Stud High, Omaha Eight-or-Better, and Seven Card Stud Eight-or-Better. The deposit methods supported will be such as MasterCard, Visa, and ACH.

The only bad news for poker pros is that the sponsored player model that features on many online poker rooms will not be supported on the WSOP site.

The WSOP is also planning on starting an online poker championship series though at present there are no plans for awarding bracelets. The firm plans to first help players qualify for the existing live events through the real-money site.

Caesar and 888 Online Poker Partnership Will Serve Nevada

September 18, 2013

U.S. gaming company Caesars Interactive Entertainment forged a partnership with UK-based 888 that will now bear fruits in the form of an online poker site for Americans. This site will be launched in Nevada and comes after the regulations passed for Internet poker in the state.

Nevada is one the few states that have relaxed the online gambling ban imposed through the 2006 UIGEA. Home to the largest land-based casinos in the world – Las Vegas – Nevada is now the one leading tax-hungry states on this regulation journey.

Caesars and 888 plan to launch the online poker room on Thursday under the Caesars World Series of Poker brand. 888 will be responsible for the provision of technological support.

The UIGEA dealt a blow to numerous companies that had set up operations in the U.S., among them 888. Commenting on the return of 888 to U.S. soil, 888 CEO Brian Mattingley said, “Almost 7 years to the date since we took the decision to exit the US market, 888 is returning to the states by powering the marquee WSOP brand.”

888 is one of several European gaming companies that are working at expansion across the Atlantic as the American states ease gambling laws. The company has a modest market capitalization of 560 million pounds (about $560 million) and it is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

New Jersey is also a renowned land-based gambling hub and it plans to allow online gambling within its state lines from November this year.

Nevada GCB Tests the Out-of-State Waters

September 15, 2013

On Wednesday, August 24, 2011, the Nevada Gaming Control Board issued a proposed Internet poker governing regulations draft. On Wednesday, the state took yet another step on its long and complicated road to legal online gaming. The state’s Gaming Control Board held a workshop meeting to address a proposal for progressive jackpots to be offered across state lines.

Bally Technologies and International Game Technology, the leading slot machine manufacturers in Nevada, petitioned for the amendment of gambling regulations to allow multi-jurisdictional progressive prizes. The motivation for the two companies is enabling wide-area progressive jackpots over a larger area, and they are confident that jackpots for multiple jurisdictions will be larger and build faster.

A.G. Burnett, the Gaming Control Board chairman, concurred that amending the regulations is the first step towards making Internet poker across state lines a reality. For interstate online poker play to become possible the technical specifications must be developed with precision and the governor must enter agreements with other states.

Early in the 2013 session of the Legislature, Governor Brian Sandoval signed legislation approval that paves the way for setting up of regulations to enable poker play by people outside the state.

Sandoval said, “I can’t enter into any compacts or agreements with other states until the Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission adopt regulations to allow me to do so.”

The governor also said that other states had shown an interest in entering into such a compact.

“We have had preliminary conversations with other states, but there is nothing I can do until the regulations are adopted, which I understand may happen next month.”

Currently, people are allowed to play online poker only within the borders of Nevada and the only company with the license to run an online poker site is Station Casinos, which it does through its Ultimate Poker brand. Station is yet to reveal the amount of revenue it has generated through intrastate online poker, but according to Sandoval it is doing “extremely well.” There are several other operators on the blink of acquiring their licenses.

Appointed to oversee the development of the regulations on interstate agreements is Commissioner John Moran Jr., who is experienced in the negotiation of compacts with other states on Colorado River water usage.

At the Wednesday session, the Control Board reviewed regulatory amendments addressing the technicalities of deploying an interstate network. Burnett said the purpose of the session was information gathering for presentation to the Gaming Commission. Hearings on the proposals should be scheduled for October.