After PokerStars introduced Spin & Go tournaments, quite a few of the sites regular grinders were unhappy with the move. As per them, the new variant recreations players veered away and they could no longer make profits like before.
Hence, there was a view from serious grinders wasnâ€™t a viable option for them. But after playing for over 5,000 hands of the Spin & Go tournaments, the view of one such PokerStars playerâ€™s view have been altered.
Online grinder â€śbighuslaâ€ť began playing the new variant at the end of last year with an objective to attain a minimum of 8% return on his investment.
The playerâ€™s results revolved around a chip EV metric (cEV) so that one fortuitous jackpot strike on the game would not skew his results one way or the other.
The player ended up attaining an 8.8% cEV at the end of his experiment. Not just that, bighuslaâ€™s $30 buy-ins fetched him a profit of $11,000, along with the prop bets he ended up winning from other grinders at 3.5-1 odds against him.
At the end of his experiment, bighusla concluded that Spin & Goâ€™s could be made profitable altering standard strategy. He wrote on a popular poker forum:
â€śThere are really a ton of dynamics to consider at all times from all positions. Not to mention the fact that in combination to being a good 3 max player u must be a good [heads up] player as well in order to really crush these games. Iâ€™m currently considering donating 20 new laptops to foster children back home in Brooklyn,â€ť
Not only did he make a profit, but bighusla also opened up a new debate regarding the new poker format of PokerStars. This approach would definitely help other players who had formed a particular notion about Spin n Goâ€™s.
Poker pro Michael Mizrachi announced his latest business venture called Blast Longer this week. The objective of which is to piggyback on the popularity of last-longer bets in poker tournaments.
The Florida-based Mizrachi is not new to business, for he has previously invested in gold stores, the Mizrachi Dealer Academy, and promoting bitcoin-only poker sites
The 3-time WSOP bracelet winnerâ€™s new platform can be accessed online as well as through a mobile app. But for now, it will be geared towards online poker tournaments, with bets on sites including PokerStars, PartyPoker, FullTilt, iPoker.
However, the platform will provide the option going forward for all main live tournaments, too, including the 2015 WSOP.
Speaking about his latest venture Michael Mizrachi, said:
â€śThe player in each blast who lasts longest in the tournament wins the pot. Each tournament will have multiple pots at different bet levels: 10 percent, 25 percent, and 50 percent of the buy-in for online tournaments, and one percent, three percent, five percent, and 10 percent of the buy-in for live tournaments.â€ť
In the several features on the Blast Longer platform, the most interesting is that it can enable played to avoid any financial disputes that often tend to arise between individual gamblers.
Blast Longer also performs the role of â€śan insurance for poker players [providing them with] a new, interactive way to cash on their skills.â€ť
Hence even without cashing in a tournament, players can make a profit.
The Blast Longer platform is in the Beta testing stage and a full rollout is expected in the coming weeks.
Fraser Bellamy won the ÂŁ1,100 Sky Poker UK Poker Championships Main Event at the Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham. In doing so, he beat a field of 813 players during the course of 3 days to take home the trophy and ÂŁ200,000 first place prize.
On the final day, there were 31 players vying for the coveted trophy. However, only 9 of them managed to make it to the final table, with Tom Hall (9.85m) going in as chip leader.
Next in line were Fraser Bellamy (8.08m), Chris Vernon (6.6m), and Dewi James (5.31m), Matas Cimbolas (4.82m), Jamie Clossick (4.53m), Jonathan Kalmar (4.34m), Farhaan Khan (3.44m) and David Lloyd (3.23m).
After a series of eliminations, it was left to Fraser Bellamy and Chris Vernon to fight it out for the prize. At the start of the heads-up battle, Bellamy held a 39m to 11m chip lead over Vernon.
The deciding hand of the event saw Bellamy (Q-Q) and Vernon (A-4) go all-in pre-flop. The board ran 7-3-J-2-Q board to condemn Vernon to a second place finish for ÂŁ120,000, while Fraser Bellamy was crowned the big winner of the day.
Final Table Results:
1 Fraser Bellamy ÂŁ200,000
2 Chris Vernon ÂŁ120,000
3 David Lloyd ÂŁ80,000
4 Matas Cimbolas ÂŁ55,000
5 Tom Hall ÂŁ40,000
6 Farhaan Khan ÂŁ30,000
7 Jamie Clossick ÂŁ25,000
8 Jonathan Kalmar ÂŁ20,000
9 Dewi James ÂŁ15,050
John Payne, Pennsylvania State Representative on Thursday articulated his vision for expansion of online gaming in the Keystone State.
Payne introduced the bill called HB 649 in the House of Representatives. As per the bill, only online poker and not gambling would be legal in the state.
Having said that, it would be fair to assume there is scope to open the door to include other forms of online gambling in the future.
There is a mention of â€śInteractive Gamingâ€ť on several occasions in the bill. However, the world poker is used only twice despite it being a bill to legalize online poker.
A small change to a single word at the head of document in the definitions chapter would suffice to alter the bill from online poker to online gambling.
Apart from Representative Payne, there are18 other cosponsors for the bill. They also include include Representative Tina Davis. She is known for sponsoring an online gambling bill in Pennsylvania back in 2013 as well.
What does HB 649 call for?
The HB 649 does not comprise of any explicit Bad Actor clause preventing the likes of PokerStars from applying for an online poker license.
House Gaming Oversight Committee will host a hearing on Online and Mobile Gaming on April 16. As of now, HB 649 has been signed on by 27 members of the Gaming Oversight Committee.
Partypoker in New Jersey has registered their highest ever cash game traffic since April 2014. Despite a decline in online poker participation in other poker rooms, partypoker NJ and Borgata Poker are moving upwards.
For this great news, they have to thank the Borgata Pokerâ€™s Grind promotion. Here, players are rewarded at the end of month with tickets to tournament or cash depending on the points earned.
The highest award for high volume grinders is $2,000. But even if a player earns a meager 100 points, a prize is still given out.
Partypokerâ€™s Bonus Builder promotion has been cited as the main reason this spike in traffic. Since February 9, several players have accumulated cash prizes and bonuses playing at the site. By February 19, the partypoker knew they had a great promotion going seeing the response.
Until March 1, players can earn bonus that they have earned. These bonuses are released. Bonuses are released at the rate of $1 for every 8 player points earned. However, they are paid out increments of 10% of the total.
Level Points Prize Cash Bonus
1 5 $3 $1 $2
2 10 $10 $2 $8
3 50 $30 $6 $24
4 300 $70 $14 $56
5 1,000 $150 $30 $120
6 5,000 $750 $150 $600
Partypoker has meticulously devised bonus structure in order to benefit low-stakes players along with the high rollers.
The growth in traffic has been a significant 23% in the last week. Hence even casual players have enjoyed playing due to the additional player liquidity.
There appears to be no relief in sight for poker legend Phil Ivey. After a win at the Aussie Millions, Ivey has now dropped $614,000 in the last 7 days. His faced this downswing plying around 3,200 hands across 16 distinct sessions.
Since the beginning of the New Year, Ivey has lost $782,000. In 2014, the 39-year-old lost a whopping $2.3 million, considered among the biggest losses in the high-stakes online poker world.
Despite the bad form, Ivey continues to rank among pokerâ€™s most profitable online players. Till date he has won approximately $19 million prior to Black Friday in 2011.
But Ivey has been having a torrid time at the table especially after assuming the â€śPolarizingâ€ť screen name on Full Tilt in 2012.
Having played around 2,100, Swede Viktor â€śIsildur1â€ť managed to break-even after losing $247,000 on Full Tilt and winning $218,000 on PokerStars.
Interestingly, Sebastian â€śtaktloss47â€ť Ruthenberg ruled the online poker world overt the past week pocketing $653,000 on Full Tilt and PokerStars. Rui Cao, the French poker pro was second raking in $337,000.
â€śHoldemJill9â€ť, an unidentified player account was third with $331,000 in profits.
Some of this past weekâ€™s other big winners included Ola â€śOdd_Oddsenâ€ť Amundsgaard ($154,000), Ilari â€śIlari FINâ€ť Sahamies ($146,000), Dan â€śJungleman12â€ť Cates ($120,000), Jens â€śJeans89â€ť KyllĂ¶nen ($90,000) and Isaac Haxton ($65,000).
However, the biggest pot of the week was won by Ilari â€śIlari FINâ€ť Sahamies.
After regulating its poker industry in 2010, France has witnessed a fall in quarterly poker revenues. That has even led to the President of the countryâ€™s online gaming regulator ARJEL to call poker a complicated game, the â€śfadâ€ť for which no longer exists.
The poor results in the French poker market have been linked to their obstructive poker laws and tax laws. The latest casualty of which are PokerStars and their European Poker Tour.
The company made an announcement that EPT Deauville would no longer be a part of the EPT season 12.
Rebecca McAdam, Senior Manager of Public Relations at PokerStars, said:
â€śOur contract to hold EPT events in Deauville has now reached its natural conclusion. We are grateful to our partners at Barriere, the staff, and the people of the town of Deauville for their hospitality over the last 11 seasons of the EPT.â€ť
The decision to pull out was fairly easy for PokerStars as existing laws in the country meant the financial benefits of hosting the EPT would be limited. Also, another hindrance were the gender equality laws as one quarter of the â‚¬220 Womenâ€™s Event were men, with a man Thierry Derkx finally emerging victorious over Sabina Hiatullah to bag the womenâ€™s EPT title.
There is no denying that the poker scene in France has been dealt a severe blow due to EPTâ€™s exit.
Philppe Ktorza, a top French poker pro, wrote:
â€śThe EPT in Deauville has been important for Franceâ€™s poker community. I still remember the enthusiasm of the players for what was considered to be the event of the year. There are not going to be any big poker tournaments in France anymore. To be able to play against the best international players of the game we will be obliged to leave and go to play abroad.â€ť
These are indeed tough times for the French poker market. It is now upto the government and regulators to alter the exiting laws so iGaming companies feel the ease to do business in the country.
PokerStars representative, present at the German Association of Telecommunications and Media (DVTM) meeting in Munich this month, confirmed their backing to the association by voicing support for revamp of the countryâ€™s anti-iGaming laws.
Eric Hollreiser, PokerStarsâ€™ spokesman said:
â€śThe legislative situation in Germany calls on industry to take action. The industry must work together to develop an effective impact.. The common goal is a consumer-oriented, legally compliant and EU compliant regulation of the German online gaming market.â€ť
Germany is known for its stringent laws stifling iGaming activity within its borders. They have banned all forms of online wagering, except lotteries, horseracing and online sports wagering.
Online poker and casino operators cannot function in country. In January, the state prosecuted a player who had won â‚¬201,500 playing blackjack online.
There was a raid by German Financial Services Authorities at his house and money hidden in his loft was confiscated. Not just that, he was also fined for â‚¬2,100.
Section 285of GermanyÂ´s Criminal Code, which he was said to have violated, states that:
â€śWhosoever participates in a public game of chance (Section 284) shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding 180 daily units.â€ť
As of now, 16 constituent states of the country have aligned themselves with Germanyâ€™s Intestate Treaty on Gaming. This is an anti-online gambling treaty, which is considered draconian by the DVTM.
But as the stakeholders wait for the current situation to be resolved by the European Commission, there has been a exodus of big online operators from the German market, with the likes of Casino.com, MansionCasino.com, LesAcasino.com, Club777.com, SlotsHeaven.com, and Guts.com preferring to avoid law-related hassles within the country.
After the departure of Shane Warne, 888 has now witnessed another high profile exit. Xuan Liu has parted ways with the online poker giant.
Liu, a Canadian pro, who joined the siteon April, 2014, tweeted the following on February 11, 2015:
â€śVery grateful to have been given the opportunity for a year but will no longer be an @888poker ambassador.â€ť
At the time of joining 888, Liu had amassed $1,400,832 in live tournament winnings. After joing 888, she won another $112,677 in winnings. Liu was the runner up at the Aussie Millions $1,150 No Limit Holdem Six Max earlier this year for A$71,500 (US$ 58,734).
After the exit of 888pokerâ€™s sponsor pros list now includes Jackie Glazier, and Sofia LĂ¶vgren, Nicolau Villa Lobos, Bruno Kawauti, and Bruno Foster Politano.
Swedenâ€™s Sofia Lovgren post a message of support for Liu as she tweeted the following:
â€ś@xxl23 @888poker Sad news Xuan. Always a class act and an inspiration for me! Gl in your next adventure and see you in Vegas!â€ť
Australiaâ€™s Jackie Glazier also expressed solidarity with Liu:
â€ś@xxl23 Iâ€™m sure new adventures await you in 2015. You are an amazing ambassador of the game and an inspiration to many xxâ€ť
Canadian Kara Scott, who left PartyPoker and recently signed for Tilt Events, alongside her husband Giovanni Rizzo, also tweeted:
â€ś@xxl23 @888poker Youâ€™re an awesome ambassador! Hereâ€™s to your next adventure! Looks like 2015 has changed pretty much ALL the rosters now.â€ť
Well, 2015 has seen plenty of poker pros move from one brand to another. After Warne, Rousso and Scott, Xuan Liu is the next big name to move. It remains to be seen where she joins next. Until then, we wish Liu all the best in her future endeavors.
It is no secret that online poker giant PokerStars has been attempting to re-enter the US market after their ouster post Black Friday. They have zeroed in on New Jersey to make their foray back into one of worldâ€™s most lucrative online poker market.
However, with delays and licensing troubles, the Amaya-owned brand it appears as though the road to recovery for PokerStars is still not easy.
After it acquisition, the climate appeared to favor the return of PokerStars in America. However, media reports now suggest that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is not in favor of granting a license to the company to offer poker to its residents.
Reports also suggest that Christie has convinced the Division of Gaming Enforcement in the state to delay the entry of PokerStars into online poker within the states borders. Not just that, even State Senator Ray Lesniak seems to be part of this ploy.
The Head of the Atlantic City Union representing the employees of casinos, Bob McDevitt, also believe that the Governor and the Attorney Generalâ€™s office have caused the delay.
Others also believe that the reason could be political and billionaire Sheldon Adelson too could be behind preventing the return of PokerStars.
However, Christie and his team have not responded to any of these charges. It would be interesting to see if they will every come out with an explanation. Either way, PokerStarsâ€™ problems in the US seem to be unending.