Saturday, 31 January 2015 23:52

When Brad Pitt lost $25,000 on a single poker hand!

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brad pitt playing poker

Hollywood superstar Brand Pitt lost $25,000 at Sundance Film Festival on a single hand. The festival was held in Utah and the actor was at the event to promote a movie called True Story that he has produced.

As per people around, Pitt was in a jovial mood as he decided to play hit the poker table with a couple of his buddies. However, after playing 5 hands, the 51-year-old announced he would pay $25,000 to anybody that won the hand. Also, as per Brad's announcement, the loser would have had to perform an “outrageous dare”.

Sadly for Pitt, he was dealt the worst hand at the table, which forcced him to muck his hand. Interestingly, American actor's personal valet won that hand and the $25,000 from his employer.

One of the players at the table said:

“Brad was telling the story to Angelina, who was shocked he lost that much money, but then he told her that the driver was putting his two kids through college and had another baby on the way. Angelina believes he threw the hand on purpose since he kept saying what a nice guy the driver was, how it was sad he had such a rough life and that everyone deserved some help.”

Losing big money “on purpose” seems to be a new trend among Hollywood's A-list stars. Recently, Mark Wahlberg blew a whopping $45,000 on the poker table at Macau while on a promotional tour for his movie “The Gambler”.

If this trend continues, one can only hope to be at the same poker table with these stars when they are in such a giving and generous mood.


Wednesday, 28 January 2015 16:35

Ludovic Lacay parts ways with Team Winamax

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ludovic lacay quits team winamax

Ludovic Lacay and Team Winamax ended their eight-year association this week. The poker pro decided to part ways with the French site to pursue a new and exciting venture.

Lacay shared his sentiments through a blog titled “Forgive my sins”. He wrote:

“My motivation has been down for several months now, and I wasn’t sure I would take a good decision. But I have played poker for nine years, and I travel from one tournament to the other, from a country to the other for eight years. It’s time for me to turn the page and do something else. I have an opportunity that I can’t miss. It’s as scary and exciting as poker was at the very beginning – and that’s what I want to do.”

The 29-year-old signed an agreement to be part of Team Winamax in 2007. He is termed as one of the best poker players in France. He has made approximately $3,251,597 from tournaments during the course of his career.

Lacay ranks ranks 6th on France’s All Time Money List with only Grospellier, David Benyamine, Fabrice Soulier, Roger Hairabedian, and Antoine Saout ahead of him.

Speaking about his association with Winamax, Lacay said:

“I want to thank Winamax for the decision to hire a law student that nobody knew and who didn’t know anyone back in 2007. They have helped him to grow and they have made him live some incredible experiences.”

Despite the exit of Lacay, Winamax still has the likes of Davidi Kitai, Sylvain Loosli, Gaëlle Baumann and Patrick Bruel as part of their team.

It would be interesting to see what Lacay’s next move is and what the future holds for this young and talented poker professional.


Wednesday, 28 January 2015 02:11

California may regulate online poker in 2015

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mike gatto california poker bill

Many states in the US are expected to regulate online poker in 2015. First among them is likely to be California, which is why the state is surrounded with plenty of optimism regarding this front.

It was the first state in the country to legalize gambling and the gambling laws of California go back to as late as 1849.

There have been multiple efforts by the state to regulate and legalize internet poker in the past and it continues to pursue with it even today.

As of now, there are to online poker bills in the state legislature—AB 9 by Mike Gatto, and AB 167 by Reginald Jones-Sawyer.

California Online Poker Law Enforcement Compliance and Consumer Protection Act draft was prepared in 2009.

In 2010 and 2011, Roderick Wright brought in SB 1485 and SB 45. Also, California Online Poker Association (COPA) drafted another bill in the very same year. In 2012 and 2013, SB 1463 and SB 51 respectively were introduced.

Lou Correa too introduced SB 678 in 2013. In the following year, Lou Correa introduced SB 1366 as did Reggie Jones-Sawyer with the AB 2291.

Despite so many efforts and attempts, nothing was yielded.

Now in 2015, the state has to selecte between 2 online poker bills. The main distinction between the two is that they differ on the role of racetracks in online poker and also whether a bad actor clause is needed.

Gatto’s bill – AB9 consists of a strong bad actor clause and does not include racetracks from the online poker industry. Hence, major players like PokerStars, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Bicycle Casino, Commerce Casino, and Hawaiian Gardens Casino do not back this bill.

Jones-Sawyer’s bill – AB167 factors in the racetracks and excludes the bad actor clause. However, this bill does not have the support of coalition of native Indian tribes.

It remains to be seen how and when this bill will pass. For a state that adopted gambling way ahead of others, California tryst with online gambling laws still continues.






Monday, 26 January 2015 18:21

Alex Trevallion wins Aussie Millions $25K Challenge

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Alex Trevallion Aussie Millions 25K

Alex Trevallion, the cash game specialist from Australia took down the 2015 Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge after overcoming a 104-player field for A$760,000.

A prize pool of AU$2,496,000 was created during the event that was spread over two days.

Some big names that participated in this event were Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius. Unfortunately, both of them could not make it to the final table.

Nine players made it to the final table, and after a series of eliminations, Tobias Reinkemeier and Alex Trevallion were left to fight it out to be crowned champion.

After both players commenced the heads-up battle with even chips, the railbirds didn’t have to wait for long before the deciding arrived.

Trevallion (J-8) and Reinkemeier (8-6) went all-in with their straights on a 7-10-5-4-9 board. With that, the latter had to be content with a second placed finished while the hometown hero was crowned the 2015 Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge champion.

Final Table Results:

1st Alex Trevallion – $645,150*

2nd Tobias Reinkemeier – $614,850*

3rd Pratyush Buddiga – $335,000

4th Stephen Chidwick – $250,000

5th Thomas Muehloecker – $195,000

6th Steve O’Dwyer – $156,000

7th Raiden Kan- $125,000

8th Rahul Byrraju – $100,000

9th Connor Drinan – $75,000

Xuan Liu Aussie Millions

Brand ambassador of 888Poker, Xuan Liu finished second at the Aussie Millions $1,150 NLHE 6-Max for $71,500. Sean O’Reilly beat Liu to the title after they entered the heads up battle with 5:1 chip disadvantage. With that runner-up finish, Liu took her career earnings to $1,522,301.

Following her good showing, Xuan Liu took to micro-blogging site Twitter to share her sentiments.

“You guys are awesome. Thanks so much for the virtual and live rail <333 very happy with my 2nd place, really! More to come…”

The event drew a crowd of 496 players to the Crown Poker Room in Melbourne. Some of the notable pros that participated in this tournament were Andrew Hinrichsen (43rd), Ash Warner (36th), Martin Finger (34th), Anthony Hachem (33rd), Rory Young (32nd), Tony Hachem (30th), Dennis Huntly (29th) and Tom Grigg (23rd).

Seven players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations it was left to Liu to displace O’Reilly from his chip lead position to win the event.

Unfortunately, the Aussie proved too good for the 888Poker pro and the final hand of the match saw O’Reilly’s shove the button with K-2.  Xuan Liu, holding A-10, made the call, and was condemned to second place when the board ran 6-8-2-A-K.

Final Table Results:

1st Sean O’Reilly – $107,200

2nd Xuan Liu – $71,500

3rd Bobby Zhang – $52,500

4th David Urban – $41,000

5th Shivan Abdine – $30,500

6th Adam Jarvis – $20,500

7th Robbie Fisher-O’Brien – $10,500

Liu is one of the most successful poker players in the world and her string of great performances has earned her a well-deserved reputation on the poker circuit. Now that she has started 2015 with a bang, players need to watch out for Xuan Liu in the upcoming tournaments.

wsop and 888 player liquidity

WSOP and 888’s joint new joint venture has beaten their strong rival PartyPoker in the garden state of New Jersey in the online poker market rankings.

Since online poker was regulated in New Jersey,’s online poker brand PartyPoker has been leading the competition.

PartyPoker operates in partnership with the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, a land-based company.

WSOP and 888 conveyed their decision of sharing player liquidity in the state so that poker players can have access to larger prize pools.

The duo now only partially utilizes one another’s player pool for cash games and specific SnG’s and tournaments.

PartyPoker and Borgata recorded a seven-day average of 160 players, while WSOP and 888 could only manage 110 and 95 respectively.

All that changed when WSOP and 888 merged their player pool thereby overtaking PartyPoker.

The combine of WSOP and 888 now registered a seven-day average of 190 players while 888 could manage only 170.

There are definitely interesting times in the online poker market in New Jersey, As the new year has shown, smart mergers are rapidly changing the dynamics of the online poker industry.



Tuesday, 20 January 2015 18:03

Darren Woods jailed 15 months for online poker fraud

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Darren Woods Online Poker Fraud

Darren Woods, British WSOP bracelet winner, has been jailed for 15 months for online poker fraud. The poker pro also could face up to 6 years imprisonment is he is unable to settle the £1 million confiscation order in the next 6 months.

At first, the 29-year-old did not admit to 13 charges of fraud committed from 2007 to 2012. However, he altered his plea to guilty on 9 out of the 13 charges.

The Briton was found guilty of collusion and rigging poker games with the help of using multiple player accounts linked to different identities.

Woods is said to have even bough several private networks to cover up his wrongdoing and circumvent the laws of online poker sites.

Despite the investigating authorities believing that the amount Woods won via cheating was bigger, the two parties agreed that the figure was of scam was £911,217. Out of which, £283,673 was to be paid to a Gibraltar-based gaming company, possibly 888poker, and be used to compensate other players affected by the scam.

Morteza Gharoon, father of Woods, was handed a six-month suspended prison sentence and will have £18,910 confiscated for letting his son use his personal bank account to make transactions worth 230,000.

Judge Paul Watson QC said:

“You are an intelligent, able and even gifted young man but you turned your talents towards defrauding online gambling companies and cheating other players of online poker. In individual games, other people playing against you stood to lose money because the odds had been rigged in your favour by the creation of multiple identities which were undisclosed to other players. Cheating undermines confidence in the recreational gambling industry.”

After Woods’ wrongdoing first emerged on a popular poker forum, the final point in this case has been reached. Justice has been done and a strong deterrent has been established for future offenders.


pokerstars sports betting

Online poker giant PokerStars will launch their sports betting operations through the course of the New Year.

The company, owned by Amaya Gaming,  revealed their plans of building their platform and that their project is schedules for launch even ahead of the initially planned  date.

PokerStars could offer sports betting to their customers in selected countries by the end of March.

Amaya Gaming revealed that this new betting platform would be available to countries periodically.

CEO of Amaya Gaming, David Baazov said:

“The sports betting product will launch within the PokerStars poker client in certain markets and PokerStars will gradually add more markets as well as web and mobile versions throughout the year. With the continuing trend of online gaming regulation around the world, the company has in front of itself an enormous opportunity to leverage its brand recognition and customer loyalty to diversify into other gaming verticals as casino, sports and betting and social gaming,”

The speed with which the company seems to be approaching completion of this project can be understood from the fact they have already successfully launched online casino game client of roulette and blackjack.

After dominating the online poker market for numerous years, how fans will embrace online sports betting from PokerStars remains to be seen. Also, it would be very interesting to note how the entry of PokerStars will alter the dynamics of the online betting market.

Mike Gatto california poker bill

Mike Gatto, Representative of State, this week proposed amendments to his California online poker bill. As per his latest changes suggested by him, poker players will have to physically register to create their accounts online.

The Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2015 (AB9), was put forth by Gatto in 2014. However, it is still not passed to a committee.

Speaking about proposed changes, Mike Gatto said:

“After meeting with security experts and hearing from poker players and industry professionals, I have concluded that online poker would be best served by making in-person registration an option rather than a requirement. State of the art technology currently used by operators in other states when registering players accesses many of the same databases used by financial institutions to verify the identity of registrants and prevent fraud.”

Gatto will also be meeting Amaya Gaming to discuss what they feel about the California poker bill. The bad actor clause in his bill will prevent the use of assets like online poker software in the state of California.

California Gambling Control Commission’s discretion will be needed to pave the way for their entry into the Californian market as a licensed operator.

The coalition of California card rooms and tribes that Amaya is part of, said in a press release:

“Any bill that seeks to establish artificial competitive advantages for some, while denying Californians the best online poker experiences, will only serve to divide the community and will be opposed by our coalition,”

There is a 50-50 of California getting its online poker regulation this year. This process has been in discussion sinc 2008.

*Image courtesy Mike Gatto's website.



Saturday, 17 January 2015 05:54

Ilkin Garibli crowned PCA High Roller for $1.1 Million

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lkin Garibli Wins PCA










Azerbaijan’s Ilkin Garibli beat a field of 200 players to emerge victorious after 3 action-packed days at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 High Roller for $1,105,040 first place prize. The event attracted a strong field that led to the creation of a prize pool worth $6,456,000.

As always the PCA High Roller attracted some of the best players around. However some big names crashed early. For instance Jake Cody crashed out in 32nd($44,540), Davidi Kitai in 25th ($56,820), Jonathan Karamals in 24th ($56,820), Andre Akkari in 16th ($79,400), Daniel Negreanu in 14th ($89,100), and Dominik Nitsche in 10th ($112,980).

After a series of eliminations, the tournament proceeded for a final table of 8 talented players.

After an intense battle, it was left to Ilkin Garibli and Joe Kuether to decide who takes home the PCA High Roller title and the cold hard cash.

Garibli began the heads-up battle with a 2:1 chip advantage over his final opponent. However, the duo then went on to strike a deal to lock up at least $1 million a piece. With that in place, the two then battled it out for some change and the coveted title.

It took more than two hours for the railbirds to get a final winner. In the deciding hand, Garibli (K-8) and Kuether (J-J) went all-in pre-flop, with the board running K-7-4-A-3.

Kuether had to settle for the runner-up position while Ilkin Garibli was crowned the 2015 PCA High Roller champion.

About his win, Ilkin Garibli said:

“To be honest I’m happy I cashed, but let’s just say I’d rather win first place. The pay jumps between sixth and seventh don’t really affect me that much. So I’m going for the big money. I hope that can happen.”

Final Table Results:

1 Ilkin Garibli – $1,105,040

2 Joe Kuether – $1,050,000

3 Oleksii Khoroshenin – $629,460

4 Jean-Pascal Savard – $508,080

5 Scott Seiver – $398,340

6 Nick Petrangelo – $301,500

7 Faraz Jaka – $221,440

8 Dan Heimiller – $162,700