“The Bernard Lee Poker Show” Celebrates 10th Anniversary

 “The Bernard Lee Poker Show” Celebrates 10th Anniversary

It doesn’t seem like it could be possible, but one of the longest running poker radio broadcasts in the industry will be celebrating its 10th anniversary soon. In commemoration of this achievement, there are big plans to celebrate with the fans, including giveaways and special guests that will last into 2018.

Poker player Bernard Lee began his eponymous radio broadcast, “The Bernard Lee Poker Show,” back in 2007 in the Boston area and has been able to carry on the broadcast for the entirety of the last decade, albeit on different outlets. As a way of celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the show, Lee is taking the broadcast back to an old home (2010-13) in the Boston area. “The Bernard Lee Poker Show” will air on the Money Matters Radio Network (1120AM and 102.9FM) at 6PM on Tuesdays.

“When I set out more than 10 years ago to launch a poker radio show in Boston, I never could have dreamed it would have been met with such a positive reaction and go on to be shared with listeners worldwide. I’m a poker fan first and a player second, which I believe has been the key to providing listeners a poker show they continue to find interesting and informative,” Lee said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to host the show for these past 10 years, and I look forward to many, many more!”

Jason Wolfe, the General Manager of Money Matters Radio, seemed to be happy about the return of Lee also. “We are thrilled to have one of the premier poker shows back on our network,” Wolfe noted during the announcement of Lee’s anniversary celebration. “Lee attracts first-rate guests, which always makes for compelling content. Our listeners will be excited to have the show back on our airwaves,”

Coming on as the sponsor for the 10th anniversary festivities is RunGoodGear.com, which also has served as a sponsor for Lee’s poker endeavors on the felt. “Bernard is a great ambassador not only for RunGoodGear, but also for the entire poker community,” Tana Karn, the president of RunGoodGear, stated. “Bernard has done a fantastic job supporting us and we are pleased to be part of this joyous celebration.”

If you think that this is going to be a mild celebration, then you’re in for a surprise. Listeners to “The Bernard Lee Poker Show” are going to be the recipients of several gifts to celebrate the occasion. Those listeners who follow Lee on Twitter (the link to his Twitter feed is here) and retweet or like contest announcements will be entered into the contests. Listeners can also get into the game by following Lee on Instagram (link here).

Over the next three months, Lee will be handing out a wealth of prizes to his listeners. T-shirts commemorating the 10th Anniversary of “The Bernard Lee Poker Show,” buy ins to tournaments at the Borgata and tickets to the VooDoo Zip Line at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas are the top prizes over the next three months. There will be other prizes awarded, including seats at the All-In for CP Charity Poker event in Las Vegas and RunGoodGear merchandise, until the close of the celebration in February 2018.

The guest list for the party is just starting to take shape as well. Featured guests will be a part of “The Bernard Lee Poker Show” that run the gamut of poker history. In May, 2005 World Series of Poker Championship Event winner Joe Hachem will join Lee on the air, with June bringing the defending WSOP Player of the Year Jason Mercier and July the 2012 WSOP Championship Event victor Greg Merson. Future shows will feature the current defending World Champion, Qui Nguyen, and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton.

For his part, Lee is going to look to make his 10th anniversary special from the playing arena. Lee has earned more than $ 2 million in his career on the felt, with his best cash dating to the 2010 WSOP Circuit championship in Hammond, IN ($ 236,368). With such success, however, there are a couple of things that have been more important to Lee: his family and his community. Lee is a devoted family man who has given back to his Massachusetts community, especially with a toy drive for families in need during the Christmas season.

Be sure to check out “The Bernard Lee Poker Show” as it celebrates its 10th anniversary, especially if you can get Money Matters Radio in Boston (1120AM and 102.9 FM) or on one of its affiliates. Congratulations to Bernard and here’s to another ten years of poker broadcasting excellence!

Poker News Daily

Tony Romo Talks DFS with Texas Lawmakers

 Tony Romo Talks DFS with Texas Lawmakers

Tony Romo is somewhat of a controversial figure in Dallas sports history. He played for the NFL’s Cowboys for over a decade, most of that as the team’s starting quarterback. He had his injury problems, but when healthy, he was generally quite good with moments of greatness. In 2014, the last season in which he was healthy (he played in 15 of 16 regular season games), Romo led the league in passer rating, completion percentage, touchdown percentage, and yards per pass attempt. Despite his regular season success, though, he only played in six playoff games, winning just two. Nevertheless, most fans in the state love him (it doesn’t hurt that he is a nice guy) and, as such, the now-retired Romo was honored by the state legislature last week with a ceremonial resolution.

While he was in the state capitol, Romo met with several lawmakers about the possibility of legalizing daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Texas. Early last year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton declared DFS to be illegal gambling. Based on the law, Paxton determined that because DFS is at least partially based on chance, an entry is thus considered a bet and therefore DFS is illegal gambling.

The two major DFS sites, DraftKings and FanDuel, disagreed with the decision, but only FanDuel withdrew from the market.

A bill to legalize DFS is present in both the Texas House and Senate; the House bill’s sponsor, Richard Raymond, is also the sponsor of the honorary Romo bill. According to the Dallas Morning News, that bill has “stalled in the House Calendars Committee.”

More than just being a former football player and a fantasy sports fan, Tony Romo has a financial stake in fantasy sports as a major equity holder in the National Fantasy Football Convention (NFFC), which he has scheduled to be held in Dallas this summer.

The NFFC’s founders describe the event as “a groundbreaking, interactive, and entertaining series of events, exhibits, and opportunities designed entirely for fantasy football fans nationwide, uniting fans with their passions at an unprecedented scale and scope.”

Romo and his partners tried to hold the first one at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas in 2015, expecting one hundred NFL players to show up and mingle with the attendees. The NFL, though, did not like the idea of the NFFC being associated with gambling (though the Expo has no gambling activities) and put a stop to it.

The thing was, it’s not like the NFL just told Romo he couldn’t host the convention. Instead, according to reports and Romo himself, NFL officials killed it by threatening players with suspensions if they attended. With the players out of the mix, the convention had no chance.

The NFFC was rescheduled for the following year in Los Angeles, but for some reason, the NFL also undermined it there. The NFFC sued the NFL as a result of the 2015 interference, but got nowhere. A lawsuit following last year’s debacle, though, is on track to go to trial in November.

Poker News Daily

New York Online Poker Bill Passes Senate Finance Committee

 New York Online Poker Bill Passes Senate Finance Committee

It is on to the full Senate for a bill that would regulate and legalize online poker in New York state, as the bill has passed the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday by a 27-9 vote. On Valentine’s Day, the bill passed the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee by a unanimous 11-0 vote.

The purpose of S3898, according to the text of the bill itself, is:

To authorize the New York State Gaming Commission to license certain entities to offer for play to the public certain variants of internet poker which require a significant degree of skill, specifically “Omaha
Hold’em” and “Texas Hold’em.”

Straightforward, it is (Yoda…I am?).

The bill is sponsored by Republican State Senator John Bonacic, who has taken up the online poker cause during the last few years. He introduced a bill last year and everything was going well, especially when it sailed through the Senate by a 53-5 vote, but the Assembly never even voted on it.

Bonacic has been confident about his bill this year, telling GamblingCompliance, “Last year, there was too much gaming for the Assembly to consider with fantasy sports and the efforts in New Jersey for a referendum to put a casino in the Meadowlands, and I really think that it got put on the back burner. So now we are putting it in the front burner.”

We won’t bore our readers with all of the finer points of the poker bill, but some of the provisions, as we listed out in February, as well, include:

•    Permits the state to enter into interstate gaming compacts so that player pools can be combined.
•    15 percent tax on gross gaming revenue
•    A maximum of ten licensed operators who must pay a licensing fee of $ 10 million each. Licenses would be good for ten years.
•    Most forms of poker would be authorized, even though the above “purpose” statement only mentions Hold’em and Omaha (that was likely just a simplification, as Hold’em and Omaha are the two most popular forms of online poker – there would be no reason to exclude other forms, like Stud).
•    When and if the bill is signed into law, there will be a 180-day grace period before licenses can be issued and games can start, likely to make sure the state is properly prepared.
•    Operating an online poker site without a license is a crime. Unlicensed operators will be both fined and taxed.

One of the reasons that the bill didn’t get voted upon in the state Assembly last year was Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who was actually the sponsor of the Assembly’s version of the bill. In a February interview with FIOS1 News’s Andrew Whitman, he said that he was not confident about operators’ ability to prevent cheating. Fortunately, after visiting New Jersey’s Attorney General, he came away impressed and is now “satisfied” that cheating can be prevented as much as is reasonably possible. Pretlow now believes the bill shouldn’t have problems in the New York Assembly, assuming it gets there.

“When I do sign off on something,” he told Whitman, “my colleagues feel that it is a good deal and they don’t question why I made a certain decision. They know that if that decision was made, it’s for good reason. So I don’t really see there’s going to be much opposition to moving this along.”

Poker News Daily

Players Choose Progressive Knockout for PokerStars SCOOP Finale

 Players Choose Progressive Knockout for PokerStars SCOOP Finale

The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) began this weekend and though the public could see the two-week schedule in its entirety online, that schedule had been incomplete until Monday. Still open was the Event #57, the Players’ Choice event, whose game type, as one would figure based on its title, was left up to players to decide upon. PokerStars hosted the vote on its Facebook page, allowing people to vote by “like” emoticons. That vote closed yesterday and emerging has the clear winner was No-Limit Progressive Knockout, a tournament suggested by popular Twitch streamer Jamie Staples.

“Progressive Knockouts are a really fun form of tournament; I am excited this has been the most voted option. I wish everyone the best of luck in the Players’ Choice event!” said Staples in a press release issued by the world’s largest online poker room.

Progressive Knockout tournaments are not for the passive player, not for the kind of person who is content with trying to fold their way into a min-cash. Read: I would be terrible at Progressive Knockouts.

As the name implies, it is a knockout tournament, where part of the buy-in is used as a bounty on every player’s head. Eliminate a player, claim their bounty.

But the Progressive Knockout takes it to another level entirely. In these, half of the buy-in is put into the prize pool, while the other half is the bounty on the head of every player in the tournament. So, in a $ 10 buy-in event, $ 5 from each player goes to the prize pool and $ 5 is the bounty on each player. But it gets a bit more complicated than that. When you eliminated an opponent, you don’t get their entire bounty; you only get half. The other half is added to your OWN bounty, making you an even juicier target for your opponents.

What that little twist does is make Progressive Knockout Tournaments more action-packed, as so much of the value comes from actually notching eliminations. And it’s not just about being aggressive in trying to knock people out. The aggressive play needs to start from the get-go, as players must build up big enough stacks to allow them to have opponents covered and be able to eliminate them when the opportunity arises.

“We always take into account the latest trends and player preferences when building the SCOOP schedule,” said Mike Jones, Poker Operations Manager. “A Players’ Choice event is a great way for our customers to directly contribute to that. This event will be a fun way to close out SCOOP 2017, and I’m delighted that our players chose this format.”

The Players’ Choice event will be held on Monday, May 22nd at 11:00am. The three buy-in levels will be $ 11, $ 109, and $ 1,050. Jamie Staples plans on streaming all of his SCOOP events, opting for the low-tier buy-in.

Poker News Daily

MGM, GVC Team for New Jersey Online Casino/Poker Offering

 MGM, GVC Team for New Jersey Online Casino/Poker Offering

According to announcements from the players involved, the New Jersey online gaming industry will be growing by one very soon.

Last week, MGM Resorts International announced that they would be teaming with GVC Holdings PLC – the ownership behind partypoker – to bring a new entry into the Garden State’s online gaming and poker offerings. MGM, which owns the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on the Atlantic City boardwalk (and is already offering a popular set of sites), has been looking for some way to introduce an eponymously named sites that would work as a compatriot for the Borgata operation but still be standing on its own. Later this year, MGM will offer GVC’s software to run its games (at this point, it looks like the site may be called “PlayMGM.com”), looking to have over 300 casino games along with cash and tournament poker that will not only be offered online but also will be offered through mobile variants.

Naturally, both companies were excited to extend their partnership into another venue. “We are delighted to extend our relationship with MGM Resorts and to be launching casino and poker under the playMGM brand in New Jersey,” said GVC’s Chief Operating Officer Shay Segev. “MGM Resorts is quite simply one of the biggest and best names in the business, and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

Echoing those sentiments was Corey Sanders, the Chief Operating Officer of MGM Resorts. “This is a historic moment for MGM Resorts to be launching real money online casino and poker under the MGM brand for the first time. GVC has been a first-rate partner for us, and we are excited about the possibilities of extending that partnership as regulated markets open up in the U.S.”

The Borgata/GVC partnership has been a profitable one for both sides. Since their partnership began when New Jersey opened for online gaming and poker in 2013, the Borgata and GVC have earned over $ 152 million, outpacing the second-place operation of Caesars/Harrah’s and 888 Holdings (have earned slightly more than $ 117 million in the same time span). Those two organizations have dominated the online poker segment of the New Jersey industry, with Borgata/GVC slightly outpacing Caesars/Harrah’s/888 by slightly more than $ 5 million.

Whether there is enough room for another operation in New Jersey is the question, however. When it was introduced in 2013, the two properties with a similar name – the Trump Taj Mahal and the Trump Plaza – were both involved in the Jersey online gaming scene. Within a couple of months, the Plaza was left in wreckage along the side of the road, while the Taj Mahal (paired with the now-defunct Ultimate Gaming) was able to stagger on until September 2014. Once Ultimate Gaming closed its doors, the Taj Majal lost its partner in the dance and shut off its operations (both properties are now closed).

A newcomer, Resorts AC, was one of the companies that was struggling on the sidelines in November 2015, but that was before they signed a deal with the company that was thought to be the “savior” of online poker in New Jersey. Resorts AC (already running an online casino operation), and its partnership with Amaya Gaming and the #1 online poker site in the world PokerStars, came into the fray in March 2016 and, to be honest, has not brought the throngs that people thought would turn out (especially in the poker arena). Since the debut of PokerStars in New Jersey in March 2016, they have consistently been the #1 online poker operation in New Jersey, but that lead is not dominant. After an initial burst of activity, the three online rooms have settled in to divvying up the $ 2 million online poker market in the state roughly equally.

The question will have to be asked if there are enough customers to support another online casino/poker operation in the state, but we’ll have to wait to see what that outcome will be. The new MGM/GVC partnership won’t open its doors until later this year, at which point players will decide whether the newcomers are worthy contenders or just another site.

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