Posts Tagged ‘Network’

Million Dollar Bad Beat Jackpot Hit on Chico Network

 Million Dollar Bad Beat Jackpot Hit on Chico Network

You don’t hear much about online poker bad beat jackpots anymore. Back in “the day,” they were quite popular, as players loved having that miniscule chance at a gigantic payday in what would otherwise be a regular cash game. But over time, people stopped wanted to pay the extra drop for the jackpot and the bad beat tables declined in popularity. They still exist, though, and one of the largest jackpots of all time was hit this past Sunday night on the Chico Network, worth $ 994,119.

The Chico Network is comprised of just three poker rooms – BetOnline.ag, TigerGaming.com, and SportsBetting.ag – but it still sits at 15th in PokerScout’s cash game traffic rankings with a seven-day average of 700 cash game players. One thing that likely elevates the Chico Network despite having such a small roster of skins is that it is a “gray market” site, meaning that it accepts U.S. customers.

On the Chico Network, the bad beat jackpot starts at $ 100,000 and increases constantly, as long as it hasn’t been hit. An extra rake is taken from the pot at specially-marked bad beat jackpot tables at the rate of 10 cents per $ 4 in the pot, with a maximum of 50 cents per hand. For a hand to qualify for the bad beat jackpot, a player must lose a hand holding four of a kind Jacks or better. At least four players must be dealt into the hand, the hand must go to showdown, and both the winning hand and losing hand must use both of their hole cards.

The loser of the hand – and thus the “winner” of the bad beat – receives 27.5 percent of the bad beat jackpot. The winner of the hand gets 15 percent, the other players who were dealt cards at the table split 15 percent equally, 5 percent is split evenly among players at the other bad beat jackpot tables, 10 percent goes to the house, and the remaining 27.5 percent is used to seed the next jackpot.

In the big hand on Sunday, there were four players dealt in. “pokerplayer4ever” had Qd-Td, while “Tyrant” had Jd-Jc at a $ 1/$ 2 No-Limit Hold’em table. Tyrant raised to $ 5 pre-flop, pokerplayer4ever re-raised to $ 18, the other two players folded, and Tyrant called.

The flop of 8d-9d-Jd had to have made pokerplayer4ever’s heart jump, as he had just flopped a straight-flush. Tyrant checked, pokerplayer4ever bet $ 10.17, and Tyrant called. The 4d came on the turn and both players checked. The river was the Jd, giving Tyrant quads! He checked, pokerplayer4ever moved all-in for $ 179.22 and at that point, Tyrant had to know he was about to profit a couple hundred bucks or nail the score of a lifetime.
Think about it. Tyrant had quads and saw his opponent, who had been aggressive except for the turn, move all-in with four diamonds on the board, plus straight and flush possibilities. Tyrant had almost every hand dead to rights, so he was definitely winning – in most cases – a $ 400 pot.

But there were two combinations of hole cards he could lose to – Q-T or 7-T of diamonds – and one of those was the hand that pokerplayer4ever had. And since they were at the bad beat jackpot table, Tyrant knew he was about to make some money.

As the loser of the hand, Tyrant won the largest portion of the bad beat jackpot, $ 273,382.82. pokerplayer4ever received $ 149,018.49 for winning the hand and the other two players won $ 74,509.25 and $ 74,509.24.

The sad part of this tale, though, is that there were two players at the table who were sitting out. Those bathroom breaks cost over $ 37,000 each.

The post Million Dollar Bad Beat Jackpot Hit on Chico Network appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Grand Poker Network Unavailable for Over a Month

 Grand Poker Network Unavailable for Over a Month

When people – lawmakers, in particular – argue against regulating online gambling, point them to stories like this to show them why it is needed. Lightly trafficked online poker network, the Grand Poker Network, has been offline for about five weeks without any real indication as to when – or even if – it will be back up and running. There may be a happy ending to come, but right now, things don’t look particularly good for the network’s players.

The Grand Poker Network is not a household name in poker. It is comprised of just a few sites: Grand Poker (also known as Dragon Room), VietBet.eu, 5Dimes.eu, Island Casino, and SportBet. Even when it was up, PokerScout listed it with fewer than 40 cash game players on most occasions.

According to ProfessionalRakeback.com, players began having trouble connecting to the network on November 5th, 2017. Conversations with customer service resulted in varied reasons for the issue: the network was down for maintenance, the network was switching servers and updating its software, or even that the network was closing.

Indications when trying to login were that the network and/or software was being “upgraded,” but those upgrades never arrived. This week, ProfessionalRakeback.com had a brief online chat with a customer support rep from VietBet, who said that the network would be returning, but other than that, had no information to offer.

One of the interesting things in this situation, as ProfessionalRakeback.com points out, is that the Grand Poker Network was founded by 5Dimes, which itself is a highly respected online sportsbook (it operates other gaming sites, but it is most known for its sportsbook). So the fact that this Grand Poker Network saga has been going on for over a month is quite strange.

It is almost certain that 5Dimes is losing money on the poker room and possibly on the network as a whole. Why 5Dimes started the network is unknown, but it could have been as an honest attempt to develop another revenue/profit stream, or simply as a loss leader, a way to expose poker players to its flagship sports betting business. The latter tends to work the other way around: sports books launch online poker rooms, trying to draw sports bettors over to the poker tables. This way, the site can keep more of its customers’ money – someone who wins in the sportsbook may take the winnings over to the poker room and win or lose, the site generates rake from the winnings it paid the customer on the sports side.

I suspect the poker room/network was a genuine attempt at another revenue stream, as using it as a loss leader doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. 5Dimes has a well-established sportsbook, so pulling a handful of poker players over to sports betting wouldn’t be worth the expense and effort of developing a new poker room and/or poker network.

The fear among poker players on the Grand Poker Network right now is probably that the network is going to disappear with their money and is just stringing them along right now while management figures out how to best remove themselves from view. But we don’t know that to be the case – especially because of the reputation of 5Dimes – so unfortunately, everyone is just going to have to stand by until further developments reveal themselves.

The post Grand Poker Network Unavailable for Over a Month appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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iPoker Network Withdraws from Poland

 iPoker Network Withdraws from Poland

The iPoker Network has withdrawn all of its member sites from the Polish online gaming market in response to new gambling regulations that took effect on April 1st. Some sites, like William Hill and bet365, already left the market in March, but now it is everybody. Things like this have been happening more and more over the last couple years, but word is that some of the poker rooms didn’t even warn their customers in advance, leaving many people searching for alternatives.

Online poker had not technically been legal prior to the new regulations – only the lottery and online sports betting were allowed – but clearly sites were operating in Poland. Polish regulators to “diversify” the local market with the new laws, and by legalizing online casino games, poker, and bingo, as well as allowing poker tournaments to be held outside of casinos, it did to some extent, but all is not quite as it seems. The state-controlled gambling monopoly, Totalizator Sportowy, is the only entity permitted to operate online casino, poker, and bingo games.

Now, even with that, the iPoker Network might have tried to remain in the country, as most of its rooms do have online sports books. It would have been possible for the sites to apply for licenses. But it seems likely that the final deciding factor on the exit from Poland is the nutty tax law in place for online gaming.

Regulations stipulate that an online gaming operator be taxed at 12 percent of annual turnover, a calculation that is essentially insanity. Typically, operators are taxed based on gross gaming revenue, essentially how much money the site brings in from bettors minus how much it pays out. Turnover, on the other hand, is how much players bet without taking into consideration how much of that turns into actual revenue for the site or how much is returned to players in winnings.

At one point, it was suggested to make that number 20 percent, which would have been simply astronomical. For most small operators, it is not worth seeking a license with the current tax rate. The Polish government has said that it would take another look at the tax issue in the future, but who knows if that will happen. Online gaming operator bwin (not part of the iPoker Network) seems to be counting on that, as it applied for a gaming license this month.

In the meantime, sites and networks are deciding what to do. There is always the option to flaunt the law and just keep operating in Poland without a license, though it remains to be seen who might take that step. The government has said that it will start blocking unlicensed domains as well as their payment methods by July 1st, but steps like that haven’t always worked very well in other jurisdictions.

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Winning Poker Network Moves to Weighted Contributed Rake Calculation

 Winning Poker Network Moves to Weighted Contributed Rake Calculation

Just as people like to make changes to their lives and get a “fresh start” when the calendar page turns from December to January, so, often, do online poker rooms. The Winning Poker Network (WPN) announced Monday that starting today, January 3rd, 2017, its member rooms will adjust how raked hands are counted in order to calculate loyalty points. Gone is the “dealt hand” system and in is the “weighted contributed” method.

In the previous, dealt hand method of calculating rake and loyalty points, rake in a cash game pot was attributed to every player who was simply dealt cards. For instance, if five players were dealt hole cards – regardless of how many players were actually seated (some could have been sitting out) – and the pot grew large enough to generate one dollar in rake, twenty cents in rake would be attributed to each player. This amount would then be used to determine how many loyalty points players earned, which is useful for things like VIP status levels and releasing bonuses.

During the poker boom of about a decade ago, most online poker rooms and networks used the dealt hand method. It was fantastic for tight players like me or for players (also like me), who shuttled around to different poker rooms to take advantage of deposit bonuses. As the years have gone on, though, most rooms have switched to the weighted contributed method, as WPN is finally doing now.

In the weighted contributed method, poker players must actually put money in the pot to be given credit for any rake generated. This “contribution,” as it were, can be voluntary as in a bet or raise, or can be involuntary, as in the small blind or big blind. Those who fold pre-flop and are not in a blind will not have any rake attributed to them as they were in the dealt hand method. Additionally, the rake attributed to each player is based on how much money they put into the pot compared to the other players, hence the “weighted” part of the phrase.

Using the same example from above, say there were five players dealt cards in a hand that generated one dollar in rake. Two early position players called pre-flop, the button folded, the small blind called, and big blind checked. Thus, four players contributed to the pot. If everyone checked down all the way to showdown, they all contributed the same amount and would therefore each be attributed with 25 cents rake.

The calculations change depending on how much money players contribute. If two of the players fold on the flop and two others keep betting through the river, those two that stay in the hand longer will have contributed more and will be given credit for more rake.

Clearly, this method is terrible for tight players who like to fold, fold, fold their way through a session, but is great for more aggressive players. It is also good for the poker rooms, as it encourages action, driving up pots, and increasing rake.

The switch to the weighted contributed method is inconsequential when it comes to tournaments, as it is the tournament fee that matters there; there is no rake per pot in a tourney.

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Is the 24-Hour Poker Network Poker Central Shutting Down?

 Is the 24 Hour Poker Network Poker Central Shutting Down?

Since it was founded in late 2015, the television channel Poker Central has been trying to find their way in a very difficult broadcasting world. Now news is emerging that, by the end of December, the channel allegedly may shut down its cable network broadcasting outlet.

Per Kent Gibbons at Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, Poker Central has been having some difficulty getting on various broadcasting outlets around the country. The network had a partnership with Buckeye Broadband to broadcast the network in the Ohio region, but other outlets were either not willing to jump on board or were waiting until after the new year to go live with the channel (according to sources from Gibbons). Up to this time (and without the other programmers offering the network), the network had been doing decently reaching its fans through their Twitch channel and various streaming devices such as the Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.

Apparently that wasn’t enough for those in charge of the network, including major investor/poker professional Cary Katz. The decision was made, according to Gibbons, by Katz to end the broadcast schedule on December 31 and it caught many of those in positions of responsibility by surprise. Gibbons could not even confirm the shutdown of Poker Central with the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Clint Stinchcomb (a former World Poker Tour executive), and many others were reportedly “disappointed” with the decision, according to Gibbons.

A press release from earlier in 2016 may have been the indicator that this move was coming. Back in September,  a press release announced the expansion of their digital (re:  online) product, partially because of their success on Twitch and partially to give their viewers what they want. “Poker Central is wildly popular with poker fans, who want the freedom to enjoy our content when, where and how they want” said Joe Kakaty, the president of Poker Central, during that press announcement. “We found an almost insatiable appetite for live poker and are investing in new studios in both New York and Las Vegas to feed it. Poker fans will love our full slate of live fast-action poker and our fantastic daily content offerings.”

Another member of the Poker Central hierarchy, Vice President of Content Sam Simmons, echoed Kakaty. “When our early access to the initial hours of the Super High Roller Bowl shattered Twitch records, we decided to embrace our audience’s preferred viewing habits,” commented in the press release.  “This means access to poker programming on the platforms of their choice, while expanding our live TV broadcasts by partnering with several fully distributed networks.”

Now it seems that those other “fully distributed networks” and the live television broadcasts are out the window. What will become of some of their broadcasting remains to be seen. In the September press release, it was mentioned that such programming as Pokerography (think A&E’s Biography, only about poker players) and the previously mentioned Super High Roller Bowl will be a part of their digital future. It was also mentioned that they would be mixed with “other live events, scheduled episodic web series, daily short-form news and edgy content that’s ideal for today’s consumption habits.”

What wasn’t mentioned expressly in the September press release or by Gibbons is the future of Inside Poker with Matt Savage or even Live at the Bike. The Savage program would delve into discussions with the major power brokers in the poker world (and some players would get in occasionally also), while LATB, the longtime cash game broadcast of live action from the Bicycle Casino in California, was looking to make its jump from just being an internet sensation to being broadcast across the country to fans. These programs may be a part of the digital future of the Poker Central offerings, but it wasn’t declared outright.

If the network is truly leaving, then it is unfortunate. Many attempts have been made at a 24/7 poker channel, both internationally and in the States of America, and it seems that there isn’t quite the audience to drive the bottom line for the programming. While having Poker Central as a digital outlet on Twitch or over the internet, it isn’t the same as sitting down in your chair to watch it in your living room on the HDTV.

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